6 Stunning Islands To Head Out To This Winter

From islands with rich cultural and natural heritage in Chile to those with volcanoes, these are perfect for a dose of R&R at the end of the year.
A traveller explores the natural sights around El Nido in Palawan, Philippines                                      Shutterstock
A traveller explores the natural sights around El Nido in Palawan, Philippines Shutterstock

Planning your year-end holiday&nbspWe have got you covered. With the winters kicking in, the holiday season is already here. If you are confused about where to go, we would totally recommend an island trip. With crystal-clear ocean waters, stunning sunsets, and coral reefs, these islands offer the most tranquil settings. It&rsquos the perfect environment to enjoy a dose of R&ampR at the end of the year.  

Chiloé Island, Chile 

Chiloé Island, or the Greater Island of Chiloé, is the biggest island in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of southern Chile, in the Los Lagos Region. The island has a rich cultural and natural heritage. You will get to explore the charming palafitos and vibrant stilt homes built on the water and enjoy the company of its friendly people. One can also visit the region's beautiful wooden churches built with unique architecture, 16 of which have been named UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The traditional curanto cuisine here is worth savoring, prepared in a heated stone pit, including different varieties of seafood and the famous native chiloé potato.

Getting there The easiest way to Chiloé Island is from Santiago. Take a flight to Castro, the capital of the island. You can rent a cab from the airport or take a bus to the destination.

Vis, Croatia

This small Croatian island lies in the Adriatic Sea. Vis is the country's most intriguing remote inhabited island, residing 45 kilometers from the mainland. It served as a Yugoslav naval base for a significant period, becoming closed to foreign tourists from the 1950s and continuing until 1989. Because of this, the island was preserved from development, and many residents were forced to relocate, leading to underpopulation of the land. The island is an ideal spot for slow travel in a nature-oriented setting. You can stroll along the clear beaches, explore picturesque fishing towns & massive vineyards, and enjoy the top-notch delicacies.

Getting there You can get to Vis from the city Split. Hop on a ferry or a speedboat which is frequent 2-3 times a day between both destinations.

Socotra, Yemen

Socotra is a part of the Republic of Yemen in the Indian Ocean. It is the biggest among the four islands in the Socotra archipelago, covering around 95% of the landmass. The site is named the UNESCO World Heritage Site with a distinct biodiversity of nearly 700 endemic flora and fauna. The closed-off island, which is barely inhabited, is home to some species that can be nowhere found but Socotra. It is tagged as an alien-looking place for its extraordinaire landscape and historical Dragon Blood tree &ndash unique to this place.

Getting there Take a flight from Cairo to Socotra with a layover in Aden. The second way to reach here is from Abu Dhabi on a direct government charter flight.

Jeju-do, South Korea

Jeju is the largest and most populated island in the country. This popular holiday destination is on the greener side, offering moderate temperatures that rarely fall below 0 degrees Celsius. The entire land is covered in black, rough rocks giving the place an artsy vibe. You can even hike to the highest peak in Korea from here while also witnessing the lava tubes and the tuff cone. Jeju Island in South Korea is a must-travel because of its breezy beaches, lush mountains, and coastal resorts.

Getting there The maximum number of flights run from Seoul. You can also get flights from Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Shenyang, Shanghai, Changchun, and Dalian. The other option is via ferries, accessed from Busan, Mokpo, Nokdon, Wando, and Incheon.

Hokkaido, Japan

Japan&rsquos second largest island, Hokkaido, has its own area, which includes the biggest and northernmost prefecture. Approximately one-fifth of Japan's total land area lies in the province of Hokkaido. The best way to describe the place is through its cold climate, mountains, and volcanoes. Due to the snowy weather, the island is a well-settled location for skiing and snowboarding during the winter. The neighborhood is filled with historical shreds of evidence, bringing a breathtaking view. Tourists also come here for treks and its many National Parks. Lake Akan is a popular spot to explore the first known culture of the Ainu people, the locals of Japan. Shiretoko Peninsula is near here, an exotic space to see deer, foxes, and brown bears.

Getting there Japan's main airports provide flights to Hokkaido, and Shanghai and Seoul offer international service. From Tokyo, direct flights take roughly 90 minutes. From Tokyo, one can travel by Shinkansen, the high-speed railway line.

Palawan, Philippines

It is the largest island in the Philippines&rsquo province of Palawan. Not just this, Palawan is also crowned as the fifth-largest island in the area and the tenth most populous island across the country. Every year tourists come here to witness and experience the diverse wildlife, its dense forests, and the white sand beaches. Palawan is a treasure house of flora and fauna, a scenic picturesque of lofty mountains and crystal blue waters. The added touristic value of this place comes from its two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. For those looking for adventure, Palawan has a lot to offer. The island has everything from fascinating islands and caves to experiences of aquatic sports like snorkelling and diving.

Getting there The simplest route to Palawan is a flight to Puerto Princesa. Additionally, flights are available to El Nido, Coron, and San Vicente. Puerto Princesa covers more flights, including both domestic and foreign ones. Palawan may also be reached from Manila by ferry. However, the journey will be a long one.

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