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.
Mountaintop goat pens; golden moscato vineyards; ancient mule paths that weave through chestnut trees and flowering juniper; swaths of wild violets that surge across rocky outcroppings to touch the Mediterranean. Elba is southern Italy in miniature, right down to the food and the historical intrigue. And speaking of the latter, you’re probably wondering about that whole Napoleon business. Yes, the famous French emperor was exiled to this former mining island for nearly 10 months in 1814-1815; today, you can visit the two sprawling estates from which he directed vast improvements to the island’s transportation, education and health infrastructure. Mostly, however, Elba is known as a place for vacationers with a penchant for kayaking, mountain biking, windsurfing, climbing and, of course, wine drinking. Exiled, indeed.