20. Croatia, islands of Hvar and Dalmatia
Hvar, by right, is considered one of the most exquisite islands of the Adriatic. Its main city of the same name can be called the epicenter of all this beauty: the walls of the XIII-century fortress contain the best examples of elegant architecture, which are connected by marble pedestrian streets.
Tip: Local fashionistas usually gather at the Top Rooftop Restaurant Adriana Hvar Marina Hotel & Spa, which offers beautiful views of the bay filled with beautiful yachts. The hotel also offers an excellent spa complex, which includes 2 saltwater pools – indoor and outdoor.
How to get there: book a flight to Split – this is the nearest airport to get to the Dalmatian Islands, and then take a water taxi to Hvar. The trip will take about an hour.
19. Cebu, Philippines
Cebu, being the most international island in the Philippines, is also famous for its beaches – both on the mainland and on the islands. The island could be compared in the atmosphere with Thai Phuket, but it is more developed – there are more unusual restaurants and shopping options.
Tip: to experience the charm of island life, head to the Camotes Islands two hours from Cebu. But be prepared for the fact that here they pay mainly in cash.
How to get there: many Asian airlines fly through Mactan Cebu Airport. But it is located on a neighboring island, from which it takes about 30 minutes to reach Cebu.
18. Santa Lucia
It is difficult to imagine something more photogenic than 2 volcanoes of Santa Lucia. However, the whole island consists of the luxurious jungle and luxury hotels – that is why Santa Lucia is so popular among destinations for honeymooners.
Tip: Be sure to check out Anse Cochon Bay (“Bay of Pigs”). Rent a boat, sink to the bottom or just go for a swim – the experience will be incredible.
How to get there: Many American airlines fly directly to Santa Lucia from Atlanta and Miami. If you have time, be sure to take a boat to the neighboring islands of Martinique, Dominic, and Guadeloupe.
17. Orkney Islands, Scotland
You can still feel the spirit of the Vikings on the islands in the north-eastern part of Scotland. Here, UNESCO Neolithic monuments, beaches with clear blue water, and a diverse landscape – this is what makes this archipelago a great place to explore both in terms of history and with regards to beach holidays.
Tip: stay in the rooms at the Creel Restaurant. And be sure to try seafood here.
Getting there: There are regular flights from Inverness, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. Another option is a ferry from the city of Aberdeen, but it does not go so often. If possible, take a one-day cruise through the islands of Orkney – Eday, Sunday, and Hoy.
There is more ocean than land: chains of tiny islands and coral atolls go far into the Indian Ocean. Even most hotels offer accommodation above the water – in a kind of bungalow.
Tip: The Maldives is rich in coral reefs, formed in prehistoric times, and atolls. They are inhabited by thousands of species of fish, turtles, dolphins and even whales. Many hotels offer a variety of underwater excursions for those who are interested in how and what the ocean lives.
How to get there: many Asian and European airlines offer direct flights directly to Male, the main city of the Maldives.
15. Boracay, Philippines
This tiny island (only 10 square kilometers) in the western part of the Philippines is much closer to the tropical idyll that everyone usually tries to find in Southeast Asia: there are amazingly beautiful beaches, beautiful nature, and stunning sunsets. Add to this the vibrant nightlife, and you will get one of the best places in the region.
Tip: The white beach with its uncomplicated name is considered one of the best on the island: white sand and azure shallow water are the perfect combination for diving and just swimming.
Getting there: there are regular flights from Manila to the Caticlan, from there passenger boats go directly to the White Beach.
14. Mykonos, Greece
They say that it was here that Hercules killed the invincible titans – and this is by no means the only legend with which the Greek island of Mykonos is associated. Being a popular tourist destination on numerous cruises, Mykonos is rightfully considered one of the best places for parties since the days of Dionysus.
Tip: It’s better not to come here in July and August – you will see only crowds and are unlikely to get the right idea about the life of the locals. You should definitely see the area of the so-called “little Venice”, where you should dine at the Kounelas restaurant, not far from the harbor, to try what regulars call the most delicious fish on the island.
How to get there: there are daily flights from Athens, which lasts only 35 minutes. There is also an established ferry service – this is a more affordable option, but you will spend about 5 hours on the way.
13. St. Johns, Virgin Islands
This small island in the Caribbean is a territory that has not yet been captured by global development. Perhaps this is due to the fact that two-thirds of the island is a national park. This makes St. Johns an ideal destination for those who like to be in the lap of nature and do not mind exploring the jungle or scuba diving.
Tip: St. Gulf John’s Trunk with its turquoise water and an ideal sandy beach is considered one of the best in the world for both leisure and diving.
How to get there: There is no airport on the island, so the boat will become your main vehicle. Ferries depart from two ports – Red Hook and Charlotte Amalie. Travel time usually takes from 20 to 45 minutes.
12. The British Virgin Islands
The eastern part of the Virgin Islands archipelago is a more laid-back version of the US Virgin Islands. The archipelago has about 60 islands, many of which are uninhabited. But to explore the local beaches, bars, and wrecks, you need a boat.
Tip: Be sure to swim among the towering cliffs in Baths – this is a national park located on the Virgin Gorda coastline. Huge blocks were once formed by ancient volcanoes, today there are a lot of grottoes and cozy natural pools for research.
Getting there: There are no direct flights to the British Virgin Islands, but you can fly to Puerto Rico or St. Thomas and then find a boat to get there by the water.
11. Cook Islands
Have you ever dreamed about an abandoned island? So the Cook Islands, between New Zealand and Hawaii – this is it: coral lagoons, limestone caves, and pearl fields.
Tip: If you like surfing, then go to the northern part of Rarotonga, where the waves will be stronger.
Getting there: There are daily flights from Auckland to Rarotonga International Airport. There are also weekly flights from Sydney, Fiji, and Los Angeles.
10. Tasmania, Australia
Tasmania, located on the south coast of mainland Australia, attracts those who love trekking, stronger sensations and breathtaking views.
Tip: Be sure to check out Saffire Freycinet. According to the guidebooks, there is little that can be compared in beauty to this place.
Getting there: There are regular low-cost flights from Melbourne to Hobart.
9. Santorini, Greece
Perhaps not one of the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea is shrouded in so many myths like this. Santorini in the southern part of the Cyclades was originally formed by the volcanic route, thanks to which beautiful cliffs, picturesque cities, and ancient ruins appeared here, reminiscent of the fabulous Atlantis.
Tip: spend one of the evenings in the small town of Oia, located on the southwest coast.
Getting there: There are direct flights from London and Athens. But if you have time, it is better to take a ferry from Athens: the journey will take from 5 to 8 hours, but what you see will remain in your memory for a long time.
8. Bali, Indonesia
Many who have been here claiming that little can be compared to Bali. Here the best seafood and the best beaches, families ride motorbikes, and the monkeys strive to steal your glasses – every step will be a memory, experienced say.
Tip: Avoid Denpasar and Kutu, these are tourist traps, but you should definitely get to Ubud and set aside a few days for the small town of Munduk in the mountains in northern Bali.
Getting there: There are many direct flights from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Hong Kong.
7. Vancouver Island, Canada
Lovers of Vancouver say that you need to stay on this island for as long as you can afford – because there is so much to see and do. You can choose pastime from fishing in the most picturesque places, wine tasting, sailing or just long walks along the beaches.
Tip: Check-in best at the Wickaninnish Inn, considered one of the island’s best hotels. It is made of cedar and is located at the entrance to the Pacific National Reserve.
How to get there: you need to fly to mainland Vancouver and get to the island on one of the ferries that make about 25 routes to the 47 terminals of Vancouver Island.
6. Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef consists of more than 3,000 individual reefs and hundreds of islands and has such an unusual structure that it is even noticeable from space. 74 of the Whitsunday Islands offer perhaps the best snorkeling and diving courses in the world.
Tip: Water on Whitehaven Beach is famous for its changeable color, which changes from turquoise to green and azure. Quartz sand shades water.
How to get there: by domestic flight from Brisbane.
Although this small island is located in the northern Atlantic Ocean, the climate in Bermuda is decidedly subtropical. Being a British overseas territory, Bermuda is a mixture of American, English and Caribbean cultures, and offers travelers a lot of everything that needs to be done here: this is snorkeling nearby the sandy pink beaches, and golf, and unusual shops, and museums, and many much more.
Tip: Bermuda caves are famous for their famous Crystal and Fantasy Caves. Did you know that one of their first visitors was Mark Twain?
How to get there: there are regular direct flights to Bermuda from 8 cities on the US east coast, including New York, Atlanta and Miami (travel time is about 2-3 hours).
4. Wake Island, New Zealand
Wake Island in New Zealand is a cross between the American Nantucket and Sonoma, but with New Zealand charm. It is only 30 minutes by boat from Auckland, but it is an area full of vineyards and great restaurants, which is why it will be a great option for those who are looking for a reason to escape from the city. Another advantage of Wake is that in addition to the beaches in the northern part of the island, there are also tunnels preserved after the Second World War – that is, do not worry, you will find what to do here.
Tip: rent a car, if possible, with a driver, and just ride around the island, following your intuition or the driver’s prompts.
How to get there: every hour a ferry leaves from Auckland.
3. Moorea, French Polynesia
Moorea is located in the northwestern part of Tahiti and is an amazing combination of green mountains, white sand beaches, and blue lagoons. Also on the island are the ruins of ancient temples of Marae – the ancient Polynesians who lived here many centuries ago.
Tip: be sure to go swimming in the Lagoonarium de Moorea, a lagoon that is closed from prying eyes and winds, where you can dive with equipment. Here you can explore coral reefs and see sharks, stingrays and other inhabitants of the underwater world.
How to get there: from Papeete port in Tahiti there is a regular service to Moorea.
2. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
In 2014, this island was recognized as the most photogenic place on Earth, and when you get here, you will understand that it is deserved. Bora Bora is protected by a barrier reef, which makes the lagoon safe and even more beautiful.
Tip: the most luxurious rooms on the island, usually a thatched-roof bungalow directly above the water. But the chicest hotel can rightly be called St. Regis, having at its disposal the territory of the whole island.
How to get there: take a flight from Tahiti, the journey takes only 45 minutes.
1. Palawan, Philippines
This small island has become a leader on the list due to its unique natural features, namely underwater rivers, especially common in the area of the city of Puerto Princess.
Tip: the underground rivers of the Palawan are considered one of the longest rivers underground, so the best way to see them is to go on a boat excursion.
How to get there: you can fly directly to Puerto Princess, here is the main airport in Palawan. There are also ferries from Manila, but travel time will be around 24 hours.