1686586448 6 Lesser Known Mediterranean Islands to Visit This Year and Avoid | phillipspacc

6 Lesser-Known Mediterranean Islands to Visit This Year and Avoid the Tourist Crowds


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If you’re considering a trip to Europe this summer, chances are you’re looking for some beaches to enjoy. Fortunately, the stunningly diverse countries of Europe offer endless beaches of all kinds, from seas to lakes, wild to manicured, and everything in between.

A woman in a white hat enjoys the view to the famous Tis Grias a Pidima beach with emerald sea on Andros island, Cyclades, Greece copy

It is a well-known fact that many European beaches are very crowded in the popular summer months, making the experience much less pleasant for those who come in search of rest and relaxation.

However, there are always gems to discover, and the postcard-perfect Mediterranean region offers many islands that are still off the beaten path.

Rear view of a beautiful girl in a hat sitting on the wall looking at an amazing panoramic view of Procida island, Naples, Italy

Consider some fairy tale island locations that are favored by europeans who head here to avoid the masses of tourists that flood the other more popular islands in the region.

The countries of Greece, Italy, and Croatia are more popular than ever this year, and if you’re looking for a quiet beach to lay your head on, it’s time to turn to the locals for their favorites.

Here are 6 lesser-known Mediterranean islands to visit this year to avoid the tourist crowds:

Rab, Croatia

Accessible by a short ferry ride from the mainland off Croatia’s north coast, the island of Rab is a place worth visiting this summer. Nicknamed the Island of Love, Rab is known for its welcoming and friendly locals who love to watch the occasional tourist pass by along its shores.

Speaking of coastlines, another claim to fame here is that the island has the most sandy beaches in the entire Adriatic region, including more than 20 located on the Lopar Islands peninsula, some of which are the best beaches in all Croatia.

Beaches aside, the town of Rab is perfect, and the island also boasts an ancient forest to get lost in when you need a break from the beach.

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Croatian town of Rab during sunset

Ponza, Italy

Located just over three hours from Rome, you can find the stunning volcanic island of Ponza, part of Italy’s Pontine Islands. Unlike other islands and beaches near Rome, Ponza will not greet you with huge sandy beaches, but with smaller, more rustic coves and cliffs, perfect for exploring by boat.

Quieter and more relaxed than nearby Capri and Ischia, Ponza is the ideal island to enjoy a bit of dolce vita by the sea without the massive crowding some of Italy’s other popular destinations will experience this year.

Island of Ponza, Italy with colorful umbrellas on the beach

Agistri, Greece

Popular with the locals of Athens, the unique Greek island of Agistri is a favorite island paradise to explore. Located in the Saronic Gulf, the island is calm and natural. Despite its close proximity to the thriving metropolis of Athens, the tiny island remains untouched, with lush green nature and your choice of sandy or rocky beaches to enjoy.

One of Agistri’s charms is the fact that it is not polished and cosmopolitan like other Greek islands, and many come here to recharge in the unpretentious setting among the taverns and traditional villages.

Aerial bird's eye view photo taken by drone of Aponisos beach and lake with clear turquoise water and pine trees, Agistri island, Saronic gulf, Greece

La Maddalena, Italy

Hidden off the northeast coast of Sardinia, the La Maddalena archipelago has yet to be discovered by the masses, for various reasons. For a long time, the island served as home to a US Navy nuclear base and therefore tourism was not a factor here due to the unwelcome nature.

However, since 2008, La Maddalena was returned to Italy by the US Navy, and the island has begun to become a natural playground for bathers.

Loaded with wild beaches and ice-blue water, this area is actually a protected national park, so be careful not to disturb anything when you visit (you’re not even allowed to take sand home). La Maddalena is home to a beach that is even known as the Tahiti of Italy, so plan on some very clear water.

Cala Corsara, Maddalena archipelago on Sardinia island, Italy

Pantelleria, Italy

It’s been called Italy’s last secret island, though it looks like the secret might be out soon. Pantelleria is located between Tunisia and Sicily and has an environment that can be considered North Africa meets Italy.

As one of the southernmost points of Italy, this volcanic island stands alone in the Mediterranean Sea and therefore does not see many international visitors.

The famous Elefnate Rock juts out into the sea, and most of this island has jagged, rocky shorelines, making it somewhat difficult to access by air or boat. However, those who arrive on Pantelleria are greeted with a calm and relaxed island atmosphere with small towns and villages dotting the landscape.

View of Lago di Venere in Pantelleria, Sicily

Lopud, Croatia

If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in the trendy and sunny Croatian hotspot of Dubrovnik this summer, consider taking a trip to Lopund Island for some beach time.

With a ferry ride of around an hour, Lopund is a great place to spend the day on a sandy beach like Beach Sunj.

Lopund is considered the most beautiful of the Elaphite islands, and the fact that there are no cars makes it quieter than many other options on this list. While it can get a bit busy with day trippers, stick around and explore the ruins and views with a hike into the foothills that overlook the archipelago.

Lopud island in Croatia

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com