Our 20 favorite Mediterranean islands – and how likely you are to be able to visit them this year
What about the islands? There is a certain magic in them which has always attracted artists, poets and writers, who have staged the greatest love stories in history on the islands of the Mediterranean since Aphrodite met Adonis. in Cyprus.
It’s easy to see why. Anything can happen on an island. There is an unequivocal romance about being adrift at sea, far from the rest of the world for a refuge of beauty and bright light, quiet coves and clear mornings when the air is mild with thyme and jasmine, and let the morning sun cast glitter across the water.
What a liberating effect they have on us tense Brits, these islands, where we can be the people we would like to be. A few hours after our arrival, we feel reborn; our worries disappear.
It has been too long since we lay down on their beaches, had lunch with fresh seafood and local wine under the shade of olive trees, plunged into the blue of the rocks and danced with strangers under the stars. Life on the Mediterranean islands is simple, joyful, lived on the outside – and after so many dark months stuck inside, in our cities and suburbs, precisely the antidote we need.
It is this outdoor lifestyle that has kept Covid fares lower on the islands of Europe than on their mainland counterparts. “The Balearics currently have one of the lowest rates in Spain,” says Pablo Carrington, manager of Cap Rocat in Mallorca, optimistic for the coming summer.
Many vaccination rates are also ahead on the continent; the 85 Greek islands aim to vaccinate residents by the end of April to become “Covid-free” and start the season.
All of this means that it is our beloved islands that are likely to be first on the UK Government’s ‘green list’ for unrestricted travel, each considered independent of its homeland. A comeback suddenly seems imminent, perhaps even as early as the May mid-term holiday for the privileged few, according to UK government announcements regarding overseas travel from May 17.
Of all the great island love stories, there is none more lasting than falling in love with a favorite island. “The One” who penetrates under our sun-drunken skin and remains with us long after we have reluctantly left its glittering shores – our own slice of heavenly lemon, the absence of which only makes us crave more. This vacation romance is one that lasts forever.
For those of us lucky enough to live in Mallorca, the past year has been a revelation. The radiant blue skies were free from planes, the golden beaches deserted and the Mediterranean Sea creaking and crystal clear. Few ships have entered our ports and road traffic is virtually non-existent. The island never looked pristine, but its visitors were sorely missed.
As a holiday destination, Mallorca really has it all: an island small enough to be explored in just one dollop, with a variety of landscapes and a distinct character to keep visitors captivated. Palma, the coastal capital, is teeming with culture, history, food and first-rate amenities, while the rural heart and rugged northwest are a hiker’s and cyclist’s utopia. The beaches are plentiful, the sun is guaranteed and the locals are warm and welcoming. Various family attractions can be found all over Tap Island, and the health care and transportation links are second to none.