8 Island escapes for 2023
With so many islands around the world, it’s hard to know where to go first. We’ve pulled together our favourite bucket list islands for 2023. Are you ready for an island escape?
THE SECRET ISLAND
La Gomera feels like the one Canary Island where time stood still – and it doesn’t even feel particularly Canarian, as it’s very green, but may just be the secret of the Canaries! Located off the coast of Africa, this small island has been shaped by volcanoes, from its steep cliffs offering the best views and captivating scenery like the basalt formations of Los Órganos, to the natural black sand beaches, which you’ll find hidden away in coves, as well as in plain sight. The capital San Sebastián de La Gomera is the point where Christopher Columbus set sail to the Americas and is home to centuries of deep-rooted traditions and craftsmanship. Due to its unique species of endemic plants and fauna, the entire island is a Biosphere Reserve, which you can discover in the ancient forests of Garajonay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. With an eternally inviting climate of warm, mild days, La Gomera is the island to disconnect from the world and enjoy a slower pace.
THE HISTORIC ISLAND
Corfu is a melting pot of culture. Of the Greek islands, it stands guard to the entrance of the Adriatic Sea, between Albania, the Greek mainland, and Italy, and shares a brilliantly blended heritage after centuries of invading rulers. The best place to experience this fusion culture is in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Corfu town. You’ll similarly find deep-rooted traditions in the emerald landscapes of olive groves and vineyards. We recommend you take a boat from the harbour to the nearby islands of Paxos and Antipaxos, which are shrouded in their own legends. Drop the anchor so you can explore mysterious sea caves.
THE SPICE ISLAND
The aromatic scent hits you the moment you arrive in Grenada, which eases you into a delightfully pure and authentic lifestyle. Everything feels unspoiled here, whether you're trekking to breathtaking waterfalls or unwinding on the numerous white sandy beaches, including the famous Grand Anse Beach. Set in the eastern Caribbean, Grenada is actually a tri-island nation, taking in the smaller surrounding islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique, which you can reach by boat for relaxing day trips. Dive into the crystalline water to discover fascinating dive sites, including the largest shipwreck in the Caribbean, and the world’s first underwater sculpture park! Spend your days visiting the many spice gardens and organic chocolate estates, having a taste of rum with a distillery tour, or exploring historical forts. Grenada is the place to go if you want to feel renewed.
THE DIVERSE ISLAND
Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and perhaps the most diverse. It combines miles of beaches with pretty harbours and historic architecture as well as deep gorges and scenic mountains. With natural beauty around every corner, this mystical island showcases the best of Greek culture. With a stay at Domes of Elounda you can enjoy stunning views of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Spinalonga. The resort gives you five-star luxury with stylish décor and first-class restaurants. If you can tear yourself away, head to the nearby town of Plaka that oozes charm. Sit in one of the local tavernas, sample some fantastic Greek cuisine and watch the world go by.
THE TROPICAL ISLAND
Koh Lanta is one big national park, home to mangroves, rainforests, palm-fringed beaches, and coral reefs. The unspoiled tropical Thai island may not strictly be adults-only, but it sure can feel that way when you stay at the lavish Layana Resort and Spa, set within lush gardens. This grown-up resort sits by an almost two-mile-long stretch of golden sands, perfect for leisurely barefoot strolls to the whisper of waves. During your stay you can enjoy complimentary wine tasting, Thai cooking lessons, and even Thai boxing classes. Spend time admiring the uninterrupted views from the saltwater infinity pool or sinking deeper into relaxation at the award-winning Linger Longer Spa. All you have to do is show up!
THE FLORAL ISLAND
Immerse yourself into a sublime world of flowers in the Portuguese island known for its impressive emerald landscapes, bougainvillea lined streets, and wildflower-filled valleys: Madeira. This floral extravaganza is best witnessed in the perfectly manicured botanical gardens of Funchal, the capital, but you can just as easily enjoy them while horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking, or by riding the famous cable car up to the clifftops. Pack a picnic and take a boat ride around Madeira exploring the many golden coves and bays, or venture into Funchal’s Old Town or nearby villages for a taste of history. Spend your sundowner sampling the local wine, followed up with a meal of fresh seafood.
THE SUNSET ISLAND
Breathe in the spellbinding views, that’s all you need to do. Santorini is constantly picturesque, not least during the sunrise and sunset hours over the caldera, or when the daylight glimmers on the whitewashed walls and blue domes. When you’re not wandering the little hillside villages or heading off on romantic champagne catamaran trips, you can head down to the beaches of many colours - golden, white, black, and even red sands. Plus, there are plenty of museums and galleries to spark your creativity. Stay in the adults-only Santo Pure Oia Suites, the latest addition to our Santorini collection. It’s a spectacular boho-chic spa resort that boasts its own magical sunset views without you needing to step outside.
THE PREHISTORIC ISLAND
Praslin is the Seychelles’ very own Garden of Eden. The moment you arrive you’re greeted by silky white sands that open out to the expanse of the azure Indian Ocean. From fabulous coral reefs to ancient sea turtles that nest on the beaches and giant tortoises, there's much to admire. Away from the blissful beach and the picture-perfect 18-hole championship golf course of Constance Lemuria, however, is a world of tumbling mountains and thick jungle that make up Praslin National Park. Venture into the UNESCO World Heritage site of the pristine palm forest Vallée de Mai, where you’ll unveil prehistoric endemic species, such as the giant coco de mer tree, which dates back over 300 years. Praslin truly is the tropical paradise you dreamed about.
Add a Touch of Luxury with Sovereign
Which island will you escape to? At Sovereign Luxury Travel we have over 50 years’ experience in tailormade luxury holidays. We take care of all the finer details, so you don’t have to. Our Personal Travel Planners are on hand every step of the way to ensure your luxury holiday is memorable and enjoyable.
Visit sovereign.com to start planning your next luxury escape today!
Read more: Celebratory traditions around the world
Read more: Bucket list experiences 2023
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