My 5 favourite Island groups in the world!Firstly I’ve still many more groups of Islands to discover and re-discover! So far my favourites are:
- The Channel isles – in the English Channel
- The Shetland Isles – Scotland
- The Faroe Isles – in the Northern Atlantic.
- British Virgin Isles – in the Caribbean
- St Vincent and the Grenadines – in the Caribbean
Having been brought up on a big Island, Great Britain. Then being brought up less than a mile from the sea , then mix that with a cruising obsession, it seems inevitable that I would have a favourite list of Islands!They are not in any particular order, but let me tell you why I like the island, show you why I like the island and try and persuade you to visit!
- I love the Channel isles, this stems back to visiting them every year with my parents as a child, so many happy childhood memories from time spent there. Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and Herm are islands in the English Channel located off the coast of France. They include two Crown Dependencies , the Bailiwick of Jersey and the Bailiwick of Guernsey. They are all so beautiful, have fabulous coastlines to wander around, magnificent fauna and flora to admire, (including the famous Jersey Cow) and also the famous delicious new potato , the Jersey Royal. On a cruise you’re most likely to visit Guernsey, the shores around Jersey are too shallow for most ships. My favourite island to visit is Sark. I think because Sark is the polar opposite to my life commuting to central London. Sark has no cars, nil, zilch, even the ambulance and fire engine are trailers to be towed by a tractor. The way to get around is by foot, bike, tractor or horse and cart, absolute paradise yet only a short flight or ferry ride away!
In the photo above you see me posing by the La Coupée, an isthmus connecting Great Sark to Little Sark, looking down on the spectacular beach La Grande Grêve.You can visit the Channel Isles by air or sea. By Sea you can visit with P&O Cruises, Windstar Cruises, MSC Cruises, Hapag Lloyd, Regent Seven Seas, Princess Cruises, HAL cruises, CMV voyages, Saga cruises, Crystal, Azamara, RCI, Cunard, Ritz Carlton, Silver Seas and more!
2. The Shetland Isles are a collection of Islands situated in the Northern Atlantic off the North Coast of Scotland. I have only visited Lerwick, the largest settlement on Shetland. Lerwick is spectacular, just so beautiful. If you visit by ship, your ship will drop anchor, so during the tender ride into town take time to admire the rugged, stunning coast line. The Fauna and Flora of Shetland definitely rivals the Channel Islands, if you’re a budding Ornithologist then you will be in your element. Go for a potter out of town and keep an eye out for the local birdlife! Shetland is also famous for its Shetland ponies, if you venture out of town keep an eye out for these gorgeous, sturdy little ponies!The photograph above is taken at the stunning Bains Beach, close to Lerwick Town Centre.You can visit the Shetland Isles by air or sea. By Sea you can visit with Oceania cruises, Cunard Line, Princess Cruises, CMV, Fred Olsen, MSC cruises , P&O Cruises and more!
3. The Faroe isles are a North Atlantic archipelago of islands North of Scotland, about half way between Norway and Iceland. They are an automatous territory within the kingdom of Denmark. I would never have thought of visiting these Islands had it not been for a cruise stopping there. In anticipation of my visit I spent time researching what to do! I decided if possible I wanted to visit the spectacular Vagar , one of the 18 islands that make up the archipelago. I had seen fabulous photographs of Sørvagsvtan on social media and really wanted to visit! Luckily my cruise line had a trip to Vágar, it was fate!I I recommend a visit, the views are out of this world, breath taking, don’t forget your camera! You must also take a stroll around Tórshavn, the capital, where you will most likely dock. The traditional, quaint, grass topped houses are so beautiful, around every corner is a fabulous photo opportunity to remind you of your visit to the Faroes!Both photographs above were taken on fabulous Vágar.You can visit the Faroe Isles from many European Cities with Atlantic Airways, or book a cruise with CMV, Silver Sea, Cunard, Oceania, Princess, Fred Olsen, Seabourn, P&O and more!
4. The British Virgin Isles are part of the Virgin Islands Archipelago. They lie to the east of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Isles and North West of Anguilla. Again, another group of Islands that cruising opened my eyes to! They are probably known to non cruisers as a group of Islands that include Richard Branson’s Necker Island! Did you know that Norman Island is one of the islands reputed to be the inspiration for Robert Lewis Stevenson’s pirate novel Treasure Island? I did not know, until I took a boat trip with a group of locals and found out nuggets of information like this! If you pay a visit, you must explore the islands, maybe visit beautiful Virgin Gorda, stunning Jost Van Dyke or explore fabulous Tortola. If you stay on Tortola, you must experience the nail biting drive on the back of a van up and over to Cane Garden Bay or if you fancy something a little more relaxing, head to an off the beaten track paradise beach for a quiet laze in the sun. The people of the BVIs need a special mention too, they’re so friendly, so accommodating and having visited for a few years now, it is so awe inspiring to see how they’ve gone from a tender port to the very impressive Tortola Pier complex. Then since devastating Hurricane Irma struck their island in 2017 and caused death and devastation they’ve rebuilt parts of their beautiful island in such a quick period of time, a fantastic group of people, who despite living through such tragedy display such a remarkable attitude to get on with life, an attitude echo-ed across all the Caribbean Islands.The photograph above is taken on White Bay Beach, Jost Van Dyke.You can visit the British Virgin Isles with Celebrity, P&O, Norwegian, Oceania, Carnival and more!
5. Finally I can not mention St Vincent and the Grenadines! A country of several islands in the Lesser Antilles island arc, part of the Windward Isles within the West Indies. You may not of heard of St Vincent, but I bet a lot of you have watched a famous film, containing lots of scenes filmed there… Pirates of the Caribbean , The Curse of the Black Pearl. You have probably also heard of another famous Grenadine Island, Mustique. A small private island famous to British people for being were the British Royal Family visit. If you visit St Vincent, do have a potter around Kingstown, a traditional Caribbean town, but also try to get out of town for the day. If you fancy an adventure, take a yacht or Catamaran trip over to beautiful Bequia. Alternatively take a boat trip in St Vincent, explore the coves that feature on The Curse of the Black Pearl , enjoy relaxing on the black Volcanic sands of St Vincent.The photograph above was taken on beautiful Bequia.You can visit St Vincent and the Grenadines with P&O Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Fred Olsen, MSC Cruises, Star Clippers and more!