Summer seems to be speeding by, but there’s still time for a special cruise this year, and there’s always time to plan for a special cruise in the years ahead. For something different, here’s a look at 19 often-overlooked islands in Europe, from the far north of Norway down to the Med, that could make it to your eventual bucket list, as developed by mydomaine.com.
In the north, Denmark’s Faroe Islands (pictured above) are a string of volcanic islands in the North Atlantic between Norway, Iceland and the UK. They’re rocky, with jagged, steep cliffs, lots of hiking trails and bird watching, and colorful fishing towns with small harbors. It’s a long way from Miami Beach. Or you can head to the Isle of Skye, which is connected to the northern tip of Scotland by a bridge, and seems like a step back in time to a medieval city. Classic waterfront pubs and boutiques line the harbor, and you can hike along the rocky peninsula.
Also far north, Lofoten is an archipelago in Norway with a collection of small islands, all different, with fishing towns, mountain peaks and natural beauty in every direction. It has a Viking Museum, colorful buildings in small fishing villages off the beaten track, and you can enjoy the northern lights and the midnight sun.
If you want to stay warm, think about Budelli, just off the northern coast of Sardinia, for an Italian vacation. The famed Piaggia Rosada is said to be worth the trip by itself. Budelli is currently uninhabited and protected by an Italian national park board. For more activity, Hydra, in Greece, is not as crowded as the better-known Santorini or Mykonos islands, but it still has waterfront restaurants, small shops, a nightlife scene and cliffside homes lined by bougainvillea.
Or think about Hvar, a Croatian island retreat, not far from the mainland, filled by fields of lavender, beaches meant for lounging, and Renaissance homes built into the cliffs. For a change of scene, you can cruise to the Pakleni Islands nearby. Read more: