Island holidays - where you should visit

Looking for an island escape?

Island holidays - where you should visit

Island holidays - where you should visit

Well it's time to get your passport ready, because this is the ultimate list for sun-starved worker bees who need to plan a getaway to a tropical paradise.

Maui: Hawaii

A sunset in Maui. Source: Mauishine, Instagram.

As far as island retreats go, Maui takes the cake. According to TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Islands awards, this island puts all others to shame.

With its stunning beaches, dramatic scenery, vibrant culture and the endless activities on offer, Maui is a wanderlust dream made real.

Check out Molokini, one of Hawaii’s most recognisable snorkel spots, or head to Maui’s Pa’ako Cove and Paʻia Beach.

You could also take a day-long road trip along the Hana Highway and then go for a hike on the Pipiwai Trail at the end of the highway.

If you would prefer to stay somewhere in Hawaii that is a bit more laid back head to Kauaʻi. Its incredible rainforests, waterfalls and spectacular coastline will take your breath away.

Palawan: Philippines

Palawan. Source: gamintraveler, Instagram.

While we would like to visit every island in the Philippines, Palawan is sheer perfection.

It has been named the best island In the world in the Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards, and Conde Nast Traveler and National Geographic Traveler have also given the island similar awards.

"Visitors are greeted with mountains rising out of impossibly turquoise waters, where shipwrecks and reefs make for prime scuba diving and snorkeling," Travel + Leisure magazine said.

"Palawan is also home to a five-mile-long underground river. It’s considered one of the world's wonders of nature, and visitors shouldn't miss the chance to boat through its limestone caverns."

The island is accessible by either boat or airplane and the ideal time to head to Palawan is between October and May.

You could stay in one of Coron's luxury hotels, go scuba diving for barracuda-filled shipwrecks, or try a tour of Palawan's subterranean river.

The island has became a stage for Hollywood films, with its white sandy shores featuring in Bourne Legacy, The Beach and James Bond film The World Is Not Enough.

Tsarabanjina: Madagascar

Tsarabanjina. Source: doyoutravel, Instagram.

Tsarabanjina is a petite lush volcanic island off the northwest coast of Madagascar, with exceptional white sandy beaches, abundant coral and untouched marine life. It is one of Madagascar's best kept secrets.

There is a single private island hotel which has uniquely constructed bungalows looking out on the turquoise ocean views. The Constance Tsarabanjina Madagascar is dedicated to barefoot luxury, with no TVs or phones.

Cook Islands

Muri Beach. Source: Renee Oliver.

Rarotonga is the largest of the Cook Islands and is home to some of the friendliest people in the world.

Lonely Planet describes the most populous of the Cook Islands as "stunning in its natural beauty and physical drama".

"A halo of flame-orange coral reef encircles the island, and Rarotonga’s sapphire-blue lagoon is trimmed by sparkling white beaches. Beyond the reef, breakers foam and crash like distant thunder."

A sunset in Rarotonga. Source: Renee Oliver.

There are a number of beautiful resorts, including Nautilus, Te Vakaroa Villas and the Crown Beach Resort, for you to enjoy, as well as budget-friendly options.

Get your license at the local police station and then you can hire a scooter and make your way around the entire 32km island in an afternoon. You can catch the bus and go bar-hopping or go from one resort to the next, sipping on the best cocktails as you go.

Be wowed by one of Te Vara Nui's nighttime performances, take up paddle boarding or snorkeling, go fishing, take a cruise, or head to the colourful Punanga Nui market which is held every Saturday morning beside the Rarotonga Wharf.

You could also take a flight across to Aitutaki, which runs at an even slower pace and boasts the beauty of Bora Bora, without the price tag.

Bora Bora

Hello paradise.

Anchored in the heart of French Polynesia, Bora Bora is famous for its soaring jade green volcanic peaks, aquamarine lagoon, outstanding resorts, and iconic Mount Otemanu (basically the stuff of honeymoon fantasies).

Source: @tahitilegends, Instagram.

Even Hollywood A-listers can't resist it.

The Four Seasons Resort Bora-Bora proved to be just right for Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux, who headed their with a group of friends after they tied the knot.

RELATED: 10 of the best beach holidays

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban honeymooned at St. Regis Bora-Bora in 2006, as did Alyssa Milano and David Bugliari in 2009.

A drone picture of every honeymooners dream destination. Source: boraboraphotosvideos, Instagram.

It you want to take a break from sipping on cocktails, you could cool off in the luminous lagoon surrounding Bora Bora, bike around the island, check out the underwater life at the Bora Bora Lagoonarium and the Coral Gardens, and for a taste of the local culture, head to Vaitape.

Santorini: Greece

If you haven’t been witness to a Santorini sunset, you’re going to want to bump this up your to do list.

It has been named as one of the best islands in the world for consecutive years. In fact, so many people have marked the location as "bucket list worthy," officials have even considered imposing a limit on the number of cruisers visiting the picturesque island in order to preserve all of the natural sights that make tourists swoon.

It has been named as one of the best islands in the world for consecutive years. Source: Getty.

Conde Nast Traveller said the small village of Oia is “particularly captivating, with its whitewashed buildings and bright blue roofs”.

Dimitris Kyrsanidis of Greece performs during the finals at the Red Bull Art of Motion on Santorini Island, Greece. Source: Getty.

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