11 Gorgeous Tropical Islands for a Beach Vacation

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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 11 tropical islands a try for an exotic beach vacation you’ll always remember.

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.

Thailand Beaches
Thailand beach

Along with the best beach vacations, we’ve given recommendations on where to stay for you to start planning your tropical paradise. 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 than this!

Want more beaches? Check out these articles: Best British Virgin Islands Beaches, Best Jamaica Beaches, Best Thailand Beaches

What Are the Most Beautiful Tropical Islands in the World?

Some of the most beautiful tropical islands in the world include the Maldives, with its iconic overwater bungalows and pristine white-sand beaches. Bora Bora in French Polynesia is known for its stunning lagoon, overwater bungalows, and the dramatic Mount Otemanu. The Seychelles, nestled in the Indian Ocean, offers unspoiled beaches and lush landscapes. Fiji is another gem, with friendly locals, diverse marine life, and a captivating tropical atmosphere.

These islands, among others like Santorini, the Galápagos, and the Cook Islands, each offer their own unique blend of natural beauty, culture, and experiences for travelers seeking a slice of paradise.

Top Exotic Beach Vacations

1. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora resort

Bora Bora is definitely in the running for the most beautiful island paradise in the world and one of the top vacation destinations for a tropical getaway. You can reach the island in just under an hour’s 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.

In case you’re thinking that a Bora Bora holiday only involves laying around on the beach or remaining at your resort the whole time, that’s not the case at all. There are tons of fun things to do in the area, from scuba and snorkeling to jet skis, parasailing, and private picnics.

★ Where to Stay: Four Seasons Bora Bora – This is one of the most beautiful and romantic resorts we’ve ever stayed at. » Read reviews on Trip Advisor or book on Expedia

Tours you may enjoy:

2. Phuket, Thailand

phuket, thailand beach
Phuket Thailand

Spectacular scenery, stunning tropical sunsets, and warm blue sea surround 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 in Thailand – the prices are also some of the most affordable in the world.

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.

The beautiful beaches you’ll find in Phuket are some of the best in the world. The best time to hit up these Thailand beach vacation spots is during the dry season, which is from November to April. During this time, the weather is generally sunny and dry, with low humidity and little rain. The sea is also calm and clear, making it perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and other water activities.

★ Where to Stay:

Sri Panwa Resort – We stayed here in a private bungalow overlooking the water. It was simply amazing. By far the most incredible place we’ve ever stayed. I don’t think it gets better than this in Thailand. » Read reviews on Trip Advisor or book on Expedia

Tours you may enjoy:

3. Fiji Islands

Fiji Island Resort
Fiji Island resort

In the heart of the South Pacific, Fiji, famous for its white sand exotic 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.

With so many islands, there are a lot of different experiences to be had. If you stay on the main island, you won’t find the white sand beaches of the further out islands, but you also won’t have to charter a speed boat or plane to get there. The smaller islands have less to do, being more remote, but they offer a peace and tranquillity you won’t believe.

★ Where to Stay: Tokoriki Island Resort » Read reviews on Trip Advisor or book on Expedia

Tours you may enjoy:

4. The Maldives

Kandima's main pool
Kandima’s main pool, the longest in the Maldives (photo courtesy of Kandima)

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 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. One of the top activities in the Maldives is diving, and you can imagine why. Check out these top Maldives dives for inspiration.

The islands are very remote – perfect for a romantic and completely unplugged vacation. We stayed at Kandima Maldives, which is a spectacular resort on a private island with amazing white sand. Read more about it here. It’s a great retreat that has accommodations to suit your style.

Remember that you’ll have to include transportation to the island in your budget and that can be very expensive, from $500 to $1000 per person round trip.

★ Where to Stay:

Tours you may enjoy:

5. Seychelles

Seychelles beach

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.

The beautiful beaches here are the best in the world, backed by lush tropical jungle and lapped by crystal-clear waters. The rock formations are massive and smoothed by time.

The best part about the Seychelles is that it’s not overrun with tourists and maintains its local charm, though there are quite a few International hotel chains and luxurious hotels to stay at.

The Seychelles is a great choice for a romantic vacation, whether it be your honeymoon or anniversary. It’s an exotic and unique destination and it also has many island resorts. It has year-round sunshine, so there’s really no bad time to visit, however the weather is best in April, May, October and November.

★ Where to Stay:

Tour you may enjoy:

6. Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman Island
Grand Cayman Island

Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman Island is a long crescent of coral sand beach on the western end of the island. It’s one of the clearest and bluest stretches of water you’ll ever see. 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 to swim with the stingrays, or go snorkeling with the turtles. There’s lots of rum to try, or you can take a drive around the entire island in a day and check out all the hidden beaches.

And if you’re looking for a more peaceful vacation, away from the crowds, just head to the eastern part of the island where there are less crowded resorts and lots of small, lovely beaches to hang out at.

★ Where to Stay: Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort » Read reviews on Trip Advisor or book on Expedia

Tours you may enjoy:

7. St. Lucia, Caribbean

st lucia
St. Lucia

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, and it is a beautiful Caribbean island. It’s also home to one of the most talked about and high-end hotels, the Jade Mountain Resort.

St. Lucia really has it all. The views are second to none. It has volcanic beaches, reef-diving sites, luxury resorts, and fishing villages. There’s a rainforest and dramatic waterfalls to hike to in the interior of the island. What more could you want?

★ Where to Stay:

Tours you may enjoy:

8. Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece
Santorini, Greece

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.

Check out the many things to do in Santorini. For us, the wine tasting tour was a highlight. Athens to Santorini is around 45 minutes by flight or you can take a ferry.

★ Where to Stay:

Katikies Hotel in Oia – This is one of the most beautiful hotels overlooking the caldera with a private pool and indoor spa. » Read reviews on Trip Advisor or book on Expedia

» Read about other amazing romantic Mediterranean islands in this post.

Tours you may enjoy:

9. Turks and Caicos Islands

Turks and Caicos island
Turks and Caicos island

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.

If you’re a diver, you may already know that the longest reef in the world can be found here. It’s the ultimate dive destination for snorkelers and scuba enthusiasts with a 14-mile barrier reef on Provo’s north shore and a dramatic 2,134-meter underwater wall off Grand Turk island.

For non-divers, you’ll find great restaurants, shopping, and beautiful resorts in Grace Bay Beach. For excursions, you can visit secluded beaches, uninhabited cays, snorkeling reefs and great nature sites. The baches are some of the best in the world.

★ Where to Stay:

Beach House – a 5-star luxury, adult’s only, all inclusive resort » Read reviews on Trip Advisor or book on Expedia

Tours you may enjoy:

10. Mayan Riviera, Mexico

Tulum beach, 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.

★ Where to Stay:

El Dorado Casitas Royale » Read reviews on Trip Advisor or book on Expedia

We also love the Palace Resorts in Cancun.

Tours you may enjoy:

11. Bali, Indonesia

Munduk Moding Plantation Nature Resort & Spa, Bali, Indonesia
Munduk Moding Plantation Nature Resort & Spa, Bali, Indonesia (Photo by Shura)

Bali is perpetually at the top of the list as a honeymoon spot, because of the amazing views of volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches, and coral reefs. 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 private beach huts for long, lazy days.

Another reason Bali is a great honeymoon destination is because of the resorts. You can find a really affordable eye-poppingly gorgeous resort with a view into the tropical forest and a personal pool for a lot less than in other parts of the world. If you’re ready to stay holed up in your room (and what honeymooner isn’t), then you can enjoy paradise for less here.

Of course, we also love the food. Indonesia has some really fantastic cuisine and you can enjoy it even at the resorts.

★ Where to Stay:

Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort 5-star hotel » Read reviews on Trip Advisor or book on Expedia

Tours you may enjoy:

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there budget travel and accommodation options on these islands?

While some of these islands are associated with luxury travel, there are budget-friendly accommodations available, especially in less touristy areas. You can find hostels, guesthouses, and affordable resorts in many destinations.

What’s the best time to visit these tropical islands?

The best time to visit depends on the specific island and your preferences. Generally, the dry season is often the most popular, but it’s essential to research the climate and weather patterns of your chosen destination to plan accordingly.

How can I make the most of my tropical island vacation?

To make the most of your beach vacation, plan ahead, research your chosen destination, book accommodations early, and consider the activities that interest you the most. Embrace the local culture and try new experiences for a memorable and enriching tropical getaway.

What are some of the most popular activities to enjoy on tropical islands?

Tropical islands offer a wide range of popular activities. Snorkeling and diving in destinations like the Maldives, the Seychelles, and Bali are popular for exploring coral reefs and marine life.


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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Beach with trees and blue water

11 Gorgeous Tropical Islands for a Beach Vacation

6 thoughts on “11 Gorgeous Tropical Islands for a Beach Vacation

  1. Brooke of Passport Couture says:

    Love reading about all of these great getaways! It would be so hard for me to decide which one to visit because they look so great. Currently, a friend and I are finding a way to visit Fiji after a trip to New Zealand. I’m thrilled it’s listed on your post!

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Brooke, we did a stopover in Fiji on our way back from New Zealand and it was a pretty economical way of doing it. It’s just really expensive once you get there if you want to go out to some of the islands. If you stay closer to the main island, it’s much better. I hope you get there! You’ll love it.

  2. Agus says:

    All those beaches are really amazing. I work at Le Meridien Bali and I have some great story of Le Meridien Bora bora and Le Meridien Phuket. Hopefully I will be there someday.

  3. Pingback: Must-Eat Local Cuisine in the Seychelles | Savored Journeys

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