If you’re searching for a beach bolt-hole away from the masses, consider an island you can’t fly to! Reachable by ferry only, could one of these be your dream getaway?

You don’t need to board a long-haul flight to the Caribbean or Southeast Asia to find a heavenly sanctuary surrounded by sea – the Mediterranean is home to a selection of unspoilt islands cushioned from mass tourism by the absence of flights.

“The extra effort needed to reach certain destinations keeps development there at bay and often brings a level of exclusivity,” said Elaine Ferguson, head of the resource centre at PropertyGuides.com. “Combining tranquillity with enchanting beach landscapes, each of these islands is reached by a flight to the nearby mainland, or a larger island, and then a short ferry ride. The sense of seclusion is not for everyone, but for some people, it’s just the ticket!”

Gozo, Malta
Part of the Maltese archipelago, Gozo is a relaxing 25-minute ferry ride from its larger neighbour Malta, itself well-connected by air to the rest of Europe.

Just 14 kilometres long and seven kilometres wide, life centres around the island’s dozen or so ancient farming villages, most with stunning sea views. Highlights include the cosy coves and beautiful architecture. This three-bedroom character farmhouse, carefully restored and with glorious views is a shining example of what Gozo has to offer. For more information, click on the image.

Hvar, Croatia
Carpeted with lavendar fields, ancient olive groves and vineyards, the island of Hvar is regarded as the queen of Croatia’s Dalmatian islands. It is around two hours by ferry from Split, which receives budget flights from across Europe.

Over the years, Hvar has nurtured its rich cultural heritage and carefully controlled development, making it one of Europe’s more exclusive holiday spots – the sort of place where super yachts moor up while their owners hop ashore for some dinner and dancing. In fact, Prince Harry has been spotted enjoying a party or two there. This is the view from the terrrace of an old three-bedroom fisherman’s cottage overlooking the sea there.

Aegina, Greece
Around 75 minutes’ ferry journey (or 40 minutes on the high-speed service) from Piraeus, the main port of Athens, is the enchanting island of Aegina.

Famous for its historical sites, including the Temple of Aphaia, the harvesting of pistachio nuts and its choice of white sandy beaches, Aegina neatly wraps up all the best things about a Greek island.

This four-bedroom semi-detached villa is part of an exclusive development in a glorious seafront location.

Formentera, Spain
The smallest of the Balearic islands, Formentera is a short 35-minute ferry journey from Ibiza but its tranquillity and unspoilt natural scenery make it feel like a million miles away from a typical holiday island.

The beaches of pure white sand and turquoise waters, often fringed by dunes and pine trees, are regarded as some of the best in Europe. Meanwhile, the selective development and laid-back, local, beach bar scene together offer a hip unspoilt charm. Understandably, Formentera has become a popular place for the super wealthy to drop anchor and soak up the scenery. In a magical setting surrounded by pine trees and with views of the sea and Ibiza, this charming four-bedroom villa, spread across two buildings, typifies what life in Formentera is about.

Written by Overseas Guides Company.

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