Mo’orea, French Polynesia
Dreaming of volcanic mountains, white powder sandy beaches and bright turquoise waters? Mo’orea is a romantic, remote island in the South Pacific and one of the lesser known holiday spots in French Polynesia. Just thirty mins from Tahiti by high-speed Catamaran, Mo’orea is also slightly easier to reach then its famous brother, Bora Bora.
Experience authentic Tahitian culture, swim with local reef sharks and string-rays in clear lagoon waters, go whale watching and hike tropical rainforests by foot. You can also rent an open-top car or a bicycle and circle Moorea’s 60-kilometer coastline where you will pass by white churches and sleepy fishing villages – maybe stop along the way to buy some tropical fruit, freshly caught tuna or a hand-picked coconut.
Mo’orea is true tropical island living, and also offers honeymoon-style hotels with stunning Overwater Bungalows. Spoil yourself, stay at one of these luxury hotels and experience plunging into the sea straight from your private sun deck or watching the sunset across uninterrupted sea views. Recommended hotels include Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora, although, you’ll find more choice of luxury resorts in Bora Bora.
In Jamaica you will fall in love with the warm Caribbean weather, long reef-lined beaches, rich rainforests, majestic waterfalls, and, of course, the laid back locals and reggae!
Jamaica must be one of the most beautiful Carribean islands to visit. One of our favourite spots is Negril town for its white sand beaches, shallow bays and calm, turquoise sea. Here you will find incredible bars and restaurants, and in the evening, psychedelic sunsets and late night reggae concerts. Reach Falls in Portland is a romantic day trip where you can see the beautiful waterfall featured in Cocktails starring Tom Cruise.
Pop to Floyd’s Pelican Bar by boat, and grab a beer at this bar in the middle of the sea! Pelican Bar is built from sticks and palm branches, but the name comes from the pelicans that enjoy perching on its roof. It’s simply one of the world’s coolest bars and you must visit – if you’re lucky you can even see wild dolphins on the way.
Sri Lanka, South Asia
Sri Lanka has long appealed to the adventurous, with mountains to climb, thick forests to explore and ancient shipwrecks to discover in its warm Indian Ocean waters.
There are beautiful beaches aplenty, but with so much to see and do, finding the time to lie back and relax might prove to be a challenge. Whether on land or out at sea, exploration always beckons and the curious cannot resist. The island is a true melting pot, comprising countless cultures and languages, but life here is easy.
Visit pre-historic settlements and sites rich in cultural heritage, trek through forests, paddy fields and quiet villages — on foot, by horse or even on an elephant — or climb the paths that wind up the hills and mountains, the choice is yours. The interior demands to be explored, but you’ll always be drawn back to the beach, where the inviting sands, scuba sites and world-class surfing await.
Fiji is a Melanesian country in the South Pacific Ocean and is divided into nine groups of islands. You can visit Fiji’s all year, the temperatures staying even and around 27’C.
Ocean activities like swimming, snorkelling and diving can be enjoyed in all seasons. Scuba divers enjoy increased visibility around coral reefs during the Fijian ‘winter’ months of May – October.
The largest and most important island of the country is called Viti Levu. It is the most economically developed and has a rich cultural heritage to discover. Viti Levu’s best attractions are on the water, our favourite ones are the dolphin-spotting, the kite-surfer paradise of “Nananu-i-Ra”, and the coral reefs of the “Bligh Passage”.
Located less than an hour boat from Naples, Capri is an inevitable step, an idyllic island, where sharp cliffs rise majestically above a crystalline blue sea. Enjoy the stunning natural landscape, shop at Capri’s trendiest clothing boutique, eat some local delicacies or go clubbing all night.
The most famous sight on Capri island is incontestably “The Blue Grotto”, a magical cavern where the sea glows electric blue. This extraordinary optical effect is created by the sunlight bouncing on the cave walls which gives the water this electric blue shade. History enthusiasts will enjoy the “Villa Jovis”, ruins of the Imperial Roman villas, where the emperor Tiberius lived.
Capri can be pretty crowded in summer – our tip – rent a boat, and enjoy the sea away from the flock of tourists. Take advantage of the trip to view The Faraglioni, a massive rock formation made up of three separate limestone stacks. In the evening, stop at the trendy ‘Piazzeta’ for a drink or drive to Naples for one of the best pizza in Italy. Of course, try at least once a Caprese salad, the typical dish here, made with vine-ripened tomatoes, milky mozzarella, aromatic basil leaves and delicious local olive oil. You’ll find it on every menu. Night owls will also enjoy Capri for its nightlife; clubs don’t open before midnight, and stay open until sunrise! Whatever you like doing on holiday, Capri has it all.
Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
The Ko Phi Phi archipelago is located in the Andaman Sea, a marginal sea of the Indian Ocean. Located off the west coast of southern Thailand, it offers an interesting range of vegetation and animal species.
The two main islands of the group are Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Leh. Ko Phi Phi is the ideal destination for nature lovers, Koh Phi Phis Flora impresses with a mixture of jungle and rocky landscapes.
The island guides can take you to an amazing jungle trek where you’ll see many animals, like monkeys, snakes and wild birds.
St Lucia, Caribbean
Saint Lucia is just a direct eight-hour direct flight from the UK, and the ideal destination for adventurers.
The island have volcanic origins and if you like hiking, you will love “The Pitons”, two mountainous volcanic plugs classed as a World Heritage Site.
The best Caribbean beaches are in St Lucia, the most famous ones are “Sugar Beach” and “Marigot Bay”. “Grande Anse” is the place to go if you want to see sea turtles crawl out of the water and lay their eggs on the sand. Worth mentioning that Sugar Beach luxury resort is one of its kind, perfect for family holidays and romantic escapes.
Whitsunday Islands, Australia
Whitsunday islands is an archipelago of 74 tropical islands located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Sea life amateurs won’t miss the opportunity to snorkel or scuba dive in the marvellous Great Barrier Reef, which is an emotional and unforgettable experience.
It is difficult to chose where to stay on the archipelago as there are so many islands. Our favourite resort in located on “the Hamilton island”, the largest and most popular Whitsunday island. “Qualia” is a resort of 60 secluded pavilions hidden away on the northern tip of the island.
Conde Nast Traveler labelled Qualia as the best resort on earth in 2012. It is an adults-only retreat with an award-winning spa, two superb guest-only restaurants, a library, two bars and an excellent catalogue of water activities.
Kaua’i, part of the Hawaiian archipelago, is Hawaii’s fourth largest island and is also named “the garden island” which couldn’t be a better way to describe it. It is indeed an island made of sharp mountains, green valleys and cascading waterfalls, so beautiful you just need to get here to fully embrace its beauty.
Explore the beautiful cliffs of the Napali coast, on the North side of the island and the Coconut coast on the East side. On the South shore, you’ll find sites with cultural, historical, and geological significance alongside beautiful beaches. The island of Kaua’i has been featured in more than seventy Hollywood movies and television shows, notably Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park and Jurassic World.
Nature lovers must go to Waimea Canyon State Park, a gorgeous canyon formed by the Waimea River raising from the extreme rainfall on the island’s central peak. The canyon is dramatically beautiful, with shades of green, red and orange. There are several hiking trails for varied viewpoint so you could even come here a couple of times. Also make sure to check out the Queen’s Bath, a natural pool in form of a sinkhole surrounded by volcanic rocks.
Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Waiheke Island is the most populated and the second-largest island in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand. The island is just a 35 minutes ferry ride from Auckland. Enjoy this heaven of beautiful vineyards and olive groves, join a wine testing and relax over a delicious vineyard lunch.
Waiheke is an immersive adventure, where you can either wander along the cliffs, explore the beaches or fly smoothly in the forest with a zip-line. Swimming at night is also a magical experience at many Waiheke Island beaches as you can see phosphorescent plankton. You can also sometimes spot Penguins along the coast at dusk and dawn too.
If you want to stay on the island overnight, we advise you to stay at the “Delamore lodge”, where you will enjoy relaxing spa treatments, sophisticated food and wine and an irresistible swimming pool overlooking the bay. The sky above Waiheke is immense and dark, making the stars appear brighter. The island a great place to look for shooting stars or learn to pick out the constellations. The island is very safe and nocturnal walkers will be rewarded by the soothing sounds of the surrounding nature and perhaps by a couple of owls flying around bushes.
Dalmatian Islands, Croatia
Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast runs along the western edge of the country and is a unique destination made of picturesque islands and seaside towns. It doesn’t matter which of the seventy islands you’ll pick, you’ll come back with amazing memories.
Our favourite island is incontestably Cres, known for its population of griffons, where you can wonder in oaky forests, admire the majestic cliffs standing along the sea and rest on quiet beaches.
The largest city and hub of the coastline is Split, haven of UNESCO listed sights and museums. Tourists sometimes neglect passing by the Croatian capital deprived of beaches, gorgeous Zagreb, an architectural and historical treasure that we recommend to see.
Bali is the favourite destination for surfers and divers but there is much more to discover than its beaches and marine biodiversity. Exotic temples and palaces set against stunning landscapes make the island an experience of its kind.
Pick wisely where to stay on the island as each city offers a different experience. “Seminyak” is Bali’s beach resort area, most of the island best dining options are around and night birds will enjoy its nightlife.
On the other end, “Ubud” is very quiet and the ideal place for nature lovers, preferring green valleys to the beach and enjoying art, culture and history. But if you’re a party animal, “Kuta” is known as the ideal destination with its numerous bars and clubs opens till the early hours.
Cook Islands, South Pacific Ocean
The Cook Islands are a warm tropical paradise in the heart of the South Pacific. They are made of 15 islands scattered over a vast area. The largest island, Rarotonga, is home to rugged mountains and vivid blue lagoons. Rarotonga island is very modern though has a robust culture, firmly anchored by traditional Polynesian values and history.
Here you can taste locally grown organic coffee and artisan food consisting of fresh-caught fish. You won’t be able to choose between the different outdoors activities, from lagoon cruises and cultural visits to fishing and hiking.
Avarua is the national capital where you can shop and enjoy local culture. To the north, Aitutaki Island features a vast lagoon encircled by coral reefs and small, sandy islets, perfect to snorkel and scuba-dive. The sublime lagoon of “Aitutaki” must be on your travel bucket list. It’s one of the Pacific’s jewels surrounded by tiny deserted islands.
The Cook Islands are also home to magical underground limestone caves where you can swim in warm waters. The islands of Mauke and Mitiaro probably boast the best caves. In Mauke, ‘Vai Tango’ is perhaps the most easily accessible freshwater cave, with a deep clear pool under overhanging stalactites whilst ‘Vai Nauri’ in Mitiaro is a deep clear lake reputed to have healing powers.
Welcome to one of the most beautiful destinations in Greece. Santorini offers a unique landscape of beaches in exotic colours of black, red, and white, a product of their volcanic sand. Imagine swimming in the warm mythic Aegean sea, with volcano and stunning sunsets as a backdrop.
The island architecture is very distinctive, churches are built into caves and the whitewashed houses, blue-domed churches and paved paths are astonishingly beautiful. The temperature goes as high as 30 degres, making it an ideal destination. Santorini is perhaps the most spectacular at sunset, when the sun sink in the horizon while the sky takes stunning orange and pink shades, reflecting on the white houses.
This Greek island is a place to indulge. The island boasts impressive 5-star hotels with infinity pools and excellent service. Spoil yourself with spa treatments, wine tasting, vineyards tours, shopping in luxurious fashion boutiques and romantic dinners with a view to the endless Aegean Sea. Santorini is a very popular destination so pick the right time of the year so crowds don’t spoil your fun. The best time to visit is from September to October and April to May when the weather is warm and the tourists are rare.
Palawan is the largest province in the Philippines – a long, narrow island surrounded by a scattering of around’1,780 tiny islands and islets. In Palawan, you’ll find rocky coves, river canyons, virgin forests,’white beaches and a wide array of exotic wildlife.
Treat yourself to delicious local cuisine and local beers in Palawan. If you’re not a fan of crowds, Port Barton is a very quiet village where you’ll find beautiful, unspoiled beaches. You can also snorkel to see sea turtles and kayak to nearby islets you’ll have all to yourself.
Palawan is an important stop for migratory birds and shelter fifteen bird species found nowhere else. For nature lovers, Palawan really is paradise. Puerto Princesa Underground River is’a “must-see” in Sabang;’declared one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature in 2012.
Coron Bay is also a famous destination for divers where you can explore’over half a dozen sunken WWII ships. Experienced divers can explore’this vast, subterranean world with abandoned engine rooms, scattered personal effects, and bomb holes. Need another reason to visit Palawan? The Philippines are one the cheapest destinations to visit.
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Bora Bora is a remote island in the South Pacific, northwest of Tahiti, popular with tourists for its luxurious resorts with overwater bungalows. One of the best hotels to stay at is the five star Four Seasons hotel.
Surrounded by beaches of white sand and turquoise water protected by a coral reef, the four seasons is a really nice place to snorkel and dive. Stay in a stunning overwater bungalow suite and paddle around the resort in endless turquoise waters.
Enjoy the laid-back vibe of the island on pristine white-sand Matira beach or visit the lagoon local stingrays, blacktip and lemon sharks. Booking a snorkeling guided tour is probably the best thing to do, as the guide will know where to find the marine creatures and you’ll make the most of your time snorkeling.
The most impressive sight of the island is certainly from Mount Otemanu one of two peaks of an extinct volcano located at the center of the island rising 2,400 feet above the lagoon. But don’t worry, hiking isn’t the only option to get there. 4×4 tours are available, and you can even admire the dramatic landscape from helicopter.
Mauritius is the perfect holiday destination for any tourist. The island offers a variety of water sports, beautiful white beaches, long mountain treks, wildlife, sightseeing and luxurious resorts.
This is an island filled with history. There are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites to visit: “Aapravasi Ghat” in the colonial capital of Port Louis and “Le Morne”, a mountain used as a shelter by runaway slaves in the 18th century. There is a very beautiful viewpoint at the top of Le Morne. Experienced hikers might find the trail easy, but if you’re not that used to mountains, make sure you go with a lot of energy as this is a very stiff 3 hours hike.
Mauritius also boasts amazing national parks, like the “Black River Gorges” and the “Casela Wildlife Park” where you can walk with lion cubs. Marine life fans will also be rewarded here. The North of the island isn’t a great place to snorkel as the water can be quite shallow and dark, but Mahebourg bay is a great location. You’ll see here a multitude of coloured tropical fish and corals. We even spotted some dangerous stone fish napping at the bottom of the sea.
Seychelles, French Polynesia
Seychelles, in the Indian Ocean, has 115 idyllic islands characterized by long white beaches with huge rocks of pink granite. Anse Lazio is one of the most special beaches to see and widely regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world.
The Aldabra Islands is the world’s second largest atoll, surrounded by coral reef and home to 152,000 giant tortoises.
The green Vall’e de Mai National Park is the only place where all six of the palm species endemic to Seychelles, including the Coco de mer, are found together. The Coco de mer produces a fruit that is one of the largest and is valued by a number of Asian cultures for its believed aphrodisiac, medicinal and mystic properties.
Maui is a volcanic island in Hawaii with 30 miles of beach and crystal clear waters. If you love snorkelling, you must see the rainbow of coral and tropical fishes.
There is so much to do on the island too. Don’t miss the popular Haleakalā National Park with waterfalls, bamboo forest, Hawaiian geese, dormant volcano and lava flows. Stay the day in the park and witness its spectacular sunsets over the mountains. Wander in Lahaina’s historic sites and take a road trip to Hana. From Maui island you can sail to the romantic Lanai which is also known for Shipwreck Beach with an offshore wreck of a WWII tanker.
The island consists of a few microclimates and weather varies drastically depending on which side of the island you stay on. The West side is generally the warmest though the tropical weather can even vary day-to-day with extremes such as sunshine and thunderstorms so pack accordingly.
Maldives, Indian Ocean
The Maldives are a beautiful string of atolls in the Indian Ocean consisting of over 1,000 coral islands known for their white sand beaches and warm, turquoise blue waters. The tropical islands are sunny and hot all-year round though the most popular time to visit is between November and April as this is the period of lowest rainfall.
Visit the coral reefs in Maldives for one of the world’s most exceptional destinations for scuba diving and snorkelling where you can see turtles and brightly coloured tropical fish. For the more adventurous types, swim with giant whale sharks and see manta rays at night.
When planning your trip you will be spoilt for choice with mindblowing new 5 star hotels, most of which are set on tiny, private islands, and accessed by sea plane or speed boat from the main island.
Corsica is a small, mountainous island off the coast of France in the Mediterranean sea. This French island is known by locals as the “island of beauty” or “ile de beaut'” due to its stunning natural landscapes. Corsica is stunningly varied – From stunning cliffs on the coastline to impossibly clear turquoise sea, dense forests with hiking trails to relaxed coastal towns. Visit this island for hiking trails, fishing, boat tours, snorkelling and diving.
You’ll find Corsica’s most stunning beaches in Porto-Vecchio, located on the southeast coast of the island. We recommend Palombaggia and Tamaricciu. Porto-Vecchio is also a lovely place to stay at. Its Old Town from the 16th century overlooks the marina and hosts many boutiques, bars and restaurants. History lovers will enjoy a trip to the Bonifacio Citadel, the oldest fortified city of Corsica built during the 9th century and overlooking the marina making a stunning viewpoint.
If you like hiking, we recommend you try the GR20 trail, covering a total distance of 180 km. The route goes from Calenzana in the northwest to Conca in the southeast. It takes 15 days to hike the whole trail. As for the rest of France, Corsica takes food seriously and foodies won’t be disappointed. Try local cheese, especially goat cheese, local wine, cured meat, stews and Corsican delicious clementines.
Madagascar is the fourth largest island on our planet and a dream destination for outdoors enthusiasts where you can see rare animals, rainforests, baobabs and extraordinary white sand beaches. The avenue of the baobabs, famous on Instagram, is a must see experience if traveling to Madagascar.
From July to October, pass by “Nosy Be” to spot one of the rarest animal species on the planet, the Omura whale. You’ll find at Nosy Be miles of white sand beaches, luxurious resorts and trendy restaurants. Snorkelling is highly recommended if you’re around. If you’re looking for a more local and authentic experience, drive to ‘le Sainte Marie where you’ll enjoy delicious local seafood. From here, take a boat to go whale watching. The whale watching in Madagascar is some of the best in the world.
Nature lovers must also visit one of Madagascar natural parks to observe its wildlife, from chameleons to snakes and lemurs. we recommend Isalo national park which should amaze you. You’ll find here beautiful rugged hiking trails, waterfalls and various species of friendly lemurs. Ranomafana national park is also a great spot, where you’ll find abundant wildlife, such as lemurs and chameleons.
The Galapagos are an archipelago of 21 volcanic islands located in the Pacific Ocean and considered one of the world’s famous destinations for wildlife viewing.
Shark Point, Santa Cruz or Daphne Island are a ‘melting pot’ of marine species. No other site in the world will offer the experience of diving with such a diversity of sea animals, from sea lions to sharks and turtles, so familiar with human that they accompany divers.
Make sure you plan at least two weeks in the Galapagos, as this is the kind of trip you do once in a lifetime!
Natural wonders await in the Azores, a land of vast volcanic craters, pristine white-sand beaches, hot thermal waters and more. Located in the breathtaking mid-Atlantic, this Portuguese archipelago is a sight to behold with its dramatic landscapes, and with so much to see, you’ll need a return visit or two in order to take it all in.
Explore the beautiful lake-filled calderas, stroll amongst the vineyards or take a trip to see the spectacular geysers, the choice is yours.
With nine islands in the archipelago demanding to be explored, you’ll find that filling your days here is never a problem. Time seems to slow down in the Azores and, when you need to relax, you’ll find there are no shortage of secret spots to kick back and drift away. Follow the grass-covered trails to the perfect sands before lying back to soak up the warm Atlantic sunshine.
Prince Edward Island, Canada
Outdoor adventures await on Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province proving a big draw for those keen to escape modern life and all its stresses. Known for its brilliant red sand beaches, this is the perfect getaway, located off New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, with spectacular scenery at every turn and activities galore to suit all tastes.
Speaking of tastes, the food here is legendary, with the local seafood topping most menus and lobster and mussels amongst the fresh ingredients in abundant supply. Need to work off a large meal?
Take to the trails or head out on the water, with canoeing and kayaking always an option for those seeking an experience to savour. Cycling and skiing, hunting and fishing, it’s all about the great outdoors here. With so much to do, it’s no surprise that visitors return to Prince Edward Island again and again.
Easter Island, Chile
Best known for its mythical moai, Easter Island draws visitors keen to see the supersized statues that have stood on its shores ever since the 13th century. There are more than 900 here, imposing human figures with over-sized heads, and whilst it is these that bring most tourists to this remote spot, there’s far more to see and do here than one might at first suspect.
Visit vast volcanic craters, take a trip to a preserved stone village or spend some time on the stunning sand beaches that encircle Easter Island, the choice is yours.
For those seeking an adventure offshore, world-class diving sites beckon, whilst the seafood is fresh and delicious and the atmosphere on the island always peaceful. This perfect slice of Polynesia is one of the most remote inhabited islands on Earth.
Lofoten Island, Norway
Strung across the dramatic Norwegian Sea, high above the Arctic Circle, the Lofoten Islands look spectacular. With deep fjords and magnificent mountains, this is a wilderness unequalled in its beauty, where giant sea eagles soar and all is at peace.
Milder in climate than their position suggests, visitors are drawn to the islands to experience the Northern Lights and Midnight Sun at close quarters, and for those keen to get back to nature and escape the beaten track, there can be nowhere better.
Savour the calm and the quiet, the great outdoors all around and always something special to see and do. For a real treat, we recommend kayaking between islands before finding a nice quiet restaurant and enjoying the fresh ingredients that are a speciality. Fish is always on the menu — and nowhere does it taste finer than here.
Isle Of Skye, Scotland
Rugged and remarkable, Skye is a spectacular sight, connected to Scotland’s northwest coast by bridge, yet remote, wild and unfathomably beautiful.
With its craggy coastline and its mountainous interior, the island beckons walkers and climbers keen to tackle the Cuillin Range and Trotternosh Ridge, whilst those seeking adventures a little less extreme head here to spot the island’s abundant wildlife, with majestic sea eagles, whales and dolphins amongst the species that call Skye home.
Visit medieval castles and quaint fishing villages before heading to Portree, the quiet capital, for a relaxing pint in a harbourside pub. Some 50 miles long, Skye is the largest of the Inner Hebrides and with so much to see and do, it’s the ideal place for those keen to get away from it all. Picturesque and perfect, this is Scotland at its breathtaking best and we can’t recommend a visit enough.
Saint John Island, Caribbean
Life moves at a slower pace on Saint John Island, the smallest of the three US Virgin Islands and a place where wildlife abounds and all is at peace.
The National Park dominates here, covering more than half of the miniscule island — it is just nine miles from one end to the other — and with countless bird species to spot, and dolphins and turtles amongst the fascinating creatures found in the warm Caribbean waters, it’s no surprise that this is a destination that draws nature lovers again and again.
This is a place to rest and relax, far from the beaten track and a much calmer destination than other Caribbean islands. Head to the North Shore to sample the beautiful sands, with Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay, Maho Beach and Honeymoon Beach all recommended. Peace and quiet are abundant, making this an island where relaxation is always on the agenda.
Grand Cayman, Caribbean
Breathtaking beaches beckon visitors to Grand Cayman, but there’s far more to life here than the pristine sands and the warm Caribbean waters.
Hit the shops in George Town, the capital, where all the best designer brands can be found, before checking out the cultural and historic highlights that dot the island. Need to kick back after all that sightseeing? You’ll be spoilt for choice, although the crescent-shaped Seven Mile Beach, on the island’s west side, is the most obvious destination for those seeking paradise.
Grand Cayman is popular on the cruise ship circuit, but avoiding the crowds isn’t difficult to do here. Head out on the water, where vibrant coral reefs await and the island’s famous stingrays swim alongside captivated divers in the North Sound. Great food, great weather and great tourist attractions for all, what’s not to like about gorgeous Grand Cayman?
It might be best known for its thriving club scene and summer parties, but there’s more to Mykonos than meets the eye. Glamourous and cosmopolitan in parts, true Greece still endures, with the fishing boats bobbing in the island’s harbours, perfect sands beckoning beach bums and the ancient windmills that dot the hilltops here proving attractive to all.
Enjoying the perfect spot in warm Aegean waters, this is a sun-kissed paradise, its whitewashed villages shining bright and its climate ideal for those keen to top up their tans. Young people might flock here for the nightclubs, but head off the beaten track a little and peace and quiet can be found.
Look out for Little Venice, the fishing houses that line the waterfront, their balconies hanging over the sea below and a sight to savour. Be it the music or the museums, there are attractions to suit all tastes here and, with the sun always beating down, life doesn’t get much better.
The Mediterranean’s second largest island, after Sicily, Sardinia is an absolute delight. Boasting 1200 miles of spectacular coastline, beautiful beaches abound here, but with its mountainous interior to explore, there’s rather more to life than lying back on the perfect sands.
Hiking trails criss-cross the island, whilst mysterious ancient ruins demand to be explored. For those keen to escape the hectic Italian mainland, this is the perfect place and there’s always something to do.
Take a scenic drive, visit picture-perfect villages or find a place to soak up the Sardinian sunshine, life is peaceful here and there are options and activities to suit all tastes. Castelsardo demands a visit, whilst Cagliari, the capital, beckons with its medieval walled quarter and castle. Feeling peckish? The food here is a delight, with fresh local ingredients put to good use in dishes that are to die for. Trust us on this, you’ll never want to leave.
Guadeloupe’s original settlers called this spectacular spot Karukera — The Island of Beautiful Waters — and it isn’t difficult to see why. Stunning and scenic, the crystal clear Caribbean Sea laps at the pristine sands, always beckoning awe-struck visitors to take a dip and providing the perfect backdrop for those keen to kick back and relax.
Guadeloupe isn’t one island, but several, a picturesque tropical archipelago, and for anyone seeking a secret spot in the sunshine, there’s no shortage of choice.
Six of the islands here are inhabited, including Grand-Terre, with its hills, long beaches and sugarcane fields, and Basse-Terre, volcanic and craggy, with dramatic views to savour. But with countless smaller islets to explore, peace and quiet isn’t difficult to find. Timeless and secluded, La Desirade demands a visit, whilst Les Saintes boasts amazing beaches and a beautiful bay. Thinking about paying a visit? You’ll never want to leave.
Turks and Caicos, Carribean
Uncrowded beaches and clear blue waters beckon visitors to Turks and Caicos, a sun-kissed Atlantic archipelago, where relaxation is always on the agenda. Comprising 40 low-lying coral islands to the south east of the Bahamas, this is true paradise, with palm trees fringing the perfect sands and the warm waters always calling.
You can do a lot or a little here, be it lying back with a book on Grace Bay Beach or exploring Providenciales, aka Provo, with all its luxurious resorts, boutique shops and high-end restaurants.
For those seeking an adventure, scuba diving is always an option and, with a 14-mile barrier reef to explore, there’s a great deal to see offshore. Tranquil, beautiful and appealing to all, it’s no surprise that Turks and Caicos is such a popular place for those keen to experience island life at its absolute best. Take our advice and take a trip, you won’t regret it.
Bermuda, British Overseas Territory
With its famous pink-sand beaches, Bermuda beckons visitors keen to experience island life at its finest. But the island’s appeal goes far beyond its palm-fringed sands.
Outdoor adventures await in the North Atlantic Ocean, with world-class diving and sailing always on the agenda here. Explore shipwrecks, caves and subterranean lakes, or take to the water on an exhilarating jet ski ride, the choice is yours. No matter your mood, you’ll find aquatic activities to suit.
For those who prefer something a little quieter, the island boasts a fascinating colonial history, whilst those who cannot resist the pink sands should head for Elbow Beach or Horseshoe Bay. Look out for humpback whales and other natural wonders and, when the day’s end approaches and the sun starts to go down, be sure to toast Bermuda with the rum-based drinks for which the island is so renowned.
Hot springs and mineral-rich thermal waters beckon visitors to Ischia, a volcanic outcrop in the tranquil Tyrrhenian Sea, just 19 miles from bustling Naples, but quiet, calm and a world apart.
Travelling here is like going back in time, this miniscule island known for its medieval castle, manicured gardens and Roman remains, and treasures await those who leave the modern Italian mainland and travel to its rugged shores.
The largest of the Phlegrean Islands, Ischia is still tiny, just six miles long and four miles wide, making exploring easy. Far from the beaten track, you’ll discover peace and quiet here, and natural wonders as far as the eye can see. Given its fishing traditions, it’s no surprise that seafood tops most menus and foodies are certain to be in their element, with the day’s catch delicious and the wine to die for. Life is simple here, but that’s how we like it.
Visitors flock to Mallorca to soak in the warm turquoise waters before lying back on the gorgeous golden sands. It’s a popular spot — and for good reason — but for anyone planning a break in the Balearics, it is still possible to find peace and escape the tourist crowds.
Beyond the busier beaches, there are secret spots aplenty, with quiet coves beckoning and the island’s mountainous exterior to explore. Discover quaint stone villages and Roman remains, walk amongst the citrus plantations or head to Palma, Mallorca’s cosmopolitan capital, where the restaurants serve the freshest food and the nightlife is legendary, there are options here to suit all tastes.
More often than not, though, you’ll be drawn back to the beach for the chance to relax beneath the beating Balearic sun before cooling down in the inviting Mediterranean waters. Island life at its best, it’s no surprise that Mallorca continues to prove so popular.
Vanuatu, South Pacific Ocean
Comprising 80 rugged and remote islands and cays in the tranquil Pacific Ocean, Vanuatu beckons visitors keen to avoid the crowds and soak up a little solitude. Looking for flash resorts and mega tourist attractions? Look elsewhere. This is peaceful, perfect and far from the beaten track.
The crystal-clear waters mean scuba diving is always on the agenda here, with vibrant coral reefs, mysterious caves and caverns, and ancient wrecks to discover beneath the surface. With its deserted beaches, you’ll spend much time on the sands, but if you can tear yourself away, the island’s interior is well worth exploring.
Find hidden waterfalls, lush forests and cultural treasures, or head a little further afield and experience life elsewhere on the vast volcanic archipelago. Cruises, excursions and tours can be arranged, although the temptation to remain on the beach and soak up some more rays is always strong.
You’ll find certain home comforts in this miniscule British Commonwealth nation, with games of cricket and afternoon tea always on the agenda. The similarities end there, though, with Barbados an exotic outpost, boasting perfect weather, beautiful beaches and the chance to lie back and do absolutely nothing.
This is a cruise ship port, but head a little off the beaten track and solitude can still be found on the pristine sands, with palm trees rustling in the warm breeze and the tropical Caribbean waters lapping at the shore.
Year-round sun means that there is no bad time to visit Barbados and, with temperatures consistent from one month to the next, you’ll always find that the climate is perfect and pleasant. Like to take a break from the beach? Check out the botanical gardens and colonial buildings, before returning to the sands to watch the spectacular sunset in style.
Aruba, South America
Year-round sunshine makes Aruba the perfect destination for those seeking a Caribbean paradise, with beautiful beaches, warm waters and a climate tailor-made for relaxation. Aruba lies southwest of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea, 80 km northwest of Curaçao and 29 km north of the Venezuelan peninsula of Paraguaná.
This can be a popular place, a regular stop on the cruise ship circuit, but with mile after mile of white sands stretching around the gorgeous coastline, it isn’t difficult to avoid the crowds and find some much needed peace and quiet here.
You can do a lot or a little on Aruba, with world-class diving and watersports always an option, and caves, cliffs and ancient boulders to explore inland, by foot, horseback or ATV. The island is tiny, making it easy to get around and see everything. But more often than not, you’ll be drawn to the beach, where the trade winds offer respite from the beating sun, the palm trees give shade and the flamingos provide the entertainment.
Tahiti, French Polynesia
Boasting beautiful black-sand beaches, waterfalls, lagoons and extinct volcanoes. Tahiti is the largest of all the islands in sun-kissed French Polynesia, this is paradise personified, with rest and relaxation always on the agenda and natural wonders as far as the eye can see.
Take a soak in the warm waters before retreating to your luxurious lodge, you’ll find that the pace of life is somewhat slower here. Part of a vast chain comprising 118 islands and atolls, many of them uninhabited and unfathomably remote, solitude is not hard to find here, and peace and quiet abounds.
Split into two parts, Tahiti Nui to the west and Tahiti Iti to the east, this figure eight-shaped island is the perfect destination for those keen to get away from it all. Lie back and feel yourself drift away, there are few places on Earth more tranquil than Tahiti.
Dominican Republic, Caribbean
Beach life doesn’t get much better than this, with 250 miles of pristine sands, warm Caribbean waters lapping at the shore and lush green palm trees rustling in the sea breeze. The Dominican Republic is made for relaxation and from the moment you arrive, you’ll feel all your troubles start to melt away.
The welcome here is as warm as the tropical climate, the island renowned for its hospitality, and no matter your mood, you’ll never be short of something to do.
Explore Pico Duarte, the Caribbean’s highest mountain peak, trek through the mysterious rainforest or discover the Dominican Republic’s world-class golf resorts and courses, the choice is yours. Culture vultures will find a great deal to see and do in Santo Domingo, the capital, with all its Spanish influences and landmarks. But more often than not, you’ll find yourself bound for the beach, with the chance to kick back too good to resist.
Puerto Rico, Caribbean
There’s something for everyone in Puerto Rico, a sun-soaked Caribbean paradise that can boast beautiful beaches, cultural delights, a vibrant nightlife and more.
Green palm trees fringe the golden sands here and, with towering mountains, waterfalls and the vast El Yunque National Forest to explore, the island’s natural wonders always loom large.
Head into downtown San Juan, Puerto Rico’s cosmopolitan capital, with cobblestone streets to explore and architectural treasures to enjoy, before retreating to the beach to soak up some rays with a cold drink and a good book.
For those keen to go further afield, countless islets and cays can be visited offshore, whilst Mosquito Bay, said to be the world’s brightest bioluminescent bay, demands to be seen. Whatever is on your agenda, you’ll find the welcome warm here, with Puerto Rico known as one of the friendliest places around and visitors guaranteed to be well received.
Interested in island hopping? Zanzibar is the perfect place to give it a try. Comprising more than 40 islands, this is an appealing archipelago, enjoying an unrivalled location in the warm Indian Ocean, 20 miles to the east of the Tanzanian mainland.
Gorgeous white sands and lush palm trees fringe the shores here, whilst peace and quiet is not hard to find. Most visitors head to Unguja — or, informally, Zanzibar Island — or perhaps Pemba, but with countless smaller islands to explore, solitude can soon be discovered.
The perfect place to relax, there is more to life in Zanzibar than lying back on the beach and tripping from one island to the next. Boasting Indian, African, Arabian and European influences, this is a true melting pot. These are nicknamed the Spice Islands and, with cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon and black pepper all grown and produced here, foodies will be in their element.
Reunion Island, Indian Ocean
Covered in craters, some housing entire villages, there’s no hiding Reunion’s volcanic past (or present, for Piton de la Fournaise is still active and continues to smoulder away). Feeling brave? You can climb the lava-clad slopes here, although if this seems too great a risk, head instead to Piton des Neiges, which is, at least, extinct.
Reunion is a magical place, boasting vast calderas, lush green forests and beautiful beaches that demand to be explored. Lie back and chill or head for the mountainous interior, where white water rafting trips await and the forest can be trekked, either on foot or, in parts, via Segway.
Enjoying a breathtaking location in the warm Indian Ocean, to the east of Madagascar, this fabulous French outpost is a real treasure that sparkles in the tropical sunshine. Island life at its finest, this is not a place to miss.
Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Comprising more than 1500 small islands and cays, jungle-covered Raja Ampat is like nowhere else on Earth. There are four main islands here — Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati and Misool — and with so much ground to explore, your main challenge will be trying to fit it all in.
Located off the northwestern tip of Indonesia’s spectacular Bird’s Head Peninsula, Raja Ampat is wonderous. For those seeking outdoor adventures, there’s nowhere better. There are beautiful beaches galore here, whilst out at sea, vibrant coral reefs and captivating creatures beckon divers keen to glimpse Raja Ampat’s marvellous marine life at close quarters.
Thinking about paying a visit? Be sure to visit Misool, to see the famous rock paintings and caves, and Waigeo, where the crimson bird of paradise can often be seen. So much to do, so much to see, it’s no surprise that visitors return here time and time again.
Hvar is a beautiful Croatian island that enjoys the perfect position in warm Adriatic waters, with sights galore to appeal to all. There are the ancient walls, hilltop fortress and renaissance-era cathedral, for one thing.
Then there are the beautiful beaches that beckon visitors keen to lie back and soak up the sunshine. With narrow winding streets to explore, there’s always something to do here. With its mild climate, the conditions couldn’t be better.
Hvar comes alive after dark, with a nightlife that is legendary. During the daytime, though, things tend to be quieter amid the olive trees, vineyards and lavender fields, making this the ideal spot to escape modern life and all its stresses. Like to explore further afield? Take a boat trip and visit the smaller surrounding islands, with their secluded coves and beaches and no-one else in sight.
Year-round sun makes Malta a popular destination. Visitors are drawn to its sun-kissed beaches to kick back and relax in a Central Mediterranean paradise.
The golden sands are a sight to behold, but with a rich and fascinating history, there’s much more to Malta, with countless fortresses and temples to explore, and caves and cliffs aplenty, making this a picture-perfect location to savour.
With world-class diving on the agenda and a thriving nightclub scene for those seeking good times after-hours, there are options for all here. Like to go a little further field? Gozo and Comino demand to be explored, with trips always available. Head out to sea before returning to Malta for dinner, cocktails and a night on the town.
Without an airport, Paxos is no tourist trap, making it the perfect island retreat for those seeking peace and quiet beneath the beating Ionian sun.
For those who do take the boat ride here, life is unhurried, with little to do and all the time in the world in which to do it. Take a stroll amongst the endless olive groves, explore the dramatic caves and cliffs that dot the coastline. Or lie back on the beach with a good book and a cold drink, the choice is yours.
Small and unspoilt, this is Greek island life at its finest, with relaxation always on the agenda in a timeless and picturesque location. Just six miles from end to end, you’ll be able to explore the entire island, but do be warned: so perfect is Paxos that, when the time comes to leave, you’ll find it almost impossible to tear yourself away.
Seeking paradise in the South Pacific? It doesn’t get better than Samoa, a place of incredible natural beauty, with wonders at every turn and a welcome as warm as the sunshine.
Comprising two main islands — Savai’i and Upola — as well as four smaller ones, there’s a great deal to see here, but all around is wonderful wildlife, lush green jungles and some of the best beaches on Earth. With azure seas lapping at the emerald shores, relaxation comes easy, whilst for those keen to get out and about and explore the islands in greater depth, native culture and history abounds.
Samoa doesn’t do flash resorts and attractions and those seeking such things would be advised to look elsewhere. For those drawn to peaceful waterfalls, pristine sands and dramatic volcanic backdrops, however, this is a destination that ticks all the boxes.
Want more stunning destinations? Next up is the most Instagram-worthy places on the planet. Number eight took our deep breath away.
The volcanic island of Martinique is a mountainous landscape of steep forested hills and world-class gold beaches. The coastline is rugged and the welcome warm, and with its unique blend of French and West Indies culture, it makes for a fascinating place to spend a little downtime under the warm Caribbean sun.
Belonging to the Lesser Antilles, this is a little off the beaten track, but things can still get lively, with Fort-de-France, the largest town and capital, always worth a visit. For those who prefer to keep things a little quieter, there are beaches galore to explore, with white sands in the south and black beaches to the north, a reminder that Mont Pelee, Martinique’s imposing volcano, is still smoldering.
With countless hiking trails to explore, canyoning adventures to experience and world-class surfing, there is always something to do in Martinique. It’s no surprise then that visitors choose to return to the scenic shores here time and time again.
The Philippines are photogenic — nowhere more so than captivating Coron, the most attractive island imaginable and a place that calls to those with an eye for the aesthetic. Boasting crystal-clear waters, perfect sands and jungle-covered mountains, Coron has it all. With so much to see and do here, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
This remote corner of Palawan is a place proving popular, but beneath the warm waters, all is calm and quiet amongst the vibrant coral reefs.
Diving is always an option here, with countless shipwrecks to explore, whilst those who prefer to remain on land can join jungle trek adventures, take tours on horseback or relax amongst the mangroves and enjoy the breathtaking views. Be sure to set a little time aside to lie back on the beach and soak up your surroundings — and whatever you do, don’t forget your camera.