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.
Located in French Polynesia, 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 areor snakes on the white-sand beaches. Phew!
BOOK NOW Four Seasons Bora Bora
The Guadeloupe Islands in the southern Caribbean resemble a butterfly from above. Hike to the top of La Soufriere or dive to see the underwater statue of Commandant Cousteau — there's no end of things to explore here.
BOOK NOW Le Relais du Moulin
Coral reefs line the beaches of this U.K. territory in the Caribbean comprised of 60 total islands. Referred to as "nature's little secrets," the four main locations are Tortola (the largest island), Virgin Gorda known for attractions like the Baths, the coral island Anegada and Jost Van Dyke, which is popular for its New Year's Eve celebrations (or, as locals call it, "Old Year's Night").
BOOK NOW Little Dix Bay
The must-see towns in Santorini, one of the Cyclades islands, are Fira and Oia, 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.
BOOK NOW Perivolas
The Bahamas are actually more than 700 Caribbean islands in the Atlantic Ocean, but the most well-known are Grand Bahama and Paradise Island, which claim to have the clearest water on the planet. With boating and drift snorkeling trips, honeymooning getaways and botanical gardens, the Bahamas offers things for couples, friends, and families.
BOOK NOW The Dunmore
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 Papeete features downtown markets near lush waterfalls, hiking trails, and beautiful beaches.
BOOK NOW Le Meridien Tahiti
Located in Indonesia, Bali is known for its rice paddies, coral reefs, and volcanic mountains. With a wide variety of bars and restaurants and many beautiful yoga retreats, this is the place both to relax and have fun.
BOOK NOW Anantara Resort
Fiji is made up of more than 300 islands, the most popular of which are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Even if you choose to book an all-inclusive resort, that doesn't mean you can't go sightseeing to Hindu temples, hang out in the The Sabeto mud pools, or just casually dive with sharks.
BOOK NOW Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort
Grand Cayman, the largest of the Cayman Islands, features vibrant coral reefs and rain forests, as well as cultural destinations, like the Cayman Islands National Museum. It's also home to the capital, George Town, where you can shop, indulge in island favorites, or swim alongside stingrays at Stingray City.
BOOK NOW The Westin Grand Cayman
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 cheese pies, or take a boating trip to Balos Beach and Lagoon and wiggle your toes in the pink and white sand.
BOOK NOW Elounda Mare
Start by exploring the inland lavender fields and then head to the secluded beaches. For more local culture, visit St. Stephen's Cathedral and the stone-built architecture of Hvar town.
BOOK NOW Amfora Hvar Grand Beach Resort
Oahu is the third largest island of Hawaii and home to the state capital of Honolulu. Perfect for history buffs and romantics alike, vacationers can visit Pearl Harbor or catch some waves (and rays) on the North Shore.
BOOK NOW The Royal Hawaiian
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 wine tour — because who would turn down all that cheese, prosciutto, and Sardinian fine wine?
BOOK NOW L'Agnata di De Andre
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 cable car ride and view the island's beauty from above or take a dip in Seven Wells Waterfall for a magical experience you'll want to never end.
BOOK NOW The St. Regis Langkawi
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 Big Buddha temple featuring a shrine built in 1972, Angthong National Marine Park for adventurous water and land day trips and Fisherman's Village for the Walking Street market.
BOOK NOW Four Seasons Koh Samui
Just off the coast of eastern Spain in the Mediterranean are the islands that make up the Balearic, the four largest being Majorca (pictured above), Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera. Whether you're tasting wine in Majorca or shopping in Ibiza's "hippy market" Punta Arabi, there's so much they have to offer.
BOOK NOW Belmond La Residencia
Praslin is the second biggest island in the Seychelles, off the coast of East Africa. Beaches like Anse Lazio 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."
BOOK NOW Le Chateau de Feuilles
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 Enna for a quiet, scenic view of the island or roam around the capital of Palermo, one of Italy's largest cities, and stock up on all the decadent desserts you can handle.
BOOK NOW Grand Hotel Timeo
If you travel to this island nation in the Caribbean, you'll see alluring waterfalls (like Diamond Botanical Gardens), fishing villages, volcanic beaches and beautiful sights coast to coast. It's a popular wedding destination, but are you surprised?
BOOK NOW Jade Mountain Resort
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 high-rated resorts, it's a trip worth taking.
BOOK NOW Four Seasons Seychelles