Faraway islands where you will not find hordes of tourists and will not need to book a table or a lounger by the sea. There, you expect the locals to initiate you into the secrets of their lost paradises.
The local legend is as follows: once the goddess Aphrodite emerged seven gemstones fell from a tiara of creating seven islands off the coast of Tuscany. This mountainous island also boasts a famous former inhabitant: Napoleon Bonaparte spent 300 days of his exile here between 1814-5. During this period he was given the post of governor of the island with personal guard of 600 men. You can view the summer and winter residence, countless churches, beaches and forts and taste fresh fish and the best bread. The Elba is the third largest island in Italy after Sicily and Sardinia and has about 30,000 residents and has recently entered the wine map after the wine became famous.
The tiny island is also called Alibey Moschonisia and belongs to a group of islands between Lesvos and Ayvalik, which is connected by road. For several months in 1922, the Cunda, as is the Greek name, was the seat of the Metropolitan Moschonission while the house of the Bishop Ambrose Moschonission still exists on the seafront. After the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 and the exchange of populations, the Greeks of the island departed for Greece and replaced by Muslims of Crete and Lesvos. Among the most important monuments of the island, the Byzantine church of St. Nicholas is known as Commander and was built in 1873 and is now abandoned. The Mytilinii frequently visit the island with lush pine and olive trees for very cheap shopping in the bazaar and good food at the taverns.
Croatia has 1,185 islands but only 66 are inhabited. One of the most unknown, is the tiny Lopud opposite the glittering Dalmatian Coast and is located less than an hour by boat from Dubrovnik. Here, we expect about 200 residents, deserted beaches with white sand with the best Sunj, green hills with paths and buildings built by Greeks, Romans and Slavs. Do not expect to see movement since no cars or tourists: many pleasure boats cruising around the islands but few visitors choose to stay in Lopud. Life here continues in a completely relaxed pace.
Texel, The Netherlands
Imagine white beaches, dense forests and picturesque villages. This is the backdrop to the largest and most populous island in the north of the Netherlands during the winter months is a haven for geese and raptors. Before opening Noordzeekanaal the 19th century, the Texel was a station of the ships bound for Asia, Africa and North America and from here began and completed the first commercial mission to the East Indies. Famous is the wool produced on the island so do not be surprised if you see sheep grazing everywhere. The entire island is a paradise for lovers of cycling and so you will find many places to rent a bike.
View more here: The most beautiful islands in the world |The Caribbean Utila in Honduras, Holidays on the islands of eternal spring.
By Nicole P.
Island photos: Martien van Asseldonk, Yngve Holtberget, Nic Prins, Liam Nolan.