Ever fantasise about a little island hopping? Every year, Tripadvisor publishes their "Top 10" of the best islands in the world. I like to consider myself well-travelled, and when I went through this year's list even I was surprised and ended up adding a few of the island destinations to my own bucket list. One of them is indeed now part of my agenda for this year.
I gotta admit that I had personally never even heard of the island voted "the best in the world" in 2015. But how about you? Well, scroll down to find out and share with me whether you knew about
the place or not. Happy reading!
#10 - Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
Brazil. The country of samba, the Copacabana, the Amazon and soccer... so let's kick off with number 10. Fernando de Noronha is located in the Atlantic Ocean, 350km offshore from the Brazilian coast. It's home to very unique marine life and home to the biggest dolphin colony in the world. The island is reachable by both plane and boat from Recife. If you happen to travel to Brazil this year, just add the island to your list!
Since 2001, the island has become a UNESCO World Heritage site and by law it is prohibited to touch any wildlife, especially the turtles!
#9 - Bora Bora, French-Polynesia
Yes, we've all definitely heard of Bora Bora before, and it's probably one of the most exclusive islands in the world. If you happen to Google "paradise", Bora Bora photos are among the first to pop up I'm sure. Located right in between Australia and South America, the island is basically an extinct volcano, two peaks surrounded by a barrier reef. Hotel rooms usually start from $300USD onwards.
The island was actually named Pora Pora, which translates to “first born” by the original Polynesian settlers. However, the first European settlers misheard the natives and believed they said Bora Bora and that is the name it goes by today!
#8 - Mauritius, Africa
Mauritius is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean, just off the coast of the African continent. It's one of the most visited countries in Africa and is truly worth the long journey. Mark Twain once said, “You gather the idea that Mauritius was made first, and then heaven, and that heaven was copied after Mauritius.”
The legendary dodo bird as we all know it, was found only in Mauritius before it became extinct in 1690.
#7 - Bali, Indonesia
Alright, who in Australia doesn't know about Bali? Yes we all have been to Kuta. But Bali is so much more then just Kuta, partying and surfing. The north of the island is home to many amazing beaches. Bali is so popular among tourists that almost every third visitor (Australian probably) thinks that the island is a country in itself. This is obviously not true, Bali is of course part of the 17,000 island nation Indonesia.
The Balinese calendar is based on a period of 210 days instead of 365. Although the Balinese celebrate their birthdays based on this calendar, if you were to ask a Balinese person how old he/she is, they will probably give you their age based on Western calendars.
#6 - Madeira, Portugal
The beautiful island of Madeira can be found a few hundred kilometers west of Morocco in the Atlantic Ocean. It officially belongs to Portugal and over a million tourists visit the island each year. The former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Sir Winston Churchill was a frequent visitor to the Portuguese island.
Cristiano Ronaldo, probably the best football player in the world and current Real Madrid striker (who has also played for Manchester United) was born on Madeira. A statue of him can be seen in Funchal, the capital of the island.
Get yourself the Qantas Cash Card to save yourself a lot of fees!
I'm currently in the midst of a round-the-world trip, and since I'm writing about these beautiful islands I thought I should mention how I was able to save a lot of money avoiding stupid fees with the Qantas Cash Card. You can load up to 11 currencies and use it to pay anywhere that Mastercard is accepted electronically. You’ll also earn Qantas points on your every day purchases, whether you do it in Australia or abroad. It’s a prepaid currency cash travel card and not a credit card, so you’ll never have to worry about paying interest. But to gain some more information just check out the short video below.
#5 - Ko Tao, Thailand
Of course, what would a "Top 10" most beautiful islands list be without an island from Thailand? But guess what, it is not the famous Ko Phi Phi where the famous "The Beach" movie was filmed. No,
it is Ko Tao. The "Turtle Island" as it is known is located in the Gulf of Thailand and is famous for its mouth watering seafood and amazing diving spots. Go and explore it for yourself!
There is literally nothing interesting about Ko Tao!
#4 - Santorini, Greece
Who has never seen a photo (or experienced themselves) the blue-domed church of Santorini? Of course we all have! Many Greek islands are currently on sale due to their economic crisis but Thira, as the locals call the island, is probably priceless. Are you planning a trip to Europe this year? You can't go past Santorini!
Due to its volcanic past, Santorini has white, black, and red beaches.
#3 - Roatan, Honduras
Roatan is often referred to as the pearl of Central America. It is located in the Caribbean Sea only 60km offshore Honduras. It is a very popular destination for cruise ships and of course scuba
diving. Its marine life is very spectacular and whale sharks are frequent visitors to Roatan.
Christopher Columbus, the discoverer of America has been to Roatan many times during his time in the area, some people claim because it was his favourite island of all.
#2 - Maui, United States
The island of Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian islands. It's a surfers paradise, known for its amazing beaches and waterfalls. Maui welcomes three million tourist every year and the numbers are continually increasing. While a few years ago travelling to Hawaii was an expensive trip to take, especially if you weren't flying from mainland America, nowadays a return trip from Sydney won't cost you more than 500 dollars.
Haleakala, Maui's most famous volcano, is the biggest dormant volcano on earth. The crater is 33 kilometres across and 1,200 meters deep. A cool fact… that's large enough to hold the island of Manhattan!
#1 - Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
And the winner is.....Providenciales? Have you heard of it? I have to admit that I'd personally never ever heard anything about it... shame on me! But from all my research I can tell that this island looks pretty amazing and I've definitely added it to my bucket list. Providenciales or 'Provo' as the locals call it is part of the British Overseas Territories. People will tell you that it's home to the most amazing beaches in the world and is the perfect holiday destination. Located between Haiti and Cuba, Provo is obviously the upcoming luxury travel destination in the world.
The islands of Turks and Caicos have considered joining Canada three times, in 1917, 1974, and 2004. How could Canada possibly say no to such a paradise?