Dream beaches and cliffs: Italy holidays beyond mass tourism: five islands that are still insider tips
Italy is no longer considered a risk area. If you want to vacation there, you can do so away from the large beaches on the Adriatic and the Mediterranean. We present five Italian dream islands that not everyone knows yet.
Sardinia, Elba, Capri and Sicily – these Italian dream islands in Italy are known to most holidaymakers. But our favorite holiday destination has a lot more to offer.
1. Favignana – island of the fresh wind
This beautiful island is located very close to Sicily, to the west of it to be more precise. Favignana belongs to the Egadi Islands and owes its name to the “Favonio”, ie the “Föhn”, which regularly sweeps over them when coming from Africa.
It is just under 20 square kilometers, barren and fairly flat – with the exception of the approximately 314 meter high Caterina hill. So the island can be explored very well by bike, which you can rent in the harbor. You can also use it to head for the beautiful beaches for which the island is known. Above all the Cala Rossa, which is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe because of its rocks and the crystal-clear, almost Caribbean-like water.
Anyone who comes here can really relax, as time still seems to have largely stood still. In addition to a few sights such as the Tonnara, a former tuna factory, and the ruins of Castello Santa Caterina on the mountain of the same name, which can be explored, you can relax on the island without mass tourism.
- Getting there: The island can be reached in half an hour by ferry from Trapani, Sicily
2. Panarea – small and fine volcanic island off Sicily
The island of Panarea, which lies north of Sicily in the Tyrrhenian Sea and belongs to the archipelago of the seven Aeolian Islands, is small and beautiful. It is a chain of volcanic islands that stretches across the sea from Etna to Vesuvius. On one of these islands, Stromboli, the only permanently active volcano in Europe of the same name spits lava and ash into the air. So it is not surprising that the highest point of Panarea is an extinct volcano: the Corvo rises almost 420 meters in height.
Because of its scenic beauty, Panarea has developed into an exclusive vacation paradise, where well-heeled Italians in particular like to spend their vacation in their private vacation homes. The island is not lacking in tourist infrastructure: There are some hotels and holiday accommodations as well as beautiful beaches with crystal clear turquoise water – many of them can only be reached by boat.
- Getting there: by ferry from various cities in Sicily (Palermo, Milazzo, Catania) and from the mainland such as Naples
3. Ponza – island idyll with dream beaches
Rugged cliffs, a hilly landscape and wonderful beaches: the island of Ponza, which is about 100 kilometers west of Naples in the Tyrrhenian Sea, is also still a real insider tip in Italy. It belongs to the Pontine Islands, which consist of five other islets: Gavi, Zannono, Palmarola, Ventotene, and Santo Stefano.
With just under seven square kilometers, Ponza is the largest of the group and is primarily known as a holiday island by Neapolitans and Romans – the international jet set also likes to come to the island by yacht to swim. Because the dreamy beaches, bays and grottos with their turquoise blue water couldn’t be more beautiful. The best known is the moonlight bay, the sickle-shaped Chiaia de Luna, which is surrounded by white tuff rocks.
In the idyllic main town of Ponza with its harbor and pastel-colored houses there are numerous small restaurants that prepare delicious fresh fish. Tip: The island is considered a beautiful diving and snorkeling area – under water you not only encounter a species-rich world of fish, but also shipwrecks from the Roman era.
- Getting there: Reachable in about three hours by speedboat from Terracina or Naples
4. Procida in the Gulf of Naples – picturesque
It is located in the Gulf of Naples and is only four square meters: the island of Procida. On the other hand, the number of inhabitants is not that low, because over 10,000 people actually live on this small neighboring island of Ischia. This makes it officially the most densely populated island in Italy.
The closely spaced, pastel-colored houses with their large external stairs, which nestle against one another in the picturesque fishing village of Marina di Corricella, look like a labyrinth. The highest point on the island is the 91 meter high Terra Murata, a fortress perched on a rock, where the islanders once barricaded themselves from pirates and conquerors.
Even if tourism does not play as big a role on the island as on Ischia or Capri, there are still some pretty hotels and dark sandy beaches on the island: for example the Lido near the fishing village Chiaiolella, one of the largest and most popular beaches on the island with locals . Those who like it a little quieter can descend the 180 steps to Chiaia Beach, in one of the most beautiful bays on the island.
- Getting there: With ferries or hydrofoils from Pozzuoli, Casamicciola and Naples
5. Pantelleria – volcanic island off Africa
Closer to Africa than Italy is the island of Pantelleria, which is about 100 kilometers southwest of Sicily. It owes its unique landscape and its many thermal springs to its volcanic origins. The green heart of the island is the Montagna Grande National Park, a paradise for hikers and nature lovers with over 600 different plant species. From the extinct volcano of the same name, holidaymakers can enjoy a view of Sicily and Tunisia on a clear day.
Another special feature of this island is the Specchio die Venere (Mirror of Venus), a volcanic lake, which is located in the main crater Montagna Grande and is fed by hot springs at over 50 degrees. Bathers like to come here to rub in the mineral-rich mud. There are no classic beaches on the island, but there are wonderful bays with clear water for snorkeling and diving.
Anyone looking for an authentic place to stay can stay in a traditional lava stone house with a vaulted roof, a so-called dammuso. Otherwise there are also some chic hotels on the island. Tip: Be sure to try the couscous di Pantelleria with fish and vegetables in one of the small island restaurants.
- Getting there: By plane via Rome and Palermo or by ferry from Trapani (6 hours)
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