When tourists appear in large numbers, there is a rush at the hotel buffet, traffic jams at the ice cream parlor, queues in front of the beach shower. So if you are not explicitly looking to take a dip in the crowd, you will quickly realize that such overcrowding not only spoils the impression of the holiday destination, but also the recreational value.
Especially in the main season months of July and August, holidaymakers should consider choosing a quieter alternative to the overcrowded Cyclades island of Mykonos, Malta, the Croatian Krk or the lively Costa Smeralda in Sardinia. In all four cases, she's waiting right next door...
The Costa Smeralda in the north of Sardinia with its center Porto Cervo, which is popular with the international jet set, should be familiar to everyone who knows Italy. The Maddalena archipelago, on the other hand, is much less well known, which is only a few kilometers further north-west, but is still a different world.
Here the emeralds, there the emerald sea. In Porto Cervo, the celebrities of the world who love discotheques and parties, on the Maddalenen the wind and water-loving adventurers. The hustle and bustle here, the quiet there. Which is solely due to the fact that most of the Maddalena islands are too rugged and too tiny to be inhabited at all.
Just seven come into question; Around 11,000 inhabitants live on them - especially on the island of Maddalena, whose capital of the same name was founded by Corsican shepherds and where a special dialect of Corsican and Gallurian is still spoken today. In addition, until 2008, the broad American mix of several US soldiers who maintained a military base here.
Even though the economic structure of the main island of Maddalena was thrown into turmoil with the withdrawal, this development opened up new opportunities. Although some islets have been upgraded to the highest protection zone of the La Maddalena Archipelago National Park, established in 1994, other formerly closed areas can now be used by the public. And the vast majority of beaches, some of which are reminiscent of La Digue in the Seychelles with their rounded granite stones, can be walked on, and you can drop anchor in most of the bays.
The sailing boat trip is the best way to get to know the Maddalenen anyway, because the most beautiful places, some of which have incredibly clean water, can only be reached by boat. Good to know: Anyone who cannot sail themselves or knows a friend or colleague who sails can hire a skipper who will then chauffeur the group of boats they have put together around as the mood takes them.
Further information: enit.de; sardegnaturismo.it/en; www.lamaddalenapark.it
The Croatian island of Rab, south of Krk, was given some fame by King Edward VIII of England, who more or less 'invented' naturist culture here by obtaining official nudist bathing permits from local authorities during a visit in 1936 fetched. Afterwards, it is said, he took an uncovered bath in Kandarola Bay, accompanied by Lady Simpson, his future wife.
Since then, Rab has been known as the “cradle of nudism”, as nudists have flocked to Kvarner Bay in droves over the years. Years ago, CNN even named Rab the world's best naturist destination, highlighting one place in particular: the "Sahara" beach north of Lopar, where there really isn't a single sign of human civilization. Nature in the original. And textile-free duty - which is even checked by community workers!
Anyone who takes on the approximately 30-minute hike from Lopar (or orders a taxi boat) can look forward to a real piece of paradise. If the name Paradise Beach had not already been given for the public beach of Lopar, it would certainly have been shortlisted for the naming.
Dreamy bays also await elsewhere. The entire southwest is an undeveloped nature park. Just like on the peninsula north of Lopar, where at least half a dozen more magical natural bays connect to the Sahara Bay.
Ideal meeting places for lovers who have met, for example, on one of the many dolphin watching and sailing tours on offer. Or in the 5000-inhabitant town of Rab, which is surrounded by city walls on a peninsula and with its impressive bell towers looks like a sailing ship with four masts.
But beyond any sailing poetry, Rab town with its winding streets is one of the most beautiful towns on the Croatian coast. The princely palace and the cathedral church of Sv. Marije, consecrated personally by the Pope in 1177.
More information: croatia.hr/de-de; www.kvarner.hr/eng/tourism; rab-visit.com/en
While on the Cyclades neighbors Naxos, Paros and above all Mykonos the flow of visitors increases alarmingly, especially in July and August, pleasant serenity prevails on the somewhat remote, at least 33 km long easternmost Cyclades island.
In places you can find a flair like in the children's book bestseller "Mein Esel Benjamin" by Hans Limmer and Lennart Osbeck, which was first published in the late 1960s. Just as little Susi and the donkey Benjamin, whom Susi's father saved from a cliff, are staged there, it still looks like in the main town of Katápola, which has only a few hundred inhabitants.
But Amorgos is also the setting for an adult film classic, since the freediving cult film "The Big Blue" ("In the Rush of the Deep") was filmed here. And vacationers notice that on every corner: here the Villa Le Grand Bleu, there a guesthouse of the same name. A little further on are apartments, an internet café, a bar, diving courses and wacky ice cream specialities, all of which are called "Big Blue".
What you should definitely do as an island guest besides bathing, sunbathing and getting ready for the day: rent a moped for a few euros (daily rent: just under 15 euros) and rattle over the mountainous island with its great views and secluded bays. Hot excursion tip: the snow-white rock monastery of Panagia Chozoviotissa on the steep slope of the Profitis Ilias summit, literally plastered into the 500 meter high cliff.
More information: visitgreece.gr; amorgos.gr
If you want to enjoy culture in the proverbial tranquility, Malta's sister island of Gozo is the place to be, especially in Nadur. The 4,000-inhabitant community not only has fruit riches grown around the place, but also cultural riches, such as the Basilica of Saint Peter
Those who hike across the approximately 70 square kilometer island get even more interesting insights, not only coming across pretty beaches, but also the remains of Neolithic Ggantija temples. And on lonely stretches of land. In general, Gozo is significantly less touristy than Malta's main island, which is known for its party and language holidays.
Incidentally, Comino is even quieter, as the 2.5 square kilometer mini island between Gozo and Malta is virtually uninhabited. The fact that excursion boats still like to come here during the day is due to the legendary Blue Lagoon, a flat, calm arm of the sea between Comino and the offshore Cominotto rock, which can only be reached by boat or on foot.
The wonderful turquoise water ensures the unofficial title of "Malta's most beautiful swimming spot". It's really an honour, as the archipelago is home to a number of attractive beaches.
More information: visitmalta.com/de; islandofgozo.org