When you consider places to travel with island options, more often than not you likely think of the Greek Islands. Did you know that Italy has more than 80 picturesque islands?!
Of course you may be very familiar with ones such as Capri, Ischia, and Procida - all near the Amalfi Coast. You're also likely even more familiar with the 2 larger islands including both Sicily and Sardinia. All are fabulous places to visit besides the many wonderful locations on the mainland.
Have you ever considered some of the many other smaller island options though? Here are 5 other great options to consider, if you love the more remote island way of life when traveling:
1. Marettimo - Interestingly, the ancient name for this island was Hiera, meaning "Sacred Island" in Greek. It's believed that the name Marettimo came from the words 'mar' for sea and 'timo' for the profusion of thyme on the island. It was an important observation point in Roman times for the sea routes between Italy and North Africa and Italy and Spain, located west of Sicily. It's a gem of an island with protected waters that are perfect for snorkeling and diving along with some beautiful walking trails.
2. Lipari - This is the largest of the Aeolian Islands, part of a volcanic archipelago positioned between Mount Vesuvius and Mount Etna. This chain of islands is located just north of Sicily. Its rugged landscape, quaint white-washed towns, and beautiful blue waters make for a very scenic island with some great activities including snorkeling, diving, boating, hiking and even the Aeolian Archeological Museum as an unusual highlight.
3. Panarea - Conversely, this is the smallest of the Aeolian Islands and has the reputation of being a haven for celebrities and jetsetters including apparently Bill Gates and Beyonce. There are only a few hotels and rentals available, no cars, and most food is imported and quite expensive but it's a great place for boating, swimming, diving, and sunbathing in relative privacy.
4. Ponza - The largest of the Pontine Islands archipelago, has many bays and coves enabling privacy and plenty of hilly trails and cliffs to hike. The island is steeped in local myths and legends giving it a magical feel. You can find great beaches, stunning ocean views, and great seafood.
5. Elba - Located off Italy's western coast, Elba Island is part of the Tuscany region. It's the largest island of the Tuscan archipelago and the third largest island in Italy. It is known as the place of exile for Napoleon back in the day and you can visit his summer and winter homes there. The island was rich in natural resources including high quality iron. It also boasts more than 150 beaches, some with wide stretches of sand and others with smaller sheltered coves.
As you can see, there are these and so many more options for those who love islands surrounded by the beautiful blue waters surrounding this wonderful country.
As I've said before, Italy has an incredible amount of opportunity for visitors both on the mainland, on the larger islands, and also on many of these smaller ones as well. If you need any help with figuring out what best suits you, I'm here to help you discover your la dolce vita!