Oxford dictionary provides a brief definition of the term “island” as a piece of land surrounded by water. However, most of us know that islands are the most beautiful places in the world. If paradise exists, it is probably these beautiful islands. It is an ideal place to escape perfectly from the busy life of the 21st century. Long stretches of sandy beaches where you can relax and unwind. With beautiful scenery surrounding you, you can forget all your worries, that is all everyone wants on their vacation. There are many islands that excel in their beauty. We would like to introduce a list of the most beautiful islands in the world.
1. Palawan, Philippines
Palawan is considered the paradise island of the Philippines, where there is not only blue sea and white sand but also stunning coral reefs and diverse tropical forests and ecosystems. Palawan is the largest island in the Palawan province in the Luzon region and the 5th largest island of the Philippine archipelago. Palawan inland is located in the southwest of the Philippines, separating the East Sea from the Sulu Sea. Although it called an island, Palawan has a length of up to 450km and has several airports such as El Nido Airport, Puerto Princesa, Cesar Rodriguez Lim, Taytay, Francisco Reyes, and Busuanga. In addition, there are also boats from Manila to the ports of Coron and Puerto Princesa.
To reach the island, tourists can travel by boat or plane, which takes about 1.5 hours from Manila. The best time to visit Palawan is from October to May of the following year, with the peak season being from March to May. The maximum average temperature is 31 degrees Celsius with little variation throughout the year. Some popular attractions for tourists include: Northern Palawan (Bacuit Archipelago, San Vicente, El Nido, and Taytay) and Southern Palawan (Tabon Caves, Brooke’s Point). The northern part is characterized by tropical waters with white sandy beaches and diverse flora and fauna. The most famous places in the north are the two islands of El Nido and Taytay, characterized by limestone cliffs and a variety of tropical fish, coral reefs, and sea turtles.
2. Bora Bora, France
Dubbed as a “paradise island” with clear blue waters, long and smooth white sandy beaches, and stunning coral reefs, Bora Bora is one of the most sought-after travel destinations in recent years. Bora Bora is part of the French Polynesia archipelago, located in the South Pacific. The island covers an area of about 39km2, surrounded by a saltwater lagoon and a barrier reef. This island is situated in the northwest part of Tahiti, less than an hour’s drive from Papeete airport. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by warm sunshine, cool breeze, the fragrance of wild grass, and boats ready to take you to the resorts.
Initially, the island was named Bora Bora, which means “first born” in Tahitian. According to notes from geographers in the 18th-19th century, the island was called Bolabolla or Bollabolla. Nowadays, the island is commonly referred to as Bora Bora, and it also has a very romantic nickname, “the island of lovers.” It is said that in France, if a man says to a woman “let’s go to Bora Bora,” it means that he is proposing to her. Under the romantic eyes of the French, Bora Bora is the most beautiful island in the world, a paradise of love.
Bora Bora island only has two seasons, summer and winter, as it is located in the southern hemisphere. The summer season lasts from November to April, during which time the sky is often cloudy and there are occasional strong and unpredictable storms. The average temperature during the summer is around 30°C, with an average rainfall of 1,800mm. In winter, the temperature on Bora Bora drops and there are fewer storms. Overall, Bora Bora is considered to have a warm climate throughout the year, making it an ideal destination for many vacationers.
3. Santorini, Greece
Santorini is located in the northern Aegean Sea and was formed by volcanic eruptions. The island features beautiful blue-domed villas and churches that seem to hang on the cliffside of the volcanic rock, overlooking the blue sea. Some of the beaches have black and red sand and offer stunning sunset views. It is one of the most beautiful and expensive places in the world.
Santorini is part of the Cyclades islands located on the Aegean Sea of Greece. Blue and white are the two dominant colors on this beautiful island. With consistent architecture and coordinated colors, Santorini is like a collection of tiny white bird nests perched on the blue Mediterranean Sea. To reach Santorini, tourists can take an overnight ferry from Piraeus port in Athens on the Blue Star line. Alternatively, if time is tight, tourists can fly directly from Athens to Santorini in less than an hour. The island was named Santorini in the 13th century, inspired by Saint Irene. Prior to that, the island was called Kallistē in the 19th century, and Thera is the official name of the island, but the name Santorini is more popular and commonly used today.
Amidst the picturesque scenery resembling a fairy tale, leisurely walking all day will not make anyone tired. White is chosen as the dominant color of the paint not only because it harmonizes with the color of the Aegean Sea, but also helps reduce heat from the process of absorbing sunlight. The whole city is painted in one color. The houses look like pure white bird nests perched on the cliffs next to the coastline. All of them stand out against the vast ocean and the deep blue sky, creating a breathtakingly beautiful Santorini.
4. Bali, Indonesia
Bali Island in Indonesia is known to tourists as one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. The place has a cool climate, beautiful scenery, diverse cuisine, and countless other unique features to deserve the title of “paradise island”. The shape of Bali Island in Indonesia is similar to that of a chick, with the beak of the chick facing the Indian Ocean. Located in the east of Indonesia and more than 1,000km west of the capital Jakarta, Bali Island is favored by beautiful nature that makes visitors amazed every time they set foot there.
Bali Island is the most famous tourist destination in Asia. Because the nature here is favored for its beauty, diversity, uniqueness, and extremely attractive to tourists. The prominent landscape of Bali is the turquoise beaches with long sandy shores, terraced rice fields, majestic volcanoes, and clear lakes… Besides, the sacred temples, traditional artisan villages, or Bali cuisine are also cultural beauty that captivates tourists.
Like other tropical islands, Bali in Indonesia also has two distinct seasons: rainy season and dry season. The period from November to April is the rainy season, with a humid climate suitable for leisure activities. The dry season, from May to October, is suitable for tourism, sightseeing, and recreation because of the fresh and cool climate. Bali‘s landscapes also leave tourists in awe and reluctant to leave. The beaches have clear blue water and smooth white sand, the surface of the water is calm, the terraced fields are green, the volcanoes still retain their pristine features, and the tropical forests are wild and natural.
Maldives, an island nation located near the equator in South Asia, south-southwest of India, is always a dream destination for many people when it comes to beach tourism. With 1,192 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls, and about 200 inhabited islands, the “specialty” of Maldives tourism is its luxurious resorts famous around the world, with bungalows located right on the colorful coral reefs. When you visit Maldives, you will see that paradise is not too far away as you think.
From being the smallest island nation in Asia, Maldives has become one of the most luxurious resort destinations in the world. It is known for its long stretches of white sandy beaches and vibrant coral reefs hiding beneath the emerald waters. The familiar image of Maldives is the resorts with palm trees reaching out to the sea. It is also famous for its romantic atmosphere that any couple would dream of experiencing at least once in their lifetime.
One of the unique experiences in Maldives is swimming with sharks and sea turtles. Not all resorts offer this service, so tourists have to book a tour. The sharks in Maldives are raised and trained, so you can swim with them comfortably. Each species will be in a separate area and usually appear at feeding time. In addition to sharks and sea turtles, you can also buy tours to watch dolphins. They often swim in large groups and naturally jump on the water surface without being afraid of the presence of tourists.
Snorkeling to admire coral reefs is an essential activity when visiting Maldives, and most islands have their own private beaches. The beaches here are famous for their white sand, clear blue sea, and cleanliness. Some luxury resorts will take guests to large coral reefs for snorkeling and exploring the underwater ecosystem. Next is sunset fishing. This service is quite popular on local islands. Tourists can buy tickets, board boats with locals, and sail out to admire the sunset on the sea. At night, they can sit fishing and enjoy freshly prepared seafood.
6. Maui, Hawaii
Maui is the second largest island in the Hawaiian Islands with an area of 1,883.5 square kilometers, and also the 17th largest island in the United States. Maui is a part of the state of Hawaii and is the largest island among the four islands of Maui County, which include Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, and Molokaʻi. Maui has the third largest population in the Hawaiian Islands, after Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Island. The largest city on the island is Kahului, with a population of 20,146. Wailuku is the county seat of Maui County.
Maui is an island formed from two volcanoes and an isthmus between them. During times of low sea levels, including the most recent one about 20,000 years ago, the islands were joined together into a single island as the channels between them disappeared. Maui is home to a considerable amount of tropical forest on the northeast mountain slopes of Haleakala, as the rugged terrain has limited deforestation. Many anomalies of the coral reefs in Maui have occurred due to pollution, ocean currents, and tourism, but searching for species such as sea turtles, dolphins, and Hawaiian tropical fish is still popular.
Originally, the island was settled by Polynesians from Tahiti and Marquesas. The island has experienced rapid population growth in recent years, with Kīhei being one of the fastest growing towns in the United States, attracting many retirees and others who come to provide services for them, along with a rapidly increasing number of tourists. The rapid population growth has caused some abnormal situations, including traffic congestion, housing affordability, and access to clean water. Despite this, Maui remains one of the most beautiful islands in the world.
7. Galapagos, Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands are often compared to a “different world” by many scientists due to their possession of many unique animal species that can hardly be found anywhere else on this planet. According to National Geographic, Galapagos is both the name of an archipelago and the first national park of Ecuador, established in 1959 and began operation in 1968. This archipelago consists of 13 main islands, 6 minor islands, and 107 rock formations located in the west of Ecuador, Pacific Ocean. Later, the Ecuadorian government allocated 97% of the Galapagos Islands to form the country’s first national park, while the remaining 3% is the population area of Santa Cruz.
In the 16th century, Spanish explorers discovered this archipelago and named it Galapagos, meaning “tortoise” in Spanish. Therefore, this archipelago is also known as the “turtle island,” describing the most distinctive animal species found here. In 1979, UNESCO recognized the Galapagos Islands as a World Heritage Site, also the first heritage site of Ecuador to receive this honor.
Galapagos National Park is currently one of the most biologically diverse places in the world, with approximately 600 plant species, 400 fish species, 58 bird species, 22 reptile species, and 6 mammal species, many of which are unique and cannot be found anywhere else, and many of which are facing the threat of extinction.
8. Crete, Greece
Crete Island, Greece is the largest island in this country. It is also known as a wonder on the Aegean Sea with stunning beauty and at the same time, it is the land that gave birth to captivating Greek mythological stories. It is no coincidence that Crete Island, Greece is considered one of the most attractive islands in the country associated with mythological stories. This place is not lacking in vibrant beaches, bustling and modern cities. And above all, this is the land famous for many ancient relics located in small fishing villages amidst mysterious scenery with rugged mountain forests where houses are perched on peaceful hill slopes.
Crete Island, Greece is one of many islands of the country located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and has an area of about 8,260 km2. The population of the island is about 600,000 people. Every year, Crete welcomes more than 4 million tourists from all over the world to visit and admire its beauty. The nature of Greece has been very generous to this island. Visitors to this place can enjoy the beauty of long beaches with white sand, immerse themselves in the turquoise blue sea water and breathe the fresh air.
If you take the time to stroll along the roads throughout the island, you will be able to admire the poetic scenery created by rows of blossoming cherry trees, white roses, and bamboo intertwining with each other, radiating in a corner of the windy seaside sky. Furthermore, occasionally a few seagulls sway in the blue sunny sky, creating a peaceful and stirring beauty that touches the hearts of many tourists who love beauty.
9. Seychelles, Republic of Seychelles
Located in the Indian Ocean, in the vast region of East Africa, the Seychelles archipelago consists of over 100 islands, including the main islands of Mahé, Praslin, Silhouette, and Digue, as well as numerous coral reefs with granite boulders. The capital city of this Inland, Victoria is located on Mahé Island. The people of Seychelles are warm and hospitable, always expressing their love for visitors who come to their islands. The Seychelles archipelago has a population of about 84,000 people, mainly concentrated on the island of Mahé. The beach of Beau Vallon, located in one of the most densely populated areas of the archipelago, has not lost its natural beauty.
The beauty here is created by the natural vegetation of a huge garden with various tropical fruit trees. From the capital Victoria, the winding road leads up the hill forming a spine along the length of the island, connecting the high tropical forest with the Morne Seychelles National Park. Hidden in those hills is Le Jardin du Roi, a wooden garden that has been renovated over seven generations of a family. Inside the garden, visitors can enjoy the atmosphere of lemongrass, vanilla mixed with the strong fragrance of ylang-ylang and patchouli. Exploring Mahé by bicycle or sitting on a public bus around the island is suitable.
Praslin, the second largest island, has a small airport but is also easily accessible by wooden boats. This is the heart of the island with pristine forests, one of the best-preserved ecosystems in the world. World heritage sites are all preserved in the Praslin National Park – the homeland of the unique and giant coconut species “coco de mer” found only on two islands in Seychelles. Coco de mer has a seductive shape, resembling the buttocks of women and is a symbol of the country. Due to its medicinal properties, coco de mer is very expensive and carefully preserved.
10. Fiji Republic of Fiji
Fiji is located 2000 km northeast of New Zealand, also known as the “Pearl of the Pacific”. This archipelago bears the beauty of a pristine paradise. Fiji gathers many beautiful islands stretching along a 1000 km coastline, including 322 major islands and 522 small islands. Most of the islands in Fiji have mountainous terrain, covered by pristine tropical forests. With a tropical climate, the fauna and flora in this country are very rich and diverse.
One of the famous tourist attractions in Fiji is the Coral Coast, stretching up to 50 miles and surrounded by beautiful coral reefs. Visitors can have the opportunity to dive into the deep sea and immerse themselves in the vibrant and colorful coral reefs. Moreover, this coastline also attracts tourists with its luxurious and high-end resorts. Along the Coral Coast, there is also the Fiji Spice Garden, where visitors can indulge in the strong and fragrant aroma of spices.
To find inner peace, many tourists who visit Fiji do not forget to visit Sri Siva Subramaniya temple located in Nadi, the third largest city in this beautiful island country. Leaving behind the noise of everyday life, tourists can immerse themselves in the sacred atmosphere and relax with the most comfortable mindset. Considered the largest Hindu temple in the southern hemisphere, Sri Siva Subramaniya adopts the Dravidian architecture style (square pyramid architecture, with intricate details from the base to the top of the pyramid) that is very special with the combination of many new colors. The temple is a complex of 3 parts, the main temple is where the statue of the god Murugan is placed, carved in India, while the second temple worships the god Ganesh, and the third temple is dedicated to the gods Meenakshi and Shiva.
Everyone loves vacations, but the most perfect one is when you visit one of the most beautiful islands in the world, where you can create unforgettable memories in your life. These places allow you to pause, look at the beauty of nature, and make you realize that sometimes reality can be more beautiful than what you imagine.