Whether you want to live the island life with a coconut in hand or head inland on a jeep for some incredible adventures, there are countless spots dotted throughout our oceans which will oblige. Here I’ve rounded up some of the best island vacations you can enjoy, and many of them won’t break the bank, unlike moreluxury island vacations.
I have no shame in admitting I’m an addict for the island life, but as someone who tires quickly of lazy days in the sand, I’m often looking for something a bit different. These unique island escapes each offer something special. Whether it’s a wildlife-based exploration, a fascinating geographical element, or a slice of culture you won’t find elsewhere, here is some inspiration from my past five years of travels.
1. Raja Ampat, Indonesia
In the far east of Indonesia, off the coast of West Papua, a mesmerising mix of micro-climates, marine-rich reefs, dazzling sunsets and local traditions awaits.
Raja Ampat, translated as the four kings, is a collection of Islands making up this archipelago. A remote adventure, during my time here we were limited to a few hours of electricity a day from a clapped out old generator, but the perfect sunsets and reef sharks swimming beneath our feet more than made up for any luke-warm beers we had lugged over from the main port.
2. Rottnest Island, Australia
Off the coast of Perth, in Australias seemingly never-ending stretches of coastline and uninterrupted nature, Rottnest Island is slowly becoming famous world round.
This may be down to its car-free way of living, with bikes being the go to get around, or perhaps the crystal clear waters and tropical vibes. But really, I think the main reasons is the adorable Quokkas that call Rottnest Island home.
A happy Quokka on Rottnest Island
Often referred to as the worlds happiest animals, thanks to their tendency to have a beaming smile and readiness for a selfie. Cycle the island, spot these cute critters, and enjoy some of the freshest seafood in the Pacific. Teamed up with a visit to Perth, one of the most remote cities in the world, and you’ve got yourself a sampler of Western Australia that might have you hooked for more.
The island nation of Mauritius, tucked away off the south-eastern African coast might conjure up ideas of untouched beaches and honeymoon escapes, but there is much more to discover beyond the beaches.
Mauritius was truly one of the most surprising destinations of 2018 for me, I knew the sands would be white, and the lapping waves would be calling, but it was the island adventures that really surprised me.
From crashing waterfalls without a soul in sight to rum distilleries and cocktails for days, there are countless reasons to visit Mauritius. None other than the hospitality and warmth of the locals. To start to get a true sampling of the island life, leave the resort and head to the central market in the capital of Port Louis before venturing off to explore the monkey-ridden hikes, tea plantations and religious temples. A bevvy of new AirBnB options are also making Mauritius a more affordable destination than many would imagine.
4. Isle of Skye, Scotland
While Scotland is home to countless islands, there is more than one reason why the small but stunning Isle of Skye has become so popular.
In fact, it has become so popular that over tourism has started to become a real problem here, so plan your visit to this Scottish isle during the offseason.
The island is linked by ferry or bridge to the mainland, and you’ll find a variety of attractions that are all crowd pleasers. From the incredible views that a hike around Quaraing, a set of towering rocks, to the magical and mystical fairy pools and fairy glen, the island provides ample opportunities to enjoy Scotlands famed nature and landscapes.