13 Best Islands in Johor, Malaysia for a Tropical Giveaway

13 Best Islands in Johor for a Weekend Getaway

We can guarantee you the best views!

Johor is a wonderful state in the south of Malaysia. It touches the north of Singapore, separated only by the Johor-Singapore Causeway. You might know Johor for some of its famous attractions, including Legoland Malaysia, the Desaru Coast, and SEM9, Southeast Asia’s first gaming hotel. But did you know Johor’s also famous for pristine islands and beaches? Don’t believe us? Here are the best islands to visit in Johor for your next weekend getaway! 

top johor islands

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Also read: 14 Top Islands in Malaysia to Visit in 2022 for the Perfect Beach Getaway

1. Rawa Island

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IStarting off our list of best islands in Johor is Rawa Island. On this pristine island, owned by the royal family of Johor, you can go snorkelling, scuba diving, and kayaking in crystal clear waters. 

For the adventurous peeps, you can dabble in hilltop jungle trekking or water sliding as well! But if that’s not your forte, you can play volleyball on the beach, read a book under the shade of a palm tree, and even go swimming. 

On the wooden jetty deck, you can indulge yourself in two of their water slides. While the blue one is short and beginner friendly, the orange one is perfect for daredevils. Either way, you can slide down and splash into the gorgeous waters of the island. 

2. Mensirip Island

top johor islands

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Likewise, Mensirip Island is also another island owned by the Johor sultan. Though the island is not inhabited, it’s a prime location for island hopping in Malaysia, as well as snorkelling and scuba diving. Travellers usually come over to Rawa Island to partake in some of the best outdoor activities in Johor. 

3. Sibu Island

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Compared to Rawa Island, Sibu Island is more laid-back, and it’s perfect if you want a more private getaway. Continue your island hopping adventure at Sibu Island, one of the top destinations in Johor for island staycations. You can go canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, and fishing. To ease those sore muscles after an activity-filled day, go to a spa at your resort. 

4. Tengah Island

For marine animal lovers, Tengah Island is one of the best islands in Johor to visit! Part of the Johor Marine Park, it offers visitors the chance to experience getting up close and personal with various marine life and ecosystems. 

You can go sea turtle-watching and snorkel amidst an enchanting underwater world. As there are various species of flora and fauna, you can spend an entire day exploring the island to your heart’s content. You can even go on a treasure hunt for the most unique plants you’ll ever see! Finally, spend your early mornings indulging in a yoga class on the island. 

5. Dayang Island

Visiting Dayang Island is one of the more underrated things to do in Johor. Its fishing locations and diving spots are what make it attractive for tourists and locals alike, including active divers and sports fishermen. Besides snorkelling, the island is perfect for people watching. 

First-timers can watch fishermen work and soak up the sunsets and sunrises along the coasts. When night falls, you can go stargazing. Stargazing is best done a little after the sun has set and when the skies are clear. You can lie back on the beach and enjoy the stars, while listening to the crashing sounds of the waves. 

6. Tioman Island

top johor islands

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When it comes to island hopping in Malaysia, Tioman Island is arguably one of the most famous locations. It features many outdoor activities you can enjoy. Whether it’s sunbathing at Paya Beach, strolling along the lovely shore in Mukut, or hiking around Asah Waterfall, there’s plenty to keep you occupied at this famous island. 

7. Besar Island

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Besar Island is another one of the best islands in Johor to enjoy some outdoor activities. Just like Tengah Island, the abundant presence of corals and other marine life makes it a popular spot for snorkelling. You can also go kayaking, scuba diving, and windsurfing atPulau Besar Beach. What makes this island so special is their BBQ nights — indulge yourself in grilled meats and seafood, and pair your plate with a drink or two. 

For nature lovers, Besar Island happens to also be one of the best islands in Johor for jungle trekking and hiking. You’ll be guaranteed the best views of the South China Sea. If not, feel the wind whip through your hair by cycling around the island. 

8. Harimau Island

When it comes to things you can do in Johor, visiting uniquely named islands is probably way up there on your list. Harimau literally translates to “tiger” in Malay, and if you see the island from the top, it actually looks like the outline of the giant cat.

Here, you can swim in a natural turquoise pool and wash your stress away. Scuba diving and snorkelling are also great activities here, but we definitely recommend hiking up to the iconic lighthouse for picturesque views. All these make Harimau Island one of the best destinations for island hopping in Malaysia! 

9. Pemanggil Island

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Pemanggil Island is famous for its deep-sea fishing and scuba diving activities. It is also one of the best islands in Johor for an island staycation, thanks to its luxurious resorts that boast incredible views. 

During the day, you can go for a stroll on the beach, breathe in the fresh ocean air, or simply laze about in your comfy room. There are also various fishing spot that fishing enthusiasts can visit to try catching some mackerel and marlins. Most importantly, you can immerse yourself in the local culture in one of the island’s villages or hike around for some alluring views. 

10. Kukup Island

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Kukup Island is an island based in the Pontian District. It’s one of the world’s largest mangrove islands. At Pulau Kukup National Park, they strive to protect both endangered and rare species of mangrove plants and animals that inhabit those areas. You can learn more about and observe these mangroves through a guided tour of the world’s largest mangrove forests. You can also climb the Aery tower for some of the best aerial views of the island. 

This island is also great if you want to go birdwatching or learn more about the local fishing industry. In Century Fishing Village, you can embark on a boat ride to parks and fish farms, and buy fresh seafood from local fishermen. 

11. Aur Island

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On the east side of Mersing lies Aur Island. Despite its small size, many people come here for sweet island vibes and incredible views. With a lot of marine life present around the island, snorkelling and scuba diving activities are definitely must-try activities. You may often see yachts dock near here, and local fishermen consider Aur Island as a stopping point. Treat yourself to a staycation at one of the island resorts, and sit back to enjoy the views!

12. Tinggi Island

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Tinggi Island happens to be another one of the perfect spots for island hopping in Malaysia! It’s not as popular compared to the other ones on this list, so you can benefit from the peace and quiet. Regardless, it’s still a good island if you want to go fishing, jungle trekking, and snorkelling. Otherwise, you can totally chill on the beach and watch the sun go down after a long day.  

13. Seri Buat Island, Mersing

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Last but not least, Seri Buat Island is one of the more secretive islands in Johor. The locals often regard it as one of Malaysia’s hidden gems as there are caves attached to turquoise waters, which are perfect for snorkelling amidst coral reefs. On top of that, you can spend your trip sunbathing or exploring scenic hiking routes. 

For the adventurous traveller, you can even try rock diving amidst lush greenery! However, because of the limited accommodation options on the island, we recommend staying at Tioman Island instead and making your way here by boat. 

Also read: 10 Things to Eat in Johor Bahru as Recommended by Locals

So that’s it, folks! These are all the islands in Johor that are perfect for a tropical getaway. Now it’s up to you to decide when you want to take on the ultimate Malaysian island-hopping adventure and fall in love with the white and blue scenery.


Featured image credit: Kit Kaneria / 500 px via Canva Pro

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Natasha Effendy
Natasha Effendy

Natasha is a wordsmith and digital content creator who's been trying to write her way into the adventure of a lifetime. If she's not writing, you'd definitely catch her nursing her addiction to romance and fantasy novels with a cup of tea.

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