Life’s a Beach! My Top 5 Island Getaways 

Anyone who knows me well will know that I am somewhat of a beach-bum at heart. There is nothing that makes me happier than sitting on a deserted island, cocktail in hand while watching the sun glimmer all shades of pink and red as it sets above the sparkling ocean. In fact, I think I am destined to live on a tropical island one day (perhaps when I’ve won my millions, I’ll buy my own #lifegoals)

So as I sit here at home planning my next exotic getaway (while shivering my ass off as the English winter finally comes to a close!!) I thought why not share with you some of my favourite islands to date.

It was a toughy, but here goes…

5. Koh Lanta, Thailand

Life's a Beach! My Top 5 Island Getaways

Koh Lanta, Thailand

Thailand has an abundance of fantastic islands that are easily accessible and affordable, making it a popular place among budget backpackers. I’ve done the rounds, and I think that Koh Lanta should make the top of anyone’s island hopping itinerary around Thailand. What sets this island apart from the likes of its neighbouring islands, is its beautiful rustic charm and chilled out vibes – it’s the perfect place to hang up your hammock and get some much-needed relaxation after partying on Koh Phangan or Koh Tao. Hire a motorbike and you’ll discover so many hidden gems and deserted beaches on this underrated island.

4. Koh Rong, Cambodia

Life's a Beach! My Top 5 Island Getaways

Koh Rong, Cambodia

Koh Rong was my biggest surprise during my two weeks in Cambodia. I only planned to stay a few nights to get some down-time after hopping from town to town in Vietnam and ended up staying a week! The pace of life here is incredibly slow and laid back – I don’t think I’ve ever smelt so much marijuana in all my life (ahem…) Not only does its picturesque sugar-cane sand beaches and turquoise waters draw you in, there’s a lot to be said for the sense of community on this island. Due to its size, you’re guaranteed to know most people by the end of the week. Another thing I will never forget is its magical plankton – take a dip in the waters on a night-time fishing trip and you’ll sparkle away like The Little Mermaid (every girl’s childhood dream right?)

3. The Perhentian Islands, Malaysia

Life's a Beach! My Top 5 Island Getaways

The Perhentian Islands, Malaysia

It’s been almost ten years since I set foot on these islands, so I can only comment on what my experience was like at the time. But I had to include Malaysia’s gem The Perhentians in my round-up because this is where my love for travel (and beaches!) truly began. Rugged tropical jungles lined unspoilt, quiet beaches and they had glowing purple/red sunsets like I had never seen before. To this day, it is still one of the best places I have ever been snorkelling, discovering turtles and little nemos galore in its crystal clear waters. It also has some awesome trekking opportunities – go high enough and you’ll get some stunning views of the island. I do find myself wondering how much it must have changed in this time, but after stumbling across Jade’s article on All That Happens I’m glad to see that it still looks and sounds like complete paradise despite its growing popularity!

2. Zanzibar, Tanzania

Life's a Beach! My Top 5 Island Getaways

Zanzibar, Tanzania

Zanzibar is undeniably a postcard-perfect destination and very almost made the top spot. From the fantastically decrepit buildings and winding streets of Stone Town, to the blindingly white feet-sinking sands and perfectly turquoise waters of Kendwa – Zanzibar certainly boasts diversity and offers the perfect blend of culture, history and relaxation.  Every day you’ll see locals casting their nets for fish along the sandbanks, and at night they’ll meet up on the shore to play a game of football as the sun sets above the ocean. To top things off Zanzibar is a heaven for foodies —it’s not called the “Spice Island” for nothing! The night markets in Stone Town are the best place to sample local food, from freshly-caught seafood to the famous Zanzibar pizza. Locals say that you can find all the magic of Africa concentrated in one place here, and while I haven’t seen all of this incredible continent (yet) I certainly agree that it’s a truly magical and unique place.

 1. Matacawalevu , Fiji  

Life's a Beach! My Top 5 Island Getaways

Matacawalevu, Fiji

When I visited last year, Fiji felt like the closest to complete paradise I’ve ever been. But what really makes this island a truly special location is its people – they are probably some of the friendliest and happiest people I have ever had the fortune of meeting. It is so hard to pick a favourite island (as I only visited three out of over 300!) but Matacawalevu has to be one of the prettiest islands I have ever seen – it’s the kind of place you feel like you need to pinch yourself just to make sure it’s real. A hilly, volcanic island, it has one of the longest white sand beaches in the Yasawas. On one side you look out to the open ocean, and on the other you can bathe in the warm beautiful blue lagoon. If you really, REALLY want to feel completely away from it all, then this remote island is definitely the place to go.

There are so many amazing tropical islands in the world and while I would LOVE to visit them all, that would probably take multiple lifetimes! However, I think these five are a good start if you’re looking for your next island getaway. What are your favourites?

Liked this post?
Pin it below!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    March 22, 2016 at 6:17 am

    I haven’t been to any of these even though I live in Singapore! They all look like really beautiful islands.

    • Reply
      March 22, 2016 at 7:07 am

      They are stunning – I hope you get to one day 🙂

  • Reply
    Zen BabyTravel
    March 22, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    We loved Fiji and Koh Tao in Thailand and would definitely vote for both in Top 5 islands ! Ibiza is also top 5 material 😉 Zen Babytravel recently posted

    • Reply
      March 22, 2016 at 8:24 pm

      I’d love to go to Ibiza – still can’t quite believe I haven’t made it there yet when it’s only a short flight away from me!

  • Reply
    Angela Travels
    March 22, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    We haven’t been to that side of the world yet unfortunately. They all look picture-perfect! My husband’s favorite is St. John, he says it is the best snorkeling he has ever done. And I love St. Martin.

    • Reply
      March 22, 2016 at 8:23 pm

      I hear the islands in the Caribbean are amazing! It’s on my list so I’ll be sure to remember your recommendation!

  • Reply
    Sonal of Drifter Planet
    March 23, 2016 at 5:10 am

    Love this! Shared on twitter 🙂

    • Reply
      March 23, 2016 at 7:50 am

      I knew you’d like it Sonal ???? beach-bums United!

  • Reply
    March 23, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    I would LOVE to visit the Maldives but Zanzibar is also high up on my list. You’re so lucky to have visited so many incredible islands!

    • Reply
      March 24, 2016 at 7:09 am

      Thanks Stacey! Hope you get to visit Zanzibar one day, it really is worth it ????

  • Reply
    Carol Kotlarz
    March 24, 2016 at 1:34 am

    Thanks for the great list. Thailand is definitely on the top of my bucket list but you’ve given me a few more to add for sure.

    • Reply
      March 24, 2016 at 7:08 am

      You’re welcome! Thailand is a great place – lots to offer ????

  • Reply
    March 26, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    I’d like to go to all of these please! I’m planning on visiting Koh Lanta when I’m back in Thailand later this year. I see it appearing on so many other bloggers sites too…I think it’s becoming a must-visit place!

    • Reply
      March 28, 2016 at 9:15 pm

      How lovely that you’re going back! Yes certainly recommend it 🙂

  • Reply
    March 27, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Love me some islands! I am considering a trip to Koh Rong, Cambodia in a few months. It making your lists makes me think it is probably a good decision to go! My favorite islands are Koh Lipe in Thailand, St. Maarten in the caribbean, and El Nido in Vietnam!

    • Reply
      March 27, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      I’ve heard good things about Koh Lipe! Thanks for the other recommendations 🙂 I’ve always wanted to go to the Caribbean

  • Reply
    March 27, 2016 at 11:25 am

    It’s a great list for tropical islands.. I would add Phu Quoc island in Vietnam, it’s a true gem in South-East Asia. But your list could be much longer and include all continents 🙂

    • Reply
      March 27, 2016 at 11:35 am

      Thanks for the addition! I never made it there unfortunately but I hear it’s lovely! I hope this will grow longer but I haven’t visited all continents…yet! 😉

  • Reply
    March 28, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Hubby and I were just talking about Zanzibar. We have to go. Fiji too!

  • Reply
    March 28, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    I haven’t been to any yet! I do tend to head to the mountains but I love beaches too:)

    • Reply
      March 28, 2016 at 7:31 pm

      Next time you head to Tanzania make sure you squeeze in Zanzibar 😉

  • Reply
    Renne Simpson
    March 29, 2016 at 3:26 am

    Wow Nikki…you’ve been to some amazing places. I’m trying to pick my honeymoon destination and I want it to be somewhere in Asia. Somewhere beautiful and peaceful like the places in your photos but a place where people don’t often think of when picking a honeymoon destination. These gave me some good ideas.

  • Reply
    Stephanie Langlet
    March 29, 2016 at 9:19 am

    I know none of these islands, but it looks fabulous !
    I have to look for some with tribes around India 😉

  • Reply
    March 29, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    OK when are we leaving? 🙂 You just let me know and I’ll be ready in 10 minutes. Just need to grab my swimsuit and a toothbrush and off we go! 🙂

  • Reply
    Elizabeth @ Compass & Fork
    March 30, 2016 at 10:10 am

    If you like nice beaches, try the islands off the coast of Queensland Australia. Very nice. Some of the Greek Islands have good beaches as well, try Naxos if you want no crowds.

  • Reply
    April 11, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    A wonderful list. I’m biased in saying this, but Hawaii (where I’m from) is at the top of my favorites…just for the fact that each island is incredibly diverse from the next! If you’re seeking touristy things to do then Oahu is a top contender, but if you want to get away from it all head to Kauai, or Big Island!

  • Reply
    uncle g
    April 18, 2016 at 9:12 am

    I could of done without reading this on a rainy windy monday morning haha i need to go to all of these places x

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.