Depending on the minimum size to take into account, there are hundreds of thousands or possibly even millions of islands in the world ranging from little uninhabited islets occupying just a few acres to huge islands spanning over thousands of kilometers. Just Greece alone, for example, is estimated to have up to 6,000 islands. Some islands actually make whole countries. Madagascar, Great Britain, Cuba or Iceland – all of these beautiful islands are also countries. We have already published a few posts dedicated to islands such as these 25 Breathtaking European Islands You’ll Want To Spend The Rest Of Your Life On, these 25 Amazing Caribbean Islands That You’ll Wish You Could Visit, or these 25 Weird Islands That Will Leave You Scratching Your Head. Today, we are going to take you on yet another amazing tour around some of the most beautiful and interesting islands, but this time around, we will focus on islands that you might be familiar with but probably don’t know who they actually belong to. Everybody knows that the Hawaiian Islands belong to the United States and Ibiza is a part of Spain but how about Bermuda, the Easter Islands, Bora Bora or Greenland? To find out who these islands actually belong to, check out today´s post with 25 Beautiful Islands You Might Not Know Who They Belong To.
Featured image: commons.wikimedia.org
Occupying a total area of a staggering 2,130,800 sq km (822,700 sq mi), Greenland is by far the largest island in the world. With its enormous size, the Arctic island could easily be a large country on its own, but it is not. In fact, Greenland is a part of the Danish Realm.
Located in the southern Pacific Ocean, the Pitcairn Islands are a group of four tropical islands of volcanic origin. Inhabited by just 56 people who all live in the “capital town” of Adamstown, these islands officially belong to the British Overseas Territory (UK).
Discovered on Christmas Day in 1643 (hence the name), the Christmas Island is a tropical island in the Indian Ocean. Famous for its biodiversity and many endemic animal and plant species, the island is an external territory of the Commonwealth of Australia.
Located in the North Pacific Ocean, Sakhalin is the largest island of Russia. Sakhalin was claimed by both Russia and Japan in the 19th and 20th centuries and these disputes sometimes even involved military conflicts. Since the end of the WWII, it officially belongs to Russia.
A popular tourist destination, Curacao is a little tropical island in the Southern Caribbean Sea, approximately 65 km (40 mi) north of the Venezuelan coast. Home to over 150,000 people, the picturesque island is a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The Canary Islands are located just 100 km (62 mi) west of Morocco, North Africa, but they actually belong to Spain. The archipelago’s beaches, sunny climate, and natural beauty make it a popular tourist destination, attracting 12 million visitors annually.
Situated in the Western Indian Ocean east of Madagascar and southwest of Mauritius, Reunion is an island that belongs to France. Currently the outermost region of the European Union, the island became an overseas department of France in 1946.
North Carolina is the closest mainland to Bermuda but this little island is a part of the British Overseas Territory. The Bermuda Triangle, a region in the North Atlantic Ocean where aircraft and ships have disappeared under mysterious circumstances, was named after this island.
Home to approximately 9 million people, Hainan is the largest island of China. Compared to most of mainland China, the air quality of Hainan is far higher, which makes it a popular tourist destination for many Chinese as well as foreign visitors.
One of the most remote inhabited islands in the world, Easter Island belongs to Chile, although this country’s mainland is more than 3,500 km (2,182 mi) away. The island is famous for its extant monumental statues, called Moai, created by the early Rapa Nui people.
The Faroe Islands are an archipelago of small islands between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Norway and Iceland. However, it doesn’t belong to either of these countries as it is a part of Denmark.
Often described as “the most alien-looking place on Earth,” Socotra is a little isolated island and a small archipelago lying in the Indian Ocean. Boasting nearly 700 endemic species, found nowhere else in the world, the beautiful island belongs to Yemen.
Located between Hawaii and American Samoa, Palmyra Atoll is a little unoccupied atoll consisting of an extensive reef, lagoons, and some 50 islets. Resembling a true tropical paradise, the island officially belongs to the United States.
Situated in the Baltic Sea, Rugia Island is Germany’s largest island. The coast is characterized by numerous sandy beaches, lagoons, open bays, and chalk cliffs. The diverse landscape and the long sandy beaches make this island a very popular summer destination.
Azores are volcanic islands located in the North Atlantic Ocean. They are part of Portugal, although they lie 1,360 km (850 mi) west of this South-western European country. Local mild climate, fine beaches, and numerous natural landmarks attract tourists from all over the world.
Situated in the crystal clear waters of the Aegean Sea, Santorini is a picturesque island and a popular tourist destination. What most people may not know is it is actually part of Greece. The island is known for its unique architecture and the iconic Faros lighthouse.
Located 4,000 km (2,500 mi) east of Brazil and 1,950 km (1,210 mi) west of Africa, Saint Helena is a volcanic tropical island that is part of the British Overseas Territory. In 1815, the British government selected the island as the place of detention for Napoleon Bonaparte.
Rated as the best island destination in East and Southeast Asia by the National Geographic Traveler Magazine, Palawan is an island located in the South China Sea. Known for its abundant wildlife and stunning beaches, the island belongs to the Philippines.
Occupying an area of 8,680 sq km (3,350 sq mi), Corsica is one the largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea. Although the island is closer to Italy than to the French mainland, it belongs to France. However, the island enjoys a greater degree of autonomy than other French regions.
One of the smallest islands on the list, Gozo is alleged to be the place where the nymph Calypso imprisoned Odysseus in Homer’s epic poem Odyssey. The island has also been featured in several famous movies and TV programs including Game of Thrones. Politically, Gozo is a part of Malta.
Home to the Natural World Heritage Site, Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes, Jeju Island is the largest island of South Korea. Mild climate and clean environment makes it a popular holiday spot frequented by both South Koreans and foreign tourists.
Bora Bora is a major international tourist destination, famous for its aqua-centric luxury resorts and iconic over-water bungalows. Although it lies in the Pacific Ocean, it belongs to France as it is a part of French Polynesia, an overseas territory of France.
Turks and Caicos
Primarily known for tourism and as an offshore financial centre, The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory consisting of the larger Caicos Islands and smaller Turks Islands, two groups of tropical islands in the Northern Caribbean.
Situated north of mainland Europe, Svalbard lies about midway between continental Norway and the North Pole. Administratively, the archipelago is not part of any Norwegian county, but forms an unincorporated area managed by a governor appointed by the Norwegian government.
Located in the North Atlantic Ocean, Madeira is famous for its breathtaking landscape and as the birthplace of Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the greatest soccer players in history. Although the closest country to Madeira is Morocco, North Africa, it is actually a part of Portugal.