Imagine this: bright blue water laps against pristine white sand. Up ahead, two empty beach chairs wait for you to enjoy the warm breeze and a cool drink.
It’s the stuff of winter daydreams—and also the subject of a photo T+L reader lkbatino took while vacationing in Boracay, an up-and-coming island destination in the Philippines.
We asked the Travel + Leisure community to submit travel photographs to our photo contest, and the high volume of beach, coast, and water shots testifies to the appeal of the island getaway. We’ve selected our favorite images to create a round-the-world tour of beautiful islands, from the blue-and-white buildings of the Greek party isle Mykonos to the lighthouses of family-friendly Nantucket, MA.
One dramatic image comes from Hawaii, where T+L community member surfer808 caught lava spewing into the ocean near Hilo on the Big Island—a captivating reminder of the raw power of nature.
A more tranquil photo taken by T+L community member tf4239 shows off the clear Caribbean waters of Turks and Caicos. You can practically feel the salty breeze while gazing at the water that stretches to the horizon to meet an almost cloudless sky, with about a dozen shades of blue and green.
Of course, islands offer more than surf and sand. A late afternoon among the snow-covered peaks of Wizard Island in the middle of Oregon’s Crater Lake is eerily beautiful as shot by T+L community member JeffOates. And a photograph of gondolas bobbing across from the Venetian island of Giudecca in the orange glow of sunset looks frozen in time.
See for yourself by diving into these island photos. One may even inspire your next trip.
You won't find Mexico or the Caribbean on this list.
Celebrate the holiday and get out there once the sun goes down to experience the thrill of these mesmerizing displays.
Hit the slopes without breaking the bank.