With the end of the year comes an important question: Where should I travel next year?
Every November, I participate in the World Travel Market (WTM) in London, which is not only a great place for networking but also a perfect opportunity to discover new and exciting destinations and find inspiration for your 2023 holidays.
After visiting WTM, here is my list of the top 12 islands to visit in 2023, one per each month of the new year. Because it’s never too early to start planning your big trip for the following year!
Make sure to check out my flight hacks to score the best deals on ticket prices!
For travelers looking to mix adventure and unparalleled natural beauty, Skopelos is a perfect choice.
With mountainsides covered in lush vegetation that slope down to pebbly beaches and clear waters, Skopelos is an untouched gem in the Aegean Sea. With a reputation for being the greenest island in all of Greece, it’s fair to say that this small island’s natural color palette is very harmonious.
Despite its tiny size, Skopelos has a wide variety of beaches. Here, find olive trees, plum orchards, and clusters of pine trees on the water’s edge. Discover unusual rock formations along the coast too, along with sandy white bays, caves, and coves.
At the crux of the island lies Skopelos Town or the Chora, a melange of stone-paved twisting streets linked by creeping vines, bougainvillea-overflowed courtyards, tumbling rows of artisanal pottery shops, endless harbor views, and a 13th-century Venetian castle standing at the very top as the town’s surveyor.
Some locations might look familiar, especially if you’re Mamma Mia! The Movie fan. However, whether you’ve seen the movie or not, the moment you step foot on Skopelos, you’ll realize that this island has thrived in a remarkable way.
Although quite popular, Skopelos continues to be a serene haven in the Northern Sporades island chain, and it still retains the feel of being undiscovered despite its rise to fame in Hollywood.
You’ll quickly realize that there are plenty of things to do on Skopelos as you explore the island, from hiking and biking to swimming and snorkeling.
You can start by sampling local delicacies like skopelitiki tiropita (cheese pie) and the island’s famous olive oil. Movie fanatics can join a Mamma Mia tour around the island, outdoor enthusiasts can hike through pine-forested mountains, and obviously, beach hopping is a no-brainer.
You’ll undoubtedly find a plethora of things to do and see in Skopelos, whether you’re searching for a romantic getaway, taking the family on vacation, or if you’re traveling solo.
Tenerife is a part of the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago situated in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa. It is the largest and most populated in the Canary Islands, with almost one million permanent residents and five million tourists visiting yearly.
In Tenerife, you will find dramatic natural landscapes with volcanoes to hike, azure waters to surf, and vibrant seaside towns teeming with charming cafes from which you can work remotely.
Ever since my first five days in Tenerife, this volcanic island has had a hold on me, and below are a few of the many reasons why I recommend Tenerife as a top destination to visit in 2023.
The Spanish island is an undisputed destination in Europe for some of the best hiking trails. As the largest of the Canary Islands, the sheer amount of hikes in Tenerife will leave you spoilt for choice! More than 1,000 kilometers of trails fleck the bustling island – easily surpassing its sister Fuerteventura.
Another prize of the island’s varied landscape is the natural pools in Tenerife.
Carved out of an already-dramatic coastline are these natural alcoves where the sea seeps in, forming pools and swimming spots known as ‘charcos’ in Spanish. These pools combine the best of all worlds: unspoiled nature, seclusion, and crystalline water, making them a real treat for those seeking a different kind of dip.
As a beach alternative, the natural pools in Tenerife are the perfect addition to a Tenerife itinerary and an idyllic option for a wild yet serene swim.
Tenerife is also among the top destinations in Europe to witness whales and dolphins in the wild and to catch a wave!
After two long years, Japan has finally reopened to tourists! Japan has it all: sacred temples, mysterious mountains, sushi, manga, elevated street fashion, and people – lots of people everywhere!
I’ve traveled to more than 50 countries, but so far, Japan is the most surprising and unique one of them all. Also known as the ‘Land of the Rising sun’, Japan is a country that blends two worlds in a curious amalgam where the future meets tradition. I genuinely believe that everyone should visit Japan at least once in their life.
Sakura is by far the best time to visit Japan. Sakura is not just cherry blossoms on the trees – it is a special time of the year when Japan turns pink, and life here even tastes like cherries! You can enjoy hanami (cherry blossom picnics) in most of the parks or participate in sakura festivals. For the best locations, check out my sakura guide.
While I covered most of the bizarre and unforgettable experiences I had on my first trip to Japan, I also want to inspire you to experience traditional Japan. And what better way to do so than by soaking in a warm onsen (a typical Japanese spa) with a view of Mount Fuji? I booked a stay at Yamadaya ryokan and its private onsen left me speechless!
Check the availability at Yamadaya ryokan!
Summer in the Mediterranean is always idyllic. And summer on an island in the Mediterranean is even better! Except that Sardinia feels more like a Caribbean island than the Mediterranean.
With its talcum powder white sand beaches, clear-as-glass sea, and rocky shores, Sardinia seems otherwordly. La Maddalena national park, an untouched archipelago of 7 bigger and 55 smaller islands marooned off the cyan-colored coast of Sardinia, is the crown jewel of the island’s incomparable landscape.
I strongly recommend visiting the La Maddalena archipelago on a boat trip. In this way, you have a front-row seat to relish the pure nature and serenity of this UNESCO-acclaimed site.
Click here to book a cruise around La Maddalena’s exotic-like islands!
But you don’t have to go to La Maddalena to find fine beaches and iridescent seas. Hugging Sardinia’s northern coast, Spiaggia di Porto Faro offers everything you could ever want: limpid waters lapping a golden stretch of soft sand, and a seascape with a white-washed lighthouse that will take your breath away.
Here, picture balmy evenings and sipping a deep red wine on the balcony of a colorful beachfront house – what I call true Sardinian luxury!
On Italy’s southeast coast, Procida is the smallest inhabited island in the Gulf of Naples. Three islands—Capri, Ischia, and Procida—make up the Bay.
Despite being one of the most stunning islands in the Gulf of Naples, Procida receives the least amount of tourism. Even the busiest parts of Procida have a relaxed, local vibe, in contrast to Capri and some of Ischia. Needless to say, you won’t find the tour groups from Capri or the Amalfi Coast here.
Make sure you visit Marina di Corricella even if your Procida itinerary is a shorter one. The view is reason enough to visit Procida!
From the road leading up to the castle, Marina di Corricella can be seen across a sparkling bay, with fishing boats drifting in the harbor, fishermen’s houses from the 17th century, and the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie Incoronata in pastel-lemon colors.
Need a place to stay in Procida, check out Gioia 13 Residence!
To put it plainly: Iceland is breathtakingly beautiful. Also known as the Land of Fire and Ice, Iceland owns such a name due to the abundance of glaciers and volcanoes. The island was formed millions of years ago, and the landscapes have been shaped by these two natural forces.
Active volcanoes, geysers, glaciers, thermal springs, black sand beaches and spectacular lava fields, waterfalls, and sculptural mountains are all gems of the typical Icelandic landscape.
One of the reasons Iceland’s landscape is so raw and beautiful is that it has been relatively untouched by human intervention. Iceland is a young country in the midst of its own formation, geologically speaking.
The highlands especially are an underpopulated plateau, and studies show that glaciers cover 11% of the country, making them one of Iceland’s main attractions. Iceland also has Europe’s biggest glacier, Vatnajökull, which is three times the size of Luxembourg and accounts for approximately 8% of Iceland’s total landmass!
Many of Iceland’s natural wonders are easy to reach while remaining largely unspoiled by humans. One of my favorite experiences to have in Iceland was going inside a dormant volcano and seeing how it looks from the inside!
Click here to book a guided hiking day trip to Thrihnukagigur Volcano!