10 of the World’s Most Beautiful Islands25th January 2013
Bobbing along in the world’s oceans are some truly amazing islands, many uninhabited and plenty that offer the ultimate spot for a holiday. We’ve scoured the globe and picked 10 of the world’s most beautiful islands, some of which are almost too perfect! What’s your favourite from the list and have you ever visited any of them?
Around 1,100 nautical miles from New Zealand, lost in the midst of the South Pacific Ocean lies a cluster of more than 300 islands collectively known as Fiji. With pure, palm lined beaches and crystal clear water, Fiji is the epitome of a tropical escape. The incredible underwater flora and fauna makes diving and snorkelling a year round activity and with exceptionally friendly locals and relaxed way of life on shore, you may find you never want to leave!
Known as either the Frisian Islands, Wadden Islands or Wadden Sea Islands, this archipelago is found off the coast of north west Europe. Much of the islands are protected, celebrated for their natural beauty and wildlife reserves. If you are a fan of the great outdoors, then this is a place you should consider visiting at some point in your life. Would you travel here?
The only US State comprised entirely of islands, Hawaii is a chain of islands where volcanoes and rocky cliffs smothered in green vegetation dominate the landscape. Surfers venture here from all over the word to tackle the angry waves but it’s appealing for plenty of others too with excellent hiking, sandy beaches and the hot sun which completes the picture.
Although under French rule, the islands of New Caledonia reside in Oceania, almost 17,000km from France. This is definitely not something to complain about however, for a trip to this wondrous destination means you can enjoy the best of both worlds; delicious French cuisine paired with great diving, numerous beaches and towering mountains. Have you ever heard of it?
Forget about the famous triangle trials and venture to blissful Bermuda, another pristine isle! From golf to shopping, there is plenty to keep visitors entertained and if all else fails, the wondrous beaches will never disappoint. Rub shoulders with celebrities and choose from peaceful, luxury resorts to the insatiable night life in the capital city Hamilton. Do you believe the hype about the ‘cursed’ Bermuda Triangle? Fact or fiction?
Nature prevails on Svalbard, often at its most extreme thanks to its location directly north of Norway. The main island is Spitsbergen which has just 5 settlements. Most of the islands are nature reserves and are generally only accessible with special permission. Anyone who visits will be in for plenty of snow as well as polar bears, whales and seals in this area of exceptional Arctic beauty.
Tierra del Fuego
Its name in English means Land of Fire but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In contrast to many of the islands on this list, Tierra del Fuego found at the southern tip of South America is rugged and remote, with landscapes ranging from snow capped mountains to lush green valleys with lakes and glaciers thrown in for good measure. It’s a feast for the eyes!
Isles of Scilly
Found off the coast of Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly might be part of the British Isles but they deserve their very own mention. Those who live in Britain often overlook the many great things here but travel to the Isles of Scilly and you might change your mind for they were designated an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1975. The archipelago is comprised of 140 islands, but only 5 are inhabited; life moves at a leisurely pace and with a sub tropical climate, the great beaches are a huge appeal. Would you ever consider a trip here or do you prefer to head further afield?
The World Heritage Site, Fraser Island, lies off the east coast of Australia and is the largest sand island in the world. Golden beaches, freshwater lakes, coloured cliffs, tropical rainforest and rushing creeks set the scene of this other worldly oasis. Traverse the island by 4×4 and enjoy an island like no other.
Australia makes the list again with the Whitsundays, a group of islands off the coast of Queensland which are so close to perfection it hurts! In the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, the mix of turquoise sea, gleaming white sands and lush green trees fit the bill. Choose an island cruise and spend your days soaking up the sun, snorkelling or diving and simply enjoying life!
What’s the most beautiful island you’ve ever been to, near or far?