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Elba gehört zu den schönsten italienischen Inseln, Bild: Balate Dorin / shutterstock

The most beautiful islands in Italy

Italy is and remains a dream destination, for every taste. Whether you love the mountains, or the sea, whether your heart beats for culinary delights, or whether you like to go on extended sightseeing tours: there is something for everyone. So also for island lovers! Italy has more than 200 islands. Sicily is the largest of them, and looks more like a small state. In addition, however, there are also numerous small islands that know how to enchant with a very original charm. If you want to discover the most beautiful islands in Italy, you can get inspired here.

Between Etna and the island’s capital Palermo: Sicily

Isola Bella, Sicily
Isola Bella off Taormina in Sicily, Image: IgorZh / shutterstock

Sicily is not only the largest island in Italy, but in the entire Mediterranean. You can easily spend a holiday of several weeks here and, in addition to beautiful sandy beaches, picturesque sunsets and hikes, through the karstic landscapes of the Zingaro nature reserve, also experience a lot of culture in Palermo . Architecturally, the city founded by the Phoenicians travels through the centuries: Arabs, Romans, Spaniards and the Bourbons have left their mark. Of course, a visit to the impressive volcano Etna is not to be missed. The 3,323-metre-high volcanic mountain can be climbed or taken by cable car. A city tour through the baroque town centre of Val di Noto is also worthwhile. In 1693, the city was destroyed by an earthquake, and then, in the late Baroque style, it was rebuilt into one of the most beautiful cities in Italy.

Let your mind wander on Ischia

Ischia
Ischia, Image: GoneWithTheWind / shutterstock

Ischia, in the Gulf of Naples, has long been considered a wellness island. This is due to the mild climate of Ischia, and a high density of healing springs and thermal baths. After the wellness treatments, the pristine white sandy beach in front of turquoise shimmering sea water naturally beckons. Ischia is very popular even with hiking enthusiasts. There are numerous well-marked hiking trails that lead to spectacular viewpoints. Monte Epomeo is the highest mountain in Ischia. From here you have a fabulous panoramic view of the entire island. If you are in the mood for garden paradises after the hiking adventure, through Ischia’s striking nature, you will also find what you are looking for. There are many botanical gardens that gather an exotic plant world. The Ravino and La Mortella gardens are among the most beautiful among them. Culture lovers will get their money’s worth in the historic port town of Forino, and on a visit to Aragonese Castle, which is located on a small rocky island off the coast of Ischia.

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Dream beaches like in the Caribbean: Elba

Anyone who is on Elba for the first time will rub their eyes in amazement. Because the island, which belongs to the Tuscan Archipelago, captivates with dreamlike bays between steep cliffs, where you think you are more in the Caribbean than in Italy. The crystal clear water in front of the sandy or pebble beaches contributes to this. Elba is only ten kilometers from the Tuscan mainland. You can also quickly take the ferry to Elba for a day trip. The French general Napoleon once lived on Elba. The two villas he lived in at the time can be visited. By cable car, or on foot, you can reach Monte Capanne and enjoy a magnificent view over the island. In the island’s capital Portoferraio, you can walk in Napoleon’s footsteps. If you are travelling with children, you can offer the little ones a very special adventure in the mining park of Rio Marina: an underground train takes you through a replica mining mine.

Experience a colourful sea of houses on Procida

Procida, Italy
View of Procida in the Gulf of Naples, Image: IgorZh / shutterstock

The old fishing island of Procida in the Gulf of Naples is probably the most colorful of all Italian islands. The box-shaped houses look stacked on top of each other on the cliffs. Painted in bright pastel colours, they shimmer in the sun. Procida has an area of only four square kilometres, which was optimally exploited by this box construction method. Procida still has the charm of a fishing village. Only a few tourists get lost on this magical island. After a walk through lemon and orange groves, you can watch the fishermen at work. The deliciously prepared catch can be enjoyed almost directly from the fishing boat in one of the small taverns at the harbour. If you are looking for culture, visit the Terra Murata Castle and the Palazzo Reale Kastells.

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On Lampedusa, almost in Africa

Pelagie Islands, Lampedusa
Lampedusa on the Pelagie Islands, Image: bepsy / shutterstock

Halfway between Tunisia and Sicily lies the island of Lampedusa, which belongs to the Pelagic Archipelago. All beach holidaymakers and water sports enthusiasts will find their happiness here. The 20 square kilometre island is surrounded by fairytale sunny sandy beaches. Divers can explore numerous underwater caves here in addition to a rich colorful fish population. The climatic advantages near the African coast allow visitors to enjoy beach holidays all year round. If you like it lonely and secluded, rent a boat and explore the bay of Cala Galera or the small Isola dei Conigli. Lampedusa also has a marine reserve that is home to rare turtles.

Favignana in the Aegean Sea

An absolute insider tip among foreign travelers is the island of Favignana, located near Sicily. So far, almost exclusively local tourists have recovered there. So nowhere else can you enjoy the real Italian flair. Favignana looks like a butterfly when viewed from above. The beach of Casa Rossa has secluded coves in front of crystal clear waters. Divers and snorkelers cavort here. The Grotte del Bue Marino can be reached after a short climbing adventure along a small cliff. The landscape of the island is rocky, but quite flat. Even those who are not so fit will find the best conditions for walks and bike tours here. The Santa Caterina Castle is the main attraction of the island. On a 314-metre-high elevation of the mountain of the same name, the former protective castle was built by the Saracens as early as 1081. In 18. and In the 19th century, it was used as a prison. Since the end of the Second World War, it has been slowly falling into disrepair and is becoming more and more a ruin.