Difference Between Peninsula and Island

A peninsula (like Rame Head, Cornwall) is a region that is connected to the mainland by a stretch of land or isthmus and is covered by water on most (three) sides. These are also the two main features of a peninsula.


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These are usually located on the seacoast, where land extends from the mainland. Largest Peninsula in the world – the Arabian Peninsula.

One of the most beautiful peninsulas is the Rame Peninsula. It is located in the South-East Cornwall and is surrounded by Plymouth Sound, English Channel, river Lynher and the Hamoaze.

It is also designated as AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). These are based on their importance to the nation.

An Island is an isolated piece of land that is surrounded by water on all sides. It is of two types: Continental and Oceanic, depending on its location.

Greenland is the largest island.

Even Australia (even though considered a continent) is also an island. The most former island is in the Indian Ocean called Madagascar, which came into existence around 80-100 million years back.

This is the time when it got split from the Indian subcontinent. 

Peninsula vs Island

The difference between Peninsula and Island is that one can access a peninsula via land as well, whereas this is not the case for an Island. This is because where a peninsula is covered with water on only three sides, an island is covered with water on all sides and is cut off from the mainland.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonPeninsulaIsland
Water coverageIt is covered by water from only three sides.It is covered by water from all sides.
Mainland connectionIt is connected to the mainland.It is not connected to the mainland.
Geographical areaIt is significant in size.Islands can be both small or huge.
Means of transportationOne can travel to a peninsula using land, water and air means of transport.One can travel to an island via air and sea. There is no means of land transportation.
TypesPeninsula is of seven types: headlands, cape, bill, point, split, fork, and promontory.Islands are of two types: Oceanic and continental.
ExistencePeninsula is usually a singular piece of land, existing independently.Islands are mostly found in groups.

What is Peninsula?

A peninsula is a region connected to the mainland from one side and covered by water on the majority sides. It is usually found on the seacoasts and is formed due to a rise in water level.

This happens when the temperature increases and the land is at low elevation. The temperature causes the water level to increase continuously, resulting in covering the piece of land from three sides.

There are multiple types of the Peninsula, such as headlands, cape, bill, point, split, fork, and promontory. The peninsulas are usually connected to the mainland using isthmus.

It is a strip of land connecting two significant bodies of land. For example, the Isthmus of Suez connects Asia and Africa.

The largest Peninsula, as described earlier, is the Arabian Peninsula. It is followed by the Deccan (Indian) Peninsula, Indochina, and the Horn of Africa.

The Indian Peninsula is in central India to the south. The Indochina peninsula covers several countries such as Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Malaysia. The Horn of Africa is surrounded by the Arabian sea and includes countries such as Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, etc.

Rame Peninsula is also considered in the list of one of the most beautiful peninsulas around the world. It has a lot of serene and beautiful beaches and one of the most jaw-dropping views.

It is sort of isolated as compared to the country. It has a rich culture.

Read more about it on  https://www.cornwalllife.co.uk/out-about/discover-cornwall-s-forgotten-corner-1-5173010 and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forgotten_Corner_of_Cornwall.


What is Island?

An island is a piece of land that is isolated and covered by water bodies on all sides. There is no land connecting it to a more significant area.

These are mostly found in groups and are formed when they split off from the mainland drifting into the sea. It is also called an Isle.

There are two types of Islands: Continental and Oceanic. The continental islands are those that are part of continental masses, whereas the oceanic islands are usually formed because of volcanic eruptions.

An example of a continental island is Australia. Examples of oceanic islands are Saint Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean.

There are also tropical islands that are formed from coral reefs. These include Maldives, Nauru, Tonga, etc.

Humans have also come up with artificial islands that usually built using natural resources. An example of a human-made island is Honshu in the Osaka Bay.


Main Differences Between Peninsula and Island

  1. Peninsula is covered by water from only three sides, whereas an Island is covered by water from all sides.
  2. A Peninsula is connected to the mainland using isthmus, whereas islands are isolated and are not connected to the mainland.
  3. Peninsulas usually cover a significant area geographically and are one piece of land. An island, on the other hand, can be both small and huge. These are usually found in groups.
  4. One can travel to a peninsula using land, air, and water, whereas the land means of transportation is not available to travel to an island since it is not connected to the mainland.
  5. Peninsulas are of various types such as headlands, cape, bill, point, split, fork, and promontory. Island, on the other hand, are only of two kinds: Oceanic and continental.
Difference Between Peninsula and Island


  1. https://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/e77-248
  2. https://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/arctic/article/download/63998/47933
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