EuropeBeach

Discover the top 10 European islands of the summer

By , 7th June 2016

The summer is here and we have found the perfect European Islands with the best rated hotels on trivago, so you can have an incredible summer. So why not scroll through the list and choose your favourite, you may even find that number one defy all your expectations!

From Greece to the UK, we have found the ultimate list of European Islands!

10. Hydra

Greece

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Located close to Athens off the coast of Peloponnese in the Aegean Sea and easily reachable via ferry, Hydra is one of the most picturesque Greek islands – and completely free of wheeled vehicles. There are no cars or scooters on the island, with mules and donkeys being the main forms of heavy transport.

Bristling with natural beauty, Hydra is the most pristine of the Saronic Gulf islands, boasting a spectacular horseshoe port with ranked rows of restored grey and white Italianate mansions.

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9. Naxos

Greece

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Naxos is the biggest and greenest island in Cyclades with impressively high mountains, fertile valleys and stunning seascapes. Historically, Naxos was a cultural centre of classical Greece and of Byzantium, and the island has been continuously inhabited since the 4th millennium BC. Portara, an iconic 6th century BC marble gate, is the most recognisable landmark, and is the last remaining remnant of a temple dedicated to Apollo.

Visitors can do worse than spend time in the main city of Hora (also known as Mykonos), which is awash with steep cobbled alleys, Venetian mansions and atmospheric villages.

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8. Cephalonia

Greece

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A paradise for nature lovers, Cephalonia revels in its green majesty. Wild horses ride along its mountainsides, and the isle is renowned for its endangered loggerhead turtle population, which nests on the many beaches along the south coast of the island.

Holidaymakers should be sure to make a boat trip to the enchanting Melissani Cave and experience its illuminated azure-blue lake.

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7. Paros

Greece

Paros is a stylish island, brimming with fashionable resort towns and charming rural villages. As well as excellent food, the island boasts a vibrant nightlife, with cocktail and jazz bars aplenty in the capital Parikia. Paros’s second-largest town Naoussa is an old fishing village, characterised by its impressive Venetian port and many fish restaurants.

Sun seekers will be impressed by the white sand-coated Golden Beach and New Golden Beach, which also offer a host of watersport activities including windsurfing and kitesurfing.

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6. Capri

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Boasting rugged landscapes, Roman ruins and fine cuisine, it’s easy to see why Capri is one of the most popular islands in the Mediterranean. Accessible from Sorrento or Naples by boat, Capri makes for the perfect day-trip.

The island’s standout attraction is the otherworldly Grotta Azzura (“Blue Grotto“) sea cave, which can be reached by wooden tugboat. Visitors are transported through a tiny stone portal of complete darkness into a sparkling cavern illuminated by stunning emerald light.

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5. Folegandros

Greece

Folegandros

The small Greek island of Folegandros is something of a hidden gem tucked away in the Aegean Sea. Together with Sikinos, Ios, Anafi and Santorini it forms the southern part of the Cyclades.

Home to just 765 inhabitants spread across three small villages connected by a paved road, Folegandros has a surface area of just 12 square miles. Despite this, the island’s landscape is varied, boasting tall cliffs and a large cave.

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4. Ios

Greece

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Ios means “flower”, and though the island is renowned for the electrifying nightlife that attracts thousands of revellers each year, its hillside clustors of Santorini-esque blue-roofed buildings and golden arches ensures it lives up to this billing of beauty.

Ios is also steeped in literary heritage, having served as the homeland of Homer’s mother and the final resting place of the great epic poet.

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3. Sifnos

Greece

Sifnos

Source: Elisa Triolo

Just three hours from Athens by high-speed ferry, Sifnos has the perfect blend of beautiful beaches, low-key nightlife and some of the best food in the Cyclades. Among the flanking slopes of the island’s central mountains are abundant terraced olive groves, almond trees and aromatic herbs. Shrouded in history, Sifnos was enriched by its gold and silver deposits from the 8th century BC, but by the 5th century BC its mines were exhausted.

These days Sifnos is known for pottery, basket weaving and cookery, while the jewel in the island’s crown is the striking white 16th-century Chrysopigi Monastery.

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2. Astypalaia

Greece

Astypalaia

This small but charming Greek island boasts centuries-old history, whitewashed villages and sun-drenched beaches. The island is centred around the picturesque architecture of its capital, Chora, which features an imposing hilltop Venetian castle, as well as traditional windmills and tranquil beaches with gas-blue water.

Off the beaten track from more popular Greek isles, Astypalaia serves as the perfect outpost for holidaymakers who want a break from the hustle-and-bustle of inner-city life.

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1. Isle of Arran

Scotland

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Source: Visit Arran

One of the most southerly Scottish Islands, the Isle of Arran sits in the Firth of Clyde and features stunning views to rival anything else north of the border. The island’s landscape lends itself to challenging walks in the mountainous north and its circular coastal road in the south makes for a perfect cycling route. The elegant Brodick Castle is characterised by fabulous 19th-century wooden furniture and its extensive grounds which double up as a country park.

Visitors should be sure to take a guided tour of the Arran Distillery, one of the few remaining independent distilleries in Scotland, and sample tastings of the light, aromatic single malt it is famous for.

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