3 island paradises that are both beautiful and interesting

3 island paradises that are both beautiful and interesting

After retirement, I became a traveller for the second time in my life. What struck me immediately was how different the two periods were. The first time I travelled was before I started university. I wanted to see the most exciting places, and I was willing to adventure alone through rough conditions just to get there. I loved it at the time, but these days that sounds absolutely dreadful. I want to travel with my wife to interesting – but not too interesting – places which are easy to reach.

There are so many other specifications we have. We want relatively long layovers so we can get to the connecting flight on time. We want to be able to speak English – my mind refuses to even consider thinking in any other language.

At the same time, we do want to experience other cultures. So, we have made it our goal to visit places which are both beautiful, relaxing, and culturally interesting. Try one of the following 3 island paradises. They won’t disappoint.

Maui County, Hawaii

Maui County is perfect for a number of reasons. It is one of the most visited parts of Hawaii, which also means institutions there cater for everyone, no matter your age. Check out these villas for the ideal place to stay. More importantly, you can speak English while experiencing a different culture. The local culture is wonderful, and there are many avenues through which to see it. You will get to attend your fair share of luaus – basically, big parties with firepits, pigs on spits, and hula dancing.

The natural beauty is also varied. You can find black sand beaches, volcanic craters, waterfalls, and even a “blowhole”. It is well worth the long flight!

Bali, Indonesia

Bali is, for me, the perfect travel destination. Globalisation and an influx of tourism has made it accessible to people from all over the world. You don’t need to learn much of Balinese or Indonesian, as waiters and drivers will be able to speak to you in English. You can easily get a Grab, the equivalent of an Uber, from your phone. But because everything is so cheap, you can fashion your perfect holiday away from the raucous Australians in places like Seminyak.

Stay in an area like Uluwatu. It’s far from the regular tourist crowd, but if you hire a driver for each day you’re there, you’ll get where you want to go with ease. Your driver will ask for around £40 to £50 per day, which is incredibly reasonable, considering it’s a full day’s work. You can rent a gorgeous villa for around £80 per night, and go to the idyllic Sundays Beach Club for the perfect day at the beach.

Crete, Greece

Crete - Greece - Free for commercial use No attribution required - Credit Pixabay

Crete, Greece

Finally, you can get a cultural education closer to home as well. Visit Crete and you’ll find yourself in a gorgeous world, less touristy than other parts of Greece but still very accessible. It has incredible beaches, of course, but they are also quite varied. You can see Elafonisi – the “Pink Sand” beach – and enjoy the calm waters.

Aside from the beaches and quaint restaurants, you can visit Heraklion’s famous archaeological museum for some insight into ancient Minoan culture. Crete has a lot to offer – too much for just one trip – but it is still relatively quiet and charming.