A country which is known to elate, elevate and inspire whoever steps into. Well, that’s how Italy is. It’s a place which has been home to some of the world’s greatest works of art and architecture. Known to be the birthplace of Renaissance, this European marvel groans under the weight of it’s cultural prestige. It’s here that you would get the opportunity to witness the most prominent and famous artworks. Michaelangelo’s David and Sistine Chapel frescoes, Boticelli’s Birth of Venus and Primavera. It’s one of those places where art and life intermingle so effortlessly.
And, while we are at it, Italy doesn’t fail to surprise us. The place has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. All thanks to it’s central geographical location in Europe and the Mediterranean. It’s also one of those places scattered by teeny tiny islands. Some are quite popular whereas there are many which are still hidden. The coastline is peppered with over some of the best islands in Italy. Over 350 to be precise. The most popular would be Sardinia, Lipari and Capri.
The best part is that you don’t need a sailing boat or yacht to reach these lesser-known lands. You can simply get to one island which is connected to the other islands as well. For instance, if you go to Sicily, you can also take a fast ferry and travel to Aegadian Islands. It’s a delightfully tranquil group that includes Marettimo and Favignana. In this article, we would cover details about some of the best islands in Italy. Let’s take a look.
Also See: Top things to do in Italy in 2019
BEST ISLANDS IN ITALY
Sardinia Islands Italy is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Politically a region of Italy, whose official name is Regione Autonoma della Sardegna, it enjoys some degree of domestic autonomy. Basically, a beach beauty , you would find some of the dreamiest beaches in Sardinia Islands Italy. The sand there on the beach is that white and sea the bluest of blue. You can almost imagine the kind of contrast your eyes would be locked to.
Sardinia is one island which captivates with it’s wilderness, beautiful beaches and adorable eccentricities. And, beyond it’s stunning beaches, Sardinia Islands Italy offers a whole of things to discover. Ruggedly scenic interior, archaeological sites, traditional culture and folkways. Also, much of the island’s arable land is devoted to cereal cultivation and fruit growing. Scrub of cistus, lentisk, myrtle and prickly pear covers most of the uncultivated countryside. Along the shores and cliffs, there’s rich salt-loving vegetation. Sardinia lies almost 120 miles west of the mainland of Italy.
Here, the towns and villages hold annual festivals. Folklore and craftwork are found aplenty. Loyalty and hospitality to strangers are the virtue. There are a whole of things to explore around in Sardinia. Get posh on the Costa Smeralda like the rich and famous. Explore the mysteries of Nuragic culture at Barumini. Experience a gommone ride in the Golfo di Orosei. Discover Sardo traditions in Nuoro and much more.
How to reach Sardinia Island Italy
- By Air: Book a cheap international flight from Italy (For eg: Ryanair)
- By Ferry: Fastest route between Italy and Sardinia is Piombino to Olbia. Takes 5 hours to reach Sardinia.
The largest, busiest and most accessible of the Aeolian Islands. A relaxing introduction to island life, Lipari Islands Italy is also an archipelago’s hydrofoil hub. It means that anyone who does wish to explore a little should consider staying there as a base. With several places to stay, travelers should definitely make it their main center of exploring the other islands.
Considered as one of the best islands in Italy, the main attraction there is the Lipari town. It’s a busy little port where the seafront looks absolutely like a pastel colored canvas. As you move further away from the town, Lipari Islands Italy reveals a rugged, jagged and Mediteranean landscape. Low lying land of dense Mediterranean shrubbery (machhia), steep cliffs, windswept highlands and dreamy blue waters.
The town of Lipari centers around the café, bar and restaurant flanked Corso Vittorio Emmanuele II. It runs a long stretch from north to south between the two harbours – Marina Lunga and Marina Corta. There are comfortable modern taxis available which would take you around the island.
How to reach Lipari Island Italy
- By Ferry: There are around 75 ferry routes from Italy. Fastest route would be from Vulcano to Lipari with a crossing duration of around 10 minutes. Takes 10 hours to reach Lipari.
Considered as one of the most appealing places, Capri Islands Italy is for one word, glamorous. You could also call it as alluring, sophisticated, charming. Or whatever adjective you prefer to use. One of the best islands in Italy, Capri is renowned for it’s brightly-coloured villages. In fact, the hillsides are dotted with clinging villages throughout the island.
Capri is located 32 kilometers south of Naples and just six kilometers from the Sorrentine Peninsula. The island is divided between Capri town and Anacapri. Explore the main town of Capri which is a lovely maze of shops and restaurants. The whole place would give you that typical Mediterranean feel with architecture of the same kind. Home to about 3700 people, the streets are narrow, stairways are crossed and charming buildings whitewashed. Capri Islands Italy is elegant and sophisticated, yet secluded and private at the same time.
Explore the main square, La Piazetta with outdoor cafes dotted on the pavements. Go visit the 17thC baroque-style church situated above Piazza Umberto. And, do not miss the island’s second urban centre. Anacapri. Less accessible than Capri Town due to it’s altitude, it is home to about 6000 people. While at it, also visit the Villa Jovis and Palazzo Di Tiberio.
It’s the largest and perhaps most important of the 12 residences belonging to emperor Tiberus on Capri. The Arco Naturale is definitely one place you need to visit when in Capri. A dramatic, massive limestone archway that evolved from centuries of marine erosion. And, it dates to the Paleolithic age.
How to reach Capri Island Italy:
- By Train: Take a train till Naples. Trains for Naples leave from Roma Termini Central Train Station.
- By Ferry: Ferries leave from two different piers in Naples. High Speed ferry from Molo Beverello in Piazza Municipio or regular ferries from Calata di Massa. Travel time would be around 4 hours 30 minutes.
Giglio is a part of the Argentario archipelago and a short ferry ride from the mainland. One of the best islands in Italy, in fact it’s a hidden best. Not many people know about this gem. If you are looking to enjoy a wonderful vacation around Italy, then this is the place. The perfect destination. Located across the southernmost corner of the Tuscan archipelago, it’s surrounded by blue sea.
A better word to describe would be – emerald. The island lies at a distance of about 50kms towards the southern side of Elba and 15kms from the mainland. Crystal clean emerald waters, mild climate attract visitors every year. Visitors who have obviously heard about it. The place also provides a lot of water activities like diving, parasailing and snorkeling. Apart from the vast coastline with sandy beaches, a lot of hiking paths can be found in the interiors.
Giglio Port, Giglio Castello and Giglio Campese consists of the main population of the island. These are three villages in Giglio. Colourful row houses and boats sailing in the crystal blue waters. It’s nothing short of a paradise.
How to reach Giglio Island Italy
- By Ferry: Currently there is one ferry route running between Giglio Island and Italy. The Porto Santo Stefano to Giglio ferry crossing operates daily. Time taken to travel would be 1 hour 30 minutes.
There are a huge number of best islands in Italy. You would lose count if you think on doing it. Prosida Island off the coast of Naples is for the die-hard romantics, poets and dreamers. If you take a hike up to the highest point of this island, a candy coloured village would greet you. Hues of pink and yellow and white combines together to make a mesmerizing canvas.
An absolutely breathtaking island, Procida is an ideal place to explore on foot. It’s the smallest and the most adorable island, a well-kept secret in the Bay of Naples. Refreshingly real and far from the maddening touristy crowd, Procida makes a fine destination for a day trip. SO, when you are in this charming place, you surely should visit a lot of places. First would be the village of Marina Corricella which is the oldest marina in Procida. Second would be a visit to the beautiful courtyard named Casala Vascello.
Built in 15th century and surrounded by terraced houses, the area is accessible only through narrow passageways. One would be via the Principessa Margherita starting from Piazza dei Martiri. Also, do visit the Santa Maria delle Grazie, which is one of the hallmarks of the island. It’s a magnificent dome seen from afar. And, it looks equally breathtaking as you go in there.
How to reach Procido Island Italy
- By Ferry: Catch a ferry from Molo Beverello. Ferries to Ischia generally stop at Procida. Both fast and slow boats are available. Time taken to travel would be around 2 hours.
Italy is a piece of heaven for the avid travelers. It might not have the pristine nature of Switzerland. Or the bustling urban feel of London. But, for a true traveler, it’s a gem for sure. With so many places to see around the city and the best islands in Italy, it should top your travel list.
Further Read: Most Romantic places to visit in Europe