Autumn is a great time to go to the sea. We will tell you about the most beautiful islands of Southern Europe, where there is not only a crystal clear sea and endless beaches, but also ancient palaces and knightly fortresses, active volcanoes and valleys of butterflies, an unforgettable atmosphere and excellent cuisine.

1. Crete, Greece – Minotaur labyrinth, palaces and diving

Crete is a legendary Greek island, the birthplace of Zeus, the Minotaur, and the ancient Minoan civilization. There are many attractions on the island – Minoan palaces, ancient Greek temples, Byzantine fortresses, and monasteries. Most of the coast is sandy beaches, with crystal clear and warm waters. There are dozens of diving schools on the beaches of the northern coast because there are underwater caves, canyons, and volcanoes. It is impossible not to mention the family taverns of Crete – with low prices and generous portions of seafood, puff pies, and the famous snacks “mezedes.”

Accomodation: from $20 per 1 night.

2. Mallorca, Spain – mountains, ostriches and dolphins

Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands, with a mild climate, wildlife, mountains, beaches, and excellent service. There are more than 200 beaches on the island: secluded coves on the east coast, on the north – beaches suitable for diving and windsurfing, and on the south – the best resorts. In the capital, Palma de Mallorca, and the surrounding area there are medieval palaces, cathedrals, and castles. Also, in Mallorca, there are underground lakes, ostrich farms, a water park, a dolphinarium, and a huge oceanarium, which we advise travelers with children to visit.

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Accommodation: from $20 per 1 night.

3. Sardinia, Italy – ancient ruins, palm trees and vineyards

Sardinia is a flowering island consisting of beaches, palm groves, natural and archaeological reserves. The coast of the island is considered the most beautiful in Italy. The beaches are sandy. The sea is ideal for scuba diving. Diving enthusiasts are ideally suited to the islands of La Maddalena, near the coast of Sardinia, where there are many sunken ships. Almost all towns and villages in Sardinia have preserved medieval palaces, temples, and ancient ruins. Sardinia is also famous for muscat wines, Pecorino cheese, and Sardinian pasta with seafood.

Accommodation: from $20 per 1 night.

4. Sicily, Italy – delicious desserts, catacombs and volcano

Sicily is a mysterious island surrounded by rumors and myths. Travelers will find a calm and comfortable stay among the striking landscapes, the cleanest beaches, baroque palaces, and ancient Greek ruins. There are many attractions on the island: gloomy catacombs of the Capuchins, magnificent palaces and cathedrals, an active volcano on the slope of which a tourist train runs. And the locals consider Sicilian cuisine part of the cultural heritage, and it is impossible not to agree with them, having tasted local sweets, pizza, or liqueurs. The island’s entire coast consists of beaches – sandy, pebbly, and even with volcanic sand. And Palermo – the capital of the island with huge outlets – is the best place for shopping.

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Accommodation: from $15 for 1 night.

5. Ibiza, Spain – discos, diving and pirate towers

Ibiza is the capital of parties and discos with 18 kilometers of beaches where tourists dance every night. In the south of the island – beaches with the most famous nightclubs, in the west – calm beaches where you can go diving, in the north – secluded resorts suitable for families with children. In addition to the vibrant nightlife in the Old Town, there is a Gothic cathedral, a medieval fortress, and amazing pirate towers, which offer the island’s best view. We also advise you to visit the vineyards, many in Ibiza, and taste local wines.

Accommodation: from$25 per 1 night.

6. Santorini, Greece – white houses in the mountains, colorful beaches and excellent wines

Santorini is an archipelago in the Aegean Sea with an incredibly blue sea, lava cliffs, and snow-white houses on the tops of colorful rocks. Santorini has amazing volcanic beaches – with pink, red, and even black sand. On many beaches, there are diving centers – in the island’s clear waters, there are underwater grottoes, caves, and hundreds of species of fish. Santorini has excellent restaurants – with seafood delicacies, local wines, and panoramic sea views. There are many architectural monuments on the island – byzantine churches in Imerovigli hanging over the abyss, the mountain monasteries of Pyrgos, and the ruins of Akrotiri.

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Accommodation: from $20  per 1 night.

7. Rhodes, Greece – Crusader fortresses, butterflies and surfing

Rhodes is miles of beaches, mountains, endless forests, crusader castles, and churches with stunning frescoes. The beach season here lasts 8 months, and the sun shines all year round. In the island’s capital, Rhodes, there is an ancient port and fortress, the palace of the Grand Masters of the Crusader Order. Near the city, there is the Valley of the Butterflies, where rare species of all colors and sizes live next to streams and waterfalls. Most of the beaches of Rhodes are pebbly, with a gentle entrance to the sea. The town of Prasonisi in the south of the island is called a paradise for surfers, and there you can see the “Kiss of the Two Seas” – the so-called place where the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas meet. We also recommend visiting the Valley of the Seven Springs, which is fresh and cool, even on hot summer days.

Accommodation: from $15 for 1 night.

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