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My Favorite Islands Around the World

Just Call Me Island Girl

After three weeks on Malaysia’s island of Langkawi, I’ve been thinking a lot about all the islands we have visited around the world. It’s a lot of islands. My favorite islands around the world are usually remote and small. But I have also loved some larger, populated and sometimes touristy islands. We are headed in January to the island of Mauritius – I’m looking forward to six whole weeks there! Just call me Island Girl.

Langkawi Malaysia
Langkawi Malaysia

We have been working on our travel plans for the rest of the Grand Adventure 3.0 and have just booked two weeks on the island of Cyprus in April and more than three weeks on the island of Malta in May. There are several other favorite islands around the world that are high on our bucket list we hope to visit over the next few years including Madagascar, Sao Tome, Cuba, Jamaica and Guernsey…to name a few. Ahh my bucket list never seems to get any shorter.

Prince Edward Island Canada
Prince Edward Island Canada

So in today’s blog I thought I would share some of my favorite islands around the world, and a brief description of why they make my fav list. There are several other islands we have visited I don’t mention here…I had to narrow it down. But if you have ever considered traveling to any of these – here are my recommendations;

Langkawi Malaysia

  • Visited in October 2019 for 26 days
  • Average Temperature 84 F
  • 25 miles long by 12 miles wide
  • Population 65,000
  • Best time to visit November -February
  • Where we stayed Airbnb
  • Quiet and super inexpensive. Beautiful, clean beaches, lots of restaurants and great sunsets. Grocery accessibility is average. Very friendly people.
  • Don’t miss sunset at Cenang Beach
  • Learn more
Langkawi Malaysia
Langkawi Malaysia

Praslin Seychelles

  • Visited in May 2017 for 33 days
  • What we wrote
  • Average temperature 80 F
  • 15 miles long and 7 miles wide
  • Population 7500
  • Best time to visit April, May, October, November
  • Where we stayed Airbnb
  • Very quiet but also expensive. Beaches are nice but having a car at least part of the time is a must if you need to shop. Groceries are very expensive and produce is difficult to get. The people are quiet but nice and it is just beautiful. Boats available to visit other islands.
  • Don’t miss swimming at Gold Beach Anse Volbert-Côte D’Or,
  • Learn more
Seychelle Islands
Praslin Seychelles

Antiparos Greece

  • Visited in October 2018 for 21 days
  • What we wrote
  • Average temperature 70 F
  • Size 23 mi diameter
  • Population 1190
  • Best time to visit April to October
  • Where we stayed Airbnb
  • In October Antiparos was really quiet as the season ends in September. But we had exceptional weather. Some restaurants and businesses in the tiny town were closed for the season but we found everything we needed at reasonable prices. Ferries available to surrounding islands.
  • Don’t miss hiking out to Panagia beach
  • Learn more
Antiparos Greece
Antiparos Greece

Huraa Maldives

  • Visited in February 2018 for 21 days
  • What we wrote
  • Average Temperature 85 F
  • Size 1 mile by 0.5 mile
  • Population 550
  • Best time to visit November to April
  • Where we stayed Airbnb
  • By far the tiniest island we have been on, this very low lying Maldivian island is actually an atoll, made up of coral. The weather was incredible and we had the most relaxing three weeks of our life here. Best one day snorkeling of my life off of Huraa. Very little to do, and nearly no shopping. Note that there is no alcohol on this Muslim island!
  • Don’t miss snorkeling at Sand Island
  • Learn more
Huraa Maldives
Huraa Maldives

South Island New Zealand

  • Visited in February 2017 for three weeks
  • What we wrote
  • Average Temperature 55 F
  • Size 150 X 500 miles (12th largest island in the world)
  • Population 1.3 million
  • Best time to visit December to May
  • Where we stayed – we rented a caravan and traveled around
  • New Zealand is downright amazing. We loved both the North and South Island and we would really love to go back and visit again. This is not a laying in the sun island. Rather it is an island for all things recreational: hiking, walking, cycling, bird watching and more. Absolutely stunning. And ridiculously expensive.
  • Don’t miss hiking the Abel Tasman Trail
  • Learn more
South Island New Zealand
South Island New Zealand

Mackinac Island, Michigan USA

  • Visited twice in the late 1990’s
  • Average Temperature 60 F
  • Size 2 x 3 mile
  • Population 500
  • Best time to visit May through September
  • Where we stayed Hotel
  • It’s been a long time since I visited magical Mackinac and I sure would love to go again. It is so unique, especially in the USA, to find a place with no motor vehicles. Both times I was there in the summer with beautiful weather. Renting bikes and riding around the island is a highlight.
  • Don’t miss a romantic horse drawn carriage ride
  • Learn more
Mackinac Island Michigan
Mackinac Island Michigan USA (photo from Canva)

Maui Hawaii USA

  • Visited more times than I can count, the last time in June 2016
  • What we wrote
  • Average Temperature 80 F
  • Size 25 x 50 miles
  • Population 145,000
  • Best time to visit Year Around
  • Where we stayed Condo
  • I’m lucky to count myself as one who has visited every Hawaiian Island that isn’t privately owned, and hands down Maui is the best. It is expensive but beyond that everything about it is perfect – the weather, the water, the beach, the food, the activities and the fact for people who live on the west coast of the USA, it’s really easy to get to.
  • Don’t miss whale watching for humpback whales in the winter months
  • Learn more
Maui Hawaii USA
Maui Hawaii USA

Lombok and Bali Indonesia

  • Visited in March and April 2018 – two weeks on Bali and one week on Lombok
  • What we wrote
  • Average Temperature 80 F
  • Size Bali 40 x 90 miles Lombok 50 x 50 miles
  • Population Bali 4.2 million Lombok 3.1 million
  • Best time to visit May through September
  • Where we stayed Airbnb
  • We loved our time on both of these beautiful islands. Bali is very popular with tourists for its beauty, beaches and vibe. Lombok on the other hand is a unique, tiny and non-touristy island where we spent six glorious days doing nothing but laying in a hammock.
  • Don’t miss an authentic Balinese Cultural performance in Ubud
  • Learn more
Lombok Indonesia
Lombok Indonesia

Zanzibar Tanzania

  • Visited in September 2009 for five days
  • Average Temperature 90 F
  • Size 20 x 50 miles
  • Population 1.3 million
  • Best time to visit June through December
  • Where we stayed Lodge
  • I visited Zanzibar with my sister after spending a week on a safari in mainland Tanzania. It remains one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. It is also the second worst sunburn I have got. The white sand beaches are amazing. The people are quiet and kind. The seafood delicious.
  • Don’t miss a ride in an authentic Zanzibar Dhow Boat
  • Learn more
Zanzibar Tanzania
Zanzibar Tanzania

Rapa Nui, Chile (Easter Island)

  • Visited in January 2015 for six days
  • What we wrote
  • Average Temperature 75 F
  • Size 7 x 15 miles
  • Population 5761
  • Best time to visit April to June or October to December
  • Where we stayed Lodge
  • Definitely one of the most interesting places I have ever been. This tiny island out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is difficult to get to and expensive but worth it. We loved our time here learning about the Moai and the history of Rapa Nui. I highly recommend.
  • Don’t miss touring with an authorized tour guide to understand the amazing statues and history of this island
  • Learn more
Rapanui Easter Island Chile
Rapa Nui (Easter Island) Chile

Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka

  • Visited in January 2018 for three weeks
  • What we wrote
  • Average Temperature 81 F
  • Size 120 x 250 miles
  • Population 21.44 million
  • Best time to visit December to March
  • Where we stayed Airbnb
  • We did a five day tour with a guide around the major sites of Sri Lanka seeing some of the most amazing things including the astonishing Sigiriya ancient mountain fortress. Then we kicked back for more than two weeks in a tiny hut on the beach in Hikkadua, which ended up being “interesting” but super fun and the weather and the beach were perfect. The Sri Lankan people are some of the kindest on the planet.
  • Don’t miss Sigiriya Fortress one of the most incredible things I have ever seen
  • Learn more
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

  • Visited in May 2010 for one week
  • What we wrote
  • Average Temperature 75 F
  • Size 50 x 80 miles (Isla Isabela, the largest of the archipelago)
  • Population 25,000
  • Best time to visit January to June
  • Where we stayed – we were on a small 12 person cruise
  • My first dip into my bucket list was this trip to the Galapagos Islands to celebrate my 50th birthday. Living on a boat for five nights we saw many islands and the most amazing collection of wildlife and sea life. We loved every minute of it and although it’s expensive, we recommend it to anyone!
  • Don’t miss swimming with sea lions
  • Learn more
Galapogos Islands
Wildlife is abundant on the Galapagos Islands

Singapore, Singapore

  • Visited in February 2018 for three days
  • What we wrote
  • Average Temperature 81 F
  • Size 721.5 km
  • Population 5.6 million
  • Best time to visit February through May
  • We only had a couple of days in Singapore, the teeny island city/state that is one of the most expensive places in the world. It is also one of the cleanest and most colorful, particularly at night. I hope to return.
  • Don’t miss the Singapore Gardens by the Bay at night and the amazing Singapore Botanic Garden
  • Learn more
Singapore
Singapore Singapore

Nantucket Island, Massachusetts USA

  • Visited in April 2002
  • Average Temperature 55 F
  • Size 5 x 12 miles
  • Population 11,229
  • Best time to visit May through October
  • We only had a couple of day on Nantucket but we were traveling with our young children at the time and it was a great little place for a family vacation. We were there in spring before the hoard of tourists descend in the summer and it was peaceful and beautiful and historic.
  • Don’t miss a Clam Bake and riding bikes around the island
  • Learn more
Nantucket Island
Nantucket Island USA (Photo from Canva)

Prince Edward Island, Canada

  • Visited in July 2007
  • Average Temperature 50 F
  • Size 30 x 100 miles
  • Population 157,000
  • Best time to visit July and August
  • We drove up to the Maritimes from Boston and enjoyed the drive as much as the islands. Prince Edward Island was still at that time very quiet and we enjoyed riding bikes, eating lobster and learning about history.
  • Don’t miss searching for sea glass at Souris Beaches
  • Learn more
Prince Edward Island Canada
Prince Edward Island Canada

Honshu Japan

  • Visited in 1999 for five weeks
  • Average temperature – Honshu is a big island with multiple climates but Tokyo average summer high is 80 F
  • Size 150 x 500 miles
  • Population 104 million (2nd most populous island after Java Indonesia)
  • Best time to visit – March to May and September to November
  • We spent five weeks exploring the island of Honshu. Our kids were little and it was a magical time for us as a family. Japan is one of the most unique and beautiful places in the world. I hope to go back some day.
  • Don’t miss Tokyo, Hiroshima and Osaka
  • Learn more
Japan
Honshu Japan (photo from Canva)

San Juan Island, Washington USA

  • I have visited these islands many times as they are in the backyard of where I grew up
  • Average Temperature 55 F
  • Size – there are nine islands in varying sizes. The two largest are Orcas and San Juan
  • Population 6900
  • Best time to visit – Summer months
  • We have traveled to nearly all of the islands over my lifetime growing up in the Pacific Northwest. The islands are a great place for family camping or romantic getaways. Hiking, cycling and kayaking are popular.
  • Don’t miss getting up close and personal with the famous J-Pod of Orca Whales on a whale watching tour.
  • Learn More
San Juan Islands USA
San Juan Islands Washington USA (photo from Canva)

And that’s our list! We hope you have been inspired to find your own “island time” adventure. You might enjoy this article about The 26 Largest Islands Around the World.

We thank you for reading and for sharing our blog!

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12 Comments

  • Reply Bree

    I never realized so many islands around the world. Thank you for sharing the ones you love. Great information on each place also.

    November 1, 2019 at 6:24 am
  • Reply Karen

    What a great blog. It’s got me thinking about my favs. Crete for sure and the UK’s Isle of Man would have to be on there. And like you, New Zealand’s islands too.

    November 1, 2019 at 6:58 am
    • Reply Laureen

      Isle of Man is high on our list. We went to Scotland but didn’t go out to the island. Regretting that now. Hopefully soon.

      November 1, 2019 at 6:02 pm
  • Reply Mona

    I love this list! You should add Bora Bora Mo’orea or Tahiti 🙂 The French Polynesian Islands are my favorite!

    November 1, 2019 at 8:09 am
    • Reply Laureen

      Oh I do want to go to Bora Bora and Tahiti. I’m hoping in a couple of years to do some island hopping in that region!

      November 1, 2019 at 6:01 pm
  • Reply Sharon

    I’m pleased to see Mackinac Island included in your worldwide list. I’ve stayed there and loved it! This is a great idea for a post and so fun to read!

    November 1, 2019 at 7:31 pm
    • Reply Laureen

      Thanks. I’d love to go back!

      November 1, 2019 at 9:46 pm
  • Reply Amm

    You’ve got some good photography skills girl! I am superimpressed! What kind of equipment do you shoot with? 😀

    November 2, 2019 at 12:50 am
    • Reply Laureen

      Thanks. Some of these photos are old when I was still
      Using my Canon Rebel. But all the recent ones are from my iPhone 10. Also three are from Canva m

      November 2, 2019 at 12:52 am
  • Reply Alma

    Love this list! I’m definitely an island girl, having been to many myself. Hope I can tick off a few more after seeing your recommendations.

    November 3, 2019 at 1:34 am
    • Reply Laureen

      Thanks. So many great choices.

      November 3, 2019 at 2:01 am

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