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17 Most Beautiful Mediterranean Islands to Visit This Year

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Looking to get inspired for your next relaxing and memorable getaway or vacation this year? These Mediterranean islands have everything you need for the perfect idyllic escape.

The Mediterranean is a warm, wonderful, and beautiful region. It’s surrounded by so many gorgeous countries, including Italy, Greece, and Morocco.

While the countries are unique and exciting, the islands of the Mediterranean are the perfect blend of jaw-dropping landscapes, blue-water beaches, and food and wine by the bucket load.

Prepare to pack your inspiration boards to the edges as we explore some of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful island paradises, ideal for both romantic and family getaways.

Beautiful Mediterranean Islands to Visit

2 of 17 Most Beautiful Mediterranean Islands to Visit This Year

1. Sicily

Mediterranean Island: Sicily
Cefalu, Sicily, Serenity-H/Shutterstock

The Mediterranean’s largest island is a rustic, beautiful land of rugged countryside, fascinating architecture, and beautiful beaches.

Visit jaw-dropping Greek temples. Scale the slopes of Mount Etna, an active volcano. Soak up plenty of culture, and try delicious Sicilian food in cities like Palermo and Catania.

If you’re feeling really adventurous, visit the sites where scenes from The Godfather were filmed.

2. Cyprus

Mediterranean Island: Cyprus
Nissi beach in Ayia Napa, Fluieras Ana-Cristina/Shutterstock

Cyprus is a beloved Mediterranean island that many people visit every year for beach getaways. But that doesn’t mean Cyprus is without its hidden gems.

Soak up plenty of sun on the golden sands of Cyprus’ glorious beaches. Enjoy exquisite Cypriot cuisine in dainty restaurants with stunning views.

And let the views take your breath away from atop the island’s rugged headlands, ancient sites, and turquoise bays.

3. Sardinia

Mediterranean Island: Sardinia
Castelsardo town, Sardinia, Vlas Telino studio/Shutterstock

Sardinia’s breathtaking fusion of sweeping countryside, golden coastline, and Italian cuisine and culture make it a perfect island getaway for anyone looking to escape the hustle of everyday life.

Sail through vibrant, blue waters and see marine life. Lie on the sands of so many magical beaches.

Indulge in rich, delicious wines and mouthwatering food from cozy restaurants and bustling markets in Sardinia’s idyllic towns and villages.

4. Lesbos

Mediterranean Island: Lesbos
Street bars and taverns of Molyvos (Mithymna), Lesbos, leoks/Shutterstock

Lesbos is one of Greece’s most beautiful and scenic islands. Its rugged, white rock headlands and hidden bays make it ideal for anyone who loves nature and tranquility.

Explore Greece’s magical history through ruins like the Castle of Mytilene. Get in plenty of beach time to relax and watch the blue waters lap the coastline.

And immerse in the raw beauty of Lesbos by taking strolls and hikes through its rustic, green forests and sweeping olive groves.

Related: Creamy Greek Tzatziki Recipe

5. Krk

Mediterranean Island: Krk
Vrbnik, Krk, Andrew Mayovskyy/Shutterstock

Krk is just off the coast of Croatia. This rugged, charming Mediterranean island is beloved by Croatians and Europeans looking for sun-filled and relaxing getaways.

Enjoy tranquil waters and sweeping beaches to a rural, rugged backdrop. Explore unique and intriguing landmarks, like Frankopan Castle.

Switch into ‘out of office’ mode with sweet, rich wine, salty fresh seafood, and indulgent Mediterranean food.

6. Lefkada

Mediterranean Island: Lefkada
Lefkada, Max Topchii/Shutterstock

One of Greece’s most beautiful Ionian islands, Lefkada is an island in the Mediterranean that’s renowned for its famous white cliffs and bright blue waters.

Relax and soak in the sun on one of the island’s many blue-water beaches. Enjoy picturesque white villages, glorious red wine, and plenty of sumptuous Greek food and Greek desserts.

And if you’re seeking a little adventure, go looking for hidden beaches and bays through the luscious, green forests.

7. Malta

Mediterranean Island: Malta
Valletta, Malta, fokke baarssen/Shutterstock

A shining diamond in the vastness of the Mediterranean Sea, Malta is a tiny little place with a beautiful, rugged landscape and a deep, unique history.

Wander through ancient temple ruins and historic architecture. Awe at some of the island’s breathtaking lagoons, bays, and coves.

Mediterranean Island: Malta
Valletta, Malta, ZGPhotography/Shutterstock

After a day of exploring, sit back with a cocktail and delicious Maltese food and enjoy some of the island’s sweeping and fun-filled beaches.

8. Mallorca (Majorca)

Mediterranean Island: Mallorca (Majorca)
Cala Figuera, fishing harbor, Mallorca, vulcano/Shutterstock

The Spanish island of Majorca is one of beautiful, rugged landscapes, sun-kissed beaches, and plenty of outdoor fun.

Let the warm, blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea lap against your feet. Taste exquisite Spanish food and Spanish desserts. Enjoy breathtaking views from scenic points, or explore caves and coves.

And if you’re looking for a fun time, Majorca’s vibrant nightlife of strips with bars and clubs offers plenty of great drinks and music.

Related: Spanish Custard (Natillas de Leche) Recipe

9. Corsica

Mediterranean Island: Corsica
Church in Sant’ Antonino, Corsica, Pawel Kazmierczak/Shutterstock

Wild, rugged, and rural, France’s Mediterranean island of Corsica lies north of Sardinia, and it is full of awe and excitement.

Witness wondrous ocean views from the red-cliff rocks and headlands. See plenty of wildlife in the nature reserve.

Taste the world-famous French foods and French pastries.

And after a long day of exploring, unwind to a soothing sunset on plenty of golden beaches, lapped by crystal clear waters.

Read more: French Breakfast Foods: A Local’s Guide to the Classic French Breakfast

10. Santorini

Mediterranean Island: Santorini
Oia village, Santorini, Neirfy/Shutterstock

Santorini is a crescent-shaped cluster of beautiful Greek islands and one of the Mediterranean’s most beloved gems.

Watch the breathtaking sunset from atop the hills of Oia. Swim in vivid blue waters and lie on pearly white beaches.

Mediterranean Island: Santorini
Fira, Santorini, Zebra-Studio/Shutterstock

And if you’re keen to ignite your sense of adventure, try many of Santorini’s memorable activities, from sailing through the waters to hiking the Santorini volcano.

11. Hvar

Mediterranean Island: Hvar
Fishing boats, Hvar, DaLiu/Shutterstock

Hvar is a majestic Croatian island found in the Adriatic Sea. This utterly stunning place is one of the Mediterranean’s most postcard-perfect destinations.

Known to be one of Europe’s sunniest spots, lay your tired body out on luxurious golden beaches lapped by rich blue waters.

Enjoy relaxing, water sports, and plenty of fun in the sun. And spend your evenings dining on mouthwatering Croatian food and drinking rich and tasty wine.

12. Capri

Mediterranean Island: Capri
Faraglioni Rocks, Capri, IgorZh/Shutterstock

Looking for a rugged, secluded Italian escape? Capri is a tiny Mediterranean island off the coast of Naples, and it has charm by the bucket load.

Gaze at Capri’s awe-inspiring natural landscape. Eat and drink authentic Italian food and wine until your heart’s content.

And enjoy some world-class shopping, and maybe even spot a celebrity in the Marine Grande.

13. Elba

Mediterranean Island: Elba
Portoferraio, Elba, Serenity-H/Shutterstock

Elba is an exotic, quaint little Italian island off the Tuscan coast in the north of Italy. It’s rich in history, and it has plenty of surprises.

Swim, bathe, and unwind at one of Elba’s many glorious beaches. Venture into the heart of the island to discover rustic villages and breathtaking peaks and valleys.

And spend your evening sunset gazing with hearty food, delicious wine, and plenty of Tuscan charm.

14. Corfu

Mediterranean Island: Corfu
Beach in Corfu, Cristian M Balate/Shutterstock

Emerald forests, pearly white beaches, and shimmering waters define the very popular Greek island of Corfu. It’s a Mediterranean island with a grand reputation.

Eat great food, drink flavorful wine, and dance the night away in postcard-print resorts and idyllic towns and cities.

When you’re ready for some tranquility, head out into Corfu’s natural landscape. There are turquoise bays, white-sand beaches, and emerald-green olive groves.

15. Formentera

Mediterranean Island: Formentera
Rocky Reborn/Shutterstock

This tiny Spanish island in the Balearic Sea is a place of awe and beauty. It’s perfect for peaceful romantic getaways or idyllic family vacations.

Lie on the sands of tranquil, secluded beaches. Experience incredible views from atop the island’s rugged headlands and coastline.

And surround yourself with peaceful, natural beauty. Formentera is a Mediterranean island to escape reality for a blissful week or two.

16. Ibiza

Mediterranean Island: Ibiza
Cala d’Hort beach, Ibiza, Pawel Kazmierczak/Shutterstock

Right next to the quiet island of Formentera sits the lively, energetic Spanish island of Ibiza. This wonderous Mediterranean delight is known all over the world for its vibrant nightlife.

But Ibiza offers far more than electronic music and clubbing. Explore the island’s fascinating landscape, including limestone islands and salt flats.

Mediterranean Island: Ibiza
Eivissa, Ibiza, Alex Tihonovs/Shutterstock

Let the sun kiss your skin on the golden sands of Ibiza’s beaches. And escape to the tranquil forests of the island for yoga and meditation.

17. Patmos

Mediterranean Island: Patmos
Chora, Patmos, Nejdet Duzen/Shutterstock

Our final stop takes us to the Greek paradise of Patmos. This island is known as a sacred place where the Book of Revelation was first written by Saint John.

Explore picturesque villages and ancient sites. Take in the splendor and beauty of Patmos’ rugged, volcanic landscape.

Mediterranean Island: Patmos
Chora, Patmos, Nejdet Duzen/Shutterstock

And enjoy plenty of hearty and delicious Greek food, with a generous helping of rich wine, in plenty of restaurants and villas.

Mediterranean Islands Summary

Whether you want paradise beaches, rich history, or plenty of fun in the sun, the Mediterranean has it all and then some.

The pristine beaches, with their golden sands, glisten in the sun. The green, rugged landscape is full of tranquility and adventure.

And because it’s the Mediterranean, the food and drinks simply cannot be ignored.

The Mediterranean is a place for fun, relaxing, healing, and making memories that will last a lifetime.

Whether you’re feeling the awe of ancient Greek ruins or the energy of electronic dance music, Mediterranean islands have something for everything.

So, one last time, here is our list of 17 Mediterranean islands to help inspire your next well-earned vacation:

  1. Sicily
  2. Cyprus
  3. Sardinia
  4. Lesbos
  5. Krk
  6. Lefkada
  7. Malta
  8. Mallorca
  9. Corsica
  10. Santorini
  11. Hvar
  12. Capri
  13. Elba
  14. Corfu
  15. Formentera
  16. Ibiza
  17. Patmos

Travel Tools and Resources

Need a little help and guidance planning your trip? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered!

  • Travel Binder: Our 30+ page travel binder has everything you need to plan your trip from start to finish. You can download it, print as many pages as you need, and get everything booked, organized, and accounted for using our colorful guides, documents, and printables.
  • Packing Lists: If you’re overwhelmed thinking about what you need to pack, use our free packing lists to help you out. We have a vacation packing list, a weekend packing list for shorter city break getaways, and a beach packing list for beach day trips, among many others.
  • Booking Flights: We have used Skyscanner to book flights for many years and like their easy-to-use interface and the number of flight routes they are able to aggregate. 
  • Priority Pass is also a real game changer, as being able to relax and have food in any airport lounge before a flight makes flying a far more enjoyable experience.
  • Booking Accommodations: We generally use because of how many options they can find you and their generally flexible cancellation policies. We also use because you can build up reward points to use toward free stays. We also recommend Trusted Housesitters if you’re flexible with your dates, looking to budget, and traveling at a slower pace. In exchange for housekeeping and looking after someone’s pet, you can arrange house sits with homeowners on the platform. We were able to stay in  London in a beautiful borough one summer this way, during peak tourist season when prices are at their highest.
  • Travel Insurance: As we work remotely when traveling, we use SafetyWing when booking travel medical insurance. They offer policies suited to both short-term and long-term travel as well as policies for companies with remote workers.
  • Tours: We love to look through options on Viator and GetYourGuide to see what fun activities we can book in the place we’re visiting. Not only does their list of tours and experiences give us inspiration, but it’s also very straightforward to book through their websites.
  • VPN: We never connect to a public wife like a hotel, cafe, or airport wifi without a VPN. We’ve been using Express VPN since 2016.

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17 Beautiful Mediterranean Islands You Have to Visit

Author: Dale Johnson is a content writer, strategist, and full-time digital nomad as of 2016. He is passionate about working remotely from some of the world’s most desirable destinations.

Images licensed via Shutterstock


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