And what better way to unwind than to cut off from the rest of the world on a tiny island? Idyllic, charming and most of all secluded, a little dose of island life can do wonders for your wellbeing... Here are some of our favourite island hideaways.
Regularly voted amongst the most beautiful islands in the world, Bali is the archetypal island paradise. It should be obvious why – the beaches are stunning, but the island is also big enough to offer more than just secluded sun-bathing. You might not escape civilisation altogether during a trip to Bali, but there are a thousand other reasons why it’s an essential island destination.
One of the many collections of island gems in the South Pacific, the Cook Islands are comprised of 15 small island paradises. They’ve been called the “best kept secret of the South Pacific”, the Cooks are largely unspoilt by tourism, leaving plenty of natural wonders to discover.
Curacao, Netherlands Antilles
The Netherlands Antilles combine the curious charm of Caribbean tropical paradise with Dutch architecture. Somehow it works, and Curacao is a stunning example. As an alternative Caribbean destination, this island is hard to beat for a laid-back, relaxed, sun-kissed break.
Manafaru in the Maldives is the very definition of island paradise. A tiny dot in the Indian Ocean, the island is only just large enough to house the collection of beach huts which comprise the exclusive Waldorf Astoria “Beach House” resort. There is literally nothing to do here except lie back and enjoy the luxury.
Daydream Island, Australia
Australia has many wonderful islands and thousands of miles of stunning coastline, so it’s hard to pick one definitive island paradise from this part of the world. But Daydream Island, so close to the mainland and only 1km long, definitely stands out as just a bit special for an Australian holiday with a difference.
Boracay Island has recently been voted as the world’s best island by readers of Travel+Leisure magazine. It certainly ticks all the right boxes – pure white sands, crystal clear waters, quiet, secluded and incredibly beautiful. This tiny island is sure to grow in stature as a holiday destination in light of its recent accolade.
Koh Phi-Phi, Thailand
This collection of Thai islands is famously the setting of the Leonardo Di Caprio movie The Beach. As such, it is notoriously busy, with tourists eager to catch a glimpse of that iconic azure lagoon. If you can bear the crowds, it truly is a spectacular sight. Koh Phi-Phi certainly deserves its place as one of the world’s favourite island paradises. And just in case you don’t quite have the wallet for these, here’s a quick glimpse of three island paradises a little closer to home:
Sark, Channel Islands
Sark is a beautiful island in the English Channel, not far from the coast of Normandy. Only around 600 people live on the island, which is split into two parts - Greater Sark and Little Sark - with Little Sark being connected to the main part of the island by only a narrow isthmus and walkway.
Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides, Scotland
Although not technically an island, Harris forms part of Lewis and Harris - the largest island in the Outer Hebrides. The southern end of Harris boasts a number of pristine white sandy beaches, while the northern end is more rugged and mountainous.
Tresco, Isles of Scilly
Tresco is the second biggest island of the isles of Scilly off the coast of Cornwall. The tiny island is only accessible by boat or helicopter, and is also a car-free environment.
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