The most beautiful islands in the world range from tropical beach destinations to exotic otherworldly landscapes. But which of these islands of the world are the best? Read on to find out!
If you’re in search of paradise on earth, look no further than the world’s most beautiful islands. These tropical wonders boast crystal-clear waters, pristine white-sand beaches, and lush greenery that’ll leave you breathless. From the Caribbean to the South Pacific, and everywhere in between, you’ll find a slice of heaven that’ll make you never want to leave.
But don’t be fooled by their picture-perfect appearance. These islands are more than just a pretty face. Adventure-seekers will find an array of activities to keep them entertained, from snorkeling and diving to hiking and zip-lining. Foodies will delight in the exotic flavors and culinary delights that each island has to offer, while culture buffs will relish in the unique traditions and customs that make each place special.
Looking for exotic islands to daydream about? From the Caribbean to the Mediterranean, just wait until you see these beautiful islands to visit. Whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple looking for a romantic getaway, or a family seeking a fun-filled vacation, these islands have something for everyone. So pack your bags, slip on your flip flops, and get ready to experience the ultimate island escape.
It’s time to soak up the sun, savor the sea, and enjoy the beauty of the world’s most stunning islands! Here are the 61 most beautiful islands in the world in no particular order (though I tend to save the best for last).
If you’re looking for the ultimate tropical island vacation, add Fiji to your bucket list. This archipelago is found in the South Pacific, and it’s got everything from beautiful beaches and luxury resorts to volcanic mountains and snorkeling adventures. Add to that turquoise waters, colorful coral reefs, and friendly people, and you’ll see why it deserves to be listed among the most beautiful islands in the world.
2. Lofoten Islands, Norway
Ah, the Lofoten Islands! Norway’s hidden gem, known for its raw and rugged beauty. These islands may not be your typical tropical paradise, but they offer a different kind of charm that’s hard to resist.
For starters, you’ll be greeted by majestic mountains that rise out of the sea and are adorned with colorful wooden fishing huts. The islands’ turquoise waters are teeming with fish and sea creatures, so it’s no surprise that fishing is a big part of the local culture.
But that’s not all there is to do. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, you can go surfing or rock climbing. If you prefer a more relaxed pace, there are plenty of hiking trails with stunning views of the islands. And let’s not forget about the Northern Lights! Lofoten is one of the best places to see this natural wonder, so be sure to add it to your itinerary.
Fun fact: the Lofoten Islands are located above the Arctic Circle, which means that during the summer months, the sun never sets. And during the winter, you can witness the polar night, where the sun never rises. It’s an otherworldly experience that you won’t forget.
So, if you’re looking for a unique island adventure, the Lofoten Islands are worth visiting. It’s not your typical beach vacation; it offers a different kind of beauty that’s just as mesmerizing. So, pack your warm clothes and explore Norway’s breathtaking Lofoten Islands!
Tip: If you haven’t already, I HIGHLY recommend signing up for Scott’s Cheap Flights (now called “Going). I recently found a $399 roundtrip fare from Boston thanks to their free email alerts. The premium and elite version are even better!
3. Saint Lucia
Among the islands of the world, Saint Lucia really stands out. Unlike most Caribbean islands, it’s very mountainous, with its most iconic peak towering nearly 800 meters (2,620 ft.). This volcanic island is also home to many beautiful beaches, luxury hotels, and quaint fishing towns. The French influence is sure to impress you as well.
Nature lovers will enjoy the limitless opportunities for swimming and snorkeling among coral reefs, hiking the Pitons, and chasing waterfalls. There are also nature trails through rainforests, as well as ziplining and horseback riding. Though if you’re just looking to relax, Saint Lucia hosts several all-inclusive resorts, too. Is this among the top islands to visit? It sure is!
4. The Seychelles
It’s easy to lose yourself in the Seychelles. This group of 115 islands east of Kenya is nothing short of bucket-list worthy. The Seychelles are where parts of the movie Castaway were filmed, and you also may recall that Prince William and Kate Middleton spent their honeymoon here.
From postcard-worthy beaches and coral reefs to UNESCO-designated jungles, the Seychelles are where the rich and famous go on vacation. Will you join them?
5. Mílos, Greece
This beautiful Greek island has everything a traveler could wish for. Located in the Aegean Sea, Mílos is small but don’t let its size fool you! It’s a hidden gem with plenty of surprises that make it one of the most beautiful places to visit.
The beaches are simply stunning, with crystal-clear turquoise waters and white sand that stretches all over. The island has over 70 beaches, each one with its unique charm, but the most famous ones are Sarakiniko, Papafragas, Firiplaka, and Tsigrado.
But, there’s more to Mílos than just beaches. If you’re a history buff, you’ll be fascinated by the ancient ruins that dot the island. Mílos is known for the statue of Venus de Milo. But, did you know that Mílos was also the site of an ancient battle between the Athenians and the Spartans? The island is also home to a prehistoric settlement, where you can see the remains from the Bronze Age.
Now, let’s talk about the food. Greek cuisine has its delicious dishes, and Mílos is no exception. Seafood is a specialty here, and you’ll find plenty of restaurants serving fresh fish and other local delicacies. Try the traditional dish of Mílos, “soufico,” which is a slow-cooked stew made with eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, and tomatoes. Yum!
So, why should you consider visiting Mílos? If you’re looking for a quiet and peaceful escape, Mílos is the perfect destination. The island is not as crowded as other Greek islands, so you’ll have plenty of space to relax and unwind. Also, the island is perfect for those who love the outdoors, offering hiking, kayaking, and scuba diving in the crystal-clear waters of the Aegean Sea. Mílos is a slice of paradise that’s just waiting to be explored.
6. Reunion Island, France
Located east of Madagascar, Reunion Island is one of the most magical islands imaginable. It’s known for its verdant scenery, active volcanoes, and black and white sand beaches. It’s not only one of the most beautiful islands in the Indian Ocean, but the world as a whole!
7. The Azores, Portugal
Looking for a unique island experience? Look no further than the Azores.
This group of 9 islands is found nearly 1000 miles west of Portugal, and it truly feels worlds apart from the mainland. The Azores are known for their outdoor adventures, namely diving, surfing, and whale watching. It also boasts amazing mouthwatering cuisine and jaw-dropping scenery.
I visited the Azores back in 2014, and I couldn’t believe how pristine and untouched it was! Of course, it’s becoming more popular each year, but it still retains much of its rustic island charm.
8. Corsica, France
As the birthplace of Napoleon, Corsica has been at the top of people’s bucket lists for hundreds of years. This beautiful Mediterranean island has delicious food, harbor towns, white sand beaches, and rugged cliffs. It’s easily one of the nicest islands in the world to visit, especially if you’re looking to pair a beach vacation with an immersive cultural experience.
9. Isle of Skye, Scotland
Isle of Skye isn’t your typical island paradise. In fact, it couldn’t be further from that, both in terms of its climate and geography. It’s connected to the Scotland’s northwestern coast by bridge, but it feels very different from what you’ll find elsewhere throughout the British Isles.
Known for its otherworldly landscapes and medieval castles, Isle of Skye is a top destination amongst history lovers and adventurers. The dramatic rock formations, moody weather, and green scenery will leave you speechless. And then, turn you into a storyteller (in the words of Ibn Battuta).
Read next: Top 99 Quotes about Traveling
10. Tahiti is one of the most beautiful islands in the world
French Polynesia boasts many breathtaking islands, but Tahiti is definitely among the best. Unlike some tropical islands which merely offer beach clubs and resorts, Tahiti has a little bit of everything. In the same day, you can sip cocktails on a beautiful white sand beach, go chasing waterfalls, and shop ‘til you drop at the myriad of shops and markets sprawled around the island. It’s one of the most romantic islands in the world, but it also has plenty to do for the outdoorsy types. And don’t forget about the amazing French cuisine!
Is Tahiti one of the most amazing tropical islands in the world? You bet!
11. Mallorca, Spain
Located in the Western Mediterranean, Mallorca is the largest island in the Balearic Island chain. It’s also one of the most interesting islands of the world and it’s not hard to see why.
Mallorca is home to many Roman and Moorish sites from centuries past, including royal palaces and historic churches. Palma, Mallorca’s capital city, boasts gorgeous Spanish architecture and plenty of boutique shops and cafés sprinkled in between.
Stay at a lively beach resort with views of turquoise waters. Discover beautiful coves and limestone mountains. Music festivals are popping up here all the time, so it’s no wonder Mallorca draws a younger crowd. With its sunny persona and vibrant charm, it’s no surprise that Mallorca is among the most beautiful islands to visit. It’s also a top getaway in Spain!
12. Crete, Greece
Is this one of the most beautiful islands in the world? Absolutely!
Crete is the largest of the Greek islands. It’s also among the most impressive, boasting a unique mix of culture, history, and gastronomical experiences.
If you’re looking for a photogenic Greek Island with lots of compelling history and charm, add Crete to your travel bucket list.
13. The Maldives
Looking to visit one of the most unique islands in the world? The Maldives is certainly up there.
This archipelago of over 1,000 islands is in the Indian Ocean. It’s one of the most exclusive vacation destinations imaginable, home to a vast assortment of luxury villas, five-star beach resorts, and overwater bungalows. The most incredible resort in the Maldives, and perhaps even in the world, is The Nautilus Maldives. It’s unfathomable that a hotel could go for upwards of $3,000/night, but here we are!
Go diving and immerse yourself in this tropical oasis, and you’ll see why it’s one of the world’s most beautiful islands.
14. Ischia, Italy
If you’re looking for a spa and wellness retreat in the Mediterranean, consider visiting this island in Italy.
Located in the Gulf of Naples, Ischia is one of the best hidden gem islands on this list. Unless you’re super familiar with Italian islands, you probably haven’t been here or heard of it.
As a volcanic island, Ischia offers no shortage of cool thermal experiences, including wellness centers, thermal baths, and natural springs. Eat some delicious aperitivos as you take in the beautiful coastal landscapes, and you’ll see why Ischia merits a spot among the most beautiful islands in the world.
15. Saba, Caribbean
Have you heard of Saba? It’s a tiny island in the Caribbean that belongs to the Netherlands, and let me tell you, it’s one of the most beautiful islands you’ll ever visit! Despite its small size, Saba is packed with natural wonders, making it a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers.
What makes Saba one of the best islands in the world
The island is known for its lush rainforests, rugged terrain, and volcanic peaks. In fact, the highest point in the Netherlands, Mount Scenery, is located on Saba! Hiking up this mountain is a must-do when you visit. The trail is steep, but the reward is a breathtaking view of the island from the summit.
Saba is also a top spot for diving and snorkeling. The waters surrounding the island are home to vibrant coral reefs, tropical fish, and even shipwrecks from the past. You can also explore the underwater hot springs and volcanic vents, which are unique to Saba.
One thing that makes Saba stand out is its charm. The island is dotted with small, quaint villages that make you feel like you’re stepping back in time. The locals are friendly and welcoming, and the island has a relaxed and laid-back vibe. You won’t find any chain resorts or big hotels here, but you will find cozy and charming cottages and bed and breakfasts.
Fun fact, did you know that Saba is a “Special Municipality” of the Netherlands? That means it’s a part of the country, but it’s not considered a province. It’s also the smallest public entity of the Netherlands in terms of both land area and population.
So, why should you consider visiting Saba? Well, if you’re looking for a unique and off-the-beaten-path destination, Saba is perfect. The island is not as crowded as other Caribbean islands, so you’ll have plenty of space to relax and unwind. It’s also a perfect spot for those seeking adventure and nature, with hiking, diving, and exploring the rainforest all available. It’s no wonder Saba is among the most beautiful islands to visit!
16. Kaua’i, Hawaii
Best known for its epic coastlines and lush rainforests, Kaua’i is not to be missed on any Hawaii itinerary. The beaches, the cliffs, and the greenery all exude beauty, so it’s no wonder this is considered one of the most stunning islands in the world. Kaua’i also has a relaxed vibe that isn’t found on many of the other Hawaiian Islands.
The hot ticket attraction here is the Na Pali Coast, but that’s just the beginning. With raging waterfalls, dramatic cliffs, and a variety of exotic plants, they don’t call Kaua’i the Garden Isle for nothing!
Read next: 10 things locals do on O’ahu
17. Langkawi, Malaysia
Langkawi is one of Malaysia’s most popular beach destinations, and it’s easy to see why. With beautiful jungles, beaches, and crystal clear waters, this is truly a paradise on Earth for nature lovers.
By day, lounge on the beach or go diving. And by night, you’ll have a fun nightlife and shopping scene right in front of you. Unless you’ve traveled extensively in Southeast Asia, you probably haven’t been here or even heard of it, but that will probably change soon!
18. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
It would be a crime to write an article about the most beautiful islands in the world and not mention Bora Bora.
This island in the South Pacific is best known for its over-the-water bungalows, which gracefully dangle above the turquoise waters. Bora Bora also offers an assortment of cool diving and snorkeling opportunities, in addition to hiking trails and lagoons.
If you’re looking to pair romance with luxury, the beautiful island of Bora Bora has got you covered.
19. Turks and Caicos is among the most beautiful islands in the world
If you’re looking for an exclusive tropical destination with endless sunshine and white sand, this paradise awaits you.
Turks and Caicos is the premier beach destination in the Caribbean for the rich and famous. It’s also a popular honeymoon getaway, as you’ll find many lavish villas and resorts nestled right along the beach.
Home to Grace Bay, one of the world’s best beaches, I can’t imagine a more serene Caribbean getaway than a stay in Turks and Caicos.
Read next: 12 Amazing Airbnbs in Turks and Caicos
20. Palawan, Philippines
Known for its gorgeous emerald water and dramatic scenery, Palawan is one of the most Instagrammable islands in the world.
Located in the western Philippines, Palawan is home to the world’s longest underground rivers. The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and something you need to see with your own eyes! There’s also another UNESCO site here called Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, which is home to a diversity of marine life.
This island is brimming with surreal landscapes and flora and fauna, making it a favorite amongst nature lovers.
21. Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands is a Danish archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean with some of the most epic landscapes imaginable. It’s got the same breathtaking views as you’d find in Iceland, without the crowds. It also has puffins, which is a great reason to visit this island in and of itself!
Not only is this one of the most beautiful islands in the world, it’s also among the most underrated.
22. Roatán, Honduras
Dreaming of visiting one of the coolest islands of the world? Add Roatán to your 2023 bucket list. It’s about 40 miles off the coast of Honduras, making it feel like an oasis at sea.
As a popular cruise destination, Roatán offers offshore reefs that are great for new and experienced divers alike. It’s surrounded by the biggest barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere, and second in the world after the Great Barrier Reef. There are also several shipwrecks and lots of exotic fish that you’ll spot when snorkeling.
Roatán is located outside of the hurricane belt, only seeing a hurricane every 26 years. From snorkeling and diving to zip lining and beachgoing, Roatán is one of those exotic isles that everyone should visit.
23. Santorini, Greece
This postcard-worthy island is easily one of the prettiest in the world!
Santorini is best known for its white-washed homes and sweeping caldera views. This volcanic island is home to several cliffside villages, each with their own unique charm and history. Sip wine as you learn about Greek mythology or lounge by the pool overlooking the sea, and you’ll see why this is one of the most famous islands in the world.
24. Palau, Micronesia
If you’re searching for a tropical paradise that’s tucked away, Palau in Micronesia is a destination that you don’t want to miss. This hidden gem in the western Pacific Ocean is one of the most beautiful islands you’ll ever visit. It’s full of surprises!
One of the unique features of Palau is its jellyfish lake, home to millions of non-stinging jellyfish. These jellyfish have evolved to be stingless due to the lack of predators in the lake, making it a one-of-a-kind snorkeling experience. Imagine floating among the jellies in the middle of a turquoise lagoon – it’s a dream come true!
Palau is also known for its amazing diving spots. With over 1,300 species of fish and 700 species of coral, Palau is a haven for divers and snorkelers. One of the most famous dive sites is the Blue Corner, known for its strong currents and abundance of marine life, including reef sharks, barracudas, and giant clams.
Palau is also home to the Rock Islands, a group of 300 limestone islands covered in lush greenery and surrounded by crystal-clear waters. Kayak around the Rock Islands, explore hidden coves and beaches, and even camp beneath the stars.
The other side of Palau
Palau’s history is also worth exploring. During World War II, Palau was occupied by the Japanese and was the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the war. You can visit the sites of the battle and learn more about Palau’s role in the war.
Palau is a tropical paradise just waiting to be explored. With its unique underwater world, stunning Rock Islands, and rich history, it’s no wonder why travelers are falling in love with this Micronesian gem. So, pack your snorkeling gear and head to Palau for the adventure of a lifetime!
25. The Cook Islands are among the top islands in the world
Located between French Polynesia and Samoa in the South Pacific, the Cook Islands are easily among the most beautiful islands in the world.
This cluster of 15 islands offers an interesting mix of volcanic peaks, serene beaches, and snorkeling/scuba diving sites. The locals are also super friendly. With breathtaking views at every turn, I can definitely see why!
26. Bali, Indonesia
Ahh Bali. This paradise island in Southeast Asia definitely deserves a mention among the most beautiful islands in the world. If you’ve been on Instagram at all in the past few years, you’ve probably heard or seen it. Perhaps you’ve even been!
Not only is Bali a favorite among beachgoers, but it also offers unique historic and cultural sites that you won’t find anywhere else. From religious temples and rice paddies to world-class resorts and beaches, Bali is about as dreamy as it gets!
While you’re visiting Bali, be sure to check out the nearby island of Nusa Penida, one of the most under-the-radar islands in the world!
27. Isla Navarino, Chile
Want to see what the end of the Earth looks like? Check out Isla Navarino. It’s located in Chile’s Patagonia region, one of the most remote places in the world.
Go hiking through dramatic, snowcapped mountains and soak in the otherworldly landscapes that the end of the world has to offer. You’ll quickly see why this is one of the most gorgeous islands in the world.
28. The Dalmatian Islands, Croatia
Located in the Adriatic Sea, the Dalmatian Islands are easily among the most enchanting islands in the world.
The most bucket list-worthy islands include Hvar, Korcula, and Brac, but there are so many others that could also make this list.
From historic coastal villages to hidden coves and beaches, the Dalmatian Islands have so much to offer travelers in 2022.
29. Molokai, Hawaii
With no traffic lights, no beach clubs, and no buildings taller than a palm tree, Molokai is one of the most pristine islands imaginable. As the birthplace of hula, it’s among the last remaining bastions of the “Old Hawaii,” as it still retains its heritage and charm.
Unlike most of the islands on this list, Molokai is unexplored and unspoiled. The landscapes look like they did when the first Polynesians arrived there a thousand years ago. With massive sea cliffs, empty beaches, and rustic countryside, Molokai is truly one of a kind.
On the island of Molokai, locals welcome with open arms all visitors who wish to learn about their culture and way of life. It’s one of the most authentic islands out there, so be sure to keep an open mind and an open heart to properly experience this island of aloha.
Read next: Molokai Like a Local: Travel Guide
30. Phuket, Thailand is one of the islands of the world that will surprise you
To say that Phuket is one of the most beautiful islands on Earth would be an understatement.
This island oasis has the whole package: white sand beaches, lush rainforests, unique cultural sites (i.e., Buddhist temples), and a cool cosmopolitan culture. Enjoy the calm ocean waters and the amazing food and nightlife scene, and you’ll see why there’s so much hype around Phuket.
31. South Island, New Zealand
It wouldn’t feel right to go through this round-up of the best islands in the world without mentioning New Zealand. In particular, the South Island is worthy of a top spot on your bucket list, and it’s easy to see why.
On the South Island, outdoor adventures galore. You won’t want to lie down on a beach chair all day, as there are so many breathtaking sights and experiences that you’ll want to be a part of. From ice caves and imposing mountains, to glaciers and dense forests, there’s so much to explore on the South Island of New Zealand.
32. Aruba is a top beautiful island in the world
Aruba is one of the most upscale and diverse islands in the Caribbean. Sure, it has plenty of beautiful beaches and luxury resorts, but it also boasts a national park, an artist’s colony, and a diverse culture shaped by nearly 100 nationalities. It’s hard not to love Aruba.
With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder they call Aruba “One Happy Island!”
Read next: Aruba Beyond the Beaches
33. The Florida Keys
The Florida Keys are known for their fishing, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Many destinations, including Key West, also have a laid back and Caribbean vibe.
If you’re from the US and aren’t feeling the long customs lines and other stress that comes with international travel, the Florida Keys are a great alternative. These islands are definitely among the most beautiful worldwide.
Read next: 18 Unique Stays in the Florida Keys
34. Siquijor Island, Philippines
If you’re looking for a magical, off-the-beaten-path island, look no further than Siquijor! This tiny island in the Philippines isn’t as well-known as some of its bigger neighbors, but trust me, it’s worth a visit.
So, what makes Siquijor so special? For starters, its beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world. With crystal-clear waters, powdery white sand, and plenty of palm trees swaying in the breeze, you’ll feel like you’re in paradise. And the best part? Since Siquijor is relatively undiscovered, you won’t have to fight the crowds for a prime spot on the beach.
But Siquijor has more to offer than just sun, sand, and surf. One of the island’s most unique attractions is its collection of mystical landmarks. Siquijor has a long history of witchcraft and sorcery, and you’ll find evidence of this all around the island. From the centuries-old Balete tree, where it’s said that local healers gather to perform their rituals, to the Cambugahay Falls, where you can swim in a pool of water that’s rumored to have magical properties, there’s no shortage of enchanting sights to see.
If you’re an adrenaline junkie, Siquijor has plenty to offer you too. You can go cliff diving at Salagdoong Beach, zipline through the treetops at Cantabon Cave, or explore the island’s many natural wonders on foot or by motorbike.
And last but not least, Siquijor is home to some of the friendliest and most welcoming people you’ll ever meet. They’re always eager to share their culture and traditions with visitors.
So, whether you’re looking for a peaceful beach getaway, an otherworldly adventure, or just a chance to connect with amazing people, Siquijor is the beautiful island for you.
35. Malta contains some of the world’s most beautiful islands
Malta, and its sister islands of Gozo and Comino, all deserve a spot among the most beautiful islands in the world.
From the capital city of Valletta to the ancient city of Mdina, Malta is one of the most interesting destinations on this list. It was settled by many different civilizations, including the Byzantines, Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans, and Arabs. As such, it’s got a multicultural feel to it that makes it unique.
With so many hidden coves, colorful fishing villages, and no shortage of posh hotels, restaurants, bars, and clubs, Malta truly has the whole package.
If you’re looking for a vacation spot in the Mediterranean with rich history, beautiful architecture, and unique beaches, Malta has got you covered.
Read next: 12 Best Instagram Spots in Malta
36. Cozumel, Mexico
Cozumel is a beautiful Mexican island with an allure so strong that it’s one of the most popular islands in the Caribbean Sea, and the world as a whole.
On the island of Cozumel, you’ll have a range of beautiful beaches, natural wonders, and scuba diving spots. It’s a port of call for many of the world’s leading cruise lines, and it’s easy to see why with its coastal charm and natural beauty.
The beaches, live music, and shopping are all popular activities, but what really sets this destination apart is its diving. Shallow coral reefs dot the coastline, so you won’t have any problem finding colorful fish and reefs.
Cozumel is among the top budget-friendly beach destinations in Mexico, making it the perfect winter getaway in the Caribbean!
37. Capri, Italy is among the coolest island destinations
Is this one of the prettiest islands in the world? 100%!
Capri is a small Italian island with a lot of charm and personality. It offers a plethora of luxury resorts, shops, and restaurants — all draped in vibrant colors — and some of the most breathtaking views imaginable.
Take a boat ride around the Bay of Naples and Amalfi Coast, and you’ll see why Capri is one of the world’s coolest islands.
38. Corfu, Greece
If you’re looking for a beautiful, budget-friendly island in Europe, add Corfu to your wish list.
Corfu is a Greek island with an intriguing past. It was ruled by Venice, France, and England, before being united with Greece in 1864. To this day, the island’s diverse heritage is on full display with a range of fortresses and palaces built from different architectural styles.
Swim in the refreshing turquoise waters with a backdrop of legendary historic and cultural sites. It’s no wonder this is one of the most beautiful islands in the world!
Read next: Top Europe Hidden Gems
39. Dominica is among the prettiest islands in the world
Unlike most Caribbean islands, which offer beaches, beaches, and more beaches, Dominica has something else that’s special to offer.
Not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, Dominica is another Caribbean island nation that’s worthy of a spot on your bucket list. It’s nicknamed “The Nature Island,” and it couldn’t be more spot on. With its raging waterfalls, meandering rivers, and rainforests, this island has so much to offer adventure travelers and those seeking a tropical winter getaway.
Go for a hike, do some scuba diving, or even check out the natural hot springs, and you’ll wonder where Dominica has been all your life!
40. Block Island, Rhode Island
This isn’t your typical tropical island. In fact, it couldn’t be further from it.
Located off the coast of Rhode Island in New England, Block Island is one of the nicest islands in the world. It’s incredibly relaxed and rustic, offering dramatic beachfront cliffs, iconic lighthouses, and wildlife refuges that give the rest of the east coast a run for its money.
Enjoy classic New England seafood from a restaurant overlooking the ocean. Go bike riding or rent a moped to explore this untouched island. With its unspoiled scenery and breathtaking views, Block Island is no doubt one of the top islands of the world. It’s a must-see day trip when you’re visiting Newport.
41. British Virgin Islands
As a British Overseas Territory, the British Virgin Islands is yet another beautiful island group that merits a visit.
The British Virgin Islands are made up of 4 main islands, and several smaller ones, all known for their amazing beaches, reefs, and yachting. It’s a bit more underdeveloped than other Caribbean islands on this list, which makes it more desirable and off the beaten path.
The British Virgin Islands are among the most beautiful and exclusive islands in the world. After visiting here, you won’t want to spend a holiday anywhere else!
Located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus is an island country with a strong appeal. It’s brimming with diverse natural beauty and a rich history. It’s at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa, so you could easily confuse the landscapes and structures with those you’d find in Turkey or even North Africa.
If golden coastlines and azure waters sound good to you, you won’t want to miss a visit to Cyprus.
43. Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
Situated in Thailand, Ko Phi Phi is a group of islands that can best be described as a paradise on Earth. If you’ve ever watched the Leonardo DiCaprio movie “The Beach,” then you’ve seen this place before.
Ko Phi Phi is a popular tourist destination in Thailand with many great opportunities for swimming, scuba diving, and snorkeling. It was hit hard by a hurricane in 2004, but thankfully has recovered to become an even more sought-after vacation spot in Southeast Asia.
If you’re looking for a fun beach destination that attracts travelers from around the world, Ko Phi Phi is calling your name!
44. Whitsunday Islands, Australia
If you’re looking to visit the Great Barrier Reef, add Whitsunday Islands in Australia to your bucket list!
Comprised of 74 islands, this tropical getaway is home to one of the most beautiful ecosystems on Earth. There are six national parks in all, which protect the vibrant coral reefs and marine life that call this place their home.
Go sailing or diving around the Whitsunday Islands, and you’ll see why this ‘land down under’ is among the most beautiful isles in the world!
45. Sardinia, Italy
In Sardinia, you’ll find rugged coastal cliffs, sandy beaches, archaeological sites, and amazing food. What more could you ask for in one of the coolest islands in the world?
Fun fact: Sardinia is home to Europe’s biggest canyon (by volume). It’s incredibly dramatic and picturesque, which along with the medieval towns and historic treasures around it, make it one of the most diverse island destinations out there!
In addition, Sardinia is known as one of the world’s blue zones where people tend to live the longest. So, if you want to live life to the fullest, definitely give Sardinia a try as one of the pretty islands to visit.
46. Miyako Island, Japan
This is easily one of the top beaches in Japan, and perhaps even the world!
Miyako Island is best known for its crystal-clear waters, expansive beaches, and coral reefs. Snorkeling and paddle boarding are popular activities here, and like other places in Japan, you can look forward to the local cuisine.
While Miyako Island is popular amongst Japanese tourists, it’s basically unknown across much of the world. Be the first of your family and friends to discover this beautiful beach destination in the Pacific!
47. St. Barts (Saint Barthelemy)
Looking for the ultimate tropical island experience? Look no further than St. Barts.
This exclusive Caribbean island evokes images of high-end villas, designer stores, and luxury resorts, but there’s also a lot of charm here. St. Barts is a French-speaking island filled with white-sand beaches, gorgeous gardens, sun-kissed cliffs, and ultra-luxury yachts. It’s a quick flight away from St. Maarten, another beautiful island worthy of a spot on your bucket list.
48. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
While other beautiful islands on this list draw visitors with their turquoise waters and white-sand beaches, the Galapagos Islands have something totally different to offer.
This string of islands is best known for its abundant wildlife, including finches, marine iguanas, and giant tortoises. There’s truly nowhere like it on Earth.
It’s no wonder that the Galapagos Islands inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. If you visit here, you’ll be inspired, too!
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49. The Bahamas
From white and pink sand beaches to world-class resorts and entertainment, the Bahamas has it all. There are 700 islands that are a part of the Bahamas, and you won’t have to travel far to find amazing beaches and reefs.
I stayed at the Atlantic Paradise Island, and it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Take your pick at one of the all-inclusives and family-friendly resorts. You won’t want to spend a beach vacation anywhere else!
50. Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia is one of the best islands of the world
Situated in Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Island is a sight for sore eyes. Of all the islands in the world, this vacation destination is among the most unique.
This rugged stretch of coastline includes a national park in Canada that overlooks the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Cape Breton Island is also home to the famous Cabot Trail, a driving route that takes you past scenic coastlines and dense forests. You can’t go wrong visiting this island holiday any time of year, but during the fall is the most magical.
51. Tenerife, Spain
Just off the coast of West Africa, Tenerife is one of the Canary Islands. It’s also one of the most beautiful volcanic islands in the world. Here’s why.
Tenerife offers an interesting mix of jaw-dropping scenery, cultural and historical sites, and world-class resorts and beaches. It’s home to Spain’s tallest mountain, and one of the coolest Carnival celebrations in the world (second to Rio de Janeiro).
If you’re looking for an exotic island getaway with great hikes, a rich culture, and endless sunshine, Tenerife awaits you.
Read next: Best Instagram Spots in Spain
Looking to stay at one of the coolest vacation rentals in Spain? Read next: Coolest Airbnbs in Europe
52. Mauritius is one of the best tropical islands in the world
Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean that definitely deserves a spot on your bucket list. It’s best known for its underwater waterfall, but there’s much more than meets the eye here.
From hiking and snorkeling to exploring hidden villages, you won’t run out of fun family-friendly activities in Mauritius. In the words of Mark Twain, “Mauritius was made first, then heaven, and that heaven was copied after Mauritius.” I couldn’t agree more with his sentiments!
53. Iceland is top among the exotic isles for nature lovers
Though Iceland doesn’t conjure up images of tropical beaches, it’s still among the most beautiful islands in the world…in a different way!
In a few hours drive, you’ll come across glaciers, black sand beaches, mountains, geysers, canyons, and fjords. Iceland is truly one of the most diverse islands out there, and you won’t have to go far to soak in the best that this island has to offer.
In addition to the landscapes, Iceland is also a great spot for seeing the Northern Lights. So pack your bags, dress accordingly, and set out for this cold island paradise near the Arctic Circle!
Read next: Coolest Instagram Spots in Iceland
54. Boracay Island, Philippines
This is one of the most popular islands in the Philippines, and it’s easy to see why it draws the hype.
Boracay Island is a small island that packs a punch with all its dreamy beaches and aqua adventures. It’s only 11 square miles, but there are some 17 beaches and lots of smaller coves that make for the ideal tropical island experience.
Relax on the beach with a cocktail in hand, and you’ll wonder where this stunning island has been all your life!
55. Jamaica is one of the world’s most beautiful islands
Known for its lush rainforests and picture-perfect beaches, Jamaica gives all the top Caribbean islands a run for their money.
Marvel at the colonial-era architecture, go snorkeling off the coast, and listen to live music in the form of reggae music. There’s something for everyone here.
If you’re looking to combine a beach trip with one that focuses on an authentic local experience, Jamaica has got you covered.
56. Sicily, Italy
As the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily is a top island destination in the world.
In Sicily, you’ll have no shortage of beautiful beaches, charming towns, and amazing food. Spend the days exploring ancient ruins and streets, and by night expand your taste palate. Sicilian history, culture, and cuisine are among the most alluring in the world.
If you haven’t been to Sicily, you’ve probably seen it on a map. It’s the toe of Italy’s boot, you truly can’t miss it in more than one way!
57. Koh Samui, Thailand
Looking to pair luxury with riveting sights and outdoor attractions? Koh Samui has it all.
Koh Samui is the second largest island in Thailand, and there’s literally so much to see and do. From palm-fringed beaches and extravagant resorts to ancient temples and sprawling forests, this island is a highlight of any visit to Thailand. It’s easy to lose yourself on an island so rich and beautiful. It’s no wonder Koh Samui is one of the most picturesque islands in the world.
58. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
Martha’s Vineyard is a beautiful island off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. It’s a popular holiday destination, particularly during the warm summer months. Here’s why you should visit this best island vacation in the Northeast.
This triangle-shaped island is home to beautiful beaches, classic New England lighthouses, and charming Gingerbread cottages that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s a great place to explore by moped, as the island is over 23 miles at its widest. Here, you’ll pass by cute inns, sandy beaches, and pastoral farmland, all without any chain restaurants and shops. Though it may feel worlds apart from the Caribbean and other tropical destinations, the Vineyard is certainly a best US island to visit.
59. Madeira, Portugal
Madeira has it all: magnificent beaches, dramatic sea cliffs, quaint towns, mysterious forests, lava pools, and even wine. Just a short flight from Lisbon, it’s more budget-friendly than you may expect for an island so beautiful, and that’s what adds to its appeal.
Not only is Madeira absolutely stunning, it’s also among the most underrated islands in the world.
60. Zanzibar, Tanzania
Just off the coast of Eastern Africa, Zanzibar is an island like no other. It’s home to some of the world’s most perfect beaches, thick forests, and abounding wildlife. You can even take a safari around the island, where you’ll see lions, elephants, water buffalos, and rhinos.
Most visitors to Tanzania hit Serengeti National Park, but not far away is another jewel with breathtaking sights and attractions. Zanzibar is absolutely worthy of a spot on your bucket list, and it won’t break the bank either.
Go for a swim, snorkel, and take in the unique cultural influences throughout the island, and you’ll discover why Zanzibar is one of the most beautiful islands in the world.
61. Puerto Rico is among the best islands in the world
Is Puerto Rico one of the most beautiful islands on Earth? You know it!
Offering rainforests, beaches, and colonial charm, this US territory attracts people from all walks of life. It’s a popular romantic getaway, but adventure seekers will find plenty to do here as well. Best resort islands in the world truly have nothing on PR.
Soak in the warm sea breeze and be amazed by the vibrant architecture and friendly people. And, of course, be sure to eat your way around Puerto Rico. I bet you’ve found your new favorite tropical island.
Read next: Top Airbnbs in Puerto Rico
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the world’s most exotic islands
Here are some common questions (and answers) about these beautiful islands around the world.
What island is cheapest to vacation on?
Looking for a tropical paradise that won’t break the bank? You’re in luck! While some islands can be a bit pricey, there are plenty of affordable options out there if you know where to look.
One of the cheapest islands to vacation on is undoubtedly Bali. This Indonesian gem has a reputation for being both beautiful and budget-friendly. You can find everything from luxury resorts to cozy guesthouses for a fraction of the cost you’d pay elsewhere.
But Bali isn’t the only option. If you’re looking for a beachy destination, you might also consider Thailand’s Koh Samui or the Philippines’ Palawan. Both islands offer stunning scenery, delicious food, and plenty of activities, all at a reasonable price.
If you’re more interested in history and culture, you might want to check out Sri Lanka. This island nation has a rich history and a fascinating blend of religions and cultures. And best of all, it’s relatively affordable compared to other popular destinations in Asia.
Of course, the cheapest island to vacation on will ultimately depend on your personal preferences and travel style. But with a little research and some careful planning, you can find your own tropical paradise without breaking the bank.
What is the coolest island in the world?
When it comes to cool islands, there are plenty of contenders out there. But if you’re looking for a destination that’s both beautiful and hip, you might want to check out Ibiza.
Located off the coast of Spain, Ibiza is famous for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant nightlife scene. It’s the ultimate party destination, with clubs and bars that stay open until sunrise and world-renowned DJs spinning the latest beats.
But there’s more to Ibiza than just partying. The island is also home to a thriving arts and culture scene, with galleries, museums, and festivals showcasing the latest in contemporary art and music.
And if you’re looking to unwind, Ibiza has you covered there too. You can explore the island’s rugged landscapes on foot or by bike, or simply lounge on the beaches and soak up the Mediterranean sun.
Of course, Ibiza isn’t the only cool island out there. There’s also Bali, with its mix of spirituality and surf culture, and Santorini, with its stunning white-washed buildings and breathtaking sunsets.
But no matter which island you choose, one thing’s for sure – you’re in for a cool and unforgettable adventure!
What is the safest island to visit?
When it comes to travel, safety is always a top concern. But don’t worry, there are plenty of islands out there that are both beautiful and safe for visitors.
One of the safest islands to visit is Iceland. This Nordic nation is known for its stunning landscapes, from towering waterfalls to geothermal pools. And best of all, Iceland has a low crime rate, making it a great option for solo travelers or families.
Another safe option is Japan. This island nation has a reputation for being one of the safest countries in the world, with a low crime rate and a strong emphasis on hospitality and respect. You can explore Tokyo’s bustling streets or Kyoto’s serene temples with peace of mind.
If you’re looking for a beachy getaway, you might want to consider the Maldives. This island nation is known for its luxurious overwater bungalows and crystal-clear waters. And with a low crime rate and a focus on sustainable tourism, it’s a great option for a safe and responsible vacation.
What island has the prettiest water?
If you’re a fan of crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life, you’ll want to check out the islands of the Maldives. This stunning archipelago in the Indian Ocean is famous for its turquoise waters, which are so clear you can see straight to the bottom.
The Maldives is made up of over 1,000 islands, each more beautiful than the last. You can explore the coral reefs and spot tropical fish while snorkeling or scuba diving, or simply lounge on the beaches and soak up the sun.
But the Maldives isn’t the only island paradise with beautiful water. The islands of the Bahamas are also known for their stunning shades of blue, from the deep navy of the ocean to the bright turquoise of the shallows. And the islands of French Polynesia, including Bora Bora and Tahiti, have some of the clearest waters in the world, with visibility up to 100 feet.
Of course, no matter which island you choose, one thing’s for sure – you’re in for a treat for your eyes. So pack your swimsuit and get ready to dive into some of the prettiest waters in the world!
What islands can you visit without a passport?
Dreaming of a tropical getaway but don’t have a passport? Don’t worry, there are plenty of stunning islands you can visit without one!
If you’re based in the United States, you might consider Puerto Rico. This beautiful island is a US territory, so you won’t need a passport to visit. You can explore the colorful streets of Old San Juan, soak up the sun on the beaches of Isla Verde, or hike in the lush El Yunque rainforest.
Another option is the US Virgin Islands. This group of islands in the Caribbean is also a US territory, so you can enjoy the turquoise waters and white sand beaches without a passport. You can visit St. Thomas for duty-free shopping or St. John for some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean.
If you’re based in Europe, you might consider the Canary Islands. These Spanish islands off the coast of Africa are part of the European Union, so you can visit without a passport if you’re an EU citizen. You can explore the volcanic landscapes of Lanzarote or soak up the sun on the beaches of Tenerife.
Of course, the islands you can visit without a passport will depend on your country of origin and the specific travel restrictions in place.
Are there any untouched islands?
In our modern, connected world, it might seem like every inch of the planet has been explored and developed. But believe it or not, there are still some untouched islands out there waiting to be discovered!
One of the most famous examples is North Sentinel Island, located in the Bay of Bengal. This small island is home to the Sentinelese tribe, who have lived in isolation for thousands of years. The tribe is known for being fiercely protective of their island, and outsiders are not allowed to set foot on its shores.
Another untouched island is Surtsey, located off the coast of Iceland. This volcanic island emerged from the sea in 1963 and has remained uninhabited ever since. It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a living laboratory for scientists studying how life emerges on new land masses.
If you’re looking for a more accessible example, you might consider the Kerguelen Islands, located in the southern Indian Ocean. This group of islands is considered one of the most remote places on Earth, with no permanent human population. It’s home to a wide range of unique wildlife, including penguins, seals, and albatrosses.
Of course, these untouched islands are few and far between, and for good reason – they’re often fragile ecosystems that need to be protected. But for those lucky enough to visit, they offer a glimpse into a world that remains largely untouched by modern civilization.
What is the strangest island?
Looking for an island that’s out of the ordinary? You might want to check out Hashima Island, also known as Gunkanjima or Battleship Island.
This small island off the coast of Japan is famous for its eerie abandoned buildings and decaying infrastructure. Once a bustling coal mining town, the island was abandoned in the 1970s as Japan shifted away from fossil fuels.
Today, visitors can take a guided tour of the island and explore the crumbling buildings, rusted machinery, and overgrown streets. It’s like stepping into a post-apocalyptic world!
But that’s not all that makes Hashima Island strange. The island was also the inspiration for the villain’s lair in the James Bond movie Skyfall, adding to its otherworldly vibe.
Of course, Hashima Island isn’t the only strange island out there. There’s also Snake Island off the coast of Brazil, which is home to thousands of deadly snakes and off-limits to visitors. And then there’s Poveglia Island in Italy, which is said to be haunted by the ghosts of plague victims and is off-limits to visitors as well.
Whether you’re into creepy abandoned places or mysterious legends, there’s an island out there that’s sure to pique your interest.
Where is the scariest island in the world?
Are you a fan of horror movies and haunted houses? Then you might want to check out Poveglia Island in Italy, often considered the scariest island in the world.
Located near Venice, Poveglia Island has a dark and twisted history. It was used as a quarantine station for plague victims in the 1700s, and later served as a mental hospital. It’s said that thousands of patients were mistreated and subjected to cruel experiments, leading to the island being plagued by restless spirits.
Today, the island is completely abandoned and off-limits to visitors. But that hasn’t stopped it from becoming a popular destination for paranormal enthusiasts and ghost hunters. Some say they’ve heard disembodied screams or seen apparitions walking the overgrown paths.
Of course, Poveglia Island isn’t the only spooky spot out there. There’s also Isla de las Muñecas in Mexico, which is said to be haunted by the spirit of a young girl. The island is covered in dolls hanging from trees, which some believe move and whisper in the night.
So whether you’re a skeptic or a true believer, there are plenty of scary islands out there to send shivers down your spine. But be warned – once you step foot on these haunted shores, you might never be the same again!
Most beautiful islands in the world to visit in 2023
I hope you enjoyed learning about these beautiful islands around the world! Which of these pretty islands are at the top of your bucket list? Are there any other unique islands in the world that should be added to this list? Let us know in the comments below!
Happy Travels! – Jon
Looking to see more of our beautiful planet? Follow my adventures on Insta, where I highlight some of the most unique places on Earth. Also, check out the articles below.