• Michelle Pitcher

Top 5 Islands to Visit to Escape the Chill of Winter

As the year is starting to wind down, the Christmas bonus checks are rolling in, the vacation days are adding up, people are getting cold and irritated and some of us just really want to escape and experience some change, warm weather and scenic views. This time of year becomes prime time to escape to warm tropical destinations. After a long year of so many activities, we all deserve some time for rest and relaxation on the beach. That's why around Christmas and New Years is one of the most popular times for traveling to tropical islands around the world. In this article, I am going to highlight some of the top islands that you can travel to this winter to enjoy the warm ocean waters and just chill out. These islands are less known, more serene and full of nature at its finest!

First I want to mention the Caribbean island of Bequia. Bequia is part of the remote Grenadine islands which is off the beaten path, moving more at a slow pace and is super scenic while also being more down to earth and less flooded by tourists. This island was slow to develop and as you are landing you will notice its shape like a lightning bolt. There is a steep mountain range running through the center and the waters are blue, clear and calm. The crescent shore is lined with a palm tree forest and a string of bars. This is one island that is never crowded and you can still find cute hotels and restaurants to enjoy. So if you want to enjoy a pristine island without all the rush, then this would be the island for you!

Found in the heart of the Ionian Sea is the Corfu island of Greece. Corfu island has a multicultural flavor as it has been influenced by Venetians, French and the English. In the town of Corfu, you can enjoy many luxuries like beautiful mansions, stunning museums and unbelievable palaces. Then as you move away from town, you can experience cute villages, luxurious resorts and stunning natural landscapes. And the beaches are found in sandy coves surrounded by forests and mountains. This is a great place for sightseeing as well because of its numerous forts and monuments from the medieval times.

Now go get lost in the Pacific and visit the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Kauai is known as the "Garden Isle," because tropical rain forest covers the entire island. Kauai is the oldest and northern most island of the Hawaiian chain and it is one of the more rugged islands. It is full of spectacular waterfalls, sharp cliffs and mountains, winding rivers and lots of outdoors activities. This is one island that every outdoor enthusiast should visit for kayaking, surfing, hiking, snorkeling or zip lining. Here you can enjoy many things like the beautiful beaches, laid back atmosphere and rich culture.

Raja Ampat islands, found off the northwestern tip of the Bird's Head Peninsula on the island of New Guinea, is one of the most beautiful archipelagos, consisting of 1500 jungle covered islands. Raja Ampat is one of the last aquatic paradises where its coral reefs continue to thrive richly with marine life. The Misool island has ancient rock paintings and caves while the Waigeo island is home to the crimson bird of paradise. Raja Ampat is a biological hot spot that is abundant with wildlife as well as white sand beaches and turquoise waters. This is a wonderful island for divers and snorkelers to visit, or those who just want to just relax on the beach without a rush of tourists.

Lastly are the far flung Andaman and Nicobar islands found in the Bay of Bengal. They consist of around 300 islands with white sand beaches, turquoise waters, tropical rain forests, stunning sunsets, and amazing diving. This remote island is a melting pot of south and southeast Asian settlers where many of the islands are still home to indigenous people where tourists are not allowed. There are some beaches and islands which remain very much untouched and are totally safe and open to tourists. Here you will experience a very laid back vibe with some of the best diving and surfing in Asia.

Now there is a small taste about some of the most unique and less known islands that you can find in the world. So this winter, when you are planning your travels to retreat yourself, perhaps consider one of these exotic locations to warm up and enjoy the ocean breezes without all the hustle and bustle of other beach destinations. And feel free to see where you can also book a yoga retreat in any of these tropical destinations.





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