• Keith Collins

Island Life - 7 Best Islands for a New Year Trip

Island life is the stuff of dreams. Whether it’s a deserted island getaway or a bustling metropolis, there’s something special about living on an island. But what are the most beautiful islands in the world?

We’ve scoured the globe to find some of the most beautiful islands in the world, from secluded atolls to volcanic peaks. So if you’re looking for your next idyllic island escape, read on…

1. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

One look at Bora Bora and you can see why it regularly tops ‘best island’ lists. This South Pacific paradise is famed for its turquoise lagoon and luxury resorts – it was even voted as ‘The Best Island in the World’ by US News & World Report in 2016. If you can tear yourself away from your overwater bungalow, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy, including snorkelling, diving and exploring by 4×4.

2. Maui, Hawaii

Maui is one of Hawaii’s most popular tourist destinations for good reason: its dramatic coastline features everything from lush rainforests to golden sand beaches; while inland you can explore crater lakes and active volcanoes. Outdoor enthusiasts will be in their element with activities like hiking, biking and whale watching all on offer; while foodies will love sampling Maui’s fresh seafood bounty and indulging in some Hawaiian shave ice for dessert.

3. Capri, Italy

The Isle of Capri has been a celebrity hotspot since Roman times (it was even a favourite haunt of Emperor Tiberius) and it continues to attract A-listers today thanks to its dramatic cliffside setting, chic Mediterranean style villas and luxurious hotels such as Hotel Punta Tragara . When you’re not basking in Capri’s famous Blue Grotto , take a hike through scenic gardens or enjoy some people watching with a plate of freshly made pasta al limone.

4. Santorini, Greece

Santorini is one of Greece’s most picturesque islands with its traditional white-washed buildings clinging precariously to cliffs overlooking crystal blue waters. The best way to experience Santorini is by boat so you can swim in secluded coves, visit Red Beach (so named for its striking red lava cliffs), or sail over to nearby volcano Nea Kameni where you can hike up to the crater rim for incredible views back over Santorini . Don’t forget to sample some delicious Greek wine – Santorini produces some excellent varieties due to its unique volcanic soil conditions.

5. Seychelles

The Seychelles Islands are an archipelago off the coast of East Africa featuring 115 tropical islands – many uninhabited – covered in verdant jungle vegetation and fringed with white sand beaches and coral reefs . It comes as no surprise that this Indian Ocean idyll regularly features on ‘best beach destination ‘ lists; but beyond stunning scenery , visitors can also enjoy hiking , biking , birdwatching fishing sailing and more . With such pristine natural beauty , it should come as no surprise that environmental protection is taken very seriously here ; several areas have been declared national parks including Aldabra Atoll which is home to giant tortoises among other rare species.

6. Fiji

Fiji is an archipelago of over 332 islands, 500 islets and 110 reef systems. The Fiji islands are located in the heart of the South Pacific Ocean and stretch for more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers). With its white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and lush tropical rainforests, it's easy to see why Fiji is such a popular holiday destination.

The largest island in Fiji is Viti Levu which is home to the capital city Suva as well as Nadi International Airport. Many visitors to Fiji choose to stay on one of the resort islands such as Denarau Island or Mamanuca Islands which offer a wide range of accommodation and activities.

Fiji is renowned for its friendly locals who are always keen to share their culture with visitors. A trip to Fiji wouldn't be complete without experiencing a traditional Fijian lovo feast where food is cooked underground in an earth oven. Another must-do activity is visiting a local village where you'll have the opportunity to learn about Fijian customs and traditions firsthand. Whether you're looking for adventure or simply want to relax in paradise, Fiji has something for everyone!

7. Phuket

Phuket is a renowned tourist destination in Thailand, often dubbed as the ‘Pearl of the Andaman’. The island offers an array of stunning beaches with crystal clear waters, lush greenery and ample opportunities for water sports and other outdoor activities. Phuket also has a rich cultural heritage evident in its temples, shrines and museums. Add to that its delicious seafood, vibrant nightlife and friendly locals, and you have all the ingredients for a perfect holiday!

Whether you are looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an action-packed adventure, Phuket has something to offer everyone. The most popular beaches on the island include Patong Beach, Kata Beach and Surin Beach. These beaches are well-equipped with sun loungers, umbrellas and restaurants, making them ideal spots to while away lazy days in the sun. For those seeking more excitement, there are plenty of water sports on offer such as jet skiing, parasailing and banana boat rides.

In addition to its beautiful beaches, Phuket is home to many historical and cultural attractions. Visit Wat Chalong Temple – one of the most important religious sites in Thailand; view the unique architecture of Old Phuket Town; or take a tour of one of the island’s many museums including Bangkok Airways Museum or Thai Hua Museum. If you want to experience some traditional Thai culture during your stay in Phuket then head to Kathu Waterfall where you can see local dancers perform the ‘long drum dance’ which dates back hundreds of years.

After dark, Phuket comes alive with its myriad bars, nightclubs and restaurants serving up international cuisine as well as authentic Thai dishes. For something truly unique try dining at one of Phuket’s floating restaurants – an experience not to be missed! Whatever your budget or taste buds may be there is sure to be somewhere that suits you on this lively island.

So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to paradise today!

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