White sandy beaches, swinging coconut palms, clear, turquoise waters – there are truly some stunning beaches to be found around the world. However, if you are dreaming of a tropical island getaway, how do you know which one of these spectacular destinations to choose?
Never fear, we have compiled a list of the world’s most beautiful islands, as voted by tourists, travel writers and websites.
Lying in the Pacific Ocean roughly half way between the USA and Australia, French Polynesia boosts a number of beautiful paradises.
Bora Bora is widely acknowledged as the most beautiful of them all, a crescent shape of mountain peaks covered in dense jungle rise, surrounding a picture-perfect azure lagoon. Its white sandy beaches meet crystal clear waters in vivid shades from emerald through turquoise to royal blue.
Bora Bora is not only great for peaceful relaxation, but it also offers a wide variety of water activities, such as sailing, parasailing, jet skiing and paddle boarding. The incredible underwater biodiversity of French Polynesia means the island has world-class snorkeling and scuba diving.
Well-known as a celebrity destination, this French outpost in the middle of the Caribbean has much more to offer than just its glamorous parties.
The island puts a European spin on tropical island life, with high quality hotels and top-end restaurants, as well as lush landscapes which offer great hiking and of course perfect Caribbean beaches.
There are no international airports on St Barts, and it can only be reached by prop plane or boat from nearby St Maarten, adding to the exclusive nature of the island. The perfect choice for the island hopper who enjoys the finer things in life!
Touted by many as the most beautiful island in the tropical paradise which is the Philippines, Palawan has a wild, naturalistic quality.
Its hilly coastline is packed with rain forests, mangroves and waterfalls, dotted with quiet, unspoiled beaches and ringed with hundreds of tiny islands, their peaks rising out of the crystal clear water.
The waters around Palawan also offer fantastic underwater life such as fish, turtles and whales, especially at the UNESCO world-heritage listed Tubbataha Reef Natural Another World Heritage site on the island, the Puerto-Princesa underground river, is now officially one of the seven wonders of the natural world.
This small Croatian island is a history-lover’s dream. Claiming to be the birth place of Marco Polo, Korčula was originally settled by the Greeks, then was part of the Venetian Empire and is now famed for its historical hamlets, woodlands, and vineyards producing famous white wine.
The main Korčula town is sometimes known as ‘Little Dubrovnik’ thanks to its soaring medieval walls and winding streets.
Visiting beautiful Caribbean islands doesn’t have to mean multiple connection to isolated (and expensive) locations.
The Islas del Rosario lie just off the coast of Colombia, and are easily accessed by boat from the historic city of Cartagena, also worth a visit in its own right.
This small chain of islands has white, palm-fringed beaches with turquoise waters to rival any others in the Caribbean, as well as coral reefs great for snorkeling and fantastic local seafood with a creole flair.
There are a few resorts and hotels on the islands, otherwise it can be accessed as a day trip from Cartagena.
The Islas del Rosario, also referred to as Corales Islas del Rosario, is an archipelago located off the coast of Colombia, approximately 100 km from Cartagena. It is one of the 46 Natural National Parks of Colombia
Located at the southern end of the world’s longest reef, the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsundays are a chain of islands offering the best of Australia’s tropical north.
The various islands offer different types of experiences – you may choose the tourist and party hot-spot of Hamilton Island, family-friendly South Molle Island, or ultimate luxury at Hayman Island.
Wherever you choose to stay in the Whitsundays, you will enjoy fabulous beaches, great food and an amazing array of water sports and underwater activities.
Not just one island, the Seychelles is actually an archipelago of 115 islands off the Eastern coast of Africa.
Long famed for its beautiful white sandy beaches and crystal blue waters, the Seychelles also offers amazing hiking trails and is also home to incredibly biodiversity of unique plants, birds and marine life.
The latter are protected by six national marine parks, which also feature well-preserved coral reefs, making this a great destination for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Fiji is famed for its lush jungles and beautiful coastlines, and Taveuni is known as the ‘garden of Fiji’. This natural wonderland is packed with incredible plant-life, including some species unique to the island, and beautiful natural sites including Tavaro Falls, Bouma National Heritage Park and Lake Tagmaucia.
Offshore, snorkelers and scuba divers can enjoy the marine biodiversity of the famous Rainbow Reef.