Being a beach-lover and ocean-lover, my travels tend to be oriented towards islands. Recently, I fell in love with Hawaii and the Caribbean.
Not all islands need to be sun-kissed and tropical to be spectacular. Every island has its own unique highlights and natural beauty. Here are some of my top island destinations around the world.
* The Hawaiian Islands
O’ahu’s island is full of natural and cultural wonders, as well as modern entertainment and arts. Pro surfers can be seen riding the waves on the North Shore. Or you can relax and take a lesson at Waikiki Beach.
Kauai, the laid-back, low-key neighbor of O’ahu is a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts. Explore the Na Pali Coast, hike through Waimea Canyon and soak up the sun at Po’ipu Beach!
* Hvar, Croatia
Hvar, a Dalmatian gem, is home to beautiful Gothic palaces and old-world streets. Hvar, which is derived from the Greek word for lighthouse (pharos), is known for its beautiful old town, white wines, and lavender fields.
Enjoy a day exploring the hilltop streets of Hvar Town and then stop by a cafe next to the water for a restful afternoon!
* Florianopolis, Brazil
Are you looking for a unique place to spend your holidays? You can fly an hour from Sao Paulo to Florianopolis, a 33 mile island. The main attractions include Conceicao’s saltwater lagoon and Praia dos Igleses, a popular resort area.
It blends cosmopolitan urban sprawl with succulent seafood with 16th-century fortresses, and pristine beaches.
* Boracay (Philippines)
Boracay is a small island with a width of only 500m. However, it attracts a lot of surfers and beachgoers.
The four-kilometer-long Picturesque White Beach is the star of the show. It boasts pristine white sand. Tourists from all over the globe visit hotels, restaurants and bars regularly. You can think of fire dancers and jet skis as well as champagne on yachts.
Seychelles beaches are known for their stunning sand, large boulders, and turquoise waters. You can take a boat trip to Curious Island to see giant tortoises, or you can stroll through the tropical flowers at the National Botanical Gardens in Mahe.
This northerly paradise is just a step away from the tropics. Iceland’s tourism industry is booming at the moment. It’s because of its beautiful landscapes and small-town charm.
You can either base yourself in Reykjavik to explore its charming streets or rent a car so you can circumnavigate the country in just a few days.
* Swedish Archipelago
Stockholm’s seventeen islands and surrounding areas are breathtaking. You can explore the capital’s progressive cosmopolis, or you can head north to Nynashamn, Vaxholm, and Ytterby.
Boating is very popular, especially during the summer with the Orno sailing race.
Corsica, a Mediterranean island, blends French heritage and an Italian flavour, which influences food, wine, and music.
Although Corsica is a French region, its culture and character are unique. You’ll notice this difference the moment you get off the boat or plane. Even the most experienced traveler will be captivated by its cultural diversity and natural beauty.
The Maldives is the best place to go, as it is only six feet above the sea level. There are real concerns that these islands could be swallowed by rising sea levels over the next few years. Why not stay?
Although the Maldives may seem a little far for American tourists, it is definitely worth the effort. They are known for their five-star resorts and coral reefs.
You won’t find this star-studded treatment in many other places – this is where Arab princes relax. The only way to travel is often by seaplane.
The British Virgin Islands, like its American counterparts, are mostly dazzling sun and sand. But, unlike them, it attracts a more eccentric and bohemian crowd. The four main islands, Tortola, Virgin Gorda. Anegada, and Jost van Dyke, make for great backdrops for fishing and sailing, as well as scuba diving.
The Yacht Week British Virgin Islands was my second trip on The Yacht Week. It remains my favorite sailing trip. You can expect tropical weather, beautiful beaches and clear blue waters along the BVIs route. Warm nights, tropical cocktails and lobster dinners – that’s what I can picture!