You Want to Visit These Stunning Islands, Whether You Know It or Not
The world is a vast, beautiful place. Regardless of how well-traveled you are, there are undoubtedly places throughout the world that you have never heard of yet would immediately put on your travel bucket list if you become aware of their existence.
Get ready for a list of exactly those places. After all, who doesn't love a scenic beach, temperate water and an abundance of shady trees?
Peru: Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca straddles the border between Bolivia and Peru, two countries located in South America. The lake itself lies within the Andes Mountains, which provide stunning views and help feed the lake through streams and rivers.
Canary Islands: Graciosa
Graciosa is a sun-baked island in the Canary Islands of Spain. It is a volcanic island, which is part of the reason why it is less populous than many of the other Canary Islands more prone to tourist invasion. The relative lack of dense people makes it an ideal destination for a vacation escape.
American Samoa is a U.S. territory that spans seven islands in the South Pacific Ocean, and it is a bastion of wildlife and culture. With tropical weather and cool Pacific seas, it’s a dream vacation spot.
Montenegro: Aman Sveti Stefan Island
Most Americans do not consider the Balkan nations to be bucket-list-level travel destinations, but perhaps Aman Sveti Stefan Island in Montenegro could change that perception. Montenegro borders the Adriatic Sea, a body of water that is home to the stunning Aman Sveti Stefan Island.
Australia: Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island is an oasis of beauty that lies within the Tasman Sea and is owned by Australia. It’s known for subtropical forests that are home to a vast array of wildlife as well as sandy beaches and astoundingly clear waters.
Fiji is one of those islands in the South Pacific that people know is a popular travel destination without really knowing much about it — maybe because of the water brand of the same name. Here's why you want to visit Fiji, and especially the island of Laucala: coral reefs, crystal-clear lagoons, an abundance of wildlife and a first-class resort.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Mustique Island
St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a multi-island nation in the Caribbean, and it includes Mustique Island, one of the most scenic destinations in the world. Mustique Island is private, so you’ll have to book a reservation if you hope to gain entry, but there’s a reason why people pay to go.
Dominica is one of the islands that make up the Lesser Antilles, the same island chain that includes St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It’s characterized by mountainous (but not rugged) terrain, natural hot springs and wildlife-rich tropical rainforests. The volcanically-warmed waters of Boiling Lake in Morne Trois Pitons National Park are a unique experience for visitors and just one of the attractive features of Dominica.
Palau lies in the western Pacific Ocean. Depending on which islands in Palau that you choose to visit, you’ll be treated to soft sandy beaches, various mountains that you can hike through to find stunning views and an abundance of wildlife, much of which is unique to the islands.
The Solomon Islands played a critical role in the Pacific battles of World War II and present a unique combination of tropical beauty and history as a result. For history buffs looking to go on a tropical island vacation, you can do no better than a jaunt to the Solomon Islands.
Micronesia, known more formally as the Federated States of Micronesia, is a nation in the Pacific that is comprised of more than 600 individual islands. The good news is that should you choose to take a vacation to Micronesia, you've got options.
Tuvalu is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean that is technically part of the British Commonwealth. It’s composed of nine islands, and it’s known for reef islands and atolls that are prime for snorkeling and scuba diving. The capital of Tuvalu, Funafuti, also contains the Funafuti Conservation Area, where visitors can view stunning wildlife.
Kiribati: South Tarawa
Kiribati is an island nation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The majority of Kiribati's residents live on the Tarawa atoll. South Tarawa is the capital and hub of Kiribati, and it’s also underappreciated as a travel destination for those looking for an island trip that isn't a tourist trap.
Thailand: Ko Lipe
Thailand is a place of natural beauty and elephants. It’s also home to postcard-grade beaches that will leave you fantasizing about returning long after your vacation ends. Ko Lipe is home to many of those beaches
New Zealand: Stewart Island
New Zealand is known for its rolling hills, abundant sheep and as the land where Lord of the Rings was filmed. However, New Zealand offers a diverse array of climates and ecosystems, and Stewart Island one tropical site that is worth exploring.
Chile: Navarino Island
Chile may not be the first nation that comes to mind when you begin thinking of island vacation destinations, and that is why Navarino Island is a hidden gem. The island sits between the Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego to the north and Cape Horn to the south.
Cambodia: Six Senses Krabey Island
Six Senses Krabey Island is a private island in Cambodia where you can enjoy a Pacific paradise. The resort was skillfully constructed amid Cambodia's considerable natural beauty, so much so that you will have difficulty finding where nature ends and the resort begins.
Martinique is an island nation in the Caribbean that is part of the Lesser Antilles archipelago. Martinique is an overseas department of France, and it is accordingly imbued with French culture, from the language to the architecture and beyond.
Palawan is a province in the Philippines that is composed of a number of islands interspersed among crystal-clear water ripe for snorkeling, trolling lazily in a boat or just kicking back on the beach. It also boasts several wildlife sanctuaries for the ecologically inclined.
Canary Islands: Lanzarote
Lanzarote is another one of the Canary Islands, which are located off of the western coast of Africa and part of Spain. If you're looking for a warm-weather paradise, you can't go wrong with any of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote included. The weather is never anything but warm, and the abundant beaches on Lanzarote aren't going anywhere anytime soon.
Mexico: Isla Holbox
Mexico isn't exactly a well-kept secret when it comes to vacation time. Because of its proximity to the United States and relative affordability even when travel expenses are considered, tourism hot spots like Cabo San Lucas and Cancun fill up quickly and can become madhouses when vacation seasons roll around.
Portugal: The Azores
The Azores are an autonomous archipelago owned by Portugal, and boy are they scenic. Located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the Azores are a mix of beautiful lakes, stunning and plentiful marine life and outstanding weather. If you get a chance to visit the Azores, you won't soon forget it.
Hawaii is arguably the most beautiful part of the United States. It’s also located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, which gives it a landscape that is unlike any other state in the union. Kauai is just one of Hawaii's islands, and it earned the nickname "The Garden Isle" because of its immense natural beauty and vegetation.
France: Reunion Island
Reunion Island is another overseas French department. It’s located in the Indian Ocean, and its immense beauty — including striking peaks and overwhelmingly green vegetation — can make you feel like you’ve walked into a prehistoric land.
Denmark: Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are a territory of Denmark composed of 18 volcanic islands. Located in the North Atlantic between Norway and Iceland, the Faroe Islands aren't a warm environment that many island hoppers seek, but they are majestic nonetheless.
Pantelleria is a tiny volcanic island located in the Strait of Sicily within the Meditteranean Sea. It has a small population, making it an attractive travel destination for those who truly want to get away.
While vacation spots in Greece such as Mykonos get most of the love from travelers, Ikaria is an island worth adding to your itinerary. Just take one look at the stunning blue water and white sand and tell yourself that you don't want to visit Ikaria. You can't do it.
United Kingdom: The Isles of Scilly
Envision the island vacation of your dreams. Does it involve the United Kingdom? For most, the answer is probably not, but consider what the Isles of Scilly, an archipelago located off the Coast of Cornwall in southwest England, have to offer visitors and residents.
Don't let the name fool you, because the island of Sylt in Germany is way more than just silt. Located within the Frisian archipelago in the North Sea, Sylt has lots to offer travelers. In addition to beautiful beaches and European culture and amenities, it also has its share of history.
Croatia is another surprising Balkan paradise. Yes, Croatia is one of the most visually stunning places you can visit, so much so that Dubrovnik, Croatia, was the main filming site for King's Landing in Game of Thrones.