The 20 Best Islands In The World

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When it comes to vacation destinations (or, if you're lucky, vacation homes!), there are so many beautiful islands to choose from. The following 20 — with their breathtaking views, world-class cuisine, hidden treasures, and awesome things to do — are by far the world's finest. We've reached peak wanderlust.

Oh, and just to make your vacay planning just a little easier, we've also recommended a hotel in each area.

1 of 20
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Bora Bora

Located in , northwest of Tahiti, this South Pacific island is popularly known for its scuba diving. Bora Bora experiences only two seasons — wet and dry — and you'll be happy to know that there are no poisonous insects or snakes on the white-sand beaches. Phew!

Four Seasons Bora Bora

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2 of 20
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Guadeloupe Islands

The Guadeloupe Islands in the southern Caribbean resemble a butterfly from above. Hike to the top of or dive to see the underwater statue of — there's no end of things to explore here.

Le Relais du Moulin

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3 of 20
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British Virgin Islands

Coral reefs line the beaches of this U.K. territory in the Caribbean comprised of 60 total islands. Referred to as "," the four main are (the largest island), known for attractions like the , the coral island and , which is popular for its New Year's Eve celebrations (or, as locals call it, "Old Year's Night").

Little Dix Bay

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4 of 20
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Santorini

The must-see towns in Santorini, one of the Cyclades islands, are and , and they overlook the Aegean Sea. Curling up on the lava-pebbled beaches to stare at these views will make you never want to leave.

Perivolas

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The Bahamas

The Bahamas are actually more than 700 Caribbean islands in the Atlantic Ocean, but the most well-known are and , which claim to have the on the planet. With boating and trips, and , the Bahamas offers things for couples, friends, and families.

The Dunmore

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Tahiti

Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia, and it's divided into the volcano-dominated Tahiti Nui and the smaller Tahiti Iti. The capital city of features downtown markets near lush waterfalls, , and beautiful beaches.

Le Meridien Tahiti

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7 of 20
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Bali

Located in , Bali is known for its rice paddies, coral reefs, and volcanic mountains. With a wide variety of bars and restaurants and many beautiful this is the place both to relax and have fun.

Anantara Resort

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Fiji

Fiji is made up of more than 300 islands, the most popular of which are and . Even if you choose to book an all-inclusive resort, that doesn't mean you can't go sightseeing to , hang out in the mud pools, or just casually .

Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort

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9 of 20
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Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman, the largest of the Cayman Islands, features vibrant coral reefs and , as well as cultural destinations, like the . It's also home to the capital, , where you can shop, indulge in island favorites, or swim alongside stingrays at Stingray City.

The Westin Grand Cayman

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10 of 20
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Crete

Crete is Greece's largest island, featuring expansive beaches and the postcard-perfect White Mountains. Legend has it, this mountain range is home to Ideon Cave, the birthplace of Zeus. Taste the world-famous Cretan cuisine like fried snails (just try them!) and , or take a boating trip to and wiggle your toes in the pink and white sand.

Elounda Mare

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Hvar

Start by exploring the inland lavender fields and then head to the secluded beaches. For more local culture, visit and the stone-built architecture of Hvar town.

Amfora Hvar Grand Beach Resort

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12 of 20
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Oahu

Oahu is the third largest island of Hawaii and home to the state capital of . Perfect for history buffs and romantics alike, vacationers can visit or catch some waves (and rays) on the .

The Royal Hawaiian

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13 of 20
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Sardinia

Surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, this large Italian island is home to sandy beaches to relax on, endless mountains to hike, and stone ruins to explore. Oh, and don't forget to schedule a — because who would turn down all that cheese, prosciutto, and Sardinian fine wine?

L'Agnata di De Andre

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14 of 20
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Langkawi Island

Located in Malaysia, Langkawi is called as the "Jewel of Kedah." With rice paddy fields and lush rainforests, this exotic, peaceful place isn't as touristy as you'd expect. Enjoy a and view the island's beauty from above or take a dip in for a magical experience you'll want to never end.

The St. Regis Langkawi

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15 of 20
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Koh Samui

As Thailand's second largest island in the Gulf, Koh Samui is known for its thick rain forests, tropical, clear-watered beaches, and tourist attractions. There's a variety of attractions to visit, but among the top 10 is the popular temple featuring a shrine built in 1972, for adventurous water and land day trips and for the market.

Four Seasons Koh Samui

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Balearic Islands

Just off the coast of eastern Spain in the Mediterranean are the islands that make up the Balearic, the four largest being (pictured above), , and . Whether you're tasting wine in Majorca or shopping in Ibiza's "hippy market" , there's so much they have to offer.

Belmond La Residencia

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17 of 20
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Praslin Island

Praslin is the second biggest island in the Seychelles, off the coast of East Africa. Beaches like are beloved destinations for vacation-goers to take in the peaceful turquoise waters. The exotic scenery is so beautiful that the Seychelles — Praslin included — are often called the true "Garden of Eden."

Le Chateau de Feuilles

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18 of 20
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Siciliy

The largest Mediterranean island has crystal seas and black-sand beaches, historic charm, and massive volcanoes ready for you to discover. Try strolling through the hilltop town of for a quiet, scenic view of the island or roam around the capital of , one of Italy's largest cities, and stock up on all the decadent desserts you can handle.

Grand Hotel Timeo

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19 of 20
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St. Lucia, the Caribbean

If you travel to this island nation in the Caribbean, you'll see alluring (like Diamond Botanical Gardens), fishing villages, volcanic beaches and beautiful sights coast to coast. It's a popular wedding destination, but are you surprised?

Jade Mountain Resort

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Mahé

Neighboring Praslin, Mahé is another island in the Seychelles. It's home to islands' capital, Victoria, known for its lively markets. Whether you want to beach-hop, explore the vast jungles or simply relax at the many , it's a trip worth taking.

Four Seasons Seychelles

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