An island getaway is perfect for those looking for seclusion, sprawling beaches and the relaxing rhythm of crashing waves. Hundreds of thousands of islands occupy the world’s lakes and oceans, each one offering travelers something unique.
Discover which of these island destinations suits your travel style, and let’s get started planning your trip to get off the grid.
1. CANARY ISLANDS
European, African and South American cultures collide on this string of seven islands that sit west of Morocco in the Atlantic. There’s something for almost everyone here, including history, natural landmarks like Mt. Teide and if you go during Carnaval, a party that is second only to Rio’s. The comfortable, stable climate means that tourists are here year-round, so to avoid crowds and experience the islands’ innate beauty, venture outside the major resorts in Tenerife and Gran Canaria.
2. ST. LUCIA
This eastern Caribbean isle is most easily recognized for its dramatic Pitons that soar up from the southwest coast. Honeymooners often choose St. Lucia for its romantic resorts, but the lush, unspoiled scenery also makes a perfect backdrop for hiking or ziplining. Music lovers flock to the island in the spring for the St. Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival, which has previously featured headliners like Flo Rida, Diana Ross, and Ziggy Marley.
3. MYKONOS, GREECE
Often thought of as Santorini’s wilder sibling, Mykonos has recently become a hot spot for celebrity holidays. Hip new restaurants and hotels are popping up among the more traditional whitewashed buildings, which means this party hub’s prices will continue to rise. For less noise and lower prices, avoid the peak months of July and August.
4. BORA BORA
Though this French Polynesian island is only six miles long and two miles wide, the “Pearl of the Pacific” packs an impossible amount of beauty into every inch. The lush greens and warm, aquamarine waters are the stuff that tropical vacation dreams are made of, and luckily for visitors, many of the accommodations feature over-the-water bungalows.
5. ST. MARTIN – ST. MAARTEN
Guests to this dual-governed island can easily hop back and forth between the French-controlled northern end of the island, and the Dutch-controlled south. The north tends to exude a more fashionable, relaxed vibe, while the south boasts casinos and a vibrant nightlife scene. No matter where you are, there’s bound to be rave-worthy restaurants, and plenty of options for fun in the sun.
Not every island is known for its tropical climate and sun-tanned tourists. Iceland’s jaw-dropping natural wonders, like volcanoes, glaciers and geysers, are reason enough to draw visitors to the Land of Fire and Ice. There’s also plenty of culture to be savored in Reykjavík, whether that be listening to live traditional music or enjoying fresh, innovative Nordic cuisine.
7. TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA
Out-of-this-world terrains and diverse wildlife are two reasons to travel to this remote Australian state best known for its namesake cartoon devil. For those that aren’t outdoorsy types, the island’s isolation has also fostered a thriving local culinary scene, with ingredients that truly can’t be found anywhere else.
Composed of 115 islands dotting the Indian Ocean east of Africa, Seychelles is home to some of the world’s most untouched, uncrowded beaches. Many of the tranquil shores are also fringed by sea-sculpted granite boulders, remnants of the island’s origins as a granite mass attached to India. For privacy seekers, it doesn’t get more remote — or more exclusive — than Seychelles.
Whether your sights are set on sweeping views, culture, adventure, or just catching some rays, there’s a perfect island getaway for everyone!