There’s something quite beautiful about the idea of an island. A small slice of paradise that’sallowed to form its own insulated culture whilst still remaining connected to the rest of the world can be a fascinating thing to experience. That’s why so many stunning islands all over the world are frequented by millions of tourists every year. Of course, there are thousands upon thousands of island paradises located all over the globe. There are so many fantastic beachside resorts that you can feel a little bit spoiled for choice. Well, you are, but that’s a good thing. Why restrict yourself to exploring one island? Set yourself the challenge of exploring as many small isolated havens as possible on your world travels. Here’s a list of some of the stunning islands that you have to see along the way.
The crisp coast of Cebu from above.
Cebu, The Philippines.
It might not have been the first suggestion you expected to see on this list, but that’s exactly why the island of Cebu is the perfect place to explore. The only thing more exciting than visiting somewhere that you’ve seen in thousands of picture is visiting somewhere that you’ve never seen in any pictures (well, other than the beautiful bird’s-eye view of Cebu in the photograph above). But there’s more to Cebu that a pretty coastline. If you head into the heart of Cebu city then you’ll find a bustling environment that’s packed with more things to see and do than your average island paradise. There are heaps of attractions for tourists and travellers. If you head to the island in January then you’ll get to witness the colourful Sinulog Festival. It’s the largest fiesta (festival) in the Philippines, and it’s an unbelievable spectacle.
The Canary Islands.
Okay, we’re talking about more than one island here, but you should definitely include a tour of the Canary Islands on your world travels. You might want to look into some cruise deals so that you can take a scenic trip around the islands and stop off at multiple destinations along the way. It really is the kind of experience that’ll open up your eyes to a new part of the world. The Canary Islands are stunning. This archipelago has often been considered to connect the three continents of Europe, Africa, and America, and that’s still prevalent today. Lanzarote is definitely one of the most beautiful islands that you could visit in this region. The breathtaking mountain ranges of Famara are worth exploring whilst you’re there. There’s also a lot of cultural diversity on the island; the majority of inhabitants are Spanish, but many residents hail from places such as Britain and Colombia. It’s an island that attracts people from all over the world.
If you’re going to visit a Greek island then Crete should be at the top of your list. It might be an obvious place to visit when exploring Greece, but that doesn’t make it a bad option. There’s a reason as to why so many people visit this gorgeous island every year. For starters, the architecture is vibrant and colourful. The island is overflowing with homes painted bright white, and this serves as a neutral backdrop to all the bold and powerful colours littered across the island. We’re talking about more than bright blue doors and colourful gates; vibrant plant pots line the steps that weave in and out of streets. Blossoming trees loom over pavements and provide a little bit of shelter from the blinding sun (but there are plenty of opportunities to step out into the sunshine if that’s what you want). It really is a beautiful island, and there’s no other way of putting it. Make sure Crete is near the top of your list when you’re thinking of islands to explore.
If you want an island experience that promises something a little different to pristine sandy beaches and tropical resorts then you might want to visit the island of Bali in Indonesia. The beauty that this island has to offer is found more in its mesmerising culture. Yes, there are beautiful beaches that you can visit if you simply want to lie back and relax, but there’s so much more to explore on the island of Bali. You should visit the Tirta Empul Temple if you’re fascinated by the healing properties of holy waters. The Pura Taman Ayun is another famous temple which not only boasts cultural value but is also an architectural masterpiece. Even diving is a cultural experience in Bali; you can admire the beautiful (yet tragic) wreck of a World War II ship at the depths of the ocean floor.
The mysterious Navagio Beach on the coast of Zakynthos.
There are so many beautiful Greek islands to explore that you shouldn’t just limit yourself to one on your world tour. As you can see from the mesmerizing picture above, Zakynthos is an island that boasts absolutely stunning natural beauty. Located in the Ionian sea, this island encompasses so much of what makes Greece beautiful in terms of both its natural wonder and its intriguing culture. And that’s what you should be seeking on your tour of stunning islands – visual beauty and some substance beneath that aesthetic.
Navagio, also known as shipwreck bay, is the beach area depicted in the photograph above, and it’s definitely the most famous landmark on the island. You should definitely explore this wonderful natural haven in person to fully grasp the beauty of the place. In terms of the culture that Zakynthos has to offer, you should head to Zakynthos City to learn a little more about the island. You should visit the beautiful Agios Dionysios Church to learn more about Dionysios (the patron saint of Zakynthos). There’s a lot to experience and admire on this bewilderingly pretty island.
Formentera, The Mediterranean.
This tiny island is much less popular than the glitzy party island of Ibiza that’s located just north of it, but that’s a real shame because Formentera is a far more exciting place to explore (unless you just want to get drunk in a place that’s a little warmer than home). The fantastic Migjorn beach on the southern side of the island boasts crisp white sand that stretches as far as the eye can see. Crystal-clear blue waves lap against the shore, and boats are always sailing in and out of harbour. It’s a tranquil yet busy island. It’s easy to relax here, but there’s also a lot to see and do.
But the island of Formentera isn’t just stunning on the surface. If you’re a fan of diving or you’ve always wanted to try it then you should get a snorkel and mask so that you can explore the incredible underwater kingdoms that surround Formentera. Find a good diving instructor in the area so that you can get up close to some of the tropical life beneath the surface of the water. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime. You’ll get to see creatures that you can’t see in such conditions anywhere else in the world. It’s a surreal experience.
Fernando de Noronha, Brazil.
Let’s talk about some islands that are far away from most of the suggestions on this list. Brazil is a beautiful country with a lot to offer, and the Brazilian archipelago of Fernando de Noronha is no exception. You’ll find some of the most beautiful islands on earth when you visit this part of the world. You’ll find stunning beaches that are surrounded by endless stretches of warm and inviting water, but that’s not all. Dive beneath the surface of this welcoming ocean and you’ll find dolphins, sea turtles, and other fantastic animals. It’s one of the top diving destinations in the world for a reason. Fernando de Noronha also boasts a very delicate and precious ecosystem. You definitely need to explore the island to appreciate the natural beauty that is worth protecting here. It’s time that we all started appreciating natural havens such as this, and it’s easy to do so once you explore the world and see some of that beauty for yourself. That’s the whole point of this island tour, after all.
Palawan, The Philippines.
If you thought we were done with beautiful islands located in the Philippines then you were wrong. Palawan is the quintessential tropical island. Visually, it’s everything you’d imagine when you picture a paradise with luscious green forests, silky smooth beaches, and crisp blue water surrounding the coastline. You should visit the town of El Nido when you explore this island because there’s a lot to experience in this quaint little place. There are heaps of luxurious hotels by the beachfront for ridiculously cheap prices if you want to experience paradise in style. You can admire the stunning coral reefs that surround Palawan and enjoy some of the delicious seafood that can be found on the island. It’s amazing that there’s so much to experience in such a small place.