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When it comes to visiting new and exciting places, few can compare to the charm and beauty of windswept or exotic islands found around the world. 

From tropical beaches to breathtaking mountain ranges, there is an island out there for every traveler (and budget) who wants to get away from it all, enjoy some time off work, or just unwind and relax. 

In this guide, we’ll go through some of the best islands to visit in the world for beach lovers and highlight their best attributes.

Best Islands To Visit Around The World

Whether you want to find amazing beaches, a place to hang out, see dolphins, or just relax, below are some of the most beautiful islands, offering activities and natural wonders that are unlike anything else in your travels.

1. Aruba

Aruba

Aruba is a tropical paradise. It’s one of the best Caribbean islands, with crystal clear waters, glowing coral reefs, pristine beaches, and lush vegetation. Aruba is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Flamingo Beach, Palm Beach, and Eagle Beach are a few. 

The Natural Pool, Arikok National Park, and Ayo & Casibari Rock Formations are also among the must-see sights in Aruba.

Flamingo Beach in Aruba

You’ll find many things to do in Aruba, such as diving, snorkeling, fishing, and more. If you’re looking for adventure and fun, Aruba’s got you covered! 

Where To Stay?

Aruba offers several accommodation options for all types of travelers. You can choose hotel accommodations, beachfront resorts, family-friendly villas, or even private homes or apartments for your island vacation. Here are some of the best places to stay in this tropical paradise:

How To Get Around?

Renting a car to drive around Aruba is one of the most popular ways. But if you’re visiting with your family, it can be an expensive option.

Thankfully, there are other options available in Aruba that are much more affordable. Options like bus, taxi, and guided tours. 

Guided Tours:

Guided tours offer great value for money and keep everybody safe simultaneously. To get around Aruba safely and for a lower cost, consider booking one of these guided tours:

2. Sardinia, Italy 

Sardinia, Italy

Whether you’re seeking island getaways or family vacations, Sardinia is one of the best options. It’s located about 200 kilometers from mainland Italy in the Mediterranean Sea. 

It’s the second largest Mediterranean island after Sicily. Sardinia has been known for its natural beauty since ancient times. 

Cave Grotto in Sardinia

The north of Sardinia is known for its mountainous landscape, hidden bays, turquoise sea, vibrant coral reefs, and enchanting towns.

Where To Stay?

Sardinia has a variety of accommodations, from historic hotels to modern four-star resorts. Here are some of the best places to stay in Sardinia:

How To Get Around?

Getting around Sardinia is easy and convenient with public transportation such as buses and trains. If you plan to explore several towns and villages throughout the island, renting a car can be one of the best options.

Guided Tours:

Many tourists have difficulty figuring out where and how to get around their new favorite island vacation spots. If that sounds like you, take a look at these guided tours:

See Related: How Much is a Trip to Italy: Average Cost Per Day

3. The Maldives

Maldives

The Maldives has one of the best tropical islands in the world. This paradise island is a collection of 1,190 stunning islands and atolls, each with its own distinct shape and color.

If you want peace, a beach, and warmth, you can’t go wrong with a vacation in the Maldives. The white sand beaches, turquoise waters with colorful coral reefs, and tranquil lagoons of the island are ideal for swimming and snorkeling.

Beach in Maldives

What’s more, the resort islands of the Maldives are a very safe travel destination. There is practically no crime on these stunning islands, so you can enjoy your holiday without worrying.

Where To Stay?

The Maldives’ spas are world-class. The noble treatment rooms are usually located in pavilions on the water. Here are our top picks for different budgets:

How To Get Around?

To get around the Maldives, you can take a ferry, a yacht, a seaplane, a Dhoni charter, or a speedboat. Walking is by far the best way to get around the Maldives since it costs nothing, and you will see so much of the island this way.

Guided Tours:

When you visit the Maldives, you’ll find yourself surrounded by an array of stunning sights, including pristine beaches, turquoise lagoons, tiny uninhabited islands covered in coconut trees, and even a few palm-fringed beaches. To get the most out of your visit, book one of these guided tours:

See Related: Bora Bora vs The Maldives: What’s the Difference?

4. Kauai, Hawaii 

Kauai, Hawaii

When it comes to island getaways, Kauai is one of the best islands in the US to visit. Kauai is the oldest inhabited island of Hawaii.  

Kauai is known as the “Garden Island” due to its tropical rainforest and lush green mountains that cover most of the island. The rest of the island consists of dramatic coastal landscapes, a dry canyon, and a crystal clear sea with amazing beaches and coral reefs.

Hiking Trail in Kauai

What’s more, Kauai has also served as the backdrop for many Hollywood movies. Jurassic Park, Avatar, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides are a few to name.

Where To Stay?

There are plenty of places to stay on Kauai, whether you’re in Lihue or another area on the Big Island. Here are four places that I love for different budgets:

How To Get Around?

With a large tourism industry, Kauai has several ways to get around. One of the most common ways to get around is by renting a car. Other modes of transportation include buses, private shuttles, taxis, bikes, or even on foot.

Guided Tours:

For a more adventurous visit, make sure to check out the following guided tours:

See Related: Best Island to Visit in Hawaii: What’s Best for You?

5. Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece

If you’re looking for the best Greek islands with plenty of things to do and see, Santorini is the place for you. On the island of Santorini, a lot of lava rock gives it an unusual look. The rocks on the island were formed over hundreds of years as volcanic eruptions took place. 

The most popular activities on the island include hiking in the mountains around Fira or Oia and swimming in beautiful blue pools at Kamari or Perissa. You can also walk along one of the many paths around Fira or Oia to enjoy breathtaking views along the way!

Santorini Sea View

Where To Stay?

The capital of Santorini is Fira, where you can find many hotels and restaurants. Also, there are several villages on the island where you can stay in a Greek family home or a hotel with a swimming pool. Some of the best places to stay are:

How To Get Around?

To get around, you can either walk or take the bus. Walking is most enjoyable, but the bus is useful for destinations that are further apart. Buses are available from Fira to many locations around the island. The buses are the cheapest option but take a little longer than taxis.

Guided Tours:

If this is your first time visiting, I recommend checking out these tour guided tours:

See Related: Best Things to do in Santorini, Greece

6. Corsica, France

Corsica, France

Corsica is a popular island destination thanks to its warm climate, dramatic mountain peaks, and stunning coastline. It offers a rich history with many old traditions and antique buildings around the island. 

The island’s capital is Ajaccio, where you can find a lot of museums and art galleries. It also has some interesting churches and cathedrals worth seeing. Corsica is also well-known for its idyllic beaches, such as those on Cap Corse, Calvi, and Bastia. The coastlines are dotted by small fishing villages that have preserved their traditional ways of life.

Corsica Island

Some of the rarest animals and plants can also be spotted on Corsica. Many of these are in the Parc Naturel Régional de Corse, a natural park in Corsica.

Where To Stay?

From the medieval city of Ajaccio to amazing beaches and bustling cities, there are plenty of places to stay in Corsica. Take a look at these accommodations for an unforgettable Mediterranean atmosphere:

How To Get Around?

It doesn’t matter whether you want to take a day trip from Ajaccio or explore off-the-beaten-path areas, renting a car will make it easy for you to get around the island in style.

Guided Tours:

If you don’t have the time or means to drive around on your own, consider booking one of these guided tours:

See Related: Most Beautiful Villages in France

7. Capri, Italy 

Capri, Italy

Capri is also one of the best islands in the world for many, many reasons. It has a beautiful landscape, authentic Italian cuisine, great shopping, and a lot of archaeological sites that you can explore. 

Capri is a small island surrounded by beautiful water, cliffs, and hills. The Marina Grande is Capri’s largest port, where speedboats, ferries, and many excursion boats dock.

Capri

Capri is best known for its three beautiful blue, green, and white caves. Boats can be used to cruise them, and you can even see their beauty from the inside if the water level is high enough.

Where To Stay? 

Many hotels and resorts in Capri offer excellent service. Here are our top favorites:

How To Get Around?

To get to most major sites, the easiest and most economical way to travel is by foot or bus. The island has only one road and parking spaces are extremely limited, so car rentals are difficult to obtain. Taxis on the island tend to be quite expensive. A bus takes visitors around the island for a couple of euros.

Guided Tours:

If you’d like a hassle-free visit, I highly recommend booking one of these guided tours:

See Related: How Much is a Trip to Italy: Average Cost Per Day

8. Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda in Caribbean sea

Antigua and Barbuda are among the best Caribbean islands. The country has a tropical climate with warm weather all year round.

Antigua is popular with its natural beauty, warm weather, and laid-back lifestyle. Barbuda is known as one of the best tropical islands to snorkel in the Caribbean Sea because of its clear waters and coral reefs surrounding its shores.

Antigua and Barbuda

This tropical paradise also has several waterfalls and caves that are worth exploring. Other popular attractions include white and pink sand beaches, national parks & museums, and shopping & dining options on various levels.

Where To Stay?

The capital city of Aruba, Saint John’s, is home to many different shops, restaurants, and hotels that are popular with tourists worldwide. Here are our top picks for different budgets:

How To Get Around?

There are several ways to get around Antigua and Barbuda, but I recommend having a car with you. The road network is good, and you’ll be able to experience many hidden gems. But you should be prepared for dirt roads and steep hills.

Guided Tours:

For adventure seekers out there, I highly recommend booking one of these tours:

See Related: Hidden Gems in the Caribbean Sea (You Can’t Miss)

9. Mallorca, Spain 

Mallorca, Spain

Mallorca is the next best island to visit on my list. This tropical island is known for its gourmet restaurants, cozy bars, and its own distinctive culture.

You’ll find splendid stone houses, narrow streets, wide avenues, and alleyways here. It has become one of the trendy island destinations with breathtaking limestone cliffs, longest seafronts, secluded beaches, renowned restaurants, and hip designer hotels. 

Mallorca Island

Mallorca is also home to the famous artist Antoni Miró. On the outskirts of Palma is a well-attended museum dedicated to him. Every year, thousands of tourists come to the island to visit the museum. 

Where To Stay?

The best place to stay in Mallorca is a matter of personal preference. If you’re looking for a relaxing holiday in the sun and sea, you could opt for the quieter holiday resorts. For a bit of culture, art, and history, plenty of boutique hotels are located around the island. Here are our top picks:

How To Get Around?

Mallorca is an excellent tropical island for walking, cycling, and exploring. One of the most popular ways to get around the island is by renting a car. 

Guided Tours:

Getting around can be intimidating if you’re new to the island. I recommend checking out these top guided tours for an unforgettable experience:

10. Seychelles

Seychelles

Seychelles is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. It’s a group of 115 tropical islands in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Africa. The main tropical islands include Mahé and Praslin, as well as a few other smaller islands.

Seychelles has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Wherever you go on the island, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful palm trees and white sand.

Giant tortoises in Seychelles

What’s more, Seychelles is home to one of the world’s oldest giant tortoises, Jonathan. The main features of these topical islands are their breathtaking beauty, with turquoise lagoons, coral reefs, pink and white sand beaches, and stunning waterfalls.

Where To Stay?

This archipelagic tropical island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s famous for its luxury resorts and fine sand beaches. Here are our top picks:

How To Get Around?

Seychelles is a great place, but it has its drawbacks. The biggest one is the lack of public transport. There are no trains in Seychelles, and you have to rely on buses and private cars to get around the island. The best way to get around Seychelles is by chartered boat. 

Guided Tours:

If you’re looking for something more active, plenty of excursions are available on these tropical islands. Here are our top recommendations:

See Related: Most Beautiful Cities in the World

11. Ko Phi Phi, Thailand 

Ko Phi Phi, Thailand

Ko Phi Phi, also known as Phi Phi Island, is one of the best tropical islands located in the Indian Ocean. This archipelagic island is located in the Andaman Sea of Thailand.

It’s known for its beautiful surroundings and stunning beaches, making it one of the most beautiful islands in Asia. Whether you’re traveling with your family or friends, you can find something fun to do here. 

Ko Phi Phi Beach

What’s more, Leonardo DiCaprio’s hit film, “The Beach,” was also filmed at  Ko Phi Phi. Phi Phi’s most famous sites include Bamboo Island, Ton Sai Beach, Ko Phi Phi Lee, Viking Cave, Phi Phi Viewpoint 3, Phi Phi Don Island, and many more. 

Where To Stay?

Thailand is home to some of the world’s best beaches, so you won’t struggle to find a place to stay that suits your needs. With both budget and luxury accommodation on offer, there’s always somewhere to stay in Ko Phi Phi. Here are our top picks:

How To Get Around?

Transportation around the islands is limited. Walking is the only option for the main village area on the big island. But it’s not suitable for traveling to other Koh Phi Phi islands. Water taxis can be hired to take you around or to the beaches in the north and west.

Guided Tours:

Guided tours can be an excellent option for first-time visitors or families who are looking for hassle-free island vacations. Consider booking one of these guided tours:

See Related: Most Romantic Cities in the World

12. Ibiza, Spain 

Ibiza Island

Ibiza is one of the top ten attractions in the Balearic Islands. It’s also one of Spain’s major tourist destinations and attracts millions of visitors each year. Ibiza is famous among both party-goers and holidaymakers alike.

Its sparkling turquoise water, colorful coral reefs, and mild Mediterranean weather make Ibiza one of the most beautiful tropical islands. It has miles of white sand beaches and beautiful towns, many of which are filled with restaurants, bars, shops, and entertainment venues.

Ibiza, Spain

To most, Ibiza is not just a beautiful place to explore but a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. No one knows your name here, but everyone can party together like a big family!

Where To Stay? 

The island has many accommodations, from seaside resorts to nightlife and quiet villages. Here are our top picks:

How To Get Around?

There are several ways to get around the island. The buses are the cheapest option but take a little longer than the shuttles and taxis. Both are great fun but can take some bargaining since they tend to be more expensive. If you want to get away from it all, renting a car is always an option.

Guided Tours:

Ibiza has so much to offer. Visit a national park or discover hidden gems with these top-rated guided tours: 

See Related: Best Places to Visit in Spain

13. Bora Bora, French Polynesia 

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora is a French Polynesian island in the South Pacific. It’s the best island to visit with its unparalleled natural beauty and unspoiled tranquility. It’s also known as the pearl of the South Seas. 

The island has excellent scuba diving sites, including some underwater caves. The island also has beaches with turquoise waters and coral reefs teeming with tropical fish, seahorses, squid, and manta rays!

For those who prefer to stay away from all that water activity, there are incredible hiking trails throughout the island where you can explore pristine nature without getting wet!

Where To Stay?

There are plenty of places to stay on Bora Bora. You can experience the luxury of over-water bungalows and first-class service from the moment you land on the tropical shores of this picturesque South Pacific getaway. Here are our top picks:

How To Get Around?

Bora Bora is a small island, and the easiest way to experience it is by bike. Rental bikes are available at most resorts. Taxis are super expensive. Bora Bora’s public transportation consists of an overcrowded bus system. Even worse, it’s impossible to tell whether the buses will show up on time.

Guided Tours:

If riding around the island isn’t your thing, consider booking one of these top guided tours:

See Related: South of France Itinerary

14. Azores, Portugal

Azore islands

The Azores are one of the most beautiful islands to visit in the world. The Azores are a chain of volcanic islands located in the Atlantic Ocean. The islands are known for their volcanic beaches, whale sightings, lush vegetation, and active volcanoes. 

There is so much to see, do, and experience in the Azores. You can visit mountains, lakes, waterfalls, volcanic craters, and more.

Azores

There’s something for everyone, from incredible landscapes to unique sea life. Just pack your swimming gear to make the most of the island’s many lagoons and waterfalls. You’ll also love its rural villages, hiking trails, good food, rich cultural heritage, and beautiful marine life.

Where To Stay?

There are plenty of accommodation options in the Azores. Here are our top picks:

How To Get Around?

A rental car is the best way to get around the Azores. Buses around the islands are risky because of their unpredictable schedule. Taxis are expensive. Ferry rides are also a good and cost-effective option if you’re traveling to a neighboring island. However, you may need to fly if you’re trying to get to one of the more remote islands.

Guided Tours:

If you’re looking for an easy way to get around without having to drive yourself everywhere, consider taking one of these tours:

15. Bali, Indonesia

Bali

Located in the Indian Ocean, Bali is an island that has it all. It’s a place you can relax, unwind and enjoy yourself to the fullest. With gorgeous beaches, fascinating architecture, fantastic food, and friendly people, Bali truly is one of the best tropical islands in the world.

If you’ve never been to Bali, you’re in for a treat! The beaches here are some of the most beautiful in Asia. There are so many different types of beaches to choose from that it would be impossible to list them all here. There are powdery white sand beaches, black sand beaches, and even volcanic beaches! 

Bali Pagoda

Besides stunning beaches, the magical temples, iconic paddy fields, flower gardens, and secret gorges make Bali one of the best island getaways.

Where To Stay?

Many hotels and resorts can be found in Canggu, Kuta, Seminyak, Ubud, and Uluwatu. Here are our top picks:

How To Get Around?

When it comes to getting around Bali, taking a driver is often the best option. Rental drivers are efficient and very friendly. You can rent a motorcycle or a bicycle as well. Bali is a small island, so it’s easy to get around no matter how you travel!

Guided Tours:

If you are looking for something more active, there are plenty of guided tours in Bali. Here are our top picks:

See Related: Hidden Gems of Bali: Find Undiscovered Locations to Explore

16. Fiji

Queens Road in Fiji

Fiji is a stunning island nation in the South Pacific Ocean, part of the Republic of Fiji group of islands. These volcanic islands have many tourist attractions, like white sandy beaches, crystal clear blue waters, a great barrier reef, lush rainforests, national parks, and historical sites. 

There are also many activities that you can do on these tropical islands, like snorkeling, diving, fishing, and whale watching tours.

fiji island

Families love Fiji because many resorts have children’s and youth programs daily. Fiji ranks highly among divers for several reasons, including the health of its underwater environment, particularly its corals and marine life.

Where To Stay?

There are many different options for accommodation in Fiji, from hotels to guesthouses and camping sites. Here are our top picks:

How To Get Around?

The best way to get around Fiji is by car. But for those who want to keep their travel budget to a minimum, buses and taxis are an easy way to get around. Ferries and water taxis are another popular way of getting around the islands. Interisland travel is best done by flying, even though it can be expensive.

Guided Tours:

Most of the major points of interest are spread out around the 333 tropical islands of Fiji. Finding your way around can be intimidating if this is your first time! To get the most from your visit, consider booking one of the following guided tours:

17. Mílos, Greece 

Mílos, Greece

Milos is one of the best Greek islands for vacations. It has a lot to offer, including beaches, historical sites, crystal-clear water, small abandoned fishing villages with colorful facades, narrow streets decorated with bright bougainvilleas, and beautiful nature. 

The island has a great history and culture that you can explore while traveling there. There are many things to see and do on Milos, from hiking to swimming in the sea or visiting ancient ruins. You can also go horseback riding, swim with dolphins or rent a boat for fishing!

Where To Stay?

With its wide array of accommodation options, this volcanic Greek island has something for everyone – families and groups alike. Here are our top picks:

How To Get Around?

To get around Milos, you can drive a car, an ATV, or a scooter. There is only one main asphalt road on the entire island. The rest are dirt roads. The bus is by far the best way to get around Milos since it is cheap and you will see so much of the island this way.

Guided Tours:

But if you’re up for an adventure, I highly recommend booking one of these guided tours:

18. Koh Samui, Thailand

Koh Samui, Thailand

Koh Samui is a culinary destination with many world-class restaurants. From trendy fusion creations to authentic Thai cuisine, this tropical island has a variety of incredible taste experiences. 

The varied night markets on Koh Samui are part of Thai culture and a must for every Thailand traveler. The island is a fantastic place to visit, from daily night markets to weekly mobile traveling needs.

Koh Samui

Koh Samui has an incredible selection of more than 25 amazing beaches and bays to relax, snorkel, or party. There is an average of 30 degrees of warm water throughout the year. 

Where To Stay?

Koh Sumair offers several accommodations, including famous beach resorts with private pool villas, luxury boutique hotels, and many more. Here are our top picks:

How To Get Around?

The island offers quite a few methods of transportation, including songthaews, motorbikes, taxis, and cars. While transportation can be confusing, we advise you to avoid taking a taxi because they are quite expensive and are not worth it. 

Guided Tours:

If this is your first time in Koh Samui, consider booking one of these guided tours:

19. Palawan, Philippines

Palawan, Philippines

Palawan is one of the magical island getaways. It’s a stunningly beautiful island. It’s known for its white sand beaches near El Nido, snorkeling and diving in Coron, underground river, tarsier watching, cave exploring in Puerto Princesa, and the natural wonders of Mt. Mantalingahan.

Beach in Palawan, Philippines

Where To Stay?

Palawan has many accommodation options, from historic hotels to modern four-star resorts. Here are our top picks:

How To Get Around?

Palawan has a wide range of transportation options. To get around, you can use planes, ferries, & boats; hire a car or motorbike; take a bus, van, or walk. The jeepney is the most popular mode of public transportation in the Philippines. Jeepneys are available all around Palawan, and buses and minivans for longer journeys. 

If you want to rent a car, there are packages that include a driver. These packages are recommended for longer journeys. Self-drive packages are also available so that you can explore in your own time frame.

Guided Tours:

If you’d like a hassle-free visit without the need to plan everything on your own, I highly recommend booking one of these guided tours:

20. Isle of Skye, Scotland 

Cliff on Isle of Skye

Skye is one of the best islands in the world. Located on the West Coast of Scotland, this paradise island is a combination of beautiful fairytale villages, majestic mountains, sparkling lakes, and towering cliffs.  

Castle in Isle of Skye, Scotland

Skye is also one of Scotland’s top three tourist destinations. It offers excellent opportunities for hiking, climbing, golfing, and kayaking. The island also offers hidden gems like the serene Fairy Pools for those who enjoy peace.

Isle of Skye, Scotland

Where To Stay?

Skye offers several accommodation options for all types of travelers. You can choose from beach hotels, family-friendly villas, or even private homes or apartments for your vacation. Here are our top picks:

How To Get Around?

Skye has many options for getting around. Citylink is the Scottish bus service that primarily runs on the main roads. 

You can also take the train, but only until they deliver you to the bridge connecting Skye and the mainland. Once you make it across, you can connect with bus service, with Stagecoach being the most dominant.

Walking is an excellent method of transportation and can be done anywhere. Hitchhiking is also possible to use, but it does require a bit of patience and luck!

Guided Tours:

Guided tours are also an excellent option for getting around Skye safely. Consider booking one of these guided tours:

Related Resources:


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