- Koh Phi Phi Don
- Sainte Anne Island
- Rottnest Island
- Kangaroo Island
- Diego Garcia
- North Sentinel Island
- Grande Comore
- Kerguelen Islands
- Tromelin Island
- Havelock Island
- Koh Phi Phi Leh
- Pulau Weh
- Prison Island
- Cerf Island
- Banguerra Island
- Inhaca Island
- Barren Island
- Neil Island
- Ross Island
The most important island of Indonesia, between Sumatra and Bali, is a true jewel with various beauties in the form of its many beaches. Of these, Pangandaran is the best-known and, at the same time, the most popular with tourists from all over the world. Its long strip of beach, lapped by the clear waters of the sea, offers a warm welcome to surfing enthusiasts, but also to fans of other sporting activities, in an ideal context for hotel accommodation.
In Batu Karas too, the sand is white and the sea is crystal clear, but the overall vibe is less commercial and there’s more room for relaxation. The same goes for Kukup Beach, a little stretch of sand hidden in a natural bay protected by a cliff, and so a haven of peace, with not much wind or storms. Instead, Parangtritis Beach offers a more spiritual atmosphere, being the venue of an ancient ceremony that reconciles men and spirits. The sand is golden and there are dunes, and hills of tropical forest.
Another extraordinary unspoilt attraction is Timang Beach, which conserves all its natural charm. On the other hand, Anyer Beach is the perfect place to go snorkelling and fishing, as is Merak Beach, whereas Green Canyon is a real surprise, with its streams that wind through the rocks in a multitude of colours, and the opportunities its waters offer to rafting enthusiasts. In the south-eastern area of Java, Ranu Kumbolo is a mountain lake immersed in the forest. And finally the Buddhist temple: Borobudur has been declared a World Heritage Site and dates back to the year 800 A.D.
If you’re looking for an earthy paradise, here you’re on the right track. Legend has it that Praslin is all that remains of Lémuria, an ancient continent that disappeared, similarly to the mythical Atlantis, and it still oozes some of that extraordinary lost beauty today. But its charm is also undoubtedly due to the wonder invoked by its contemporary setting. Praslin is the pearl of a stunning archipelago, the Seychelles.
About a thousand kilometres from Madagascar, 115 tiny islands, 36 of which are uninhabited. The tropical vegetation is lush, the water is very warm, with emerald highlights, the masses of granite on the beach are characteristic, also because they change colour based on the light and the sun.
The beaches of Praslin, in particular, are dreamlike and - it is claimed - iconic because they often illustrate the idea of fairytale destinations. Of these, the most popular is perhaps Anse Georgette, a beautiful beach with pure white sand and warm waters that change colour from turquoise to green. All around it, granite rocks stand proud. An extraordinary yet also delicate environment, an ecosystem sustained by balances that the Seychelles is striving to guarantee long-term by focusing on organic materials and strict rules. From May to October is the best period of the year in which to treat yourself to a dreamlike holiday here.
Koh Phi Phi Don
A mesmerising approach awaits those arriving in the Phi Phi Islands, archipelago of southern Thailand. Ko Phi Phi Don - together with Ko Phi Phi Leh - are still the only islands of the group to be inhabited. Made famous worldwide by the film “The Beach” starring Leonardo Di Caprio, it offers an unrivalled spectacle with its rocks, immersing themselves in the emerald green sea. The beaches have ultra pale sand and the coral reef, like the sea beds, is unrivalled.
Ko Phi Phi Don consists of two islands joined by a strip of sand and palm trees. They are separated by a beautiful, perfectly symmetrical double bay: Ao Ton Sai towards the south and Ao Loh Dalum towards the north. A magical place, it has still not been trampled by the exponential growth of the tourist trade and in fact maintains all its original charm intact.
The bay is protected by the natural defence of the coral reef on the western side, and this marks the beginning of the strip of sand decorated with palm trees that leads to Long Beach (Hat Yao in Thai), a fantastic beach and peaceful oasis. This entire area is also sheltered from the summer monsoons, and the sea is always calm here.
We’re in Malaysia and the island is joined directly to the coast by the bridge of Penang, the longest in south east Asia. In ancient times, Chinese and Arab merchants flocked here, later becoming a favourite destination for British and Dutch shipping companies. Indeed, there is no shortage of architectural evidence attesting to the influences the area has experienced over the ages, especially Georgetown, the capital. And then there are the many kilometres of beaches, the mountainous inland areas and the specialities of the local cuisine.
Georgetown is something of a synthesis of all of this, with its rich cultural and artistic heritage and its many colours and flavours. East and West meet here in this city, a World Heritage Site. The city streets are amazingly beautiful, as are the Buddhist temples, such as the Temple of Reclining Buddha with its statue measuring 33 metres long, the third largest in the world. Or the Kek Lok Si Temple, which in turn is the largest one in Malaysia, built on a hill that is a Mecca for pilgrims. You must also visit Teluk Bahang, the Penang National Park, which incorporates solitary beaches, waterfalls and forests inside its perimeter.
Off the south western coast of Africa is Madagascar, a fantastic archipelago distinguished by its many splendid, unspoilt beaches, large coral reef and a host of natural forests with many different animal species, all of such astounding beauty that it inspired the successful animated film.
Nosy Be is perhaps the best-known island, and it is directly linked to Italy by air. Once you’re here you can go on excursions and safaris, then have a rest in one of its many hotels. Instead, the much quieter Ile Saint-Marie, which is prone to higher rainfalls, can be reached by sea or by air with Air Madagascar. Nosy Iranja is actually two islands in one, joined into a single strip of sand by the low tide. The ideal location for a holiday in the company of turtles, birds and fish you’ll never have seen before.
The capital city Ananarivo also reveals a myriad of jewels, with its palaces, wooden houses, parks and royal tombs, as well as the Anosy lake, in a romantic heart shape. If instead you want to go by car, take Route Nationale 8, also known as The Avenue of the Baobabs, an off-road track lined with baobab trees. Or visit the parks: Tsingy Rouge or Isalo. And other islands: from Nosy Komba to Isla Lava.
Sainte Anne Island
All it takes is just a fifteen-minute flight from Perth, Australia to reach this kingdom of amazing beaches and lush nature. Opposite the beach named The Basin, for example, you can put on your mask, grab your mouthpiece and explore the type of natural pool characterised by its crystalline water. Little Salmon bay is a long stretch of pure white sand. Cathedral Rocks is an area where you can spot seals, and instead Parakeet Bay is home to a species of easy-going marsupials named quokka, also defined as “the happiest animals in the world”.
Those who feel like going trekking can follow the Wadjemup Bldl Route near the most beautiful beaches and the lakes, with their waters that take on a characteristic pink colour due to the Dunaliella Salina sea alga. Just one of many unique details that adds extra charm to this dream destination.
North Sentinel Island
Koh Phi Phi Leh
Visit the islands of the Indian Ocean with Costa
This has only been a small taste of what your holiday can offer, in terms of unspoilt beaches, natural beauty, relaxing activities and a cultural tourism that broadens the mind, with its roots in history and religion. All you have to do now is choose a trip that crosses the Indian Ocean and its wonders, all waiting for you to discover them.