Everyone enjoys an island holiday, soaking in the rays on white-sandy beaches with fresh seafood, but these holidays are so popular that you often have to battle enormous crowds of tourists. If you look hard enough, though, there are still some amazing island getaways, that are not on the popular radar. Here are some of the best.
Hawaii is a hugely popular destination for those seeking an island getaway. However, if you steer clear of the two most popular islands (Oahu and Maui), you can still have just as much fun, in a more relaxed atmosphere. Molokai is situated in between Oahu and Maui, but unlike those islands, you won’t find a single major resort, just regular-sized luxury hotels. There are 170km of pristine coastline to share with the island’s other smart travellers and some amazing sea cliffs to explore.
Koh Kood, Thailand
Just one hour’s flight from Bangkok, Koh Kood is one of Thailand’s last unspoiled islands, with no big chain hotels in sight. While Phuket and Koh Samui are the hot spots in Thailand, Koh Kood remains largely undeveloped. That leaves the island feeling tranquil and serene, which is exactly what you want on your holiday.
Gili Trawangan, Indonesia
For many Australians, Bali has become one of those destinations best avoided, due to its tourism explosion. This tiny island situated near Lombok is the perfect solution, not too far from our shores. There is no motorised traffic at all on the island, with people either getting around on bikes, or walking to the friendly waterside cafes. The island is perfect for fishing or diving or you can just sit back and relax.
If you think the Mediterranean is all about the Greek Islands, think again. The small island of Gozo offers a fascinating history lesson with crumbling castles and fortresses inland and some beautiful beaches, giving you the best of both worlds. Because the island isn’t a tourist mecca the prices are also a lot friendlier than staying on a Greek Island.
Great Barrier Island, New Zealand
Just a short hop across the Tasman, sits a 270sq km island that is one of the largest off the Kiwi coast. You can hike through the largely untouched woods or explore the jagged inlets in relative peace and quiet. Best of all you usually win on the currency exchange as well.
Popular with divers, Mabul has some of the most wonderful sea life available for viewing, but largely remains a well-kept secret. Situated on Malaysia’s north-east coast, it is the perfect place to see native sea moths, bobtail squids and the elusive paintpot cuttlefish.