My Top 5 Favourite Islands

My Top 5 Favourite Islands

Last summer I wrote a series on some of my Favourite destinations. But one of these lists needed some serious updating after my travel adventures over the past 12 months. So without any further ado, here is my updated list of favourite island escapes.

Spanning five unique countries, all of the islands on my list have one important thing in common: stunning natural beauty.

Top 5 Favourite Islands

Galiano Island, BC

This lovely little gem in the Gulf Islands is the nearest to Vancouver making it a perfect weekend getaway or even day-trip from the mainland. Very few people live here year round, but those that do love it’s laid back vibe and tight knit community. Galiano is the only place where I’ve ever felt safe enough to hitch hike or leave my bike unattended. They even have a free store and a free book store where you are welcome to take whatever you like – no donations required. With stunning views from the top of Mt Galiano, lovely trails near Montague harbour, and the friendliest locals around – It’s no wonder I have come to consider Galiano my second home.

Mt Galiano Viewpoint

Hvar, Croatia

If you are looking for an intoxicating blend of old world charm, exhilarating night life, and ruggedly beautiful coastline, then look no further than Hvar. Touted as the sunniest spot in Europe, this beautiful island on the Dalmatian Coast convinced me that it would make a perfect Honeymoon destination. A consistent contender on many top 10 lists – it’s no surprise that Hvar easily holds its own among the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.

Hvar

Capri, Italy

I just can’t get enough of the Amalfi Coast and especially my favourite little piece of la dolce vita – Capri! Twice I’ve visited this lovely island off the coast of Naples and twice is not nearly enough time to soak it all up. Famous for its dazzling Blue Grotto and beloved for its majestic Cliffside vistas, Capri is the perfect place to soak up luxurious Italian living.

Capri, Italy

Maui, Hawaii

Oh Maui… how do I love thee? Let me count the ways! Before I first visited Maui, I had previously been to Oahu twice. And I thought it was great. Then, I went to Maui and now I wonder why anyone even bothers going to Honolulu because Maui is E V E R Y T H I N G ! Less crowded than bustling Waikiki, Maui offers a more laid back vibe but still delivers a ton of activity if you want it. In my four day escape I lay on gorgeous beaches, snorkeled with sea turtles, drove the winding and scenic road to Hana, summited a volcano, and ate my heart out. I still look forward to visiting the other islands in the future but for now I am content with my version of paradise!

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Santorini, Greece

Located in the Aegean Sea, about 200 km southeast of mainland Greece is Santorini, one of the most popular islands in the world – and for good reason! I fell head over flip flops for the spectacular caldera views, beautiful beaches, cliff-side villages, amazing restaurants, and friendly local hospitality. Santorini was a dream destination for me and it absolutely lived up to all the hype. I had one of my favourite travel days of all time while riding an ATV around the island and touring the nearby wineries. It was so unbelievably gorgeous that it almost pained me to leave. I will definitely be back someday!

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What’s your favourite island escape?

Unfinished Business: Neapolitan Pizza & the Blue Grotto

Okay… time to catch up on some serious blogging.

On our third day in Italy we decided to take a full day trip to nearby Naples to search for Pizzeria Da Michele’s made famous by Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love. We took the high speed train in business class (fitting for two former business students) and found the place with little trouble. Since we were early we squeezed in some shopping and then got there for the opening in order to beat the crazy lineups. There are only two items on the menu: Pizza Margherita and Pizza Marinera. We got one of each. The pizza is cooked in a wooden oven and we were able to watch the whole thing. It was definitely worth the trip and only cost 4 euros for an entire pizza.

Pizzeria da Michele

 

Next up was a trip was a trip back to the island of Capri near the Amalfi coast: my second time. The first time I was unable to visit the famous Grotto Azzura (Blue Grotto) due to weather conditions so this time the perfect summer conditions made my dream come true. We started off with a 40 minute hydrofoil to the island and then quickly hopped onto a one hour boat trip to the famous cave. We loved being on the water and snapping as many photos of the island as physically possible. Mindy was totally in her happy place. We got to the cave and then hopped in to our own row boat with a very charismatic boat rower who led us into the narrow opening and showed us the amazing blue water in the cave while serenading us with classic Italian songs. It was kind of comical and overpriced but a great memory nevertheless.

Anacapri

Once back on shore we once again had perfect timing and caught a bus from the port to the upper town called Anacapri. The town is draped along the cliffs with white pristine houses and flowers. Picture perfect at every turn. After shopping and visiting the Villa San Michele we decided to take the small funicular (chair lift) to the summit of the island where we could see the whole island and get photos of the stunning little islands called the Faraglioni. The chair lift took 13 minutes each way and was the perfect end to our day on the island. We love being on the water and are immensely looking forward to more time on the water in Croatia.

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