Updated: 07/01/2011 12:47 | By MSN Travel contributors
In pictures: the world's 50 most beautiful things

Most beautiful island

Stilt bungalows over the still waters of Bora Bora Lagoon (© Jean Bernard Carillet/Lonely Planet)
  • Michaelangelo's David, an icon of sculptured perfection (© Fabrizio Giovannozzi/AP/PA)
  • Stilt bungalows over the still waters of Bora Bora Lagoon (© Jean Bernard Carillet/Lonely Planet)
  • The Regent diamond, famed for the purity of its cut, colour and clarity (© R.M.N.)
  • Alpamayo's graceful peak bathed in sunlight (© Grant Dixon/Lonely Planet)
  • Gustav Klimt's portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (© Neue Galerie, New York)
  • The rare quetzals are famed for their vivid feathers and tails (© Christer Fredrickson/Lonely Planet)
  • The divine Winged Victory stands in the Louvre (© Lonny Kalfus/Getty)
  • Neuschwanstein Castle, Disney's inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty castle (© Christof Stache/Lonely Planet)
Jean Bernard Carillet/Lonely PlanetShow Thumbnails
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The American writer James Michener is one of countless visitors to call Bora Bora in French Polynesia the most beautiful island on Earth. It is even the inspiration for the island paradise in the musical South Pacific, based on Michener's book. A favourite haunt of celebs to this day, Bora Bora is found in the Leeward group of the Society Islands. A lagoon and a barrier reef surround it, and an extinct volcano rises in its centre.

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