Ideas for an Island Holiday in Europe
There are many places to visit in Europe, and island trips are no exception. Here are some of the top holiday spots for travelers.
1. Majorca, Spain
Spain’s largest island is no stranger to tourists, many of whom spend their days sunbathing and their evenings enjoying the nightlife. There are also many opportunities to sightsee, especially for those who want to learn more about the island’s culture, such as the Royal Palace of La Almudaina and the numerous churches in the capital. Adventurous tourists, on the other hand, prefer cycling, hiking, and even mountain climbing. There are many types of accommodations for travelers, such as hotels and resorts, but many also opt for a relaxing stay in one of the many family villas to rent in Majorca.
2. Madeira, Portugal
Known for its lush vegetation and water sports, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find out that Madeira is a popular tourist destination. Visitors can go hiking or opt for numerous walking tours organized by local agencies (the so-called Nun’s Valley tour is particularly well-liked). Additionally, water lovers can go sailing, swimming, or fishing, as well as surfing, diving, or water skiing. However, the highlight of any trip to Madeira is whale and dolphin spotting. If you’re ever traveling to this island, make sure you save enough time for such an activity. Also, scuba diving has recently gained popularity, with numerous diving schools located in Funchal and Canico de Baixo open to diving enthusiasts of all levels.
3. Corsica, France
Corsica is widely known as the birthplace of Napoleon, but few are aware that this island has some of the best conditions for diving and sailing in Europe due to its peaceful bays. Not only that, but its mountainous terrain welcomes hikers of all ages to explore and practice various mountain sports. There are also many festivals and local celebrations on the island, so you can easily plan your trip if you want to attend them. The small town of Calvi, which claims to be the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, hosts a jazz festival in June, while the village of Pigna houses numerous artisan workshops. History buffs will also appreciate a trip to Cucuruzzu, a large archaeological site with a detailed guided tour available in multiple languages.
4. Skye, Scotland
Located in the north of Scotland, the Isle of Skye is home to several monuments and castles worth visiting. Most of the ancient monuments can be reached by car, public transport, or by walking. Claigan Souterrain is a prehistoric site with a dark passageway that can be explored by brave travelers, while Uamh An Ard Achadh is an important burial site complete with a large cave and several passageways. As for castles, tourists can stop by Dunvegan Castle, one of the oldest inhabited castles in Scotland. You can easily spend half a day exploring the castle and its gardens, ending it all with a nice family lunch at the nearby restaurant. Armadale Castle is smaller, but it can still be a great choice if you want to spend a quiet afternoon. The Museum of the Isles is a part of the castle, and it is a great place to visit if you want to learn more about the island’s history. Skye may not be known for its nightlife, but it is still a good choice for tourists who want to avoid crowded destinations.
Whether you are interested in sailing and mountain climbing, or you simply want to relax and learn more about a different culture, these island holidays are definitely worth your time. If you’re thinking of avoiding package tours, and you want to visit everything by yourself, consider buying a map and maybe even renting a car to help you get around and save time.