Island Hopping Around the Globe
June 8, 2018
If we took away the word ‘island’ and substituted city, or country it doesn’t sound half as sophisticated as island hopping. Even the words manage to convey constant movement. Combine it with sun, sea and sand and instantly it sounds absolutely fabulous.
The attraction lies in seeing places from a slightly different perspective. When you jump from this island to that you will see differences and similarities everywhere and you just intuit the differences into your consciousness. It’s not even obvious initially.
There are archipelagos on every continent and if you’re lucky and can island hop all year round, you could almost live in perpetual summer. And it doesn’t have to be always touristy either.
As it is so close to home, island hopping in the Caribbean is attractive to Americans wanting to get away from it all. The cruise liners often own small islands where they put ashore for a beach fun day. With 28 island nations and 7,000 little islands, there is something for everyone.
No one really thinks of Scotland in the way they think about some island hot spots, but Scotland boasts the Orkneys and the Shetlands. Both are areas of great natural beauty and a paradise for ornithologist but not necessarily for beach babies. But for a different kind of laid back, Shetland has it.
Like the Caribbean, Hawaii is a renowned island destination that immediately springs to mind and has the advantage of being in the USA, so you don’t need a passport. Hawaii draws the natural hopper, but also has active volcanos and is a major hive of marine ecology and study. Hawaii is for the mind and the senses.
Having just made it to the world cup finals, Croatia which was once something of a secret is now on the radar. The coast which runs opposite Italy on the other side of the Adriatic has a wealth of small islands which are steeped in history.
Follow the coast down from Croatia and you inevitably fall into Greek water. Perhaps island hopping started in Greece, lots of other things did. Greece is truly famous for its islands. Hopping Mykonos and serene Santorini hit the tourist itinerary but there are plenty of other islands off the beaten track. Greece has it all, sun, sea, sand and Retsina.
There are 17,000 Indonesian islands, so there is no possibility of one visit being enough. Bali is the most famous but choosing from the rest relies on what you look for in a vacation. You might try an island that is only accessible by boat and where you must travel on foot.
Perhaps the islands in New Zealand are too big for traditional island hopping, but if you have the time to explore a little, the two main islands have everything from sunny warm beaches to glaciers.
This is the tip of the iceberg, the world is full of places to hop. Here’s hoping you get to all of them.