27 Relaxing Island Getaways
Regardless of the season and occasion, getting away to an island is everyone's idea of a relaxing vacation. Whether you want to travel within the U.S., Europe or more remote parts of the world, there are many great destinations to choose from. In the United States, Maui and Florida offer a great selection of things to do. Barbados and the Bahamas are easy to get to and offers a variety of beach hotels and resorts.
In Europe, visit Capri where you can enjoy great food, elegant accommodations and romantic views. The Greek Islands are a another great choice. If you have time for a longer trip or are planning a honeymoon, consider Bora Bora, Australia and Fiji, famous for diving, snorkeling and spectacular beaches. In Australia, head to the Great Barrier Reef, one of the natural wonders of the world filled with tropical fish and colorful coral. Bora Bora is famous for its blue waters and romantic overwater bungalows.
Maui, popular with honeymooners and family vacationers alike, is famous for its sandy bays and accommodations for nearly every budget. Head to Kaanapali if you want to try many different restaurants, snorkel spots, golf, tennis and other activities. Kapalua is more secluded, offering two scenic golf courses, two luxury spas and a variety of accommodations. Wailea is sunny and warm, featuring world-class resorts, golf, beaches, boat trips and other activities.
Accommodation choices include full-service resorts, romantic hideaways and villa rentals. Four Seasons Resort Maui offers luxury guest rooms and suites with contemporary Hawaiian art. Sheraton Maui Resort is located on the white-sand Kaanapali Beach, offering programs for families and many restaurants. The Westin Maui Resort just nearby is a AAA four diamond oceanfront resort with spectacular ocean views.
The islands in Florida are small and private - some can be only reached by boat. Great for romantic getaways and anniversary celebrations, these places let you get away from it all for a few days. Grove Isle Hotel overlooks Miami. Little Palm Island has 30 thatched-roof bungalows, some with private verandahs overlooking the ocean. Sunset Key Cottages in the Florida Keys are private and secluded, offering spacious verandas with ocean and garden views. Fisher Island Hotel has a spa and marina.
Barbados is home to large resorts as well as intimate hideaways. Sandy Lane in St. James has a 47,000 square foot spa, sandy beach, golf and a program for families. The Fairmont Royal Pavilion is a hideaway for couples, offering elegant guest rooms with private balconies and scenic views. Little Arches Hotel is an intimate getaway which accommodates only guests over 16 years of age. The hotel has only ten rooms and suites including two luxury ocean suites with a private jacuzzi and a terrace.
Not only are the Bahamas famous for their beautiful sandy beaches and sunny weather, there is also great snorkeling and scuba diving, relaxing spas, shopping, scenic tours and many other island activities. Atlantis has many pools, waterslides, incredible attractions such as a replica of underwater ruins, a spa, golf and the largest man-made marine habitat in the world.
Bimini Bay in the out-islands of the Bahamas offers spacious beach villas with full kitchens, living room and dining room areas. You'll be just steps away from a beautiful sandy beach and a European-style spa. The hotel is a great option for an anniversary or a family reunion. You can go fishing, scuba diving, shopping and take a fun tour. There is also a children's activity center, Beach Bums, which lets young guests explore and learn about the ocean.
If you are looking for great getaways in Europe, try Capri. Admire spectacular ocean views, go shopping and visit historic sights. Capri is located on the south side of the Gulf of Naples in Southern Italy and has been a popular for centuries. Summers tend to be the most crowded, as well as certain other times of the year to attend various events and festivals, such as the Capri Art Film Festival every April.
Travelers can reach Capri by ferry or hydrofoil from Naples (about 80 minutes by ferry and 40 minutes by hydrofoil), Sorrento, Positano or Amalfi. Blue Grotto is one of the most famous tourist attractions.
There are several great hotels to stay at, including Capri Palace Hotel & Spa with 77 guest rooms and 11 luxury suites. The hotel is furnished in Louis XVI style and features a European spa. While you are there, tour the Italian and international collection of contemporary art. Hotel Caesar Augustus has a beautiful outdoor pool with spectacular ocean views. Hotel Luna Capri has a gourmet restaurant, lush gardens and Mediterranean architecture.
Greece is famous for sunny weather and spectacular views. Choose from full-service European spas, honeymoon suites and other amenities. Porto Elounda Resort on Crete offers spectacular ocean views, scuba diving, kayaking and other island getaway activities. Kivotos on Mykonos has a beautiful spa, luxury rooms and suites, and a pool overlooking the ocean. The Tsitouras Collection Hotel on Santorini features individually furnished guest houses with Greek white marble bathrooms. Blue Palace Resort and Spa on Crete has several swimming pools, as well as many private infinity pools with ocean views.
Bora Bora is a popular getaway for honeymooners and couples. Bora Bora is located 140 miles from Tahiti and is home to an extinct volcano and a beautiful barrier reef. You can reach it aboard Air Tahiti Nui which offers flights from Papeete, Tahiti.
In addition to snorkeling and scuba diving on the beautiful coral reef, vacationers get to enjoy sandy beaches and lush tropical ambiance. Many resorts offer relaxing spas, romantic sunset cruises, outrigger canoeing and other activities. Have a sunset dinner, sunsets sail, breakfast with a view of the lagoon, picnic lunch on a secluded white-sand beach and a couples massage.
Bora Bora is home to many great resorts including Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort located on one of the islets that surround the main island. Book one of the romantic overwater bungalows, and learn to scuba dive at the resort's own diving center. Or you can spend your days snorkeling around your overwater bungalow. There are also helicopter rides, romantic catamaran cruises and many other activities.
Heron Island on Australia's Great Barrier Reef offers spectacular snorkeling and scuba diving, a spa and rooms close to the beach. The island is surrounded by rich marine life, including hundreds of species of fish. Measuring 40 acres in size, Heron Island is home to the University of Queensland Heron Island Research Station.
The Fijian islands are famous for their spectacular ocean views and romantic sunsets. Turtle Island offers great scuba diving and just a few guest accommodations. Yasawa features 11 sandy beaches and luxury suites with a separate lounge and outdoor deck with a shower. Lomalagi on Vanua Levu is especially popular with honeymooners. Sonaisali offers an array of activities, including tennis, horseback riding, sailing, fishing, jet skiing, and daily snorkeling trips.