While it is true that islands advertise a carefree lifestyle, they also offer a platform for innovation and an escape from the daily routine.
But not all islands are created equal. Some islands will leave you breathless with their natural beauty. These islands exist in the natural world. The sea acts as a natural force that defines their beauty, and it can often captivate nature lovers with its crystalline clarity and thriving coral kingdoms.
Some islands are full of lush jungles and snowy peaks. Others feature ancient cultures. Each island is special in its own way, but all offer peace and relaxation. Traveling to these islands feels like escaping the everyday world.
In this article, we’ve listed the most beautiful islands in the world. From the Seychelles to Santorini and the Caribbean to Capri, any of these dream destinations would be a worthy place for you to escape for a while.
The Maldives are home to some of the world’s most beautiful and breathtaking islands, but it’s the sea that makes them so special. The bright blue waters lap up against pristine white beaches, which are barely visible from the surface of the Indian Ocean.
The Maldives is a collection of 26 islands, and it is the lowest country in the world. The average elevation of the country is just three meters above sea level. This may sound pretty low, but it is even lower than it used to be.
The mesmerizing waters of the Great Barrier Reef are home to some of the most brilliant organisms on Earth. From corals to fish, these reefs are an aquatic paradise for divers and snorkelers alike. World-famous surfers also flock here for uncrowded waves.
Luxury resorts provide the perfect launching points for people who want to take adventures focused on sea, the archipelago’s greatest asset, but also its greatest threat.
Also Read: 20 Best Tropical Vacations
2. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Lush and green, this tropical island sways in the breezes of the South Pacific. Enchanted, tropical dreams come to life here. The focal point and best asset of this island is its stunning lagoon. It is a vibrant technicolor turquoise, and fish, turtles, sharks and rays can be seen swimming in its clear waters.
The island of St. Barts is famous for its mouthwatering French cuisine, as well as its excellent diving and snorkeling opportunities. The forests are covered with palm trees, making the hiking trails great for exploring.
If you can afford it, book an over-the-water bungalow at this luxury resort. As you fall asleep to the sound of the waves, you will be grateful for your good fortune.
3. Palawan, Philippines
Palawan is a Philippine island province that is so beautiful it can be considered a paradise. It stretches southwest to Borneo, with limestone peaks rising from a sea so clear you can almost see the fish from above the surface.
One of the things that makes these islands so appealing is their white-sand beaches. The shoreline is surrounded by palm trees, which rustle in the wind. There are also impressive coral reefs under the water. They are filled with tropical fish and offer some of the best diving in the world.
The Philippines are a haven for travelers. The country has wildlife, lakes, and fishing villages. Coron is home to luxurious resorts and beautiful scenery. El Nido is stunningly beautiful and is one of the most alluring islands in the chain. From here, you can island hop around the stunning Bacuit archipelago.
Palawan is an island province in the Philippines. Its top attraction is the World Heritage-listed Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, which is an impressive limestone cave system with a long underground river.
The Seychelles are a tropical paradise. The 115 islands of the Seychelles are east of Kenya, and they’re a pristine tropical paradise. They’re full of attractions, from UNESCO-listed jungles and coral reefs to palm-lined beaches flanked by giant boulders.
The British Virgin Islands are known for their pristine, natural beauty. The islands are also home to the world’s best diving and snorkeling. Almost half the area of these equatorial islands is protected, and many of them lie within marine sanctuaries with bountiful fish populations.
The Seychelles Islands are a top vacation destination with a lot to offer. Its rich fishing grounds and beautiful beaches are a perfect combination for fishermen and sunbathers alike. Add its spicy Creole cuisine into the mix, as well as its luxury resorts on Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue islands, and you’ll understand why the Seychelles Islands are such a popular vacation spot.
5. Santorini, Greece
When a traveler visits a new place, they’re looking for a destination that is both beautiful and memorable. A great example of this is Santorini, a Greek island that is surrounded by the sea and filled with amazing villas that tumble down volcanic cliffs. The island is home to many blue-domed churches and bright sprays of bougainvillea. These breathtaking sights make Santorini an unforgettable destination.
The island of Santorini is home to two of the most popular destinations, both built atop black lava cliffs. They are picturesque and pricey. Oia is among the most photographed places in the world.
The stunning island of Santorini is home to many wonders including the Akrotíri Archaeological Site, Ancient Thira, the black sand beach of Perissa, and of course, the stunning sunsets. Sail into this gorgeous caldera surrounded by soaring sea cliffs to experience your first unforgettable moment on Santorini.
6. The Cook Islands
The Cook Islands is a string of 15 islands in the South Pacific that are a popular destination for castaways. If you’ve ever dreamed of being a castaway, this is the place for you. The Cook Islands is located between French Polynesia and Samoa, but it has strong ties to New Zealand.
The South Pacific islands are the perfect place for a relaxing vacation. The lagoons, beaches, and volcanic peaks are all spectacular. And the locals are extremely friendly.
The Cook Islands are a popular travel destination. Rarotonga is an island full of beautiful resorts, gorgeous beaches, and lush vegetation. Aitutaki is another island in the South Pacific. It is known for its stunning hibiscus-laced villages and many small islets within kayaking distance of resorts.
In this new era, you can live out your Robinson Crusoe fantasies in a remote, tropical location. If you choose to stay local, you can stay here in a beach bungalow built over the water.
7. Bali, Indonesia
Bali’s intoxicating culture is a feast for the senses. The rice paddies look like electric greens, and the food jolts the taste buds.
The island’s beautiful beaches are surrounded by lovely landscapes, and tourists will find so many other activities that they will never run out of things to do. They can go temple hopping, sightseeing in the countryside, and even get spa treatments and shop.
Bali is a spiritual paradise. It is filled with beautiful sites and exotic finds. There is something for everyone. Ubud, Seminyak, and Sanur are all great places to soak up the culture. Kuta has a party vibe that attracts young travelers and families alike. The neighboring island of Lombok has some unique attractions as well.
If you’re looking for somewhere chic to stay, you can find it here. You’ll find an array of beautiful beach resorts. If you’re bringing the kids, you don’t have to worry about affordability. Bali’s enchanting spirit will wash over you like a warm wave, and you’ll be able to relax, unwind, and reflect on your trip.
8. The Dalmatian Islands, Croatia
The Croatian islands are well-known for their relaxed charm and rich history. These islands are surrounded by sparkling seas, and the beaches are some of the best in the country. The unique charm of these islands is a combination of relaxation and history. If you haven’t been there yet, then next year is a great time to visit these islands.
You get to choose top places in Croatia. What would they be? Brac is my favorite place with its golden beach. It’s where I’d go if I could choose only one place in Croatia. The town is so beautiful with its medieval churches, car-free old town, and picturesque fishing harbor. You can also visit Pakleni Islands for their crystal-clear water and secluded coves.
Dalmatia is a great region for your next vacation. One of the best islands to visit is Korcula, known for its red-roofed, white-washed buildings. Mljet has two inland saltwater lakes, while Vis has fewer tourists.
One of Australia’s go-to tropical escapes, Fiji is an island paradise. It has white-sand beaches, translucent turquoise waters, and teeming coral reefs. The people of Fiji are friendly and welcoming to visitors, who enjoy the island’s warm atmosphere.
Fiji is all about the water. No matter what your favorite activity is, you’ll find it in Fiji. Snorkeling, diving, surfing, and fishing are just a few of the most popular things to do. Staying on an island is just as rewarding as swimming in the warm water. There are more than 300 islands to choose from, so you can easily pick the best one for your vacation. Some resorts offer luxurious celebrity hideaways while others are perfect for families.
Fiji is the place to go if you want to relax with your family. It is known for its relaxed atmosphere and great weather. Families will feel right at home here.
Kauai is known as “the Garden Isle” for a reason: rainforests cover much of the interior, waterfalls tumble from cliffs, and flowers of almost every kind grow on the island.
The island’s beauty does not just lie in its lush vegetation. Its coastal cliffs are breathtaking. They jut up from the ocean floor to form soft, velvety hills and dizzying cliffs that overlook gorgeous beaches.
Underneath the cobalt-blue waters of the Pacific, turtles and tropical fish swim along coral reefs, delighting divers and snorkelers from around the globe. Compared to its popular sister islands, Maui and Oahu, Kauai exudes a low-key vibe and tends to move at a more relaxed pace.
Kauai is an incredible island that offers an array of breathtaking views. Visiting the Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon, and Hanalei Bay is a must. Each area has its own unique personality and truly encapsulates the natural beauty of the island.
11. St. Lucia
St. Lucia is tucked away in the Caribbean. It’s not as attractive as other islands, but its topography is captivating. St. Lucia isn’t known for its beaches, though they are fantastic. The island is more known for its dramatic mountains and waterfalls.
In this land of tropical rain forests and ocean views, the Pitons, a set of twin volcanic peaks, rise up from the sea to a height of 700 meters. They provide a stunning backdrop for the lush landscape and provide a great place to include in your travel photos.
You can explore a lot of things in St. Lucia. The island has plenty of sights worth visiting like the charming fishing villages, hot springs, and nature trails. While there, you can also swim in the beautiful coral reefs and see some waterfalls. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can check out the exotic and lively cities too.
12. Capri, Italy
The beautiful island of Capri, off the Amalfi Coast, lives up to all the hype. Sea stacks and soaring cliffs rise from the sea like tall, colorful flowers. They are surrounded by a teal-blue sea and framed by the Mediterranean.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Malta is the famous Blue Grotto. Tourists are rowed in tiny boats to this cave, where they are serenaded by local opera singers.
If you take the funicular up to the main town of Capri and wander around the piazza, you’ll find that this quaint Italian village has a lot of culture and is quite posh. Locals and tourists alike visit here to shop at designer stores and purchase the famous perfumes that Capri is known for.
After you’re done shopping and taking in the view, you should visit the tallest point on the island and take a ride to the top on a chair lift. You’ll be able to see some of the best views on the island from up there.
13. Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
In Ko Phi Phi, Thailand, the tropical sea laps on palm-lined beaches, and warm waters rise from the sea. The small archipelago of limestone peaks rises from the sea.
Devastated by the tsunami in 2004, Ko Phi Phi has now recovered. Its natural beauty still recalls the tropical island dream evoked in the famous Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach, which was filmed here at Maya Beach on the smaller neighboring island of Ko Phi Phi Leh.
Ko Phi Phi Don is the most popular of the hundreds of islands in Thailand’s Phang Nga Bay. It’s the only place inhabited by people. It offers day trips to nearby uninhabited islands and is a fantastic location for snorkeling and diving. Don’t miss Monkey Beach where you can meet the cheeky monkeys that live on the island.
14. Whitsunday Islands, Australia
Imagine a tropical island fantasy. It’s a classic dream, and the Whitsunday Islands capture this image perfectly. They’re 74 islands in the Great Barrier Reef that rise from the ocean like an incredible green-and-blue mountain range. The Coral Sea surrounds them, and their beaches and inland forests are perfect for tropical island living.
If you’re looking for an island to explore, you should definitely visit the Whitsundays. It’s a popular destination for sailing, and it’s also a great place to dive along the fish-rich coral reefs. This is a fragile ecosystem protected by six national parks, but travelers can hike some of the islands to see the beautiful environment.
When booking your trip to Australia, don’t miss Whitehaven Beach, one of the country’s most beautiful beaches. There are many places to find accommodations ranging from campsites to luxury resorts. One great place to visit is Whitsunday Island, where we recommend staying at Hayman Island or Qualia on Hamilton Island. Another gorgeous beach is Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island. The main point of entry for this destination is Airlie Beach.
15. Sardinia, Italy
This island nation is overflowing with beauty, culture, and history. It is a place that has inspired hundreds of artists, including the artist Michelangelo. With its incredible beaches, delicious food, and breathtaking mountains, Italy is truly an ideal destination for travelers in search of the perfect getaway.
Most travelers have heard of the Emerald Coast, but this large Mediterranean island has many other attractions. The Emerald Coast has craggy coves, clear seas, and is known for its luxury villas.
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and a region of Italy. The largest canyon in Europe, Gola su Gorropu, is on the island; archaeological sites from prehistoric times; and the captivating Catalan-influenced town of Alghero. The capital city, Cagliari, is an incredibly beautiful medieval town.
If you’re a nature lover, you’ll want to take a trip to this region. It’s a haven for scenic coastal drives and beautiful views. No matter what you’re into, the many luxury hotels and resorts will make you want to settle in for a while.
16. St. Barts
St. Barts is an island that attracts movie stars and moguls from around the world for its beauty, culture, and relaxed charm. It has French roots but it’s tropical. The stunning scenery attracts visitors who appreciate beauty, yet don’t want to be overwhelmed by it.
The best beaches on St. Barts are its blond beaches, which curve around the island’s coastline, backed by green hills. Privacy and seclusion are the other top attractions of the island, but of course all this comes at a price.
If money is no object, you can live like a celebrity on the island of St. Barts. It’s one of the most expensive islands in the Caribbean, but this glamorous abode of the rich and famous has private villas and boutique hotels for those who want to be pampered.
17. The Bahamas
The Bahamas has 700 islands and more than 2,000 small cays. The best way to find your dream Caribbean escape is to search the stunningly beautiful islands. The top attractions include idyllic beaches, thriving coral reefs, fantastic shopping, and delicious dining.
If you’re looking for duty-free shops, mega-resorts, and entertainment, go to the capital of Nassau or stay on Grand Bahama. If you’re a big game fisherman, Bimini is for you. Or maybe you want to explore the underwater world: Long Island and Andros have fantastic diving and world-class bonefishing.
One of the best parts of the Bahamas is its beaches. Whether you’re looking for a palette of white sand or pink sand, you’ll find it in the Out Islands. Harbor Island has a pink-sand beach that is a prime example of what you can find in the Bahamas.
The best resorts are in almost every state in the country. Whether you’re looking for a luxury resort with five-star restaurants, or a discount resort with all-inclusive amenities, you’ll find it.