HIDDEN ISLANDS: Head to one of the world's best secret islands for white-sand beaches, freshly caught seafood, peace and relaxation. Protected from crowds and the stress of modern life, these retreats will allow you to become one with nature, soak up local culture, and live in paradise...
1. Lyngør Islands, Norway
Consisting of four islands, this village in the sea has only about 100 inhabitants - the perfect place to relax! The houses are built in a beautiful architectural style, and you won't be disturbed by loud car noise, as everyone uses boats to travel between the islands and the mainland. Kayaking is also a very popular way to travel around these stunning islands.
2. Mljet, Croatia
This Adriatic island is known for its exceptional local produce and wild beauty. Hike around the two saltwater lakes in Mljet national park, hire a sailing boat to reach the 12th century Benedictine monastery, and swim in the beautiful clear waters at Blace Bay. Enjoy the local speciality, raw mussels drizzled with lemon juice, in the unspoiled oasis of tranquility that, according to legend, captivated Odysseus for seven years.
3. Aegina, Greece
This Saronic island, located only 16 miles away from Athens, is full of rich history. The Temple of Aphaia is arguably the jewel in the crown of Aegina island. The island also has an abundance of beautiful sandy beaches - including deep waters and shallow waters, beach bars and sunbeds to simpler more quiet areas. Something for everyone!
4. Fehmarn, Germany
With 2,200 hours of sun every year, endless stretches of natural beaches, amazing freshwater lakes and rugged cliffs, Fehmarn is an ideal holiday destination. Situated in the Baltic sea, this island allows visitors to enjoy long walks, kite-surfing, and even relaxing spa treatments in the beautiful sunshine.
5. Inis Oírr, Aran Islands, Ireland
Inis Oírr is the smallest and most eastern of the three Aran Islands in Galway Bay. It has a population of around 300, making it the perfect place to unwind! Enjoy Irish beverages such as Guinness, while listening to traditional Irish music which gets visitors up for a dance!
6. Belle-Île en Mer, Britanny, France
Belle-Île is a French island off the coast of Brittany, and the largest of Brittany's islands. During the summer the island's population increases dramatically, as many people own a second home on the island due to its secluded location and beaches. Its beautiful coastline and green interior inspired 19th-century authors and artists, most famously Flaubert and Monet.
7. Cíes islands, Galicia, Spain
The Cíes consist of three islands, Monteagudo, do Faro, and San Martiño. These islands remain a hidden gem thanks to a strict limit of 2200 tourists per day. Discover gorgeous sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters, as well as an abundance of wildlife!
8. Hiiumaa, Estonia
The second largest island in Estonia, Hiiumaa is bursting with nature and history. It is a lot warmer than Estonia's mainland, allowing you to enjoy long walks on the sandy beaches, and to discover the old Soviet bunker. Those seeking a bit more activity can hike, horse ride or indulge in various water sports.
9. Samothrace, Greece
Situated in the northern Aegean Sea, this small Greek island is a perfect spot for holidaymakers! The Sanctuary of the Great Gods has some of the most innovative architectural monuments built in ancient Greece in the Late Classical and Hellenistic periods. The island also contains plenty of hiking paths, waterfall trails, deserted beaches, hot springs and thermal pools - you will never be bored on this breathtaking isle.
10. Margaret Island, Budapest, Hungary
This picturesque island can be found in the middle of the Danube in central Budapest. It is mostly covered by beautiful landscape parks, and also has many medieval ruins. Two thermal spa complexes allow visitors to unwind on their holidays, as well as a small zoo, music fountain, and numerous outdoor concerts and plays.