Lofoten Islands, Norway 🇳🇴
These are remote. Really remote. Right up near the top of Norway remote. You’ll have a few more hours travel ahead of you once we’ve left you at Oslo, but some places are worth the journey. This kind of remote means Northern Lights in winter, the midnight sun in summer, and the kind of indescribable, untouched natural beauty that could actually bring tears to your eyes.
The baby of the Balearics and relatively hidden compared to its neighbours, Formentera is just a short ferry ride and a whole world away from its neighbour Ibiza. You won’t find banging Superclubs, herds of party people, and crowded beach raves here. What you will find instead is white sand beaches, sweetly scented pine groves, sand dunes, incredible seafood, ludicrously clear water, and probably a little bit of inner peace too.
Stromboli, Italy 🇮🇹
Trip to an active volcano anyone? Stromboli, just off the northern coast of Sicily, is one of Italy’s eight Aeolian Islands and one of its three active volcanoes. It’s constantly active and its fiery mouth is often visible a distance, which explains its nickname – ‘The Lighthouse of the Mediterranean’.
Porquerolles, France 🇫🇷
Just off the beautiful blue Mediterranean coast of France, you’ll find an archipelago of four little islands called the Îles d’Hyères, the largest of which is Porquerolles. Most of Porquerolles is a designated National Park and conservation area, and has been since the early 70s. Go here and you’ll get a good idea of how the whole Riviera looked before it became built up.
A French gem of an Island, Belle-Île-en-Mer (Belle Isle) lies off the coast of Brittany and has no fewer than 60 beautiful beaches on which you can pay your weary/lazy head and bask in the sun. It’s a really beautiful island – think sleepy fishing villages, old forts, wild coastal scenery, beautiful French seafood dishes, and even an Opera festival in August of each year. It’s easy enough to get to as well, with ferries from Lorient departing daily.
Cíes Islands, Spain
Locals have been known to call them the Galician Caribbean. One look at the stunning Cíes Islands, with their pearly white sands and pristine turquoise waters, and you’ll see why. Rodas Beach, which connects two of the islands, looks like what you think of when you think of a paradise beach. Visiting the islands is not a free-for-all and there is a limit to how many people can visit each day, so book your place on the boat well in advance.
Slap bang in the middle of the Mediterranean, the Maltese archipelago punctuates the Med’s beautiful blue hue like three little gold nuggets. Malta is the big one, with the big city and the lion’s share of the tourist traffic… and then, a short ferry ride away, there’s Gozo. Gozo is quieter, more rural, more laid back and stunningly beautiful