Looking for a romantic spot, isolation or just a new place for your mother-in-law? I hear you! I’m not sure about you, but when I hear secret island I think adventure, survival and quiet. Here’s a list of 9 islands picked from across the globe you could opt out for. The question is: have you got what it takes?
1. Torres Strait Islands, Australia
The Torres Strait Islands are located north from the tip of Cape York, and preserve a unique tribal culture that bridges the divide between Aboriginal Australia and Papua New Guinea. The Great Barrier Reef is close by, just in case you get bored.
2. Yaeyama Islands, Japan
The idyllic Yaeyama Islands can be found at the very southern tip of the Japanese archipelago. The islands of Iriomote, Taketomi and Ishigaki will definitely impress anyone, with beautiful beaches, traditional Ryukyuan houses and hot springs available for your enjoyment.
3. Îles du Salut, French Guiana
Devil’s Island is the smallest of the three Îles du Salut, and is actually an infamous former penal colony. Steve McQueen tried to escape the islands repeatedly in Papillon, but most modern visitors are willing castaways.
4. Ulleungdo, South Korea
Ulleungdo is located midway between South Korea and Japan. This rugged volcanic island has no pollution, no thieves and no snakes; the best news is tht ferries run daily from the mainland to the tiny port at Dodong-ri. So, survival is but a mere boat ride away.
5. San Blás Archipelago, Panama
Panama is famous for its coral cays; the San Blás Archipelago is a crescent of 365 tiny islands basking in the warm waters of the southern Caribbean. Beauty, piece and quiet, as well as a dinner consisting of whatever the fishermen bring home in their canoes each evening.
6. Penghu Islands, Taiwan
The Penghu islands are administered from Taipei; these 90 islands of the Penghu archipelago are famous for their glorious scenery and ‘touching nostalgia’. Ox-carts, fish-traps, stone-walled fields, basalt cliffs and ancient temples dedicated to the sea goddess Matsu: all there for you to savor.
7. Bay Islands & Hog Islands, Honduras
The sand-dusted islands that float off the coast of Honduras are stunning. The islands of Roatán, Utila and Guanaja were once home to 5000 cutthroats, brigands and buccaneers, including the infamous Henry Morgan, or Blackbeard. Nowadays, the Bay Islands are famous for their beaches, diving and laid-back tropical vibe. Enjoy!
8. Con Dao Islands, Vietnam
The Con Dao islands were home to the most notorious penal colony in Indochina, but is now preserved as Con Dao National Par. These 16 islands are a natural wonderland of dense jungles, jade-coloured waters and white-sand beaches, as well as dugongs, dolphins, turtles and spectacular coral reefs.
9. Ssese Islands, Uganda
The Ssese Islands feature golden beaches, whispering palm trees, exotic flora and fauna. I guess the fact that it’s all in the middle of Africa’s largest lake doesn’t hurt. A handful of resorts and beach camps grace the sands of Buggala, Bukasa and Banda; that’s always good news.