Last month, I shared 9 great island getaways in Europe with you. This time, I’m sharing what my fellow bloggers recommended for island escapes around the world. There’s an island here for everyone, from Vancouver Island for wine lovers to luxurious family holidays in Fiji. And of course the dreamy San Blas Islands in Panama, which are extremely high up on my bucket list of islands I want to visit. Which one is your favourite?
Vancouver Island, Canada
Just a short ferry ride from Vancouver, British Columbia is Vancouver Island. This large island is home to the beautiful city of Victoria, capital of the Canadian province. Victoria itself is enough reason to visit with its majestic Parliament Building perched on a lovely harbor and surrounded by charming neighborhoods with English style gardens. The scenic downtown area is just as charming with lots of quaint shops and pubs and fabulous restaurants. But there is so much more to Vancouver Island, especially during the summer months.It’s an island so of course there’s an abundance of water-based activities like boating, beach combing, surfing and fishing plus it is a prime location for whale watching. Then there’s the countryside where you’ll find farms selling fresh produce and artisan cheese, mountains and lakes perfect for hiking and trekking and an abundance of golf courses. Plus don’t miss a visit to the islands many vineyards and wineries!
Sarah & Nathan, Discover the Pacific North West
St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands is the perfect summer getaway. The weather report is perfect – warm days, cooling nights, pleasant ocean breezes and a strong chance of fun. That’s a weather report we can get behind! The island is conveniently reached from airports on the U.S. mainland or Canada. The mountains on the island offer stunning views of the island, ocean and surrounding islands. On the Mountain Top, visitors enjoy Banana Daiquiris. But the real reason to come to St. Thomas is the water. And there’s no better place to enjoy the beach than the idyllic Magens Bay. Magens Bay has a broad sandy beach, warm water and delicious refreshments. St. Thomas is literally the perfect summer beach destination.
Lance and Laura, Travel Addicts
San Blas Islands, Panama
If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path island getaway this summer, the San Blas Islands are the destination for you! Located between Colombia and Panama, these 300+ islands are a slice of heaven that only the most adventurous travelers get to explore.
What makes the San Blas Islands special is that they’re still run by the local Guna people and they haven’t let any mega resorts on the Islands. This means you can get your own private island with nothing but a small hut, white sand, turquoise water and complete serenity.
When you’re not busy pinching yourself to make sure you haven’t died and gone to heaven, you can indulge in classic island activities. How about a coco loco for the sunset or perhaps you’d just like to float around the in plastic doughnut?
But, if you ever get sick of having your own Caribbean island, you should catch a ride to Isla Perro or Dog Island. There’s a rad navy shipwreck just 10 meters from the shore and the snorkeling here is a must. But be warned: once you start realizing exactly how awesome the San Blas Islands are, you’ll never want to leave!
Liam, Rucksack Ramblings
Big Island, Hawaii, USA
With temperatures at a fairly constant (warm) level throughout the year, beautiful sandy beaches just perfect for laying on and turquoise water just calling out for you to swim and snorkel in; Hawaii has most definitely been labelled as one of the best places to go (all year around), and in particular, during the summer months.
There are several islands you can see whilst there, but my favourite would have to be “The Big Island”. This is certainly one of the less touristy islands, but there is so much adventure to be had here. You can roll on up to the top of Mauna Kea in a 4×4 to see stunning sunsets and stargaze. You can hike in active volcanic craters and marvel at the steam issuing from cracks in the rock. And you can see lava glow displays at night from within the Volcano National Park.
Or if adventure is less your cup of tea, then there are multiple beaches and beach parks for you to relax on, with the water the perfect temperature for swimming and snorkelling in. Whether you opt for adventure or relaxation (or both), what better way could there be to spend your summer?
Justine, Wanderer of the World
Located off the coast of Tanzania, the beautiful island archipelago of Zanzibar offers the perfect vacation reprieve. The main island, Unguja, also known as Zanzibar, holds an intriguing history and acts as a melding pot for African, Middle Eastern, Asian, and European cultures.
A UNESCO World Heritage Center, Stone Town is the oldest part of Zanzibar. It’s a must-visit location where you’ll enjoy a myriad of activities including cooking classes, museum tours, and shopping.
Surrounded by water, scuba diving, snorkeling, and deep sea fishing are extremely popular at this destination. Zanzibar is also home of the illustrious Full Moon Party which takes place monthly at Kwenda Rocks. For animal lovers, you’ll be thrilled to get up close and personal with wildlife at Cheetah’s Rock or Mnarani Marine Turtles Conservation Pond.
If you’re into selfies, the clear, teal blue waters are among the most beautiful in the world and the perfect backdrop for your beach photos. Or you can pose before one of the many doorways and gated entrances constructed around the island.
Find your way to Zanzibar by boat or plane. If you travel between June and October, you’ll enjoy clear skies and moderate temperatures.
Michaela, Awe Inclusive
Koh Tao, Thailand
Koh Tao, situated in the Gulf of Thailand, is one of those few Thai islands, which are great destinations during the European summer months. Koh Tao is a beautiful island, although it’s mostly known for its underwater life and less for the beaches you can find there. Nevertheless, it’s not completely true either, because Koh Nangyuan (three very small islands connected together) are lying at a stone throw from Koh Tao, where you can lay down on perfect golden beaches. The main attraction of Koh Tao is its marine life, and actually the island is known for being one of the cheapest places in the world to get your Open Water Certificate. You can also do a snorkel tour around the island and swim with sharks and thousands of different colorful fish. Koh Tao is a very calm island, and if you pick your accommodation well (our pick is Hin Wong Bay), you can do as much snorkeling as you want without being bothered. If you are looking for some inland adventures, you can climb up to one of the great viewpoints.
Gábor, Surfing the Planet
As with many South-East Asian destinations, the best time to come to Sri Lanka is considered to be from December to April. Nevertheless, if you understand the monsoon seasons in the country, you can enjoy holidays on the island year round. While there’s a monsoon that brings rain to the South-West of Sri Lanka from May to September, it leaves the North-Eastern part completely untouched and perfect for exploration. If you are looking for a summer destination, there will be no better time to visit gorgeous beaches on the East Coast of the island. Arugam Bay is perfect for surfing, Trincomalee for quiet relaxation and snorkeling, and if you go a little inland, Yala National Park offers amazing safari tours. Besides, visiting off-season means less people and more serene beaches all for yourself!
Yulia, The Foodie Miles
I’ve returned to Samoa twice since my original visit and every time in July. It is such a beautiful time of year there. The weather is perfect! It is humid but not too hot. The water is warm and the coconuts are fresh.
Samoa as far as I am concerned is the perfect size for an island, big enough to not do everything in a few days but small enough to cover almost everything in a few weeks. From waterfalls, mountains and tropical rainforests to golden or black sand beaches with incredible surfing and mind blowing snorkelling there is almost everything you could ever want on a tropical island. Not to mention that if you decide to get a car and go out on your own away from the tourist path you will start to think you are in an episode of lost. All of this coupled with the fact that the locals are some of the most happy giggly friendly people you will ever meet it makes for an overall pretty amazing experience.
Denerau Island, Fiji
The Fijian islands are the perfect place to get away from it all – after all you’re literally in the middle of the South Pacific ocean!
While not the easiest place to get to, Fiji is truly what you picture of an island paradise – uncrowded, pristine beaches, palm trees, friendly locals and tropical temperatures. Denarau Island is the main resort area with many of the big names with 5 star convenience and amenities.
The marina area is the hub of the island with shops, restaurants and a free cultural show including fire walking on hot coals that takes place each evening.
Fiji is the perfect place for a family holiday too, the resorts cater well for families and there’s lots of activities and well-run kids clubs to keep the little ones happy.
But it’s worth getting on a ferry or sea plane and heading out to one of the outer islands if a true south sea island experience is what you’re after. There’s a range of accommodation available for all budgets – from exclusive luxury resorts to fun backpacker hostels – there’s something for everyone.
Kylie Gibbon, Our Overseas Adventures
Bali is the ultimate choice for a relaxing summer holiday providing stunning sunsets, perfect weather, amazing food, delicious cocktails, great value for money and heart warming culture. The food options available are such high quality that you will be booking your next trip back before you land home. Seminyak will ensure that you never go hungry with excellent coffee and to enjoy that cocktail by the pool head to Potato Head, KU TE DA or W resort on the beach. Once the sun goes down you can’t go past the great restaurants on Eat Street for an amazing dinner and trying to decide where to eat will be your hardest thought of the day. Heading to the rice terraces of Ubud won’t leave you missing out on great food. You can explore the gorgeous landscapes by bike or a casual walk along the Campuhan ridge to take in the beautiful views. Don’t forget the amazing spa treatments, a massage is a must each day. Sometimes we want nothing more than lying by the pool relaxing. The Nusa Dua resorts are perfect for this and have great facilities with beautiful sunrise views. Set by gorgeous beaches, you will come away having experienced the most relaxing summer holiday you could ever imagine.
Kate Comer, Rolling Along with Kids
While many amazing places on this planet are already discovered and touristy, Taiwan still remains an absolute hidden gem. It is just slightly larger than Belgium and offers lot of natural beauty such as mountains, canyons and rivers. It is a real paradise for outdoor lovers and you always find new places to go hiking.
While most of its 23 million population lives on the west coast, the east remains untouched. You should definitely pay a visit to Taroko Gorge and Hualien. While the unspoiled nature is clearly the winner for me, there are other reasons why visit Taiwan: interesting mix of west and east cultures, friendly people and affordable food with many variations.
Veronika Tomanová, Veronika’s Adventure
Jamaica is my tip for a summer holiday. It may be in the hurricane belt, but most of the time, July and August are still good times to visit. I spent ten days there in late August one summer, and most of the time, we had gorgeous sunny weather, and a beautifully warm sea. Jamaica is great for beach fans, but also offers plenty of entertainment and action if that’s what you’re looking for. How about climbing up a waterfall (Dunn’s River Falls), or going diving and exploring a ship wreck? And of course, the Jamaican rum flows abundantly if you want to end your day in style (or start – I don’t judge!).