Summer is my favourite time of year – long nights and warm days, plenty of Pimms at the local bar or spending a weekend in Brighton on the famous pebble beach; but with London being less than generous with the amount of sun present this year I’ve been dreaming of island destinations where I could spend my days soaking up my share of Vitamin D for the year.
After much reading and jealousy over where friends have been or are I have settled on my top five island holidays I think I’d like to take.
Ko Phi Phi
The pristine waters of Ko Phi Phi has been on my radar from sometime. The waters, protected by National Park status, mean that tourists visiting the area will get a picture perfect view of complete with white sands and clear blue waters. Tourism on Ko Phi Phi originally increased significantly when people wanted to visit the site that the movie The Beach was filmed, but diving is another key attraction of the area and the reason I would come to Thailand.
With 15 different dive sites available, Ko Phi Phi will have a dive for any experience level. Choose from dives with natural features, caves and caverns, to swim through; or choose a dive depending on what time of marine life you want to see – seahorses, glassfish, turtles, squid, angelfish, they all call the islands their home. For those who are a little more daring you might even spot a black-tip reef shark or leopard shark!
As a friend proudly showed me photos of their latest holiday, to the Galapagos Island – a group of islands off the coast of Ecuador – I immediately knew that visiting these islands, famous for their wildlife and natural beauty, would be on my list of islands to visit.
When travelling in the Galapagos you can take in the natural beauty of the islands by snorkelling with the sea lions on San Cristobal island, go bird watching on Baltra, or watch sea turtles hatch on Floreana. But the most exciting aspect, for me at the very least, is visiting the Giant Tortoise reserve on Santa Cruz.
Only accessible by boat, that you can get from boat rentals near me , Black Turtle Cove is a mangrove lagoon designed to help preserve this endangered species. Don’t worry if you want your dose of excitement though because below these giant creatures are plenty of fish, rays, and sharks!
I’ve had my eyes set on visiting the Caribbean for years now and after reading into what each of the islands have to offer I think perhaps a vacation to Antigua would best suit my idea of an island holiday.
Half Moon Bay (pictured above) is not only one of Antigua’s popular national parks but is meant to be one of the most beautiful beaches – I think I could envision myself spending the day here.
But there is more than just beaches to Antigua as the island has plenty of things to do for both the beach dweller and the inner adventurer. With Antigua’s rainforest complete with a high wire course complete with zip lines, suspension bridges and a parachute jump – now that’s what I call fun!
I don’t care much for gem stones, instead pearls are this girls best friend; and where better to go than the beautiful waters of Tahiti to go pearl farming. I heard that Greece Island Hopping–Hostelbay type travel tours are gaining loads of people’s admiration recently. Pre-arranging a tour you will be collected and taken out to a farm before being taken out to the areas where the pearls are hung and harvested, underwater of course! You will learn the process which cultivated pearls are created before being shown how they are harvested and even how they are created into pieces of jewellery!
But Tahiti isn’t just a place to visit to spend time pearl farming (or shopping like I’d be!) It’s the perfect place to spend time relaxing at the beach next to A-list celebrities or indulging in spas treatments with your friends or significant other.
Two islands are on the tip of everyone’s mouth when it comes to exploring an island paradise and one of those is Fiji. One important cultural aspect of Fijian life is the drinking of kava. Part of everyday life, Kava is a drink which brings families and communities together, the time drinking acting as a cause to tell stories and celebrate important people into their homes or communities. At times kava has also acted as a ‘peace pipe’ where tribe heads would come together and talk about their conflict over the drink.
Aside from drinking kava Fiji offers visitors choices in relaxation, adventure sports – including some of the best dives in Australasia – and even an annual fire-walking festival held by the indigenous Fijians in July or August.
Now it’s over to you: