Do you often find yourself dreaming of an island getaway throughout your day?
Well, you’re definitely not alone. Whether you’re planning your next vacation, thinking about retiring abroad, working remotely, or simply love daydreaming of places far away, islands are an endless source of inspiration. Since inspiration is what we’re all after, here are some of the most captivating islands from Croatia to the Philippines that will take your breath away. Pencil these in on your bucket list and plan on exploring them someday – hopefully, in the near future.
The largest of the central Dalmatian Islands in the Adriatic Sea, Brač is one of Croatia’s most prized possessions. It has its own airport and a population just short of 14 000 locals. It’s a lively place with a rich history to explore, but it draws a less swanky crowd than the famous Croatian island of Hvar. It hosts the highest mountain peak of all Adriatic islands, Vidova Gora Mountain, from which you can take in breathtaking views of rolling hills, fig trees, natural white stone and the glistening blue sea.
For somebody contemplating retiring in Croatia, this is probably not a place to situate yourself (there’s very little activity outside the tourist season), but if you live in Split, for example, you’ll have the wonders of this island at hand throughout the year – it’s only a short ferry ride away.
This is another beautiful island in the Dalmatian archipelago, and it’s easily reached from the famously beautiful Dubrovnik. This is a lushly green island where about 1/3 is, in fact, a national park filled with walk and cycle trails that offer captivating views and lead to romantic bays. Yes, it’s great for couples but not limited to romantic getaways only – Mljet is an island best known for its peaceful atmosphere, stunning nature, and the sea creatures that swim off the coast. Mljet reaches two saltwater lakes, one of which hosts an islet called Melita, where you can spend a wonderful afternoon and relax at a café that was once a Benedictine Monastery.
Indonesia: The Gili Islands
The beautiful island of Bali and all its wonders are surely on your bucket list. It has everything for all types of visitors, from digital nomads who want to stay for months and explore the rich Balinese culture to tourists who’re looking to relax and enjoy some of the islands luxurious villas, jaw-dropping infinity pools, and various spa retreats.
But you’ll also find captivating experiences on islets of the Bali Sea, just a short boat ride away from Bali. The Gili Islands (Kepulauan Gili) are an archipelago of three islets: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air. They’re situated just off the northwest coast of the Indonesian island of Lombok and they’re all popular tourist destinations but more scaled than Bali, each hosting several small resorts. Gili Trawangan is the largest and most popular and it’s known as the party island whereas the other two offer peace and tranquillity: powdery white beaches, endless horizon, clear blue waters, lush greenery, and the atmosphere of absolute paradise.
Indonesia: Nusa Menjangan Island
This is another breathtaking exotic island close to Bali which is actually a part of the West Bali National Park. It’s easily reached from the remainder of the park via boats that depart regularly from the main pier at Labuhan Lalang. This island is famous for being the home to the rare Javan rusa deer, known as “menjangan,” where it derived its name. The calm waters and coral gardens surrounding the islet welcome divers and snorkelers, but that’s not all: Nusa Menjangan also hosts awe-inspiring temples, the Segara Giri Dharma Kencana Temple being the most impressive.
The Philippines: Malapascua Island
This is a wonderful remote island that many people have never heard of, but those looking for amazing dive spots in the Philippines keep at the top of their list. Malapascua is untouched and raw beauty, welcoming divers, explorers, and all of those looking to be swept away in awe by what nature has to offer. Adventurers come to swim with schools of Thresher Sharks off its shores for an unforgettably thrilling experience.
The Philippines: Palaui Island
The wonderful thing about Palaui is that it makes you feel like you’re the first person to step foot on this paradise ground. It is unspoiled and tranquil, with deserted beaches, caves, rice fields, fascinatingly clear waterfalls, and beautiful greenery that both calms and entices. Best of all, the Palaui air is so unbelievably fresh and clean that the average city-dweller will be taken by surprise. This is absolute paradise for nature lovers and anyone looking to embrace the wonders of the Earth. Let’s hope it stays this way. Beautiful islands such as these should serve as a reminder that we have to be responsible as tourists and leave minimal footsteps.
Six islands to stir your imagination – or rather eight, considering the Gili Islands are triplets. Either way, they’re yet more proof that paradise exists here on Earth – we just have to get to it!