5 island destinations to add to your travel bucket list this year

A bird’s eye view of Le Morne in Mauritius. Picture: Unsplash

A bird’s eye view of Le Morne in Mauritius. Picture: Unsplash

Published Jan 18, 2023


Taking an island vacation is the ultimate act of self-love and will never go out of style. Island destinations offer fun in the sun, lounging by the pool side, sunset cocktails and war, breezy nights.

There are plenty of activities to keep adventure lovers, thrill seekers and water babies occupied, such as sailing, scuba diving, fishing and swimming. For those with sophisticated tastes, yoga, spa dates, golf and other relaxing activities are available at these destinations.

Islands are blessed with a tropical climate that is tourist-friendly and the fruit on islands is fit for kings and queens. So if you’re wondering which island to add to your dreamy travel bucket list, here are a few to consider.


A bird’s eye view of Le Morne in Mauritius. Picture: Unsplash

With its tropical climate and warm Indian Ocean waters, Mauritius is the perfect destination for an island break. The fact that it is a mere four-hour flight away makes it an even more attractive destination.

Popular among South Africans, Mauritius promises a cultural experience that will have you falling in love with the island over and over again. It also offers a plethora of activities to be enjoyed individually or as a couple.

Consider a stay at La Plantation d’Albion or The Albion Villas for a memorable experience.


La Digue Beach in the Seychelles. Picture: Unsplash

The Seychelles is surrounded by an ocean that mesmerises with shades of blue and turquoise, lush tropical surroundings and striking black granite rocks along the coastline of soft white sand.

It will take your breath away with its beauty and tourist-friendly tropical climate and offers an intimate location that is perfect for the kind of adventure that dreams are made of.

If you are looking to spoil yourself and your loved ones, check out the eco-chic Exclusive Collection Resort Club Med Seychelles. Ideally located in a preserved nature reserve on a private island, the resort will delight with a unique luxurious Robinson Crusoe experience.


A bird’s eye view of a luxury resort in the Maldives. Picture: Unsplash

Days spent in the Maldives sunbathing in overwater bungalows with floating breakfasts sound like the perfect Christmas present to us! The Maldives is a sun-kissed, picturesque tropical nation in the Indian Ocean known for its beaches, blue lagoons and extensive reefs.

With turquoise waters and miles of white sandy beaches, it is also rated as one of the top diving and snorkelling sites in the world. A play in the warm Indian Ocean will amaze you with its multi-coloured coral walls, graceful manta rays and schools of lively tropical fish.

If you’re looking to spoil a loved one, book yourself into an overwater villa at the romantic Finolhu Villas and enjoy the best of all-inclusive luxury.


Beautiful palm trees and and ocean view in Fiji. Picture: Unsplash

One of Australia's go-to tropical escapes, Fiji ticks all the fantasy island boxes. White-sand beaches, translucent turquoise waters, and teeming coral reefs are all found here in abundance. And the Fijian people welcome visitors with warm, friendly smiles.

With more than 300 islands, it’s easy to find the best island for your vacation, from luxurious celebrity hideaways and family-friendly resorts to the sublime Yasawa and Mamanuca group.

Fijians love young children, so this is a fabulous destination for families looking to relax.

If Fiji is your choice, you could consider Mana Island Resort & Spa or Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay.


Nungwi Beach in Zanzibar. Picture: Unsplash

Zanzibar is fast becoming a popular destination for those who love the island life. The archipelago of islands off the coast of Tanzania is just three-and-a-half hours away from South Africa.

The island is steeped in culture and history, a destination which brought adventurers, seafarers and traders from far and wide.

Zanzibar is also known as the “Spice Island” because of the delicious variety of spices grown on the island’s many plantations. Popular attractions such as Stone Town, a World Heritage Site, boast a labyrinth of winding alleys, bustling marketplaces, beautifully carved wooden doors, breathtaking mosques and grand Arab residences.

The island is a melting pot of cultures and is a must-visit for an authentic African island experience.

Consider staying at The Emerald Zanzibar Spa & Resort or Diamonds Mapenzi Beach, which are both 5-star rated.