Island vacations are synonymous to a relaxing and refreshing experience. Whether you are choosing your honeymoon destination or want to take a break from the strains of work, islands always prove to be the best option. The scenic view and ravishing beauty of water work as a detox. The best islands in the world are archipelagos, an extensive group of islands. Apart from the natural beauty, the luxurious resorts and exquisite local cuisines sum up the best vacations in these islands. From Hawaii to Bora Bora, these islands are beautiful, attractive and alluring. Rest assured, all the islands in the list picture-perfect and will give you memories for a lifetime.
Best Islands in the World
- Bali, Indonesia
- Bora Bora, French Polynesia
- Kauai, Hawaii
- Ibiza, Spain
- Tahiti, French Polynesia
- Crete, Greece
- Rarotonga and Aitutaki, New Zealand
- Hvar Island, Croatia
- Palawan, Philipines
- Corfu, Greece
- Harbour Island, Bahamas
- Whitsunday Islands, Australia
- St. Lucia, Caribbean
1. Bali, Indonesia
The spiritual island of Asia has recently become one of the most popular tourist destinations for island-lovers. Magnificent volcanoes, beautiful beaches, coral reefs and picturesque temples make Bali one of the best islands in the world. The Balinese cuisine is exquisite, and the temples are aesthetically pleasing. Bali is called the spiritual island of Asia due to the presence of several ancient times Hindu temples. The island is surrounded by a small island group which adds more charm in the Bali prefecture.
- Things to do in Bali – Visit the Uluwatu Temple, Seminyak Beach, Sanur Beach, Goa Gajah Cave, Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, Gitgit Waterfall, Lake Bratan. Also visit Pura Luhur Batukaru-early medieval temple complex, Dreamland beach and national parks.
- Best Time to visit in Bali – July and August
- How to get to Bali – Flight to Ngurah Rai International Airport or Denpasar International Airport
2. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
A small green island located near Tahiti. The beautiful islets, lagoon and coral barrier reef makes Bora Bora one of the best islands for vacation. The water here is so clear that you can see fish, turtles and rays swim. The best and most expensive accommodation available here is the luxurious water bungalows perched over stilts. It is an ideal destination for a honeymoon.
- Things to do Bora Bora Island – Go for hiking the lush forest, diving, snorkelling to get the best underwater experience, visit the Matira Point, Playa Matira beach, blue lagoon, Bloody Mary pier, romantic tour, Mt Otemanu, excursions and discover the coral barrier reefs.
- Best Time to visit Bora Bora Island – November to April
- How to get to Bora Bora Island – Fly into the French Polynesian Faa’a International Airport at Papeete, Tahiti and then take the Flight from Papeete to Motu Mute, North Bora Bora
3. Kauai, Hawaii
We all know the paradise that Hawaii is. One of the marvels of Hawaii is Kauai, an island located in the Central Pacific Ocean. It is admirably called the Garden Isle as the tropical rainforests occupy much of the area. The exhilarating beauty of Kauai is not just restricted to the lush forest and majestic mountains. It extends to the scenic beaches, secluded coves serene waterfalls, rich species of flora & fauna and of course, the shielded volcanoes. Some of the activities enjoyed by travellers in Kauai are hiking, snorkelling, swimming, and kayaking.
- Things to do in Kauai – Hiking and camping in the rugged Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park, Waimea Canyon State Park for splendid gorge with breathtaking views, Hanalei Bay, Polihale scenic Beaches, the high waves hitting lava rocks of Spouting Horn Beach, swimming in Queen’s Bath, the Kauai Backcountry Zipline adventures, Kilauea Lighthouse and numerous ravishing waterfalls.
- Best Time to Visit Kauai – September to November, April to June
- How to get to Kauai – Flight to Lihue Airport in Kauai
4. Ibiza, Spain
Ibiza is a Balearic island located in the mediterranean sea. It is one of the best islands in the world to enjoy the vibrant nightlife. Apart from numerous nightclubs, the island is dominated by picturesque beaches and lagoons. The small beaches like Cala d’en Sera are secluded by coves.
On the other hand, beaches like Platja d’en Bossa are crowded and happening. Another feature of Ibiza is the seaside camping experience that is both relaxing and offbeat. The hills in the backdrop of the Sea are scenic and pine clad. The local seafood of Ibiza is cooked with special ingredients found on the Island, a technique dating back to the medieval era.
- Things to do in Ibiza – Swimming, camping, excursions, shopping and sunbathing. There are multiple lighthouses to visit for a panoramic view of the island.
- Best time to visit Ibiza – May to October
- How to reach Ibiza – Flight to Ibiza Airport
Also See: Top Indian Restaurants in Madrid
5. Tahiti, French Polynesia
Situated in the South Pacific Ocean, Tahiti is the largest French Polynesian island. The island’s shape is somewhat reminiscent to the number 8. Tahiti is divided into two parts- western(Nui) and eastern (Iti). It is famous for its black sand beaches, turquoise lagoons, waterfalls. The island boasts a dramatic landscape with a dormant volcano rising from the island. The Mount Aorai is one lush forested volcanic peak. The famous beaches of Tahiti are Plage de la Pointe Venus, Arahoho blowhole, Taharuu and Col du Tahara’a.
- Things to do in Tahiti – Visit the Robert Wan Pearl Museum, the breathtaking views and waterfalls of Mount Orohena, hiking in the Faarumai waterfalls, the magical Water Gardens and waterfalls, walking around Pa’ofa’i Gardens, the square designed Point Venus Lighthouse, the serene Vaihiria Lake.
- Best Time to visit Tahiti – November to April
- How to get to Tahiti- Direct flights from Los Angeles International Airport to Tahiti
6. Crete, Greece
Crete is popularly known as the ‘Heart of the Mediterranean’. It is the largest island in Greenland. Along with the beautiful white sand beaches of Crete, the steep gorges and fantastic mountainscapes will woo you. It is also one of the trendy honeymoon destinations in Greece. There is so much to explore in Crete that you will find it difficult to choose one option over other.
The famous places to visit in Crete are Chania, Lasithi, Elounda, Rethymno and Heraklion. These cities offer luxurious stays, delicious and authentic Greek cuisine. Some of the exotic beaches of Crete are Balos, Elafonisi in Chania, Vai and Istro in Lasithi, Preveli, Rodakino, Plakias in Rethymno and Tymbaki in Heraklion.
- Things to do in Crete – Visiting beaches and lagoons, numerous ancient greek monument, castle ruins, hiking and climbing Mount Ida and visiting Kuartaliko George
- Best time to visit Crete – April to October
- How to get to Crete – Flight to Athens and then Athens to Heraklion, Crete. Can travel by boat to other cities in Crete
7. Rarotonga and Aitutaki, The Cook Island
Rarotonga and Aitutaki are two mesmerising islands situated in the South Pacific nation of the Cook Islands. These are amongst the best islands of the world for good reasons. While Rarotonga is famous for mountainous trails, Aitutaki is home to ravishing lagoons, coral reefs surrounded by several islets. Rarotonga’s geography is dramatised by majestic volcanic mountains and rainforest. Scuba diving and snorkelling in the blue lagoons are favourite activities enjoyed by tourists. Some of the things to do in Rarotonga are visiting happening markets, Para O Tane palace, turquoise lagoons and hiking to ‘The Needle’ peak.
The Aitutaki atoll consists of 22 islands whose beauty is unparalleled. Besides the shallow and clear lagoons, the Maungap island summit is also a major attraction. Hiking, snorkelling and swimming across lagoons are some of the refreshing things to do here.
- Best Time to visit– April, May, September and October
- How to get there– Flight to Rarotonga International Airport, Rarotonga to Aitutaki by air, no ferry ride option
8. Hvar Islands, Croatia
Hvar Island is part of the beautiful Dalmatian Island group of Adriatic Sea. It is famously called a summer resort instead of an island. The many secluded beaches and coves of Pakleni Island appeal to all travellers. Another major attraction of Hvar is the beauty of lavender fields and vineyards Several Gothic churches further beautify the island towns. Hvar is a vibrant island that is mostly visited by youths and young couples. Some of the fun activities here are sailing, kayaking, swimming, snorkelling and several water sports.
- Things to do Hvar Islands -Visit the island of ruined monastery Scedro, visit the Roman Catholic Hvar Cathedral, enjoy the dining experience in Sveti Klement, Tvrdalj Castle, Visit the Spanish Fortress for amazing hilltop views and picturesque, sailing and kayaking in various beaches and boating.
- Best time to visit Hvar Island – May, June, September and October.
- How to get to Hvar Island – Flights to Split or Dubrovnik, a ferry ride from either city.
9. Palawan, Philippines
Palawan is an island province of hundreds of small island in the Philippines. The Palawan island is the most beautiful and popular amongst them, often regarded as the best summer island in the world. It has been awarded the World’s best island title in 2013 and 2014. Palawan is still underdeveloped as 50% of the area is desert. Nevertheless, it has been often referred to as the “Last Ecological Frontier of Philippines” because of rich biodiversity. Few of the many things of Palawan that attracts people across the globe are the crystal clear water, white sand beaches, limestone cliffs, tropical forests and the wildlife!
- Things to do in Palawan – Visit the gorgeous Coron Town, coral reefs and white sand beaches of El-Nido, Boat tours in Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Nacpan and Duli Beaches where the water is translucent and shallow and the sunset view is breathtaking,Ugong Rock Adventures for underground cave exploring and other activities,the historical Tabon Cave complex, Palm-lined Nagtabon Beach,waterfalls. Can also go for trekking and camping.
- Best Time to Visit Palawan – For Dry Season – October to May, For Rainy season- June to September
- How to Get to Palawan Island – Manila to Busuanga airport in Palawan
10. Corfu, Greece
Corfu is part of the Ionian Islands group that comprises other popular destinations like Ithaca, Kefalonia and Zante. The climate of Corfu is mild and temperate. The colour of the water here is mesmerising peacock blue. Among the major highlights of Corfu are other small islands! The shape of some of the islets are like Pontikonisi and Valchenra are a beautiful sight to behold. There are many beaches in Corfu, and all are worth visiting. The most famous amongst them are the Sidari beaches for sandstone formations, Kavos for parties, etc. A dip in the Love Canal is believed to help you find your soulmate. The authentic Ionian/ Greek foods are not to be missed.
- Things to do in Corfu – Discover numerous beaches, the prosperous old settlements, medieval-era towns and streets, many saltwater lakes, a water park with spa and dining options and rock formations around shores.
- Best time to visit Corfu – April to May and September to November
- How to reach Corfu – Direct Flights from Athens to Corfu, can also arrive by boat from Venice.
11. Harbour Islands, Bahamas
Ever heard of pink sand beaches? Well, get ready to explore pink-sand beaches in the Harbour Islands of Bahamas. Want to experience black sand beaches as well? You have probably chosen one of the best islands in the world for vacation. Compared to other best islands, Harbour Island is less crowded.
Coral Isles and Bay caves are amongst the many marvels of Bahamas that one should visit. Several beach resorts offer a magical view of the Atlantic Ocean. The famous beaches resorts in Harbour Islands are Pink Sand Resort, Dunmore Beach Hotel, Coral Sand Hotel and Valentine’s Resort and Marina. Don’t miss out on the Caribbean dishes in this hidden gem.
- Things to do in Harbour Island – swimming, visit the pink and black sand beaches, Tay Tay Beach, Lover’s beach, Queen’s Baths, Gaulding Cay beach, dine out in the Blue bar-restaurant in the Pink Sand Resort
- Best time to visit Harbour Island – December to April
- How to reach Harbour Island – Flight to North Eleuthera, the motor trip from Eleuthera to Harbour Island.
This island country in South Asia is crowned with the title of the best island in the world. The atolls and coral reefs along with the colour of the sea are the main reasons behind this feat. An ideal destination for a honeymoon, Maldives is visited by thousands of tourists every month. One of the unique features in the Maldives is the island resorts which elevates the already wonderful experience.
Some of the famous spots in the Maldives are Maafushi Island, Ari and Male Atolls, Hulhumale, Velassaru and Bando’s islands. The world-famous ‘sea of stars’ beach is in Vaadhoo Island where the water glows at night due to the presence of bio. The local cuisine of Maldives is called Dhivehi cuisine that comprises fish, coconut and starch items. Maldives stays sunny throughout the year. It is an ideal option for a summer vacation you want to escape winter.
- Things to do in Maldives -Scuba diving, snorkelling manta rays, whales and other marine life, surfing in various atolls and islands of Maldives
- Best Time to visit Maldives – November to April
- How to reach the Maldives – Male International Airport is well connected to all major south-east Asian countries and Dubai through direct flights.
Also See: International trips under 30k
Who doesn’t want to visit Seychelles, one of the best islands of the world? The Indian Ocean Island country is extremely charming and ravishing. The beaches and islands are unspoilt which makes this country one of the best islands for vacation and honeymoon. The Seychelles archipelago consists of 115 islands from where you can spot many turtles and other marine life.
There are numerous beaches where the water is shallow and transparent. Some of the sere Seychelles beaches are the aqua water Anse Georgette, sandy Anse Cocos, Anse Marron, Anse Source d’Argent, Grande Soeur and the coral-filled Anse Severe. The famous islands in Seychelles are Praslin, Curieuse, Frigate, North Island, Bird Island and Denis Island. Enjoy the local Carole cuisine that has Indian, Chinese and African flavours.
- Things to do in Seychelles – Swimming, snorkelling, turtle and tortoise spotting in almost every beach, hiking trails in Sainte Anne Marine National Park,sea-bird watching in Arid and Bird Island, sunbathing in Petite Anse beach and trying out different cuisines
- Best Time to Visit Seychelles – April, May, October and November
- How to reach Seychelles – Direct Flights to the Seychelles international airport.
14. Whitsunday Islands, Australia
Located 900 miles off the coast of Queensland, in the heart of the Great barrier reef, the dreamy Whitsunday Islands are the best islands in the Southern Hemisphere. The Whitsunday islands offer a unique way to experience the magical marine and coral life of the Great Barrier Reef. Though just 4 islands of the 74 Whitsunday Islands are inhabited, they offer one of the most beautiful island holidays for families, honeymooners, nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike.
From yachting to diving amidst the azure waters of the Barrier Reef, Whitsunday island offers a wide array of activities for tourists in Australia. With awe-inspiring places to visit like Whitehaven Beach, Heart reef, Hamilton Island, it’s no surprise that Whitsunday is among the most beautiful islands in the world.
- Things to do in Whitsunday Islands: Camp on one of the beaches, dive into the beach, visit Whitehaven beach, take a flight over Heart Reef.
- Best time to visit Whitsunday Islands: Winters (June to August) and Spring (September to November) are considered to be the ideal time to visit Whitsunday Island.
- How to reach Whitsunday Islands: The fastest way to reach Whitsunday Island is by taking the flight from Brisbane to Proserpine Airport (Whitsunday Coast Airport). Alternatively, you can drive from Brisbane or Cairns to Airlie Beach. The journey takes 12 hours from Brisbane and 7 hours from Cairns.
15. St. Lucia, Caribbean
The Caribbeans are synonymous to romance and beaches. While each of the Caribbean Island possesses a distinctive charm, one island that stands is St. Lucia. This sun-soaked island country is blessed with magnificent landscapes, untouched rainforests, gorgeous waterfalls and breathtaking mountains. What makes St. Lucia one of the top islands to go on a vacation, are the hidden beaches, amazing resorts the amicable people of the island.
Spectacular coastlines for water babies, adrenaline-pumping adventure activities for thrill-seekers, lush natural beauty for city-worn souls; St. Lucia has everything you could want from your island holiday.
- Things to do in St. Lucia: hiking the Gros Piton, snorkelling in Anse Chastanet Beach, Visit Rodney Beach and experience the world-famous nightlife in Rodney Bay Village, go on a picnic in Pigeon island.
- Best time to visit St. Lucia: The best time to visit St. Lucia is from mid-December and to April.
- How to reach St. Lucia: Saint Lucia is connected via numerous airlines from around the world. Visit St. Lucia’s official site for more information.
Further Read: Explore the 22 best beaches in Europe
Imagine waking up to a scenic ocean view with the rhythms of the wave. Sounds amazing, right? Islands give you numerous such wonderful experience. With the fun water sports and activities, you can explore the underwater life. Swimming in secluded coves and bath with very few or no people around you is a luxury in itself.
While some best islands in the world offer a vibrant nightlife, others offer you a panoramic view from lush volcanic peaks. Every Island on this list are easily the best islands in the world for vacation. Surrounded by other small islets, you get to experience not one but many beautiful islands. Take a boat ride to the small islands, enjoy the pristine water and feel rejuvenated.