I have always loved travelling and I was lucky enough to have a profession which took me all over the world. However business visits can only be cities and I have always been a sucker for beaches and islands. I managed to tick one of my list with my visit to Maldives last year but there are so many more I know I have to visit and I thought it would be good to share my list of the must visit Islands with you.
You must have seen some amazing pictures of beaches, caves, cliffs etc. on postcards and I assure you they are very real. My idea of paradise are these islands and their beaches and I intend to visit every one of them before I die. So get ready to be blown away by the most beautiful islands in the world.
1. THE MALDIVES
The Maldives, another tropical paradise comprises of 26 natural atolls consisting of dual island chains. Each of these islands is home to a resort and offers stunning beaches and unforgettable underwater experience. The reef structure around these islands has one of the most spectacular underwater life making it the destination to visit for diving, snorkeling and scuba diving for marine life enthusiasts. There are close to 100 resorts providing a varied choice from a budget to a luxury traveller. There is probably no better place to relax than the islands of Maldives making it one of the most envied and sought after destinations in the tropics.
2. BORA BORA, the Islands of Tahiti
Bora Bora is a volcano set on one of the most beautiful lagoons in the world. This is one of the few places in the World you can only wish to experience once in a lifetime. Thanks to the perfect beaches, mesmerizing lagoons and unforgettable sunsets, Bora Bora is undoubtedly one of the best islands for a romantic getaway. Luxury resorts, floating villas and overwater bungalows with a view of the underwater lagoon life make the stay a stunning experience that would enamour you forever. Getting here is not to difficult as there are non stop flights from LA here. Bora Bora is a trip of a lifetime and not to be missed.
3. SANTORINI, Greece
Any island destination is automatically quite romantic but throw in a volcano, colourful villages and greek architecture and you get one of the top destinations in Europe – SANTORINI. Known to be one of the most romantic destinations in the World, Santorini was once the site of volcanic eruptions and now the area is dotted with colorful villages with stunning views of the Sea. The clear blue waters, Santorini famous sunset and amazing gastronomic experience makes it an island I must include in my list.
4. WHITSUNDAYS, Australia
The Whitsunday Islands are a collection of 74 tropical islands just off the Queensland coast next to the Great Barrier Reef. Only 5 of the islands are resorts and are considered to be one of the most popular tourist destinations for travellers to Australia. The main commercial center is Hamilton Island with Whitehaven Beach being the best beach in the Whitsundays. The Great Barrier Reef with its beautiful coral reefs and species of sea animals is also one of the most popular yachting destinations in the Southern Hemisphere.Imagine a place that is nothing but sun and sand, a tropical state of mind.
5. BIG ISLAND, Hawaii
Since we are talking about islands with a volcano connection, we cannot miss – Hawaii. Hawaii is home to many and has been popular for a long while now as having some of the best maintained beaches in the World. The welcoming and warm Aloha spirit makes the island a laid back and simple vacations be it for honeymooners or a family with kids. So whether you are looking to bathe in the crystal waterfall pools, soak in rays on the golden sand beaches or go on a Cruise, this destination has it all.
The Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, located off East Africa. This island destination has been named as the ‘Top 20 Most Beautiful Wedding Destinations in the World’ by People’s Daily. It is one of the more isolated yet most sought after locations for newly weds including our very own Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan. The island is not very commercialised hence getting away from the hustle and bustle of tourist spot making it a travellers dream. The beaches you see often in the movies are probably the world famous Anse Source d’Argent, Anse Takamaka and Anse Lazio. In addition to the luxury options, Seychelles offers guesthouses run by families that are easier on the wallet for the budgeted traveller.
7. BALI , Indonesia
Bali known as the “Island of the Gods” is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the World. Bali offers stunning beaches, exciting surf spots, wonderful exotic temples and palaces and warm hospitality for the adventure seekers as well as tranquility vacationers. The island has some amazing beach and luxury resorts in Kuta, Seminyak and Jimbaran also known for their surfing spots. For those who crave for peace and quiet, the eastern beach resorts in Sanur, Candidasa and Nusa Dua would be ideal. Another place not to be missed is Ubud known for the cultural enthusiasts with picturesque highlands, shops and sightseeing stops. Bali is the perfect holiday destination for all ages offering something for everyone.
Jamaica known as the “birthplace of reggae,” is a Caribbean country which boasts a cultural vibrance, colorful African vibe in the setting of golden beaches, majestic mountains, turquoise seas, coral reefs and rainforests. These islands with its gorgeous beaches offer just the place for relaxation and unwinding. This Caribbean country home to Bob Marley comes with its own soundtrack with its pulsating beats where music is way of life. Rushing waterfalls, Jah’s gardens, hiking the mountains are just some of the activities you can indulge in this beautiful country.
Nothing comes to mind when I hear Ibiza other than “PARTY”. Thanks to the commercialization over the last few years, Ibiza has been known to have a raving nightlife scene with famous clubs all over the world having a spot here. Located in the Mediterranean Sea ,150 kilometers from the city of Valencia in Spain, Ibiza is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. The island also has a peaceful and cultural side and boasts of some unique and rich history too. Once here, you can pick what kind of scene suits you best or better enjoy both worlds Ibiza has to offer you
This archipelago of islands is part of the Ecuador and is more of a destination for the wildlife and photography enthusiasts. Some species like the land iguana and the giant tortoise can be found nowhere else on earth. This is probably one of the few places left on the planet where the wildlife is free to roam and humans for a change, don’t take the center stage.
If the above has got you thinking, then you know it’s time to start planning on making your exotic island travel plan dreams a reality.
References: Lonely Planet; Wikitravel; Maldives Tourism; Indonesia Tourism; Tahiti Tourisme; Greeka; Santorini Tourism; Visit Greece; Jamaica Tourism; Seychelles Travel; Hawaii Tourism; Australia Tourism.
Picture Courtesy : Pixabay, RJ Heart & Soul.