There’s something magical about the combination of sea, sand and sun that appeals to everyone – whether it’s the recollection of happy childhood memories, a romantic getaway with your partner, or just absolute peace and relaxation.
Add all of that to the seclusion and escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life that an island offers, and you have a dream holiday on your hands!
Let’s take a look at some of the world’s best island getaways that you may not have heard of, to inspire you in planning a vacation to remember!
1. Thanda Island – Tanzania
Located within the stunning conservation area of Shungimbili Island Marine Reserve, this luxury private island offers 8 hectares of magnificent tropical privacy. Whether you enjoy your holiday packed full of adventure – like scuba diving and snorkeling, sailing, paddle boarding and kayaking – or prefer to simply stroll along your private beach or unwind with a spa day, this island has it all.
Favorite activities include the opportunity to dive and swim with the mysterious whale shark, cruise around the islands on a luxurious boat complete with cocktail bar, and learning how to scuba dive among the stunning coral reefs of the island ecosystem. No holiday is complete without some good food, and their resident Sous Chef is famous for seafood delights and island delicacies made from local produce such as coconuts, papayas and pineapples!
2. Aitutaki – Cook Islands, South Pacific
Unlike the cast members of Survivor: Cook Islands which was filmed here, you won’t have to worry about your comfort in this idyllic location! In fact, there are a selection of upscale resorts and hotels to choose from, and even a nine-hole golf course!
The isolated location makes it a kind of oasis for marine life, and as a result, species like rays, bonefish and turtles are found in abundance in the crystal turquoise waters. Guided bird tours are a favorite among nature lovers, and the explorers at heart will love the opportunity to take part in the Rima Rau Burial Cave Tour, which explores the purported final resting place of 1,000 Atiu warriors from centuries ago!
3. Rawa Island – Malaysia
As the only way to access this island is via ferry (1 hour) or speed boat (30 minutes), it’s the perfect option for travelers who want to get away from the crowds and experience real seclusion! With its beautifully soft white sand, it’s an ideal escape for honeymooners or as the perfect romantic getaway.
Diving and snorkeling opportunities here are incredible, and as the island falls under the Sultan Iskandar Marine Park, every care is taken to preserve the natural habitat for generations to come. Various accommodation options are offered to suit single travelers, couples, and group or family travelers.
4. The Maldives
If the Maldives have not been on your travel radar until now, they really should be.
Comprised of over 1,000 separate islands grouped into 26 larger atolls, the Maldives have a well-deserved reputation as being a diver’s paradise! The warm waters of the Indian ocean stay perfect for swimming all year round in a range between 22 and 28 degrees Celsius. With so many separate islands, there are hundreds of resorts to choose from, meaning that a holiday here is open both to travelers on a budget as well as those in search of ultimate luxury!
Most resorts will offer boat rides out to nearby fishing islands or to the capital, Male, although most have all the facilities you will need on the island where you choose to stay for the duration of your visit. As if the sun-drenched beaches weren’t enough, there are plenty of more adventurous activities on offer, such as kayaking and wind surfing – although no-one’s going to blame you if you’d rather laze by the ocean all day!
5. Bequia – the Grenadines, Barbados, Caribbean
Bequia is one of the 32 islands west of Barbados that makes up the Grenadines, and it’s definitely a good choice if you’re looking for an option that isn’t on the mainstream tourist map! At only 7 square miles in size there aren’t a huge variety of hotels or lodges to choose from, but as you’re likely to spend your days diving, fishing, or strolling through the charming streets, this isn’t much of a drawback!
There are a wonderful variety of restaurants and beach bars on offer, all within picture perfect island settings. Because there is a resident population of about 5,000 people, there’s a kind of communal feel to the place which can be lacking in the more tourist-centric islands.