Travel

A Traveler’s Guide To The Top 30 Islands In The World

Last Updated On

Planning Your Next Island Vacation

With their sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters and lush vegetation, islands are the stuff of dreams. And while there are thousands of islands scattered across the globe, some stand out for their natural beauty, and unique history of welcoming locals. Whether you’re looking for a place to relax or an adventure-filled getaway, here are some of the best islands in the world.

We’ve curated a list of the top 30 islands that should be on your bucket list. That’s not all, we’ve divided them based on the continent they’re located in, so you can plan your trip based on which part of the world you fancy exploring, or what might be more easily accessible to where you are right now. Whatever your decision, rest assured- you’ll find yourself on one of the most unique islands in the world, with views that you just can’t grow tired of.

Some are remote (yes, far enough to escape the hustle and bustle of life) and disconnected, while some are so close to civilization yet in a world of their own. Whether you want to turn explorer, give in to your thrill-seeking self, or just relax, we’ve got you covered.

Travel and Tourism post COVID-19

  • Experts suggest that 1.5-2.8% of global GDP may be lost as a result of the effect of COVID-19 on international tourism.
  • Due to past regional economic shocks, the threats of global warming, and the impacts of the current COVID-19 pandemic, heavily tourism-oriented island economies are facing critical future challenges regarding the continued viability of their traditional growth strategies, particularly their heavy reliance upon environmentally harmful long-haul air travel and cruise tourism.
  • In a new era of remote work, countries and territories such as Barbados, Estonia, Georgia, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, and the Cayman Islands offer new long-term permits, lasting up to 12 months in some places.

Africa

The African continent is home to a wide variety of terrain, from the vast Sahara Desert to the lush mountains of the Congo. But among its many wonders, Africa is also home to a number of beautiful islands. These islands offer a welcome respite from the mainland, with their sandy beaches, clear waters, and tropical vegetation. Many of these islands are also home to unique species of animals, making them a paradise for nature lovers. The Seychelles, for example, is home to giant tortoises and rare birds, while the Island of Mauritius is home to flying foxes and deer-like creatures called Axis Axis. Whether you're looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an adventurous safari, Africa's islands have something to offer everyone.

1Pemba Island, Zanzibar

While Zanzibar is known for being flat and sand-strewn, the neighbouring Pemba Island is the land of cloves and mangoes and hillocks lush with fruit and spice trees. Traditional dhows lie scattered across most of the coastline and fishing is a large part of Pemba’s culture. Pemba’s culture has been influenced by Arab traders from Oman and the original inhabitants who have lived on the island for centuries. Well-preserved ruins can be found on Pemba such as Qanbalu (a Muslim settlement from as early as the eighth century), while remnants of old voodoo rituals are practiced by the traditional witch doctors who call the island home.

Best Time to Visit
December to March, July to September
Perfect For
Remote Beach seekers
  • The best snorkelling on the Zanzibar Archipelago—all year round.
  • The Ngezi forest is great for a short and long walk.
  • Diving around Pemba Island is diverse and very special.
  • Sailing and undisturbed lazing on the deserted beaches.
  • View the well-preserved ruins of the oldest known Muslim settlement in Africa.
  • The ideal manner to visit Pemba is with scheduled charter flights.
  • Pemba Island is accessed via most airports in East Africa via Zanzibar or Dar es Salaam.
  • The most frequent route is Zanzibar – Pemba and is serviced by these airlines: Coastal Air and Auric Air.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • The island overall is conservative in its culture and adherence to Islam, hence it is recommended to dress modestly when in public and be respectful of local customs.
  • Many parts of Pemba Island are not easily accessed, as there is only one main tarred road through the middle of the island.
  • Swahili is the native language and few people can speak English beyond the basics. Hence, it is recommended to carry a Swahili phrasebook.

    Mid-range

  • The Aiyana $$
  • Manta Resort $$
  • Premium

  • Fundu Lagoon Resort $$$

2Desroches, Seychelles

The Island Conservation Society is responsible for managing the conservation of this tiny island. A beach of fine sand marks its 13-kilometer circumference. Originally called the Wood Island by the British owing to its dense tree vegetation, Desroches Island was split from the Seychelles to be added to the British Indian Ocean Territory in the year 1965. But the island went back to Seychelles, once independence was attained, in 1976. Populations of zebra doves and house sparrows adorn the area around the village.

Best Time to Visit
April to June, September to November
Perfect For
Remote Beach seekers
  • Sea Diving: discover the beauty of the water surrounding this island and its aquatic inhabitants.
  • Cycling: enjoy a lovely ride as you explore the island.
  • Fly fishing, bottom fishing, and deep sea fishing.
  • Explore the south and north-east coasts to view the hawksbill turtle and the green turtle
  • Visit the lighthouse for unmatched views.
  • By air:flights depart from Mahe to Desroches, twice daily.
  • By water: although the sail will take a much longer time, it is an experience like no other.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • It is recommended to visit for 4-5 days to ensure you make the most of your trip here.
  • Don’t litter.
  • There is no cellular network on Desroches Island. Calls may be placed through a landline or via the Wi-Fi network.
  • Book your flights and hotels in advance for cheaper rates.

    Mid-range

  • Carana Beach Resort $$
  • Premium

  • Four Seasons Resort $$$

3Rodrigues Island, Mauritius

Rodrigues is a delightful remote little holiday island 650 km east of Mauritius in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Measuring only 18 km in length and 8 km at its widest point Rodrigues is entirely surrounded by coral reefs offering world-class diving and snorkeling. Rodrigues Island, named after the Portuguese explorer Diogo Rodrigues, is the smallest of the Mascarene Islands and a dependency of Mauritius. Rodrigues is a place that is strikingly beautiful. The island is hilly with a lot of flora and has a lot of beaches and tiny islands around it, such as Ile aux Cocos. It is also one of the world's most remote inhabited islands.

Best Time to Visit
November to April
Perfect For
Remote Beach seekers
  • Kitesurfing.
  • Zipline Adventure: This is the ideal activity for adventure and nature lovers, and for those who wish to experience flying like a bird along the mountain. Try the longest zip line of 400 meters and discover stunning views of the verdant valleys, along with the stunning ocean at Montagne Malgache.
  • Trekking: Rodrigues allows you to discover its beauty and wilderness through trekking where you will get to encounter the friendly locals, domestic cows, and goats grazing the grass in open and vast terrain, along with some maize plantations.
  • Sail boat trips: Take the time and enjoy the gentle caress of the wind with a sail boat trip to the inlets in the southern lagoon of Rodrigues for BBQ or picnic and take the opportunity to discover the wonders that are hidden there.
  • Weekend camping on the beaches.
  • Jardin des 5 Sens: Marvel at the many endemic fauna and flora that grow on this volcanic island at its very first botanical garden.
  • Explore the local cuisine.
  • By air: Air Mauritius provides daily service between Rodrigues and Mauritius. The number of daily flights ranges from 2 to 5 depending on the period of the year.
  • By water: A mixed cargo and passenger ship, the Mauritius Trochetia, serves the island on a nearly bi-monthly basis.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • Water scarcity is prevalent on the island, use it judiciously.
  • The wi-fi and internet connection is erratic here.
  • The most hassle-free way to get to and from the airport is to arrange a ride with your accommodation of choice.
  • Car rental can be arranged through most hotels and guesthouses and local tour operators.

    Budget

  • Domaine de La Paix $
  • Ti Pavillon $
  • Mid-range

  • Le Belle Rodriguaise $$

4Boa Vista, Cape Verde

If you prefer quiet, almost empty beaches, you'll love Boa Vista. Stretching up to 55km, many of the beaches here are virtually untouched, with barely a soul in sight to share them with. Relax in the gorgeous sunshine or lounge by your hotel's pool, your one job in Boa Vista is to recharge. The easternmost island of Cape Verde, and the third-largest one, Boa Vista awaits visitors who want to experience the authentic island lifestyle. Slow paces, deserts of sand and scree, low mountain ranges, and miles of amazing beaches, bathed by turquoise waters are just some of the reasons to visit this place.

Best Time to Visit
November to July
Perfect For
Remote Beach seekers
  • Sunbathing, snorkeling, and diving.
  • Hiking and safari excursions.
  • Whale watching in the islet of Sal Rei: it is a feeding ground for humpback whales and a magical sight if you are lucky enough to experience it.
  • Visit the shipwreck of the Cabo Santa Maria.
  • Relax on Praia de Chaves.
  • Encounter loggerhead turtles: Ervatão Beach, located on the south-east coast of Boa Vista, is considered the third most important loggerhead turtle nesting site in the world. Between the months of July and September, and as the evenings and nights close in, you can witness the turtles making their way across the sand to nest and lay their eggs.
  • The easiest way to get here is by plane as the Boa Vista airport has operated direct international flights to Boa Vista from all over the world since 2007.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • The best way to get around Boa Vista is by private taxi or by aluguer, which is a collective taxi.
  • Whale sightings off Boa Vista usually take place from late February - May.
  • The most hassle-free way to get to and from the airport is to arrange a ride with your accommodation of choice.
  • Car rental can be arranged through most hotels and guesthouses and local tour operators.

    Budget

  • Casa Sara Boavista $
  • Ti Pavillon $
  • Mid-range

  • Hotel Dunas $$
  • Premium

  • Royal Horizons Boa Vista $$$

5Île Sainte Marie, Madagascar

The best thing about Île Sainte Marie is that it contains all the ingredients for a great holiday and great travel. This is a very long, thin, lush, and relatively flat tropical island surrounded by beaches and reefs. The port of Ambodifotatra is the only sizeable town. The island was a popular base for pirates who plundered the Indian Ocean in the 17th and 18th centuries. Today, though, the one and only town, Ambodifotatra, is an undisturbed haven with a handful of cafés, a Catholic church, and a popular market.

Best Time to Visit
April to December
Perfect For
Remote Beach seekers
  • Cimetière des Pirates: this is a fascinating spot from which to contemplate the history of the island. The cemetery overlooks the Baie de Forbans just south of Ambodifotatra, the perfect pirate hang-out.
  • Piscines Naturelles d'Ambodiatafana: These natural pools are separated from the Indian Ocean by a granitic gate of about 100m. During each tide, the sea fills these natural basins by crashing against the rocks. There are phenomenal panoramic views of the island from the sand dunes at the back of the beach.
  • Spotting the many species of lemur present in Andasibe National Park or taking to the water on the trail of humpback whales.
  • Rent a motorbike/quad and visit the north of Ile Sainte-Marie.
  • Diving and kite surfing.
  • Visit the beautiful island of Ile Aux Nates: South of Ile Sainte-Marie is an even smaller island: Ile Aux Nates. Take at least a day to explore this island (on foot or by boat).
  • You can choose to fly from Antananarivo to Ile Sainte-Marie with Tsardia.
  • It is also possible to fly from other major cities in Madagascar to Ile Sainte-Marie.
  • Early in the morning, the El Condor bus leaves from Tamatave to Mahambo. From Mahambo, you take the ferry to the port of Ile Sainte-Marie.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • Cancellation of domestic flights is rather normal in Madagscar.
  • The ocean is too rough to swim at Piscines Naturelles d'Ambodiatafana from June to September but they're absolutely idyllic in spring and summer (October to February).
  • Make sure you book a whale tour at a company affiliated with Cétamada. This is the organization that ensures that whale watching is done in a responsible manner without the whales being affected.

    Budget

  • Boraha Village $
  • Villas de Vohilava $
  • Premium

  • Princesse Bora Lodge and Spa $$$

Asia

Asia is the world's largest continent, and it is home to an astounding array of different cultures and natural wonders. Among its many highlights are the thousands of islands that dot its coasts. From the snow-capped peaks of Hokkaido to the tropical beaches of Bali, each island has its own unique character. Many of Asia's islands are also home to active volcanoes, providing a dramatic contrast between the calm waters and the fiery mountains. Whether you're looking for adventure or relaxation, Asia's islands offer something for everyone. So why not add a few to your travel list? You might just be surprised by what you find.

Did you know?

1Iriomote Island, Japan

Often referred to as the Galápagos of East Asia due to its vast untouched tropical rainforest with endemic species, the secluded Iriomote Island is a sight to behold. It has a diverse subtropical environment, with a mountainous jungle core giving way to mangrove forests and flashes of pristine sands at the coast. By day explore the heart of the island on a guided trek or kayak tour, at night enjoy cool coastal breezes and the crystal-clear night sky. It is Okinawa’s second largest island, but the vast majority of the landmass remains uninhabited and untouched. The island is one of four areas in Okinawa and Kagoshima that UNESCO added to its Natural World Heritage list in 2021. It is surrounded by a picture-perfect ocean, both from above and below with its colorful coral reefs, and attracts tourists with a spirit of adventure.

Best Time to Visit
November to April
Perfect For
Thrill seekers
  • Sea and river kayaking, fishing, and sailing.
  • Scuba diving at Manta Way, where schools of manta rays congregate in spring and summer.
  • Pinaisara hiking trip: the tour begins with a relaxed kayak through mangroves, where you move from the mostly freshwater river into open saltwater and back again, learning about the different types of mangrove trees and their inhabitants.
  • Barasu Island is a small coral island a short boat ride from Uehara Port. Unmarked on most maps of Japan, the island can only be reached by joining tours which typically allow for a short stay on the island before moving on to snorkeling in the waters nearby.
  • Tudumari no Hama is a quiet beach also known as Tsukigahama (Moon Beach) for its crescent shape. The wide beach is one of the best sunset spots on the island.
  • Yubujima Suigyu Cart Ride: Yubujima is a small island separated from Iriomote by a shallow, sandy strait. Water buffalo take carts filled with visitors to the island where there are restaurants, souvenir shops and a botanical garden
  • Jungle boat cruises are organized on the island's two longest rivers, the Urauchigawa (Urauchi River) and Nakamagawa (Nakama River), and guided kayak tours operate on both of those as well as many of the smaller rivers around the island.
  • Iriomote Island is accessible by ferry from Ishigaki Island.
  • Depending on the season, regular high-speed ferries run every 30 to 60 minutes to Ohara Port, and every hour or two to Uehara Port.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • It’s a real paradise for those with a sense of adventure! Please be aware that Iriomote is covered by dense rainforest, meaning that it rains a lot!
  • Take wet weather gear and be prepared to explore regardless of the weather.
  • There is only one main road on Iriomote, running along the coast from Shirahama to Ohara.
  • You can choose to rent a car from one of several outlets near the ferry terminals.
  • When using the beaches always beware of strong currents that can pull you out to sea and poisonous creatures such as Habu Jellyfish, a type of box jellyfish, that are most prevalent from June to October.

    Budget

  • Minshuku Mariudo $
  • Matsukaze The Guest House Ishigaki $
  • Premium

  • Nilaina Resort $$$

2Siargao Island, Philippines

Siargao, a teardrop-shaped small island located on the northeastern coast of Mindanao, is known as the country's Surfing Capital. In 2019, Siargao was named by Conde Nast Traveler readers as the Best Island in the World. But more than that, Siargao also offers breathtaking scenes and thrilling activities for non-surfers. You’ll likely fall for this teardrop-shaped island’s pristine white beaches, coconut woodlands, the clearest waters you’ve ever seen, and the sensational towering waves, as soon as you set your foot there. But these Siargao tourist spots are only half of the spectacular picture. What lies on the other half is Siargao’s welcoming vibe and easy island lifestyle that has been enchanting visitors for years. What makes Siargao a perfect island destination and a respite from the city’s hustle and bustle is that it has remained unspoiled, remote, sparsely developed, and still relatively under the radar, making it even more appealing to travelers who are craving natural beauty and slower pace.

Best Time to Visit
March to May
Perfect For
Remote Beach seekers
  • Cloud 9 Siargao: this spot is perfect for surfing and watching the sunset.
  • Magpupungko Rock Pools: a natural pool full of wonders of nature.
  • Guyam Island: a secluded and calming beach in Siargao, Philippines.
  • Daku Island: the famous lunch place during island-hopping.
  • From Manila or Clark, Pampanga, book a flight bound for Sayak Airport, located in the municipality of Del Carmen.
  • You can also reach Siargao Island by ferry. If you’re coming from Cebu, this is a cheaper option than booking a flight. From Cebu, fly to Surigao City and take the ferry to Siargao Island from Surigao Port.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • Live like a local because that’s how traveling should be, right? To experience a new place through the eyes of a local.
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things because Siargao has lots of fun activities to offer!
  • Bring extra cash as there are only a few ATMs available in Siargao.
  • The easiest way to travel there is by plane. However, airfare doesn’t come cheap so it’s best to keep an eye on seat sales!
  • July to September is the best time to visit for surfing.

    Budget

  • Ilakai Hostel $
  • Mid-range

  • Surfing Carabao Beach Houses $$
  • Premium

  • Kalipay Resort $$$

3Langkawi Island, Malaysia

The main Langkawi island itself is known for its marvelous diving opportunities. And that’s not all! From an expansive Underwater World along the Pantai Cenang to the high-flying Cable Car in Pantai Kok, Langkawi continues to provide a new delight in every minute fragment. Langkawi also has excellent adventure sports facilities apart from its treasure trove of hidden gems dotted across the island. During the festival time the beaches are flocked by locals and tourists who want to soak into the electrifying vibe of the place along with cocktails.

Best Time to Visit
March to May
Perfect For
Remote Beach seekers
  • Cloud 9 Siargao: this spot is perfect for surfing and watching the sunset.
  • Magpupungko Rock Pools: a natural pool full of wonders of nature.
  • Guyam Island: a secluded and calming beach in Siargao, Philippines.
  • Daku Island: the famous lunch place during island-hopping.
  • From Manila or Clark, Pampanga, book a flight bound for Sayak Airport, located in the municipality of Del Carmen.
  • You can also reach Siargao Island by ferry. If you’re coming from Cebu, this is a cheaper option than booking a flight. From Cebu, fly to Surigao City and take the ferry to Siargao Island from Surigao Port.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • Live like a local because that’s how traveling should be, right? To experience a new place through the eyes of a local.
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things because Siargao has lots of fun activities to offer!
  • Bring extra cash as there are only a few ATMs available in Siargao.
  • The easiest way to travel there is by plane. However, airfare doesn’t come cheap so it’s best to keep an eye on seat sales!
  • July to September is the best time to visit for surfing.

    Budget

  • Ilakai Hostel $
  • Mid-range

  • Surfing Carabao Beach Houses $$
  • Premium

  • Kalipay Resort $$$

4Côn Sơn, Vietnam

Visiting the largest island in the Con Dao archipelago – a group of 16 mostly uninhabited picturesque islands in the South China Sea – is like stepping back in time. There are only peaceful empty beaches, and peak season means being just one of a dozen Westerners. Known as Southeast Asia's Devil's Island, Con Son was once a penal colony used to brutal and cruel effect first by French colonists and later during the Vietnam War. The French worked 914 men to death building the island’s jetty, while Vietnam War prisoners were kept in infamous "tiger cages", where actual or suspected Communists – were shackled to the floor of deep concrete pits with steel bars for a roof.

Best Time to Visit
March to September
Perfect For
Remote Beach seekers
  • Con Dao prison: French colonists and US imperialists had kept many Vietnamese soldiers in captivity during wartime at this “Hell on Earth”. Each cell in Con Dao prison held more than 100 of the country's bravest. Con Dao prison is the home of many inhuman levels of torture, varying from physical to mental. The most brutal is the “tiger cage”, in which prisoners are chained down to the ground by steel cuffs, despite weather conditions.
  • Dam Trau Beach: The beach is framed by an ocean of rocks of different sizes and shapes. This sun-kissed beach has not received much exploitation, hence, the romantic and quiet feeling glazes every corner. Day or night, Dam Trau beach is absolutely worth your travel.
  • Con Dao National Park: Coming to Con Son island without checking in Con Dao National Park is such neglect. The preservation land takes up to 6.000 ha while the underwater part takes up to 14.000 ha. One step into the park, you are in a mysterious tropical forest with many strangely-looking plants and creatures.
  • Thanh Gia peak: Thanh Gia peak is located in the Southwest region of Con Son island. This name has slowly slid into the forgotten land if not thanks to the younger explorers. As the peak is the highest place in the whole Con Dao, the dirt tracks leading here are hard to conquer, even for an adventure master. Need not worry, the peak offers a rewarding view for climbers who finish the challenge.
  • Nui Mot Temple: Nui Mot Temple, also known as Van Son temple, is considered one of the most beautiful religious architecture in Vietnam. Situated in the Southern region, however, the temple holds a distinguished structure of the Northern land.
  • By plane: travelling to Con Son by plane can be considered the most comfortable means. There are direct flights from Hanoi, Hai Phong, Vinh, Can Tho, and Ho Chi Minh city to Con Son island, provided by Vietnam Airlines and Bamboo Airways.
  • By speed boat: reach Con Son Island from Cat Lo pier in Vung Tau,
  • Google Maps Location.
  • There are no currency exchange facilities so it is best to obtain Vietnamese Dong before you arrive.
  • Dining options are distinctly limited.
  • Renting a bike is the best way to get around the island.
  • The easiest way to travel there is by plane. However, airfare doesn’t come cheap so it’s best to keep an eye on seat sales!
  • Some of Côn Sơn’s amazing trails such as the hike to Thánh Giá, the highest point on the island aren’t well marked.

    Budget

  • Lighthouse Boutique Hotel $
  • Mid-range

  • Villa Maison Con Dao Boutique Hotel $$
  • Premium

  • Sixth Senses Con Dao $$$

5Havelock Island, India

This emerald island of India is an intoxicating blend of beaches, nature, and water activities, all fitting in so beautifully with one another that you cannot decide where one ends and another begins. It is a scenic natural paradise with pristine white sandy beaches, abundant coral reefs, and lush green forest. Now known as Swaraj Dweep, Havelock Island receives the maximum footfall in the Andaman Islands owing to its pristine beaches and turquoise waters. It has also the best infrastructure for a number of water activities, thus ensuring an incredible experience for everyone. You can try scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and a lot more. The island offers a relaxed atmosphere with tropical vibes. Its beaches are dotted with PADI diving centers, cute cafes, and luxurious beachfront properties.

Best Time to Visit
November to May
Perfect For
Remote Beach seekers
  • Water sports at Elephant Beach: snorkelling, scuba diving, sea walk, stand-up paddle board.
  • Kayaking through the mangrove forests
  • Game fishing: learn how to fish on a thrilling adventure as you cruise on the sea.
  • Visit the magnificent beaches on the island: Radhanagar Beach, Neil’s Cove, Kalapathar Beach, Vijay Nagar Beach and Govind Nagar Beach. With pristine coastlines and beautiful water to boot, these are some of the best beaches not just on the island, but in India.
  • Shopping at Aberdeen Bazaar/Sagarika Emporium for shell-based products, cane artifacts, and jewelry.
  • Candlelight Dinner: enjoying a romantic candlelight dinner by the pristine waters of the Andaman Islands is guaranteed to be a lifelong memory.
  • BThe best way to reach is by sea. Private and government ferries are operated from Port Blair and Neil Island.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • The easiest way to get around is on a two-wheeler.
  • Fuel stations shut by evening, so ensure you fill up during the day
  • Tourist taxis can be extremely overpriced. To avoid such instances, book them in advance.
  • Private ferries to the island are the preferred option as they are stress-free and you can skip long queues.

    Mid-range

  • Barefoot at Havelock $$
  • SeaShell Havelock $$
  • Premium

  • Taj Exotica Resort and Spa $$$

Australia

Australia is a continent made up of thousands of islands. While the mainland is the largest landmass, there are also many smaller islands dotting the coastline. These islands range in size from tiny atolls to large land masses like Tasmania. Many of these islands are uninhabited, but some are home to Australian aboriginal communities who have lived there for centuries. The climate and geography of the islands also vary widely, from tropical rainforests to arid deserts. As a result, the Australian continent is one of the most diverse and unique places on earth. Whether you're looking for a remote getaway or an adventure-filled vacation, there's sure to be an island in Australia that's perfect for you.

Did you know?

1Aitutaki, Cook Islands

Hailed as The Most Beautiful Lagoon in the World, Aitutaki is truly a postcard of a tropical paradise. The main island is long, narrow, and fish-hook shaped, and is surrounded by a shallow aqua blue lagoon. Cruising into it, and out to the smaller surrounding islands, you are surrounded by the most vibrant blue water. Go here if you truly want to unwind, with hardly any distractions to take up your precious time. There are no nightclubs, no shopping centers, and in fact – hardly anyone around. The islands have been used as filming locations for the U.S and U.K versions of the adventure reality show Survivor owing to its wild ambience.

Best Time to Visit
September to October, March to May
Perfect For
Remote Beach seekers
  • Go on a lagoon cruise: Doing a lagoon cruise is definitely the most popular and beautiful thing to do while in Aitutaki.
  • Water activities: you can go sailing, diving, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, snorkelling, whale watching (in season), kite surfing and, of course, swimming. The choice is yours!
  • Sunbathe on Ootu Beach: Just south of the airport strip, where the lagoon cruises depart and return, you’ll find the lovely Ootu Beach.
  • Hike Maunga Pu: Go on a hike to the highest peak on the island called Maunga Pu. Here you can see the entire splendid lagoon and the whole atoll.
  • Visit the old church: Cook Islanders are proud Christians and Aitutaki was actually the first of the Cook Islands to accept Christianity in 1821. You can visit the oldest church in the Cook Islands in Arutanga, Aitutaki. Visitors are welcome to attend church services on Sundays where you can experience incredible singing and Hymns sung in Cook Islands’ Māori.
  • Air Rarotonga operates daily flights from Rarotonga to Aitutaki. It takes about 50 minutes and as with domestic flights in French Polynesia, the views from the plane are breathtaking so grab a window seat!
  • Google Maps Location.
  • The weather tends to be warmer, sunnier, and usually full of blue skies. Rain is very sporadic.
  • The island is even smaller than you think it will be!
  • Scooters are by far the easiest way of getting around Aitutaki.
  • Aitutaki uses the New Zealand Dollar as currency, and is on the same time zone as Hawaii.

    Mid-range

  • Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort $$
  • Tamanu Beach $$
  • Premium

  • Pacific Resort Aitutaki $$$

2Niue Island

Niue is a Pacific Island paradise like no other, one of the smallest countries, and one of the largest raised coral atolls on earth. It is a place where it’s normal for complete strangers to wave at each other, all the time. It’s a place where nature hasn’t been broken… and things are 'the way they used to be’.

Best Time to Visit
May to June, September to October
Perfect For
Remote Beach seekers
  • Snorkelling – There’s fantastic snorkelling from many points from shore or join a snorkelling boat tour to an outer reef
  • Scuba diving – Explore a tropical underwater world with unbelievably clear water and dive into the island’s many hidden caves.
  • Whale swimming/watching – Whales migrate to mere metres away from Niue’s shores between July and September.
  • Dolphin swimming/watching – See Niue’s resident pods of spinner dolphins all year round Sea tracks – These are short walks to Niue’s most spectacular coastal attractions, from arches to chasms.
  • Nature and culture tours – Experience Niuean traditions through engaging guided tours with locals.
  • Explore caves and snorkel with fish at the Talava Arches
  • Fishing – One of the most abundant tours in Niue, fishing charters offer the opportunity to reel in Pacific game species
  • Niue can be accessed by flight, cruise ship or private sailing yachts. The most popular way to get to Niue is by international flight.
  • Take the N-340 road from Tarifa and turn off the exit at Road CA-8202. Then follow the winding road for around 5 km.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • The weather tends to be warmer, sunnier, and usually full of blue skies. Rain is very sporadic.
  • The island is even smaller than you think it will be!
  • Scooters are by far the easiest way of getting around Aitutaki.
  • Aitutaki uses the New Zealand Dollar as currency, and is on the same time zone as Hawaii.

    Mid-range

  • Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort $$
  • Tamanu Beach $$
  • Premium

  • Pacific Resort Aitutaki $$$

3Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

Great Barrier Island is a mesmerizing, untouched island to the northeast of Auckland. The east coast is so exposed so it has the best surfing beaches on this side of the island but also the strongest winds. The residents of this island are very welcoming and share a great passion for the environment. Its beautifully empty beaches and stripped-back lifestyle combine to create ideal conditions to relax and escape from the frantic nature of reality.

Best Time to Visit
December to April
Perfect For
Remote Beach seekers
  • Kaitoke Hot Springs: there are several pools along the stream and we suggest you go as far upstream as you can for quieter and more secluded nooks.
  • Harataonga Coastal Walkway: the views are exceptional and barring Harataonga Hill, the path is flat.
  • Glenfern Regional Park & Sanctuary: located at Port Fitzroy, this park is filled with wildlife Make sure you check out the canopy of the 600-year-old Kauri tree.
  • Have a picnic at the beach: Medlands Beach and Okupu Beach are ideal. The latter has fewer crowds and ample shade provided by the trees.
  • The Great Barrier Island Ferry or a Great Barrier Island Flight (the two operators here are Barrier Air and Fly My Sky).
  • Google Maps Location.
  • Fuel is expensive.
  • The supermarkets on the island are expensive.
  • Ensure your accommodation is in the southern part of the island. The northern part is more secluded and hard to get to.
  • Ensure you have a car to roam the island.
  • Spend at least 4-5 days on the island.

    Budget

  • Camping: View the locations here..
  • Mid-range

  • Aotea Eco Cottages – Medlands $$
  • Premium

  • The Exchange – Claris $$$

4Lord Howe Island, Australia

The lush natural paradise of Lord Howe Island is less than two hours by plane from Sydney and Brisbane but you will feel worlds away. With only 400 tourists permitted on the island at any one time, you can soak up the solitude or mingle with friendly locals, peppering your stay with indulging spa treatments, incredible food and wine, and adventures in the stunning natural landscape. With nothing but clean air and lush mountainous terrain surrounding you, you're in for a relaxing, nature-filled escape.

Best Time to Visit
September to May
Perfect For
Remote Beach seekers
  • Stay in luxury: Capella Lodge overlooks beaches and volcanic peaks and boasts a gorgeous pool and eco-friendly solar power system.
  • Embark on the Seven Peaks Walk: The six-day Seven Peaks Walk gives you the chance to get to know the island’s incredible scenery on foot. Along the way, you’ll encounter palm forests, rugged sea cliffs, and a variety of marine life.
  • Enjoy a gourmet getaway: Capella Lodge is a five-star luxury haven with a seasonal menu to match. The menu is designed to make the most of the amazing local and regional produce, and all you have to do is enjoy sunset drinks and canapes with views of Mount Gower.
  • Explore the lagoon by boat: Lord Howe curls around a beautiful bright blue lagoon, full of fish, coral, and other marine life. You can swim the lagoon from the beach, but to see some of the more spectacular snorkel sites take a two-hour glass bottom boat tour.
  • Hike Mount Gower: If you’re up for some adventure, hiking to the summit of Mount Gower belongs on your list. The hike takes about 8.5 hours and must be undertaken with a registered guide.
  • Dive the underwater caves: If you're a scuba diver, head to Balls Pyramid with Pro Dive to enjoy the caves and waters at the base alongside dolphins, turtles, marlin, and rare species like Spanish dancers, Galapagos whalers, and Ballina angelfish.
  • Enjoy the rare flora and fauna: Bird watchers flock to Lord Howe for the island’s 130 bird species. After a volcanic eruption seven million years ago, the newly formed island became a haven for plants and seabirds.
  • By plane: QantasLink offers year-round scheduled services to Lord Howe Island from Sydney.
  • Weekly flights and charters from Port Macquarie with Eastern Air Services are also available.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • All accommodation properties meet flights, providing free transport for arriving and departing guests.
  • The island has a 25 kph speed limit and the roads are shared by walkers, cyclists and vehicles.
  • Lord Howe’s environment is pristine and its visitors must help keep it that way.
  • A raincoat and windcheater are recommended owing to occasional showers and squalls that can occur at any time of the year.
  • Lord Howe Island is beyond the reach of mobile phone calls. Public phones are available.
  • Due to the limited accommodation, it must be booked well in advance.

    Budget

  • Beachcomber Lodge $
  • Mid-range

  • Admiralty Apartments $$
  • Premium

  • Capella Lodge $$$

5Nuku Hiva Island, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia

Tahiti and Bora Bora have long been the stars of French Polynesia, but Nuku Hiva basks in its own limelight as the second largest island in the country. It is also the capital of the Marquesas Islands, one of the most untouched archipelagos on our planet. With so much to see and do on the island, you don’t come to Nuku Hiva to recharge your batteries or lounge by the pool. If you’re looking for something off the beaten track, love the outdoors, and are curious about ancient cultures – Nuku Hiva is not to be missed.

Best Time to Visit
October to April
Perfect For
Remote Beach seekers
  • The Grand Canyon: On such a remote island, it’s no wonder that few have ever heard about Nuku Hiva’s Grand Canyon. This incredible creek running deep between immense cliffs can only be seen from the air and on the way from the airport to Taiohae – the most scenic airport pick-up you’ll ever have!
  • Toovii Plateau: With the air much cooler and the cows grazing in the infinite lush hills, the Toovii Plateau feels completely detached from the tropics. But such is Nuku Hiva: diverse, beautiful, and always breathtaking. Explore on a horseback ride or by hiking for an unforgettable experience.
  • Shop for Marquesan Arts and Crafts: . The islanders are among the best carvers in the South Pacific, turning pieces of sandalwood, rosewood, volcanic rock, and even animal bones into fine works of art. Nuku Hiva has several craft markets, located in Taiohae and Taipivai.
  • Hike to Vaipo Waterfall: A scenic 40-minute boat ride from Taiohae brings you to the start of the Hakaui Valley. In this deep valley that’s sheltered by the signature basaltic peaks of Nuku Hiva, you will marvel at the highest waterfall in French Polynesia.
  • Ancient Ceremonial Sites: Hikokua, Kamuihei, Tahakia and Teiipoka, are all close to each other near Hatiheu. If you come here before sunset, you might be the only ones here, and things can get incredibly freaky in these mysterious sites. Walk among giant banyan trees, petroglyphs, tiki statues, and the human sacrifice stone.
  • By plane: from San Francisco International Airport to French Polynesia's Tahiti Faa'a Airport.
  • Then catch the connecting Air Tahiti flight to Nuku Hiva Airport.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • Bring comfortable hiking gear, especially shoes and waterproof sandals.
  • If you’re renting a car, drive with extra care. Keep your eyes open for sudden bends, animals, and fallen rocks.
  • Be prepared for the notorious nono of Nuku Hiva. These are tiny black or white sand flies that are actually not native to the islands. They leave a nasty bite that itches for days, and if scratched – can leave a lasting mark.
  • If you’re hiking in the forest, bring with you strong mosquito repellent that does not wash away with sweat. Consider hiking with long sleeves.

    Budget

  • Pension Koku’u $
  • Premium

  • Le Nuku Hiva $$$

Europe

Europe is home to some of the most beautiful islands in the world. From the snow-capped peaks of Iceland to the sunny beaches of Greece, each island has its own unique charm. There are also a number of Islands that are perfect for a romantic getaway, such as Malta or Cyprus. Regardless of what you're looking for, there's an island in Europe that's sure to suit your needs. And with so many to choose from, you're sure to find one that's perfect for your next vacation. So why not start planning your trip today?

Did you know?

1 Flores Island, Portugal

The most westerly of all the nine islands in the Azores, this luxuriant piece of fertile land in the middle of the ocean was claimed by medieval historians to be a precious fragment of the lost continent, Atlantis. Its name derives from the profusion of flowers that carpet the island from one side to the other, most spectacularly in springtime and throughout the warm summer months.

Best Time to Visit
May to October
Perfect For
Adventure seekers
  • Poco Da Ribeira do Ferreiro: The wall of waterfalls combines with the lake below creating the most perfect reflections.
  • Cascata do Poco do Bacalhau: a beautiful natural swimming hole. As you walk up towards the waterfall you will see a shimmering rainbow and will be completely mesmerized by its beauty.
  • Watch the sunset at Miradouro de Craveiro Lopes: It is one of the best viewpoints on the island and being on the west coast, it is the perfect place to kick back and watch the beautiful sunset.
  • Alagoa Natural Park: Here you will find a pebble-stoned beach, crystal clear water, and a small waterfall that meets the ocean. This area is deemed a bird sanctuary and is protected.
  • Visit to Corvo Island: Corvo is the smallest island in the Azores and is famous for its fog-covered crater.
  • Tour the 7 lagoons of the island and visit the Poço do Bacalhau in the afternoon, before sunset.
  • The most convenient way to get to Flores is by plane.
  • SATA has flights connecting the airport at Santa Cruz das Flores to Corvo, Terceira, Faial and São Miguel islands.
  • If you're traveling in summer, taking a ferry is another option to get to Flores.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • The weather constantly shifts due to the prevailing sub-tropical climate. Hence, it is better to be prepared for the same.
  • ATMs are not common and cash is the preferred mode of payment, ensure you carry enough to the island.
  • English is very sparsely spoken, you might need to learn/have your translator handy to communicate in Portuguese.
  • It is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, ensure you leave nature as you find it.
  • Renting a car is the best and preferred manner to explore the island.
  • It is recommended to visit for a minimum of 4-5 days to see all the island has to offer.

    Budget

  • Alojamentos Flores Island $
  • Mid-range

  • Villa Ferreirinha $$
  • Premium

  • Larmont Sydney by Lancemore $$$
  • Villas do Mar $$$

2 Filicudi, Aeolian Islands, Italy

Filicudi is a secret hideaway known to few. It is not an island for everyone, but those who love it love it passionately. Its unspoiled nature, the mule tracks scented by capers, the dolphins and sea turtles, the warm and clear waters, the cliffs, and the sunsets over the sea. Filicudi is listed among UNESCO World Heritage sites for its outstanding volcanic characteristics. In this respect, the Sicilian archipelago is indeed unique in the world. Filicudi is the first island to emerge from the waters in the eruption that 1 million years ago created the Aeolian Islands.

Best Time to Visit
April to June, September to October
Perfect For
Remote Island seekers
  • Villaggio Preistorico di Capo Graziano: 27 Bronze Age huts on a terraced hillside that date to 1700 BC. It's an extremely evocative spot, with dramatic sea and island views and bilingual signs providing historical context. From the village, you can descend to Filicudi's only real beach, a stony affair that offers the easiest swimming on the island – if you want to take a dip elsewhere, you'll have to clamber down some jagged rocks or rent a boat.
  • Grotta del Bue Marino: Boat tours often visit this beautiful sea cave lapped by brilliant turquoise waters on Filicudi's western shore.
  • Scoglio della Canna: Rising off Filicudi's northwestern shore is this dramatic Faraglioni (rock tower).
  • Capo Graziano Promontory: 300 meters above sea level, the volcanic promontory of Capo Graziano is the head of the island of Filicudi, which some people say is shaped like a turtle, others like a pregnant woman. Climb the scenic path that goes up on the promontory to the ruins of the prehistoric village and enjoy the view of the Aeolian Islands.
  • Le Punte Beach: Located at the southern end of the island, at the foot of the promontory of Capo Graziano, Le Punte is the most beautiful beach in Filicudi. It is a pebbled and wild beach. The path continues along the sunny coast, where there are beautiful bays of rounded volcanic rocks, smoothed by erosion. The sea is extraordinarily transparent and takes all the shades of turquoise and green.
  • Filicudi is connected by ferry to Milazzo all year.
  • The main port all year for hydrofoils is Milazzo. In summer there are also hydrofoils from Palermo.
  • You can arrange helicopter transfers from Palermo, Catania, and Reggio Calabria.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • It is recommended to carry a small torch after sunset because there is no street lighting on these islands.
  • In Filicudi, you will see no sight of ATMs or banks. Carry cash with you while arriving on the island.
  • In Filicudi, only residents are allowed to travel by car, but you can easily explore the island on foot or by scooter.
  • This is an island to truly disconnect and relax. Don’t expect all the facilities you would usually find in a city.

    Budget

  • Solemar Hotel $
  • Albergo Seaside $
  • Mid-range

  • Hotel Residence Al Belvedere Salina $$
  • La Locanda del Postino $$

3El Hierro Island, Canary Islands, Spain

The island of El Hierro is all sharp, rocky cliffs hiding natural pools and ponds. The black volcanic earth that covers it increases the sensation of mysterious remoteness, of being the edge of civilization – which it was until the discovery of America. This geographical location, this orography, and this sparse population make the island of El Hierro a magical place. A unique journey – ideal for finding yourself.

Best Time to Visit
June to September
Perfect For
Remote Island seekers
  • Centro Etnográfico Casa de las Quinteras: This ethnographical museum, in a foursquare Herreño farmhouse of brown volcanic stone, showcases the rich heritage of pottery, basketry, weaving, wood- and ironwork. The traditional pots, which are still made and on sale have a simple elegance that recalls nearby Africa.
  • Parque Cultural de El Julan: The Julan rock engravings, a heritage of El Hierro's pre-Hispanic people, were discovered in a remote area on the island's south coast. This new museum sets the enigmatic engravings in their cultural and historic context.
  • Centro de Interpretación de la Reserva de la Biosfera: This information center throws light on El Hierro's remarkable and unique biodiversity, recognized by the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve scheme in 2000. The upstairs section explains how the island's reliance on clean energies saves an estimated 18,700 tons per year in CO2 emissions.
  • Hiking the Camino de la Llanía: Spooky and magical, the two-hour walk meanders among lichen- and moss-covered trees, emerging at a viewpoint with thrilling views over the great cliff.
  • You can’t fly nonstop to El Hierro. You’ll have to stop on one of the larger islands like Tenerife or Gran Canaria for a connection, before arriving at El Hierro’s capital, Valverde.
  • Alternatively, take the ferry from Tenerife, which takes about two to three hours.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • Ferry travelling is more comfortable and offers beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • As it is the second smallest island of the Canaries, you can easily get around no matter where you decide to stay during your visit.
  • The island has the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve designation. Do not meddle with the natural beauty of the island!
  • Nightlife in El Hierro is low-key as most visitors choose a restaurant, a small bar, or even a stroll for their evening.

    Budget

  • Parador de El Hierro $
  • El Sitio $
  • Mid-range

  • Hotel Puntagrande $$
  • Villamocanes $$

4 Inis Meáin, Aran Islands, Ireland

Inis Meain Island is where you’ll find a more authentic escape from the modern world. With a population of 200 people, it is the less visited of the three islands. Visiting Inis Meain will give you the best chance to acquaint yourself in the precious sanctuary of Irish Cultural tradition. This island has a hilly landscape. It also features crystal clear views of the cliffs of Mohar and some interesting Celtic and Christian sites. This island was a retreat for Synge, one of the most famous playwrights to emerge from Ireland, and features a lot of artists.

Best Time to Visit
April to October
Perfect For
Remote Island seekers
  • Explore the Island on a bicycle: Inis Meáin isn’t a huge island, and you can explore it to your heart’s content on a bicycle. You should be able to hire bikes at the ferry pier in Caherard, and from there you’ll find plenty of roads to follow, each offering amazing views and plenty of attractions.
  • Lúb Dún Fearbhaí Looped Walk: This looped walk takes in around 13 km of fairly easy paths, passing most of the top sites on the island. It’s well signed from the pier and takes 40 minutes to walk from the new pier and 10 minutes to walk from the old pier.
  • Dún Fearbhaí: A short walk away from the pier, this historic stone ring fort doesn’t get a huge amount of attention, making it a peaceful place to soak up the past. It sits on a steep hill and offers fantastic views over the bay. Not a lot is known for sure about Dún Fearbhaí, but it’s said to pre-date Christianity.
  • The Bed of Diarmuid and Grainne: This is an amazing example of an ancient wedge tomb, steeped in history and folklore. It’s linked to the epic legend of Diarmuid and Grainne, and it’s said that the lovers slept at the site during their mad escape from an enraged uncle.
  • Visit Teach Synge: John Millington Synge was a famous Irish playwright and poet, who became enamored with Inis Meáin. This is his old cottage, a beautiful 300-year-old building, lovingly restored and transformed into a fascinating museum that documents his life and works.
  • Synge’s Chair: This beautiful lookout point on the edge of a rugged cliff is sure to spark the fires of your imagination. Named after the island’s favourite poet, it’s a stunning place to rest and reflect, and draw inspiration from the moody surroundings.
  • The Conor’s Fort: The largest fort on the Aran Islands: an amazing stone fort standing proud at the island’s highest point. It’s impressively intact for a structure that was built around 2,000 years ago!
  • The Inis Meáin Ferry: If you’re taking the ferry to Inis Meáin from Rossaveal, the departure point is conveniently located just 40/45 minutes from Galway. Alternatively, you can sail from Doolin pier.
  • You can also fly to Inis Meáin from Connemara Airport. Flights are operated by Aer Arann Islands.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • Book accommodation and ferry tickets in advance.
  • Island can be explored on foot.
  • The ferry will not make the crossing if the water is too choppy. So be prepared for the possibility of having to stay on the island longer than you might have planned.

    Budget

  • Tig Congaile B&B and Restaurant $
  • Cois Cuain B&B $
  • Premium

  • Inis Meain Restaurant & Suites $$$

5 Gozo Island, Malta

A rural area where time just seems to pass a little slower than in most other places, many people refer to Gozo as “what Malta used to be like”. Sitting on the dock of the bay, watching the Gozo ferry as it sails away is strangely comforting. As you board the vessel you feel like you’ve shed an enormous weight off your shoulders, leaving the stress of everyday behind you. Gozo is magical, and the magic starts when you arrive at Mġarr Harbour, with its quiet marina and church sitting on the hilltop overlooking the harbour. The beaches and clear waters offer swimmers and divers something to remember.

Best Time to Visit
June to September
Perfect For
Remote Island seekers
  • Day trips and tours: Taking a day tour or excursion around Gozo can be a great way to explore the highlights that Gozo has to offer.
  • The Citadel in Rabat: a beautiful and small, fortified town that has witnessed many historic moments and stood the test of time in the most handsome way. When or who originally built this fortress isn’t exactly known. Research shows that settlements have been present on the same hill since the Neolithic period. That’s no surprise since it’s one of the most central hilltops on the island with commanding views in all directions.
  • The Cittadella Cathedral, was designed by Lorenzo Gafà and built between 1697 and 1711 in baroque style.
  • The onyx-covered Żebbuġ church, is dedicated to the Assumption. It is also the second oldest consecrated church in Gozo.
  • The Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of Ta’ Pinu, close to Għarb is not only beautiful to behold but also worth viewing for its surroundings and for the remarkable items that lie within: A large room to the side of the church is full of memoirs and messages of gratitude left there by those who were blessed by a miracle.
  • Tal-Merżuq Hill, or as it is most popularly known nowadays – Tas-Salvatur – offers a breathtaking view of a great part of the island. It takes some hard work to get to the top, where you’ll meet the statue of the Risen Christ that gives the hill its modern name.
  • Wied l-Għasri is a secluded valley that winds down from Ta’ Dbieġi Hill through the village of Għasri and on to Żebbuġ. It finally meets the sea – popular with divers who like to explore the surrounding underwater caves. It is also a good place to swim or just for a quiet walk.
  • You’ll need to get to Gozo over water.
  • The ferry departs from Ċirkewwa (at the Northernmost tip of main island Malta) at frequent intervals, with trips that continue even throughout the night.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • Coach and bus services: Transport is provided by a fair service of buses from Mgarr to Victoria and vice-versa and from Victoria to all towns and villages in Gozo. The main bus terminus is situated in Victoria and route numbers are on the front of the buses.
  • The climate is typically Mediterranean.
  • There are a number of Bank branches and ATM services in Victoria and in other towns and villages.

    Mid-range

  • The Duke Boutique Hotel $$
  • Grand Hotel Gozo $$
  • Premium

  • Kempinski San Lawrenz Resort & Spa $$$
  • Ta’ Ċenċ Hotel & Spa $$$

South America

South America is home to some of the world's most exotic islands. From the white sand beaches of Brazil to the volcanic islands of Chile, there is something for everyone. One of the most popular tourist destinations is Easter Island, known for its mysterious stone statues. The island is also home to a variety of wildlife, including sea lions, penguins, and turtles. Another popular island is the Galapagos Islands, which are famous for their unique ecosystem. Visitors can see a variety of animals, including iguanas, penguins, and sea lions. For a truly unique experience, visitors can stay in one of the many eco-lodges on the island.

Did you know?

1 Robinson Crusoe Islands, Chile

Robinson Crusoe is the ideal place if you want to get away from the world and enjoy a new level of connection with nature. Swim in its crystal-clear waters, dive into its depths and discover its rich marine life. Surprise yourself by diving in the company of the friendly South American fur seal, a native species of this Biosphere Reserve. A Spanish sailor first arrived arrived here in 1574 – and the Juan Fernandez Archipelago, to which the island belongs, is named after him. The island’s endemic forests, plants, marine animals and birds evolved in isolation, so many species are only found here in the entire world!

Best Time to Visit
October to April
Perfect For
Adventure seekers
  • Visit the town of San Juan Bautista, where most people from the Juan Fernandez Archipelago live. Here you’ll find your starting point for entertaining excursions around Robinson Crusoe Island. Relive the experience of the pirate, Alexander Selkirk and don’t miss out on this International Biosphere Reserve.
  • Juan Fernández Archipelago National Park: Enjoy a journey through the Pacific Ocean and get a unique view of the land after crossing a water desert. The beaches, coves, creeks and rocks of this isolated archipelago have an impressive number of endemic species, which is why it was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Follow the trails that will take you to the island’s lookouts.
  • Diving in the Archipelago (Robinson Crusoe): Known internationally as a diving destination, the Juan Fernández Archipelago is a place where all those who are fond of the ocean and its treasures will fall in love with. Its clear waters, diversity of sea life and scarce human intervention will captivate you. It is a true underwater paradise that you’ll share with the South American fur seal, golden crabs, lobsters, coral reefs, sand dunes and large rocks with abundant marine algae.
  • Fishing and Food on the High Seas (Robinson Crusoe): Delicious Robinson Crusoe Lobsters, Juan Fernández Octopuses, sea urchins and fish like the yellowtail amberjack, grouper, common pandora or the butterfish will satisfy more than just your palate and stomach. Enjoy the wonderful food of this archipelago and please your senses with fresh produce taken directly from the Pacific Ocean. Fish and cook your own meal on boats with their own kitchenette. Live a fisherman’s life, even if for a while, in this fun adventure on the high seas!
  • Regularly scheduled flights link Robinson Crusoe Island with Santiago
  • Upon arrival, an hour-long water taxi journey transports guests to San Juan Bautista.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • It is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, ensure you leave nature as you find it.
  • Rainfall is higher in the winter months from May to August.
  • It is recommended to carry abundant cash in the local currency of Chilean Peso as credit card usage is severely limited.
  • Trekking is the best way to explore this quaint island.
  • Spanish is the official language of communication.

    Budget

  • La Robinson Oceanic $
  • Refugio Nautico Eco Lodge $
  • Mid-range

  • Crusoe Island Lodge $$
  • Isla Pacifico Eco Lodge $$

2 Isla de Providencia, Colombia

Providencia, an eight-square-mile Colombian island off that country's northern coast, is a flashback to the Caribbean in the days of yore: a tiny undeveloped island where locals run the show. As part of Colombian territory, Spanish is one of the native languages, but English and Creole English are also spoken on the island. There is warm inclusivity that makes you feel like a kid again: Locals embrace their visitors by proudly recounting Providencia's history, with folktales of pirates and treasures.

Best Time to Visit
February to May
Perfect For
Remote Island seekers
  • Rent a golf cart and ride around to get familiar with the tiny island, passing all of the scenic spots, beaches, and restaurants.
  • The island's initial draw is its raw, natural beauty, which can be explored in a variety of ways with outdoor activities like hiking Lazy Hill or El Pico, the island's highest mountain.
  • Providencia boasts some of the best diving on Colombia’s coast—their barrier reef is the third largest coral reef in the world. And if you're looking for unspoiled beaches devoid of people, good! Because that's what you'll get in Providencia.
  • Almond Bay (Bahia Almendra): the smallest beach on Providencia, with wonderfully clear and calm water to swim in and plenty of space to lay down a towel away to relax.
  • A Day or Night at Roland's Famous Bar: Roland Roots Reggae Bar & Restaurant is an institution on the island, and one you should pop into at least once. It's also a good shout for a nighttime spot in Providencia, and there are sometimes live music and beach parties on the weekends.
  • A boat trip is imperative, as it's the best way to see the colors of the sea and take in a view of the island from afar. Make sure to visit the famous Crab Cay, as well as Tres Hermanos Keys and Morgan’s Head on Santa Catalina, for some snorkeling.
  • The most popular way of reaching Providencia is to take a flight.
  • All flights must be taken from San Andrés’ Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport, flying to Providencia’s El Embrujo Airport.
  • The only ferry service currently operating the route is Conocemos Navegando, and visitors can reserve tickets directly on their website.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • There is a non-Colombian tourist tax for any visitor to San Andres and Providencia. You will receive a tourist card once you’ve paid, and you need to keep this safe as you’ll be asked to show it when you arrive in Providencia and when you eventually leave San Andres.
  • The frequency of ferries between San Andrés and Providencia can vary from season to season and can fill up quickly during high season, so it’s worth making your reservation in good time.
  • Flights and ferries to/from Providencia can be cancelled in the event of poor weather and rough seas.
  • There are a handful of ATMs in Providencia but it is best to arrive with cash from the mainland or San Andres.
  • Water is scarce and at a premium on the island, so do use it responsibly by taking showers limited in time and frequency.
  • Renting a scooter is the best way to explore the islands and get around.

    Budget

  • Posada Juan Carlos $
  • Mid-range

  • High Hill Eco Apartment $$
  • Premium

  • Deep Blue $$$

3 Floreana, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Home to black sand beaches, sparkling lagoons, and misty highland peaks, the island of Floreana, on the Galápagos, has an extraordinary array of natural attractions. The sixth-largest island in the Galápagos Archipelago is a major draw for wildlife watchers, with biological wonders both on land and below the waves. Aside from its natural allure, Floreana has an intriguing history of human settlement, for which the island has acquired no small degree of infamy.

Best Time to Visit
June to September
Perfect For
Adventure seekers
  • Devil’s Crown: This dive site is considered to be one of the best snorkelling sites in the Galapagos. A volcanic crater eroded by waves, the coral reef in the middle of this site offers amazing opportunities to view marine life. Schools of fish, sea turtles, sharks, and sea lions all gather here.
  • Punta Cormorant: The island’s “Cormorant Point” hosts a large flamingo lagoon. Its distinct beaches are also home to other birds such as common stilts, joint-footed petrels, and white-cheeked pintails, as well as sea lions, sea turtles, ray fishes, and Sally Lightfoot crabs.
  • Champion Islet: Named after whaler Andrew Champion, this small island just off the southern coast of Floreana Island is an excellent place for dolphin watching.
  • Asilo de la Paz: This is a historical site near Puerto Velasco Ibarra. These caves were home to some of the first human settlers on the island. It is also where the Galapagos tortoises from San Cristobal Island are kept.
  • Post Office Bay: Visitors can still use this old barrel to send home past cards and letters without any postage.
  • Playa Negra: Playa Negra is a gorgeous black sand beach located right in front of the Wittmer Hotel. You can often have the whole beach to yourself, except during the afternoons when tour groups come to snorkel. It is also a wonderful place to watch the sunset.
  • La Lobeira: Walk past Floreana Lava Lodge and take a short walk along a trail to La Loberia, You can see sea lions, sea turtles, and iguanas at this beach. La Loberia is an excellent spot for snorkelling or kayaking.
  • Visitors who want to spend the night on Floreana Island get there by taking the same boat as the day tour from Santa Cruz.
  • The boat departs Santa Cruz around 8 am and arrives in Floreana at 10 am. The boat leaves for Santa Cruz around 2:30 pm.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • Carry sufficient food and water as there are not many places to buy food on the island.
  • Carry along your snorkelling gear so that you can enjoy the marine life of the island.
  • Pack lots of sunscreen as it can be quite costly on the island and the sun shines brightly here.

    Budget

  • Floreana Lava Lodge $
  • Wittmer Lodge $

4Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

Wild, remote, and fiercely protected, Fernando de Noronha is a tiny island located far from mainland Brazil. If you make the long trek out into the blue waters of the Atlantic, you can snorkel among its abundant sea life, stroll through the tropical interior and laze on some of the world’s best beaches. Access and development are both strictly controlled to preserve the island’s untamed nature, which means you’ll find only a few other visitors and a handful of small hotels here. Much of the island, as well as all of the surrounding islets and waters, is encompassed by the Parque Nacional Marinho de Fernando de Noronha, Brazil’s first-ever national park.

Best Time to Visit
August to January
Perfect For
Remote Island seekers
  • The picturesque beaches are unmissable and the best ones to visit are Praia de Leão, Baia do Sancho, and Baia dos Porcos, which are considered among the best beaches in Brazil.
  • Scuba diving is another popular activity and if you can’t scuba dive, you can either take lessons there or at least snorkel, you won’t want to miss out on the mesmerizing display of Noronha’s marine life which includes dolphins, rays, sharks, and turtles.
  • Hiking along the coastline will offer sweeping oceanic views and if you go from December to April, head to Praia da Cacimba do Padre beach to surf or simply watch the surfers catch some waves.
  • Dolphin Watching: Hundreds of dolphins congregate every morning at the same sheltered bay, and can be watched from the cliffs above. The waters around the island are evidently the most important dolphin breeding ground in the world. The bay is officially known as the Baía dos Porcos (Bay of Pigs), but over time it has come to be known as Baía dos Golfinhos (Dolphin Bay).
  • At the end of the day, don’t miss out on a spectacular sunset at Boldro Beach.
  • The only way for visitors to get to Noronha is by taking a plane from the cities of Recife or Natal.
  • The flight is usually only an hour and a half long and is offered by the airlines Azul and Gol.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • Most places take cards but paying in cash will sometimes save you a lot of money.
  • You must pay an environmental tax for access to the island.
  • The number of visitors allowed to visit is no more than 500 people per day so the island remains relatively untouched and free from tourist swells.
  • Some hikes have to be scheduled in advance.

    Budget

  • Casa de Samuel Lobrito $
  • Casa Swell $
  • Premium

  • Pousada Del Mares $$$
  • Pousada Maravilha $$$

5Easter Island, Chile

Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world and yet the island was home to one of the most amazing cultures, the Rapa Nui. The island is also known for its numerous monumental statues, called moai, created by the early Rapa Nui people. There is no other place like it in the world and if you are interested in the history or the mystery surrounding the moai, you should definitely visit Easter Island. With its volcanic landscape, untouched nature, and the remoteness of the island, you will be able to experience nature in its entirety here.

Best Time to Visit
October to April
Perfect For
Adventure seekers
  • Explore Hanga Roa: Spend the first evening walking around the main street and find a store to rent your transport.
  • Visit Ahu Tongariki at Sunrise: Ahu Tongariki is the largest ahu on Easter Island and the perfect place to watch the Milky Way and the sunrise.
  • Hike around Rano Raraku: North East from Ahu Tongariki is Rano Raraku, a volcanic crater where all the rocks for the Moai statues came from. You can see many moai statues scattered all over the quarry, some were incomplete.
  • Relax at the Anakena Beach: Anakena is a white coral sand beach in the north of the island and you can drive up from Rano Raraku, have a nice lunch, or simply just relax under palm trees and listen to the sound of the waves crashing on to the beach.
  • Explore the Island: Driving around the island can be a highlight in itself. As you drive around you will see the shift from the wonderful green landscape to a ruggedness of a volcanic landscape. You might also stumble upon surprising things like wild horses or a lone moai in the middle of nowhere so look out for them.
  • Hike to Ana Kakenga: Ana Kakenga is a refuge volcanic tube formed a thousand years ago through volcanic activities on the island. What makes this cave special is its location overlooking the ocean. You have to hike to get to the entrance which is a small hole with no sign indicating that this is an entrance.
  • The Father Sebastian Englert Anthropological Museum: In order to appreciate all that was and is the Easter Island, I would recommend you visit the anthropological museum and learn the history of the Rapa Nui people.
  • LATAM airline is the sole operator that has a few flights to Easter Island per day and in order to fly to Easter Island, you will most likely have to go through Santiago, Chile.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • With your own vehicle, you can choose the time of day to venture to each different place and be far more in control of your own schedule.
  • Often the best way to get cheap flights is to book well in advance and this can certainly be the case for Easter Island.
  • TMost people visit Easter Island in the first two weeks of February when the annual Tapati Rapa Nui festival takes place.
  • Bring clothes for all weathers.
  • Before visiting Easter Island, buy food on the mainland in Santiago.

    Budget

  • Hostel Vieroto $
  • Mid-range

  • Hare Manu Rapa Nui $$
  • Premium

  • Inaki Uhi Hotel $$$

North America

North America is home to a diverse array of islands, from the green hills of Hawaii to the snow-capped peaks of Newfoundland. Each island has its own unique history and culture, making for a fascinating travel destination. One of the most popular islands in North America is Cuba, which is known for its stunning beaches and vibrant nightlife. For a truly unique experience, head to Newfoundland, where you can see icebergs and whale in the wild. No matter what type of island you're looking for, North America has something to offer.

Did you know?

1 Fogo Island, Canada

Fogo Island is not so much a place as a state of mind. With a long maritime history, the largest offshore island of Newfoundland and Labrador is a gentle world of bright-colored clapboard houses, sea-cliff footpaths, lush forest, and warm hospitality set against a striking coastline. Recently an inspired arts scene has brought new life to Fogo's struggling fishing communities.

Best Time to Visit
Mid-June to Mid-September
Perfect For
Remote Island seekers
  • Go Hiking: Canada’s Flat Earth Society believes that Brimstone Head near the Town of Fogo Island is one of the four corners of the Earth. If you take the 2-kilometre trail to the top, you’ll find phenomenal views.
  • Look for icebergs & whales: Fogo Island borders the part of the ocean known as “Iceberg Alley”. This is where icebergs that have broken off of northern glaciers come floating down the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador in spring and early summer (usually late May to early June). Humpback whales also migrate through these waters, typically starting in mid-to-late June.
  • Forage for mushrooms and wild berries.
  • Visit Sandy Cove Beach: Fogo island is home to one of Newfoundland’s most beautiful beaches, Sandy Cove beach. It’s the perfect place to cool off if you’re visiting during the summer.
  • Visit the Fogo Inn: If you’ve heard of Fogo, you’ve likely heard of the Fogo Inn, the 5-star luxury hotel built on the island in 2013. The idea came from Zita Cobb, a local who went away to study and came back several decades later a multi-millionaire with a desire to turn the economic situation of Fogo Island around.
  • There is an airport in Gander, so the most direct way is to fly there and then drive to Farewell to take the ferry to Fogo.
  • Unfortunately, you can’t book the ferry to Fogo beforehand, so it’s a good idea to get there at least an hour before departure to ensure you get on as it only takes 64 vehicles at a time. It leaves five times a day, you can check the schedule here.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • The best time to see icebergs is mid-May to early June.
  • There are no public buses, taxis or car rental companies on Fogo Island, so most visitors rent cars and take the ferry. Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism advise that if you’re visiting in the summer months, you should book a rental car early.
  • Since an umbrella won’t do you much good in the wind, it’s a good idea to have rain pants and a breathable rain jacket on hand.
  • A pair of travel binoculars are useful for spotting whales and other wildlife.

    Budget

  • Peg’s Place $
  • Premium

  • Fogo Island Inn $$$

2Roatan, Honduras

Since Roatan is in the Caribbean, you will get tropical white sand beaches with turquoise water teeming with sea turtles, vibrant fish, and pods of squid. Roatan has amazing biodiversity, is safe and the way of life here is relaxed. It’s one of the most popular destinations around the world for solo travelers, families with kids, seniors, and backpackers alike. As the largest of the Bay Islands of Honduras, wedged in between the Utila and Guanaja Islands, Roatan is the ideal location for quiet mornings, jam-packed afternoons, and romantic evening strolls along the beachfront.

Best Time to Visit
February to April
Perfect For
Adventure seekers
  • Snorkelling: With its pristine waters and vibrant marine life, snorkeling in Roatán is among the best things to do on this island. There are over 100 snorkeling spots in Roatan. But snorkeling in Roatán’s West Bay is considered the best.
  • Scuba diving: Scuba diving put Roatan on the travel map, and one of the best locations to go diving in Roatán is in the seamount of the Roatán Banks just before Cayos. Here you’ll find everything from giant barrel sponges, to crabs hiding in the reef crevices and green morays.
  • Explore The Beaches on Roatan: The beaches on Roatán are havens of tranquillity and scenic beauty. West End beach is a hotspot for cruise ships, so make sure to visit this underrated beach before noon. The West End is the destination to go to if you’re looking for restaurants, beaches, and shops to explore on foot during those few minutes you’re taking a break from sunbathing or swimming.
  • Explore the Wild East End: Unlike the rest of the island, the East End of Roatán is undeveloped and feels much more in keeping with traditional country island living. At this end of the island, travelers can find a variety of birds, armadillos, iguanas, butterflies, and watusi (island rabbit) and the original forest growth make for a beautiful jungle hike.
  • Visit the Carambola Botanical Gardens: With 40 acres of natural wonders, the Carambola Botanical Gardens promises a walk on the wild side”. Here, travelers can explore the many jungle trails that offer excellent wildlife photography and bird watching. The Monkey La-La can be seen playing here.
  • Kiteboarding.
  • For weekly direct flights, travelers should take off from Miami, Minneapolis, or Houston.
  • For those traveling from Europe, there are occasionally charter flights to the island.
  • A daily boat will transport you to Roatán Island from La Ceiba, a port city on the north coast of Honduras.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • Renting a car is the best way to explore everything Roatan has to offer.
  • There are also taxis and shared shuttles available. Those staying on the water can get around by water taxi.
  • Spanish is the dominant language
  • Currency is Lempira.

    Budget

  • Hotel Chillies $
  • Mid-range

  • Blue Bahia Resort $$
  • Premium

  • Ibagari Boutique Hotel $$$

3Graham Island, Queen Charlotte Islands, Canada

Graham Island is the largest island in the Haida Gwaii archipelago, lying off the coast of British Columbia, Canada. It is separated only by a narrow channel from the other principal island of the group, Moresby Island. It has a population of 3,858 and is the 101st largest island in the world and Canada's 22nd largest island.

Best Time to Visit
June to September
Perfect For
Adventure seekers
  • Skidegate: The Haida community of Skidegate, on the shores of Rooney Bay, was known for years as Skidegate Mission. Located 2km north of the ferry terminal at Skidegate Landing, Skidegate is the cultural center of the Haida, where the visitor can examine art and cultural artifacts firsthand. The two ferry docks at Skidegate Landing serve ferries to Prince Rupert on the BC mainland and to Alliford Bay on Moresby Island.
  • North Beach: The fabulous North Beach in Naikoon Provincial Park is accessed from Masset, along scenic Tow Hill Road that cuts through a rain forest. At North Beach, according to Haida legend, raven first brought people into the world by coaxing them out of a clam shell, making North Beach the site of creation.
  • Explore The Beaches on Roatan: The beaches on Roatán are havens of tranquillity and scenic beauty. West End beach is a hotspot for cruise ships, so make sure to visit this underrated beach before noon. The West End is the destination to go to if you’re looking for restaurants, beaches, and shops to explore on foot during those few minutes you’re taking a break from sunbathing or swimming.
  • Kano Inlet: The beautiful Kano Inlet is located on the west coast of the Haida Gwaii islands, near the southwest end of Graham Island. There are no communities in this area, which includes the western portion of the Queen Charlotte Mountains.
  • Naikoon Provincial Park: The interior of the park remains undeveloped, and wilderness camping is permitted throughout the park. Three rustic wilderness shelters are located along East Beach near the mouths of Cape Ball and Oceanda Rivers, and at Fife Point
  • Access to Haida Gwaii is by ferry from Prince Rupert to the Skidegate Landing Ferry Terminal on Graham Island, from Vancouver to Sandspit.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • Carry enough cash to the island to ensure you don’t run into any issues.
  • The Hecate Strait, which separates it from the mainland, is considered one of the world’s most violent bodies of water, known for unpredictable swells.
  • Storms can arrive simultaneously from the open Pacific and the Gulf of Alaska, resulting in high wind speeds.
  • There are plenty of opportunities to hike and camp on your own, but to visit all the most impactful and moving Haida Heritage sites, you’ll want to sign up for a guided expedition.
  • Since half of the population of Haida Gwaii are Haida First Nations, ensure you respect the culture of the locals.

    Mid-range

  • Echo Bay Lodge $$
  • Spruce Point Lodge $$
  • Premium

  • Queen Charlotte Lodge $$$
  • Peregrine Lodge $$$

4Sapelo Island, Georgia, United States

Sapelo is a state-managed barrier island, the fourth largest in the chain of coastal Georgia islands between the Savannah and St. Marys rivers. Accessible only by passenger ferry, Sapelo provides a number of public access recreational, educational, and lodging opportunities. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages the island. DNR operates the ferry service and serves as state liaison for the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve, the University of Georgia Marine Institute, and the civilian Hog Hammock community, permanent home to about 70 full-time residents, many of whom are descended from the antebellum slaves of Sapelo's plantations.

Best Time to Visit
June to September
Perfect For
Remote Island seekers
  • Reynolds Mansion: The Georgia coast was once home to Sea Island cotton plantations. Once that era died, those plantations were replaced by gorgeous homes of America’s wealthiest tycoons. The descendants of slaves that once worked the cotton fields now manage these estates.
  • Chocolate Plantation Ruins: Not actually a place where chocolate was made, the plantation got its name from a Guale Indian village on the island of Chucalate. Visitors to the ruins must be escorted by a private land owner or a state employee, so if you’d like to see the Chocolate Ruins, be sure to schedule a tour.
  • Beach and Marsh Walk: Nanny Goat Beach and the Cabretta Campground beach on Sapelo are gorgeous undeveloped coastlines. Both have decent shelling, but the grey wind-withered trees that dot the landscape are even more alluring.
  • Sapelo Island Lighthouse: The Sapelo Island Lighthouse has big bright stripes all the way up. The best way to learn about the lighthouse is on one of the Sapelo Island Tours. If you have a vehicle, you can visit on your own, but it’s a bit of a hike on foot, so you’ll want some form of transportation.
  • Sapelo Island Tours: The best way to get a feel for Sapelo Island is through a tour. Whether your interest is history or nature, there is a tour that will fit the bill, but as with everything on Sapelo Island, you’ll want to plan ahead of time. Tours do not run on a set schedule, and this really is the best way to get an overview of the island
  • Sapelo Island is accessible by a Georgia state-run passenger ferry operated by the GA DNR. There are no roads going to Sapelo Island, therefore access to the island is restricted to pre-registered visitors only .
  • Google Maps Location.
  • Be warned that the island faces a few rainy days every month. It is better to carry an umbrella or rain jacket with you.
  • There are no roads going to Sapelo Island, therefore access to the island is restricted to pre-registered visitors only
  • To get around the island, you can rent bikes from the park service.
  • The island also has a small private airport run by the state of Georgia.
  • Visitors to the island must be a part of an organized tour or guests of residents on the island.

    Budget

  • Cabretta Campground $
  • Premium

  • Reynolds Mansion $$$

5Santa Catalina Island, California, United States

The mostly-uninhabited island is about as far removed from the intensity of Los Angeles as anywhere you can get for a day or weekend trip. The town was established in the 1920s by William Wrigley and at one time was both a training ground for the Chicago Cubs and a destination for Hollywood royalty, who danced in the lavish ballroom at the iconic Catalina Casino. Lots of the old-school charm that made it popular in the roaring ‘20s still exists in the main town of Avalon, though updates over the past decade have helped bring it into the 21st century, meaning it’s a great place to chill, party, or explore the outdoors, depending on what your vibe is.

Best Time to Visit
April to May, September to October
Perfect For
Remote Island seekers
  • Explore the island in a golf cart: If you’ve never been to Avalon before, perhaps the best place to start is in a rented golf cart. You can take it all the way to the Casino and Descanso Beach, up to the Wrigley Memorial and gardens, and around to the most picturesque vistas on the island.
  • Aerial views from a parasail: Adventure and relaxation combine to give you endless views of the island and a nice ocean breeze.
  • Zipline adventure: The zipline adventure takes you high above the trees for five 30 mph zips, and the aerial adventure, is a self-guided ropes course with five different paths ranging from the beginner to a Black Diamond.
  • The Bison Expedition: American bison were introduced to the island for a movie shoot early in the 20th century and multiplied thereafter. Catalina Island Conservancy maintains the herd at about 150 to protect the bison and the landscape, so you’re unlikely to see one strolling through town, but it’s worth taking the Bison Expedition tour both to check out the massive creatures in person.
  • Glass-bottom boat tour: check out all sorts of sea creatures, including the iconic Garibaldi, the protected California state fish that looks like a massive goldfish.
  • If you’re there in the summer, take a trip on the Flying Fish voyage, a nighttime excursion in which fish fly out of the water for 30-foot sprints.
  • Get out of town to Two Harbors: Two Harbors is a short boat trip away and feels even more like an escape than Avalon. It’s a great spot to go for complete off-the-grid hiking and relaxing and a completely worthwhile day-trip-within-your-weekend-trip for a change of scenery.
  • Take a daytime trip on the Sea Life Safari to watch for seals and dolphins.
  • By ferry: Catalina Express or Catalina Flyer from Dana Point, Long Beach, San Pedro or Newport Beach.
  • By helicopter: Departing from Long Beach, it is a 15-minute ride.
  • Google Maps Location.
  • Carry lots of activewear as you’ll be outdoors a lot.
  • Book your ferry tickets in advance.
  • Carry a good pair of hiking shoes.
  • The preferred mode of transport on the island is golf carts.

    Mid-range

  • Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel $$
  • Hotel Altwater $$
  • Premium

  • Catalina Island Hotel $$$
  • Catalina Canyon Inn $$$

Tips To Plan Your Island Vacation

Whether you're planning your next Island trip at the moment or you soon will be, here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you have the most fulfilling time. Preparation is the name of the game and allows you to have a stress-free vacation!

  • Familiarize yourself with the prevailing climate: Most island regions tend to have horrid conditions for a vacation during the monsoon. On the flip side, some locations get unbearably hot in the peak of summer. Depending on your personal preference, plan your trip to have the most ideal climate.
  • Explore the Island beyond your hotel: As tempting as it is to stay within the comforts of your hotel, particularly if you have everything you need at your fingertips. But you'd be missing out on the true island experience and leaving less satisfied than you could be.
  • Carry appropriate clothing: carry location and activity specific attire.
  • Pack a rainy day outfit: The weather on islands tends to change frequently and without much warning. Despite your best efforts to avoid the rain, it's best to be equipped to deal with it.
  • Carry bug spray: You are bound to come across insects on your venture to an island, particularly those that are a little more remote.
  • Confirm all rentals: If you’re planning on renting a car/two-wheeler while on vacation, confirm the arrangement prior to your arrival. You should also check what side of the road you'll be driving on.
  • Get all travel documents in order: Check if there are any additional travel forms/declarations that need to be made or permits that need to be attained.
  • Avoid peak travel times: Allows for better deals, fewer crowds, and a vacation that caters to your needs more attentively. However, you will need to take a call based on the island and prevailing climate in the off-season.
  • Plan water activities: Make arrangements with local tour providers for equipment and/or guided tours, or carry your own gear if you're the adventurous kind.
  • Learn the local language: You can get by in most places with English, no doubt. However, it doesn't hurt to learn the basics in the local language. If you're feeling lazy, carry a phrase book!
  • Carry plenty of cash: Not all places may accept card payments.
  • Prepare to be disconnected: Cell phone reception tends to be patchy on most islands. If it is imperative for you to have stable connection, ensure you make necessary arrangements.

So there you have it, our list of the top islands in the world. Whether you're looking for a remote hideaway, an adventurous voyage or the classic tropical experience, there's bound to be an island that suits you. All that's left is for you to choose your island and head out. You might find yourself basking in the glory of one of these islands sooner than you think. We hope you found this helpful!

Navigate your Beach Guide