AEOLIAN ISLANDS, ITALY These seven volcanic outcrops south of Sicily feature black-sand beaches, smoking craters, and hot mud baths. Visit the smaller islands to avoid peak-season crowds. And there’s the chance that Stromboli will blow its top.
STOCKHOLM ARCHIPELAGO, SWEDEN Just pick up an Island Hopper card and enjoy this pristine environment and extraordinary natural spectacle. The pace of life is slower on the islands, and involves cycling, hiking, and kayaking.
AZORES, PORTUGAL Europe’s most western outpost has nine islands with landscapes of rocky valleys studded with blue- green lakes and cloaked in lush vegetation. Famous for their wildlife, the islands are good for whale- and dolphin-watching.
FIJI, SOUTH PACIFIC Over 300 islands and islets form a paradise of palm-fringed beaches, idyllic lagoons, and Robinson Crusoe landscapes. You can go scuba diving, windsurfing, or kayaking – or just lie in a hammock in the shade.