Undiscovered island gems in Europe – ideal city break vacation
Escaping from the city hustle and bustle and wild nightlife to a calmer place and a relaxing atmosphere is always a good idea. The islands of Europe are exactly what you can fulfill such expectations, but instead of the usual island destinations like Mykonos, Sicily, Ibiza and Santorini, according to CNN these are the islands of Europe that deserve just as much attention and number of tourists.
Berlengas archipelago, Portugal
This archipelago consists of three islands and is one of the uninhabited places under the protection of UNSECO. This island destination eagerly awaits visitors who want to spend the night on it or just take a boat to admire the beauty of this island. The most impressive building of this archipelago is the Fort of São João Baptista, which dates back to the sixties of the twentieth century. It is located at the very top of the mountain peak of one of the islands of the archipelago, called Berlengas Grande, which is also the largest island of the archipelago. During summer you can spend the night in this fortress if you wish, or you can camp and sleep under the open sky. The stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean, as well as the perfect Mediterranean climate make this place the most ideal for surfing and summer sports. If you are a fan of summer adrenaline sports, expect this destination immediately.
To get to this private island, visitors must first fly to the town of Bodø, in northern Norway, from where they can continue north boat. This island is owned by hiker, adventurer Randi Skaug. Randi Skaug is the first Norwegian woman to scale Mount Everest, completing the “Seven Peaks”, which is the name for the highest mountain peaks on every continent in the world.
At first glance, it is far from the most luxurious hotels, but it is a luxury that is rarely seen. This private island, far from the outside world, allows its guests to stay in rooms in three houses that exist on this island. The number of guests is limited, which contributes to a more private experience. You can spend your days on this island hiking to the peaks where you can see the beautiful Lofoten Islands, swimming, and kayaking to the beautiful beaches. Those who would rather lie down, have the opportunity to recline in sunbeds and hammocks on the beach, looking at the clear water and fine white sand, surrounded by peace and quiet. This is real luxury, isn’t it?
Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland
This island is part of Vestmannaeyjar, the Westman Island archipelago and represents the largest island of that archipelago as the most populated island along the Icelandic coast. On this island you can find more puffins, than people, which makes this island one of the natural rarities. The landscape of Heimaey looks like from a fairy tale, emerald cliffs dotted with sheep, enjoying the breeze and fresh air, vast beaches with black sand, and magical sea caves that keep the secrets of this island.
Although the volcanic eruption in 1973 destroyed half of the island, it attracts both tourists and puffins. One of the attractions that you can visit is that volcano from which you can see the whole island as well as the addition that was created by the eruption of the volcano.
The human population of this island is about 4,500, while the animal population is almost one million. Puffin pairs are the most populous in the world, making this island the largest puffin colony in the world. If you visit this island in the period from April to the beginning of summer, you can see these little minks bringing fish in their mouths to their young ones.
What the volcanic eruption did to this island is deeply etched in the island’s history, and how they dealt with it is what makes this island remarkable. Although this island is defined by the eruption that hit it, it is the people who give this island its energy and soul, making it a unique place for visitors and adventurers.
The hidden greek gem, one of the undiscovered resorts, will leave you overwhelmed by the natural beauty and undiscovered places that this island hides. Popular tourist destinations like the Greek islands are usually crowded during the summer months, but if you want a more private atmosphere during your vacation or trip, the island Skyros is the place for you.
In the north of the Aegean Sea, it is one of the 24 islands of the island chain, which is only three and a half hours away from the capital city, Athens. You can get to this island by plane or ferry, whichever way of transport you choose, your trip will certainly be as interesting as your stay on this island. Like any Greek destination, what makes this place unmissable on your list is the incredibly blue sea and the delights on the sandy beaches. Nature on this small, peaceful island is raw and untouched. You’ll find rolling hills to explore, along with pristine beaches, tranquil lakes and rare Skyros horses – found nowhere else in the world. Add all this to prehistoric, literary and mythical sites, and you have found a small Greek island with big secrets ready to be discovered.
On this island, you can find a rare type of pony, which can only be seen on this island, and there are only a few hundred left. There is also some history behind them, legend has it that they are the descendants of the horses that pulled Achilles’ chariot. Also, if you love history and Greek mythology, this destination will enchant you with its story. This island is known for the fact that Theseus, who fought with the minotaur, was killed here.
Schiermonnikoog, the Netherlands
The least populated island of the Wadden Sea, Schiermonnikoog, is the ideal destination for a private island getaway. This island is only 14 km long and is located on the northern coast of the Netherlands. Home to just 950 people and a lone town, Schier, as the locals call their island, is primarily a national park, covered in dunes and forests and with some of the most pristine beaches in Europe. This island may be small, but it has a lot of nature. Due to the diversity of nature and landscape, Schiermonnikoog, was declared a national park in 1989. The diverse and protected natural environment is also home to many birds. You can encounter around 300 different species of birds at Schiermonnikoog throughout the year. In addition to this, there are hundreds of different plants, including nine species of wild orchids.
Only residents of this island are allowed to drive cars, and you can reach the island by ferry that departs from the Dutch village of Lauwersoog. The ferry ride takes only 45 minutes, and when you arrive on the island you will be enchanted by the preserved nature. It’s up to you to choose from variety of activities such as amber collecting, sailing, cycling, swimming, as well as hiking along the beautiful white sandy beaches.
Isle of Tiree, Scotland
One look at the turquoise and deep sea and the stormy waves ideal for surfing, which hit the sandy beaches and you will understand why this island is called the Hawaii of the North. The westernmost island of the Scottish Inner Hebrides archipelago, Tire stretches for 19km and is known for its mild climate, clean air and sandy beaches that can easily be confused with the beaches of the Caribbean. Throughout the year, this island provides you with an intimate atmosphere to enjoy peace and quiet with your thoughts while hiking through nature and beaches. However, this island teems with crowds when it hosts the annual music festival, which attracts around 2,000 visitors every year who have the opportunity to listen to and enjoy traditional English and Scottish music. In this way, the island wants to bring people the tradition of Scottish music and culture of this island and of Scotland itself.
We believe that one of these islands will be next on your travel list, because privacy and getting away from the crowds is exactly what we want from a vacation, even if it’s just for a short time.
Author: Pavle Cimbaljević