A few thousand miles or a 3-4-hour flight away, there are some gems that have not yet made too many headlines and this is a fortunate thing, as once they are in the spotlight, they will not be able to preserve the beauty with which they charm their visitors today. Natural attractions, the range of activities they offer to tourists, welcoming people, food, the impression left on those who have already been there ... these are the five criteria behind this top 10 favorite island getaways.
1. Santorini, Greece
A small island, situated at the southern end of the Cyclades, Santorini is different from other islands due to its geological morphology - the result of a volcano's activity. The landscape of the rugged coastline in the west of the island, where towering cliffs crowned by tiny sparkling white houses, plunge right into the depths of the sea makes one of the island's major attractions. The Eastern coastline is decorated with wide magnificent beaches, some made of sand, some of pebbles. Santorini has beaches. Different from the classic model of the tropical island, Santorini offers unique spots where the sand is black or red.
A trip to Bali means discovering a captivating island, which provides the warmest welcome to travelers. It is the ideal destination for a family vacation during which you can combine the joys of the beach with the pleasure of a walk along the rice fields. Proudly guarded by still active volcanoes, the island of Bali has taken into consideration its natural heritage by creating a national park, Taman Nasional Bali Barat – the perfect venue for a trip.
3. Cape Breton, Canada
A harbor to one hundred captains in the past, a fascinating marine city nowadays, Cape Breton is able to offer the discerning traveler all the charm of a port, a cultural hub and a seaside resort together. One of the world's most scenic drives, Cabot Trail is an amazing experience. While touring the Canadian region Nova Scotia, you stop to admire the scenery and enjoy the quiet countryside atmosphere in the charming villages in the Margaree River valley. Water sports enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities to practice their favourite sport, while whales watching at Pleasant Bay will fascinate anyone.
4. Boracay, Philippines
A recent tourist discovery, Borocay still has some unspoiled spots you can be among the first to discover. Already dotted with luxury hotels and beach resorts, this tropical island is worth visiting before the masses arrive.
5. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
With more then 2000 islands, the Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia's major tourist destinations. Fitzory is a continental half wild island whose beaches are made up of small pieces of corals. Green Island is the ideal spot if you want a beach holiday.
6. Sicily, Italy
Separated from the mainland by only 3 km, Sicily is a welcoming island caressed by the sun throughout the year. Its volcanoes mix with the beaches, creating a delightful scenery. Roman, Greek, Arab and Christian civilizations have left many traces, making Sicily a mixture of unique culture.
7. Big Island, Hawaii Although it is not Hawaii's biggest island, Waikiki as it is also called, offers countless attractions: a vibrant night life, water sports possibilities, lovely beaches, shopping options…
8. Kauai, Hawaii
What could be more fascinating than a combination of sandy beaches and steep cliffs from which rapid waterfalls spread a myriad of drops in the summer sun? If you want to enjoy a nature escape, a beach holiday and an active getaway at the same time, Kauai is the best option you have in the US.
9. Maui, Hawaii
One of the six main Hawaiian Islands, Maui with its 80 beaches, humid forests, mountains, a volcano, staggering landscapes and a unique wildlife (giant tortoises, whales) is considered one of the most beautiful places in the Pacific.
10. Galapagos, Ecuador
A wild island 600 miles west of Ecuador, Galapagos is the snorkeling lovers' paradise. Luxurious holiday resorts and hotels wait for their tourists and try to pamper them with the most exclusive high end services.