The Best Islands on the Planet for a Winter Escape

 

 

Zanzibar, Tanzania

A strange mix of Indian, Arabic and African culture- Stone Town blends these cultures perfectly.  It was deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. The town is walk-able and safe.  The beaches are beautiful, the hotels are first class, and the food is spicy!  Zanzibar is February is calling your name.

Bali, Indonesia

Indonesia’s most popular island, Bali has something for everyone.  Whether you prefer white sand beaches, mountainous terrain, or exploring ancient temples- Bali has it all.   Bali is much more than just a beach vacation.  The island can keep you entertained for weeks.  Bali has accommodations for the budget traveler, as well as 5 star resorts, and some of the best villa rentals in the world.

Madagascar

Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; over 90 percent of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth.  Suspected as once part of India, after years of isolation, Madagascar has evolved to one of the interesting holidays out there.  Beaches, Baobab trees, food, people, culture, and endemic animals will have you talking abut your trip to Madagascar for the rest of your life.  Truly a dream destination!

Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Isles

Most famous for the Baths, Virgin Gorda is very much a jet set island.  Don’t expect budget accommodations anywhere on the island.  But do expect pristine diving, beaches, and amazing food!

Rent a villa on Virgin Gorda and relax.

Andaman Islands

Once a British penal colony, the Andaman Islands are remote, rugged, and heaven on earth!

Owned by India, the island chain consists of both the Andaman and Nicobar islands, located in the Bay of Bengal.  The Nicobar Islands are completely closed off to travel and still have various aboriginal tribes that occupy the islands.  UNESCO has declared the islands a World Biosphere Reserve.  There are some tribes who have had no contact whatsoever with the rest of the world. Of nearly 600 islands, only 9 are open to foreign tourists, and all of these are in the Andamans.   As you can imagine, it is not easy to get to the Andamen’s; there are only 2 ways to do it.  You can depart via flight out of India in Calcutta or Chenai.  All flights will bring you to the Port Blair.  A tiny port that you then must take a ferry to get to additional islands.  Ok.  Seems easy enough until you get to Port Blair.  There is only 1 ferry for all of the islands, and it is up to the Port Authority on who gets to board.

Another thing that makes the Andamen archipelago unique are swimming elephants!  YES!  These Asian elephants were brought out to the island to be worker bees at the prison (from the British).  Eventually, they evolved to swim.  Nowhere else on earth can you go and see elephants that swim in the ocean!  Amazing!

Food, lodging, diving, and people are all spectacular in the remote and unspoiled islands.  The Andamen Islands are one of the most remote places on earth, and absolutely worth the trip!