Three island-hopping adventures

Alice Gråhns looks at three of the best places around the world to go island hopping.


Agios Savvas on Kalymnos: a special place with a stunning vista
(Image credit: Anna_Jedynak)

"There is a blueness of sea that seems feasible only via Photoshop or an Instagram filter, but which is made real around the southeast Aegean's Dodecanese islands," says Hannah Jane Parkinson in The Guardian. Island-hopping as an independent traveller is easy enough in the Greek islands, but tour operators make life much easier.

The seven-night trip that Parkinson took starts from Kos, and a 40-minute ferry ride from there brings you to Kalymnos. The island is "a mecca for rock climbers" and famous for its traditional painters and craftsmen. There are also several pretty churches, but the monastery of Agios Savvas, atop Porthia port, is "special", "covered with gold and icons" and offering a "stunning vista" across the Aegean Sea.

Ten minutes away by boat from Kalymnos lies the volcanic island of Telendos, where "there isn't much to do except luxuriate in the peace and quiet". The nearby island of Lipsi has "some of the most picturesque beaches I've visited", and "architecture and history buffs" will revel in Lakki, the harbour town "built entirely in Mussolini's razionalismo style from the days of the Italian occupation".

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Sunvil's (020-8758 4758, seven-night island-hopping trip costs from £750 per person, including flights from Gatwick.

Swim with sharks in Mexico

Isla Holbox is a Mexican island lying 120 miles northwest of Cancn on the mainland, with turquoise waters and unpaved streets. The name is said to come from the Mayan language for "black hole", perhaps due to the local freshwater springs. It has fine sand beaches, palm trees, wild flamingos and beachfront hotels, including the bohemian-chic, Italian-owned Hotelito Casa las Tortugas, "where I was lucky enough to land", says Christopher Reynolds in the Los Angeles Times.

If you take a boat out from the island from mid-May to mid-September, you can go swimming with whale sharks, and on nights when the moon is dim locals say you can spot bioluminescent phytoplankton glowing blue and green in the shallows. "I didn't see that", says Reynolds, "but I did catch sunrise and sunset at the dock as pelicans swooped and idle fishing boats bobbed." Half-day island-hopping tours take in Isla del Pjaros, where "I spotted two flamingos, and Yalahau, a freshwater spring where you can swim while iguanas and a coatimundi (a close relative of the raccoon) skirmish for scraps".

Connecting services from LA airport cost from $355. For the hotel, see

Faroe foodies

The Faroe Islands are a great destination for "committed foodies", says Georgina Wilson-Powell in the Evening Standard. The 11 islands between Norway and Iceland are remote and under-appreciated havens for Nordic cuisine. Long tunnels under the sea connect many of the bigger islands, while "endlessly curving roads go up and over the hills while waterfalls cascade down black rocks and cliffs".

The restaurants have been influenced by the success of iconic Scandinavian restaurants such as Noma. Koks, for example, serves "traditional Faroese fare" with a twist, such as lamb tallow served with a home-made savoury biscuit, which was "the best thing I've eaten in years", and skerpikjt, or dried mutton.

Atlantic Airways flies Edinburgh to Vgar from £200 return (

Scuba and spa in the Maldives

The Maldives is renowned for itshundreds of islands housing a widearray of luxury resorts. But the latestnew opening is "giving a twist tothe sun, sea and sand' holidaysthat the destination is known for",says Angelina Villa-Clarke in Forbes.

Floating Resorts by Scubaspa isa "unique floating luxury resort"consisting of two yachts, designedfor divers and spa lovers. The vessels,named Ying and Yang, are the onlyones in the Maldives with a five-starscuba-diving rating, and each has"state-of-the art diving gear". Theytake travellers out on the sea wherethey can choose from itinerariesfocusing on scuba diving or spatreatments, or a combination of themboth. "From swimming with sharks tomassage with shells", guests can tailorthe activities around what suits them.


Alice grew up in Stockholm and studied at the University of the Arts London, where she gained a first-class BA in Journalism. She has written for several publications in Stockholm and London, and joined MoneyWeek in 2017.