Top 10 tropical islands
If killer sunsets, white sands and transparent waters are calling your name, a tropical island escape may well be in order. From Greece to Hawaii, we’ve scoured the globe to find 10 pieces of paradise that will wash your worries away.
1. Caprera Island, Sardinia, Italy
Caprera Island is the place for beaching, sailing and bird spotting. It’s a small island off the coast of Sardinia, Italy. The name is most likely given because of the wild goats inhabiting the island (“Capra” is Italian for goats). Caprera Island has been declared a natural reserve, being the home of the Royal Seagull, the Cormorant and the Peregrine Falcon.
2. Capri, Italy
Another Italian must-see is the small island of Capri in the Bay of Naples. One of the island’s biggest drawcards is the Blue Grotto; a cave at the water’s edge, opening to the sea that Romans used as a bath. Capri Island hosts several art festivals from April to September that are popular with tourists; you can see anything from painting and sculptures to plays and traditional dances. Capri also puts on a killer sunrise.
3. Santorini, Greece
Nearby in Greece is the romance capital of Santorini. Spectacular sunsets, fantastic beaches and an active volcano are just a few its specialities. The islands are what remained from a volcanic explosion that split one single island into several smaller ones. Be sure to check out the 3,500-year-old Minoan town preserved in volcanic ash.
4. Cocoa Island, Maldives
If romance is on your agenda, Cocoa Island is your best pick. Located in the Maldive’s South Male Atoll, this little piece of heaven takes pride in its white, powdery sands and the turquoise water. The Robinson Crusoe-style island is home to some fascinating small huts, with deluxe furnishing and private sun decks.
5. Cousine Island, Seychelles
Named in 2012 as the world’s third most expensive island, Cousine Island is a private island in Seychelles. In 1968, the island was purchased by Birdlife International to save the remaining warblers. The impressive number of species and habitats set in an exotic landscape make Cousine Island one of our all-time favourite islands.
6. Kauai, Hawaii
Of course, we couldn’t write a top 10 islands list without including Hawaii. Known as the “Garden Isle”, Kauai is more laidback and less populated than the other Hawaiian islands. Formed around six million years ago, it’s home to a multitude of landscapes that just cry out to be photographed. And there’s plenty of activities to keep you busy, including golf, horseback riding and water sports.
7. South Beach, Miami, Florida
Probably one of the best-known beaches on the list, South Beach is a vibrant place that never sleeps. Hundreds of nightclubs, restaurants and hotels attract both American and international tourists every summer. One of the busiest times of year (especially for the Pearl and Nikki Beach night spots) is spring break when students come to relax and party.
8. Ihuru Island, Maldives
Set in the Maldives, Ihuru Island is the place to go for total relaxation. It also happens to be an environmentally-conscious island; using biodegradable materials, solar heating and eco-friendly methods for reactivating corals. If that’s not enough to win you over, you’ll love its white beaches, shallow lagoon and shady palm trees.
9. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Bora Bora is possibly the single most famous island in the world. The volcanic island has a stunning lagoon with abundant underwater life waiting to be explored. There’s loads of activities to save you from “going troppo”: underwater safari, water sports, jeep tours, horseback riding and kiteboarding.
10. The Similan Islands, Thailand
Beneath the transparent waters of Thailand’s Similan Islands is a playground for divers. We’re talking gorgeous coral growths, tropical fish and impressive boulders. Conditions for diving are great year-round, with 20-30 metres visibility standard. Most dive trips are available from November until Mid-May.