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Top 30 cheap islands to visit for budget travelers

31/01/2024 5.105

If you are seeking affordable getaways, there are a plethora of cheap islands to visit. These budget-friendly destinations boast stunning landscapes, cultural richness, and memorable experiences.

Cheap islands to visit

If you are going to embark on a budget travel, check out our list of cheap islands to visit on every continent. These tropical gems offer sandy beaches, vibrant cultures, and breathtaking landscapes without breaking the bank. Find out 30 options here to immerse yourself in affordable paradises, where your travel dreams meet budget-friendly realities.

1. What are some cheap islands to visit in Asia for an affordable trip?

Countries in Asia are renowned for their tourist destinations that offer reasonable costs while still providing a multitude of interesting experiences. If you are an island lover and want to start your Asia travel, don't miss out on these suggestions for the least expensive islands to visit in the region!

1.1. Langkawi (Malaysia)

In Malaysia, one of the cheapest countries to travel in Asia, you will find Langkawi, one of the cheapest islands to fly to. The best time to visit Langkawi is during the dry season from November to March. Here, visitors can go island-hopping to explore verdant jungles, limestone formations, caves, and wildlife. Then, a visit to popular beaches such as Pantai Kok, Pantai Cenang, Tanjung Rhu, and Black Sand Beach, where you can enjoy scuba diving, watersports, and relaxation is a must. Langkawi also boasts various other natural attractions that are free to visit, like waterfalls, mountains, nature parks, etc.

Cheap islands to visit

1.2. Koh Rong (Cambodia)

For those seeking cheap island vacations, Koh Rong is among the cheapest islands to visit and one of the most wonderful Southeast Asia travel destinations. Notable spots in Koh Rong include Koh Touch Beach, known for its vibrant party atmosphere, Lonely Beach, and Palm Beach, which offer quieter experiences in the local villages. The best time to visit Koh Rong is from November to May, also the hot and dry season, which is perfect for activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, paddle boarding, mountain biking, jungle trekking to explore the exotic jungle habitat, jet skiing, and windsurfing.

1.3. Phu Quoc (Vietnam)

Phu Quoc is another standout destination on the list of cheap islands to visit in December and year round. Phu Quoc boasts pristine Phu Quoc beaches like Bai Sao, Bai Khem, Bai Truong, Hon Mong Tay, and Hon Thom, which are ideal for swimming, squid fishing, coral reef snorkeling, water sports, and island-hopping. The island also features a diverse ecosystem with Phu Quoc National Park, various historical sites like Phu Quoc Prison, craft villages such as Ham Ninh Fishing Village, fish sauce factories, and pepper farms.

Cheap islands to visit

Visiting Phu Quoc on your Vietnam travel journey, you can consider staying at Vinpearl Phu Quoc. Vinpearl offers a wide range of hotels and resorts in various styles, ensuring a diverse selection of accommodations. With international-standard services, exceptional locations, and stunning views, Vinpearl promises a perfect mix of relaxation, entertainment, and authentic local experiences for every guest.

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1.4. Koh Phi Phi (Thailand)

Ko Phi Phi in Thailand, one of the best countries to visit in Asia, is among the top islands to visit and least expensive islands to visit. There is a great selection of activities in Phi Phi, like exploring beautiful beaches, striking limestone cliffs, white sands, colorful coral reefs, and vibrant marine life. Some popular spots include Koh Phi Phi Leh, Maya Bay, and Bamboo Island. Additionally, tourists can participate in activities like shark watching, rock climbing, cliff jumping, fishing, and taking boat tours to immerse themselves in the pristine landscapes of the area.

Cheap islands to visit

1.5. Lombok (Indonesia)

Lombok is a cheap island to visit in July and August, which is considered the best time of the year due to its fantastic beaches, waterfalls, and even a volcano. Lombok also offers many amazing dive spots around tropical coral gardens teeming with biodiversity. Other notable attractions in Lombok include Selong Belanak - one of the most beautiful beaches in Indonesia, the village of Sukarare - showcasing local handicrafts, the Fountain of Youth in the historic Narmada Park, Gili Meno Saltwater Lake, Mangrove Forest, Gili Trawangan Hill Viewpoint, and more.

>>> Discover: Southeast Asia travel itinerary: a comprehensive guide for first-timers

1.6. Hon Tre (Vietnam)

Hon Tre Island in Nha Trang, Vietnam is one of the cheapest tropical islands to visit in the world. It enjoys a warm climate throughout the year, featuring beautiful beaches and numerous resorts. Here, you must visit VinWonders Nha Trang, a top-rated amusement park with many thrilling games, mesmerizing shows, and immersive cultural experiences. You can also try snorkeling, sea walking, kayaking, paddleboarding, and indulging in delicious seafood on the island. From entertainment to relaxation, Hon Tre has everything to offer.

Cheap islands to visit

To enhance your experience on Hon Tre Island, one of the cheap islands to visit in September, consider staying at the resorts of Vinpearl Nha Trang. Among the most luxurious 5-star accommodations in Vietnam, Vinpearl Nha Trang will cater to all your needs for a top-notch tropical stay, offering unique designs, scenic ocean views, private beaches, spas, golf courses, and recreational services.

>>> Book rooms in Vinpearl Nha Trang to make your trip to Nha Trang memorable!

1.7. Palawan (The Philippines)

For enthusiasts seeking the cheapest islands to visit for Southeast Asia travel, Palawan is known among the cheap Pacific islands to visit. Here, you can explore El Nido Marine Reserve Park, which is famous for limestone cliffs, marine habitats, forests, diverse flora and fauna. Palawan is also renowned for its sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and coral reefs. Other notable attractions include the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, Puerto Princesa (the capital city of Palawan), Tubbataha Reef National Park, and the Shipwrecks of Coron Bay - among the most visited dive sites in the Philippines.

Cheap islands to visit

1.8. Pulau Ubin (Singapore)

Singapore, one of the best places to visit in Asia, presents Pulau Ubin as the cheapest island to live on. Here, a visit to the Chek Jawa Wetlands unveils diverse natural habitats, including coastal forests, rocky beaches, and mangrove swamps. Visitors can explore the Ubin Fruit Orchard and Pekan Quarry surrounded by lush greenery and inhabited by otters, dragonflies, and various bird species. Pulau Ubin offers a range of outdoor activities, from camping to hiking and biking, with attractions such as the Jelutong Campsite, Maman Campsite, Endut Senin Beach, and Ketam Mountain Bike Path.

1.9. Bintan (Indonesia)

If you are seeking some great Asia beaches, Bintan in Indonesia stands out as one of the cheap Asian islands to visit. This island boasts pristine beaches, mangrove forests, and old villages where various ethnicities coexist. Exploring Bintan’s main towns, Tanjung Pinang and Tanjung Uban, provides insights into the local people and their culture. Trikora Beach, with its white sand stretches and crystal-clear waters, is a must-visit in Bintan. Natural wonders like Penyengat Island, Kijang Blue Lake, Busung Desert, and Mount Bintan allow visitors to immerse themselves in nature.

Cheap islands to visit

1.10. Boracay (The Philippines)

In the Philippines, among the cheap Asia travel destinations, Boracay is renowned as one of the cheapest islands to visit. The best time to visit Boracay is from November to February, with costs averaging around 250-300 USD for a 4-day stay. Boracay's beaches offer a wide range of activities such as surfing, kiteboarding, and snorkeling. Other attractions here include Ariel’s Point, Motag Living Museum, Willy’s Rock (a famous volcanic formation), and Mount Luho. Boracay also boasts a vibrant nightlife scene. It is an ideal place for every traveler, no matter whether they seek relaxation or fun.

1.11. Koh Lipe (Thailand)

For those seeking an ideal Asia destination for budget travel, Koh Lipe in Thailand is among the cheap tropical islands to visit. It is a tropical paradise with green palm trees, white-sand beaches, and crystal-clear waters. Stunning beaches like Sunrise Beach, Sunset Beach, and Pattaya Beach offer relaxation, while snorkeling and kayaking provide opportunities to admire colorful fish and coral reefs. The many beach bars in Koh Lipe offer a lively atmosphere to watch the sun set. Also, exploring the beachside streets reveals countless great restaurants and good handicraft shops.

Cheap islands to visit

1.12. Havelock (India)

On the list of the least expensive islands to visit, Havelock Island in India is a standout destination. Must-do activities here include exploring Radhanagar Beach with its pristine beauty, snorkeling at Elephant Beach, relaxing on the serene Vijaynagar Beach, and discovering Neil's Cove with its tranquil lagoon and lush green surroundings. Adventure enthusiasts can partake in water sports like jet skiing, kayaking, banana boat riding, and parasailing. Havelock also offers opportunities for trekking, hiking, underwater photography, and learning about marine conservation efforts.

>>> More on: Asia tours: A guide to exploring the finest offerings of the continent

2. Cheap islands to visit in Europe for a true getaway

Moving to Europe, here is a list of the top islands to visit for cheap island vacations:

2.1. Zakynthos (Greece)

Zakynthos is one of the cheap islands to visit in Greece. It is most famous for Shipwreck Beach, where the rusting wreck of a cargo ship adorns the golden sands. In addition, this Greek island has much more to offer, including Marathonisi Island for natural turtle hatcheries and beautiful caves, and Keri Caves with magnificent rock formations. Additionally, you can delve into the rich history of Greece at the Byzantine Museum or Anafonitria Monastery. The island's charm extends to picturesque villages, lush olive gardens, cozy shops, and a vibrant nightlife scene.

Cheap islands to visit

2.2. Madeira (Portugal)

Madeira is among the nice islands to visit in Europe. With a sunny climate throughout the year, active travelers can enjoy canyoning excursions, a hike along sea cliffs, a walk along ancient canals, and a ride on Funchal Cable Car to witness botanical gardens and the Museum of African Art at the Monte Palace. Visitors can also explore the museum of Bordal, one of the island’s largest embroidery shops, to learn about the development of the embroidery industry here. Additionally, there are black-sand beaches, natural pools formed by lava rock formations, and captivating coastal scenery.

2.3. Île de Ré (France)

If you are searching for one of the cheapest islands to visit in Europe, don't overlook Île de Ré in France. The best time to visit this island is in summer, when the temperatures are warmer. Some key attractions here include the Phare des Baleines Lighthouse - which offers a bird’s eye view of the island, Saint Martin de Re - the island's capital boasting several architectural treasures, La Flotte - one of France's most beautiful villages, and various beaches. You can also visit Ecomuseum Marais Salant to learn more about Île de Ré's salt farming history.

Cheap islands to visit

2.4. Sardinia (Italy)

Sardinia, Italy’s second-largest island, is a budget-friendly destination in Europe with daily expenses as low as 50 USD per person. Some highlights here include driving along Sardinia's scenic highway with Mediterranean views, exploring Cagliari’s Castello neighborhood with its archaeological museum and Saint Mariàs Cathedral, and discovering the hidden beaches, coves, and grottoes of the Golfo di Orosei. Visitors can also immerse themselves in Sardinian traditions, from sheepherding to seeing the traditional costumes, music, dances, and rituals, and explore the seaside ruins of Nora or Tharros.

2.5. Hvar (Croatia)

Hvar in Croatia is a picturesque destination, known as one of the cheap islands to visit in August. The Old Town, a popular spot on the island, features lively beaches, modern restaurants, and vibrant nightlife. Hvar Old Town has cobbled marble streets leading to historical sites like the Cathedral of Saint Stephen, Paladini Palace, and Hvar Theatre. Dubovica Beach offers a pristine stretch of pebbles, and Bonj Beach is known for its nightlife scene. The nearby Pakleni Islands and Jagodna Bay offer even more secluded beaches, accessible by boat or cruise.

Cheap islands to visit

2.6. Mykonos (Greece)

Mykonos, one of the cheap Greek islands to visit, is renowned for its beautiful beaches, ancient towns, and deep blue seas. Key activities here include exploring iconic castles and relaxing at waterfront cafés in Hora - the capital town, sunbathing and partying at Paradise Beach, and surfing or sailing at Agrari Beach. You can also visit Chora, the largest settlement, to see whitewashed taverns, homes, and windmills. Enjoying panoramic views from Armenistis Lighthouse and shopping at Matogianni, Mykonos’s bustling alley, are also some other prominent experiences.

2.7. Mallorca (Spain)

Mallorca, known for its beautiful coastline, secluded coves, limestone mountains, Spanish architecture, and wineries, is one of the cheapest islands to fly to in Europe. Its coast offers pristine beaches like Mesquida Beach and Cala Torta Beach for sunbathing and fish-spotting. In Palma, Mallorca's capital, you cannot miss the chance to explore ancient Roman fortresses, royal medieval palaces, and cathedrals. Road trips reveal rustic villages, wineries, and hidden restaurants. Finally, you can enjoy Magaluf's vibrant nightlife with clubs, artisan crafts, and street music.

Cheap islands to visit

2.8. Sicily (Italy)

Sicily tops the list of the cheapest islands to visit. In the capital Palermo, you can visit impressive piazzas and explore street food markets. Stromboli offers hiking opportunities and beaches near an active volcano. In Taormina, visitors can discover the ruins of the Ancient Theatre from the 3rd century or unwind at Isola Bella, an idyllic beach nestled in the hills. Sicily's other attractions range from ancient Roman ruins like the Valley of Temples to the active volcano Mount Etna - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are also relaxing beaches, vibrant nightlife, dining spots, and more.

>>> Explore: Cheap islands to visit from India: 17 places to add to your bucket lis

3. Top 3 cheap islands to visit in Africa for pocket-friendly travels

In Africa, there are many stunningly beautiful and surprisingly affordable islands that any island lover should not miss out on.

3.1. Mauritius

Mauritius is on the list of the least expensive islands to visit. This volcanic island boasts lagoons, palm-fringed beaches, and coral reefs, drawing global attention with its harmonious multicultural community. In Mauritius, over 200 exciting activities await discovery. These range from visiting traditional museums like Martello Tower Museum and Blue Penny Museum to parks like Mauritius National Botanical Garden, Casela Nature Park, and Lavilleon Adventure Park. Thrill-seekers can enjoy ziplining, windsurfing, swimming with dolphins, cliff climbing, and island excursions.

Cheap islands to visit

3.2. Zanzibar (Tanzania)

For those seeking cheap islands to visit in October in Africa, consider Zanzibar in Tanzania. Known for its pristine beaches, rich history, and vibrant culture, Zanzibar offers world-class beaches like Kendwa and Nungwi. Here, you can relax to the sound of birds, engage in watersports like diving and kayaking, and savor unique seafood dishes. Other experiences include trekking through Jozani Forest Reserve, visiting Menai Bay Conservation Area, and exploring Zanzibar’s Stone Town with its historical monuments like St. Joseph’s Cathedral, the Old Fort, and the House of Wonders.

3.3. Djerba (Tunisia)

Tunisia's Djerba Island is a beautiful natural destination celebrated for its intriguing religious diversity. Here, tourists should not miss out on El Ghriba Synagogue, a 2,400-year-old site important for Jewish rituals. The charming capital, Houmt Souk, offers a deep dive into the local culture. Guellala, known for its unglazed Berber pottery, is a significant handicraft-making village. Beyond these, the towns of Medenine, Tataouine, and Ksar Ghilane offer unique experiences, with Ksar Ghilane being a true oasis surrounded by dunes, ideal for relaxation amidst nature.

Cheap islands to visit

>>> Read more: The 51 best places to travel to fulfill the wanderlust of avid travelers

4. Cheapest islands to visit in North America to add to your bucket list

For those fond of North America, consider these cheap islands to visit:

4.1. Ambergris Caye (Belize)

Ambergris Caye in Belize, among the cheap islands to visit in the Caribbean, stands out with its laid-back vibe. The best time to visit this island is from December to April, during the dry season. Ambergris Caye offers activities like kayaking, windsurfing, parasailing, scuba diving, and snorkeling along Belize Barrier Reef. You can participate in the local festivals, explore the island by bike, enjoy bar hopping, and dine at world-class restaurants for a dynamic vacation. Other memorable experiences include diving at sites like Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Great Blue Hole.

4.2. Isla Mujeres (Mexico)

If you want to enjoy cheap island vacations in North America, consider visiting Isla Mujeres in Mexico. Some fantastic experiences on this island include a visit to the main beach, Playa Norte, where the shallow and warm water is perfect for swimming. Visitors can also enjoy breathtaking views by zip-lining over the Caribbean Sea or marvel at vibrant fish and coral. Downtown of Isla Mujeres, you will get to discover the majority of the island’s shops and restaurants, which offer a chance to savor the delectable local cuisine, where seafood takes center stage with fresh catch.

Cheap islands to visit

4.3. Utila (Honduras)

Utila is one of the cheap islands to visit in January, offering a relaxed retreat for all. Here, tourists can visit Utila Town's main street with its vibrant building, preferably on a buzzing moto or tuk-tuk to get a feel for the local life. Other essential experiences include visiting Pumpkin Hill Beach and Pumpkin Cove, getting immersed in nature, enjoying panoramic island views, or heading to Neptune Beach Bar at Coral Beach Village for a great snorkeling spot with exotic coral reefs. You can also learn about the local conservation efforts or dive into the lively atmosphere at a beach bar.

4.4. Roatán (Honduras)

Roatán, another great destination in Honduras for beach lovers, boasts a tropical climate. The dry season lasts from February to September with pleasant weather for outdoor activities, making it an ideal time to visit. For those fond of the sun, Roatán’s white-sand beaches and turquoise waters are perfect for relaxation. Adventure seekers can enjoy activities like taking canopy tours, snorkeling, diving, and parasailing. With a diverse natural environment, Roatán offers great tours to mangrove forests, the Sloth Sanctuary, and more, making it a special destination for nature lovers.

Cheap islands to visit

>>> Explore: Cheap islands to visit without a passport

5. Cheap islands to visit in South America

Moving from North to South America, there are three least expensive islands to visit for budget-conscious travelers:

5.1. Ilha Grande (Brazil)

Ilha Grande, just off Brazil's Green Coast, features a mountainous jungle and beautiful beaches. It is an excellent place for hiking and encountering a remarkable variety of wildlife, including parrots, hummingbirds, butterflies, and monkeys. Here, visitors can enjoy the sandy streets, small wooden houses, and astonishing nature. Hiking into the Atlantic rainforest, taking a boat trip to the stunning Lopes Mendes Beach, and snorkeling at numerous other beaches are some of the best experiences on this paradise island. To top it off, Ilha Grande is also among the cheap islands to visit.

5.2. San Andrés (Colombia)

San Andrés, a small Colombian island, is a beautiful yet less-known destination, making it one of the cheapest islands to visit. The ideal time to visit San Andrés is from December to April. It is a great place for relaxing and swimming at pristine white-sand beaches with clear waters. San Andrés also offers boat cruises to explore its untouched nature. Climbing a local church for panoramic views, renting a buggy or scooter to explore around, visiting the local eateries, and enjoying the local specialties offer simple yet exciting experiences, making your trip even more memorable.

Cheap islands to visit

5.3. The Galápagos (Ecuador)

The Galápagos in Ecuador stand as an attractive year-round destination for budget travelers. Nature enthusiasts often flock to this archipelago to explore the diverse flora and fauna. For island lovers, the experience of island-hopping to Tortuga Bay offers opportunities to engage in scuba diving amidst vibrant coral reefs. Here, you can also visit Bartolomé Island, celebrated for its volcanic rock formations. Adventurous souls can embark on a hike to the summit of Sierra Negra Volcano, while others may choose to pay homage to Charles Darwin's legacy at the Research Station in Puerto Ayora.

>>> Read more: Overseas adventure travel: Top 15 experiences for a journey beyond borders

In conclusion, these cheap islands to visit unveil a world of affordable wonders, where sun-kissed beaches, cultural richness, and natural beauty beckon without straining your budget. From the enchanting shores of Zakynthos to the tranquil landscapes of Bintan, these budget-friendly destinations promise unforgettable experiences.

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