A helicopter tour is the best way to see Kauai - it's the oldest of the Hawaiian islands and is famous for providing the location for Jurassic Park. Much of the beautiful Na’apali Coast is otherwise inaccessible!
Will, Original Traveller
Aloha and welcome to Hawaii, the most isolated population centre on Earth, a mere 2,390 miles from the coast of California and some 3,850 miles from Japan. As you can imagine, this is a place that takes a while to reach, but boy is it worth the effort.
Why we think you’ll love it
- The Hawaiian flag still features the union flag in a reminder that Captain James Cook was the first European to set foot here before his ignominious end. We're pleased to say that the locals are friendlier to Brits nowadays.
- The islands are mother nature's playground - there are volcanoes, rainforests, mountains, deserts and sun drenched beaches - all within a few miles of each other.
- The average temperature in Hawaii ranges between 25 - 29 degrees year round. Who doesn't love eternal summer?
- It is completely unlike the other 49 states.
From the gallery
Tailor Made Trips to Hawaii: the Detail
We're seeing a huge increase in interest for all things American, and this extends to the 50th State, way out west in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Despite this remote location, Hawaii is still the easiest part of the South Pacific to reach, and there is plenty of indigenous culture to enjoy alongside the creature comforts that mainland Americans do so well.
A luxury holiday on the islands also dovetails beautifully with either California or the west coast of Canada to provide perfect combinations or an ideal multi-stop honeymoon.
And so to the islands themselves, the remnants of massive volcanoes that burst from the ocean floor millions of years ago, and which are still growing strong. Seven of the eight main islands are inhabited, and because they are so easy to get between, we would highly recommend combining two or more on any trip, because they all have something different to offer.
If we had to choose one island for a luxury Hawaiian holiday (don't do it!), it would most likely be Maui, home to 80 beautiful beaches and beginner friendly surfing conditions; a snorkeller's paradise in the vast submerged Molokini crater; wonderful trekking and riding country and the famously dramatic switchbacks of the Road to Hana. Take the ferry across to neighbouring Lana'i and the trip often also doubles as a whale watching trip.
Lana'i itself goes by the nickname of 'Hawaii's most enticing island', which might explain why billionaire Larry Ellison of Oracle fame splashed a cool $300 million on buying 98% of it. The island's main draws are a wonderfully laid back vibe (the speed limit on the island's traffic light free 30 miles of roads is 30 mph) and the chance to swim with spinner dolphins in beautiful Manele Bay.
Next stop Kauai, the so-called 'Garden Island' that doubled as Jurassic Park in the movie and which is also home to Waimea Canyon. The American obsession with branding everything in sight means that sure enough this too has a strapline - 'the Grand Canyon of the Pacific' but branding or otherwise, Waimea, at 3,000ft deep is mighty impressive.
HONOLULU ON THE ISLAND OF OAHU
The observant among you might have noticed we haven't yet mentioned Honolulu. Well, it's on the island of Oahu and the only proper city in the islands, with a lively nightlife and great (and very American) shopping and also home to Pearl Harbour for history buffs to explore.
Finally, the big one - Hawai'i island itself, which is nearly twice as big as all the other islands combined. This is the place to see searingly hot molten lava and the vividly coloured volcanic sand beaches that show the massive geological forces still at work in the islands. Horses or helicopters are a great way to explore the bizarre lunar landscapes.
As you can see, there's plenty on offer on a luxury holiday in Hawaii and if (like us, if we're completely honest) you have preconceptions of a destination that long since sold its South Pacific soul to Americana, think again.