Most Amazing Islands to Visit on Your Next Vacation

Relax and let us take you around the world. Visit the most sought after islands as well as archipelagos. Maybe you can decide where you’ll be going on your next vacation. Or if money is tight, at least plan your bucket list trips with the help of this extensive slideshow.

[44] Bora Bora

Bora Bora

Known as the Jewel of the South Seas, Bora Bora is one of the most sought-after vacation spots on Earth. In fact, the island is an internationally acclaimed honeymoon destination. This island, which lies just northwest of Tahiti in French Polynesia, is also known for its famously translucent lagoon and its iconic Mount Otemanu.

[43] Palawan, Philippines

Palawan

Referred to by some as the world’s best island, Palawan boasts pure, sugar-white beaches, stunning limestone rock formations, more than 600 species of birds, and one of the longest subterranean rivers in the world (the Puerto Princesa Underground River). There’s also great cuisine, and the locals are warm and friendly.

[42] Páros, Greece

Paros Island

Located in the heart of the Cyclades, this Greek island is one of the best places to visit in Europe. From its natural beaches to its ancient monuments (e.g. the sanctuary of Delian Apollo and Artemis), to its great food, cosmopolitan nightlife, and friendly locals, Páros has it all. And, if you’re looking to take in even more culture and food, Athens is just a few hours away by ferry.

[41] The Seychelles

Seychelles

Considered by some to be the most beautiful islands on Earth, the Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 idyllic islands scattered across the Indian Ocean, between 480 km and 1,600 km from the east coast of Africa. These islands fall under two distinct groups: The tall granite, Inner Islands cluster and the low-lying coralline cays, atolls and reef islands of the Outer Islands cluster.

The Seychelles boasts an always-warm climate as well as some of the rarest species of flora and fauna in the world.

[40] Santorini, Greece

Santorini Island

This crescent-shaped “precious gem of the Aegean,” as it’s more affectionately known, is a group of islands consisting of Thíra, Thirassiá, Asproníssi, Palea and Nea Kaméni in the southernmost part of Cyclades. Considered to be the most sought after place for a romantic getaway in Greece, Santorini boasts picturesque towns, vast vineyards, famous archaeological sites, and volcanic beaches.

[39] Maldives

Maldives Island

Known as “the tropical paradise,” the Maldives is a sovereign archipelagic nation located in the Indian Ocean. Its geography and topography are truly unique in that there’s no other place on Earth that resembles this nation. It has pure-white sandy beaches, over 5,000 coral reefs, and tons of of reef fish, corals, and many other forms of marine life. This tropical nation has separated islands and each of them is surrounded by its own lagoon. As for its climate, the Maldives is warm and sunny year-round, with cooling sea breezes and periodic rain.

[38] The Cook Islands

Cook Island

Located in the South Pacific, the Cook Islands are a pristine paradise. The Cook Islands boasts a warm and sunny climate all year round, with an average yearly temperature of 82°F. There are hotels and resorts set by the beach in lush tropical gardens. And, perhaps best of all, there are no branded resorts, no skyscrapers, and no traffic lights. Still, the islands are able to offer modern conveniences — all at prices to fit anyone’s budget.

[37] Bali, Thailand

Bali

According to Bali.com, this unique place offers “great beaches, countless waves for surfing and wonderful natural sites to visit and explore, colorful ceremonies, and gifted artists.” There’s also lots of hotels and resorts, privately-serviced villas, restaurants, bars, shopping, and world-class activities. And, best of all, Bali has a very high value-for-money-ratio! In other words, it’s an affordable trip regardless of your budget.

[36] The Dalmatian Islands

Dalmatian Islands

Croatia’s Dalmatian Islands are much like Cook Islands. There isn’t much industry, just lots of natural beauty, including grapevines, olive trees, pine trees, lavender, rosemary, crystal-clear water, sandy beaches, towns with Roman ruins and other unique architecture, and miles of limestone bedrock. Plus, each island in Dalmatia has its own unique charm and atmosphere.

[35] Kauai, Hawaii

Kauai Hawaii

Sometimes called the “Garden Island,” Kauai is Hawaii’s fourth largest island and is home to sharp mountain spires, jagged cliffs, tropical rainforests, waterfalls, lush valleys, and forking rivers. Visitors can enjoy numerous outdoor adventures, including kayaking on the Wailua River, snorkeling on Poipu Beach, hiking the trails of Kokee State Park, and ziplining above the valleys. They can also explore the rich culture and laid-back atmosphere found in the island’s small towns.

[34] St. Lucia

St Lucia

Warm, sandy white beaches, soothing waves, and friendly locals aren’t all this extraordinary island has to offer. Tourists can also snorkel in St. Lucia’s pristine waters, explore abandoned sugar plantations, soak in the volcanic mud baths of Soufrièreand, or watch a live sea turtle hatch at dusk. For the more adventurous among you, there’s always zip-lining through lush rainforests or riding ATVs through the countryside. And, while you’re there, don’t forget to sample the authentic island food.

FUN FACT: St. Lucia is the only sovereign nation named for a woman.

[33] Capri, Italy

Capri Island

A jagged coast, famous sea stacks, huge boulders, and numerous caves are just some of what this island has to offer. Thought to be discovered by ancient Romans, Capri also boasts boutiques and artisan studios with “Made in Italy” products, as well as flavorful cuisine tied to the island’s maritime and peasant traditions.

[32] Ko Phi Phi, Thailand

Ko Phi Phi

Located to the west of the “knee” in the Andaman Sea, Phi Phi actually consists of two islands: Ko Phi Phi Don and Ko Phi Phi Leh. Ko Phi Phi Don is home to several seafood restaurants, reggae bars, and coffee shops. There are no motorcars, though. Ko Phi Phi Leh is the smaller of the two and is only accessible by tour or chartered fishing boat.

One of the most popular island destinations in Thailand, Ko Phi Phi has unparalleled beaches, stunning limestone cliffs, and pristine waters. In fact, Ko Phi Phi is so picturesque, Maya Bay (located on Koh Phi Phi Leh) was used as a film location for the movie “The Beach” starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Aside from its beaches, Ko Phi Phi also has numerous hiking trails, steep cliffs with breathtaking views, and a national marine park.

[31] Whitsunday, Australia

Whitsunday Islands

Located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, on the tropical coast of Queensland, Whitsunday is one of Australia’s most iconic destinations. It’s made up of a group of 74 islands offering stunning natural landscapes of coast and islands, secluded beaches, and friendly towns. While there, you can relax on one of the world’s best beaches, go sailing on a bareboat or chartered boat, dive into the reef, visit a national park, enjoy the colorful reefs, or just stick your toes in the white sand.

[30] Sardinia, Italy

Sardinia

Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Sardinia is mostly a mountainous region, although it lacks high peaks. What it does have is lots of charm. Its natural contrasts, lights and colors leave visitors in awe. The region is also rich in flora and fauna, including mouflons, golden eagles, Sardinian deer and several other species that are now, unfortunately, threatened with extinction. There are forests with thousand-year-old trees, marshes inhabited by deer, wild horses, rapacious birds, and even an enchanting cove that resembles the antlers of a deer!

[29] St. Barts

St Barts

St. Barts was primarily a French colony when first discovered, so you can expect to find French cultural and architectural influences as well as Creole cuisine and traditional French cooking techniques. This Caribbean island also boasts 14 public beaches and luxurious outdoor dining experiences. According to U.S. News & World Report, St. Barts “is ideal for those seeking a Euro-themed utopia.”

By the way, don’t forget to get a snapshot of the free-roaming iguanas while you’re there.

[28] Phuket, Thailand

James Bond Island

This beach destination in Thailand boasts fine white sands, sparkling seas, palm trees, lively towns, and more than 30 beaches. If you’re looking for a super romantic place to vacation, head to the island’s Northside. If you need a bit of downtime, you can enjoy a serene cruise around Phang Nga Bay. Or, if you’re looking for a bit of adventure, you can take a speedboat trip to nearby Phi Phi Islands.

[27] The Big Island, Hawaii

Big Island Hawaii

This island is the largest and most volcanically active of all the Hawaiian islands, and as you probably guessed, its #1 tourist attraction is a volcano. The Kilauea volcano, to be exact. It’s one of the most active volcanoes in the world. The Big Island is also home to the world’s tallest sea mountain as well as white, black, and green sand beaches!

FUN FACT: There are 13 climate zones in total in the world. Eight of them are on The Big Island.

[26] Hvar, Croatia

Hvar Croatia

This UNESCO Heritage Site is known for its delicious wine — something they’ve been making for 2,400 years. As such, tourists can go on guided cycling tours around farm plots and enjoy a tasting at a local family winery.

[25] Martinique

Martinique Caribbean

This French Caribbean island offers stunning beaches, tropical rainforests, a volcano, varied landscape, towering cathedrals, and a cosmopolitan culture. Beware though: Vacationing in Martinique is not cheap. And, because the country’s currency is the euro, the U.S. dollar won’t go far there.

[24] Cocos Keeling, Australia

Cocos Keeling

Referred to as Australia’s last unspoiled paradise, Cocos Keeling lies in the waters of the Indian Ocean. As such, it’s the perfect location for snorkeling, diving, fishing, and even kitesurfing. And, if peace and quiet are what you’re looking for, this group of coral islands is perfect for relaxing on empty beaches, bird watching, or getting some downtime on one of its many uninhabited islands.

[23] Paxos, Greece

Paxos Greece

Paxos is one of the least commercial Greek Islands in the Ionian Sea and is only 7 miles by 3. That means you can easily explore its clear aquamarine waters and pebble beaches by foot or bike. You can also walk or bike to one of its seafront cafes, and, while there, watch local fishermen bring in their catch. Then, take time to chat it up with one of the many friendly locals. TIP: Don’t take offense if they speak loud and fast. They’re not arguing with you, that’s just the way they talk.

[22] Samoa

Samoa

Samoa has plenty of scenery to offer, including turquoise waters, white sand beaches, lush green interior, and many archaeological sites. There are also lots of outdoor activities such as swimming, diving, and hiking. You can also discover Samoa’s age-old culture and traditions at the Samoa Cultural Village.

[21] Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe Caribbean

Shaped like a butterfly, Guadeloupe is a 630-square-mile island duo connected by a bridge over the Rivière Salée. Its eastern island is flat and dry, with cane fields, white sand beaches and resort areas, whereas its western island is mountainous and dense with rain forests. There are also beaches, world-class diving, towering waterfalls, and a dormant volcano.

[20] Corsica, France

Corsica France

Mountain biking, stony cliffs, surfing, stand-up paddling, several hundred miles of fine sandy beaches, an 18-hole golf course, and a network of footpaths used to explore rustic villages are just some of what this island in the Mediterranean Sea has to offer.

[19] Miyako Island, Japan

Miyako Island Japan

Miyako Island is a coral island with many of the best beaches in Japan — and even in the Far East for that matter! And, the waters are truly exquisite. They range in color from emerald green to navy blue. Because Miyako Island is known for its beautiful beaches, you can expect many outdoor activities that are water related, including jet skiing, boat rides, and parasailing.

[18] The Azores

Azores Portugal

Volcanic mountain peaks, ancient fishing villages, bubbling hot springs, and vast, untouched landscapes — it doesn’t get much better than this. And, that’s not all that this remote nine-island archipelago has to offer. There’s also yachting, week-long spa retreats, great food and music, and exciting marine life.

[17] Isla Navarino, Chile

Navarino Chile

One of the most captivating things about Isla Navarino’s wonderful landscape is its Dientes de Navarino, a mountain range covered by Magellanic forests. Translated, Dientes de Navarino means Navarino Teeth. As you would have guessed, the mountain range got its name because it resembles teeth. Other features of Isla Navarino’s landscape include peat mud flats with lakes and fauna-rich lagoons.

[16] Dominica

Dominica Island

Dominica, not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, is an island in the Caribbean with towering trees, lush green forests, and winding rivers. But, unlike so many other islands on this list, tourists usually don’t visit just for the fine sand beaches and resorts. Instead, Dominica attracts nature enthusiasts looking to enjoy the island’s well-preserved local forestry and wildlife. And, because Dominica is so adamant in its preservation and conservation efforts, it’s considered one of the most pristine and well-preserved places in the Western Hemisphere.

[15] Isle of Skye, Scotland

Isleof Skye Scotland

If wildlife watching is one of your favorite pastimes, then the Isle of Skye in the Highlands of Scotland is the spot for you. There you’ll find the White Tailed Sea Eagle, whales, seals, dolphins, otters and red deer, to name a few. Isle of Skye is also perfect for tourists who love hiking and climbing. The Cuillin Range, for example, offers 12 mountains with peaks above 3,000 feet high.

[14] Milos, Greece

Milos Greece

Gorgeous landscapes, uniquely shaped and colored rocks, underwater caves, thermal springs, ancient mines, early Christian catacombs, sleeping volcanoes, and a network of dirt roads leading to beautiful secluded beaches are just some of the exciting things you can find in Milos. And, after a full day of all those adventures, you’ll want to take time out to sample the watermelon pies, cream cheese pies, and bonbons with white pumpkin!

[13] Reunion Island

Reunion Island

East of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean lies Reunion Island — one of the most unusual islands on Earth. So, what makes it so unusual? For one, it’s people live inside craters — maybe not all of them but some of them do. That’s because this volcanic island is covered in craters so large that entire villages can be found inside them. Reunion Island is also home to the heaviest rain storms on the planet. It’s also the world’s most dangerous place for shark attacks. But, don’t let that stop you from visiting. Reunion Island is also known as a popular destination for sun and sand. It’s also home to the Indian Ocean’s highest peak.

[12] Maui, Hawaii

Maui Hawaii

Also known as “The Valley Isle,” Maui is Hawaii’s second largest island. It’s loved for its world-famous beaches, migrating humpback whales, majestic sunrises and sunsets, and the beloved Iao Valley State Park, a park for visitors who like the tropical flora of Hawaii.

[11] Koh Lanta, Thailand

Koh Lanta Thailand

Also spelled Ko Lanta, this little spot located just off the coast of Krabi is one of Thailand’s most beautiful islands. It has a long coastline with nearly a dozen of the finest beaches in the country. What’s more is that each beach has its own unique charm. The small island is also a world renowned area for diving and snorkeling.

[10] Crete, Greece

Crete Greece

Crete is the largest island in Greece, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and boasts beautiful beaches, impressive mountainscapes, steep gorges, fertile valleys, and ancient ruins.

[9] Anguilla Island

Anguilla Island

Anguilla Island is loved by celebrities — and for good reason. This island located in the British West Indies is known for having a tradition of protecting privacy. So, if a secluded Caribbean getaway is what you’re after, Anguilla Island is the perfect spot. Additionally, there are 33 free, public beaches and more than 70 restaurants — some of which are waterfront — to choose from. TIP: The island’s Atlantic-facing north coast has more remote beaches than other parts of the island.

[8] Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Dubbed by Marco Polo as as one of the finest islands in the world, Sri Lanka has many beautiful sights, including beaches, jungles, temples, statues, archaeological sites, tea plantations, tall mountains, charming colonial towns, and well-preserved ruins.

Located on the island’s southeast coast is Yala National Park, an important sanctuary for Sri Lankan elephants and aquatic birds. It’s also home to the highest concentration of leopards in the world. Other wildlife that can be found there include monkeys and crocodiles.

[7] Tahiti Island

Tahiti

This is the largest island in French Polynesia. It has a mountainous interior, pristine waters, towering waterfalls, beautiful varieties of birds, and a bustling marine life. And, on Tahiti Island you can literally swim with the sharks! Go ahead, we dare you, LOL!

[6] Cyprus

Cyprus

Cyprus is an island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea that has been renowned since ancient times for its mineral wealth, wines, and natural beauty. As such, Cyprus is rich in history and culture. Sights and activities include beaches, diving, nature trails, wine routes, religious routes, cultural routes, cycling routes, harbors, and monuments.

[5] Corfu, Greece

Corfu

Corfu Island sits in the middle of the Ionian Sea. It was strongly influenced by the Venetians, the French and the English, and therefore has a cosmopolitan culture. Corfu Island also has one-of-a-kind beaches, sandy coves, mountains, green forests, cobblestone alleys, and picturesque seaside villages.

[4] North Island, New Zealand

North Island New Zealand

On New Zealand’s North Island, you’ll find active volcanoes, rugged mountains, steep gorges, lush forests, sprawling farmlands, geothermal hotspots, serene beaches, and vibrant cities rich in culture.

[3] British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands are a collection of 60 islands and cays. This Caribbean paradise attracts wealthy visitors who have a love for sailing and seclusion. Mountainous cliffs, chalk white beaches, and calm easterly winds also attract tourists. But, perhaps the most spectacular attraction of all is The Baths, a 7-acre national park comprised of massive granite boulders, secret rock pools, and white sand beaches.

[2] Canary Islands

Canary Islands

The Canary Islands is Spain’s “tropical paradise.” It boasts beautiful beaches, soft sands, aquamarine waters, golf courses, and waves surfers would go crazy over. There are also four national parks, including the Nacional del Teide, which contains the world’s third-largest volcano. And, get this: Tourists can hike it!

[1] Fiji

masima

Located in the heart of the South Pacific, Fiji is made up of 333 tropical islands. It’s known for its white sand beaches, pristine ocean waters, secluded waterfalls, abundant wildlife, luxurious private-islands, all-inclusive resorts, top spas, and outdoor adventures. But, it’s also celebrated for its culture and is home to “some of the happiest people on Earth” — that’s according to the nation’s official tourism website. It also notes that Fiji is an ideal vacation destination for divers, honeymooners, families, and anyone just looking to relax.