Last updated: 10:00 PM ET, Thu March 12 2015

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  • A Cruising Couple | March 12, 2015 10:00 PM ET

    Our 5 Favorite Island Getaways Around The World

    Our 5 Favorite Island Getaways Around The World

    All photos by A Cruising Couple

    There are few things we love more than an idyllic island escape. But with heaps of pristine paradises around the world, selecting the perfect island getaway isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Though we still have a lengthy list of islands to check off our bucket list, here are our five favorite islands around the world. Whether you’re planning your next vacation or taking a virtual escape from the lingering winter chill, these gorgeous spots should do just the trick:

    Isla Holbox, Mexico

    If you’re looking for an island where transportation is primarily via golf cart—where the night sky glitters with hundreds of stars and long sandbars seem to stretch out forever—then Isla Holbox is the place for you. Located about two and a half hours outside of Cancun, Isla Holbox is perhaps best known for the whale sharks that congregate around the island between June and September of each year. During this time a snorkeling encounter with the world’s biggest fish is almost guaranteed.

    If you’re not visiting the island during whale shark season, there are still plenty of reasons to give Isla Holbox a visit. Besides the expansive white sand beaches and laid back beach vibes, there’s also the island’s specialty lobster pizza—a must-try if you ask any local on the Yucatan Peninsula. For the best in town, don’t miss Edelyn Pizzeria and Restaurante.

    Morro de Sao Paulo, Brazil

    Sunset Morro De Sao Paulo

    If you’re traveling anywhere near Salvador, Brazil, then a visit to Morro de Sao Paulo is an absolute must. Though arrival is only after a nauseating two-hour boat journey, the effort is well worth the reward. Morro de Sao Paulo boasts a Mediterranean vibe, complete with lush hills, calm cerulean water and picture-perfect beaches. Vehicles are limited; typically wheelbarrows greet guests as they arrive at the pier and help them shuttle their belongings to their hotels. Otherwise you might catch one of the occasional horse-driven carriages to take you beach-to-beach.

    The beaches on Morro de Sao Paulo are numbered. For the ultimate in seclusion, head down the island to Vila dos Orixas past Beach 5. From here you’ll enjoy the comfort of your unique luxury bungalow—and the privacy of the secluded beach all around you.

    Apo Island, The Philippines


    The Philippines is one of our favorite destinations in Asia. There are countless beautiful places to explore here, but if you’re a diver, then Apo Island is the obvious answer. Head underwater and it won’t take long to discover the island’s magic as scenes from Finding Nemo swim colorfully to life. Expect walls of coral, clown fish frolicking in anemone, sea turtles gracefully drifting off into the unknown, and herds of barracudas stalking the shadows. There are dives here that are suitable for beginners and more advanced divers alike.

    Gili Meno, Indonesia


    The Gili Islands are a favorite spot with backpackers and luxury travelers alike, perfectly situated just off the coast of Bali. Of the three Gili Islands, Gili Meno is our favorite (naturally nicknamed ‘the honeymoon island’). Gili Meno is the smallest and least developed of the three Gilis—when we visited, there wasn’t any fresh water on the island! The main attraction at Gili Meno is its secluded beaches where you can spend hours relaxing under your private beach gazebo sipping on cocktails and watching the gentle waves lap across the sand. You can walk around the entire island in about an hour, making it easy to discover the best sandy coves and local restaurants. And of course, because you’re in Bali, the sunsets are amazing, too!

    The Loften Islands, Norway

    Reine, Norway


    Not everyone loves tropical vacays. Luckily, one of our favorite groups of islands is located 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle: The Loften Islands. The Loften Islands are ruggedly beautiful, composed of craggy mountaintops that tower above icy water. The traditional fisherman cabins and rows of codfish hanging out to dry transport visitors to another time altogether. Our favorite activity in Lofoten was simply going for a drive to enjoy the immense beauty around us. For active adventurers who want to do more than lie in the sand, the Lofoten Islands also offer world-renown hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, cycling and more. There may not be any swaying palms, but the Lofted Islands surely don’t disappoint. 

    These are our five favorite islands, but we want to hear yours! What islands around the world need to make it to our bucket list? 


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A Cruising Couple A Cruising Couple's Column

A Cruising Couple Dan and Casey are the two lovebirds, world travelers and adventurers extraordinaire behind the popular travel blog A Cruising Couple - adventure travel with a dash of class. Their stories and photographs feature that special place where experiential and stylish travel meet. Find out how you can spend less money, live more adventurously and travel more luxuriously on their blog,
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