From the mysterious statues of Easter Island to the giant tortoises of the Galapagos, and the dragons of Komodo to the whale sharks of the Bay Islands, sometimes the most glistening travel treasures are hidden away from the mainland. These are just a few of our favourite island escapes...
Easter Island, Chile
Believed to be the most remote inhabited island in the world, Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, lies way out in the Pacific Ocean. Its iconic statues were built by the early Rapanui people and are the big stars of the island, with no less than 887 calling it home. Stay and the wonderful explora Rapa Nui, which gazes out over the vast expanse of ocean, and be sure to head to one of the white sand beaches for the most remote swim you’re ever likely to have!
The Galapagos Islands, EcuadorThe Galapagos Islands are a Mecca for wildlife-lovers. Snorkel with penguins and sea lions, get up close and personal with giant tortoises and marine iguanas and spot whales and dolphins in the surrounding waters. There are plenty of excellent Galapagos cruises, from the large and spacious MV Santa Cruz to the intimate MV Grace and the family-friendly Eclipse, and each offers a variety of itineraries for varying lengths of time.
Halong bay, Vietnam
In Vietnam’s beautiful Halong Bay, thousands of uninhabited forested limestone islands rise magnificently from serene turquoise waters, each hiding beaches, caverns and lush green forests. Gently drift between the islands aboard a charming traditional junk, such as the Halong Violet or Halong Jasmine, before watching the sun set from the main deck and staying a memorable night on board.
Bay Islands, Honduras
With their palm tree-lined white sand beaches and crystalline waters, the charming Bay Islands are the perfect Caribbean getaway. Here, guests can come to face with sea turtles, dolphins, manta rays and even the enormous whale shark, as well as exploring the second largest reef in the world. After dark, the creatures of the night begin to show their faces and you can get acquainted with the most weird and wonderful of the bunch on a night dive.
Zanzibar’s capital, Stone Town, is a maze of cobbled alleyways winding their way past crumbling colonial buildings and quirky hidden shops. A fascinating diversity of African cultures now live on the island, and it’s a wonderfully bustling place in which to wind away a few days. Kick back on relax on its serene beaches, explore its coral reefs or pay a visit to the islets of Mnemba and Chumbe.
Famous for its ‘dragons’, Komodo is one of the most intriguing islands of the Indonesian archipelago. The super-size beasts, named after the island, are the largest lizards on earth, sometimes reaching lengths of 10 ft. Elsewhere in the archipelago, kick back and relax on the white sand beaches of Maluku and meet the orang-utans and proboscis monkeys in the mountains of Kalimantan.
Sveti Stefan, Montenegro
The tiny island of Sveti Stefan lies off Montenegro’s beautiful coastline, linked to the mainland by a sand strait. Now a luxurious Aman resort, it’s a perfect escape for those looking to enjoy a European island getaway away from the crowds. Wander the narrow streets, lined with ancient towers and quaint boutiques, and simply enjoy the stunning views across the Adriatic.
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