When I dream about travel, it’s always tropical islands. White sand, turquoise water, and buckets of sunshine all play a role in my fantasies. If you’re the same way, today I want to inspire you with 9 of the world’s best islands.
World’s Best Islands
I’ve traveled to all these islands, and can attest to their beauty, magic, and ability to awe. If you visit, I hope you find them as enchanting as I do.
1. Zanzibar, Tanzania
The spice islands of Zanzibar are the stuff of legend. With both Arab and African roots, the islands not only have a unique cultural heritage, but also beautiful beaches, great diving and snorkeling, and excellent cuisine.
Turkish in the north, Greek in the south, Cyprus may be a divided island, but it’s also a great one for everything from Roman history to delicious food and wine. Beachfront resorts in Paphos and other areas attract visitors from all over the world, and the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite makes it a great place for romantic getaways.
3. Floating Islands, Lake Titicaca, Peru
They may be manmade, but the Floating Islands in Lake Titicaca are some of the most unique of their kind in the world. Constructed of reeds that grow in the lake, the islands are home to one of Peru’s indigenous groups and have a distinct, colorful culture.
4. Ile de Goree, Senegal
Just off the coast of Dakar on the westernmost point in Africa, the Ile de Goree was once a departure point for slave ships headed to the Americas. Now the island is home to a museum dedicated to the plight of those sold into the slave trade, as well as brightly hued buildings and homes that make it as rich in aesthetic appeal as it is in historical importance.
5. Bali, Indonesia
Bali needs no introduction, and my list of the world’s best islands wouldn’t be complete without it. The famous Indonesian island has long been a popular beach destination in Asia, and the unique culture, vibrant art scene, dramatic landscapes, and great nightlife draw visitors from all over the world.
6. Easter Island, Chile
The mysterious moai statues on Easter Island have enchanted visitors for centuries. The windswept island in the Pacific Ocean is dotted with moai, which line beaches, hills, fields, and just about every other place in a hauntingly beautiful reminder of the civilization that built them.
7. Bohol, Philippines
With over 7,000 islands, there’s no shortage of great travel destinations in the Philippines. But Bohol stands out with its unique mix of natural attractions—the Hershey Kiss-shaped Chocolate Hills, to name one—and activities—diving, snorkeling, and boat trips to tiny desert islands off the coast are just a few. And that’s to say nothing of the sunsets, which are nothing short of breathtaking.
8. The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Charles Darwin wasn’t the only one fascinated by the unique mix of species on the Galapagos Islands. People from all over the world continue to flock to the Ecuadorian archipelago to witness the amazing array of wildlife that can be seen here.
9. Nosy Komba, Madagascar
Off the northwest coast of Madagascar sits a small island called Nosy Komba. The island is best known for its indigenous lemur population, which along with the island’s other wildlife species can be seen by visitors. Its sandy beaches and fresh seafood also draw people from nearby islands like Nosy Be and mainland Madagascar.
How about you? What would you consider the world’s best islands?