Island life is fundamentally different than being on the mainland — no matter where you are in the world. The pace is slower, the cultural traditions more emphatic, the sense of being away from it all more profound. Plus, by definition, there’s lots of coastline for recreating and taking in the sunset. That’s why islands are so attractive for people who only get a few weeks of vacation a year and want to make the most of it. Our favorite islands range from the easy-to-access, sunny Bermuda, to the misty, brooding Isle of Skye in northwestern Scotland. Read our guides before booking a trip to find out where to stay, what to eat and what to do.
The Faroe Islands
These islands are small — about the size of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket combined — but they’re rich in mystical views and some of the best seafood in the world.
Bermuda is more than a summer getaway. The volcanic archipelago is rich in history, mystery, adventure, golf and art. The island has inspired artists including Georgia O’Keeffe, Homer Winslow and John Lennon.
The Azores, Portugal
The Azores, a chain of nine islands just west of Portugal, are a melting pot of landscapes and cultures, evoking Hawaii, Scandinavia, Seattle and Wisconsin.
Isle of Skye, Scotland
The Isle of Skye is not your average island getaway. But if it’s adventure you seek, board a ferry at once.
In winter, Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost prefecture, is an expanse of white, from the ski lifts in Niseko to the cape of Shiretoko; in summer, the white is replaced by lush green.