The salty air, the feel of the sand on your feet–there’s not much better than getting away to an island vacation. Whether you love lounging on the beach or you’d prefer to soak up local culture, taking island vacations is a fantastic way to take a break from your day to day life. Here, we’ve compiled a list of five islands you’ll definitely want to add to your vacation bucket list.
If you’re into ocean scenes, there’s a good chance you’ve set your computer background to a photo of the Maldives without knowing it. Known for gorgeous wildlife, inviting locals, and crystal clear waters, the Maldives are known as some of the most beautiful islands in the world. The chain of islands consists of 26 natural atolls which poke just above the Indian Ocean’s surface. Currently, the Maldives is the lowest-lying nation on the planet, and due to global warming, it sinks a bit lower every year. Surfers and beachcombers alike love the island’s relaxed vibe and wide variety of wildlife.
2. Palawan, Philippines
Ready to jet set to paradise? You’ll love Palawan’s white sand beaches and pristine coral reefs. Known for offering divers some of the best underwater spots in the world, you’ll want to be sure to sign up for a snorkeling or scuba trip to ensure that you get to see all that Palawan has to offer. When you’re on the island, be sure to book a day trip to Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. You’ll be amazed as you make your way into the limestone cave system, complete with an underground river.
3. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
From the beautiful turquoise waters to the wide variety of wildlife that swim just below the surface, both people seeking to become one with nature and those who are looking for a chill place to kick back and relax love all that Bora Bora has to offer. Many people spend time diving and snorkeling, while others prefer to hike through the palm trees in the island’s many forests.
Located just East of Kenya, this stretch of 115 granite and coral islands seems to go on forever. Powdery beaches make lounging near the water a dream, while the rich variety of fish in the surrounding waters make the Seychelles an angler’s paradise. Be sure to sample some local spicy Creole cuisine when you’re in the area.
5. Santorini, Greece
The rich history of Greece combined with the beauty of a shining sea make Santorini the perfect place for anyone who wants to relax while also getting to learn more about Greek culture. The island’s signature blue-topped churches are gorgeous against the blue and green sea below, and tourists love trekking through the islands’ mountainside neighborhoods to get a better view of the ocean.