In Latin, the word for island is insula—as in insulated from the ordinary. We’re ready to cross any river, bay or sea for some island magic. Here are a few of our favorites.

Isabela Island

It’s the best place in the Galápagos to come nose-to-beak with penguins. When you meet the birds on the beach—or in the water—they are unafraid and even curious—and they’re nearly foolproof photo subjects!


A hydrofoil skims you out to this jagged green isle off the coast of Sicily for a day of azure sea, spectacularly friendly people, and a look into the mouth of the volcano next door.


Calypso lured Odysseus to spend 7 years here off Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. Sounds good to us. Uninhabited today, Kolocep has a lake with—you guessed it—a gem of an island all its own.

The Westmans

It takes a whole Icelandic archipelago to handle the 700,000 pairs of nesting puffins. The humans all fit into one town, nicknamed “Pompeii of the North” after being partly buried by a 1973 eruption.


Brier Island

22 houses, pods of whales, bog orchids, and one ice cream parlor. Brier Island sits in Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy, and veins of amethyst run through the rock along amazing coastal trails.