07/07/2022

Porquerolles, France

Cote d’Azur too overheated? Try quiet Porquerolles, one of the Îsles d’Hyères islands, just a ferry ride from Hyères in mainland France. With no cars allowed, the only way to get around this densely forested island is on foot or by bike, and the only sound is the crackling of fragrant pine needles under your wheels. The best beaches like Plage d’Argent are on the north coast. It gets noisy in high season, but calms down once day-goers leave. Right in the heart of the village, Résidence Les Mèdes offers rooms and apartments.
From £138 per night, hotel-les-medes.fr

Tabarca, Spain

Photo: John Hemmingsen / Getty Images

It’s hard to find peace on the Costa Blanca. So head to Tabarca, 22 miles from Alicante, and you’ll discover an island whose waters are so clear that they’ve been declared the country’s first marine reserve. A 50-minute ferry takes you to this car-free paradise. Spend a few days snorkeling, eating fish broth at one of the beach huts, then wandering around the fortified walls that surround the town.
Hotel Isla Tabarca with B&Bs from £78, hotelislatabarca.com

Bozcaada, Turkey

Photo: Mehmet Zenil Ozturk/Getty Images

Bozcaada, rich in Greek and Turkish heritage, off the western coast of Turkey, is where Istanbulites escape the summer heat. From its shores, the Achaeans launched the ships that rescued the Trojans. Today, Greek and Turkish cultures coexist harmoniously, as there are mosques next to the Orthodox churches. A short ferry ride from the port of Çanakkale, the island offers beachfront bars, a vineyard-covered hinterland, and a bustling seaside town. Perched on a hill overlooking the castle, Ela Tenedos Hotel offers rooms with sea views.
Rooms B&B from £38, elatenedosotel.com

La Graciosa, Canary Islands

La Graciosa, Canary Islands
Photo: Getty Images

Three miles north of Lanzarote, the small hotel La Graciosa offers an entirely different Canary Island scene: no cars, no noise, and no crowds. Here, you’ll find an idyllic marine reserve with sandy boardwalks, unassuming restaurants, wild sand dunes, and pristine beaches. Explore the island by hiking or renting a bike in the whitewashed port village of Caleta de Cebu. Spend your days watching fishermen fix their nets at La Laja, or try the emerald wild waters of Las Conchas in the north. Within walking distance of Caleta’s restaurants, Evita Beach Apartamentos offers apartments with sea views.
From £192 per night, booking.com

Syros, Greece

Syros, Greece
Photo: Getty Images

Forget the quaint town of Mykonos and take the 30-minute high-speed ferry to Syros, where you’ll find the perfect blend of liveliness and rural calm. Ermopoli, the coastal capital of Syros, is lively but devoid of tourists. Neoclassical homes rise in the ranks of the banks. Greeks are here for long tavern lunches, and the scene is diverse – a wild hinterland filled with olive groves and orchards, along with secluded and unassuming beaches, many of which can only be reached by boat. The new Eco Art Aristide Hotel has nine elegant rooms in addition to the regular artist residences.
Rooms Bed and breakfasts transfers included, from £204, hotelaristide.com

Cabrera, Spain

Cabrera, Spain
Photo: Marco Simone/Getty Images

Little Cabrera, six miles south of Mallorca, has a colorful past, from Barbary pirates and Spanish soldiers to French prisoners of war. Today nature rules: this national park is a paradise for Caspian gulls, cormorants and lizards. Mix wildlife watching with swimming in empty bays. Wander around a crumbling medieval castle on top of a hill, then dine at Cabrera’s Cantina in Es Port and try the island for a cheap overnight stay download.
Cabrera Hostal has 12 rooms of £42 per night, 2 people, hostalcabrera.es. Boats depart from Colonia de Sant Jordi in Mallorca, excursionsacabrera.es

Lastovo, Croatia

Lastovo, Croatia
Photo: Michaela Urban/Getty Images

The boring four-and-a-half hour ferry crossing from Split can take to reach Lastovo, but this chunky Croatian island is so different from its tourist sibling, you’ll be glad you made the effort. Spend your time strolling in the pine forests, admiring the island’s Venetian-style houses, then exploring some of the 38 churches or swimming in the clear waters of Scrivina Luka Bay. There is only one hotel – the aptly named Solitudo Hotel, whose sea-view restaurant serves delicious Dalmatian-style lobster.
Bed and breakfasts from £57, Hotel Solitudo.com

Tinos, Greece

Tinos, Greece
Photo: Aegean Photo / Alamy

Just a 15-minute ferry ride from Mykonos, Tinos is an uncovered Cycladic island with a lush hinterland dotted with windmills, Venetian-style baths, stunning villages, and tourist-free beaches. Pilgrims regularly flock to Tinos to worship the healing icon of Panagia Evangelistria and it was the church that saved the island from overdevelopment. There are lovely, quiet villages like Kardiani and Volax, but there is also a much livelier scene with pubs and handicraft shops in Pyrgos.
Agali Bay offers bed and breakfast rooms from £69 including free transfer from the port, agalibay.com

Ile de Patz, France

Ile de Patz, France
Photo: Thomas Stoeber/Alamy

Parisians love Ile de Re, but there is another island off the Atlantic coast that is less expensive, less elegant, but just as attractive. Just 10 minutes from Roscoff and only two miles from east to west, Île de Batz is low-key and ideal for families. Rent bikes at the port, then ride to the white sandy beaches of Grève Blanche. Then climb the 198 steps of the island’s lighthouse and take in the panoramic views of the Brittany coast. In the Écuries de Batz there is a center for water sports and pony rides. Located on the port, Les Herbes Folles has rooms with sea views.
Double room, room only, from £64 hotel-iledebatz.com

Filicudi, Sicily

Filicudi, Sicily
Photo: Getty Images

Sicily Taormina offers old-school charm, but can overwhelm tourists, so why not head to the small Aeolian island of Filicudi instead? Here visitors can hike along ancient mule trails or make a more aggressive climb to the summit of Fossa Vielsi, the island’s crater. Enjoy pizza from Da Nino, the trattoria overlooking the sea that also offers basic rooms, good value for an overnight stay. A direct ferry crossing from Milazzo in southern Sicily takes 2 hours 20 minutes.
Da Nino has bed and breakfast rooms with sea views and balconies £42, filicudieolie.it

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