As the temperature drops in the Northern Hemisphere, a certain flight impulse takes hold in travelers' hearts. So, to help facilitate your escape, we offer a dozen of the world's best island destinations—from tropical to temperate, and classic to unexpected.
An archipelago of 99 islands off the west coast of mainland Malaysia, Langkawi is best viewed from above—specifically, from one of the famous cable cars that carry sightseers up Mount Mat Cincang, the islands’ second highest mountain. After disembarking, you climb a jungle path to the viewing platform above, where you are rewarded with 360-degree views of the entire archipelago. Back down at sea level, there’s excellent birdwatching, scuba diving, water sports and dining, plus a variety of beaches, from the black-sand Pantai Pasir Hitam to the dramatic Tanjung Rhu, with its limestone caves and ultraluxe accommodations.