Our Favorite Islands
But WaitThere's More
Find other great ideas in these related stories:
- Car-Free Destinations for Your Big Summer Trip ›
- Top Islands in the World ›
- The Best Cruise Ship Cabins ›
- Natural Swimming Holes Around the World ›
- The Best U.S. Beach Resorts ›
- Last-Minute Escapes: Beach Vacations ›
- 12 Hotels with Overwater Bungalows ›
- 29 Restaurants on 11 Caribbean Islands ›
- Ten Island Escapes from the Cold ›
- Unexplored Caribbean ›
- World's Sexiest Fitness Retreats ›
The island: Bora Bora, French Polynesia
The goods: On any short list of the world's most beautiful islands—even if the list is one entry long—you're likely to find Bora Bora. Winging in on the flight from Tahiti, you'll see why. From your bird's-eye view, you'll pick out the white-ruffled circle of reef, the blues of the lagoon, and the green, nearly vertical peak. It's one of the few things on this earth that's exactly how you dreamed it.
Be sure to: Stay in an overwater bungalow. They're built in the clear, calm lagoon, with a white-sand bottom and bath-warm water. They are also one of the best places to observe sea life through a mask—even during the shark feedings, when the sharks, the handlers assure you, remain on their side of the rope.
Best beach: Among the island's surprisingly few, Matira, the only public strand, is a white-sand beauty. Trust us, though, you wouldn't trade a bit of sand for the lagoon anyway.
Perfect season: June through October, keeping in mind that July is a very busy month—especially with the French.
Call it home: The St. Regis Resort is one of the newest luxury hotels on the island, and its overwater bungalows are also the roomiest.
St. Regis Resort Bora Bora
Tel: 689 607 888
Bungalows from $1,000