Even if you’re not a self-proclaimed “beach bum”, it’s really hard to pass up a relaxing vacation on a tropical island, especially if it comes with all-inclusive beach drinks and a lounge chair directly facing the ocean.
For those times when home has turned hectic and you need a serious break from the norm to just indulge yourself and relax the stress away, give one of these top 10 tropical islands a try for an exotic beach vacation you’ll always remember.
Along with the destination, we’ve given recommendations on where to stay. Many of these resorts have overwater bungalows, private pools, deserted beaches and many great restaurants and bars to check out. You won’t need to lift a finger because you’ll have a personal butler to take care of everything. It doesn’t get any more relaxing that this!
Oh, and once you’re there, you’ll need to know the best beach drinks to order at all-inclusive resorts!
Like the Caribbean? Check out these 5 beaches in the British Virgin Islands.
Top Exotic Beach Vacations
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Bora Bora is defintely in the running for most beautiful island paradise in the world. You can reach the island in just under an hour flight from the main island of Tahiti. When you see the beautiful turquoise waters and swaying palm trees, you’ll know you’re in the right spot for serious relaxation. Bora Bora is lush and tropical with perfect white-sand beaches and emerald waters teaming with colorful fish. Luxury resorts and spas dot the island with overwater bungalows and thatched-roof villas, making it the island of your dreams.
★ Where to Stay: Four Seasons Bora Bora – Check prices and read reviews on Trip Advisor.
Spectacular scenery, stunning tropical sunsets and warm blue sea surrounds the island of Phuket, in Thailand, one of the most popular beach destinations in the world. You’ll find a range of experiences and accommodations to fit your budget. Vibrant nightlife and partying carries on in Patong Beach, while remote romantic hideaways can be found not far away. Explore outlying islands like Ko Phi Phi, made popular by the movie The Beach, or relax in high class at one of the ultra-plush all-inclusive resorts that line the coast.
In the heart of the South Pacific, Fiji, famous for its white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and unspoiled natural environment, is made up of more than 300 small islands. The perennial favorites are the Mamanuca and Yasawa island groups, just north of Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu. There you will find a kind of paradise you can’t find anywhere else. Snorkeling and diving, relaxing in the shade of a palm tree, and feeling the soft sea air drift by while sipping on a fruity umbrella drink — it’s heavenly.
★ Where to Stay: Tokoriki Island Resort– Check prices and read reviews on Trip Advisor.
The Maldives, located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, are one of the world’s most celebrated tropical havens. Here is where you’ll find unrivaled luxury, where every resort is its own private island, and where prestigious and luxury brands compete to provide the most indulgent luxury you’ll find in the world. There are more than 1200 islands in the Maldives, and many of them have a resort with an incredibly beautiful, powder-soft beach. The islands are very remote – perfect for a romantic, completely unplugged vacation.
Made up of 115 islands spread through the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles is a dreamlike setting with stunning beaches. There are three main islands — Praslin, La Digue and Mahé — plus a plethora of smaller, outlying islands to visit and each has its own character, so you’ll surely want to visit each one on your quest for the perfect beach. The best part about the Seychelles is that it’s not overrun with tourists and maintains its local charm.
★ Where to Stay: Raffles Seychelles – Check prices and read reviews on Trip Advisor.
Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman Island is a long crescent of coral sand beach on the western end of the island. Seven Mile Beach is known for its incredible beauty, and even though it’s not exactly seven miles (more like 4.5), vacationers flock to its developed coastline in troves. You can spend your days lounging at a resort right on the beach, go to nearby Stingray Island and swim with the stingrays or go snorkeling with the turtles.
★ Where to Stay: Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort – Check prices and read reviews on Trip Advisor.
Home to many alluring features, like the towering and dramatic Piton mountains, volcanic beaches and rainforest waterfalls, it’s no wonder St. Lucia makes it onto the list of most incredible beach destinations. If you’re into scuba, you’ll find great reef diving, and if not, you can snorkel the day away a world of tropical fish. St. Lucia has a number of fantastic resorts that will leave you speechless, as well. The views are second to none.
★ Where to Stay: Jade Mountain Resort – Check prices and read reviews on Trip Advisor.
One of the Cyclades islands, Santorini’s distinctive beauty has been captured on film and in paintings. Its submerged caldera, towering cliffs, whitewashed buildings and romantic beaches rejuvenate your senses and put you in the mood for love. The Red Beach of Santorini is unlike any other in the world. Its mesmerizing red cliffs and dark red sand look striking against the blue waters. The town of Oia is one of the most iconic and beautiful locations on the island. It is where all the incredible mountainside photo are taken that you’ve been drooling over. Athens to Santorini is around 45 minutes by flight. (Read about other amazing Mediterranean islands).
★ Where to Stay: Katikies Hotel in Oia – Check prices and read reviews on Trip Advisor.
Turks and Caicos Islands
If you’re looking for miles of tropical beach that seem to stretch into the skyline, beautiful lush gardens and tropical landscapes that will mesmerize you, then Turks and Caicos should be on your radar. There are 40 islands in total, though only eight of them are inhabited. It’s a rare chance to go where there are very few people – far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can leave the noise behind and find your own little piece of paradise on an island where few people ever go. If you’re a diver, you may already know that the longest reef in the world can be found here.
★ Where to Stay: The Regent Grand – Check prices and read reviews on Trip Advisor.
Mayan Riviera, Mexico
While this is not a tropical island, it is one of the most beautiful beaches in central America, so it made the list anyway. Located on the northeast corner of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, the Mayan Riviera offers stunning Caribbean views, powder-fine sand, warm azur water to swim in and some of the best all-inclusive beach resorts in the world. You’ll find incredible snorkeling and diving just off the coastline, and a plethora of adventure sports and activities, not to mention a very active nightlife. There are dozens of Mayan archaeological sites, like Tulum and Chichen Itza, as well as hidden underground cenotes to explore.
Bali offers expected and unexpected wonders which will charm you more than you may imagine. There are so many things to do, see and taste in Bali that makes it a great destination, including, of course, its beautiful beaches. Bali is perpetually at the top of the list as a honeymoon spot, who love the long stretches of sandy beaches for walks and sunset watching.
To the south, the beach city of Kuta has exciting bars and nightlife, while Seminyak, Sanur and Nusa Dua are the most popular resort towns, where you`ll find incredible villas with private pools, spas, and beach huts for long, lazy days.
As you can see, there are many tropical islands to choose from for your next exotic beach vacation. Can you think of any other place you’d rather be right now than at one of these tropical islands? I think I could move in at one of these resorts and never leave! Where are your favorite island destinations?
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Laura Lynch, creator and writer of Savored Journeys, is an avid world traveler, certified wine expert, and international food specialist. She has written about travel and food for over 20 years and has visited 70+ countries.