The beautiful European islands just as gorgeous as Sicily but hardly any tourists | Europe | Travel

When choosing a holiday destination there are a number of factors that come into play. The weather, cost, distance, accommodation, food and activities are all considerations to make.

For some people, how busy an area is will also be important, with many actively seeking lesser-known locations for this very reason.

It can be the case that a place is popular for good reason and vice versa. However, there are instances where you don’t have to compromise on any of the pros in order to go somewhere off the beaten path.

The Aeolian islands, which are part of Italy, are such destinations. Found off the north east coast of Sicily, the group is made up of Lipari, Vulcano, Salina, Stromboli, Filicudi, Alicudi and Panarea, alongside a set of minor islands and rocks.

According to travel experts at Euro News, this archipelago is “relatively undiscovered” due to its lack of transport links. “Now is the time to visit before it gets too popular,” they say.

Due to this lack of accessibility they had long been just the destination of Italians, as opposed to people coming from abroad.

But they are starting to become more popular with foreigners, Euro News reports.

“A long time favourite destination of adventurous Italians, they’re becoming ever more accessible to foreign tourists, despite the fact they’re not easy to reach,” it says.

“In fact, these sublime islands are only accessible by boat, making them far more effort to reach than the majority of Italian destinations.

“It’s rare to hear a single complaint about them from those who have visited, though. Instead, it’s widely agreed that the extra effort to get to them is absolutely worth it.”

But what makes the islands so special?

Between them you will find a variety of “trendy towns” and ancient harbour villages, as well as stunning greenery and “untamed” volcanic landscapes.

Each island in the group is entirely unique, but together they are recognised for their collective beauty.

As a group they have been named a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2000.

Offering frequent volcanic eruptions, Stromboli is a must visit, to see the truly unusual natural phenomenon. Griffiths explains the eruptions are best seen from a boat rather than on the island itself.

“From the safety of a boat”, she says. “You can marvel at the giant plumes of volcanic smoke and ash which shoot up into the skies above.”

Speaking to Euro News, Eva de Wilde – co-founder of Aeolian islands sailing company Eco Sailors – shared what she loves about the area.

“Choosing a favourite island is very difficult because all of the islands are so different from each other and characteristic in their own way, which is one of the reasons that make them so impressive,” she said.

“The water in this part of the Mediterranean is uniquely deep blue and clear. There is also a lot of history and mythology.

“Every village is as different as all of the islands.

“It’s impossible for us to choose a favourite activity or island because you can not compare them, each has its own special beauty and activities.”

The nearest airport to the Aeolian islands is Palermo in Sicily. Direct flights from the UK to Palermo go from London Heathrow and Stansted.

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