Why not start your summer in style with a chic early season getaway?

With the last few years being somewhat of a travel no-go, this year is all about hopping on a flight soon as the sun starts shining on Europe.

So unless you’ve already been in April, here is a run down of the best European island destinations that are hot right now.

So what are you waiting for? Grab a book and your speedos, and off you go.

Sicily, Italy

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and could almost be a country in itself. Alongside its ruins and Roman mosaics, it has gorgeous beaches, unique cuisine, and lively towns and villages – not to mention plenty of shops selling painted ceramics and Godfather T-shirts.

It all sits in the shadow of Mount Etna, one of Europe’s most active volcanoes, which is best admired from the hilltop town of Taormina.

With its Greek-era theatre, pedestrianised streets and lovely terraces for soaking up those views over a cappuccino or cocktail, Taormina is gorgeous but doesn’t come cheap.

Locate yourself on the coast instead at nearby Hotel Antares, which sits just steps from the shore.

Book seven nights’ B&B at Antares for £578pp, including flights, at Olympic Holidays.

La Gomera, Spain

Far less commercialised than Tenerife and Gran Canaria, sleepy La Gomera is the Canaries’ best-kept secret.

Whereas other nearby islands have gone for mega-resort developments, here it’s all about hiking in gorgeous Garajonay National Park or having simple suppers on the square in the main town, San Sebastian.

Sleepy Playa Santiago is a good spot to stay for its sheltered, sand-and-pebble strand and serene Atlantic views.

Book seven nights’ half-board at four-star Hotel Jardin Tecina for £799pp, including flights and transfers at Fred Holidays.

Hvar, Croatia

Korčula, Brac, Vis and the Dalmatian Coast’s other islands are sleepy but it’s a different story over on upbeat Hvar. Billed as Croatia’s St Tropez, Hvar’s pretty marina buzzes with bars and restaurants.

Things get livelier still down the coast at Hula Hula Beach Bar (hulahulahvar.com), the best spot hereabouts for sunset cocktails.

In the old town is the charming Hvar House, a green-shuttered, stone-built villa a few minutes’ walk from the central square. The house has four bedrooms so it’s surprisingly affordable when shared with a full complement of eight.

Book a week’s stay at Hvar House from £399pp at CV Villas.

Corfu, Greece

If you’re familiar with the rocky landscapes of Santorini, then Corfu’s verdant vegetation will come as a pleasant surprise.

One of the greenest of Greece’s isles, it offers the perfect blend of beaches, coves, countryside and, in Corfu Town, a sophisticated urban scene with World Heritage Site status.

Its biggest beaches get busy in summer so head to Nissaki, tucked beneath the towering Mount Pantokrator. Here you’ll find The Saints: six pastel-painted villas overlooking a white-pebbled bay.

Book a seven-night stay at The Saints from £1,584 based on two sharing, including flights and car rental, at Simpson Travel.

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