Eight Idyllic Island & Coastal Escapes

From the towering cliffs which weather the crashing, foam-tipped waves of the Atlantic to the idyllic, sun-soaked beaches of the Mediterranean, Europe's many diverse and entrancing islands come to life during the summer.

Best Dramatic Cliff Tops – Madeira

Near Boaventura, Madeira Near Boaventura, Madeira

 

Madeira’s jagged mountains etch a formidable outline on the Atlantic horizon. Its dramatic landscapes plunge in a series of gullies, cliffs and waterfalls into the Atlantic. We’ll tackle fascinating high- altitude walks, invigorating coastal tracks and ancient pathways through arboreal forests with stunning views of the island’s highest mountain, Pico Ruivo. Ready to go? Walking Madeira

Best for Ancient History – Greece

Santorini, Greece Santorini, Greece

 

The epicenter of all that’s captivating about island escapes, the Cyclades island group- a sun-baked cluster south east of the mainland in the Aegean Sea – offer up some of Greece’s most important archaeological treasures, the prettiest villages and dramatic landscapes. And everywhere, those dazzling azure seas. We explore Paros, Santorini and Naxos hopping from lush valleys to sandy beaches, citrus orchards to Venetian towns. Ready to go? Walking on the Greek Islands

Best for Iconic Views – Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre, Italy Cinque Terre, Italy

 

Coastal walking doesn’t get much better than the curvaceous corner of northern Italy known as the Italian Riviera. The Cinque Terre is a succession of five well preserved medieval fishing villages: all sherbet coloured villas clinging to steep terraces, nowhere better encapsulates this dazzling beauty than the 16 century fishing village of Portofino. The port that launched a million post cards. Ready to go? Walks of the Cinque Terre & Portofino | Self-guided Walking in Cinque Terre

Best for Volcanoes – Sicily

Etna's volcanic craters, Sicily Etna's volcanic craters, Sicily

 

An explosive introduction to Sicily and its Aeolian Islands – a smoky string of volcanic landfalls off Sicily’s northern coast. Explore volcanoes famous for its fumaroles and mud baths, fiery Stromboli, which has been erupting almost continuously since 1932, and of course the mighty Etna: the fiery heart of this most dramatic of island clusters. Ready to go? Sicilian Volcanoes

Best for Hidden Beaches –Mallorca

Mallorca Mallorca

 

Northern Mallorca really is a world apart. If you’ve only experienced the sultry, resort studded south, prepare to be pleasantly – no, make that dramatically surprised. Here the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range informs everything: rising to craggy peaks, falling to sleepy villages and rocky coves. Mule tracks weave their way between hamlets, citrus trees and olive groves and in Deia a clutch of art galleries and fine restaurants offer a little creature comfort too. Well, you’ve earned it after those mountain hikes… Ready to go? Walking in Mallorca

Best for Winter Sun - Tenerife

Guajara Mountain, Tenerife Guajara Mountain, Tenerife

 

It might come as a shock for some, but Tenerife can rightly stake its claim to be one of Europe’s most diverse and ecologically arresting islands. We’ll explore this Canary Islands rich biodiversity, cultural heritage and dramatic terrain on our eye-opening itinerary. Ascending the volcanic terrain of Mount Guajara (one of the islands highest peaks) is rewarded with spectacular and contrasting views of the south island and the inside of the national park caldera. Ready to go? Natural Tenerife

Best for Waterfalls – Croatia

Waterfalls in Plitvice Lakes N.P, Croatia Waterfalls in Plitvice Lakes N.P, Croatia

 

The coastline of Croatia has more than a thousand outlying islands- rock outcrops some no bigger than a football pitch, which form an aquatic, offshore national park. We stick to the tiny unmarked trails to discover some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in Europe, with, here and there, a castle, fortified town or smooth sun warmed rocks – the perfect picnic spots. On the mainland, is no less dramatic, with epic waterfalls in Krka National Park being a real highlight. Ready to go? Croatia: Islands & Mountains

Best for Hot Springs and Geysers – Iceland

Strokkur, Iceland Strokkur, Iceland

 

Some islands never fail to surprise us, somehow managing to squeeze more sights, more world class walking opportunities per square mile than seems physically possible. Such is the case with Iceland. At the northern edge of Europe, wonder awaits. This full-circuit trekking itinerary includes five of the best walking areas in Iceland. And for an island as blessed with walking opportunities as this, that’s really saying something. Our highlight? The lunar-like landscape of Lake Myvatn, with its hot springs, craters and lava fields. Otherworldly and magical – a bit like Iceland itself. Ready to go? Iceland Walking Explorer

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Walking in Madeira

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