Busy lives can make catching up with friends a bit of a challenge; so what better way to spend some quality time than booking an island escape? According to international travellers, these are the best islands for a group getaway.*
Mallorca in Spain
Head to white sands in the day near Portixol, before drinks later on
Spain’s perpetually sunny Balearic Islands head up the list, with Mallorca at the top. Palma de Mallorca is the island’s capital and its got everything your group of friends could need, including bars, restaurants, late-night supermarkets and lots of opportunities for lazing on the white sand beach Ciudad Jardín or catching some waves. Opt for a stylish, self-catered apartment, just a 5-minute walk from the beach at Montmari Turismo de Interior.
Zealand in Denmark
Canoeing is one of the best ways to appreciate Zealand's dramatic beaches
Denmark’s largest island is home to Copenhagen and a group trip to the rollercoasters at Tivoli Gardens is a must. But there’s much more to Zealand than history, bikes, and those mouth-watering cinnamon rolls. Head to the coast and spend a few days enjoying the dramatic Danish beaches, or visit the forest surrounding the city of Hillerød for a woodland retreat. The spacious Søåsegård Apartments are less than a 2 minute-walk from the canoeing and swimming opportunities at Lake Esrum Sø.
Crete in Greece
Dine out on the terrace with a few good friends and bottles of wine
For a group with very different tastes in travel, cuisine, activities and exactly how high to have the air con, Crete is always the answer. Greece’s largest island caters to every possible traveller type; from those who want to explore the Bronze Age archeological site at Knossos, through to their slightly more relaxed travel companions who just want to enjoy a day at the beach. Kavos Beach Apartments & Studios are perfectly set up for large groups.
Malta in Malta
Malta is a combination of world-class restaurants and sun-drenched squares
Next door to the surprisingly tropical Gozo, Malta has that winning combination of a balmy Mediterranean climate, world-class restaurants and enough beaches for even the pickiest sunbathers to find their dream spot. Stay in the centre of Valletta at the Tano's Boutique Guesthouse. These self-contained units make it easy for everyone to hang out together (either in the rooms or on the shared terrace) while also making sure everyone has their space.
Koh Samui in Thailand
Curls of white sand will leave plenty of space for the whole group
Visiting Thailand during the Full Moon Party is an unforgettable experience, but if you’re planning to have a slightly more laid-back trip, Big Buddha Beach aka Bagarak Beach is your best option. Here you’ll find plenty of restaurants, bars, and miles of white sand dunes, without the crowds or party atmosphere at the more developed resorts. Looking for somewhere to stay? Tango Luxe Beach Villa Samui has a palm-tree fringed private pool and offers easy access to the beach.
Lombok in Indonesia
Tanjung Aan beach in Kuta is one of the many wide crescents of beach on offer
Lombok lies to the east of Bali and is part of the Lesser Sunda Island chain. Its location gives the island the mild climate, aquamarine waters and tropical foliage of its neighbours – but there’s also a calm, relaxed air to Lombok that isn’t as easy to capture on the mainland. Driving or sailing around the island you’ll find plenty to delight, including ancient yet immaculately preserved temples and the unique Tanjung A'an ‘Pepper’ beach. Embrace the peaceful atmosphere and book a string of rooms at Villas Edenia.
O'ahu in USA
Try your hand at surfing at Sunset Beach
With a name that translates to ‘The Gathering Place’, it’s especially fitting that the Hawaiian island of O’ahu is recommended for group getaways. O'ahu has featured in countless Hollywood films, so make sure to book your group on a tour of the island’s cinematic highlights. Happily, although not surprisingly, this tour is almost identical to one given of the island’s best beaches, where you’ll have plenty of opportunities for surfing, sunning and checking out the island’s nightlife along the way. Stay a few minutes walk from Waikiki beach at Jenny's Pineapple Cottage.
*These islands were the most highly rated for groups travelling with Booking.com.