I am such a baby in cold weather, I swear. I’ve been so lucky this season to have escaped cold NYC at least once every month, but that doesn’t stop me from whining about the temperature after two days of being home. And it certainly doesn’t stop me from dreaming 24/7 about warm, sunny destinations around the world … islands, specifically.
I enlisted the help of some other travel bloggers to compile a list of the ten most beautiful islands around the world! Get booking ( or, at the very least, dreaming ) 🙂
“If you’re planning a trip to a Greek island, Crete might not be at the top of your list, but it absolutely should be. This island not only has it’s own rich heritage and culture, but it has everything you could want from a Greek vacation.
For the history buffs, the ancient Palace of Knossos archeological site is considered Europe’s oldest city. For the foodies, sip Cretan wine while gazing at the island’s vines, or taste olive oil and visit a 2000-year-old olive tree. Of course, if you’re looking to get outside, there’s the epic day-long hike through the Samaria Gorge, or the beaches all around the island. No matter what you’re looking for, you can probably find it in Crete.”
“If you are visiting Dubrovnik in Croatia, there are an archipelago of 13 large and small islands only 4- 8 nautical miles west of the city that are a must-visit. These islands are called the Elafiti Islands. Hire a boat or catch a ferry, but visit at least one of the three inhabited islands – Kolocep, Lopud or Sipan.
I recommend Lopud where you can catch a golf buggy across the island to Sunj Bay. Here, you can hire a sun bed and umbrella and relax on a beach which offers beautiful views and a bay you can paddle out to 100 meters in the knee high waters. Bliss.”
Location: the South Caribbean Sea
“Guadeloupe is not your traditional Caribbean vacation. Of course, there are all-inclusive resorts and gorgeous beaches if you’d like to sit beachfront with a cocktail (have some local rum in it if so). But there are also many adventures to be had – most without too many other tourists around.
Visit waterfalls (Cascade aux Ecrevisses for one), snorkel with sea turtles near Pigeon Island and climb up the cliffs at the stunning eastern point of Pointe des Châteux. You can use Euros and either English or French to order the traditional island sandwich, a bokit.”
– Erin, 10 Miles Behind Me
“I have spent over a year traveling around Thailand and have done my fair share of Thailand island hopping. But no other island compares to Koh Lipe.
I first feel in love with the island back in 2014 and have been back twice since then. Not many tourists know about the island therefore it’s not crowded. I love watching the sunrise on Sunrise Beach and watching the sunset on Sunset Beach drinking 100 baht mojitos. A must do is rent a private long tail for the entire day for 1,500 baht ($45 USD) to bring you to the nearby islands. For the best view of Koh Lipe head over to Koh Adang a quick 10 minute boat ride away, and hike up to the viewpoint.”
– Hannah, Getting Stamped
“Palawan has held the title “The Best Island in the World” by Travel and Leisure Magazine twice in a row, and rightfully so. It’s an exotic Southeast Asian paradise that offers various activities for tourists.
You can take a boat tour inside the giant cave system of the Puerto Princesa Underground River, dive and explore in the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park or beach bum and island hop in El Nido or Coron. Aside from these, Palawan also has off-radar destinations such as Port Barton and Balabac for those who prefer quiet summer locations.”
– Katherine, Tara Lets Anywhere
“Phu Quoc is a sleepy little island with the most amazing beaches. Most of the accomodation is found at Long Beach or Ong Lang Beach. Both beaches have calm, warm water perfect for swimming with beautiful white sandy beaches. You can stay in basic beach bungalows only a few metres from the shore.
The beaches are dotted with tiny little bars and cafes – perfect for watching the most amazing sunsets. Spend your days swimming, sunbathing, and having massages right on the beach. Explore other beaches like Sao Bai and check out the local villages along the way.
Phu Quoc is perfect for the ultimate relaxing vacation – but hurry this place has huge resorts being built right now and won’t be that sleepy destination for long – so it is a must see for 2017.”
Location: Cook Islands in the South Pacific Ocean
“Rarotonga is the largest of the Cook Islands and has lovely people and a real Polynesian charm. To much of the world it might seem difficult to get to, but it is so worth it.
You can be as active or relaxed as you like on Rarotonga – the main beaches are beautifully clean and perfect for snorkeling, diving, or just relaxing on. You can also hike in the mountains, visit a waterfall, play mini-golf or get into water sports. The Punanga Nui cultural market on a Saturday morning are definitely a must visit for food, produce and crafts.
The island is small and compact so hiring a scooter is the best mode of transport to get around, otherwise the local bus is quite an experience.”
Location: Caribbean Sea
“St. Martin is more than just beautiful beaches, although the island has over 30 of them. You can find great shopping in Phillipsburg and hiking by Anse Marcel. Grand Case is known as the culinary capitol of the Caribbean.
Of course, you must visit the world famous Maho beach and watch the planes land right over you. When the planes take off you can watch the crazies try to hold on to the fence. If that is not enough, it is also easy to do day trips to St. Barts, Anguilla, or Pinel Island.”
Location: Puerto Rico
“Just a 20 minute flight from San Juan, Vieques is located off the West Coast of Puerto Rico and is the perfect island escape. The serene island is most well-known for having the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world and if that’s not reason enough to visit, there are also around 15 secret beaches on the island accessible only by 4-wheel Jeep. Each one is stunning and guaranteed to be almost empty of other tourists when you go.
Make sure you explore the small town of Esperanza. El Malecon, the town’s main street, has lots of wonderful restaurants, bars and shops. Stay at El Blok Hotel
, eat mofongo at El Quenepo
and drink a mojito at Bananas
– me 🙂
Location: British Virgin Islands
“Virgin Gorda is the third largest island in the British Virgin Islands and is most well-known for its Baths at Devil’s Bay. The Baths are located on the Southern tip of the island and are essentially piles of granite boulders piled on top of one another at the shore. Walk ( and crawl ) through these natural grottos and enjoy the sea washing over your feet.
Be sure to hike to the island’s highest vantage point, Gorda Peak, for amazing views of the surrounding islands and make time to visit some of the other BVIs – like Tortola and Jost Van Dyke!”
– me 🙂
What’s your favorite island? What island are you dreaming of visiting next? Tell me in the comments below!
And don’t forget your island gear 🙂