Five enchanting small islands

I like islands and being surrounded by sea. The more compact, the more I like them. Here are five of the best that I’ve visited and are definitely punching above their cute size. You might like to add them to your travel bucket list.


Country: Malta  Size: 67km²  Population: 32,723

Gozo is a gem in the southern Mediterranean, the smaller partner in the Maltese archipelago. For a little island it has some grand architecture, including an impressive citadel and large churches, while its diminutive towns are charmingly sleepy. And don’t forget the dramatic coastline and a lot of very tasty food.

Top tips: Visit in the verdant Spring. Hire a bike. TAP/ CLICK IMAGE TO SEE MORE

Ta'Pinu sanctuary, Gozo

The impressive Ta’Pinu sanctuary dominates western Gozo


Country: United Kingdom  Size: 50 hectares  Population: 10

This Cumbrian speck of land is the smallest of my picks. It sits just off the Furness peninsula and packs in a ruined castle and a pub. You can only reach it by a small ferry which is an event in itself. It has a long, interesting history and some quirky traditions.

Top tips: Instead of heading to the Lake District, try out the coastline. And obviously have a tiny island pub lunch. TAP/CLICK IMAGE TO SEE MORE

Ferry boat to Piel Island, Cumbria

You must take a little ferry boat to reach Piel Island


Country: Portugal  Size: 173km­²  Population: 14,875

This little island is part of the Azores archipelago, situated in the mid-Atlantic Ocean a long way from Portugal’s mainland. It has scenic drama, sitting in the shadow of Mount Pico, the country’s highest peak. Faial is also home to the volcanic landscape of Capelhinos and a partially buried lighthouse. You also have the charming harbour town of Horta to explore.

Top tips: Take the ferry to nearby Pico, a whole other island. For circular stairway photos, head to the lighthouse. TAP/CLICK IMAGE TO SEE MORE

Fish artwork in the port of Horta, Azores

Colourful artwork adorning the port of Horta


Country: Japan  Size: 30km²  Population: 2,018

This island is an hour away from Hiroshima and is popular with Japanese people and tourists alike. It’s the home of the world-famous floating Torii Gate (shrouded in scaffolding when I visited) and various other shrines and temples. There’s also a bustling market to find delicious street foods. You can walk up to a cable car ride which offers fantastic views of the Inland Sea.

Top tips: Try the seafood dumplings and green tea ice-cream. Be prepared for deer to steal them. TAP/CLICK IMAGE TO SEE MORE

Pagoda on Miyajima Island

There’s no shortage of serene architecture on Miyajima


Country: Croatia  Size: 279km²  Population: 15,522

This island in the blue waters of the Adriatic is full of good things. Its main town is full of honey-coloured stone buildings and a miniature version of mighty Dubrovnik to the south. Explore, wander at a slow pace, find a café – it’s a place to escape the stresses and strains of everyday life.

Top tips: Clamber to the top of St Mark’s Cathedral. Stay on Korcula for several days. TAP/CLICK IMAGE TO SEE MORE

Sunset from the island of Korcula, Croatia

There’s something about a sunset witnessed from Korcula

Link to more posts about travel on mikeosbornphoto

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