1. Jost van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
This little-known hideaway in the British Virgin Islands is a well-kept secret, but we invite you to join in on the fun. This is island life at its finest, and the four-mile Jost van Dyke is seemingly made for nothing but relaxation. Snorkeling and swimming are the primary activities here, so bring your suits and gear. When you’re done, while away the hours with a Painkiller cocktail at one of the island’s many beach bars and restaurants. Our favorite is Foxy’s, famous for its “Bubbly Pool” and New Year’s parties.
2. Bonaire, British Virgin Islands
Bonaire is one of the most beautiful and unusual locations in the British Virgin Islands. The shore is standard (not that we’re complaining) for the Caribbean: palm-lined with sugar-white beaches and turquoise water. However, the interior is exotic even for this part of the globe, with a desert-like interior, cactuses, salt flats and flocks of photo-worthy flamingos. Enjoy a natural retreat at Washington-Slagbaai National Park or pamper yourself at one of the island’s many resort-like hotels.
3. Naxos, Greece
With hundreds of Greek islands to choose from, it’s difficult to choose just one. And if you’re visiting Greece, we hope you explore multiple islands over the course of several days to fully discover this breathtaking region of Europe. However, if you’ve only got room for one—or just need help choosing where to start—we recommend Naxos, the largest of the Cycladic Islands. Located in the Aegean Sea, this ancient gem is supposedly the birthplace of Greek god Zeus, and also has ties to Dionysus, the god of wine. Naxian wine is one specialty you must try, along with the island’s grapes, figs and olives.
There’s plenty to do on Naxos, including kiteboarding and hiking to various villages and churches. The biggest must-see of the island, however, is the Portara, located on the islet of Palatia. Watch the sunset through this enormous stone gateway, which is all that remains of an ancient temple, and you’ll already be planning to return.
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