Island holidays are synonymous with summer, whether you're after summer sun or a getaway totally off the map.
Here is our pick of the best islands to travel to in summer.
Isabela Island, Galapagos
While many people choose to take a cruise around the Galapagos, an island stay is also possible, enabling you to base yourself in one spot while exploring your surroundings. Stay between the sandy shores and volcanic slopes of the largest island, Isabela, and use this as your base for hiking, kayaking, snorkelling and diving to see the wildlife that the archipelago is so famous for. Visiting in summer means you’ll witness the sea lions breeding, blue-footed boobies nesting and tortoises laying their eggs.
Visiting in summer means you’ll witness sea lions breeding, blue-footed boobies nesting and tortoises laying their eggs. Our favourite activity? Riding horseback up the slopes of the island’s Sierra Negra volcano. It’s a must do.
Just an hour from Bali, Sumba is twice the size of its counterpart, yet the island remains relatively untouched while the community has retained its traditional culture and way of life, making a trip to Sumba culturally rewarding as well as one of outdoor exploration. Rainforest and rice paddies blanket the interior, with villages of bamboo thatched houses. Hike to waterfalls that tumble down amidst the rainforest, horseback ride through the surf, and visit the local villages and markets. Visiting during the summer months means you’ll avoid the monsoon season, so it’s an idea time to pay a visit
Exclusive eco-resort, Nihi Sumba Island – situated on West Sumba – is one of our favourite resorts in the world. While there, learn to freedive and go spearfishing with an expert resident guide, spend your days relaxing on the pristine beach or spend your days in the Jungle Spa unwinding. Plus, their efforts to empower locals and preserve the environment are pretty impressive as well.
There’s nothing not to love about Sicily. From the amazing fresh food to the stunning rocky beaches, this island has something for everyone. And it’s especially perfect if you’re after more than just a beach holiday. Walking tours to see the beautiful architecture and fascinating Ancient Greek History, chocolate tasting experiences, and a trip to see Etna, the island’s volcano are just a few ways to pass the time on this Italian island.
It tends to get quite hot during the summer, so we recommend booking your trip to Sicily before or after the peak months of July and August.
Tioman Island, Malaysia
The largest of over 60 islands off Malaysia’s south-eastern coast in the South China Sea, Tioman Island attracts visitors to its sandy shores for the picture-postcard beaches with the chance to dive amidst coral reef. Stay in a chalet looking out to sea, nestled into the hillside forest, and set out on island hikes and boat tours to make the most of the pristine surroundings. On the islands, you can take a boat trip to nearby villages and try your hand at fishing or spend your days relaxing near the shore.
By visiting in summer, you’ll miss the monsoon season, so you can expect little rainfall and lots of sunshine. The unspoiled beaches are well worth a visit before this island becomes too popular among tourists as well.
The Quirimbas, Mozambique
Summer is the ideal time to visit the protected islands of the Quirimbas Archipelago, which is situated across a 60-mile expanse of ocean off the northern coast of Mozambique. White sand and crystal clear waters make the island an idyllic spot for a barefoot escape but the archipelago also offers outstanding snorkelling and diving with over 400 species of fish, pods of dolphins and turtles that hatch on some of the islands’ shores. Very secluded.
Set sail on a traditional Mozambican dhow, or – on land – walk amongst baobab trees and kayak through the mangrove. Summer months are slightly cooler on the islands, so you won’t get too hot… and the monsoon season is well over, so it’s nothing but blue skies. At the end of your trip, you why not hop over into South Africa for a quick safari?
Best of the Rest
Sitting halfway between Scotland and Iceland, the Faroe Islands are famous for their sublime scenery and calm local way of life. Giving you a different kind of summer escape, these islands are well worth a visit during the summer months, when daylight hours are long and the scenery is a striking lush green as far as the eye can see. There’s no shortage of things to do here, from cycling and trekking to horseback riding and sampling some of the amazing local cuisine. Plus, it’s about as remote as you can get, so you can really feel like you’re off the map.
It would be impossible to have a list of this kind and not mention Fiji. Fiji’s dry season falls during the summer months (June to September) with pleasantly cool evenings and dry days. Charter a boat and hop from island to island or plop down in a world-class private island resort and spend your days on white sand beaches looking out into turquoise waters. Really, what more could you want from your island escape?
Pemba Island, Zanzibar
Named Pemba, meaning green, by Arabs in the 17th century, this island still lives up to its name with lush green hills, valleys and forest. From the island’s white sand shores, kayak and snorkel in turquoise waters, or go further afield to dive in rarely-visited dive sites with coral lagoons that are remarkably rich in marine life. The summer months are the ideal time to visit, with the least rainfall year-round.
Islas del Rosario, Colombia
Just a short boat trip from Cartagena on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, this archipelago consists of over 30 coral islands that lie amidst a vast marine national park that’s considered one of the most important coral reefs worldwide. Stay on Isla Baru – the biggest in the archipelago – and use it as a base to snorkel and dive around coral reef that’s brimming with sea life. Or, for ultimate luxury, you can charter a private yacht for a personal tour of the islands.
Silhouette Island, Seychelles
As the third largest island in the Seychelles, Silhouette Island has some of the archipelago’s most dramatic scenery with five mountains, rainforest-covered slopes and the white sand shores that the Seychelles are so well known for. And, as one of the most biodiverse spots in the western Indian Ocean, the island is also home to an abundance of rare and endemic wildlife, while the surrounding waters are designated a marine national park. Explore the surrounding waters by catamaran or spend your days lounging in the sun on this world-famous island.