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Remoteness is what makes these isles some of our favourite pitstops, places where customs of old reign and the people are as humble as the homemade pineapple jam found in the Azores or those wild lobsters plucked fresh the Irish coastline.
Small landmasses that have always had a secretive allure about them, where fables and myths live on.
Join the Pilgrims in Tinos, chill with the hippies of new Mykonos or chat to the 182 inhabitants at the only pub on the island in the Aran Isles.
Disconnection? Well if that’s your thing, personally, we love nothing more than get local, here you are part of the community after your first drink or a dip into the seas.
Serene doesn’t begin to describe the unspoiled and windswept plains of the Aran Islands, which are interrupted only by the wildflowers that dot its legendary cliffs along the North Atlantic Ocean's coastline.A visit to Inis Meáin (Gaelic for Middle Island), which lies alongside sister Iles of Inis Mór and Inis Oírr just 15 miles off the west coast of mainland Ireland via the Galway Bay, is like stepping back in time. With only 160 or so inhabitants, and spanning just 3 miles, this “middle” Aran Island has kept its rural traditions of farming, fishing, sports and music alive for centuries. It is also home to the internationally loved cashmere brand: Aran Knitwear. The least visited of the three islands, the wild landscape, often covered in mist, is divided by hundreds of miles of rough stone. Leave behind your city stresses and spend some time among the surging seas and natural beauty of an island luxuriously off the grid.
An elemental culinary experience awaits at this natural designer den, where cashmere hugs, rock walls shield, and simplicity is elegant: INIS MEÁIN RESTAURANT & SUITES.
Considered the “Hawaii of Europe” at 900 to 1,200 miles (1,400-2,000km) west of the Iberian Peninsula, the Azores are a hidden Atlantic oasis. Uninhabited until the 15th century, this far-flung archipelago was created by volcanic eruptions and is as mountainous as it is geologically diverse — its quiet beaches only disturbed by the sounds of whales and dolphins.
São Miguel or the Ilha Verde makes for perfect terrain to hike along wild beaches and clifftops, or, you can even head below the surface and scuba to see rays, turtles, and moray eels in the bay, marlin and tuna along the peaks of submerged volcanoes and underwater cliffs, and the many shipwrecks that line the seafloor.
The tiny hilltop PICO DO REFÚGIO on the lush volcanic island of Sâo Miguel in the Azores plays host to a creative palette of art, design and heaps of nature.
Escape to Tinos – the Pilgrim Greek island of over 60 Cycladic villages, art, culture, great natural food, pristine beaches and enough churches (1500+) to feel totally blessed – and slip into a new way of living, the Tinos way.
Known as the Sanctuary of Poseidon, Tinos is very different to any of the other Cyclades – but then again this is so true for each of the islands, each has a very personal character, history and purpose – and we think each has a remedy for every type of travel.
Seamlessly slotting into Tinos’ wild and remote surroundings, design hotel Under The Sun is a raw and natural addition to this dramatic cliff-scape where Aegean blues blend sky with sea and a rugged architecture creates the perfect setting for a soulful escape.
Between the islands of Naxos and Amorgos is the Robinson Crusoe, off-the-radar, island trio called Koufonisia,which collectively forms part of the five Small Cyclades: Koufonisia, Keros, Schinoussa, Heraklia and Donousa. Sometimes referred to as the Minor Cyclades.
Blissfully little traffic (no hire cars) ensures a natural pace on Koufonisia. Walking around the island takes just 2 hours, with cycling or boating as the order of the day here which adds to the island’s distinctive allure. This is slow-lane living and the main Chora, Pano, hosts lime-stone houses, small crafted boutiques, a handful of galleries and casual tavernas with cyan shutters – sweet untouched sophistication, known as the new Mykonos.
EROS KEROS is a sun-kissed boutique retreat of four cubic Cyclades-style merchant houses that lazily gaze onto the island of Keros surrounded by olive trees, juniper and myrtle. A palette of quarried stone floors, rattan furnishings, ceramics, linens and bold colour blocks in sage, cyan and terracotta evoke the parlance of island life. Creative touches include the owner’s handpicked artworks, well-turned books, the yellow skylight windows inspired by Greek church architecture and random pottery pieces make Eros Keros feel naturally like that of a cultured Greek friend’s home.