These are the 16 almost heavenly islands that bring together unparalleled natural beauty, exquisite cuisine and many other enchantments.
1. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
This leeward island belonging to the French Polynesia Society Archipelago in the South Pacific is also called “May ti pora” in the Tahitian language, which means “created by the gods”, a name that does justice to its incomparable beauty.
The island is an atoll with a mountainous central area and a beautiful lagoon with islets, surrounded by a ring of coral reefs.
The lagoon is a dazzling turquoise blue and is full of specimens of marine fauna, such as turtles, multicolored fish, rays and other species that can almost be held in the hand, delighting divers, snorkelers and swimmers.
Due to its French cultural heritage, au beauty Bora Bora adds fascinating Gallic cuisine seasoned with a local touch, such as fish fillets in coconut milk.
To drink, nothing better than a Maitai, a cocktail made with white rum, pineapple, grenadine, cointreaux, lime juice and coconut. A tropical delight!
The most captivating accommodations in Bora Bora are its typical bungalows raised on stilts in the lagoon, where it is wonderful to fall asleep with the soft lullaby of the sea. There are from those that have basic services to those that host you in luxury.
This archipelago of 26 atolls and some 1,200 islands in the Indian Ocean is home to some of the most beautiful and enchanting island spaces in the world.
The waters of the sea in the Maldives are a crystalline and luminous turquoise blue, bathing sandbanks in a dazzling white.
The Republic of Maldives is the lowest country on the planet with an average altitude of 1.5 meters above sea level and a maximum altitude of only 2.3 meters above sea level, which makes it particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels. oceans.
Beneath the mesmerizing waters, coral reefs flourish, attracting divers and swimmers from all over the world.
Surfers also meet in the Maldives to practice their favorite entertainment in a paradisiacal environment far from the madding crowd.
Back on land, luxury hotels offer maximum comfort and the perfect starting points for adventures focused on the sea, which is the greatest asset of this beautiful archipelago seriously threatened by climate change.
Maldivians are proactive and are using the vast resources provided by tourism to buy mainland land, to which they will eventually have to emigrate if their country is covered by water. You should try to go to the Maldives as soon as possible!
Seychelles is a beautiful archipelago of 115 tropical islands in the Indian Ocean, off the eastern mainland coast of Africa.
It is largely untouched territory, as only 33 of the 115 islands are inhabited and many are beautiful coral atolls teeming with marine life.
The main islands are granitic and coral, and have areas of humid jungle, with a rich biodiversity.
The beaches with transparent waters and shaded by palm trees are often dotted with giant rocks.
Seychelles’ bodies of water are sanctuaries for marine life, so underwater sports enthusiasts will have a blast.
One of the endemic and symbolic species of Seychelles is the clown fish, intensely colorful and happy to live among the anemones.
Seychelles is also a gastronomic paradise and there you have to taste a fish barbecue accompanied by a “millardaire” salad, whose main component is fresh hearts of palm.
Another attraction of Seychelles is the abundance of fish in its sport fishing areas, which is why many fishermen from around the world go to the African island republic to exercise their favorite entertainment.
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4. Santorini, Greece
Santorini is basically what remains of a monumental volcanic explosion that rocked the Aegean Sea thousands of years ago, destroying the ancient territories and forming this radiant archipelago now enjoyed by tourists.
The whitewashed villas of Santorini are staggered on the steep slopes of the mountains, with some looking like they might rush off for a dip in the sea at any moment.
The settlements of Fira and Oia, built on top of the lava cliffs, are the most picturesque and exclusive in Santorini.
Bougainvillea grace the gardens everywhere, brightening the mood with a symphony of pinks, magentas, reds and purples.
In Santorini is the archaeological site of Acrotiri, with ceramics and murals from the Minoan civilization, magnificently preserved thanks to the preservative role of the volcanic lava that covered them for centuries.
Mediterranean culinary art is manifested in all its splendor in Santorini and if you feel like snacking, we recommend the local Tararmasalata, the tasty Greek preparation made with fish roe, bread, olives, onion and lemon juice. Another delicious choice is the Keftedes, some spicy meat balls.
5. Bali, Indonesia
The 5,700 km 2 of Bali bring together some of the most fascinating beaches on the planet, with a varied cultural heritage, mainly through its Hindu temples, music and other indigenous manifestations.
This exotic island, with its territory dotted with electric green rice fields and dreamy sandbanks, is an excellent destination for sunbathing, surfing, swimming and enjoying its bewitching cuisine.
In Balinese cuisine, the Babi Guring is distinguished, a dish of different parts of the pig accompanied by the inevitable rice; the Gado Gado, which is made with sautéed vegetables with peanut sauce and shrimp crackers; and Satay, deliciously sauced chicken skewers.
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The Mother Temple of Besakih, located on the slopes of Mount Agunges, is the largest and most sacred temple in Bali. It is made up of 22 different temples, among which those dedicated to the Hindu trinity stand out: Shiva, the destroyer; Brahma, the creator; and Vishnu, the preserver.
Another typical attraction of Bali is its folk music, performed by the gamelan, a group in which instruments such as metallophones, xylophones, membranophones, bamboo flutes, gongs and string instruments participate.
6. Cook Islands
If you were to live a castaway experience in the South Pacific and had the choice, you would most likely choose to make landfall in the Cook Islands.
There are 15 islands located between Samoa and French Polynesia, with volcanic peaks, beaches guarded by palm trees, smooth sands and waters that dazzle with their turquoise blue color.
In the 18th century they were claimed for the British crown by the famous navigator James Cook, after whom they took their name. They currently have a free association political agreement with New Zealand, a country with which they have strong cultural ties.
The main tourist center of the Cook Islands is Rarotonga, with wonderful beaches , magnificent hotels and bungalows on the water.
Mexicans will feel at home in the Cook Islands, as the locals often cook in the nell’umukai, an oven dug into the ground where fish, meat and vegetables are roasted in banana leaves.
Ready to imagine that you are a 21st century Robinson Crusoe in the Cook Islands? The good thing is that you will not spend 28 years in isolation like the famous novel character, but rather a spectacular vacation of a few weeks.
7. Dalmatian Islands, Croatia
In the Adriatic Sea, off the Croatian mainland, are the Dalmatian Islands, an enchanting mix of laid-back charm and rich history.
The island towns are picturesque and dotted with cozy inns, small boutique hotels and typical restaurants with splendid views out to the sparkling sea.
The island of Brac has the famous Zlatni Rat beach and an excellent Croatian wine that was already praised by Pliny the Elder in the days of the Roman Empire, without leaving behind its cheeses.
Another of the favorite islands of tourists is Hvar, the “Madeira of the Adriatic”, with its beautiful coves, Gothic temples and its air perfumed by the aromas of lavender and rosemary.
Korcula is a Dalmatian island with white houses with red roofs and beaches with crystal clear waters, where you can visit the rustic medieval dwelling where, according to the locals, the famous traveler Marco Polo was born.
Mljet is a forested island of volcanic origin, with numerous ravines and gorges, and several salt lakes that form in depressions below sea level.
8. Kauai, USA
The oldest of the volcanic Hawaiian Islands is also called the “Garden Island.” From the mountains that occupy the central part of the island, streams descend forming waterfalls between the lava cliffs and the intoxicating fragrance of tropical flowers.
The beauty of the island is a combination of its exuberant flora brought about by abundant rainfall, the velvety rocky ridges pushed up from the ocean floor by tectonic movements, and the spectacular beaches along the coastline.
Mount Kawaikini, at 1,598 meters above sea level, and Mount Waiʻaleʻale, at 1,570 meters above sea level, are the highest points on Kauai and are among the wettest places in the world, with rainfall up to 17,300 mm.
Below the surface of the cobalt blue sea, countless turtles and tropical fish swim among the coral reefs, delighting divers and swimmers from all over the world.
Kauai moves at a more relaxed pace than other Hawaiian islands, and its Edenic shores, like Na Pali, are a treat for all 5 senses.
Fiji or Fiji is an island group that meets all the requirements to be classified as the “fantasy island”.
Its beaches of smooth white sand, turquoise blue waters and coral reefs are fantastic for diving, surfing, fishing or simply resting.
Fiji’s largest island is Viti Levu, on which Suva, the country’s capital, sits. In Suva, attractive buildings of colonial and modern architecture are mixed, and it is the ideal place in Fiji to run a night of clubs and bars in a totally safe environment.
Taveuni is called the “garden island” of Fiji for its varied and beautiful flora. Through Taveuni passes the 180° meridian, which is the imaginary international date line.
In Fiji, you can’t stop tasting Lovo, a dish of meat, fish and sweet vegetables, prepared with a system similar to that of the Mexican barbecue. They also prepare a delicious ceviche sauce with coconut cream.
10. Capri, Italy
This island of the Tyrrhenian Sea in the Gulf of Naples is full of charms. The Blue Grotto is an amazing cave in which the sea is a deep blue color and in which visitors practice their faculties as opera singers to test the acoustics of the place.
The old quarter of the city of Capri is closed to cars, so it is very pleasant to walk in pure relaxation or enter the shops to buy an item from an exclusive Italian brand, or sit down to enjoy a coffee in front of the popular Piazza.
One of the most famous historical places in Capri is Villa Jovis, built by order of Emperor Tiberius as a retirement home and where he lived his last 11 years.
Similarly, the rest residences of Julius Caesar and Augustus testify to the importance of Capri for the great figures of the Roman Empire.
From Mount Solaro of Anacapri, an elevation of 586 meters high, one has the most wonderful views of the island and the gulf.
In the Anacapri area, you should also take a tour of the Charterhouse of San Giacomo, a 14th-century construction of overwhelming beauty, located high up on the edge of the sea; the Casa Rossa, with an interesting exhibition of archaeological pieces; and Barbarossa Castle, witness to the invasion of the island by the famous pirate.
11. Saint Lucia
Santa Lucía is one of those islands to which you don’t go only for its beaches, since, apart from its beautiful sandbanks, it offers other charms, such as its imposing volcanic peaks with exuberant landscapes and spectacular panoramic views, its waterfalls, its thermal waters and its picturesque Caribbean towns.
The geographical symbol of the island is the Pitons Mountains, two elevations of more than 700 meters above sea level that appear on the national flag and in all tourist brochures; one of the Pitons represents the black race and the other the white one.
St. Lucia’s wide beaches are shaded by slender coconut palms and lined with comfortable resorts that attract tourists during the coldest season in the northern hemisphere, particularly between December and April.
The capital, Castries, is visited annually by dozens of cruise ships and the town of Soufriere, apart from its beautiful beaches, has a botanical garden with sulphurous baths that delighted a young Josephine, before she became Napoleon’s wife Bonaparte.
Saint Lucia’s Amerindian, African, British and French heritage produced an interesting gastronomic syncretism, in which fish and shellfish, local meats and tropical fruits and vegetables merge.
12. Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
The landscape of the small Thai archipelago of Ko Phi Phi is dominated by rugged limestone peaks rising from the edge of warm waters that lap beaches in perfect shades of blue, the heat tempered by palm trees.
In 2000, actor Leonardo DiCaprio and director Danny Boyle helped Ko Phi Phi break onto world screens with the film The Beach . Four years later, the archipelago was hit by the terrible tsunami of 2004, from which it has already recovered.
Ko Phi Phi Don is the only inhabited island in the island group and day trips to the beautiful surrounding islands depart from Ko Phi Phi Don.
Ko Phi Phi is frequented by diving, swimming and other water sports enthusiasts, who come to its beaches to enjoy the clear waters.
Monkey Beach is a beautiful place where the main vacationers are the monkeys, who brighten the day with their jumps and noises, waiting for visitors to be careless to take their bottles of water and sunglasses.
13. Whitsunday Islands, Australia
The Whitsundays, a group of 70 islands located in the Great Barrier Reef, are Australia’s version of the most enchanting Caribbean archipelago.
The two favorite pastimes on the islands are sailing and diving in the coral reefs full of marine fauna.
Due to the fragility of the ecosystems, the area is protected through a system of 6 national parks.
Some of the islands have hiking trails and dense tropical forests that explorers venture into.
Whitehaven Beach offers radiant silica sands against a sea of beautiful turquoise hues.
Accommodations in the Whitsund Islands range from beachfront backpacker camps, to eco-retreat spaces and luxury lodges.
If you want to get married in a place that is both brand new and exotic, the Whitsunday Islands are the place to be. The islands are Australia ‘s top romantic destination , with the highest rates of marriage proposals and honeymoons per square meter in the entire huge oceanic country.
14. Sardinia, Italy
The Sardinians are totally proud of their white sand beaches, their rugged peaks that stand as rocky sentinels over the beautiful coves, and their archaeological treasures.
In the ancient Phoenician and Roman city of Tharros, slender columns facing the Gulf of Oristano are preserved, as well as the ruins of ancient baths and the foundations of a pagan temple.
The Sardinian capital, Cagliari, has beautiful buildings, ancient ruins such as the Roman Amphitheatre, and an interesting Archaeological Museum.
In the small town of Sácer, the old city, the Turritana University, the ducal palace, the San Nicolás duomo and the Rosello fountain stand out.
The Gorropu Gorge is one of the deepest canyons in Europe, with points where it reaches 500 meters in height.
Practitioners of extreme sports feel an overwhelming silence in Gorropu, only altered by the fall of some waterfalls and the sound of the fauna species.
In Alghero, also called Barceloneta for having been repopulated during the Middle Ages by Catalan settlers, the walls, towers and fortifications seem to pull the town back to the Middle Ages. However, Alghero is very lively for being a university city.
15. Cozumel, Mexico
The Land of the Swallows offers its Mayan and Caribbean charm and its fantastic beaches just 62 km from Cancun .
If you can plan your trip to Cozumel to your heart’s content, we recommend that you do it during carnival so that you can enjoy both the natural and archaeological attractions of the island, as well as its joyous carnival festivities, full of color, in which pagan traditions are mixed with christians
Another important Cozumel festival is the Cedral Fair, which takes place between the end of April and the beginning of May to celebrate the Holy Cross.
The Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park is a beautiful sector of the Great Mayan Reef and a paradise for divers, snorkelers and swimmers, due to the richness of its marine life.
The most important archaeological site in Cozumel is San Gervasio, where the goddess Ix Chel, the Mayan deity of love and fertility, was venerated.
In correspondence with the loving mythology of Cozumel, Isla de la Pasión is a small island near Cozumel where the most romantic Mexicans go to marry with the conviction that the goddess will provide them with a passionate existence.
If you don’t want to hear about marriage and all you want is a splendid beach to rest, sunbathe and drink tropical cocktails, at Playa Palancar, Chankanaab and Playa Chen Río you have just what you need.
Punta Chiqueros is an almost uninhabited sector of the island with a long beach with clear waters and soft-textured sand.
Also read The 15 Best Things To Do In Cozumel
16. Saint Bartholomew
This French island in the Caribbean, also called Saint Barth, is so beautiful and discreet that it has become a refuge for movie stars and tycoons from all over the world.
On the coast of San Bartolomé, beaches with beautiful contours are chained, shaded by palm trees and equipped with rustic palapas with palm roofs, with the nearby green hills offering a protective frame.
San Bartolomé was one of the few American territories governed by Sweden, a kingdom that administered the island between the 18th and 19th centuries. The capital city is called Gustavia precisely in honor of King Gustav III of Sweden.
Gustavia is the best place on the island for tourists looking for their favorite international food and its exclusive boutiques are to pale for the brand name but also for the prices.
The cuisine of San Barth is predominantly French, fresh and light, which you can pair with the best wines from Burgundy, Bordeaux and other wine regions of the mother country.
Creole culinary art also has its place in San Bartolomé, with tasty dishes such as stuffed crab, fish blood sausage, chrsitophine, which is a legume commonly consumed in the Antilles, and fritters or accras.
If your problem is not money, the seductive and very private island of Saint Barthelemy is the most glamorous Caribbean destination you can imagine. You know it’s expensive!
More about Islands of the world:
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