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How To Pick The Right Hawaiian Island

By Sean Mahon

Posted: 16th September 2014 15:39

If you’ve never been to Hawaii, then you’re probably wondering which islands to visit first. With eight major islands, several atolls and numerous smaller islets - here is a short guide on what to expect on each of the most popular islands of this aesthetically arresting parts of the world. One thing you can expect on each and every island is beauty abound, with each beach nearly as magnificent as the next!

Hawaii - The Big Island

The island of Hawaii manages to squeeze in a lot. From white pristine sand beaches to snow capped mountains. Everything from waterfalls, rainforests and botanical gardens can be found here. One of the highlights is Kilauea; one of the world’s most active volcanoes is located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This is a hiker’s paradise, emerald valleys offer satisfying challenges. The old is perfectly blended with the new here, age old fishing villages where you can observe the Hawaiian way of catching fish are only a stone’s throw from modern resorts. There are also plenty of chances to absorb the magnetising culture of Hawaii here so discover what a lei is and as night falls dance a hula! 

O’ahu – The Gathering Place

The third largest island but the most populated, is also home to Hawaii’s largest city and state capital, Honolulu.  Known to the locals as “The Gathering Place” there are a staggering 125 beaches here that are ripe for sunbathing, snorkelling and surfing - you can never be bored here. Waikiki Beach offers a wealth of water sports activities - parasail, bodyboard, surf and canoe here to your heart’s content. Off the sand, the city itself has art galleries, museums and monuments aplenty. This island is the place where East and West combine as Hawaii embraces the 21st Century.

Maui – The Valley Isle

Some of the best beaches in the world can be found on this island. Whale watching off the waters of Maui is a popular pastime, while rising early to watch the sunrise at Halekala is something that is sure to last long in the memory. This is a good island for hikers thanks to the many trails that take in some terrific scenery such as cascading waterfalls, volcanic national park and bamboo forests. The Lahaina is a historic treat while there are some great dining options to be there too.

Kauai – The Garden Isle

The oldest and northernmost island in the Hawaiian Island group is adorned with sensational and stunning vistas. This is the island to get away from all the humdrums of modern life. The laid back atmosphere is impossible to resist, in-between surfing and hiking you will just be chilling out and basking in the glory of this island. Head to Po’ipu for near perpetual, all year-round sunshine, there are also plenty of things to do to pass the time too. The plethora of canyons and cliffs are dotted with verdant flora.

Lanai – The Pineapple Isle

Without a traffic light in sight, Lanai offers a glimpse of what other Hawaiian Islands might have looked like 50 years ago. With fewer than 3,000 residents, there is not a fast-food shop in sight. Bliss. Apart from the splendid isolation, another thing to enjoy here is pineapples, yes that’s right pineapples. The plantation town of Lana’I City offers a curious trip. There is one main beach on this island, but it’s certainly a special one. A vast stretch of sand on a bay that is superb for snorkelling, most importantly, it is crowd free.  

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