10 of Europe’s most enchanted islands off the radar | Europe vacation – Low Calorie Diets Tips

Porquerolles, France

Côte d’Azur too hectic? Try peaceful Porquerolles, one of the Îsles d’Hyères islands, just a ferry ride from Hyères on mainland France. With no cars allowed, the only way to get around this densely forested island is on foot or by bike, and the only sound is the crackling of fragrant pine needles beneath your wheels. The best beaches such as Plage d’Argent nestle on the north coast. It gets bustling in high season, but calms down once the day-trippers have left. Right in the heart of the village, the Hôtel Résidence Les Mèdes offers rooms and apartments.
From £138 per night, hotel-les-medes.fr

Tabarca, Spain

Tabarca, Spain
Photo: John Hemmingsen/Getty Images

Tranquility is hard to find on the Costa Blanca. So head to Tabarca, 22 miles from Alicante, and you’ll discover an island whose waters are so clear that it was declared the country’s first marine reserve. A 50-minute ferry ride takes you to this car-free paradise. Spend a few days snorkeling, eating fish stew at one of the beach shacks, and then strolling around the fortified walls that surround the town.
Hotel Isla Tabarca has B&B rooms from £78, hotelislatabarca.com

Bozcaada, Turkey

Bozcaada, Turkey
Photo: Muhammed Zeynel Ozturk/Getty Images

Bozcaada, rich in Greek and Turkish heritage, off Turkey’s west coast, is where Istanbulites escape the summer heat. From its beaches the Achaeans launched the ships that delivered the Trojan horse. Today, Greek and Turkish cultures coexist harmoniously, with mosques alongside Orthodox churches. A short ferry crossing from Çanakkale Port, the island offers beachside tavernas, a vineyard-clad hinterland and a bustling port town. Perched on a hill overlooking the castle, Ela Tenedos Hotel offers sea-view rooms.
Rooms B&B from £38, elatenedosotel.com

La Graciosa, Canary Islands

La Graciosa, Canary Islands
Photo: Getty Images

Three miles north of Lanzarote, tiny La Graciosa offers a very different Canary Island scenery: no cars, no noise and no crowds. Here you will find an idyllic marine sanctuary with sandy paths, unpretentious restaurants, wild sand dunes and pristine beaches. Explore the island by hiking or renting a bike in the whitewashed port village of Caleta de Sebo. Spend your days watching the fishermen mending their nets in La Laja, or try the wilder emerald waters of Las Conchas to the north. Within walking distance from Caleta’s restaurants, Evita Beach Apartamentos offers apartments with sea views.
From £192 per night, booking.com

Syros, Greece

Syros, Greece
Photo: Getty Images

Forget glitzy Mykonos and instead take the 30-minute high-speed ferry to Syros, where you’ll find a perfect blend of vibrancy and rural tranquility. Ermoupoli, the coastal capital of Syros, is lively but tourist-free. Neoclassical houses rise in rows from the banks. Greeks linger here over long tavern lunches, and the scenery is varied – a wild hinterland dotted with olive groves and orchards, along with secluded, unassuming beaches, many of which are only accessible by boat. The new eco-art hotel Aristide has nine stylish rooms in addition to regular artist residences.
Rooms B&B, transfers included, from £204, hotelaristide.com

Cabrera, Spain

Cabrera, Spain
Photo: Marco Simoni/Getty Images

Tiny Cabrera, six miles south of Mallorca, has a colorful past, from Berber pirates and Spanish soldiers to French prisoners of war. Today nature rules: This national park is a paradise for Caspian gulls, cormorants and lizards. Mix wildlife viewing with swimming in empty coves. Stroll around the crumbling hilltop medieval castle, then dine at Cabrera’s Cantina in Es Port and try the island’s for a cheap overnight stay hostel.
Cabrera Hostal has 12 rooms from £42 per night, sleeps two, hostalcabrera.es. Boats depart from Colonia de Sant Jordi in Mallorca, excursions sacabrera.es

Lastovo, Croatia

Lastovo, Croatia
Photo: Michaela Urban/Getty Images

It can take a tedious four-and-a-half hour ferry crossing from Split to reach Lastovo, but this chunky Croatian island is so different from its touristy sister that you’ll be glad you made the effort. Spend your time loafing through pine forests, admiring the island’s Venetian-style houses, then exploring some of the 38 churches or swimming in the transparent waters of Skrivena Luka Bay. There’s only one hotel – the aptly named Solitudo, whose sea-view restaurant serves delicious Dalmatian-style crawfish.
Rooms B&B from £57, hotel-solitudo.com

Tinos, Greece

Tinos, Greece
Photo: Aegean Photo/Alamy

Just 15 minutes by ferry from Mykonos is Tinos, an unsung Cycladic island with a fertile hinterland dotted with Venetian-style windmills and dovecotes, stunning villages and tourist-free beaches. Pilgrims regularly flock to Tinos to worship the healing icon at Panagia Evangelistria and it is the church that has saved the island from over-development. There are pretty, sleepy villages like Kardiani and Volax, but also a livelier scene with the tavernas and craft shops of Pyrgos.
The Agali Bay Hotel offers B&B rooms from £69 including free transfers from the port, agalibay.com

Ile de Batz, France

Ile de Batz, France
Photo: Thomas Stoiber/Alamy

Parisians love Île de Ré, but there’s another island off the Atlantic coast that’s less expensive, less chic, but just as appealing. Just 10 minutes from Roscoff and just 2 miles east to west, Île de Batz is low key and perfect for families. Rent bikes at the port, then set off for the white sandy beaches of Grève Blanche. Then climb the 198 steps of the island’s lighthouse and enjoy panoramic views of the Brittany coast. At the Écuries de Batz there is a water sports center and pony rides. Located on the port, Les Herbes Folles has rooms with sea views.
Double room, room only, from £64, hotel-iledebatz.com

Filicudi, Sicily

Filicudi, Sicily
Photo: Getty Images

Sicilian Taormina offers old-school glamour, but can get overrun with tourists, so why not head to the tiny Aeolian island of Filicudi instead? Here visitors can take walks along ancient mule tracks or take a more vigorous climb to the top of Fossa Felci, the island’s volcanic crater. Feast on pizzas from Da Nino, a trattoria overlooking the sea that also offers basic rooms that are good value for an overnight stay. The direct ferry crossing from Milazzo in southern Sicily takes two hours and 20 minutes.
Da Nino has B&B rooms with sea views and balconies £42, filicudieolie.it

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