Most Beautiful Islands in the World

I've asked around and the world's top photographers and travel experts have reported back with the most beautiful islands in the world for you to explore on your next luxurious, adventurous, or exotic vacation!

From the white-washed village islands of Greece to the unique islands found in southern Asia, I have collected plenty of personal experiences at the most scenic islands in the world. Whether visiting these beautiful islands on a Hawaiian cruise or planning a longer trek into the wilderness, these most beautiful islands in the world are awe-inspiring.

So make sure to grab your free travel planner, equipped with budgeting guides and itinerary worksheets, and stick around, because we are going to explore the most beautiful islands in the world featuring some of the most underrated destinations and outdoor vacation spots!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.

Ireland

beautiful islands Ireland

Recommended by Catherine from Travel Around Ireland

One of the most beautiful islands in the world is Ireland. This little country on the western edge of Europe is one of the most picturesque islands with a rich history and culture. Although the island contains two countries, the Republic of Ireland (generally known as Ireland) and Northern Ireland (part of Great Britain), the entire island is stunning.

A rugged coastline is met by rolling, lush green fields, giving it the nickname of the Emerald Isle. Ireland has a diverse landscape within it, with national parks that resemble a lunar landscape, tall mountains (some of which have unusual flat tops), lakes, rivers, waterfalls and forests that fill your heart with joy. And that’s just for starters.

Whether you are visiting one of the big cities such as Dublin, Belfast or Galway, or one of the smaller pretty Irish coastal towns like Cobh, Portrush or Dingle, there is sure to be somewhere that will capture your heart among the Céad Míle Fáilte (thousand welcome) greetings you’ll receive.

Ireland, as one of the most beautiful islands, is also home to one of the world’s longest coastal touring routes, the Wild Atlantic Way. A road trip along this route will see you discover everything the island has to offer including stunning national parks, sea cliffs that rise above the crashing waves of the Atlantic, castles in abundance that remind you of the long history of Ireland and more.

Ireland is a beautiful island that everyone should visit at least once. Make sure to indulge in some wholesome Irish cuisine, a pint of Guinness and good old Irish craic (good times).


Principe, Sao Tome and Principe

Principe

Recommended by Heather from Conversant Traveller

The tiny island of Principe is little-visited and remains a bit of an insider secret on the traveler trail. Located in the Gulf of Guinea off the west coast of Africa, Principe and its sister island Sao Tome are known as the ‘Chocolate Islands’. As some of the most beautiful islands in the world, they were once world-renowned producers of cocoa, exporting some of the best chocolate you’ve ever tasted all around the globe. Today most of the plantations have fallen into ruin, making for photogenic and rather haunting places to visit for tourists.

A short plane hop from Sao Tome, Principe is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and popular with bird enthusiasts and nature lovers. The whole island is carpeted in virgin rainforest, with jungle trails, mountain peaks, and lost cities to explore. It’s also home to the smallest capital city in the world, as well as a handful of luxury lodges, like Sundy Praia which is owned by the pioneering company HBD.  

Some of the best things to do in Sao Tome and Principe involve the striking black volcanic coastline, and the swirling turquoise waters that surround the island. You can sail to secluded bays for snorkeling with the resident marine life, or have a go at fishing with the locals. Enjoy a private picnic on a deserted beach, go whale watching in season, and climb up to coastal viewpoints for the best panoramas you’ll ever see.


Curacao

Curacao

Recommended by Ellie

Located in the southern region of the Caribbean Sea, Curacao is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. If you are dreaming of visiting a dreamy tropical paradise, definitely consider Curacao island for your next adventure.

Similar to its sister islands of Bonaire and Aruba, Curacao boasts warm Caribbean waters perfect for those who enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling, and other fantastic water sports. Other than the pristine water, Curacao offers breathtaking beaches, colorful buildings, and a rich Caribbean culture. 

As one of the most beautiful islands, you can expect to find some of the most beautiful national parks while exploring Curacao. Shete Boka National Park is a great place to start, sprawling over 6 miles along Curacao's northern shoreline-- home to ten pocket bays. Here you will discover numerous species of sea turtles who tend to lay their precious eggs right here in Shete Boka. The largest attraction at this national park is the Boka Tabla where you can find huge waves crashing into a huge underground tavern.

For a quirky and enjoyable vacation, check out BOHO Bohemian Hotel. You will be close to all the top Curacao attractions, enjoy a free shuttle service, and experience impeccably friendly service. All of this, paired with a modern and clean room, makes for the perfect vacation at one of the most beautiful islands in the world.


Isle of Skye, Scotland

Isle of Skye - pretty islands

Recommended by Sheree from Winging the World

The Isle of Skye is undoubtedly one of the world’s most beautiful islands. Located off the west coast of Scotland, Skye is home to a whole host of world-class attractions and offers some of the most ruggedly beautiful scenery you'll find anywhere. 

Walkers will fall in love with the dramatic landscape, much of which is formed by ancient landslips. Don’t miss the Quiraing (pictured) and Old Man of Storr hikes, both treks offer incredible views of the surrounding islands and the Scottish mainland.

If history is more your thing, you’ll be pleased to learn that there are a number of incredible castles on the Isle of Skye too, each with its own myths and legends. 

As much of the beautiful island is very rural and amenities are sparsely located, Portree is the best place in which to base yourself. It is the capital of the island and restaurants, supermarkets, café and hotels are all within walking distance of the town center.

When it comes to a cozy place to stay, the Bosville Hotel is a great choice. It overlooks Portree’s colorful harbor, offering breathtaking views over the loch. There is also an on-site restaurant that serves delicious dishes, freshly made with local produce.


Siargao Island, the Philippines

Siargao Island, the Philippines - beautiful islands

Recommended by Cazzy from Dream Big, Travel Far

Siargao Island in the Philippines, as one of the most beautiful islands in the world, is a spectacular island destination and a true paradise for all the surfers out there. It’s aptly dubbed the "Surfing Capital of the Philippines" for having some of the best waves in the country. The island itself consists of nine municipalities and is uniquely shaped like a teardrop.

While there is no shortage of exciting things to do in Siargao, surfing is at the top of the list. Jacking Horse, Quicksilver and Giwan are perfect for beginners, while experts might want to check out the waves at Burgos or Pacifico.

Another must-do when in Siargao is to visit Sugba Lagoon. Feel free to book a tour or drive up to Playa Del Carmen port on your own, where you can take a boat to the spot. It’s a beautiful slice of ocean where you can jump off wooden diving boards, go paddle-boarding, kayaking, or just swim around and enjoy the landscape.

Considering that Siargao isn’t massive and that you can easily cover its entirety in just 4 hours, it hardly matters where you choose to stay. However, a popular spot would be the General Luna area. The streets here thrive with local restaurants, exotic bars, boutique shops, and tons of surf shops.

Cloud 9 is another great option to stay in, which is the ultimate surfing spot on the island. One recommendation would be the “9 Clouds Homestyle Accommodation”, which offers decent food, comfortable rooms, and excellent WiFi!


Yakushima Island, Japan

Yakushima Island, Japan - beautiful islands

Recommended by Steve from The Trip Goes On

Yakushima is a small mountainous island south of Kyushu in Japan earning a spot amongst the most beautiful islands in the world. It is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. There are many hiking trails on the island that weave through the ancient forested interior offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The cedar forests are home to some of Japan’s (and the world’s) oldest trees, such as Jomon Sugi, thought to be around 7,000 years old!

It’s not just the hiking that makes Yakushima special though, as it is a great place for kayaking both around the island and inland on the rivers. The island is dotted with onsens (hot springs), waterfalls and pristine mountain and coastal views making it one of the most beautiful islands in Japan.

In summer swimming and diving are popular, and from May to August turtles descend on the beaches to lay their eggs. It’s best to avoid the monsoon season which generally lasts throughout June as this can affect transport to and from the island.

Yakushima Youth Hostel is a great place to stay if you are on a budget as it is perfectly located next to the port of Miyanoura. For those who require a little more comfort, the JR Hotel offers stunning sea views and has its own onsen.


Ibiza, Spain

beautiful Ibiza island, Spain

Recommended by Dymphe from Dymabroad

One of the most beautiful islands in the world is Ibiza. Ibiza belongs to the Balearic Islands in Spain. You can find the island next to Mallorca. It's one of the most gorgeous islands because of the beautiful beaches, pretty villages and amazing landscapes.

There are many incredible things to do in Ibiza. Ibiza is mostly famous because of its nightlife scene. If you're going to the island, you should definitely experience this. Many famous DJs travel to Ibiza to perform there. For example, Armin van Buuren often performs in Ibiza. Some of the best clubs are Hï Ibiza and Ushuaïa.

But there’s so much more to do on the island! Es Vedra is one of the prettiest things to see in Ibiza. It's a small rocky island and most people consider Es Vedra to be the most romantic spot on the island. For that reason, many people propose here. You should also visit some villages on the island. For example, Ibiza Town is incredible to see.

There are many shops and lovely restaurants. The port of Ibiza Town is amazing to see as well, especially if you like to see yachts. Ibiza is also famous for its hippie markets, so you should see one of these as well! Besides that, going to the beach, such as Figueretas beach, and listening to songs from a beach playlist is incredible too.

Mar y Playa is a great place to stay, and this hotel is close to Figueretas beach and Ibiza Town.



Kauai, Hawaii

Kauai

Recommended by Debra from Finding Debra

While all Hawaiian islands are stunning, Kauai is aptly nicknamed the Garden Island and showcases earthly masterpieces, many of which can only be accessible by water or air. From Waimea Canyon, known as the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific," to Manawaiopuna Falls, made famous in the opening of "Jurassic Park," the scenic wonders of Kauai offer visitors a unique glimpse into an island known for its beauty and laidback atmosphere.

It's the Hawaii you've always imagined, the crown jewel of which is the Napali Coast, which spans 17 miles along the North Shore and provides remote beaches, sea caves, countless waterfalls, and jagged cliffs that defy description. Small towns like Hanapepe, which served as the Hawaiian inspiration for the Disney movie "Lilo and Stitch," and unique landmarks like the Kilauea Lighthouse add to the island's charm.

It's no wonder many a Hollywood movie has called the island of Kauai home. Destinations like Kauai are few and far between, offering edible delicacies, once in a lifetime adventures, epic tours highlighting movie locations, and luxury accommodations. A stay at the beautiful Aqua Kauai Beach Resort is not only an ideal beachfront location close to many island adventures, but it's budget friendly too.


Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan, Thailand - scenic islands

Recommended by Veronika from Travel Geekery

All of Thailand’s southern islands are beautiful, but Koh Phangan stands out amongst the most beautiful islands in the world. Most of the island – up to 70% - is a protected nature reserve. The center of the island and most of its East are made up of forested areas, many with hiking trails.

The lushness of the jungle beautifully contrasts with the picture-perfect beaches. There are small, intimate beaches, beaches with large rocks, wild beaches, long beaches with soft, white sand.. and most of them offer stunning sunsets too.

Still, Koh Phangan doesn’t lack any of the usual tourist infrastructures. There are many resorts and hotels in Koh Phangan for all budgets – try e.g. the Sunflower Bungalows. There’s a good choice of local and international restaurants including vegan options, shops, food markets and all you could need on a vacation.

Many come to Koh Phangan to seek spiritual enlightenment. It shows in the sheer number of temples in Koh Phangan – it’s quite high given the island’s small size. Nowadays, the yoga and mindfulness movement gained a lot of ground in Koh Phangan. Those who wish to participate in detox retreats, yoga teacher training or simply want to slow down and refocus their life, can do so in Sri Thanu village.

Koh Phangan has become famous for its Full Moon parties, which see the southeastern corner of the island swamped with party peeps once a month. 


Sardinia, Italy

Sardinia, Italy - most beautiful islands in the world

Recommended by Rachel from Average Lives

Sardinia is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. It is well known for its world-class beaches, but there are so many magical and exciting things to do on the island. It has scenic drives, charming villages, rich history, and epic mountains.

To see it all, you can go on an unforgettable Sardinia road trip. You can begin your adventure in Sardinia in the capital of Cagliari, where you can learn about Sardinia’s past at the National Archaeological Museum and the Castello Quarter. After, you can see a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Barumini, a nuraghe dating back to 1900-700 BC. You should also explore the enchanting beaches of Villasimius, hike to Cala Goloritze, and walk through Europe’s deepest canyon – Gorrupu Gorge.

The inland villages are well worth a visit too. Explore Orgosolo to experience its political graffiti, and Mamoiada to discover the Mediterranean Museum of Masks. It would be rude to miss out on the iconic beaches, so be sure to check out Cala Luna and Cala Brandinchi before exploring the medieval village of Castelsardo.

Finally, explore the Catalan heritage city of Alghero, with its epic Grotte Di Nettuno and ending your trip in the beautiful and colorful town of Bosa, with its grand castle standing proudly and the lunar landscape of Cane Malu. Certainly, Sardinia has so much to offer for a vacation from history to beauty that will have you wanting more. 


Isle of Harris and Lewis, Scotland

Isle of Harris and Lewis - most scenic islands in the world

Recommended by Kristin from Adventures with Ensuite

The Isle of Harris and Lewis is in the Outer Hebrides, a group of beautiful islands north of mainland Scotland. Getting there takes time with access either by ferry from Ullapool or the Isle of Skye. Alternatively it is possible to take a domestic flight from Glasgow or Inverness. But the difficulty in getting there is probably what makes these islands so magical since very few tourists make the journey across.

In the Hebrides you can often have mile-long white sandy beaches all to yourself. Although all the islands have fantastic beaches which look like they could be in the Caribbean, most of the best Outer Hebrides beaches are located on the Isle of Harris and Lewis.

Once you have had your fill of amazing beaches the area has many other activities to keep you busy. The island has plenty of scenic walks and interesting boat trips to see seals and puffins, at the Shiants or UNESCO listed ruins on St Kilda.

Public transport is limited so rental car is the easiest way to see the sights of the island. Self-catering cottages are the most popular type of accommodation since there are few restaurants. You normally need to book a minimum of a week during the summer. Another good option is Scarista House Hotel, right next to one of the top beaches on the island, Scarista.


Phuket, Thailand

Phuket, Thailand - most scenic islands in the world

Recommended by Catalin from Travel Trained

Phuket is a little gem of an island in Southern Thailand that has some great beaches and resorts to explore and enjoy. My favorite thing about Phuket is the seafood, there is something comforting about the dishes, but also something unique too, maybe due to the limestone karsts that are also a great destination. 

What sets Phuket aside from a lot of other places, even in Thailand, is the high number of Russian tourists that you will encounter during your visit. This is because the area is heavily advertised in Russia, which means that many of the foods, resorts, and activities are also marketed to Russians. While they are very accepting of tourists from all over the world, having it marketed towards Russians changes everything a little, and gives new things for a world traveler to explore. 

One of the most popular things to do during the trip is to lay on one of Phuket’s pristine beaches, enjoying the sun and water. Many beaches also have beachside tables where you can get ice-cold drinks and enjoy fresh-caught seafood. If you are feeling a little more adventurous during your stay in Phuket, you can always hike up to the alabaster rendering of the Big Buddha, which can also be accessed by private car or taxi.

Finally, if you are a student of history, there is always Old Town to explore. Old Town is where you can experience the most authentic local food, while also exploring the town's mining history, told through the large murals painted along the streets. A great place to stay during your time on one of the most beautiful islands in the world is the Novotel Phuket City Phokeethra.


Manitoulin Island, Canada

Manitoulin Island, Canada - most beautiful islands in the world

Recommended by Lindsay from I've Been Bit!

Did you know that Canada is home to the world's largest freshwater island? Head to the province of Ontario where you'll find Manitoulin Island, one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Known as Manidoowaaling in the Indigenous Odawa language meaning 'cave of the spirit', it won't take long for you to realize just how magical the island is.

Whether you're looking for a weekend escape or a week-long adventure, there are so many things to do on Manitoulin Island. Nature enthusiasts will adore the island's epic hiking trails. Art lovers will fall in love with the gorgeous collection found at the Perivale Gallery. Foodies will rejoice at the delicious eats found on the island - especially at the Old Schoolhouse. Not to mention the Indigenous cultural experiences, paddling opportunities, gorgeous waterfalls and historical sites... the possibilities are endless!

There are a number of great options of places to stay on the beautiful island. If you're looking for a quiet getaway, renting a local cottage is definitely your best bet. However, if you'd like to be close to amenities, the Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre in Little Current is the perfect spot. You're walking distance from a number of restaurants so it's easy to ditch the car and put your feet up!

With incredible natural wonders, a plethora of history, plenty of amazing restaurants and more, Manitoulin Island truly has something for everyone.


Fraser Island, Australia

Frasier Island, Australia beautiful islands

Recommended by Raksha from Solo Passport

One of the most beautiful islands that Australia has is Fraser Island. Fraser Island, off the coast of Queensland state, is the World's largest sand island and is an UNESCO World heritage listed site. Stretching for around 120 kilometers, the island is an untouched piece of heaven.

The best way to get around the island is by driving a 4-wheel drive, that can be hired from the mainland Australia at Hervey Bay. The vehicle can then be taken on the barge to the Fraser Island. The 4W drive can also be hired from an operator called Aussie Trax at Kingfisher Bay Resort, which is on the island.

It is not allowed to drive on the west coast of Fraser Island because of the quicksand and hence it is best to stay on the east coast of the island. Most of the attractions are on the east coast of the island as well. A short hike to the Indian Heads is an awesome place to spot stingrays and sharks. One can also swim at the beach just below the Indian Heads. There is also a Maheno shipwreck, which is a great place to take amazing pictures during sunset. The island is however famous for the crystal-clear lake called Lake McKenzie.

Fraser Island Retreat Resort, which is around 100 meters from the beach, in the Happy Valley, is a great place to stay on the east coast of the island. It also has an inhouse restaurant that serves delicious food to its guests.


Gozo, Malta

Gozo, Malta beautiful islands

Recommended by Daniela from Grumpy Camel

Gozo, Malta’s sister island, is a true Mediterranean gem as one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Picture sleepy towns, old hamlets, green farmland, hidden bays. This tiny island is the perfect escape for those wanting to get away from the busy touristy spots of Malta.

While Gozo is much smaller than Malta, there are plenty of things to do on the island. Start by visiting the ancient citadel of Cittadella and exploring the quaint alleys of Rabat (or Victoria), the island’s capital. Then head to Xaghra to see the Ggantija Temples, which are over 5,5000 years old and are among the oldest standing structures in the world. If you fancy a nice swim, take a trip to Ramla Bay, which is known for its golden stretch of sand, or the more secluded San Blas Bay.

If you want to get off the beaten path in Gozo, go for a coastal hike in Qala or Sannat, check out the colourful boathouses and quiet bay of Dahlet Qorrot, or climb the hill to the Giordan Lighthouse, where you can enjoy spectacular views of the Gozitan countryside and coast. 

Gozo is just a 20-minute ferry ride from Malta. While one day is enough to see the main sights, you might want to spend two or three days on the island to really soak up its beauty. Renting a car is a must if you want to get to the remote spots on the island.


Nusa Penida, Indonesia

beautiful island Nusa Penida, Indonesia

Recommended Campbell and Alya from Stingy Nomads

The beautiful Nusa Penida is one of the three Nusa islands located close to Bali, Indonesia. Known for spectacular scenery, pristine beaches and amazing marine life Nusa Penida is picture perfect. Relatively unknown to tourists this treasure is about 40 minutes by boat from Bali. The island is only about 17km long and the impressive cliffs, pristine beaches, caves, temples and waterfalls can all be explored by scooter.

Driving across the island by motorbike, stopping at the famous viewpoints is fun, there are also tours available that will take you to these breathtaking spots. The viewpoint over Kelingking beach is one of the most famous in Bali and definitely a spot to visit. From the viewpoint you can often see Manta Rays swimming below! Taking the stairs down to this awesome beach is a challenge, so only go down if you are fit enough for the steep climb back. Crystal Bay beach is a nice beach for swimming and offers some good snorkeling.

Raja Lima (the thousand island viewpoint) is a fantastic rugged area and beautiful viewpoint over plenty of tiny islands. From Raja Lima climbing down some stairs, visit another amazing beach, famous for Instagram photos, Atuh Beach. Banah Cliff is another amazing viewpoint from where you can see the famous arch island, go down a steep set of stairs here to get to Seganing waterfall, a beautiful creek and waterfall with awesome scenery.

Diving and snorkeling at Nusa Penida, you can swim with majestic manta rays at the incredible cleaning station at Manta Point and with the strange, gigantic mola mola at Crystal Bay. Penida Bambu Green is a good spot to stay, some nice bamboo cottages with AC in a serene location.


Formentera Island, Spain

beautiful island Formentera Island, Spain

Recommended by Gábor from Surfing the Planet

Formentera, is the smallest one of the Balearic Islands, off the East coast of Spain. As one of the most beautiful islands in the world, it’s known for its white sand beaches, which make you wonder if you were transported to the Caribbean. Although in the summer months it can get quite busy with people coming mostly from mainland Spain and Italy, but in the early autumn months you can still enjoy that hippy paradise what the island was a couple of decades ago.

Among the most beautiful beaches in Formentera, Ses Illetes and Llevant Beach are probably the most spectacular, both situated on either side of a long peninsula, which is a natural park at the same time. The many kilometer-long Mitjorn Beach is also a great area, especially popular amongst the locals. If you plan to snorkel in crystal clear water, you can’t miss out on the coves near Es Caló. Finally, if you look for a great cove far from the touristic areas, you should check out Caló des Mort, a lovely cove and a gorgeous sunset spot.

It’s worth mentioning that there are certainly more things to do in Formentera than just spending your time on the beach. There are, for instance, two old lighthouses in both tips of the island, and several great viewpoints to enjoy the fabulous landscape. 


Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos

beautiful Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos

Recommended by Lindsey from Have Clothes, Will Travel

Grand Turk of Turks and Caicos is home to gorgeous, pristine white sand beaches and ocean water so blue, that photos of it are always thought to have been edited. (When in fact, it’s usually even bluer in color when you see it in person!)

While the island of Grand Turk itself is teeming with natural beauty, the real treasure of Grand Turk lies beneath its aquamarine waters. “The Grand Turk Wall” provides some of the best diving in the world. This wall is 7,000 feet deep and is home to many different forms of marine wildlife.

However, if diving is not your cup of tea, fret not. Just a short boat ride from Grand Turk is Gibbs Cay. Gibbs Cay is a great area for snorkeling and has a very friendly population of stingrays that greet tourists as they come in the water! From the months of January to March is also a great time to do a whale watching tour from Grand Turk.

While big, all-inclusive resorts like Beaches Turks and Caicos are located on Providenciales, Grand Turk does have a lovely selection of smaller, more intimate resorts on Pillory Beach. Two of the most popular options in one of the most beautiful islands in the world are the Bohio Dive Resort and Osprey Beach Hotel. Grand Turk is also a very popular stop for all-inclusive cruises.


Langkawi, Malaysia

beautiful Langkawi, Malaysia

Recommended by Caroline from CK Travels

Luscious Langkawi is actually an archipelago of over 100 islands and is certainly a contender for the most beautiful island in Malaysia, if not the whole of South East Asia.

There is so much to see and do here, with numerous sandy beaches, natural attractions (plus man-made ones) and a bounty of boat trips to choose from. From sunset cruises to the world’s steepest cable car, there are many ways in which travelers can discover the island’s beauty.

One of Langkawi’s natural highlights must be Kilim Karst Geoforest Park, comprising over 100 square kilometers with an abundance of native flora and fauna, which can be explored via boat or a guided tour.

Given there are around 100 beautiful islands around Langkawi, it is no surprise that island hopping is one of the most popular day activities. There are numerous tour companies offering day trips to islands such as Dayang Bunting, Pulau Beras Basah and Pulau Singa Besar wildlife sanctuary. Competition is rife so prices are very low - so you can go on a half day tour from as little as £8 / $10 USD / 40 MYR per person.

Langkawi, as one of the most beautiful islands in the world, has a special duty-free dispensation making it the cheapest place to drink in the whole of Malaysia. Treat yourself to a stay at the St Regis  -  a seafront hotel with a private beach.


Santorini, Greece

beautiful Santorini, Greece

Recommended by Chrysoula from Greece Travel Ideas

Santorini is definitely one of the most beautiful islands in the world. The first time you see its main town of Thira (Fira), will be a jaw-dropping moment. Santorini is in the Cyclades group and was once a volcano. The semi-circular volcanic crater (caldera) is in the north of the island. It has long been sea-filled and clinging to the top of its steep cliffs are the white-washed buildings and blue church domes of Thira and other villages.

The caldera is stunning and many little hotels, guest rooms and restaurants have spectacular views. At the bottom of the cliff, is the harbour where you can join a boat trip to the caldera’s sulphur springs where you can cover your body in mineral-rich volcanic mud, before visiting the nearby island of Nea Kameni too.

Sunsets in Santorini are spectacular. Take the bus to Oia or walk along the rim of the crater via Firostefani and Imerovigilli. The sunsets in Oia are breathtakingly beautiful and perfect to enjoy over a glass of island wine or dinner.

Away from Thira, there are beautiful black sand beaches for relaxing, a variety of water sports to enjoy, plus island wineries in the centre of the island and two breweries to visit, plus the fascinating Minoan archaeological site at Akrotiri.

Fanari Vista Suites has comfortable accommodation decorated in blue and white, with stunning views of the caldera, a private outdoor hot tub and sitting area. There is a bicycle hire facility too.


Martinique

beautiful Martinique

Recommended by Elisa from Travel France Bucket List

Martinique is an excellent destination for active travelers looking for a good combination of outdoor activities, beautiful beaches, and great food. Located in the Caribbean Sea, Martinique is part of the French Antilles, one of the French departments overseas. This means that French and European travelers only need an ID card to travel to Martinique and the local currency is the euro, just like in France mainland.

Martinique offers endless outdoor activities, and it is great for hiking, sailing, scuba diving, and snorkeling. There are also beautiful botanical gardens to explore, being the Balata Garden, the must-see garden in Martinique.

Martinique, as one of the most beautiful islands in the world, also boasts a great variety of beaches for every traveler, from the typical Caribbean beach with golden sand and coconut trees to more wild beaches with exuberant vegetation and black sand.

The island's small towns are very picturesque, and they have colorful markets, with delicious food, fruits, and always fresh fish.

Martinique is world known for its excellent rum, the Rhum Agricole. This rum has the particularity of being distilled from sugar cane juice rather than molasses. Sugar cane juice rums from Martinique are labeled AOC (Appellation d’Origine-Controlée) Martinique Rhum Agricole – which is unique to Martinique. There are beautiful rum distilleries (called habitations), which are interesting to visit and learn more about rum.


Menorca, Spain

beautiful Menorca Spain

Recommended by Nadine from Le Long Weekend

One of Spain's beautiful Balearic Islands, Menorca sits in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Barcelona. But unlike some of its more developed neighboring islands, Menorca has retained a wild and remote feel, that's perfect for those looking for a more laid-back island experience.

In fact, this respect for the natural environment goes a step further, as the entire island was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1993. Peppered with idyllic beaches, charming villages, and a myriad of historical sights, there's a lot to keep you busy during your stay. But among the best things to do on the island is walking some (or all) of the Cami de Cavalls.

This ancient pathway spans the entire circumference of the island, through native forests, along craggy coastal headlands, to lighthouses, and past wildlife reserves brimming with birds and endemic plants. It's a fantastic way to gain a new understanding of the unique appeal of Menorca, and you can reward yourself with a refreshing swim along the way! 

Stay at the Hotel Can Faustino Relais & Chateaux in Ciutadella to experience the best of Menorca in one location - the historical former capital of the island, luxurious yet authentic surroundings, and a favorable coastal location.


Palawan, the Philippines

beautiful Palawan

Recommended by Claire from Stoked to Travel

Palawan is one of the most beautiful islands in the Philippines, if not the world. There are stunning beaches across the island, and an interior blessed with lush, tropical rainforest. It’s truly tropical paradise. The popular tourist town of El Nido, famous for its stunning lagoons and island-hopping trips in the Bacuit Bay is one of the main draws to the island of Palawan. Add swaying palm trees, fresh coconuts, mesmerising sunsets and friendly locals into the mix and you can understand why people return to El Nido again and again. 

You can even enjoy an overnight camping adventure on a private island with a guide - total magic! 

Elsewhere on the island, the sleepy town of Port Barton is also home to unspoilt beaches and Puerto Princesa, the capital of the island, offers a unique excursion in the local subterranean river which you can float through on tubes under the caves. From Puerto Princesa, you can also join a firefly tour in the evening which gives guests a special opportunity to watch their light show, a natural phenomenon, before tucking into a local BBQ dinner. 

There are plenty of tiny guesthouses to stay in all across the island. One of the best budget stays is Our Melting Pot Hostel in El Nido, but if you want to splash out then consider Maremegmeg Beach Club.


Oahu, Hawaii

beautiful Oahu Hawaii

Recommended by Sydney from A World in Reach

Lush rainforests, scenic waterfalls, endless beaches with crystal blue water – Oahu really does have it all. While its beauty is sometimes overshadowed by other Hawaiian islands like Kauai or Maui, Hawaii’s most popular island really is one of the most beautiful islands in the world.

Oahu is home to numerous sites of natural beauty. Many of the island’s beaches, including Lanikai Beach and Waimea Bay, are ranked as some of the best beaches in the world. Oahu’s hiking trails will take you to different scenic viewpoints across the island, including the Diamond Head summit which gives sweeping views of the coastline and downtown Honolulu.

You can also hike to beautiful waterfalls like Manoa Falls and Waimea Falls, enjoying the beauty of the trails along the way before being wowed by the waterfalls at the end. No matter how you choose to spend your time in Oahu, you’ll be in awe of the island’s beauty.

Not only is Oahu beautiful; the island has so much to do! With historic sites such as Pearl Harbor, fun attractions like Kualoa Ranch and the Dole Pineapple Plantation, and countless restaurants with amazing food, you’ll be able to find plenty to do in Oahu to keep you busy during your vacation.

If you want to stay somewhere in the middle of all the action in Waikiki but with easy access to the rest of the island, consider a stay at the Hilton Grand Waikikian, one of the properties at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.


Santiago, Cape Verde

beautiful islands Santiago Cape Verde

Recommended by Vicky from Buddy The Traveling Monkey

One of the most beautiful islands in the world is Santiago, one of the ten islands that make up the West African nation of Cape Verde. Santiago has black sand beaches, lush forests, and a modern capital

There are a lot of things to do in Praia, Cape Verde’s capital. You can visit multiple museums that tell of the rich history of the country. You can also visit the Dona Maria Pia Lighthouse, an iconic structure that locals are very proud of. And of course, you can visit Quebra Canela, Praia’s most popular beach.

Another city on Santiago that is worth a visit is Cidade Velha, or Old Town. This was actually Cape Verde’s original capital. There you can visit a reconstructed fort that overlooks the city, the ruins of an old cathedral, and the oldest cobbled road in Cape Verde.

On Santiago you’ll also find Serra Malagueta Natural Park. This park is 774 hectares and has many different walking trails. Another area not to be missed is Tarrafal. This beach town is on the north side of the island and has great restaurants and, of course, a beautiful beach.

With so many things to do on the island of Santiago, it’s definitely a beautiful and worthwhile vacation spot.


Mont Saint Michel, France

beautiful islands Mont Saint Michel, France

Recommended by Elisa from World in Paris

Mont Saint Michel, in Normandy, Northern France, is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. This island totally occupied by a medieval fortified abbey is considered one of the wonders of the Western World and is listed as UNESCO World Heritage for its beautiful architecture, history, and importance for the Christian World.

Mont Saint Michel is also known for its high tides, the highest in Europe. It is well worth visiting the island when there's the full moon, when the waves are most spectacular.

Most people visit Mont Saint Michel on a day trip from Paris or elsewhere. However, for a total Mont Saint Michel experience, it is worth spending at least one night on site: the atmosphere in the medieval town when the day tourists are gone is simply magical. There are a few hotels on the island, being La Vieille Auberge our favorite. Needless to say, you need to book well in advance.

Mont Saint Michel is a small island, so you will only need one day to visit it. Once you are done with the abbey - a fascinating Gothic construction - you can stroll around the medieval streets, browse the shops, or walk around the island during the low tides. Also, we recommend trying some of Mont Saint Michel's specialties: the agneau des prés salés and the famous omelets by Mère Poulard.


Bali

scenic islands Bali

Recommended by Krisztina from She Wanders Abroad

When talking about the most beautiful islands in the world, Bali is often one of the first destinations that comes to mind, for a good reason! Often referred as the Island of Gods, the crown jewel of Indonesia is a true paradise on earth.

Bali is an amazing choice regardless of your travel style: you can find practically anything from cheap budget hotels to luxury villas on the island. If you love great cafes and you enjoy being in a lively scenery, you should spend more time on the southern part of the island around Seminyak or Canggu, which is a really popular place among digital nomads.

But if you’re interested more about the cultural side of Bali, you have to base yourself in Ubud. Here is where you can find lush jungles, beautiful rice terraces and incredible temples, along with some of the best waterfalls in Bali such as Tegenungan waterfall or Kanto Lampo waterfall. Ubud is also known for its great yoga studios so if you practice yoga, you’re going to love this town!

If you’re looking for less-visited places in Bali, it’s worth spending a few days in the northern area around Munduk. This part of the island is completely different from the rest and you can find many beautiful mountains and lakes here.

No matter which part of Bali you choose to visit, you’re definitely in for a treat!


Cyprus

Cyprus beautiful island

Recommended by Alice from Adventures of Alice

One of the most exotic beautiful islands in the world is Cyprus. Located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, it is mostly known as a beach destination, however there are so many wonderful things to do in Cyprus that many travellers never get to explore. 

The first and foremost of these is that Cyprus is said to be the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love. As such, it’s one of the most romantic spots in the Mediteranean with countless proposals happening on Aphrodite Beach which is where the Goddess was supposedly seen emerging from the water. You can also visit the Adonis Baths, a beautiful pool where it is said, Aphrodite has many children with the God Adonis.

Paphos town is also a stunning place to visit. The popular town is home to the infamous Tomb of the Kings, one of Europe’s most undiscovered historical sites. Located in Kato Paphos Archeological Park, you could easily spend hours wandering this historical marvel. It’s located near the harbour (another of the best things to do in Paphos), and you can also combine it with a visit to Paphos Castle, Paphos Archaeological Museum and the stunning Paphos Mosaics.

Another Cyprus must-see is a trip to the Avakus Gorge. A short drive from Paphos, the gorge is a natural wonder and delightful hiking trail. Will 30-meter-high walls either side of you, and sometimes very slippery stones to clamber across, it’s not a hike for the fainthearted. However, it’s one of the best places to visit on the island

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