(This is a guest post by Anna Kay from MedCruiseGuide.com)
Travel brings power and love back to your life, said the great Persian poet Rumi. If your idea of a romantic vacation is any place by the sea, you must put these wonderfully romantic Mediterranean Sea islands on your list. Bristling with natural beauty, each has its own story that lovers appreciate, feel and seldom forget.
Faraglioni in Capri island, Italy (Photo by Justin Ennis, CC BY 2.0)
Once you’ve arrived, you may find it difficult to peel your eyes off the beauty around you to stare into your partner’s eyes! The views of crystal blue Mediterranean waters are breathtaking from every direction.
The super-narrow winding streets seem strategically planned to keep you close to your partner. The vivid flowers and abundance of yellow lemons hanging from trees (and very likely served with your hotel meals) create a mood for energy, playfulness and relaxation.
One of the most famous attractions here is the Blue Grotto. You can take a boat to the sea cave flooded with brilliant blue and emerald light.
If you want to enjoy each other’s company in seclusion, head to the Piscina di Venere. Make sure to get some tips from local seafarers. Bagni di Tiberio, widely considered the island’s best beach, is excellent for sunbathing, while Faro di Punta Carena is ideal if you fancy a snorkeling adventure.
May to September is a good time to enjoy the pleasant weather, though summers can get pretty crowded. Nevertheless, Capri should definitely be at the top of your romantic getaways list!
One of the Cyclades islands, Santorini’s distinctive beauty has been captured on film and in paintings. Its submerged caldera, towering cliffs, whitewashed buildings and romantic beaches rejuvenate your senses and put you in the mood for love.
Athens to Santorini is around 45 minutes by flight. The island attracts over a million tourists annually. If you want to avoid the crowd, September to November is ideal.
The Red Beach of Santorini is unlike any other in the world. Its mesmerizing red cliffs and dark red sand look striking against the blue waters.
Don’t miss the quaint town of Imerovigli, whose famed sunset is named ‘the balcony to the Aegean’. Check out the interesting layout of homes arranged amphitheatrically around the caldera, pretty churches and the remains of a Venetian Castle.
The island’s most-visited town is Oia. Couples flock here to take in the sweeping views of the sea and stunning white buildings, dig into delectable Greek food, and enjoy the gorgeous sunset.
Needless to say, a number of tours are on offer. Whether you want to prioritize all the lookout and sunset spots, visit a few wineries or admire the island’s archaeology, you’re sure to find a tour that matches your exact requirements.
The fourth-largest Balearic island is the solemn cousin of carefree, party-loving Ibiza. It is not as flashy, though. Its beaches are calmer and lovelier, with their smooth white sands and dazzling blue waters. The crowds are more hippy than hip.
If you’re looking for a romantic destination to chill out in the bounty of nature, take the ferry from Ibiza port or Denia on mainland Spain to Formentera.
To experience the idyllic island at its finest, visit the Migjorn, Llevant and Illetes beaches, whose waters are some of the most pleasant and refreshing in the Mediterranean.
The island’s capital – Sant Francesc – is littered with bars and clubs, interesting ruins and sanctuaries, spas and gifts & specialty shops. Make some time for a horse-drawn carriage tour. Book your table at a romantic terrace dining restaurant where you’re sure to find a variety of accents, from Catalan to – surprisingly – Italian.
Plan a visit to the village of El Pilar de la Mola, which is the highest point in Formentera and consequently offers panoramic views of the island. On Wednesday and Sunday afternoons, it transforms into an amazing crafts market, displaying paintings and jewelry from some seriously talented artisans.
Located just off the northern Croatian coast, Rab is a 22-kilometer long island that has earned a reputation as a romantic summer getaway. It was here that King Edward III enjoyed his clandestine escapades with Wallis Simpson, for whom he abdicated the throne.
Rab is the greenest of all islands on the Kvarner Gulf. It’s easily accessible by ferry from Stinica on the mainland, Rijeka and Krk.
Though you may want to stop by one of the world’s top beaches – Rajska Plaža, or Paradise Beach – note that its shallow waters and creamy sands beckon families with kids. You can enjoy a more romantic swim at the town beach that offers stunning views of the city walls. Its location below the windows of a classical music school rents the air with beautiful sounds.
For mind-boggling views of the island, walk up to Kamenjak – the highest point on the island – where you can also enjoy the local cuisine and drinks. For seclusion and uninterrupted views of the sea, an afternoon picnic at Pudarica is recommended.
If you’re visiting in July and August, you’ll be in time to enjoy an immersive cultural experience courtesy of ribarska večer or fisherman’s nights. They serve freshly caught fish and wine in accompaniment with music, all at economical prices.
Life’s too short to delay your next romantic vacation. Start planning now and discover the beauty of Rab, Formentera, Santorini and Capri a few months from today!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anna Kay is an avid traveler and photographer, editor and social media manager at MedCruiseGuide.com.