Soft, warm, golden sands, the turquoise waves lapping against the shore, and crisp palm leaves swaying in the gentle breeze. When we think of islands, we think of paradise. Have you ever wondered which countries have the highest number of islands, and therefore the greatest taste of paradise? We list five of the top contenders here.
If there was a prize for “most islands,” Sweden would win it hands down. With roughly 221,800 islands surrounding the mainland, this Nordic country is home to more islands than any other country. The Stockholm Archipelago is its largest and most visited collection of islands, containing over 30,000 idyllic holms.
Following not far behind Sweden is fellow Nordic country Finland, which has around 188,000 estimated islands. Surprisingly, most of these islands are inhabited, and you can access them via roads connecting them to the mainland! Finland’s islands are known for being “pretty” and have scenic views along with many historical UNESCO monuments.
While slightly lower on the list of countries that have the highest number of islands, Croatia also has a staggering number of them. Commonly referred to as the “Land of a Thousand Islands,” it’s home to over 718 islands, 389 islets, and 78 reefs. Because many of its biggest and most populous islands are located close to one another, Croatia is a popular destination for the vacation pastime of island hopping.
Canada is another country with more islands than anyone knows what to do with. In total, America’s northern neighbor boasts 52,455 islands, most of them located to the North by Greenland, in an area called the “High Arctic.” Many of the Canadian islands in the High Arctic are sacred lands inhabited by the Inuit peoples, but others, like Fogo island, have been renovated into luxury resorts.
Japan is an island country; it’s literally made up of a string of islands. It has nearly 7,000 total, most of them small and uninhabited, but the main four—Kyushu, Shikoku, Honshu, and Hokkaido—house the vast majority of the country’s population.