From the Indian Ocean’s hottest spots to sizzling beaches in the Bahamas, any time is the right time to visit our curation of tropical destinations. Hot all year round with temperatures rarely dipping beneath 26°C, warming your toes in powdery sand and slipping into sea so warm it doesn’t require any getting used to is a given. Here are the top five paradise islands where any form of weather app is an anomaly.
Réunion Island – Indian Ocean
Whether you’re soul searching or seeking adventure, this volcanic speck in the Indian Ocean is a warm-hearted host. With perennial 80°F heat and a resident lava-mound to boot, the only decision when marooned in steamy Mauritian paradise is how best to cool off. Swim in a tumbling waterfall or dive into colour-popping coral reefs. There’s also the options of paddling out a kayak to spy wales breaching or taking a breezy helicopter ride over bumpy sugar-cane fields and calderas.
Réunion Island was colonised by the French, so there’s European-influenced infrastructure to gawp at, such as a stonking six-lane highway that rises out of the ocean and straddles clifftops. Thankfully, the island’s hearty creole cooking and oodles of lush rainforest have been left untouched. Delve into stewed meats and authentic cari (a mix of rice, beans, herbs and lentils), then stroll off your lunch exploring. Make the PALM Hotel & Spa your serene, shoreside base.
North Male Atoll – The Maldives
There’s a reason the Maldives’ reputation proceeds it. With sun-kissed sands and swimming-pool blue seas every day of the year, each of its sprawled out atolls could be a computer screensaver. Keep asking ‘can this be real?’ and discover the wonders on (and below) the swirls of sandy islands that form the North Male Atoll. Picking your accommodation carefully is a must. There’s a dreamy underwater spa, if you slumber at lavish haven Huvafen Fushi. Or you could put your feet up at the One&Only’s palm-fringed Reethi Rah. ‘Tis a hard life, after all, and this unapologetically decadent complex is the place to kick back with a cocktail or swing a set of golf clubs.
Koh Samui – Thailand
Being spoilt for choice is the only hazard when staying on Thailand’s second largest island (bar not wanting to leave). The one month the mercury dips below 80°F is January. Even then, there’s no need for a second layer at any of its 40 beaches, meaning you can lap up turquoise waters or practice hot yoga in lieu of a heated studio. Koh Samui is home to many-a world-class retreat, such as Absolute Sanctuary. Yin and yang can also be sourced at floating temples, local markets and by delving into award-winning restaurants. Every sense will purr tasting Tree Tops’ gourmet Thai and fusion food served at canopy level. There’s Chaweng to party in later, sure, but no need to strain yourself.
Andros Archipelago – Caribbean
Imagine the ideal island getaway in the Bahamas, as the mind often does, and you’ll probably be picturing yourself on Andros’ sunny sands. It’s a cluster of islands which are hot all year. So, once again, the hardest decision you’ll have is which one to hop off at. Bursting with life, North Andros boasts freshwater rivers, inland caves and 104sq km of subtropical forest.
Need further persuasion? Deep and mysterious ‘blue-holes’ can be plunged into with a guided scuba diving tour, while bone fishing is another popular pastime. But you could unwind under a shady coconut palm. Unspoilt South Andros offers sink-into loungers and powder-soft shores, and is where the luxurious yet eco conscious Tiamo Resort sits. Pad barefoot to a hand-built beach cottage: fantasy achieved?
Boa Vista – Cape Verde
Just off Africa’s west coast, Boa Vista is serenity plus a bit of bite. Its rolling sand dunes and volcanic craters could be the backdrop for an epic sci-fi film that’s set on the moon. Although we wouldn’t fancy wearing a spacesuit in temperatures averaging 79°F, and the whirling winds would wreak havoc with the sound team. We digress. Brace yourself for rocky, off-road driving, ramshackle villages and days where its waters are a no-go. It’s all part of the rough around the edges appeal. Of course, you could always plonk yourself in pure bliss at one of Cape Verde’s top beach-hugging hotels for an easy life. We hear the spa and adults-only pool at the Rui Tourareg are ever so gentle.
Words: Ashleigh Gibson