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Not every island destination is the same. From tropical destinations like St. Lucia to dreamy picturesque escapes in the South Pacific, sun worshippers from across the globe place these famously known islands high on their bucket lists.
But there are lesser-known, but equally breathtaking islands around the world that hold secretly spectacular views, endless attractions, and a wide range of accommodations and we’ve listed the top 6 below.
The glamorous island of Capri, off of Italy’s Amalfi Coast, with its sprays of colorful flowers and quaint buildings, and soaring cliffs rising from the Tyrrhenian Sea, lives up to all the hype. A dream holiday destination, Capri is the perfect base from which to explore the artsy, historical, and natural treasures of the Bay of Naples islands and the Italian mainland.
During the summer, visitors can ride a romantic ferry from the island of Capri to the mainland coast, rent a wooden "gozzo" or sleek Itama motorboat, or sail along the Amalfi Coast in chic Capri style.
The blue grotto, one of the island’s most popular tourist attractions, is a glistening sea cave where locals take tourists for rides on tiny row boats and serenade them with operatic melodies.
The main town of Capri feels like a movie set with a buzzing piazza filled with impeccably dressed locals and exclusive high-end shopping opportunities.
Visit the highest town of Anacapri and take the chair lift up to Monte Solaro for spectacular views across the entire island.
Spot turtles, swim with whales, walk along sugary shores, explore the world beneath the sea, and sail around the turquoise waters — there’s something for everyone in the Whitsundays.
An archipelago of 74 tropical islands located just 34 miles off the Queensland coast, next to the Great Barrier Reef, visitors travel to the Whitsundays from all around the world to relax on Whitehaven Beach’s silica white sands, soar above Heart Reef for jaw-dropping photos and romantic moments; sail, snorkel, and dive along rich-coral reefs; and explore the natural hiking trails
An extremely fragile ecosystem, protected by six national parks, accommodations range from beachfront campsites and eco-retreats to family resorts and world-class escapes.
Airlie Beach is the main launching point for Whitsunday adventures.
Heart Reef, in the Great Barrier Reef of the Whitsundays, is a stunning composition of coral that has naturally formed into the shape of a heart.
Due to its protected status, Heart Reef is best experienced from the air by helicopter or seaplane. The site of many proposals and declarations of love, if you’re looking for the ideal spot for the ultimate romantic gesture, take a flight above this iconic rock.
Seychelles is a picture-perfect, pristinely beautiful tropical paradise, a relatively unspoiled archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean teeming with wildlife including rare animals like the giant Aldabra tortoises.
Packed with attractions, from UNESCO-listed jungles and thriving coral reefs to palm-lined, powdery beaches and an otherworldly coastline, the fish-rich sanctuaries are fertile for anglers, divers, and snorkeling enthusiasts. Mix in a little Créole cuisine, and it's easy to understand the equatorial island’s international allure.
Seychelles is full of boutique hotels, all-inclusive resorts, and self-catering holiday homes, with an amenity for every budget and vacationing style.
Palawan is the Philippines' answer to a tropical paradise. This island province stretches southwest to Borneo, with lush limestone peaks rising from a jewel-like sea.
Gleaming white-sand beaches, fringed with rustling palms, rim many of these jungle-clad islands, while coral reefs teeming with an impressive diversity of tropical fish, offer some of the best diving in the world.
Other attractions include the islands' unique wildlife, emerald lakes, and quaint fishing villages. Coron is home to plush resorts, and El Nido drips with natural beauty and is one of the most alluring islands in the chain. From here, you can island hop around the spectacular Bacuit archipelago.
One of Palawan's top attractions is the World Heritage-listed Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, a limestone cave system with a long underground river.
The Dalmatian Coast is one of the most spectacular and rugged stretches of coastline in the world. Intricate inlets shelter gorgeous cities of red-tile roofs and pristine beaches, while splinter-shaped islands line the coast.
In the Adriatic sea off the coast of Croatia, the Dalmatian Islands are an enchanting mix of relaxed charm and rich history. Quaint villages, boutique hotels, and culinary marvels dot the idyllic isles including the famous beach strip of Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) and Hvar, a car-free old town, and picturesque fishing harbor, well-known for its Gothic churches.
Rounding out the list are Korcula, with its red-roofed, white-washed buildings; Mljet with its two inland saltwater lakes, and the not to be missed Pakleni Islands, known for their crystal-clear water and secluded coves.
Ko Samui, Thailand’s second-largest island, sits in the Gulf of Thailand, off the east coast of the Kra Isthmus. Jungle-backed beaches, kaleidoscopic coral reefs, emerald peaks rising from the turquoise sea jewel-toned seas, and perfectly arching palms make Koh Samui a tropical Thai island dream destination.
The landmark Golden Big Buddha statue at Wat Phra Yai Temple is located on a tiny island connected to Koh Samui by a causeway.
Koh Samui (Samui Island) is a cosmopolitan beach destination that attracts a wide range of accommodations from simple beachside bungalows to luxury 5-star resorts and villas.
There are 3 main beach towns on Samui island, each offering different experiences. From the busy and bustling Chaweng Beach and the lively yet laid-back vibe of Lamai Beach to the timeless feel of Bophut's Fisherman's Village, Koh Samui has a broad appeal.
While visiting Koh Samui, take a day trip to her sister islands, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.