Who doesn’t like the taste of life on the island? Get to know the most beautiful islands in the world where you can kick off your shoes, leave work behind, and cocktails aren’t just offered with a snap of the fingers, they’re encouraged.
But island getaways are not limited to beach days, although that is an important part. They can also be full of adventure, water sports, observation of fauna and flora, and ancient cultures that date back thousands of years. So whether you’re looking for the typical tropical beach getaway or a trip to an exotic ecosystem untouched by tourism, there is an island that beckons you.
Without taking much of your time we will like to list the top 10 most beautiful islands in the world before giving details on the 17 most beautiful islands in the world with pictures attached to each.
Top 10 Most Beautiful Islands In The World
Below are the top ten most beautiful islands in the world:
- Bora Bora
- Saint Lucia
- Ko Phi Phi
- Faroe Islands
Now that you have the top picks of the islands, let us dive into the full topic of the day “the 17 most beautiful islands in the world”, read on.
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The 17 Most Beautiful Islands In The World 2021
1. Maldives Island
The Maldives Island is situated in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the idyllic archipelago of the Maldives is of mesmerizing beauty which places it at the top of the list of the most beautiful islands in the world. Near the equator, the Maldives has a warm, tropical climate that is perfect for spending days at the beach all year round. This low-lying island group is famous for its high level of luxury and its emphasis on slow life.
Perfect for honeymooners, Maldives accommodation is something out of the ordinary – you can choose from underwater villas, overwater villas and everything in between. There is even an underwater restaurant for those who want to dine surrounded by schools of tropical fish.
Since relaxation is key in the Maldives, you can spend your days sipping cocktails and sunbathing, interspersed with snorkeling, diving, or surfing excursions to keep things interesting.
The second on our list of the most beautiful islands in the world is Santorini. The volcanic island of Santorini is probably one of the most recognized on the planet. Characterized by its whitewashed and blue-domed Cycladic villages hugging the caldera cliffs on the edge of the Aegean, this Greek island is world-famous for its enviable sunsets.
Stroll through the narrow streets of the city of Oia, dine in gourmet taverns, relax on the volcanic beaches or sail into the sunset on a glamorous catamaran cruise. As it is one of the most expensive islands in Greece, you are sure to rub shoulders with the rich and famous. Just for its views and its Mediterranean climate, Santorini is something special.
3. Bora Bora
Beach bliss is the order of the day on the volcanic island of Bora Bora. Although the huge turquoise lagoon is the main attraction, many flocks to the island for its dazzling white beaches and luxurious resorts, including romantic overwater bungalows. However, if you feel like exploring, Bora Bora is much more than just a beach.
Climb the slopes of Mount Pahia for 360-degree views, snorkel in the coral gardens at the north end of the island, and swim with sea turtles as part of a local conservation initiative. For those with a PADI license, scuba diving can provide electrifying close encounters with stingrays and lemon, blacktip and gray reef sharks. Don’t forget your underwater camera.
4. Saint Lucia
A tropical haven in the eastern Caribbean, the once colonial island of Saint Lucia is most picturesque and one of the world’s most beautiful islands. Characterized by iconic Pythons, lush rainforests, clifftop waterfalls, banana and pineapple plantations, and some of the most beautiful volcanic beaches, it is uncompromisingly photogenic.
While many fly in to enjoy the island’s excellent beach resorts and explore quaint fishing villages, the melting pot capital of Castries is also a popular cruise port. From sulfur springs and secluded bays to bustling markets and Caribbean dance parties, St. Lucia has a bit of everything.
5. Phi Phi Islands
Phi Phi is possibly one of the most famous archipelagos in Thailand. It stands out above all for an impressive natural bay. While many come here and have this renowned bay high on their to-do list, there are many more reasons to get tempted on Phi Phi beyond Maya Bay.
The six islands of Phi Phi are astonishingly beautiful, with white sand beaches and emerald waters. Spend your days swimming and snorkeling amongst the extraordinary marine life or charter a longtail boat. Nearby islets like Monkey Beach, home to a plethora of cheeky monkeys swinging in the trees, are worth a visit.
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Lofoten is an island group famous for its spectacular natural attractions, from towering mountains to the deepest bays. Connoisseurs flock here hoping to witness the mysterious Northern Lights and to climb the Svolvær goat, one of Norway’s most popular climbing peaks.
For those looking to get off the beaten track, this archipelago is a real treat, with opportunities for fishing, bird watching, biking and sea kayaking in summer, and skiing and tracking the Northern Lights in winter. Visiting these islands is unforgettable, as the life of the villages seems charmingly stagnant in time. Even the sun shines until midnight for part of the year.
7. Faroe Islands
You will need at least a week to explore all the captivating attractions that the 18 volcanic islands of the Faroe have to offer. Just a short flight from the UK, this island country is associated with the Kingdom of Denmark, but is actually autonomous. What makes the archipelago so special is that it is incredibly underrated and not very touristy.
Did you know that the Northern Lights can be seen here from November to February? In addition to its spectacular scenery of majestic valleys, remote villages, and jaw-dropping waterfalls, it is also a popular spot for nature enthusiasts looking to see thousands of shorebirds, including cliffside puffin colonies.
Possibly one of the most popular islands on the planet, Bali is a playground for yogis and surfers, with regular retreats on the social calendar. Although Bali as a whole has become much more commercialized in recent years, with all kinds of hotels from backpackers to top-notch villas, there is plenty of cultures here too.
The island of God, surrounded by forest-covered volcanoes, incredible beaches and rolling rice fields, you will find Balinese temples, authentic villages and tourist cities. The Uluwatu temple is the main attraction in Bali. Perched on the edge of a cliff, it is one of the best places on the island to watch the sunset.
Aquatic babies will also be in their element in Bali. It is part of the Coral Triangle, which is home to the greatest biodiversity of marine life and is a fantastic destination for snorkeling and diving.
Often known as the Enchanted Islands, the Galapagos are a set of volcanic islands and smaller islets in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Ecuador. What makes this island chain so special is its spectacular ecosystem. It is home to a wide variety of animals, plants, fish, and birds found nowhere else on Earth.
No less than 97% of the archipelago has been a national park and a biosphere reserve for more than 60 years. Known for its extraordinary and unique geology, the Galapagos are home to still-active volcanoes and more iguanas than humans.
Located near the equator, but cooled by cold sea breezes, the Galapagos has a unique climate. So unique that it is home to the only penguin colony in the Northern Hemisphere. This also means that it is a great place to visit throughout the year.
One of the most popular Balearic Islands in Spain, Mallorca is a celebrated beach getaway that enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year. With tranquil coves, limestone mountains, citrus orchards and tranquil stone villages overlooking the Mediterranean, it is perfect for relaxing. But Mallorca is much more than it seems.
The island is also home to several Roman and Moorish ruins, as well as lively nightlife in the capital Palma. For those interested in history and architecture, don’t miss the Royal Palace with its glorious Moorish design and Palma Cathedral with its charming Gothic façade. Built on the site of an Arab mosque, this unusual Mecca-facing cathedral boasts one of the largest stained glass windows in the world.
Fondly nicknamed the Garden Island, the Hawaiian island of Kauai is an enchanting place filled with waterfalls, rainforests, remote beaches, and rugged coastlines. A trip to Kauai is not your typical round trip. There are adventures around every corner here, and your experience is what you do.
Remember that you can zip-line through the jungle, hike to waterfalls, kayak winding rivers, and watch dolphins and whales. When it comes to natural wonders, you won’t be short of anything: hike through the spectacular Waimea Canyon and explore the Insta-famous Napali Coast, where more than 60 movies and TV shows have been shot.
12. Easter Island
Tucked away in the southeastern Pacific, Polynesian Easter Island is both remote and historically significant. The huge Moai statues are undoubtedly the main attraction of this place, which lends an air of history and mystery to this distant island. More than 800 statues designed as human beings with oversized heads dot the island.
They were created by the Rapanui many centuries ago, and it is believed that each of them took at least a year to make by hand.
But Easter Island is much more than the Moai statues. There are excellent beaches, remote caves, ancient petroglyphs, and hiking and biking trails. Immersing yourself in the culture of the island with a traditional Rapa Nui dance performance is truly memorable.
The Croatian island of Hvar is located on the edge of the Adriatic. Although famous for its summer beach parties and dazzling nightlife, Hvar has much more to offer than raves and hangovers.
Take time to discover the island’s history with a visit to the port city of Stari Grad – the oldest in Croatia – and the Venetian-style fortress located on top of a hill above the town of Hvar. Or explore the island’s stunning natural scenery, from secluded beaches and lilac lavender fields inland to rolling vineyards famous for their fine Croatian wines.
Palawan is an island province located in the westernmost part of the Philippines. This island chain is a pure paradise, made up of national parks, enigmatic limestone caves and bays, and sparkling turquoise inland lakes and lagoons.
For those who want to explore the high seas, Palawan is home to some unforgettable dive sites, such as the Coron Bay shipwrecks, which have been transformed over the years into natural coral reefs. Every day in Palawan is magical: swimming in waterfalls, kayaking through secluded lagoons, and paddling to see glow-in-the-dark fireflies.
After all, the island of Palawan wasn’t declared the second-best island in the world for nothing.
Martinique is nothing if it is not culturally interesting. It is a French island located in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean, where French and Antillean cultures merge, especially through gastronomy. Boudin Creole and Boudin Blanc are the two main types of food, and the national dish “Colombo”, made with spicy chicken and coconut, is highly recommended.
But food aside, the island’s landscape has a lot to inspire, with gorgeous beaches, botanical gardens, volcanic peaks, and historic architecture. Discover the capital, Fort-de-France; its museums tell the history of the pre-Columbian and colonial past of the island.
Visiting Saint-Pierre is also a must. This modern city was built among the ruins of the ancient capital of the island after its destruction by the eruption of Mount Pelée in the 1900s.
Made up of 74 sun-kissed islands, the Whitsundays, nestled between the Australian coast and the Great Barrier Reef, are something truly special. This archipelago, a destination par excellence for divers and wildlife lovers, is practically uninhabited, at least by humans. A plethora of wildlife call it home: from dolphins, sea turtles, and saltwater crocodiles to kangaroos, whales, and wallabies.
As with most islands of this caliber, most activities are water-based and include sailing, snorkeling, and diving. That said, hiking, exploring the sights of the Hamilton Island resort, and sunbathing on pearly beaches like Whitehaven are equally popular.
Last on our list of the most beautiful islands in the world is Seychelles. The Seychelles are one of those elite island destinations. Popular with the rich and famous, these 115 granite islands in the Indian Ocean are idyllic to say the least. Embracing a triumph of nature reserves, golden beaches, tropical forests and extraordinary coral reefs, it is a natural utopia.
Each island has something special to offer: Mahe for an experience rich in culture, La Digue for getting back to nature, Praslin for going to the beach and Silhouette for a sensational dive. In the Seychelles, you will share the beaches with the gigantic 100-year-old Aldabra tortoise and see protected bird species such as the rare Seychelles black parrot, which is also the national bird.