Anyone who dreams of Hawaii thinks of a dream vacation, of sun and sand, of hula and flower chains and of a breathtaking and absolutely unique landscape. And what should we say, that’s exactly how it is. The chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean is home to treasures that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
Hawaii is home to the hula, the island’s traditional indigenous dance that tells stories under the accompaniment of a mele and instruments, and the famous leis known as flower chains. They are an expression of Polynesian and Hawaiian culture and can mean a “welcome” or a “goodbye”, a “love” or a “thank you”.
Geographical location and climate
The island chain of Hawaii, which owes its name to the largest island in the archipelago, lies 3,682 kilometers southwest of the west coast of the USA and forms the northern tip of the Polynesian triangle. It comprises a total of 137 islands or atolls with a total area of 16,625 km², most of which, however, are not or no longer inhabited. Only the eight largest islands are significant, six of which are open to the public. The smallest of the eight main islands, Kahulaui, can only be entered with permission. The same applies to the privately owned Nihau. The Climate in the islands of Hawaii is usually mild and balanced.
Insider tip for individual Hawaii trips
Hawaii is an expensive vacation destination because of the distance. Vacation planners specializing in Hawaii such as the renowned Insider of www.hawaiiurlaub.de help to ensure that the dream vacation becomes this too.
An individual travel plan is usually included free of charge and helps to see all the sights you want, as well as to rely on the right accommodation and the best flight. The actual travel costs are sometimes a little higher than with a trip booked independently, but you save on site with insider tips and simply experience more through the experience of the specialists.
Six islands – endless possibilities
If you are planning a vacation in Hawaii for the first time, you are faced with the question of which island to visit. In fact, there is no wrong answer to this question. Whether a beach vacation on Waikiki Beach on Oahu, dolphin watching on Lanai, the Haleakala on Maui or the volcanoes on “Big Island”, there is so much to discover on the individual islands and each island has its own charm and will make you want more. In most cases, the journey will begin at Honolulu International Airport on Oahu, Hawaii’s largest airport and served by many international airlines. And from there it goes on the adventure… The 1309 square kilometer Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in the southeast of Hawaii is one of the islands’ attractions.
Hawaii – The Big Island
With around 10,433 km², the archipelago is named after the largest island in the United States and in 2016 housed around 200,000 residents who mainly live from tourism, but also from the cultivation of macadamia nuts, coffee, papayas, bananas and other agricultural products. With its volcanoes such as the Mauna Loa, the Mauna Kea and the highly active Kīlauea, the evergreen rainforests, the rainbow falls, volcanic desert landscapes, its orchid gardens and the black sand beaches in the south of the island, it is the epitome of “Power of Nature” and unites ten of the world’s fourteen climate zones in one area. Historic sites such as the birthplace of King Kamehameha I, the first missionary church in Hawaii or Kealakekua Bay, the place where where James Cook was killed by the Hawaiian people. The Ironman Hawaii takes place on the Big Island every year.
Maui – The Valley Island
The island of Maui, which owes its name to the Polynesian demigod Maui, is the second largest and most diverse of the islands with 1883 km². In 2010, 144,444 people lived there. In addition to numerous beautiful sandy beaches and the Haleakala National Park It is primarily the whales on the Lahaina coast that attract millions of tourists to Maui every year. But also the road to Hana with its breathtaking panoramic views, the Haleakala crater or just the shopping and cultural offerings on the island ensure that it is definitely not boring on Maui. There are three airports on Maui, the largest being Kahului.
Oahu – The Gathering Place
Oahu is rightly nicknamed “The Gathering Place”. Nowhere else in Hawaii can you find such a melting pot of cultures from East and West and of values and traditions of the native Hawaiian population. It is the contrast between ancient and modern that makes Oahu so special. According to diseaseslearning, Honolulu is the capital of the state and the third largest island of Hawaii, which makes up a significant portion of the 1,557 km² that the island includes. The tourist center of Oahu is Waikiki, a district of Honolulu, with its famous hotel beach and the Kalakaua promenade, while surfers get their money’s worth especially on the north coast. But also snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, watching sea turtles at Laniakea Beach and of course a visit to Pearl Harbor are activities that are worthwhile on Oahu.
Kauai – The Garden Isle
With an area of 1435 km² and an age of around 6 million years, Kauai is the oldest island in the archipelago and owes its nickname “Garden Island” to its lush vegetation and unique natural beauty. Here you can find emerald green valleys, rugged cliffs, tropical rainforests, rivers and waterfalls. Some parts of Kauai are only accessible by water and air. Despite its breathtaking beauty, Kauai is not a typical tourist destination, especially in Kapaa, Princeville and one of Hawaii’s most beautiful beaches, Poipu. Kayaking or snorkeling, hiking, or just enjoying the view are activities that are available on Kauai, among many others.
Molokai – The Friendly Island
Imagine the Hawaii of the past. Untouched nature, no skyscrapers, no crowds of tourists. This is the fifth largest island in Hawaii, Molokai, where 7,345 people lived in 2010. Molokai is the birthplace of the hula goddess Laka (the birth of the hula is celebrated there every year on the third weekend in May), home to the highest sea cliffs in the world and the longest continuous fringing reef in Hawaii. It’s a place for outdoor activities, but also a place where Hawaii’s past comes alive. Visitors can also expect – in addition to a visit to Kalaupapa National Historical Park – Papohaku Beach, one of the largest white sand beaches in Hawaii.
Lanai – The Pineapple Isle
A place of calm and adventure, Lanai has long been the largest pineapple plantation in the world. It forms a stark contrast to the island of Maui, which is only 14 kilometers away. The smallest inhabited island in Hawaii, Pineapple Island is a popular destination for hikers who will find Hawaiian ruins and treasures such as Keahiakawelo, the Garden of the Gods, on Lanai. Hulopoe Bay on the south coast of the island with its large tidal pools is the best place to swim and a wonderful opportunity to watch spinner dolphins.