The image of white sand beaches, flanked by tall palm trees and a turquoise ocean is a common visualization of the perfect getaway from city life. Understandably, the appeal of an island vacation at some (relatively) far-flung corner of the world is undeniable, islands are a common choice for travelers looking to relax, enjoy the beach, jungle treks, waterfalls and a little bit of adventure. The slow pace of life and the chance to travel deeper and gain a sense of familiarity with local cultures is an added draw.
The good news is that the world is full of some pretty incredible, picture perfect islands, many of which aren’t too difficult to get to or too expensive to enjoy a nice long (or short, if you prefer) vacation in. Presenting the ultimate island destinations for your next holiday.
photo credit: Anse Intendance, Mahé, Seychelles via photopin (license)
Seychelles is every bit the island paradise most people dream of and one of the few places where the brochures don’t need to exaggerate. With its white sand beaches, azure waters, national parks and miles of forest to explore, Seychelles has plenty of activities among its different islands to keep you busy for a few days. The adventurous will enjoy water activities such as snorkeling and diving, while nature lovers can spend days bird watching in the islands.
While a luxury holiday to the Seychelles is a great way to experience this slice of paradise, there are also a number of mid-range and budget options that have opened up in recent years.
photo credit: 04-08 via photopin (license)
In the heart of the Pacific, Fiji isn’t an easy to reach destination but its surreal landscapes are totally worth the long flight. It has all the usual ingredients that make it an ideal vacation for beach bums; white sand beaches, and miles of forest, but if you travel deeper, you’ll also find that it has a rich and interesting cultural fabric and some of the friendliest people in the world.
From the well developed all inclusive resort boasting islands of Viti Levu and the Mamanucas, the quieter Yasawas with beautiful coral reefs to explore, the traditional villages and jungle trails of Ovalau to the awe-inspiring marine life and eco tourism infrastructure on Kadavu, Fiji has a range of options to choose from depending on your budget, travel style and interests. You can get way off the beaten path on some of Fiji’s farthest islands, where it can be a fulfilling experience to be in places untouched by the annoyances of well-connected tourist centers.
photo credit: cebu island via photopin (license)
A country that’s increasingly featuring in most South East Asian itineraries, the Philippines is witnessing a definite boom in tourism. This is hardly surprising, considering that it’s easily accessible, has a multitude of budget options, English is widely spoken and the locals are a welcoming people.
Among its many islands, there is a perfect spot for you, whatever your idea of a paradise might entail. Choose from the karst scenery of El Nido which appeals to rock climbers, party island Boracay, Cebu strewn with family friendly resorts and the surfers’ favourite Siargao. Surfing, diving, snorkeling, rock climbing and kayaking are just some of the activities that you can do on the islands. If hiking in lush terraced rice fields sounds like something you’d enjoy other than the beaches, then visit the town of Banaue and you won’t be disappointed.
photo credit: Indian ocean waves via photopin (license)
This little teardrop shaped nation in the Indian Ocean is full of surprises. It’s hard to imagine how diverse the landscape can get within Sri Lanka. As far as beaches go, there are many to base yourself in or explore them all if you prefer, distances aren’t too long in Sri Lanka. Unawatuna, Mirissa, Hikkaduwa, Trincomalee, Weligama and Kosgoda are just some of the beaches that offer activities like surfing, snorkeling, diving, rock climbing and whale watching.
Sri Lanka is also interesting to those looking to explore beyond its beaches. History lovers will enjoy hiking to Buddhist cave temples in Dambulla or challenging themselves by hiking up to the Sigiriya rock. Elsewhere, the Hill Country is a scenic picture of green tea estates and cooler climate at a high altitude, and the World’s End trek is a pleasant, easy and highly recommended activity. For an afternoon of walking around amid colonial architecture, visit Galle and you’ll find yourself wondering if you’re still in Sri Lanka.
This post was presented by justseychelles.com.
Monday 30th of March 2015
this is great news. Nice tool