With all the crazy weather in Denver last week thoughts of warm summer days are looming large! When I get a serious case of wanderlust visions of beautiful islands always come to mind. As a boy growing up in California the first island I remember seeing was Fannette Island, a tiny rock nestled in Emerald Bay at Lake Tahoe. Grab a towel and sunscreen and let’s go to a few of my favorite islands!
Each of the Hawaiian Islands are fabulous and unique in their own way but the Big Island is my favorite for it’s amazing contrasts. Everyone loves the Kona coast with its luxe resorts and fabulous golf courses, but there is so much more. My brother Gary, a Big Island resident, opened my eyes to visual treasures far off the normal tourist map. Suisan Fish Market in Hilo is the place to find the freshest catch of the sea! An easy hike through a lush jungle valley brings you to Akaka Falls, a favorite of mine, and not to be missed.
My love affair with the island of Guernsey goes back to when my sister moved there years ago to marry her pen pal. My niece and her husband, and my brother-in-law still live on fabulous Guernsey. The island is simply visually stunning and a must on anyone’s travel bucket list!
Pansea Beach in front of the Amanpuri Resort on the Island of Phuket holds a special place in our hearts! The sand is amazingly soft and the Andaman Sea is gorgeous, especially at sunset!
Bali is one of Indonesia’s over 13,000+ islands and unquestionably the most unique. The Balinese cultural heritage, spiritual traditions, along with many visual delights, has a captivating and mystifying pull on the visitor. The dancer above performs an ancient Bali-Hindu dance-drama accompanied by a gamelan orchestra. A monkey basks in the sunset glow at the Uluwatu Temple.
Corsica is probably one of France’s best kept tourism secrets! It is simply a fabulous place for a holiday and full of great surprises! The topography is beautiful and diverse, with sandy beaches and warm bays for swimming, rocky cliffs, and high, rugged mountains. The culture is a blend of Italy and France, all tied together with a bit of fervent Corsican nationalism. The wines and cuisine are very unique and quite delicious! The ancient village hugging the cliff edge is Bonifacio, and the beach below is Palombaggio. Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Corsica.
The tropical island of Koh Samui is a short 50 minute flight from Bangkok, Thailand. It is full of exotic boutique resorts on incredibly soft sandy beaches. There are tiny beach restaurants made from palm trees, where you can relax and look at the mesmerizing sea with a cold Singha beer.
The island of Sark is absolutely sensational! A short 45 minute ferry ride from Guernsey will take you to a place where time has almost stopped. We rode bikes on dirt roads (no cars allowed) to a superb restaurant for Sark lobster. I LOVE this place!
A short speed boat ride from Koh Samui will take you to the Ang Thong Marine park. A grouping of pristine islands, many with sandy beaches, are perfect day trips for snorkeling, picnicking and hiking. Fabulous!
Years ago we ventured to the Seychelles Islands, off the Africa’s east coast. This beach on Island of La Dique is otherworldly, with unusual rock formations. Prasline Island nearby is famous for strange double coconuts. Many of these islands have fantastic giant tortoises.
The strangest round of golf I’ve ever played was on this course high above Funchal, on Portugal’s Madeira Island, off the coast of Africa. We played in driving rain and fog, with groups of groundskeepers in yellow raincoats all around us. This would not have been on our island radar if our daughter hadn’t been competing in the Triathlon World Championships held there.
The islands on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast are wonderful! The Island of Hvar is very interesting with seaside towns, forests and a sparkling clear sea.
***Marla and I have hosted Wesco Fabrics’ sales incentive trips to Phuket Island, Bali and Koh Samui in past years. I have a number of new islands on my bucket list. I would love to hear about your favorites as well. firstname.lastname@example.org.