Going on vacation is something that many people dream of, but some of us want to have an expedition of sorts. Rather than going to a posh beach resort and relaxing for several days, there are families, couples, and individuals who would prefer to hop from one island to another. This allows them to experience more sights and activities.
If you’re one of these island seekers, there are several small island nations that have the most beautiful scenery. They may be remote, but their experience is worth the travel. Get started with the following examples and conduct your own research in order to plan your next vacation:
Area: 4,033 km2 (1,557 sq mi)
Population: 525,000 (as of 2015)
Located on the central Atlantic Ocean and off the coast of west Africa, Cape Verde had been colonized by the Portuguese until it gained independence in 1975. That’s why the island country’s culture gives off something of a Brazilian vibe. The archipelago consists of 10 volcanic islands, but the best beaches are found in the island of Boa Vista. This has Sahara desert-like sand dunes and the waters’ strong waves.
Area: 240 km2 (91 sq mi)
Population: 14,974 (2011 census)
Cook Islands is also an off-the-radar destination for most tourists simply because it is too remote. This South Pacific country consists of 15 islands and picturesque beaches with white powdery sands and blue waters.
Area: 348.5 km2 (132.8 sq mi)
Population: 109,590 (2012 est.)
The seven-island Caribbean island country is not only famous for its spices, but also for its stunning beaches, lush vegetation and lively African culture. There’s a main island named Grenada, with smaller islands surrounding it.
Another name for Grenada is the “Spice Isle”, which pairs homage to the nutmeg plantations it has. Some tourists might be interested in these, while other may enjoy the colorful homes in the capital city, St. George. There are also Georgian buildings as well as a Fort George which dates back to the early 18th century. For the beach attractions, you’ll head south to the Grand Anse Beach. This is equipped with resorts, beach activities, and many other facilities for guests.
Area: 465.55 km2 (179.75 sq mi)
Population: 17,949 (2015 est.)
This Micronesian island nation has a vibrant economy mainly based on tourism. This isn’t anything to wonder at, as its 200 lush limestone islands feature impossibly gorgeous beaches. The most famous tourist spot is the Jellyfish Lake, where swimmers encounter and touch thousands of sting-free jellyfish.
Papua New Guinea
Area: 462,840 km2 (178,703 sq mi)
Population: 7,059,653 (2011 census)
The other half of the New Guinea island is about the size of California, but it is one of the most diverse countries in the world.
As only about 18% of the country has been urbanized, you will find mostly rural areas consisting of indigenous communities. This also means much of the island has been unexplored, featuring some of the most diverse wildlife on the planet. For instance, it is home to 640 species of birds and more than 190 mammals species. Speaking of diverse, Papua New Guinea is also culturally and linguistically varied, officially listing 852 languages!
Traveling in Papua New Guinea can be quite challenging. The roads are poorly maintained and neglected. There’s nearly no tourism infrastructure present and information about the country is limited. This is actually part of the charm of this island, where travelers feel like the centuries-old explorers on a distant island of lush, virgin forests and pristine beaches. The latter also provide perfect places for diving and snorkeling.
Sao Tome and Principe
Area: 964 km2 (184th)
Population: 190,428 (2014 census)
Sao Tome and Principe are located on the earth’s equator in the Gulf of Guinea and off the coast of Gabon in central Africa. The two islands themselves are 87 miles apart from each other, which is why this island nation is considered one of the most isolated places in the world.
Tourists who choose to go to Sao Tome and Principe are rewarded with miles of beautiful beaches and lush inland jungles. The islands are part of a volcanic chain, so they also feature some stunning coral and rock formations.
Area: 459 km2 (177 sq mi)
This 115-island country off the coast of eastern Africa boasts beach splendor, that’s why it’s consistent in several lists of the world’s best beaches. The waters are blue and clear, the sands are white and soft, the forests are lush and wildlife is much intact.
St-Vincent and the Grenadines
Area: 389 km2 (150 sq mi)
Population: 103,000 (2013 est.)
This chain of islands boasts some of the world’s best beaches, many of them pristine, uninhabited or deserted. The island nation’s tourism has been greatly boosted since after Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed there.
Area: 748 km2 (289 sq mi)
Tonga is one of the very few kingdoms remaining on the planet, which means globalization has yet to destroy its Polynesian culture and traditions, as well as its pristine beauty. Its 169 islets are scattered in the deep blue South Pacific waters, boasting white sand beaches fringed with lush palm trees, and exceptional sites for diving and snorkeling.
Trinidad & Tobago
Area: 5,131 km2 (1,981 sq mi)
Population: 1,349,667 (2015 est.)
Trinidad and Tobago are one of the more accessible island nations in this list. Located off the coast of northern South America, the former Spanish colony is now a popular tourist destination especially among Europeans. The lush forests, untouched coastlines, diverse and bountiful wildlife as well as colorful Caribbean music, culture and street food make Trinidad and Tobago a small but complete tourist package.
The island nations discussed above are small places, so you may explore them in some detail. Many of them are also prepared for tourists, so one isn’t likely to be bored either. Hopefully, visiting these places will be an affordable, unique, and memorable experience that caters to several travelling preferences.