8 Gorgeous Tropical Destinations That Are Zika-free
This story originally appeared on Departures.com.
While the media furor surrounding Zika has calmed down quite a bit over the past year, travelers are still cautious when heading to locations that still present cases of the disease. However, there are a number of destinations around the world that offer the relaxing tropical retreat that you're looking for, without the threat of infection.
While the risk of infection has decreased drastically since the initial outbreak in 2015, over 90 countries around the world are still noted as areas of risk, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. So while you may ask yourself whether it's worth gambling by taking a trip to a location that still isn't in the clear, it's better to err on the side of caution.
We've put together a list of beautiful sandy, tropical destinations where you can lounge in the sun, without worrying about the threat of exposure.
Just a short flight from anywhere on the East Coast, Bermuda is a great spot for a quick getaway. The tiny island hosts a number of luxury accommodations, from the Rosewood Bermuda to Fairmont's Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, and a handful of top-of-the-line restaurants, like the Ascots, Waterlot Inn Restaurant, and The Little Venice.
The Spanish party island of Ibiza is a booming tourist destination throughout the year, with a number of exclusive clubs and restaurants frequented by Hollywood elite. It also happens to be a destination that's great for romantic couples and families alike. With over 40 beaches on the tiny Mediterranean island, there's a perfect spot for anyone looking to unwind.
Located nearly 1,000 miles off the coast of Portugal, this set of nine volcanic islands are dotted with both white and black sand beaches. Visitors looking for a mix between a beach getaway and city retreat will find the Azores to be a perfect stop. Home to Angra do Heroísmo, the longest settled city on the islands and a UNESCO World Heritage site offers beautiful architecture along with stunning scenery.
An archipelago of 115 islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean is home to a litany of nature preserves, beaches and coral reefs worth exploring. Situated about 1,400 miles from the coast of East Africa, the Seychelles can be a trek to get to, but once you land you'll realize it's worth the journey.
While you may be thinking Santorini exclusively, there are a number of beautiful Greek islands worth exploring. Santorini, known for its stunning white-stucco buildings and crisp blue waters offers Instagram-worthy views, and the islands of Milos and Mykonos are no different. Milos, located about 40 miles west of Santorini is a more secluded retreat, whereas Mykonos is known for its nightlife.
While the popular honeymoon destinations of Fiji and the Solomon Islands are still on the watch list, the islands of French Polynesia are in the clear. Known for their over-water bungalows and coral-filled waters, this set of over 100 islands offers complete solitude.
The archipelago of eight tropical islands offers a mix of cosmopolitan appeal and discreet beaches and forests. Travelers can hop between the beaches of Maui, to the city of Honolulu, without worrying about the threat of Zika. From spending your days relaxing in the sun, or surfing some waves, to touring a coffee plantation, there's plenty to keep you busy in the Hawaiian Islands.
You read that right; it's still possible to have a Zika-free vacation in the Caribbean. While the majority of islands and countries in Central and South America are still presenting cases of the disease, there are a handful of destinations that have officially been removed from the CDC's risk list. The safe spots to go: The Cayman Islands, Guadeloupe, Martinique, The Bahamas, and Saint Barthélemy.