Sunday, February 10, 2013

The World's Most Romantic Islands


In honor of Valentine's Day, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at a list of the world's seven most romantic islands, travel destinations that offer more than just beautiful beaches.

Behind the outer wrapping of a tropical paradise with beautiful beaches you will find an interesting and varied landscape. On the way to the summit of the Haleakala volcano crater you pass through vegetation that includes cactus. There are vast stretches of sugar cane fields, a 1900s cowboy town, and a rain forest with an almost primeval feel to it.

An archipelago in the Indian Ocean with white sand beaches, atolls, and secluded resorts.  This is the world's lowest elevation nation (overall elevation of high and low averaged). You will find a hotel with a coral nursery and an underwater nightclub. And how about a restaurant reachable only by boat?

This five mile long island was once a haven for backpackers with only the most basic accommodations.  Today it rivals many of the well-known Asian destinations.  Boracay starts with a forty-five minute flight from Manila followed by a boat connection to the final destination of White Beach with powdery sand that just might be the softest in the world.

This is the oldest of Hawaii's eight main islands and has the most dramatic scenery from wind sculpted mountains, red-walled canyons (Waimea Canyon is referred to as Hawaii's Grand Canyon), primeval rain forest, and a wide range of waterfalls. Kauai has also been the location for several movies including The Descendants, Avatar, Body Heat, and I think also South Pacific.

Every place you look gives you a postcard perfect view.  White washed buildings, colorful flowers, blue-domed churches all clinging to the hillsides of an ancient volcanic crater.  In addition to the spectacular scenery, Santorini offers a wide variety of diversions—fine wines, black and red and white sand beaches, archaeological sites including one referred to as the Minoan Pompeii.

This four-square mile dot in the Tyrrhenian Sea embodies la dolce vita.  There is a funicular railway to take visitors from the main port to the street of Capri town with its boutiques, restaurants, and romantic getaways.

What could be more romantic than staying in a bungalow above the waters of a turquoise lagoon?  At the heart of Bora-Bora is the jagged peak of Mount Otemanu and on its fringes are islets and a coral reef perfect for snorkeling to observe the varied and colorful marine life.

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