best islands in Italy

The 6 best islands in Italy + essential travel tips

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(Last updated on: 26/11/2022)

Are you wondering which are the best islands in Italy?

Italy is well known for a lot of things; its pizza, pasta, Vespas…but did you also know that Italy is also famous for its islands – and there are more islands in Italy than just Sicily! In this post, I’ll give you a rundown of all the best islands in Italy and why you should visit them!

The islands in Italy- tourism overview

A visit to an Italian island is a great idea for many reasons as each island has something different for everyone. Some people may prefer a more quiet holiday to a smaller island, whereas some people may prefer a busier holiday to a bigger Italian island such as Sicily. It is a great place to visit as a couple if you’re wanting a romantic get-away, as a family if you want plenty of fun things to do or even as a solo traveller, as there are lots of great opportunities to meet others. Bus travel in Italy is also very common and a great, cheap way to get around the country and the islands – making it a great choice to visit for almost anyone.

Many of the islands in Italy are very popular for both inbound and domestic tourists, as for example, Sicily had 47.8% inbound tourists in 2014 – and 52.2% were domestic tourists. This is as the Italian islands have a mix of what both types of tourists want – a smaller more authentic Italian experience away from the crowds such as in Rome or Venice.

The weather on each of the islands in Italy can be very different from one another due to where they are located, however, it’s almost guaranteed that it will be sunny and will have a warm Mediterranean climate due to Italy being in the Mediterranean and also in close proximity to North Africa.

Why visit the islands in Italy?

best islands in Italy

Why visit the islands in Italy? Because they have so much to offer for almost every type of tourist! To start with, they often have fewer tourists than mainland Italy as they are considered slightly harder to get to – which is great if you’re after a more authentic Italian holiday experience. Due to having fewer tourists, this also means that prices can be cheaper and there is more availability for the accommodation you wish to stay at.

Another great reason why you should visit the islands in Italy is that there are a plethora of different things to do on each one. For instance, some of the islands in Italy are best known for fishing and have small fishing towns dotted all along the coastline, whereas other Italian islands are better known for their nature and even have volcanoes for tourists to explore and learn about.

A visit to the Italian islands is a great way to practice your Italian and meet hard-working locals and discover the beauty of an untouched Italy from the past, as many of the buildings on the islands are very rustic – making it perfect to understand the Italian way of life and culture first hand and make memories to last a lifetime.

What to pack when visiting the islands in Italy

What to pack when visiting the islands in Italy? Each island is very different to the other, but in general, make sure you remember to pack these essential items:

  • Easy Italian Phrase Book – By learning some Italian, it will make your trip to the Italian islands so much easier as not many people are as fluent in English as they are on the mainland. Luckily, this easy-to-understand Italian phrase book has got you covered and will help you learn the most essential Italian phrases.
  • Goofort Fashion Sports Sandals Women – These fashionable sandals are perfect for exploring the Italian islands and are ideal if you want easy access to the beach and the sea without having to worry about sand getting anywhere. They’re super comfortable – so you can walk for hours without having to worry about blisters or sore feet.
  • Australian Gold Dark Tanning Accelerator – In Italy, most people have a tan because the sun is shining all day long – so why not speed up the process with the best-selling Australian Gold Tanning Accelerator to make you achieve the ideal tan of your dreams!
  • Classic Pilot Sunglasses for Women – Italian people are very fashionable, so why not try and blend in by wearing these gorgeous, quality sunglasses that will not only make you look stylish but also protect your eyes from the sun when it’s at its brightest! It also has UVA and UVB protection so you’ll know you’re being protected as much as possible.
  • QPAU Inflatable Pool Volleyball Float Set – This inflatable pool volleyball set is the best way to spend a few hours cooling off in the pool whilst still having lots of fun! It is lightweight and doesn’t take up too much space in your luggage, so will be perfect to set up if your accommodation has a pool.
  • Books set in Italy– There are some incredible books that are set in Italy that make for great reading during your trip!

Which are the best islands in Italy?

Which are the best islands in Italy? Great question! It can be hard to know which are the best islands in Italy to visit as there’s so much choice. Luckily for you, I’ve made you a comprehensive list of all the most unmissable islands in Italy!

Sicily

best islands in Italy

Sicily is one of the best-known islands in Italy – and also probably the easiest one to spot on the map as it’s the largest island in the Mediterranean! The capital of Sicily is called Palmero and the island has a population of 4.97 million people living on it as it is a great place to live and visit. It’s a great place to visit if you want a beach holiday as Sicily has over 600 miles of coastline to be enjoyed – also meaning that the beach won’t be overpopulated with tourists. Sicily is also home to the largest active volcanoes in the whole of Europe, Mount Etna. This makes Sicily a very popular destination for tourists who are especially interested in nature tourism.

What to do: If you’re a movie fan then you will definitely enjoy a Godfather vs Mafia Tour with a Sicilian Light Lunch after you’ve toured around all the major filming locations of one of the most iconic movies in the world. If you’re into more of a relaxed type of activity then the Etna Wineries Private Tasting Tour would perhaps be more your thing, as you will get the opportunity to sample some of the best wines Sicily has to offer. The Taormina and Castelmola Tour is also another great way to learn about Sicily’s interesting history and admire its beautiful landscapes.

Where to stay: B&B La Casa di Pippinitto – This stunning B&B has everything provided to make you feel right at home! All rooms come with lovely views of the garden which is filled with flowers and fruit trees, as well as having an en-suite bathroom that has plenty of free amenities. Each room also has its own kitchen with all the utilities provided, such as a kettle, stove and microwave. Every morning, the B&B offers both an Italian and continental breakfast for guests to choose from. There is also an on-site BBQ that guests are free to use as they please.

Sardinia

best islands in Italy

Sardinia is another one of the best islands in Italy. Sardinia is the second biggest island in the Mediterranean – so there are lots of fun things to do here! There are 2 official languages in Sardinia, these are Italian and Sardinian, but luckily mostly everyone can speak Italian if you’ve been learning that for your trip. A lot of Sardinia is untouched, making it a must-see destination for lots of travellers who want to experience something a little bit different. It is the only Italian region to not have a motorway, but luckily the majority of its roads are well developed and good to drive on if you’re thinking of exploring Sardinia by car. Sardinia is a great Italian island to visit for tourists who are very interested in history, as the island has a rich one!

What to do: Spend the day on A full-day private Maddalena sailing tour with lunch included as you sail through the beautiful blue seas and see all the different kinds of sea life and landscapes that Sardinia has to offer, whilst relaxing onboard a modern sailing boat. If you prefer to stay on land, then a Mountains And Beaches 4×4 tour could be a great alternative for you! You’ll get to dash up mountains and see Sardinia from the best viewpoints and visit beautiful, hidden beaches in a 4×4 to make the experience extra special. Afterwards, try a Sardinian Countryside Home Cooking Class & Meal at a Farmhouse where you will learn great new recipes and eat delicious, fresh Sardinian food!

Where to stay: Hotel San Trano – This hotel has some of the best views on offer in the whole of Sardinia as it’s situated right on the hilltop of Mount Juanni, you can even enjoy the views whilst dining on some tasty Sardinian Cuisine at the on-site restaurant. Each room has a flatscreen, HD TV, with an en-suite bathroom with a powerful shower to refresh yourself with after a long day of exploring. There is also a beautiful garden with seating so you can relax, as well as an outdoor pool to swim in.

Capri

best islands in Italy

Capri is located near Naples on mainland Italy. It is best known for its history and is often a day trip for people who are visiting Naples. There are lots of ruins from the Ancient Roman times still noticeable on Capri, and this attracts tourists who are interested in learning about the Ancient Roman times. Capri also holds lots of annual events such as the Capri Hollywood Film Festival, Capri Tango Festival, the International Folklore Festival and plenty more. Therefore, Capri is a very vibrant and buzzing little island that attracts lovers of music and culture – it’s a perfect little Italian island to visit for all.

What to do: Have a go at a private Capri cooking workshop and wine tasting if you’re a foodie and want to learn from the locals how to make the best Capri food, with the freshest and finest ingredients on offer. Take a Capri Island Boat Ride with Swimming and Limoncello to enjoy after you’ve sailed the crystal seas of Capri, or why not opt for a Capri Day Tour with a Blue Grotto Visit and get some awesome photos of the most infamous attraction in Capri.

Where to stay: Capri Wine Hotel – This amazing hotel offers rooms with a view! Most of the rooms have a sea view and come with a terrace to relax on. Every room is air conditioned and comes with a minibar to make use of, as well as an en-suite and free amenities. There is a buffet breakfast for guests to feast on every day, with a wide range of items to suit every dietary requirement. There is also a free pick-up from the port offered, in order to make your stay so much easier!

Lampedusa

best islands in Italy

Lampedusa is the largest island out of the Italian Pelagie Islands, but only has a population of 6,000 people! This makes it the perfect choice if you want to visit an Italian island that is less touristy and more peaceful. It is best known for its beach, Rabbit Beach, for being the best beach in the world via a vote by TripAdvisor. In Lampedusa, you can be sure to spot turtles in the sea and other wildlife in the sea and around the island, it’s important to note that lots of the wildlife here are also very similar to those in North Africa as Lampedusa is very close to Tunisia and Lybia.

What to do: A visit in Lampedusa is best spent visiting its gorgeous beaches and swimming in its warm seas. Some of the best beaches on Lampedusa are: Spiaggia dei Conigli, Cala Pulcino, Cala Croce Beach and La Tabaccara. There are plenty of beach bars with music at some of these beaches, as well as icecream stands with so many flavours to devour. There is also Centro di Recupero Tartarughe e Fauna Selvatica WWF, which is a centre dedicated to helping rehabilitate injured turtles for them to be released back into the wild.

Where to stay: Borgo Marino Beach Residence – This is an excellent choice to stay at if you want to be right next to the beach in Lampedusa, as it’s only a short 3-minute walk away. The accommodation has air conditioning, free WiFi, a fully equipped kitchen with a dining area for cooking up some delicious Italian food, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom equipped with everything you will need. There’s also a BBQ in the garden if you want to grill some food!

Ischia

best islands in Italy

Ischia is a volcanic island located off the coast of Naples. It is very mountainous so only recommended for tourists who don’t mind being active – especially in the heat. The highest peak in Ischia is Mount Epomeo, where it is 788 meters high! It has over 62,000 people living on the island and is best known for its thermal water that the volcano produces, and has been used a lot over history by the Greeks and Romans who used the thermal waters for various reasons such as believing it could heal war wounds.

What to do: Spend a couple of hours on a Boat excursion with lunch on board to discover Ischia as you sail along the beaches and swim in the coves that are only accessible by boat. Afterwards, take part in a Ischia Sightseeing and Street Food Day Trip to make sure you get to see and learn about all the best sights and food Ischia has to offer!

Where to stay: Grand Hotel Punta Molino Terme – Only a 1 minutes walk from the beautiful white sandy beach, this hotel has an amazing view of the sea as well as the Aragonese Castle! There is a wellness and beauty centre for guests to feel pampered by, as well as 3 swimming pools with fresh thermal water straight from the mountains. There is even a private beach for guests to enjoy, as well as an on-site restaurant which serves only the best local food.

Stromboli

best islands in Italy

Stromboli is one of the most interesting Italian islands of the lot. Why? Because the island is basically a whole volcano…and has been inn an almost continuous eruption for the past 2000 years! About 500 people live on the island and is nicknamed the ‘Lighthouse of the Mediterainan’ due to its constant light erruptions. It is the perfect place for tourists who are interested in nature tourism and want to experience something less typical.

What to do: One of the best things to do in Stromboli, is of course do a Stromboli Volcano Sunset Hike to Sciara del Fuoco and see the fantastic landscape that Strombli Island has to offer. If hiking isn’t your thing, then a A full-day Stromboli and Panarea motorboat cruise may suit your taste more, as you’ll be able to cruise comfortably along the sea – and the boat even has free WiFi for you to upload your photos on the go!

Where to stay: Aquilone Residence – Just a 4 minutes walk away to the beach, this modern accommodation has beautiful views and great facilities for guests to use. There is a picturesque garden to relax in, as well as free WiFi provided to all guests. Each room has a HD Tv and comes with an en-suite with free amenities. Every morning, a hearty Italian breakfast is served up to enjoy and get you started for your day ahead!

The best islands in Italy – conclusion

Hopefully this post has helped you learn about some of the best islands in Italy! Have you ever been to any of them? What did you do there? If you liked this post, I’d also recommend these:

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