The most beautiful islands of europe

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View from the highest peak of Madeira, the Pico Ruivo.

Madeira – an island of flowers in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean

The Portuguese island of Madeira is a green oasis in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Here you can expect a stunning natural landscape with bizarre rock formations, tropical forests, rushing waterfalls as well as an extraordinary flora and fauna.

Madeira is not a typical beach vacation, because the coast of the volcanic island consists mainly of steeply sloping, rugged cliffs; there are only a few classic sandy beaches here. As the weather is pleasantly mild all year round, the island is a wonderful destination for hiking all year round. The network of hiking trails on 1300 km is very well developed and from the high vantage points you have a beautiful view over the entire island. But the most breathtaking view is offered by the Pico Ruivo in the interior, which with its 1862 meters is the highest mountain in Madeira and towers majestically over the island.

On the beautiful hiking trails you can admire the unique natural spectacle of the island. Because the nickname “flower island” is no coincidence: Madeira has numerous plant species such as hyacinths, agaves and flamingo flowers, which present a spectacular display of colors and scents.

Also worth seeing are the species-rich high moor Paul da Serra, the river landscape of the Ribeira da Janela valley, the Queimadas forest park and the historic irrigation canals, so-called Levadas. Also the visit of the charming fishing village of Camara de Lobos and the capital Funchal with the cathedral from the 16th century is a must. The city is well worth a visit for its nineteenth-century architecture, the idyllic harbor, the botanical garden and the great restaurants. Here you can enjoy the local port cuisine and the typical Madeiran liqueur wine, for which Madeira is known worldwide.

View of the beautiful old town of Bonifacio.

Corsica – the island of beauty

Steep cliffs dropping into the turquoise sea, gorgeous white sand beaches as far as the eye can see, vibrant port towns, charming mountain villages – this is Corsica, this is the island of beauty.

On Corsica, nature lovers, beach lovers and adventure seekers will find fulfillment in equal measure.
If you first want to learn something about the history of the French Mediterranean island, it is best to visit the capital Ajaccio. The historical harbor town is with barely
70 000 inhabitants the largest city on the island and the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. Follow in the footsteps of the former French emperor! One of the most impressive sights of the town is the old citadel, from which you can enjoy a magnificent view of the historic harbor area.

Besides Ajaccio, Bastia is also considered an important economic center of the island. The tranquil town on the Cap Corse peninsula is known for its historic harbor, which is surrounded by a picturesque quarter with small alleys, cafes and restaurants.

Since the Mediterranean island is mostly a nature reserve, you can discover numerous interesting hiking routes or make daring climbs over one of the more than 120 peaks. Those who make it to the top of the highest mountain on the island (Monte Cinto is 2706 meters high) will be rewarded with an incomparable panoramic view of Corsica.

In Calvi and Porto Veccio beach lovers get their money’s worth. Miles of sandy beaches with romantic bays invite you to swim and relax. A boat trip from Bonifacio’s harbor to the Lavezzi Islands is a must for divers. Here there is a unique underwater world to discover – a true paradise for divers.

A popular excursion destination: the Smugglers’ Cove on the beach of Navagio.

Zakynthos – the pearl in the Ionian Sea

The southernmost of the Ionian Islands, which also include Corfu and Kefalonia, impresses with picturesque bays, spectacular cliffs and lush greenery.

If you are on vacation in Zakynthos, you can’t miss a visit to the smugglers’ cove on Navagio beach. Not only the shipwreck stranded there in 1980, but also the 200 meter high cliffs are a spectacular sight, as are the Blue Grottoes at Cape Skinari with their fascinating play of light.

Beside the beach of Navagio other beautiful beaches are waiting for all sun worshippers. In the south of the island, for example, is the beautiful bay of Laganas. Divers and snorkelers
can enjoy the colorful underwater world and discover the diverse underground flora and fauna.

The secret stars of the island are the hawksbill sea turtles, which lay their eggs in the sand along the southern coast. The 135 km² national park, where the animals live for part of the year, serves as a refuge for the strictly protected sea turtles.

Especially recommended is a trip to the capital, built in Venetian style
“Zakynthos Town”. In the most important commercial center of the island you will find numerous stores, taverns and sights such as the Byzantine Museum, the Citadel and the Agios Dionysios Church, which is considered the landmark of the city.

The original character of the island is only really understood when you visit the small mountain village of Loucha. Loucha was largely spared by the earthquake in 1953 and now appears with its historic architecture like an enchanted village where time has stood still.

Simply fabulous: the Old Man of Storr.

Isle of Skye – the island of mist

As the largest island of the Inner Hebrides, Skye combines a unique landscape with historic sights that captivate every visitor.
Skye, also called the “Isle of Fog” by its inhabitants, is connected to Scotland’s west coast by a motorway bridge. The Hebridean island does not bear its nickname for nothing, as clouds often hang on the mountains, causing abundant rain and fog, which does not detract from Skye’s beauty, however.

The varied landscape is unique: in the south, black and red mountains, the so-called Cuillins, rise sharply into the sky – the highest peak is almost 1000 meters high. In between valleys, rolling hills and lochs like Loch Coruisk.

In the north, on the other hand, you will find artfully polished mountains with soft and sometimes bizarre shapes: the MacLeods with their flattened peaks, the humpbacked Quiraing or the rock needle Old Man of Storr. You will also be enchanted by the magical valley of Fairy Glen, the crystal clear waters of Fairy Pools or the headland of Neist Point.

In addition to the impressive landscape, Skye is characterized by its remarkable sights. Portree, the main town of the island, is located at a sheltered bay in the northeast and is known for its colorful houses directly at the harbor.

Dunvegan Castle, the ancestral seat of the old island clan MacLeod, with its beautiful gardens is another highlight of the island. And of course, whisky lovers also get their money’s worth: Skye is home to the smoky Talisker whisky. During a guided tour of the distillery in the village of Carbost, you can taste Scotland’s national drink. SlAinte mhath!

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