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Best European Islands for a Romantic Getaway

Angela Wood

Senior Contributor

You want to escape for a romantic island getaway but don’t want to travel as far as the Maldives or Caribbean, so where can you go in Europe? You can choose powdery sand beaches of Sardinia, white-washed landscapes of Santorini or even opt to delve into the ancient history of Korčula in Croatia. To help you make your decision, here is a guide to the Best European Islands for a Romantic Getaway.

Enjoy the Laid-Back Lifestyle of Sardinia

Secluded coves filled with powdery white sands, lapping turquoise waters, ancient grottoes, fine waterside restaurants and designer boutiques. You have all this to look forward to on a romantic getaway to Sardinia. The pretty seafront village of Porto Cervo in Costa Smeralda is the hub of the island for tourism. Peppered with pastel buildings and flanked by rolling emerald hills, it’s a haven for yacht enthusiasts and those seeking fine hotels and delicious gastronomical experiences.

History lovers will enjoy exploring Cagliari – wandering through labyrinth streets of the old town, visiting the hilltop castle and 13th-Century cathedral. Alternatively, walk the ochre-hued city walls of Alghero for incredible views and photo opportunities before heading to Neptune’s Grotto. This magical cave network etched into a cliff face is dripping with stalactites and stalagmites dating back thousands of years. If it’s Mediterranean sunsets you seek, head for the charming town of Bosa on the northwest coast. Sit by the marina with a cocktail, share a platter of fresh seafood and enjoy the vista, it couldn’t be any more romantic.

Sardinia, Italy

Bask in the Unspoilt Nature of Stockholm Archipelago

The coast of Stockholm, Sweden is home to almost 30,000 islands. This unique archipelago boasts rugged nature, woodland glades and tranquil coves. It’s also the perfect place for summertime activity lovers. The nearest island is just 20 minutes from central Stockholm, making it the ultimate weekend retreat for those wishing to escape the city. One of the best ways to view the archipelago is by kayak. You’ll discover hidden coves and secret islets you can’t see from land.

Art enthusiasts should make a stop at Artipelag Värmdö, with its galleries, nature trails and activities. If you are interested in Nordic history, you could stay on the island of Vaxholm. It is home to unusual Viking rune stones, an impressive waterfront citadel and mysterious Bogesund Castle. Whilst on the island be sure to sample the herring fish for which the archipelago is famous. If you’ve found an island you like, hire a bike and cycle through forests, admiring flora and fauna on the way or if you’re still deciding where to base yourselves, jump on a boat and go island hopping!

Stockholm Archipelago, Sweden

Sip Cocktails at Sunset in Santorini

When you think of romantic Greek islands, Santorini is always near the top of the list. This glorious Cycladic island is the perfect place for a getaway with a loved one. Rural vineyards, archaeological sites and charming tavernas hide behind coastal villages, ensuring there’s plenty for history enthusiasts and foodies to enjoy.

One of the most romantic spots on Santorini is Oia, one of the island’s caldera towns. The town spills out from the volcanic crater like sugar cubes, tumbling down the hillside towards the azure Aegean Sea. If you feel energetic, you can hike from Fira to Oia gaining insta-worthy photos of cobalt domes and breathtaking beaches or if you wish to see how locals live, head inland for Pyrgos. This lesser-known island village boasts one of the best restaurants in Greece – Selene where you can dine on creative Greek mezze alfresco overlooking lush scenery.

There are also incredible hotels on Santorini. Erosantorini is a firm favourite for couples. With cliffside infinity pools, lemon trees and just four minimalist suites, it’s a private romantic hideaway to drool over and the perfect spot to sip cocktails at sunset as the village illuminates.

Santorini, Greece

Explore the Old Town of Korčula in Croatia

Nestled off the south Dalmatian coast of Croatia, Korčula island is a dream hideaway for those seeking a relaxing holiday. Quieter than neighbouring Croatian islands of Brač and Hvar, Korčula is covered in dense pine forests, olive groves and sprinkled with pretty villages. This relaxed isle is known for its prehistoric archaeological discoveries and folkloric sword dancing which can only be seen on the island.

Korčula Old Town is a great place to begin an exploration. The picturesque coastal town, surrounded by fortified defensive walls and watchtowers is said to have been the birthplace of explorer, merchant and writer Marco Polo. In addition to the town’s innate charm, the beaches of Korčula are some of the best in Croatia. With over 150 miles of unspoilt coastline, there are many to choose from.

The sandy beach of Vela Przina in Lumbarda is popular with locals boasting two open-air cafes where you can dine by the sea or nearer Korčula Town, Luka Korčulanska beach can be reached by water taxi from the old town pier.

Korčula Island in Croatia

Ooze Old School Glamour in Capri

Capri has long been a draw for the international jet set. The island holds a magical allure which can only be described as intoxicating. Whether it’s the fragrant fresh lemons, the scent of Carthusia perfume wafting from high-end boutiques or the salty sea breeze and deep blue hue of the water, there’s something about Capri that makes you want to stay awhile.

If you are planning to visit from the Italian Amalfi Coast for the day, see the highlights of Capri on a private tour. Alternatively, if you are staying on Capri for a week or longer gain your bearings by taking the chairlift to Mount Solaro. The views across the island and to the sea are spectacular and if you walk down the mountainside you can stop off at an ancient hermitage to learn more about the region.

Couples can enjoy a boat tour to the legendary Blue Grotto to explore mesmerising subterranean wonders and before dinner, shop till you drop à la Jackie Kennedy on Via Camerelle. End your day feasting on mouthwatering ravioli Caprese – pasta envelopes filled with caciotta cheese and marjoram herbs in the Piazzetta as the sun goes down. 

Capri Island, Italy

Marvel at the Natural Wonders of Iceland

There’s no better way to enjoy a romantic getaway than when you wrap up warm and head into the great outdoors to see our planet’s natural light show! That is exactly what you can do in Iceland. Between the months of September and April, you can camp outdoors beneath Aurora Borealis with a hip flask and blankets to ensure you stay warm together. Alternatively, view the Northern lights on a schooner sailboat trip, 4 x 4 excursion or guided tour.

Another activity you can share is a visit to the Blue Lagoon. The aquamarine milky lake surrounded by jet black volcanic rock is otherworldly. The heated thermal waters are a perfect place to melt away stresses, relax, indulge in spa treatments and be at one with nature. If you’re a couple who enjoy hiking and outdoor adventures Dettifoss Waterfall boasts scenic pathways, viewpoints and when the mist reacts with the sun, rainbows form across the waterfalls. Truly magical.

Iceland

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