However, there are many more islands in Europe and some of them will be much more interesting than popular tourist destinations. We present an overview of the five most unusual islands of our continent, which are worth getting to know better.
An original country that is famous for the fjords and volcano with the unpronounceable name Eyyafyadlayekyudl. It was his eruption in 2010 that caused the cancellation of air travel. Now the volcano has calmed down and is not a threat, so you can safely pack your bags and go to this amazing country without exaggeration.
The population of the island is about 320 thousand people – it seems that this is small because the territory itself is quite large. But it is partially covered with glacier and rocks, which makes the area unsuitable for living. The capital of the state is Reykjavik, it is the northernmost capital in the world. The city is small, you can get around in and out in one day. The official language is Icelandic, but you won’t have any difficulties with communication: everyone knows English and speaks it well.
Due to its unique nature, there are places that are unlikely to be found anywhere else. For example, the “Blue Lagoon” is a geothermal basin in which water is heated from underground sources. You can swim in any season – the water temperature is usually about 37-40 degrees and even in the cold season does not fall below. There is also a spa with all treatments and various relaxation areas. Among the tourists, the “Blue Lagoon” is considered a must-see place – some fly to Iceland just for the sake of this pool.
For a change, you can look at Nautholswick beach. Geothermal waters with an abundance of useful minerals help strengthen immunity and treat chronic diseases, so this place quickly became popular after the opening of a full-fledged complex in 2000.
In Reykjavik itself, go to the Lutheran Church of Hallgrimskirkja, on the top floor of which there is an observation deck. It offers superb views of the city and mountains nearby. There are many waterfalls on the island, of which the most famous are Oufairoufoss, Aldejarfoss, and Dettifoss. All of them are worth it to get to them. The same can be said about Iceland itself. The tourism sector is well developed, and you won’t have to complain about the lack of interesting places.
The autonomous region of Portugal consists of nine islands and is located one and a half thousand kilometers from the European coast. This place is not very popular among tourists: they usually go here purposefully, knowing exactly how to spend time. The archipelago has good conditions for diving and ecotourism. There are almost no interesting sights, but outdoor enthusiasts will be satisfied.
The choice of islands depends on your preference. If you like to lie on the beach under palm trees – go to Santa Maria, Faial or San Miguel. At the latter, by the way, off-road safaris are held, and during trips, you can appreciate the diversity of the landscape: forests and volcanoes replace almost deserted territories, and on the coast, there is frozen lava. Fans of a more relaxed and measured vacation will appreciate the island of Floris with seven small lakes and excellent beaches. There are few tourists, so you can find yourself in a rather secluded setting. Just do not miscalculate with the holiday season: from October to March, the fog envelops the lake. It is best to come to Flourish in the spring and summer.
Do you think that you can sunbathe at the dacha too, but when traveling, you want an active vacation? Then go to the island of Pico, a favorite place for divers. This is where you will find the best diving sites. Diverse representatives of flora and fauna live on the seabed. If you are lucky, you will meet dolphins or even whales – there are usually a lot of them near the Azores. After a busy day, head to the Pique Wine Museum.
Architectural attractions are concentrated on Terceira Island. There are many churches, there is a baroque palace, as well as forts. Special mention deserves the cave Algar do Carvaro, which appeared as a result of the eruption of the volcano about two thousand years ago. In fact, the cave is a hundred-meter long tunnel of lava, at the end of which there is an underground lake of rainwater.
An unpleasant fact is associated with these islands belonging to Denmark – the traditional slaughter of whales and dolphins is regularly arranged here. They are driven close to the bay, blocking access to the sea by boats. Further animals are simply cut out. The shore and water are painted in rich red color. But the slaughter of whales and dolphins is carried out only once a year, and local residents convince the “greens” that this fishing is a long tradition. Although dolphins still feel sorry.
The rest is a beautiful archipelago, the terrain, and architecture of which are similar to Iceland. Incidentally, it is located directly between Iceland and Great Britain, so that on the way to one of these countries you can look at the Faroe Islands. Tourism is supposed to be active: there are no beaches, and the climate does not really allow you to sunbathe. Everyone here is left to his own devices, and since there are few tourists, you can isolate yourself from the usual atmosphere and relax in a different atmosphere.
The archipelago includes eighteen islands, plus a handful of rocks and very small land areas. The main places for diving are concentrated on the islands of Estura, Strem, Vide, Bor, and Kun. At the same time, there is only one diving center in all Faroe Islands – in the city of Klaxwig (Bore Island). Other popular activities include climbing and hiking. You can easily climb into a quiet place and stay alone with nature. If you want a little extreme, you can try rappelling, that is, descent from the mountain on a rope, or swim in a sea cave.
Tired of communication with nature – look at nightclubs and bars, which are in abundance on the Faroe Islands. Locals know a lot about this kind of vacation, and on weekends fun is guaranteed.
Two little-known islands of Jersey and Guernsey are located between Britain and France. They do not belong to the UK and are not part of it, but are the property of the British crown.
On these islands, excellent conditions for relaxation: diving, sailing, windsurfing, and other entertainment. If finances allow, you can fly in a private plane. In addition, there are many golf clubs, horse riding hippodromes, and sports centers. Much attention is paid to water activities: yacht rental, wakeboarding, canoeing, water skiing and so on.
Jersey is famous for its private wildlife park, Gerald Darrell, which contains rare and endangered species of animals. A huge amount of all living creatures lives here: the marmoset, the red ginger, the pagans, the Mexican puffer, and other rare species that only zoologists have heard of. Among the attractions of Jersey, it is worth noting the castle of Elizabeth at the end of the sixteenth century. In addition, the Flower Battle is held annually on the island; This year it will be held on August 11-12. Despite the frightening name, the event looks quite harmless – a column of platforms is moving along the streets, on which a variety of patterns and figures are laid out with flowers.
In Guernsey, you will find many forts and fortresses. By the way, before going to Guernsey we recommend reading Victor Hugo’s novel “Workers of the Sea”, which details the customs of local residents and cultural objects of the early 19th century.
This archipelago, like the Azores, is part of Portugal but is autonomous. The place is very popular among tourists who choose extraordinary travel routes.
The beach season lasts from May to January, and in February-April in Madeira, it is slightly cooler. The place is well suited for ecotourism and wellness; there are many spa centers and seawater pools on the island. In addition, you can go diving, surfing or take a boat trip.
In the island’s capital, Funchal, there is an abundance of architectural monuments: the building of the Customs of the 16th century, the Town Hall of the 18th century and several forts. The number one attraction is usually called the Franciscan monastery, built in the 16th century, where tourists are shown the process of creating Madeira – fortified wine. There you can buy a bottle of drink as a keepsake. When traveling around the island, drop by the village of Camara de Lobos, which is notable for the fact that there is a “point of Winston Churchill.” This is the place where the British Prime Minister set up an easel, and the island’s landscapes served as inspiration for his paintings.
The small town of Santa Cruz is known for the largest water park on the island, Aquaparque, and Praia dos Reis Magos, and the city is well suited for shopping – there are many boutiques and shops here.