Five of the best islands to spend a sabbatical

Are you feeling a little burnt out and want to escape from your daily work routine? Why not go on a sabbatical on some of the most beautiful islands in the world? Here are five to consider.

Going on a sabbatical can be the perfect mental and spiritual reset. A study done by the Society for Human Resource Management has found that 17% of companies allow for a sabbatical as part of their employees’ benefits package. They believe that giving employees a break away from their job can help to refresh their minds and enrich their skills. Once they are back to work, they will have renewed energy and will be more productive.

So, are you ready to take some well-deserved time off? But where should you go? To help you choose a sabbatical destination, we’ve compiled this list of five of the best islands to spend a sabbatical.

1) Roatan 

The largest of Honduras’ Bay Islands, Roatán has everything you can ask for in a relaxing island retreat – pristine beaches, thriving local scene, and ample opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, kayaking, and fishing. Its stunning beaches provide the perfect opportunities to snorkel in shallow waters, ideal for those not confident in their snorkelling skills.  

In the Eastern part of the island, you can explore deep mangrove forests on a canoe. Discover some of the most colourful wildlife during your exploration, including yellow-naped parrots and spiny-tailed iguanas. But perhaps, to some up the guides to Roatán travel, the most popular activity to do is to simply relax, read a book, get a tan, and soak up the beauty of nature over a glass of wine. After all, the goal is to get away from it all and take a much-needed break, right?

2) Galapagos Islands 

While the Galapagos Islands are a bucket-list destination for wildlife lovers, the islands are also a great place to spend a sabbatical for many reasons. An archipelago of about 19 islands with several smaller islets sprinkled off Ecuador’s coast in the Pacific Ocean, each of the islands boasts a unique landscape, ranging from volcanic rocks to long stretches of stunning white-sand beaches.

The Galapagos Islands travel packages offer plenty of activities to enjoy on your sabbatical leave but taking a wildlife tour should be on top of your list. Blue-footed boobies, penguins, albatross, and giant tortoises are some of the species you could come across. Diving is also a popular activity do in the Galapagos. Liveaboards will take divers to some of the best diving spots on the islands, where you could witness whale sharks, hammerhead sharks, and colourful schools of fish. 

If you want to do land-based activities, then trekking should be part of your itinerary. Trek over dried lava beds along the rim of the island’s active volcanoes or explore the highlands to discover a variety of vegetation. Check out Isabela Island’s Sierra Negara as well, the second-largest crater in the world.

3) Ireland 

With its jaw-dropping natural landscapes, captivating castles, charming villages, and fantastic pubs, Ireland is the perfect place to take a much-needed break. The country’s Emerald Isle is ideal for road trips, hiking, and discovering castles. Amidst the buzzing Irish cities, you could explore natural wonders and discover charming villages that make up the vast Irish countryside. 

If you want to experience pure relaxation on your sabbatical to Ireland, go glamping or rent a beautiful cabin in the woods. Choose a secluded spot with little or no distractions where you can spend a day or two just relaxing. Bring a good book, chill out in a hammock, and listen to the sounds of nature. Go for a hike and end the day with a drink at a local pub. At the end of your break, you will feel refreshed and ready to take on new challenges.

4) The Cayman Islands 

If your sabbatical falls during the cold winter months and you live in a place with harsh winter weather, it’s time to get warm. The perfect antidote is to fly to the Cayman Islands, where the weather is warm all year round.

One of the cheapest islands in the Caribbean and housing some of the best beaches in the world, the Cayman Islands have everything you need for a relaxing island getaway. The Seven Mile Beach, a long crescent-shaped beach with powdery soft, white sands, is gorgeous enough to make anyone scrolling through your Instagram feed swoon with envy. 

One of the most exciting activities to experience in the Cayman Islands is to go on a night-time kayaking adventure and witness the magnificent bioluminescence. This phenomenon occurs widely in marine vertebrates and invertebrates, where they produce and emit glowing swirls of blue lights that look very spectacular at night. The Cayman Islands is one of the few places in the world where you can witness this spectacular phenomenon. As you paddle your kayak, be ready to experience this magical phenomenon unfolding right before your eyes!

5) Bali

If you dream of visiting Bali for your sabbatical, do not be fooled into thinking that it is simply an island reserved for beach bummers and surfers. There’s definitely more to Bali than its idyllic beaches. This fascinating island is also home to lush, terraced rice fields, thousands of temples, and miles of hiking and biking trails. If you are looking for an adventure-filled sabbatical holiday, then you should go to Bali.

Beyond the stunning beaches and luxurious resorts, Bali has almost all kinds of natural beauty. Aside from the iconic rice fields, the island has mountainous villages with lush greenery, gorgeous lakes, and stunning waterfalls.

The best way to discover Bali’s stunning natural landscapes is to go on a hike. The Mount Batur Hike is popular among tourists. Located north of Ubud, Mount Batur is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular spots for witnessing beautiful sunrises on the island.

After a whole day spent exploring the island, get pampered at one of the island’s best spas and treat yourself to a relaxing Balinese massage. If you are in the mood for partying, hit Bali’s beach clubs and bars.

Almost every area on the island is ready to bring in some entertainment when nigh time comes, but the best spots for nightlife are in Seminyak, Legian, and Kuta. From rave parties to lively pubs and electrifying beach parties, you have so much to look out for on your nightlife outing in Bali.

Photo by Nathalie Marquis