16 Best Islands for Your Next European Vacation

Thinking of a European vacation? If it’s like you are planning to visit Islands in Europe, you have hit the spot this time. It’s like every single day on your European vacation, your hands are going to be full with no room for anything else to think about. 


Europe has a multitude of magnificently magical islands to choose from— there’s like endless scope for explorations. It’s chock-full of so many discoverable islands from cold to hot, from big to small. The culture, food, history — and everything else only gets better when it is paired with a relaxing vacation to European Islands 


The Island trip on your European vacation is only going to add to the excitement of your experience that you would not ever find anywhere else in the world. So whether you are looking out to disconnect from the world or seeking excitement, each of these islands will offer you an experience of a lifetime. Choose the best leisure vacation packages for an unforgettable experience! 


Also read about medical tourism at cured.com, if you are traveling to Europe for any medical purposes & want to explore the continent on your journey. 


Top 16 Islands to Explore on Your European Vacation


You have hundreds of islands for your European vacations but a lot of them have been ruined by overexpansion and crowding. In this article, we’ve rounded up some of the most unspoiled European Islands — and this list has something special for everyone. Let’s know about the islands you must explore on your European vacation. Let’s Get started:


1. Sardinia, Italy



One interesting fact about this European vacation is that— it is home to the most centenarians in the world. And, this is because the people of Sardini rely on a steady seafood diet and sunshine— and there is completely no pollution, no stress, no motor vehicles. It is the second-largest Mediterranean island and it is the perfect place for a European vacation to enjoy the sun, sand & history. Choose the best vacation packages for an experience of a lifetime!


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2. Zakynthos, Greece



Zakynthos island is one of the top islands in Greek with plenty of beautiful landscapes, great beaches with an absolutely laid-back atmosphere, crazy nightlife, and sugar-fine sand. There are plenty of reasons why this island is one of the most loved by anyone going on a European vacation. It is also an amazing place for the history buffs including the Byzantine Museum of Zakynthos which has plenty of paintings belonging to the Renaissance and also two of the popular museums. 


RELATED: Most Spectacular Places To Explore During Your Greece Vacation


3. Cíes Islands, Spain



The Cíes Islands was declared as a natural park in 1980! Here you will get to see plenty of bewitching beaches, adventure-packed hiking trails, and some amazingly breathtaking scenery. When you are visiting the Cíes Islands on your European vacation, a day trip would be enough to explore the Islands. In Cíes Islands, the crystal clear waters and the white sandy beaches are just a ferry ride away. 


RELATED: An Epic Tour Guide For Your 7-Days Spain Vacation


4. Paros, Greece



Located in the heart of the Cyclades Islands in Greece, the Paros is one of the sought-after places for beach lovers and the charming ambiance. With plenty of pristine beaches, the Byzantine footpaths that connect the white-washed villages to accommodations are just superb things about the place. The most popular beaches are — Kolymbithres Beach, Golden Beach, and Fargas Beach. And for those who like experiencing seclusion & peace— the smaller beaches like Glyfa Beach are perfect. If you want to enjoy all of it, choose the best leisure vacation packages!


5. Santorini, Greece



You would be surprised to know that— the entire complex of Santoniri is still an active volcano. It is probably the world's only volcano with its crater located in the sea. The island of Santoniri was discovered after intensive volcanic activities took place — after twelve massive eruptions every 20,000 years. Santorini is considered to be one of the most beautiful and photographed of all the existing Greek islands. The white houses clinging to the sides of the island topped off with extremely amicable locals and bright blue doors, there’s absolutely something about this place that would make your European vacation unforgettable. 


6. Corvo Azores, Portugal 



Corvo Island meaning the land of crow is the northernmost part of the Azores archipelago. It’s a tiny stretch of land that spreads about 7km in length & 4km in width and is considered to be the most secluded part of Portugal and the most isolated part of Europe indeed. You will be surprised to know that Corvo has just about a population of 500 people. Experts think that this island was discovered somewhere in 1450, however, the settlement began only during the 16th century. Corvo is a very safe place to sit back, relax & rejuvenate— surprisingly locals do not even close their doors. So, this is probably an interesting place to explore on your European vacation. 


RELATED: Uncover The Best Of Europe With This Portugal Vacation


7. Corsica, France



Corsica offers plenty of opportunities for discovery for travelers coming here from around the globe — it offers its travelers a multitude of activities & attractions that also help with discovering the uniqueness of the island. Corsica is indeed popular for both its spectacular white sand beaches all surrounded by turquoise waters and the central area that is all covered with mountains. And, there’s no dearth of beauty to experience — from the big cities including Bastia to the tiny cities like Vizzavona. Travelers know Corsica for its magical sunshine and the beautiful cliffs. 


RELATED: The Most Magnificent Places To Visit During France Vacation


8. Gotland, Sweden



Surrounded by the Baltic Sea, located 60 miles off the coast of the mainland of Sweden, Gotland is absolutely a land of the paradise of wilderness. Gotland’s coastlines are punctuated with sculptural sea stacks and sandy beaches. The main town of Gotland, Visby is a World Heritage Site and is a wonder belonging to the Viking era. Like every other traveler, you would just not want to go back and find it to be more magical than any other place on your European vacation. From a couple of wonderful sceneries to plenty of unique local flavors, this amazing stretch of land never lets you sit. Visby is the best-preserved fortified town in entire northern Europe and there are plenty of other reasons that brought it in the name of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


9. Malta



While malta is often ignored by travelers, it could be one of the most exciting travel destinations on your European vacation. The extremely amicable people, the pleasant weather, castles, medieval cities— has just about so much to offer. The country opened to tourism only a few years ago! In Malta, you get to experience the touch of North African, English & Italian in everything including the food, architecture, and culture. And, the best thing about Malta is that it is superbly cheap and the seafood at the beaches that you are offered is just fantastic. Malta has so much new & absolutely unique to discover— and the honey-colored stone backdrop will just take your breath away. 


10. Solta, Croatia



Despite its location in Dalmatia, Solta is not popular among tourists as compared to other islands in Croatia. Solta, the ‘off-the-beaten-track option can be reached very conveniently from the mainland. Solta makes for a great day-trip option on your European vacation— the popular locations are Maslinica, Necujam, Rogac (where the ferries come in too), and Stomorska— these are some of the places housing the most luxurious five-star hotels & resorts. Solta island is one of the best places to explore, relax, and rejuvenate sitting on one of the rocky beaches or the quiet village. 


RELATED: 5 Top Places to Visit in Croatia: Best Vacation Ever!


11. Sylt, Germany



Located in the North Sea island in Germany, Sylt Island is popularly known for being an outdoor paradise. In Sylt, there are plenty of opportunities to do and see— it won’t ever let you sit quietly on your European vacation. Sylt is popularly known for two activities including cycling and surfing — and that happens mostly during the summer months. It has endless beaches where you can enjoy, relax, and catch up on some real “me time”. Plan your European vacation today! At leisure.com, we have some of the best leisure vacation packages that might make your vacation way more enjoyable. 


12. Elba, Italy



Elba is a beautiful island that is going to an amazing discovery on your European vacation. It is regarded as the third-largest Island in Italy — the first and second largest being Sicily and Sardinia. Historical texts reveal that Napoleon had stayed here at the island for about 300 days and throughout his stay, he worked towards improving the economic and social conditions. Since then there have been many changes taking place on the island but it is still one of the most exciting locations on your European vacations. It offers travelers opportunities to go mountain biking, driving along the winding road, and go snorkeling.


13. Bozcaada, Turkey



Bozcaada is beautiful, which allows it to soak in the natural charm— all away from the hustle and bustle. Bozcaada is also known as Tenedos and it is all inundated with old rustic homes with colorful window panes, excellent vineyards, cobblestoned streets, traditional tavernas, and much more. The island is all snuggled between the Mediterranean-influenced food, Turkish grapevines, and whitewashed houses. Bozcaada is one of those magical places where you can relax in a tranquil atmosphere without the hoard of tourists all around. There are a couple of spectacular swimming holes, plenty of charming cafes, and much more. The tiny island that has a population of fewer than 3,000 inhabitants is most popularly known for its sand beaches, red poppies, wine & grapes. 


14. Gozo



Gozo, the Mediterranean island — all built with peaceful bays & peaceful fishing villages is one of the best islands to travel to on any European vacation. The pastoral landscape has all small farms that will take you through tiny coves and sandy beaches. You can arrive in Gozo taking a ferry from Cirkewwa through Malta island from where travelers’ have to hop on to taxis or buses to roam around and see the island. You don’t have to worry, the taxi or bus drivers would know how to navigate the narrow one-lane roads and the hairpin turns of the island. Gozo is the second-largest of all the seven islands off the coast of Sicily and one of the best destinations on your European vacation. Gozo, the sister island of Malta is more rural and has a population of around 31,000.


15. Vis, Croatia



It’s like one of the undiscovered gems that came to a jump in the international visitors just about a few years ago. But it is still like the most undiscovered talent in the pool! You can drive along the craggy cliffs, feast on seafood, and swim in clear cerulean waters. The people living on the islands are even growing their own grape variety, vugava, and pressing these grapes into fruity wine. Vis can be one of the discoveries on your European vacation whose beauty and charm will take your breath away. Vis Island used to be the former army base for Yugoslavia because of which took so long to develop as a tourist destination. It was only in 1989 that Vis Island opened its operation in the tourism industry. Choose the best leisure vacation packages to make the most of your vacation.


RELATED: Everything about Best Things to Do in Croatia - 7 Days Vacation!


16. Kalymnos, Greece



Located between Leros and Kos, Kalymnos is an amazing Greek island, which makes for an amazing destination on any European vacation. The island is close to the western coast of Turkey and it’s been only a few years that the island opened its borders to tourism— it still looks untouched for obvious reasons. The tiny island is only accessible through ferry— most people reach the island Kos Airport by catching the ferry from Mastichari. You can also reach the island by taking a ferry from Piraeus. There’s too much to experience in Kalymnos — the aesthetically pleasing scenery, the amazing food, lovely beaches, top-notch hospitality & much more. The island is the perfect place for climbers— which also features in several travel magazines.


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