Is the Cote d’Azur too restless? Try tranquil Porquerolle, one of the islands of Ile d’Hyer, just a ferry from Hyeres in mainland France. Without cars, the only way to get around this dense wooded island is on foot or by bike, and the only sound is the crackling of fragrant pine needles under the wheels. The best beaches, such as Plage d’Argent, embrace the north coast. During the high season, they are busy, but as soon as tourists leave, peace will reign again. Résidence Les Mèdes is located in the heart of the village. It offers rooms and apartments.
From £ 138 per night, hotel-les-medes.fr
It is difficult to find peace on the Costa Blanca. So head to Tabarka, 22 miles from Alicante, and you will discover an island whose waters are so clear that it has been declared the country’s first marine reserve. A 50-minute ferry ride will take you to this car-free paradise. Spend a few days scuba diving, eat stewed fish in one of the beach huts, and then walk around the fortified walls surrounding the city.
Hotel Isla Tabarca offers B&B rooms from £ 78, hotelislatabarca.com
Rich in Greek and Turkish heritage, Bozcaad off the west coast of Turkey is a place where Istanbul goes to escape the summer heat. From its shores, the Achaeans launched ships delivering a Trojan horse. Today, Greek and Turkish cultures coexist harmoniously, with mosques alongside Orthodox churches. The island, a short ferry ride from Canakkale Port, offers taverns overlooking the beach, a vineyard-lined inland area and a lively port city. Ela Tenedos is located on a hillside overlooking the castle. It offers rooms with sea views.
Bed and breakfasts from £ 38, elatendosotel.com
La Graciosa, Canary Islands
Three miles north of Lanzarote, tiny La Graciosa offers a completely different scene of the Canary Islands: no cars, no noise and no crowds. Here you will find an idyllic marine reserve with sandy paths, cozy restaurants, wild sand dunes and pristine beaches. Travel around the island, hiking or renting a bike from the white port village of Caleta de Sebo. Spend your days watching the fishermen fix their nets in La Lacha, or try the wild emerald waters of Las Conchas in the north. Evita Beach Apartments is a short walk from Kaleta Restaurants. It offers apartments with sea views.
From £ 192 per night, booking.com
Forget the glittering Mykonos and take the 30-minute high-speed ferry to Syros, where you will find the perfect combination of liveliness and rural tranquility. Ermoupoli, the seaside capital of Syros, is noisy but without tourists. Neoclassical houses rise in tiers from the shores. Greeks stop for long lunches in the tavern, and the scenery here is diverse – wild interiors, dotted with olive groves and gardens, as well as deserted cozy beaches, many can only be reached by boat. The new eco-art hotel Aristide has nine stylish rooms as well as the usual residences of artists.
Bed and breakfast rooms, including shuttle service, from £ 204, hotelaristide.com
Tiny Cabrera, located six miles south of Mallorca, has a bright past: from Berber pirates and Spanish soldiers to French prisoners of war. Today, nature dominates: this national park is a haven for Caspian gulls, cormorants and lizards. Combine wildlife watching with swimming in empty coves. Stroll around the medieval castle on top of the hill, and then dine in the canteen of Cabrera in Es Port.
Boats depart from Colonia de Sant Jordi in Mallorca, excursionsacabrera.es
To get to Lastovo, it may take a difficult ferry crossing four and a quarter hours, but this massive Croatian island is so different from its tourist sister that you will be glad you made the effort. Spend time wandering through the pine forests, admiring the island’s Venetian-style houses, and then explore some of the 38 churches or swim in the clear waters of Skriven Luka Bay. There is only one hotel, aptly named Solitudo, whose sea-view restaurant serves delicious Dalmatian-style lobsters.
B&B from £ 57, hotel-solitudo.com
Just a 15-minute ferry ride from Mykonos is Tinos, an unsung Cycladic island with fertile inland areas, dotted with Venetian-style windmills and dovecotes, stunning villages and no-tourist beaches. Pilgrims regularly flock to Tinos to honor the icon of healing in the Panagia of the Gospel, and it is the church that has saved the island from overdevelopment. There are beautiful, sleepy villages such as Cardiani and Volax, but also a livelier scene with taverns and craft shops in Pyrgos.
Agali Bay Hotel offers bed and breakfast accommodation from £ 69, including a free transfer from the port, agalibay.com
Ile de Batz, France
Parisians adore Ile de Re, but there is another island off the Atlantic coast, less expensive, less chichi, but just as attractive. Just 10 minutes from Roscoff and just two miles from east to west, Ile de Batz is discreet and ideal for families. Rent a bike at the port and then head to the white sands of Greve Blanche. Then climb the 198 steps of the island’s lighthouse to see a panoramic view of the Breton coast. Écuries de Batz has a center for water sports and pony riding. Hotel Les Herbes Folles near the port offers rooms with sea views.
Double, room only, from £ 64, hotel-iledebatz.com
Sicilian Taormina offers ancient glamor, but it can be crowded with tourists, so why not go to the tiny Aeolian island of Filicudi instead? Here, visitors can enjoy walks on ancient mules or a more energetic climb to the top of Foss Felci, the island’s volcanic crater. Enjoy pizza from Da Nino, a trattoria with sea views, which also offers simple rooms that are great for overnight stays. The direct ferry from Milazzo in northern Sicily takes two hours and 20 minutes.
Hotel Da Nino offers bed and breakfast rooms with sea views and balconies £ 42, filicudieolie.it