Island Destinations · Travel · Travel Writing

Island Dreaming: 15 Best Lesser-known Island Getaways

1. Zakynthos – Greece

Zakynthos may not be as well-known as its sister islands of Mykonos and Santorini but it is definitely the island to have on your bucket list. Zakynthos makes for the perfect island getaway as it attracts less tourists than the other Greek islands while at the same time offering picture perfect, white washed beaches including the famous Navagio beach cove framed by high cliffs.


2. Fakarava – French Polynesia

French Polynesia is not short of stunning islands with the likes of Bora Bora, Tahiti and Moorea but one such island that is usually overshadowed by those popular islands is the island of Fakarava. Fakarava is an island paradise enclosed by colourful coral reefs and cerulean blue lagoon waters. It forms part of a UNESCO nature reserve which is rich in fauna and flora and offers pink-sand beaches and picturesque diving sites to see hammerhead and tiger sharks.

Fakarava by Stf&Claire
From Flickr: Stf&Claire

3. Kauai – Hawaii

Kauai, forming part of the Hawaiian archipelago, is nicknamed the “Garden Isle” thanks to the beautiful tropical rainforests that stretches over most of its landscape. Being the less popular and more remote island that offers everything from amazing mountain landscapes to get your hiking fix along the Nounou Trails to pristine beaches such as Tunnels Beach that offer you the opportunity to get your tan on, Kauai has it all. Not to mention the most breathtaking waterfalls found in the whole world.

From Flickr: Silvana Rees

4. Fiji

A country and an island found in the South Pacific Ocean, is an archipelago that encompasses more than 300 islands which is famed for its palm-fringed beaches, stunning coral reefs and rugged landscapes. The major island of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu make for a great island getaway with British historic influences but the more remote and private islands of Turtle Island and Yassawa Island group will have you feeling like the only person on the island.

From Flickr: 1Nine8Four

5. St. Lucia

St. Lucia is a breathtaking island nation with a down-to-earth kind of charisma, found within the Eastern Caribbean. St. Lucia is really two islands put into one, with Rodney Bay in the North and Soufrière in the South. The stunning Jade Mountain Resort offers unrivaled ocean views and one of the best private beaches in the whole of St. Lucia. Awe-inspiring waterfalls, active volcanoes and frequent ‘sunshowers’ are but a few things that make St. Lucia the stunning island destination it is.

From Flickr: John Dalkin

6. Anguilla

The British Overseas Territory island of Anguilla, located in the Eastern Caribbean encompasses a small main island and several offshore islets. Anguilla is most known for its stunning beach landscapes and beaches such as Rendezvous Bay which overlooks neighbouring Saint Martin island but Anguilla also has incredible protected areas abounding in history that include Big Spring Cove, known for its prehistoric petroglyphs. Cove Bay, located on the South Western side of Anguilla would have to be the best beach for the ones that want a relaxing, more private beach experience – an untouched gem with stunning sunsets included.

From Flickr: Darius

7. Surin Islands, Thailand

If it’s an island that includes one of the best dive spots in the world, Richelieu Rock, then the Surin Islands in the ideal island getaway for you. The Surin archipelago forms five islands on the Andaman Sea Coast, massive rock formations rise straight up from the sea reminiscent of the James Bond classic ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ (which was filmed on Phang Nga bay just 70 km away from the Surin Islands). With the island being  a national park, unspoiled forests and exotic beaches is what you will find on this untouched island retreat.

From Flickr: Singha Live

8. Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Cayman Brac can be positioned as the quietest island in the Caribbean, situated just south of Cuba Cayman Brac boasts idyllic hiking trails, hidden caves and calming beach landscapes but the best thing about the island has to be its small amount of tourists that the island attracts. The island is home to more than 200 bird species making it a bird lover’s dream paradise.

From Flickr: Matt Pettengill

9. Anegada, British Virgin Islands

Anegada, found in the British Virgin Islands chain, is the only coral island found in the Virgin Island’s volcanic chain and is filled with hidden beaches and exotic wildlife such as the rare rock iguana which you can see along the nature trail at Bones Bight. The island also boasts brilliant fishing areas and scenic snorkeling and diving spots such as Horseshoe Reef and Wreck Alley where ancient shipwrecks are waiting to be explored.

Flickr: Fergus Sullivan

10. Culebra, Puerto Rico

Culebra is best described as a no-frills, spellbinding island which includes calming sandy beaches, aquamarine coloured water and a wonderful chilled vibe. The Flamenco Beach, ranked third best beach by TripAdvisor, is a remote beach that has some of the clearest waters in the world. As with most islands, scuba diving and snorkelling are at the top of to-do lists but on this island merely lying on the vacant beach makes for the perfect, relaxed day.

From Flickr: Jon Goikouria Larrabeiti
  1. Nevis, West Indies

One of the most charming, hidden gems has to be the island of Nevis. Located in the northern part of the West Indies, Nevis is the perfect spot for adventure seekers and sun-seekers alike. Diving at the dive site Booby High Shoals offers you the exciting opportunity to dive with stingrays and turtles while the pristine beaches give you that perfect places for some R&R. Nevis also has an interesting history including its claim to fame of being the birthplace of one of the Four Founding Fathers of America – Alexander Hamilton.

From Flickr: Rich R
  1. Quilalea, Mozambique

Mozambique is definitely one of the most picturesque destinations on the African continent, with its white sandy beaches and untouched mangroves – Mozambique should have a place on your bucket list! One thing even better than visiting Mozambique has to be visiting the private island of Quilalea, located just 35 minutes flight time off Pemba in the northern part of Mozambique. Quilalea only has nine handcrafted villas, making it one of the most secluded beach paradises in the world. Scuba dive and snorkelling sites can be found just outside of your villa in water temperatures ranging from 24 to 28 degrees celsius. There is something for everyone on this charming island, one of them being the feeling of being on your own private island.

From Flickr: Mikey Nguyen
  1. Andros, Bahamas

Andros is the largest of the 26 inhabited Bahamian Islands, although it is the biggest it is also the most sparsely populated island – making it the most private. Andros is most known for its quaint villages, secret beaches and laid-back lifestyle that offers tourists the perfect island vacation filled with relaxation and adventure.It has kilometres of deserted beaches along with freshwater lagoons that gives way to exotic flora and fauna. Andros not only has pristine beaches but the third-largest fringing barrier reef and their very own fascinating blue holes.

From Flickr: Aaron Gilson
  1. Utila, Honduras

Utila, found in the south end of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System is the smallest of the Honduras’ major Bay Islands but what it lacks in size it makes up for in what it has to offer discerning travellers. Having earned its reputation as one of the best dive sites in the world, this small island offers some big attractions as the opportunity to see the magnificent gentle giants – Whale Sharks. The Water Cay, a tiny uninhabited island with absolutely no buildings or roads is the perfect place to put your feet up, with a good book and relax.

From Flickr: Stokes rx
  1. Marettimo, Italy

Marettimo is found just west of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea and makes up a part of the Egadi Islands. It has the reputation of being the most wild and least developed of the Egadi Islands with only having one road on the entire island. You can expect whitewashed houses, green topped mountain peaks, dramatic coastal lookout points and secluded beaches.

From Flickr: Igb27

Well now that I am absolutely itching to get on the next flight out to one of these incredible, remote islands I really need to start planning my next island adventure.

I hope this post has given you all the inspiration for your next island getaway, if you have any other lesser-known islands let us know in the comments!






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