What's the Best Island Travel Experience?

What’s the Best Island Travel Experience?

I’m an island girl. Having grown up in England, but as far as you can get from the ocean on that island of eccentrics, I yearned for the seaside as a child.

So naturally I’m strongly attracted to island where you’re surrounded by the wild energy of the ocean and cut off from the rest of the world.

Some of my greatest travel experiences have been on islands:

  • Kiwayu Island in Kenya which is probably my favourite desert island experience ever;
  • Lamu Island, also in Kenya;
  • Koh Chang, Koh Samet, Koh Samui, Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta (my favourite and scene of a funny travel story about rats) in Thailand;
  • Heron Island in Australia;
  • Malta where I learnt to scuba dive;
  • Corsica in France
  • Ile de France in Paris where we walked all the time when we lived nearby.
  • Vanuatu where I got married;
  • Ile de Noirmoutier in France where my parents had a holiday house when I was a child.
  • Santorini Island in Greece – scene of the naked in Greece funny travel story.
  • Martha’s Island in the USA;
  • Waiheke Island in New Zealand where we lived for ten years and where two of my babies were born;
  • Bocas del Toro in Panama where we lived for a month when the Candy kids were just small.

Sailing across the Indian Ocean to Kiwayu Island on a felucca

Mikes camp

Lamu Island combines beautiful beaches with incredible Swahili culture and cuisine

Island Travel Experience lamu

Bocas del Toro in Panama – lush, green, tropical and lots of fun

Island Travel Experience bocas

Ile de Noirmoutier in France is perfect for family beach, biking and sailing holidays

Island Travel Experience-noirmoutier

Esprito Santo Island in Vanuatu epitomises the exotic island getaway

Island Travel Experience vanuatu

Then there are plenty of islands I’m still dreaming of visiting:

  • Sicily – I got a taste for Italy in beautiful Puglia and Sicily is now my dream Italian travel destination;
  • Lizard Island – An exclusive small resort island in the Great Barrier Reef;
  • Tasmania – to see and  hike in pristine wilderness;
  • The Solomon Islands;
  • Offshore islands of Papua New Guinea;
  • In fact all the Pacific Islands;
  • Madagascar – what an adventure that would be;
  • Malaysia – to see the monkeys and orangutans;
  • The Philippines – home to a string of beautiful islands;
  • Anywhere in the Caribbean – Barbados and Jamaica would be perfect.
  • Hawaii – The Big Island because my spiritual blogging and writing friend Sandra lives there.
  • Ireland – because it’s not all about tropical weather and the Irish scenery looks wild and spectacular too.
  • Vancouver Island – because I loved Canada, am mad keen to return, desperate to go bear hunting again (to shoot bears with my camera!) and there’s heaps of other great wildlife there too.

Oh Ireland,  I am coming to visit you soon soon!

Island Travel Experience ireland

The Solomon Islands look beautiful above and below the ocean

Island Travel Experience solomon

An island on an island somewhere in Tasmania

Island Travel Experience tasmania

This photo of Vancouver Island gives me shivers in a good way!

Island Travel Experience vancouver island

How about you? What’s the best ever island travel experience for you? Or is there a special island you’re dreaming of travelling to?

Exotic island images from Shutterstock
Author: Annabel Candy

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Johanna November 25, 2014 at 5:49 pm

I love island life too. But then I’m always anxious to be able to get off the island as well. My what some islands you’ve visited and your bucket list is interesting too. I’d like to go to any one of the Greek islands.

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Annabel Candy November 25, 2014 at 7:27 pm

Hi Johanna,

Lol, I know that feeling. After living on an island for ten years never again but I do love to visit them ;) Hope you get to visit a Greek island or two!

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Bonny November 25, 2014 at 9:41 pm

For me the perfect island is one where you’re cast away from all the cares and worries of normal life. Somewhere peaceful and natural, without traffic or crowds. As much as I love visiting islands, when I think about it I haven’t actually been to many! Rottnest Island off the coast of Perth is my favourite for its beautiful beaches, great snorkeling and relaxed way of life, but mostly because I grew up going there several times a year and have lots of great memories.
I wonder what it would have been like living on Waiheke Island. I will see if you have a blog post about it somewhere. I spent one day there on a trip to NZ a few years ago, but would love to go back one day and stay a week.

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Annabel Candy November 26, 2014 at 8:59 am

Hi Bonny,

I love the sound of Rottnest Island! You can find my post about Waiheke here: http://www.getinthehotspot.com/waiheke-island-new-zealand/ We had an amazing time and met some very special people there – so many happy memories of our first family home :)

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Barbara November 26, 2014 at 5:06 am

You might like the Jersey Shore! We’re now living in Cape May, NJ, which is technically an island between the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic ocean. It’s not tropical, even in the summer, but it’s beautiful!
I know a great place you could stay if you came! ;)
xob

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Annabel Candy November 26, 2014 at 9:00 am

Hi Barbara,

Oh having seen your pics I’m sure I’d love it. Would love to visit you one day :)

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Seana - Sydney, Kids, Food + Travel November 26, 2014 at 8:15 am

Don’t forget the very beautiful Hebrides on Scotland’s West Coast Annabel! I spent my childhood sumemr sailing around them and had a magnificent adult holiday on Barra, where the beach was the airstrip.

I loved Zanzibar of all my adventurous islands… and also the tiny island of Sipadan off Borneo… now you are bringing back a million memories.

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Annabel Candy November 26, 2014 at 9:00 am

Hi Seana,

The Hebrides would be amazing – they sound so romantic and I do love the Scots ;)

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[email protected] November 27, 2014 at 8:26 am

We’ve just spent some time in the Greek Islands on some fabulous islands. Each one was different but I really did love the smaller ones such as Folegandros and Hydra. Closer to home, Rottnest is my island hideaway over summer!

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Annabel Candy December 1, 2014 at 9:48 am

Hi Jenny,

Great island escape tips thank you!

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Kylie December 1, 2014 at 9:02 am

Annabel you are such a tropics/travelling gal, I can’t imagine you with an English childhood behind you. May I ask, I am planning at the moment a trip as my eldest goes into Year 11 – probably for end of Jan school hols. I am tossing up between 3: Kingfisher Bay resort – been there, easy drive, loved it, would like the kids to experience it; Hamilton Island Whitsunday Apartments – never been but they include two cruises – one to Hardy’s Reef and one to Whitehaven Beach; and Heron Island. My boys are 11 and 16 and are water babies as am I – we like to relax and I would like to relax. Do you have any advice?

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Kylie December 1, 2014 at 9:05 am

oh and I read your post about the birds on Heron – we like wildlife so that’s a non issue x

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Annabel Candy December 1, 2014 at 9:52 am

Hi Kylie,

Well I’ve never been to Hamilton Island but I’d definitely pick Heron Island over Fraser Island – although I love Fraser you get a much more relaxing holiday experience at Heron Island with lots of different activities and safe snorkelling meaning you don’t all have to do the same thing at the same time which I think is good as I see your kids are quite different ages. And of course the reef is spectacular for swimming and snorkelling – hope that helps :)

Kylie December 1, 2014 at 10:52 am

Yes thank you helps heaps I have ALWAYS wanted to go to Heron x

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[email protected] Urban Mum December 3, 2014 at 5:13 am

The Whitsundays (all the islands are gorgeous, from luxury to totally deserted…), I also love any of the Vanuatu Islands, what a gorgeous place to get married!

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Tim December 7, 2014 at 5:29 am

Koh Rong, Cambodia … pure beach perfection, with a fraction of the people that would be around at beach destinations of less quality – it’s brilliant. Also, you’ll love Van Island, go in 2015! :)

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sally January 5, 2015 at 6:43 am

Just found this story- love the site, btw. I love islands- lived on a Greek on for nearly a decade(Corfu), cruised to an island (Bahamas) island-hopped in Greece- all over the Cyclades & beyond, got married on an island (Key West) and jump up and down at the thought of the next isle-adventure. Rhodes (Lindos!) was a personal favorite and Paxos for it’s solitude, and Santorini for the icing on the cake, but the Caribbean colors are now beckoning! Keep writing!

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Kim Hazel April 2, 2015 at 6:35 pm

I’ve only been to three islands: The UK; Jamaica; and Barbados. I’ve been to all twice. Excluding the UK, I’m not really an island person, but what I look for in any place I go is a sense of the culture. I didn’t care for Barbados and the second time I went reminded me of why it was unmemorable. I didn’t think it had its own identity in terms of music and cuisine. It’s pretty in places, but didn’t leave a strong impression at all. It was also low energy. Jamaica was the exact opposite, although I was weary of the hustlers.

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Kim Hazel April 2, 2015 at 6:40 pm

Oh, I forgot one more island I’ve been to: Oahu. Loved it – it’s beautiful and you get a sense of Hawaiian culture and life. The cuisine is wonderful and when you go where the locals go, it’s the best thing. I did an eco-tour, which was great also.

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AG April 21, 2015 at 12:14 pm

Great blog on traveling on an island! No one can say that there’s nothing you can do if you’re stuck on an island, these adventures are just so great I would like to jump in myself! Sailing looks like fun, and you just brought back memories of my visit to Vancouver Island. Thanks for sharing!

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Doris July 11, 2016 at 11:33 am

Lovely photos and lovely experience! Thanks for including Philippines in your list, I am a Filipino and yes Philippines is a home to a string of beautiful islands, Surigao, Camiguin,Palwan and many more. Aside from beautiful islands, people here is hospitable and friendly to get along with.

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