When it comes to visiting new and exciting places, few can compare to the charm and beauty of the world’s windswept, exotic, and otherwise mesmerizing islands. You don’t even have to be a beach lover to enjoy an island destination. But you might become one after visiting some of these islands. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
From tropical beaches surrounded by swaying palm trees and soft white sand to towering mountains, lush rainforests, and volcanic landscapes, there’s an isle, islet, cay, or atoll out there for every traveler (and budget). Whether you want to get away from it all, discover thrilling adventures, or just relax and unwind, islands have got it going on.
The Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans – as well as the Caribbean, Coral, Mediterranean, and Andaman Sea – all offer some of the most idyllic islands for families, couples, or groups to rest their weary feet.
Consider investing in travel insurance with SafetyWing or travel medical insurance with VisitorsCoverage. It may not seem like a necessity at the time, but insurance can cover unexpected issues like sickness, injuries (jellyfish sting, anyone?), and more while in another country.
Best Islands to Visit Around the World
The Dutch island of Aruba is a tropical paradise with a diverse collection of white sand beaches and desert landscapes. It’s situated off the coast of Venezuela and South America and is about 21 miles long and six miles wide.
Aruba is one of the best Caribbean islands to relax, recharge, and take part in adventurous activities like horseback riding, diving among pristine coral reefs, and deep-sea fishing.
Go hiking at Arikok National Park and Ayo & Casibari Rock Formations or swim and snorkel at some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Flamingo Beach, Palm Beach, and Eagle Beach Make Aruba one of the best island vacations.
A UTV tour is a great way to see the remote and off-road side of this tropical island. You’ll go to several beaches, Natural Bridge Aruba on the East Coast, Cave Pool, Alto Vista Chapel, and several other scenic sites.
If you’re looking for where to stay in Aruba, you’ll find hotels, beachfront resorts, and family-friendly villas around the island. Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort, in Oranjestad, has a full-service spa, a casino, three pools, and several restaurants.
If you prefer small and cozy accommodations, look into Aruba Vacation House. The home has two bedrooms, a full kitchen, a living room, and a balcony.
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2. Sardinia, Italy
Whether you’re seeking island getaways, a romantic honeymoon, or a family vacation, Sardinia is one of the best islands in the world. It’s located about 200 kilometers from mainland Italy in the Mediterranean Sea. It’s the second-largest Mediterranean island after Sicily and is world-famous for its beauty and natural attractions.
The island’s north coast is known for its mountainous landscape, hidden bays, turquoise sea, vibrant coral reefs, and enchanting towns.
Discover Sardinia’s mountains and beaches on a 4X4 tour, cruise through the turquoise waters of the Archipelago La Maddalena National Park on a catamaran, or go beneath the surface on a Cagliari Underground City Tour.
Sardinia offers historic hotels, four-star resorts, and romantic inns for families, couples, or groups on holiday. The La Locanda Del Conte Mameli, in the center of Olbia, features an elegant setting of tile floors, soothing neutral tones, and ebony accents. There’s a lounge, a restaurant, and room service.
Hotel Marinedda Thalasso & Spa offers beachfront access, a pool, a hot tub, fine dining, a spa, and a tennis court. It’s a terrific option for families who enjoy on-site activities.
See Related: How Much is a Trip to Italy
3. The Maldives
One of the best tropical islands in the world, the Maldives tops the bucket list of all types of travelers. The stunning seascape of 1,190 islands and atolls features palm-fringed beaches, turquoise waters with colorful coral reefs, and tranquil lagoons.
Fun things to do in the Maldives include snorkeling at Banana Reef, visiting the National Museum of the Maldives, or indulging in massages, facials, and body treatments at exclusive over-water spas. For an experience you’ll remember forever, we recommended a three-spot snorkeling safari tour.
There’s no shortage of luxurious hotel resorts in the Maldives. In fact, that’s what it’s famous for. The Villa Nautica at Paradise Island has private villas and bungalows, a beachfront pool, a spa, and several restaurants. Enjoy activities such as tennis courts, a fitness center, and snorkeling and diving gear.
The Ostrov Hotel offers a lush garden setting with a private beach, a playground, a restaurant, a fitness center, and a terrace. It’s like having an entire island to yourself.
See Related: Bora Bora vs The Maldives
4. Kauai, Hawaii
Kauai, known as the “Garden Island,” is filled with tropical rainforests, exotic flowers, botanical gardens, and lush green mountains. You’ll also find jagged cliffs, a dry canyon, pristine beaches, and colorful coral reefs. When it comes to island getaways, this Hawaiian island is one of the best islands in the US to visit.
Kauai has served as the backdrop for several Hollywood movies, including Jurassic Park, Avatar, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. You can take a helicopter to Manawaiopuna Falls, also known as Jurassic Falls (seen several times in the 1993 movie that started it all).
For those seeking even more thrills, a Koloa Zipline Adventure takes you soaring over the rainforest. Explore Kaui’s cliffs and crystal-clear waters on a 1/2 day snorkel tour along the Na’Pali coast. Waimea Canyon State Park is often called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific for its orange-tinted landscape.
Anchor your island getaway at some of the best and most luxurious hotels. The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa sits on a lush landscape filled with towering palms, tropical gardens, lagoon-style pools, and a soft sand beach framed with sapphire blue water. The hotel offers a golf course, a clubhouse, tennis courts, a spa, and a horse stable.
Looking for a small and secluded hotel setting? The Kauai Inn has a swimming pool, tropical trees, and views of the Hula’eia Mountains.
See Related: Best Island to Visit in Hawaii: What’s Best for You?
5. Santorini, Greece
If you’re looking for the best Greek islands for an upcoming trip, the tiny island of Santorini, Greece, should be at the top of your list. Bright white structures topped with brilliant blue roofs sit on a cliff overlooking the equally brilliant blue Aegean Sea and its picturesque beaches.
The most popular activities on the island include hiking in the mountains around Fira or Oia and swimming in beautiful blue pools at Kamari or Perissa. Take a walk along one of the many paths while enjoying stunning views and sunset scenes. Attractions include the Castle of Oia, the caldera, and the Museum of Prehistoric Thera.
Fun ways to see the area include a private sightseeing trip around the island or a volcano and hot springs tour.
Looking for a scenic spot to relax on one of the best island vacations ever? Kokkinos Villas, in Akrotiri, is one of the best hotels for views of the caldera and volcano. Spacious guest rooms feature tropical textures and patios with private plunge pools.
See Related: Best Things to Do in Santorini, Greece
6. Corsica, France
Thanks to a warm climate, dramatic peaks, and a stunning coastline, the Mediterranean island of Corsica is one of the best islands in the world to visit. Technically French, it features Italian flair and culture.
Corsica is well-known for idyllic beaches like Cap Corse, Calvi, and Bastia. The coastlines are dotted with small fishing villages and beautiful churches and cathedrals.
Rare animals and plants can be spotted along nature trails in the Parc Naturel Régional de Corse. Take a boat tour around the Sanguinaires Islands to check out the beautiful Corsican coastline and sample local wines. You can also book a sea walk tour in the Scandola Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
From the medieval city of Ajaccio to amazing beaches and bustling cities, there are plenty of places to stay in Corsica. Valinco Village is an excellent option for a family vacation to one of the best islands in the world. It sits beachfront and offers a swimming pool, table tennis, a restaurant, and other fun activities.
Hotel Marinca & Spa, on the southern coast, overlooks the Valino Gulf and offers several swimming pools, a gourmet restaurant, a private beach, and rooms with balconies.
See Related: Most Beautiful Villages in France
7. Capri, Italy
Located in the Bay of Naples, Capri is also one of the best islands in the world. Discover unique and stunning sites such as the Blue Grotto cavern, luxury yachts, designer boutiques, and a rugged coastline dotted with cliffs, coves, and colorful buildings.
Part of Italy’s Compania region, Capri is one of the best islands to visit for authentic Italian cuisine, cooking and wine pairing classes, and boat tours to historic landmarks and grottos. Attractions in Italy include Piazzetta de Capri, the Faro di Punta Carena, and the Natural Arch.
The B&B Casa Silvana is near Marina Grande Beach and La Fontelina Beach. Guest rooms are decorated with mosaics, natural stone, and marble fixtures. It’s in a terrific location to visit local attractions such as Faraglioni and the Piazzetta di Capri.
For a luxury experience, check into the Casa Morgano. Sleek and contemporary, it offers a swimming pool with an infinity edge, a fitness center, a bar, and panoramic views of the Capri coast.
See Related: Best Places to Travel in December on a Budget
8. Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda are among the best Caribbean islands in the world for relaxation, rejuvenation, and adventure. The two sister islands are situated in the West Indies, where the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean come together
Antigua is popular for its natural beauty and laid-back lifestyle. Barbuda is known as one of the best tropical islands to snorkel in the Caribbean Sea because of its clear water and coral reefs.
This tropical paradise has several waterfalls and caves that are worth exploring. Popular sites include white and pink sand beaches, cultural attractions, and parks such as Devil’s Bridge National Park on the island’s east coast.
For a thrilling adventure, take a scenic jeep tour from the capital of Antigua, St. John’s. A Turtle Beach snorkeling excursion is the best way to see marine creatures in their natural habitat.
Searching for accommodations among the beautiful beaches of Antigua and Barbuda? Jumby Bay Island is an excellent choice for a luxury experience. Located in St. John’s, it offers a swimming pool, a garden, a fitness center, a kids’ club, a tennis court, and free bicycle use.
The Admiral’s Inn and Gunpowder Suites, located in Nelson’s Dockyard, is a tropical retreat in 18th-century structures. Enjoy beautifully landscaped gardens, an infinity-edge swimming pool, two restaurants, and a bar. Beach swimming isn’t available here, but there is a free boat shuttle service to Galleon Beach.
See Related: Hidden Gems in the Caribbean Sea (You Can’t Miss)
9. Mallorca, Spain
Mallorca is a tropical Balearic island known for its gourmet restaurants, cozy bars, and distinctive culture. You’ll find charming stone houses, narrow streets, limestone mountains, secluded coves, and Roman ruins.
Spend the day visiting sites such as the Drach Caves, the Palma Aquarium, the Castell de Bellver, the Sanctuary of Saint Salvador, and the Fundacio Miro Mallorca, an art museum dedicated to the work of abstract and surrealist artist Joan Miró. To get to a variety of attractions, we recommended a sightseeing tour with a boat and a vintage train ride.
If you’re looking for a relaxing holiday in the sun and sea, opt for one of many quiet holiday resorts. For a bit of culture, art, and history, plenty of boutique hotels are located around the island. The Inturotel Cala Esmeralda Beach Hotel & Spa is a trendy adults-only hotel located in Mallorca’s Cala d’Or. It offers a modern vibe with amenities such as a restaurant, a spa, three swimming pools, and beautiful gardens.
Located in Playe de Palma, Hipotels Playa de Palma Palace & Spa has an outdoor pool, an indoor pool, a spa, and a restaurant.
Located off the eastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean (west of the Maldives), Seychelles is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. You’ll find beautiful beaches, dazzling coral reefs, and unique wildlife among the group of 115 islands. The main islands include Praslin, La Digue, and Mahé (the largest and most visited).
The main features of these topical islands are their turquoise lagoons, coral reefs, pink and white sand beaches, and stunning waterfalls. Check out sites such as the Vallée de Mai (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the Aldabra coral atoll. Cruise through the Sainte Anne Marine Park on a catamaran adventure or book a private tour of Mahé to learn about Seychelles history while visiting Eden Island, the Takamaka Rum Distillery, Anse Royale, and the Le Jardin du Roi Spice Garden.
Looking for luxury resorts in the Seychelles? The Constance Lemuria offers spacious villas and suites. There’s a spa, tropical gardens, a spa, five bars, and four restaurants, as well as an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, and a playground.
The Royale Suites by Arc Royal Luxury Apts is a terrific option for families. Spacious guest rooms have kitchens and seating areas. The hotel has a mini market for convenient drink and snack purchasing.
See Related: Most Beautiful Cities in the World
11. Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
Ko Phi Phi, also known as Phi Phi Island, is one of the best tropical islands and beach vacations in the world. The island is located in the Andaman Sea of Thailand in the Indian Ocean.
Phi Phi, Thailand, is famous for its beautiful setting of stunning beaches, natural attractions, and historic landmarks. It’s one of the best islands in Asia for couples, families, and solo travelers.
On a Phi Phi sea tour, you’ll sail through azure waters and stop at pristine beaches and destinations like Piley Bay, Maya Bay (site of the DiCaprio flick The Beach), Monkey Beach, and more. For adventure on the high seas, take a Phi Phi Islands speedboat tour. You’ll cruise to Pileh Lagoon, Bamboo Island, and others where you can snorkel, swim, and relax.
Ko Phi Phi has budget, luxury, and family-friendly accommodation options. Phi Phi CoCo Beach Resort, located near Ton Sei Pier, has an outdoor pool with a swim-up bar, tropical garden pathways, and a terrace. Thatched roofs top beachfront cottages with bamboo accents and other natural textures.
Near Loh Dalum Bay, Phi Phi Maiyada Resort, has a restaurant, two swimming pools, and a hot tub on a beachfront setting. Guest rooms are open and airy with pops of color, natural textures, and designer fixtures.
See Related: Most Romantic Cities in the World
12. Ibiza, Spain
Ibiza is one of the best island vacations in the Balearic Islands for couples, families, or group travelers. It’s known for its sparkling turquoise water, colorful coral reefs, pine forests, mild Mediterranean weather, and lively nightlife scene. The island, located off the east coast of Spain, is 21 miles long and about 12 miles wide.
The island has miles of white sand beaches and beautiful towns filled with restaurants, bars, shops, and entertainment venues, making it one of the best island vacations.
Attractions include the Castle of Ibiza, the Aquarium Cap Blanc, the Catedral de Santa Maria de la Neu de Villa d’Eivissa, the Sa Punta Galera, and the 16th-century ramparts around the Dalt Villa. Partiers will find nightclubs in scenic sites around the island.
Take an Ibiza beach hopping cruise to spend the day paddleboarding, swimming, and relaxing aboard a glass-bottomed double-decker catamaran. For adventurous types, a jet ski tour to the Margaritas Islands is a fun and unique way to check out the coves and caves along the Ibiza coast.
Looking for seaside resorts or family-friendly hotels to anchor an Ibiza vacation? The Aguas de Ibiza Grand Luxe Hotel is a small and stylish luxury hotel that offers a pool, a spa, a fitness center, and an adults-only rooftop bar.
Apartamentos Ros, near Els Pins Beach, is a great option for families. Apartment-style guest rooms have a kitchen, seating areas, balconies, and a sofa bed. This is the perfect set-up for an extended vacation or for those who like to prepare meals on their own.
See Related: Best Places to Visit in Spain
13. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
The French Polynesian island of Bora Bora, known as the Pearl of the South Seas, lies in the sapphire blue waters of the South Pacific. One of the most stunning islands in the South Pacific (which lies several thousand miles southwest of the Galapagos Islands), Bora Bora is part of the Society Islands. The area includes the surrounding islands of Moorea, Tahaa, and Tahiti. The Cook Islands are to the west.
The tiny island is famous for its excellent scuba diving, thanks to its gorgeous turquoise water, coral reefs, and underwater caves. Peek into the world of tropical fish, manta rays, and seahorses on a Bora Bora snorkeling tour.
For those who prefer land-based activities, there are incredible hiking trails, such as Mount Pahia, throughout the island. Other activities and attractions include whale watching, the Bora Bora Turtle Center, and a traditional outrigger canoe excursion.
The InterContinental Le Moana Bora Bora & Thalasso Spa, on the south coast of the island, features luxurious overwater bungalows with soaking tubs, thatched roofs, and private plunge pools. The hotel offers a fitness room, gourmet dining, and an exclusive spa.
See Related: South of France Itinerary
14. Azores, Portugal
The Azores are one of the most beautiful islands to visit in the world. The volcanic chain of islands, located in the Atlantic Ocean, is known for black sand beaches, lush vegetation, waterfalls, calderas, flowering shrubs, and fishing villages.
The islands consist of Sao Miguel, Santa Maria, and the Formigas Islets to the east. Flores and Corvo are in the west. Pico, Graciosa, Terceira, Sao Jorge, and Faial make up the center.
Located on Pico, Mount Pico is the highest point in Portugal and makes a popular spot for adventurous climbers. Other natural attractions include Furnas Lake, the Capelinhos volcano, and the thermal baths at Poca da Dona Beija.
The Azores are a great place to see whales. To experience this amazing sight, book a whale-watching and islet boat tour. A marine biologist accompanies these eco-tours. You can also take a quad biking tour to see the mountains around the Sete Cidades Volcano.
Take a self-guided tour of the Gorreana Tea Factory. Located in Sao Miguel, it’s the only tea factory in Europe.
There are plenty of accommodation options in the Azores for romantic getaways, family vacations, and group travelers. Pedras do Mar Resort & Spa overlooks stunning cliffs and offers a swimming pool, a restaurant, a bar, a spa, a playground, and a fitness center.
Hotel Cruzeiro is a great option if you enjoy a city scene. The hotel features a restaurant and a bar. Some rooms have a mini kitchen, making it one of the best places to stay during island vacations.
15. Bali, Indonesia
Located in the stunning blue waters of the Indian Ocean, the Indonesian island of Bali is filled with volcanic mountains, lush rice paddies, botanical gardens, yoga retreats, and stunning architecture. The main cities in the chain include Ubud, Canggu, Denpasar, and Uluwatu.
From powdery white sand to black sand beaches, the beaches on this picturesque island are some of the most beautiful in Asia. Visit historic sites and attractions such as the Uluwatu Temple, the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, the Ceking Rice Terrace, and Pura Tirta Empul.
To really get the lay of the land, book an all-inclusive tour of Ubud. You’ll visit the Tegenungan Waterfall, an art market, the Tegalalang Rice Terrace, and many other sites.
Looking for accommodations in Bali? Guest rooms at Sri Ratih Cottages have soaking tubs, tile and wood floors, and patios with dining space. The hotel features a spa-like setting with a swimming pool, a restaurant, and a spa.
Yulia Village Inn Ubud has an outdoor pool, a restaurant, and tropical gardens. Guest rooms feature hand-carved Balinese furniture, natural textures, tile floors, and balconies. It’s near the Ubud Monkey Forest.
See Related: Hidden Gems of Bali: Find Undiscovered Locations to Explore
One of the most famous islands in the world, Fiji is a stunning island nation in the South Pacific Ocean. It lies southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii, and is made up of approximately 330 islands. Viti Levu and Vanua Levu are the two main islands.
These volcanic islands have attractions such as white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, a great barrier reef, lush rainforests, national parks, and historical sites. Fiji ranks high among divers for its extensive coral reef system, which is one of the largest in the world. It’s an amazing place to see colorful fish, intricate corals, and other marine life.
This island getaway offers activities like snorkeling, diving, fishing, and whale-watching tours. Book an authentic Fijian day cruise for a day of snorkeling, swimming, and relaxing at Sand Island, Monu Island, and Modriki Island, which is where Cast Away was filmed (tell Wilson we said hi).
Take a tour to a Fijian village and Magic Waterfall for a unique and memorable experience.
While on Fiji, spend a relaxing time at small resorts or luxury hotels with convenient access to area attractions. Smugglers Cove Beach Resort & Hotel is on Wailoaloa Beach at Nadi Bay. There’s a spa, a restaurant, waterfront dining, and nightly entertainment such as Polynesian hula and fire-dancing shows.
Located on the Coral Coast, the DoubleTree by Hilton Fiji – Sonaisali Island is a terrific choice for families. It has a garden, a swimming pool, a spa, a restaurant, three bars, and on-site activities like horseback riding and paintball.
17. Mílos, Greece
Located in the Aegean Sea, Milos is one of the best Greek islands for vacations. It offers some of the best beaches, historical sites, and natural beauty of any island destination. You’ll find crystal-clear water, small fishing villages with colorful facades, and narrow streets decorated with bright bougainvillea vines. The island is about 13 miles long and 8.5 miles wide.
Activities on Milos range from horseback riding and swimming with dolphins to fishing, hiking, and swimming. Take a speedboat snorkeling cruise to Kleftiko Beach, Sykia Beach, and the Klima fishing village. You can also take a kayaking tour to discover the Milos coastline.
This volcanic Greek island offers accommodations for travelers ranging from honeymooners to families, groups, and even solo explorers. Alkithea, near Lagada Beach, features apartment-style rooms with a terrace.
18. Koh Samui, Thailand
Koh Samui, Thailand’s second largest island, is 15.5 miles long and approximately 13 miles wide. From trendy fusion creations to authentic Thai cuisine, this tropical island has a variety of incredible taste experiences. Travelers can also enjoy kaleidoscopic coral reefs and attractions like the Buddhist temple Wat Plai Laem, Tarnim Magic Garden, the Samui Elephant Sanctuary, and Ang Thong National Marine Park.
Night markets are part of Thai culture and a must for every Thailand traveler. Markets include a fun mix of street food and apparel, souvenirs, arts, and crafts vendors. Fisherman’s Village Walking Street, the Chaweng Night Market, and the Lamai Night Plaza are all popular spots to check out the retail side of Koh Samui’s culture scene.
For a rugged sightseeing adventure, take a two-hour Koh Samui ATV quad tour. You’ll see waterfalls, coconut groves, rivers, and rubber plantations.
Accommodations on Koh Samui include beach resorts with private pool villas, luxury boutique hotels, and many more.
Hotel Ibis Samui Bophut is an excellent choice for families or couples. The beachfront hotel offers a swimming pool, a playground, a fitness room, a business center, a restaurant, and a bar. Rooms feature amenities like bunk beds and extra seating areas, which are perfect for families traveling with little ones.
For a budget-friendly option, Escape Beach Resort features a pool, a restaurant, and a spa in a cozy and casual setting. Enjoy fruity daiquiris and frozen concoctions at the poolside bar.
19. Palawan, Philippines
When it comes to island vacations, Palawan is one of the most magical islands in the Philippines. It’s known for its white sand beaches near El Nido, the natural beauty of Mt. Mantalingahan, and the crystal clear waters of the Sulu Sea. Long and slender, the island is about 264 miles long and 25 miles wide.
Island activities include snorkeling and diving at the underground river at Coron, tarsier watching, and cave exploring in Puerto Princesa. To check out more attractions, book a Puerto Princesa City Tour. You’ll visit sites like the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Bakers’ Hill, the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center, and the Plaza Cuartel.
Palawan offers accommodations that include historic hotels, tropical inns, and modern four-star resorts.
Located in El Nido, Cauayan Island Resort and Spa sits on a secluded and tropical cove. The hotel has a pool, a restaurant, a bar, and guest rooms decked out in neutral tones and soothing shades.
Hue Hotels and Resorts Puerto Princesa is a sleek and modern resort offering an infinity-edge pool, a restaurant, a spa, and a fitness center. It’s near the Puerto Princesa City Baywalk Park.
20. Isle of Skye, Scotland
The Isle of Skye is one of the best islands in the world to take in Scotland’s natural beauty and rich history. Located on the west coast of Scotland, this paradise island is a combination of beautiful fairytale villages, Medieval castles, majestic mountains, sparkling lochs (or lakes), and towering cliffs.
At 50 miles long and about 25 miles wide, it’s the largest island of the Inner Hebrides archipelago. Towns and villages include Portree (the capital), Uig, Dunvegan, Edinbane, and Armadale.
The Isle of Skye offers excellent opportunities for hiking, climbing, golfing, and kayaking. The island offers unique natural attractions like the serene Fairy Pools waterfalls, the Fairy Glen, and Armadale Castle, Gardens, and Museum. Take an Inverness Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle day trip or visit Neist Point Lighthouse.
Skye offers accommodation options for all types of travelers. You can choose from beach hotels, family-friendly villas, or even private homes and apartments for your vacation.
To be near Dunvegan Castle, consider the Eco- and Back-Friendly Modern House. Spacious and modern, it has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, and stunning views.
The Skeabost House Hotel offers modern amenities in a castle-like setting. The Victorian Mansion sits along the River Snizort and offers a restaurant, a billiard room, and activities like hiking and fishing.
21. British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands are among the cool islands to visit if you enjoy sailing, funky beach bars, mountain terrain, and curving coastlines lined with palm trees, soft sand, and crystal-clear water. Islands in the chain include Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda, and Anegada – as well as approximately 50 other small islands (many of which are private, including Sir Richard Branson’s private island resort at Necker Island).
One of the best beaches on Tortola, the largest island, is Cane Garden Bay. Relax on the sand, snorkel a bit, or enjoy drinks and burgers at Rhymer’s Restaurant.
The smallest island, Jost Van Dyke is one of the best island vacations for travelers who enjoy a small and secluded getaway. It’s like having a private island all your own. It’s also the site of world-famous beach bars like Foxy’s and the Soggy Dollar Bar (and its equally famous Painkiller drinks).
On Anegada, you’ll find flamingos, iguanas, unique plants like sea lavender, and shipwrecks in the surrounding waters off the coast. Horseback riding is also popular.
Go island hopping via a catamaran snorkeling excursion for a wonderful way to spend the day. Visit unique landmarks like The Baths and Devils’ Bay National Park on Virgin Gorda, Mount Sage National Park on Tortola, and the secluded Sandy Spit on Jost Van Dyke.
The Wyndham Tortola BVI Lambert Beach Resort, on the northeast coast of Tortola, British Virgin Islands, is an excellent spot to base your trip. Located beachfront, it has a swimming pool with a swim-up bar, a fitness center, and beautifully landscaped gardens backed by lush green mountains.
22. Cayman Islands
One of the best island vacations for beach lovers, the Cayman Islands consist of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman. They’re located in the Western Caribbean and offer crystal clear water for snorkeling and communing with friendly stingrays. If you’re staying on Grand Cayman, it’s easy to island hop to other islands for day trips.
Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman, the largest island in the chain, is a gorgeous stretch of soft sand and gentle waves. Cayman Crystal Caves and the Cayman Turtle Centre are other unique spots to visit.
The other islands have attractions such as the Brac Parrot Reserve, Bat Cave, and offshore shipwrecks on Cayman Brac. There’s also the Little Cayman Museum and the Bloody Bay Wall dive site on Little Cayman.
For comfortable accommodations and beachfront access, seek out the Hampton by Hilton Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach. It’s near the Port of Georgetown and Owens Roberts International Airport (GCM). Hotel amenities include a swimming pool, fitness center, free bike use, a bar, a restaurant, and a garden.
23. Andaman Islands
Located in the northeastern Indian Ocean, in the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, the Andaman Islands are made up of Andaman and Nicobar. The longest island is Andaman, which encompasses North, Middle, and South Andaman. Nicobar is the south island in the chain.
The Indian island chain known as the Andaman Islands also includes several hundred other islands with soft white sandy beaches, palms, rainforests, mangroves, and coral reefs for diving and snorkeling. To get a unique lay of the land, book a kayaking tour through the mangroves or a parasailing adventure.
The Andaman Islands are home to Asia’s only active volcano (it last erupted in 2010) and the largest crabs in the world (the hermit, or coconut, crab). Visit attractions like the Naval Marine Museum Samudrika, the Zonal Anthropological Museum, and the Mahatma Gandhi National Park.
Welcomhotel by ITC Hotels, Bay Island, is found in Port Blair. Hotel amenities include a pool, a full-service spa, a restaurant, a bar, picnic areas, and a fitness center.
24. Whitsunday Islands
Located off the eastern coast of Queensland, Australia, in the Coral Sea, the Whitsunday Islands sport a rugged island landscape of lush greenery, jagged cliffs, and white sand. They’re part of the Cumberland Island chain. Whitsunday is the largest island. Other islands in the chain include Dent, Hayman, Hook, and Hamilton Island, which is the south island.
The Whitsunday Islands offer activities such as diving in the Great Barrier Reef, airplane tours above the turquoise waters, and snorkeling excursions.
If you’re searching for Whitsunday Islands accommodations, Club Wyndham Airlie Beach is a great choice. The scenic hilltop complex has a swimming pool, a restaurant, a fitness center, and marina views.
The InterContinental Hayman Island Resort, on Hayman Island, has several pools, multiple restaurants, two poolside bars, a marina, and a spa. The beachfront luxury resort also has a tennis court, a kids’ area, and on-site access to windsurfing, kayaking, and sailing.
What are the top-rated islands for honeymooners?
The best islands for honeymooners include the romantic ambiance of the British Virgin Islands, the Maldives, Fiji, and Bora Bora.
Which islands offer the best wildlife experiences?
Aruba, the Cayman Islands, and Antigua and Barbuda offer fun and unique wildlife experiences like visiting and feeding ostriches, swimming with manta rays, and snorkeling with sea turtles.
Which islands are ideal for family vacations?
Kauai, the Cayman Islands, and the Isle of Sky are the best islands in the world for families looking for adventure and stunning scenery.
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Find Cheap Flights
Use Skyscanner to find flight deals. As my personal favorite flight search engine, Skyscanner scours websites and airlines across the globe, leaving no stone unturned to help you find the best deal possible. And if you really want to take your savings to new heights, pair Skyscanner with Going (Formerly Scott's Cheap Flights). With access to exclusive mistake fares delivered straight to your inbox, you'll be packing your bags and jetting off on your next adventure before you know it.
Travel insurance is a low cost way to ensure your travel plans go smooth no matter what's thrown at it. Cover yourself against illness, injury and theft, and protect the arrangements you've made with our flexible travel cancellation insurance. My favorite options for travel insurance are:
Book Your Accommodation
In order to capture the widest selection of properties and the best price, use Booking.com as they have the cheapest rates for guesthouses, hotels, luxury condos, B&Bs and so much more.
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Discover the Best Travel Tools
Be sure to visit our page on our favorite travel resources to learn how you too can visit over 10 countries in year.