World's Most Famous Islands

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Experience

Who has not dreamt at least once of being on an uninhabited island, alone or with his or her partner. This might be a bit of a cliche but this is what first comes to mind about islands. Still, the definition of course is much wider and usually includes every piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. So, although only 30% of our planet is in fact land, pieces of land like Africa but also Australia are not considered islands itself and therefore Greenland is the biggest island in the world. Indonesia is probably the country which has the most islands.

Madagascar

 

Some 400 kilometres off the coast of mainland Africa,Madagascar measures up to be the world's fourth largest island. Due to its size and remoteness, Madagascar's wildlife is uniqueand very, very abundant. The island is an ideal habitat for lemurs, chameleons, geckos, aloes and delightful flowering plants. No wonder it has been named one of the world's most ecologically rich nations. Madagascar is seeking to maintain its wonderful natural treasures.Excellent beaches and a unique culture.



Praslin, Seychelles

 

Praslin is the second largest island of the Seychelles, after the island of Mahe. Together with La Digue it is one of the most popular and beautiful islands. It's famous for the Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve,  UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of only two places in the world where you can see the coco de mer palm growing in their natural state. The other location is Curieuse Island. This valley's forest is just marvelous and the view of sunlight filtering through is just great! The famous coco de mer, from a palm-tree once believed to grow in the depths of the sea, is the largest seed in the plant kingdom.



Robben Island

Robben Island is an island in Table Bay just off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa.Flat and only a few metres above sea level and is mainly of importance because of the prison built here that held, amongst others, the former South African president Nelson Mandela. It had been used since the 17th century as a way of isolating and imprisoning people, and between 1836 and 1931 was home to a leper colony. Under the apartheid government, Robben Island became a high security prison in 1959 and up until its closure in 1996, it held over 3,000 prisoners. Nelson Mandela was incarcerated from 1964 to 1984. In 1999, it was inscribed on the Unesco World Heritage List.


 

Saint Helena
 

Saint Helena with a gorgeous volcanic backdrop and a nice tropical climate, the emperor could have had little to complain about (besides that whole failure-to-take-over-Europe thing). Today, travellers are even attracted by the island's remoteness situated more than 2,000 kilometres from the nearest continent, Saint Helena offers just the kind of getaway busy folk need.



Tristan da Cunha

The island of Tristan de Cunha, a dependency of Saint Helena, lies in the southern part of the Atlantic Ocean, removed over 2,000 kilometres from the nearest major landmass (South Africa) and is the most isolated inhabited piece of land in the world.Even the 300 inhabitants had to leave during the sixties when the island's volcanic peak erupted. The island is the largest in an archipelago, also named Tristan da Cunha. The various islands, including the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Gough Island and Inaccessible Island, because of their remoteness, are virtually untouched by human hands. Due to this, they boast an impressive array of birdlife, including the Wandering Albatross, Flightless Rail and Petrels.



Zanzibar, Tanzania

The capital of Zanzibar, located on the island of Unguja, is Zanzibar City. The city's old quarter, known as Stone Town, is a Unesco World Heritage Site and is a fascinating harbour town, full of culture and fascinating architecture with its winding alleys, bustling bazaars and Arab houses. The island has fascinating beaches, for example near Kendwa on the north coast, a quiet and beautiful beach town, with white beaches and blue Indian Ocean waters, calm and perfect for swimming. 



Bali

Bali is the western most island in the Lesser Sunda Islandsof Indonesia. The island is located west of Java and east ofLombok, and basically consists of a string of volcanoes. It is one of the main tourist destinations in the whole of Asia. Aside from the beaches Bali offers amazing mountains, art work, dance, music and pumping nightlife. On top of this there is extremely clean and clear water that are filled with coral reefs, which makes for world class diving. Main sights include the Bali Baret National Park and Tanah Lot, one of the temples that make up the seven seaside temples.
 


Boracay, Philippines

Boracay is undoubtedly the most famous tropical island destination in the Philippines. Famed for its sugary-soft, the four kilometres-long beach, facing eastwards is simply called: White Beach. On the other side of the island (at this point the island in 700 metres wide) lies Bulabog Beach, which faces westwards.Aside from its beautiful beaches, the island is surrounded by marine sanctuaries that offer untouched coral reef gardens and diverse sea life. The island is located just 2 kilometres from the island of Panay in the Western Visayas region. The island consists of only about 10 square kilometres of land.
 


Ko Samui, Thailand

Ko Samui is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand. It is the third largest island in Thailand. This island started as the originally hippy backpacker destinations in the 1970s and because of the influx of massive tourism the island has changed. Although many backpacker places can still be found, most of that scene has relocated to the nearby island of Ko Pha Ngan.If looking for great diving, beaches and fun, Ko Samui is an amazing place with amazing beaches like Chaweng Beach, Lamai Beach, Maenam Beach, Bhoput Beach and Bang Rak Beach.
 


Grenada

Grenada, along the southeastern reaches of the Lesser Antilles. Grenada the ultimate relaxation island. You can head to the beach and dive, swim or snorkel in the water; stay dry and go on a sailing trip to one of the smaller nearby islands; or hike inland through dense rain forests.  And if you are tired of the hustle and bustle of the main island, hop over to the smaller islands of Carriacou or Petite Martinique and see what relaxing is all about.
 


Jamaica

The birthplace of reggae and Bob Marley, Jamaica is as vibrant as it was in the days of the great Marley. A thriving music scene centred in Kingston is an exterior revelation of the artistic heartbeat underpinning all of Jamaican society. Even for those less musically inclined, Jamaica is a top contender for the all-time favourite Caribbean destination. Numerous coastal cities make up the bulk of the tourist attraction: travellers' endless fascination with the sparkling Caribbean waters does not seem to have diminished, along with hundreds of rivers and gorgeous waterfalls.
 


Trinidad

Trinidad is the largest and most populous of the 23 islands which make up the country of Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad is the southernmost island in the Caribbean and lies just 11 kilometres off the northeastern coast of Venezuela. Although the island is not as popular as nearbyTobago when it comes down to beaches, relaxing and aquatic activities, it's one of the best places in the world to celebrate Carnival.
 

Bocas del Toro, Panama

Bocas del Toro is not just one island, but rather an archipelago and the main place to go in Panama for relaxing on the beach, snorkelling, diving and many other marine activities. It's a popular place amongst travellers and easy to get to from mainland Panama or even from neighbouring Costa Rica, which is not far away either. It's one of the best beach destinations between Belize/Honduras and South America and unlike the San Blas Islands more to the east easier accessible.
 


Caye Caulker, Belize

Caye Caulker is a small laid back Caribbean island 35 kilometres northeast of Belize City. It's a popular place to unwind for a couple of days (or weeks for that matter) and enjoy the beaches, snorkelling, diving and friendly atmosphere.
 

Roatan, Honduras
 
Roatan is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Honduras. The biggest attraction are the amazing reefs in crystal clear water making for great diving.
 


Cyprus

Cyprus, a rather extraordinary island of diversity,as its claim to fame  that the only divided capital in the world.The ancient remains of the Roman, Byzantine and Greek empires (all of which invaded Cyprus at some point), make up for this poorly realized development. And away from the coast, Cyprus' natural attributes stand strong; at Troödos Massif, stunning mountains provide the ideal setting for a skiing trip.
 


Ibiza, Spain

Ibiza is one of the most popular party destinations in all of Europe. It is one of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Spain.It is also a major haven for people looking to hear famous DJ's or hear more up and coming DJ's. If your looking to party the night away this is the island for you.


Sicily, Italy

The island of many contrasts and colors fiercely fought over down the centuries, living to tell the tale today through all its glorious battle scars, cast into the sea like a jewel. Sicily sparkles in the hot mezzagiorno sun off the southern boot of Italy.Over the years Sicily has found many different forms of fame such as the homeland to Europe’s most active volcano (Mount Etna) to name but a few. From mountain peaks to breathtaking coasts, UNESCO World Heritage Site to some of Europe's best wines it's all squeezed into one island. 
 


Socotra

The Socotra Archipelago is a group of four islands in the Indian Ocean, several hundred kilometres south of the Arabian peninsula. Socotra is the largest of the four islands, with Abd al Kuri, Samhah and Darsa making up the three smaller islands.Over 90 percent of the archipelago's reptile species and snail species are found nowhere else, and about 37 percent of its plant species are unique to the islands. Much of the islands' land area is occupied by national parks and nature sanctuaries, while it also harbours an abundant and diverse marine life, with hundreds of species of reef-building corals, fish and crab, lobster and shrimp. The Socotra Archipelago was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage.
 


Alcatraz Island

A trip to Alcatraz Island should be at the very top anyone visiting  San Francisco. Fascinating history and amazing views make this a most memorable day.There is also some flora and fauna to be found on the island, but the prison museum is the highlight you are visiting for. 
 


Bermuda

Bermuda sits off the American coast in the Atlantic Ocean. It isn't as hot as the Caribbean islands and its waters are certainly not great for swimming year-round, but Bermuda is warm enough to host the Atlantic's northernmost corals. The beauty these corals afford, as well as the lure of numerous shipwrecks, makes diving in Bermuda's coastal waters.
 

Cozumel, Mexico

Cozumel means Island of the swallows in Mayan. Cozumel is an island in the Caribbean Sea opposite Playa del Carmen. It is one of the 9 municipalities of the state of Quintana Rio on the Yucatan Peninsula. The island is densely vegetated. Biologist Jacques Cousteau spend a lot of time exploring the coralreefs around Cozumel and putted Cozumel at the map to be a perfect location for diving and snorkeling. Cozumel is an island where many cruises make a daystop.
 


Greenland

Greenland officially is the largest island in the world. Over half of Greenland is above the Arctic Circle and an even higher proportion is covered year-round with ice. It's a cold place.But for travellers who can handle the cold, the island is an absolutely stunning destination. Breathtaking rugged mountains provide a spectacular backdrop to traditional Inuit villages. At Ilulissat, a 5-kilometre wide glacier gives birth to hundreds of ice formations, creating an overwhelming sea of icebergs and ice flows. The views are extraordinary, but in Greenland the most amazing sights may be illusions, thanks to the bizarre concept of Fata Morgana, through which cities in the distance turn out to be nothing more than rocks in the snow. 
 


Hawaii

Although many people immediately think about just one island, Hawaii is in fact the 50th state of the USA and consists of many islands.The biggest island though is Hawaii Island,  the Big Island. It has some great beaches and is good for all the relaxing and aquatic activities you want, but it is also a natural gem, with fantastic landscapes and the island is even becoming bigger as we speak, because of a constant lava flow down from the slopes of the volcanoes into the Pacific Ocean. This is also the island to watch the stars, especially from the top of its highest mountain, Mauna Kea.
 


Christmas Island

The very first thing to learn about Christmas Island is that it is not the same Christmas Island which exists in Kiribati and which search engines will probably conjure up information about when you run a search for the island. Christmas Island is located due west of Australia's northenmost protrusions, directly south of Jakarta. It is in fact a territory of Australia, a fact which has made it a popular destination among asylum seekers willing to dare the voyage over from Indonesia.It is dominated by national park with flora, fauna and ecotourists flourish. The island is the sole habitat of the creatively named Red Crab.
 


Fiji

Fiji is a fascinating destination and apart from the main island includes dozens of other islands. Fijians are Melanesians, but their islands were invaded by Polynesians from Samoa and Tonga.The Great Astrolabe Reef and Rainbow Reef are two of the most famous reefs in the archipelago. Some of the nicest islands include the Yasawa Group of islands just off the coast of Viti Levu. 
 
 
Fraser Island

Fraser Island is the world's largest sand island, located in the central eastern coastal zone of Queensland, Australia, about 200 kilometres north of Brisbane. The island is wide, together forming a big sandy island which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1992.Apart from loads of sand, there are also woodlands, forests and mangroves, and the fauna is impressive too with many birds, reptiles and amphibians. 
 


Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island lies off the coast of South Australia. Its pristine wilderness and abundant wildlife are its main draw cards, attracting many  visitors a year. A small population, Kangaroo Island is Australia's third largest islanl.It is located 13 kilometres from Cape Jervis, off South Australia's coast on the Fleurieu Peninsula. One of the highlights is Flinders Chase National Park is home to an abundance of wildlife, including the endangered Cape Barren geese. Land formations like Remarkable Rocks and the Admirals Arch are popular sights as well and there are many animals to spot on the island, including penguins, koalas and sea lions.
 
 
Pitcairn

Halfway between New Zealand and the Americas are the Pitcairn Islands. Of the four islands, Pitcairn Island is the only inhabited one - it is one of the most remote inhabited islands on earth.Visiting the island is not for the time pressed traveller and is best achieved by passing cruise ships or yacht. Extended visits will require written permission from the government and arrangements to stay with someone.
 


Tasmania

An increasingly popular destination for travellers to Australia, Tasmania's rugged natural beauty is its primary draw card. Apart from a few cities and towns, much of Tasmania is pure wilderness and great for hiking and other outdoor activities. There are 19 national parks in Tasmania, a testament to the state's extraordinary beauty and diversity. Freycinet National Park and Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park are two of the most popular. 

 

Easter Island

Easter Island is one of the most isolated inhabited islands in the world. Easter Island is not your typical tropical island destination. The main drawcard is not the island's beaches, but rather its mysterious statues, known as moaiby the locals. There are hundreds of statues across the whole island, but no one knows when or why they were placed -theories abound.
 


Fernando de Noronha

Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago of over 20 islands, which is located in mainland Brazil in the Atlantic Ocean. The islands are on the UNESCO World Heritage List for their extraordinary features, including flora and fauna and unspoilt natural environments.Other islands include Ilha Rata, Ilha do Meio, Ilha Sela Gineta and Ilha Rasa.The marine life is overwhelming, including sea tortoises, dolphins, albatrosses and many other species which are frequently spotted.
 


Gapalagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago of 22 volcanic islands around the equator, located about west of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean and were made famous by Charles Darwin. The largest of the islands is Isabela Island. It is a heaven for people who wish to be witness of some of the most unusual animals in the world, all to be viewed from up close. Due to the lack of predators on the islands, most animals are not scared of humans.
 


Tierra del Fuego

Spanish for the land of fire, Tierra del Fuego provides visitors a chance to really see the end of the world. Despite its fiery name, the climate is cold, windy and rainy, but visitors will still find interesting sites. The Argentinian city of Ushuaia is both the southern most city in the world, and a popular starting point for boats to Antarctica.

 

Montanas de Tierra del Fuego

Nearby is Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, with opportunities for horseback riding, mountain biking, trekking and hiking to scenic Lapataia Bay. The island is partly Argentina and partly Chile, though most visitors only visit the Argentinian part.
 
 
Picture Credit commons.wikimedia

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