Lofoten Islands in Norway
Visit Norway’s Lofoten Islands, where you can “sleep in a little cabin, go fishing in the day then watch the Northern Lights from a hot tub.”
From sandy beaches to crystal clear waters, you may think you’ve seen it all when it comes to island life, even if just from photos.But it turns out there are plenty more unique and stunning islands in the world left to discover — and many of them fly under the radar despite their spectacular beauty.
From a secret, sparkling spot in Sicily to a car-free Mexican retreat, scroll down for a list of 10 under-the-radar islands everyone should visit in their lifetime.
“Reunion Island is a French Island territory located in the Indian Ocean, and is a fantastic alternative to the popular Maldives,” according to holiday rental site HomeToGo.
“Surrounded by beautiful beaches, the island also hosts lush tropical rainforests and is the perfect destination for nature lovers. Reunion Island is a photographer’s paradise with many impressive trails for trekking, glorious volcanoes, and turquoise blue waters. Perfect to practice your rusty French skills, the friendly local population makes the experience all the more enjoyable.”
Michel Karam, CEO of müvTravel, called Reunion Island “one of the most unusual island paradises on the planet.”
“The island is known for its volcanic, rain-forested interior, coral reefs and beaches,” he added.
EGADI iSLANDS, ITALY
These islands are an Italian secret, according to HomeToGo — at least until now.
“The Egadi Islands are three islands off the western coast of Sicily. Our data shows that this island is almost exclusively visited by Italians, although it includes all the features that make holidays perfect: beautiful beaches, sun, great food and fantastic wines.”If you don’t want to travel to all three different islands, we recommend you stay in Marettimo. Although it is the hardest island to reach, it offers outstanding snorkeling and is the least touristy island of the Egadi Islands.”
Curaçao combines the best vibes of the Caribbean and Europe, according to HomeToGo.
“On this Dutch island, you will find gorgeous beaches and beautiful European inspired architecture,” a spokesperson said. “One of the most colorful parts of the island is the Pietermaai District. This vibrant neighbourhood has emerged as a trendy spot for bars and restaurants and is a must when visiting the island.”
The Faroe Islands are a “refreshing” summer destination, according to HomeToGo.
“Too often overlooked by tourists as holidaymakers usually favour destinations where you can bask under the sun to have the perfect tan, these islands offer a fresh natural wonder,” the spokesperson said.
“Perfect for long walks in scenic surroundings, the Faroe Islands offer exceptional and wild natural sceneries and rare wildlife sightings, such as puffins. Also known as Lundy, Puffins are an Arctic bird of prey. The birds visit the Faroe Islands every year and can be seen from mid-April to September.”
“Off the western coast of Africa, the Azores are a Portuguese group of islands offering all the feats you could want for a perfect summer adventure. The remote archipelago offers world-class sea sports and activities, such as diving, whale watching, canyoning, surfing, and more. Combined with tasty Portuguese food and some jaw-dropping beaches to relax on, the islands should be on your list before they become the new place to be in Europe.”
Reigo Eljas, Country Director at lastminute.com, also suggested The Azores, adding: “We love a random fact about places and here’s one of our favourites, singer Nelly Furtado’s parents are from here. The Azores are also technically in Europe, as part of Portugal, despite being miles out into the North Atlantic Ocean and a good four hour flight.
“Don’t miss the Lagoa das Sete Cidades — this twin lake in a dormant volcano has one side green, the other side blue. Definitely one for the Instagram.”
Emma Leggat, Director of Communications for hotel deals and booking app HotelTonight, said: “This island’s secluded beaches, gorgeous hills and whitewashed villages make the perfect backdrop for anyone seeking a more laid-back vibe than the crowds of nearby Mykonos. Explore its charming villages and indulge your way through a culinary scene of renowned restaurants alongside authentic local gems.”
Renee Sundgren, Social Media Manager at Topdeck Travel, agreed that Paros doesn’t get the attention it deserves. “With its unrivaled natural beauty and stunning beaches, Paros is a must visit. Ideal for young travellers and couples, Paros offers everything that you would expect from an island in the Cyclades — blue-domed churches, dazzling whitewashed villages and magical sunsets,” she said.
As far as accommodation goes, Leggat suggests staying at Yria Boutique Hotel & Spa or Lilly Residence Boutique Suites.
Deia Mallorca, Spain
While Mallorca itself is perhaps not quite so under-the-radar, Leggat suggests heading to the “fairytale-like village” of Deia, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site “thanks to its gorgeous mountainous landscape.”
“Artsy types, take note: Deia has attracted everyone from David Bowie to Beyoncé with its creative community, art galleries and a lively music scene,” according to Leggat.
“The magical archipelago of Madeira has been a well-kept secret until recently, a tropical getaway just a 90-minute flight from Lisbon,” Leggat said. “Hard not to fall for Madeira’s charm while you take a dip in black lava pools, browse colorful markets, or sip wine from a local vineyard. Go before the secret’s out!”
Stay at Hotel Baía Azul, The Vine, or Belmond Reid’s Palace.
Also a fan of Madeira, Eljas added: “It’s got a bit of everything here — you can go hiking, sailing or spend a lazier time at the beach or at one of the many vineyards. Go to Cabo Giro for spectacular views — this is one of the highest sea cliffs in the world.
“For sheer silliness, you’ve got to try the Monte Toboggan run in Funchal. You’re basically taken back down a hill in a wicker toboggan by chaps in straw hats (it dates from the 1850s). It sounds like a tourist trap, well it is a bit, but where else in the world are you going to do it.”
“When people first land in Madeira, they often comment that they don’t feel like they are in Europe,” Silvia Dias, Strategy and Marketing Manager for Discover Madeira, added.
“The subtropical archipelago is on the same latitude as Morocco, with all year round warmth and some of the most fertile growing conditions in the world — this makes the landscape incredibly lush.”
Source: Alli Millington BI