From relaxing on paradise beaches, exploring nature or partying till the early hours, you will be able to find a destination to match your interests no matter if you are travelling solo, with friends or with your family.
Check out our guide to some of the most spectacular European islands and start planning your next trip today.
1. Ibiza, Spain
Comprising of incredible beaches and some of the best clubs in the world, Ibiza is arguably the must-visit island in Europe.
Ibiza has a warm weather, a rich history, tasty seafood, accommodation for all budgets and a vibrant nightlife making it perfect for all ages and interests.
You can choose to laze around in the summer heat on one of the most beautiful beaches in Spain, experience a yoga resort, explore the island on bike and relax with a cocktail and watch one of the most stunning sunsets of your life.
2. Corfu, Greece
Greece is one of the most popular countries to visit in Europe and it is easy to see why.
The mainland has historic sights whilst the islands are breathtaking. Corfu is one of our top picks and is a dream for nature lovers with forests, mountains, beaches and scenery. Corfu is really colourful and has a vibrant atmosphere with lots of culture and places to discover.
3. Santorini, Greece
Santorini usually tops the Instagram charts during summer, this island is amazing and famous for its postcard-worthy landscapes and romantic sunsets.
Whether it is the sensational views, amazing resorts or beaches, Santorini is one of the best Greek islands and offers the complete package that ticks all the boxes for a vacation.
Explore the narrow passages amongst the whitewashed buildings, followed by scrumptious Greek cuisine, is there a better way to spend a day?
4. Capri, Italy
Capri is one of the best Italian destinations to see with a laidback atmosphere perfect for rest and relaxation.
Capri has gorgeous beaches and stunning clear blue ocean, you could spend days lazing here and not get bored. There are also lots of places to check out too including the Gardens of Augustus and the Blue Grotto.
You could plan a book a trip to Capri independently, or if you really want to learn more about the places you visit and go off the beaten track we recommend booking an Italy tour which can will help make your next Italian trip easier.
Or view these tips if you would like to travel from Rome to Capri.
5. Hvar, Croatia
Surrounded by the Adriatic Sea, Croatia is recording record numbers of of tourists year on year due to the spectacular nature and rich history.
The Baroque architecture in Dubrovnik, Split and Zagreb while the natural beauty of Plitvice and Krka will take your breath away. But if you plan to travel to Croatia, Hvar needs to be on your itinerary.
This is one of the lesser known islands in Europe and you really should get here before the tourist crowds arrive.
6. Madeira, Portugal
Madeira is the perfect weekend or longer getaway destination for anyone looking for a relaxed break away.
Madeira is the birthplace of Christiano Ronaldo and you will love this island. There is a pretty harbour, medieval architecture and contemporary churches, beaches and luxury resorts.
You can fly to Madeira, book a cruise or travel from the mainland. The capital, Lisbon, is also worth a day trip for its enchanting castles and beaches. The bullet train from Porto to Lisbon makes the transit in 2 hours and 30 minutes allowing for quick visits.
7. Mykonos, Greece
Another Greek island on our list (we really could include all of them) is Mykonos!
This island is located in the Aegean and is paradise with pretty buildings, relaxing beaches, nightlife, luxury hotels and so many boutique shops.
Mykonos is one of the most visited summer destinations in Europe and perfect for people seeking luxury with activities and nightlife. This island is a great alternative to Ibiza and if you are lucky you might get to see some famous stars here.
The Spanish Balearic Islands attract thousands of tourists every year and it is easy to see why. Expect spectacular scenery, stunning beaches and so many activities, restaurants and amazing resorts.
When arriving in Formentera you'll think you've landed in the Caribbean, it is that special. The island is walkable and you'll likely see a few famous celebrities and sports stars here. Ses Illetes is one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe and the world.
9. Corsica, France
Corsica is famous for its natural beauty and warm weather. This French island has stunning cliffs, nature trails, breathtaking scenery and lots of attractions to check out. The achitecture, scenery and lifestyle will make you not want to leave.
Cyprus has long been one of the most popular summer holiday destinations and it is easy to see why. Expect friendly locals, sunny weather, affordable accommodation and lots of beaches!
Malta is an archipelago located in the Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast.
Malta is becoming more and more popular with international visitors and this once quiet island is now buzzing with cafes, bars and cultural sights.
There are so many historic sites here as well as lots of fortresses, megalithic temples and also beaches. For the ultimate tourist experience jump onboard the hop-on hop-off tourist bus which navigates the whole island.
12. Azores, Portugal
Are you looking to go slightly away from the crowds? Plan a trip to the exclusive Azores.
The Azores are an archipelago in the mid-Atlantic with some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. Expect dramatic landscapes, small scenic fishing villages, green rolling fields, lake-filled calderas and tea plantations.
If you are looking for a rewarding experience you could apply to volunteer in Portugal and join projects helping dolphins and whales in the Azores.
An alternative to the beach islands we have listed so far, Iceland is naturally stunning with lots of adventures and activities available all year round.
Some of the best attractions to see in Iceland include seeing the world famous Blue Lagoon and the Northern Lights. This country has some of the most friendly people in Europe and also a diverse range of natural attractions. Iceland will blow you away!
Before booking your trip you might like to view some interesting facts about Iceland.
Other Places to Consider:
There really are hundreds of islands in Europe and where you go really comes down to personal preference for what you want to do. Some other very popular islands to check out include:
- Sardinia, Italy
- Mallorca, Spain
- Sardinia, Italy
- Tenerife, Spain
- Elba, Italy
- Faroe Islands
- Rhodes, Greece
If you are keen to visit as many places as possible in the same trip, you might want to check out tours of Europe.
Have you been to any of the islands featured on our list? Or would you like to recommend somewhere we have missed? Let us know in the comments section below.