Best island adventures: Activities on Tripadvisor’s top 10 islands

Aug 28, 2018 BY Paul McWilliams

What are the world’s best island adventures? More to the point, what are the world’s best islands? And how would you even decide such a thing?

Guide to phuket paraglide holidays in Thailand paragliding in paradise Flickr CC image by

Well, the folks over at Tripadvisor have access to millions of reviews including from islands all around the world. And using a complex algorithm to rate these reviews, they have created a Top 10 Islands list.

The algorithm took into account the quality and quantity of the reviews, plus ratings for hotels and attractions over a 12 month period. They also factored in booking interest. From all this they produced their list of the best islands in the world.

Of course, it’s impossible to produce truly concrete results for something objective like this. But if anyone can, Tripadvisor can. With their unique access to people’s opinions and thoughts they are perfectly placed to create an informed list.

10 best island adventures

Below you’ll find a countdown of the top ten of the islands, and what activities you can try there. Islands might be great for beaches, scenery and crystal clear waters. But that’s only really worth knowing if you can ride, run, fly or jump your way around.

Best island adventures: Activities on Tripadvisor’s top 10 islands Flickr image of Maui windsurfing in Hawaii by Mauishooter

So rather than just being a list of destinations, this top 10 is all about the best island adventures.

10. Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

This volcanic archipelago is located about 350 km off the coast of the mainland, to the north east of the country. The Fernando de Noronha Archipelago is named after the largest island and is a protected marine park.

It’s also home to an incredibly diverse ecosystem and one of the best diving spots in Brazil. You can get up close and personal with sea turtles, dolphins and reef sharks, amongst others.

Activities include: Hiking, scuba diving, boat tours, kayaking, horseback riding.

Best island adventures: Activities on Tripadvisor’s top 10 islands diving Fernando de Noronha Flickr image in Brazil by Tadeu Pereira (Ted)

9. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

This legendarily beautiful place is home to stunning mountain scenery and enticing blue atolls. Enjoy your stay in the ‘Pearl of the Pacific’ on an overwater bungalow and enjoy one of the most relaxing places on the planet.

Or strap on a tank or a snorkel, jump off the edge and explore the underwater world. Dive sites like Tupai and Anau give you the chance to see humpback whales, manta rays and several shark species.

Activities include: Scuba diving, boat tours, kayaking, horseback riding, water skiing, dolphin and whale watching.

8. Phuket, Thailand

Already popular as a party destination, it’s no surprise that there is plenty of adventure to be had on Phuket. Scuba diving is big here, with a choice of scuba schools and dive sites around the island. Be sure to check out the best Phuket dive sites.

10 best Phuket dive sites: Top Thai scuba diving holidays - koh racha yai wreck

Activities include: Scuba diving, paragliding, speed boat tours, kayaking and canoeing, 4WD, SUP.

7. Mauritius

This African island is surrounded by white beaches and coral reefs and is a real melting pot of cultures. You’ll find some exquisite accommodation in Mauritius, expect luxurious, indulgent and unique.

That means it’s as interesting as it is beautiful. But the real fun is on the water, with surfing, windsurfing and kiting being especially popular. A reliable trade wind keeps conditions good for large parts of the year, especially at Le Morne beach.

Activities include: Surfing, windsurfing and kiting, scuba diving, speed boat tours, kayaking and canoeing, 4WD, SUP, skydive, sailing, hiking.

Sailing the Indian Ocean in Mauritius Adventures and destinations Flickr CC image by Abspires40

6. Majorca, Spain

This Balearic beauty has a reputation as a package holiday destination, where scores of lobster red tourists fill the beachside resorts. But there is another, much more beautiful side to Majorca, with stunning villas and an entirely different holiday.

And it’s also a kite and windsurfing hotspot. Head to the bays of Pollensa and Can Pastilla for the best waves and wind. It’s also one of the best places in the world to do a spot of deep water soloing – rock climbing over water without safety ropes.

Activities include: Windsurf, kitesurf, SUP, kayaking and canoeing, horseback riding, canyoning, climbing, cycling, MTB.

5. Bali, Indonesia

An Indonesian paradise, the island of Bali is full of lush jungle and hidden stone temples. It’s also an incredible place for surfing. Head to the sandy beach breaks on the south west side of the island or try the legendary pipes at Padang Padang.

Best island adventures Activities on Tripadvisor’s top 10 islands surfing Uluwatu Flickr image of bali by wavehavenbali

Activities include: Surfing, SUP, scuba diving, kayaking and canoeing, river rafting, hiking, trekking.

4. Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

As well as the sunbathing and gin clear waters, ‘Provo’ is also known for its horseback riding and scuba diving and is regularly featured in lists of the best Caribbean dive sites. Dive the dramatic walls of West Caicos, French Cay and Northwest Point. Always in

Activities include: Scuba diving, fishing charters, horseback riding, boat tours.

3. Jamaica

You already know plenty about Jamaica. Laid back lifestyles, the sound of reggae floating along the beach, kids playing cricket in the sand.

Best island adventures rafting jamaica Flickr image by monika monika

But did you also know about the river rafting and tubing? Venture down the Rio Bueno or climb aboard a 30ft bamboo raft for a more authentic experience.

Activities include: Rafting, boat tours, sailing, cycling, surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing zipline and aerial adventures.

2. Santorini, Greece

Whitewashed buildings tumble down into the sea, as the sun sets over one of Europe’s most enigmatic islands. Take a walk along the cliffs to Fira and Oia, or visit the island’s dormant volcano.

It’s also surrounded by beautiful waters that are just begging to be kitesurfing, windsurfed or SUPed. Probably the best island adventures in Greece.

Best island adventures Activities on Tripadvisor’s top 10 islands Flickr image of santorini by szeke

Activities include: Windsurf, SUP, scuba diving, kayaking and canoeing, sailing, horseback riding, SUP.

1. Maui, Hawaii, USA

Pretty close to paradise, with golden sand beaches and bamboo forests all around. There are incredible views of the island from the top of the Haleakala Crater and endless hours of sunshine to enjoy.

But the real thrill is that this is one of the best surfing destinations on the planet. Head to Honolulu Bay and Hookipa Beach for big waves, or tackle the legendary Peahi. You can check out the best surf spots in Hawaii here.

Activities include: Surfing, scuba diving, skydiving, kitesurfing, windsurfing, hiking, speed boat tours, kayaking and canoeing, 4WD, SUP, MTB, rock climbing.

North Shore Honolulu Hawaii near Sunset Beach Wikicommons image by Daniel Ramirez

These are some of the best island adventures on the planet. Of course, you can still spend time soaking up the sun or hanging by the pool. But if you want adventure on one of Tripadvisors’ top 10 islands, there is plenty of fun to be had.

We hope you found this article about the best island adventures on Tripadvisor’s top 10 islands both interesting and useful. Be sure to check out our adventure holiday discounts as you could save a fortune on your next trip.


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