Great Islands of the World

There is something magical about islands. Island life can be the perfect escape - surrounded by sea and beaches and cliffs, cut off from the 'mainland', humdrum worries, and home.

But above all, islands lend a particular character to their inhabitants, and a unique pace to their way of life. It's that which we seek to tap into on holiday - whether its the lazy 'dolce fa niente' of Capri, one of your basic sun and fun holidays to Ibiza or a journey to the remote spirituality of Iona or Skye. Perhaps we don't consciously say to ourselves - 'OK, I'm going to go to an island on holiday this year' - unless it's a sailing holiday. But we end up going to some island destinations because they have attractions - and these are in large part down to the fact they are islands. Martha's Vineyard and Shelter Island spring to mind, as well as the Ibiza, Mallorca, Madeira, and then all those wonderful Greek Islands.

Above all it's their plethora of beaches, great walks, fresh air, and the fact that there is sea wherever you turn. Island landscapes and wildlife are often spectacular - even if treeless like dear Tiree. They have all the makings, in fact, of a perfect holiday.

Related categories: Waterfalls, Lakes, Coastlines, Beaches, Islands, Coral Reefs

Experts in Islands:  Ian Wilson,  James Henderson,  David Stanley

The top 10 Islands in the world

We know 268 Islands in the world. See all Islands.

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