Islands have for long lured the travelers searching for a place to relax; unwind and recuperate. They are generally major tourist attractions and are thronged by people in their “on season” periods. To avoid the large crowds and have a laid-back vacation, consider visiting the islands in the off seasons. With their long; beautiful, sun kissed beaches; distinct cuisines and unique aura each of these exotic islands has something extraordinary to offer.
The clear turquoise water gently licks the unspoiled white sand beaches while one soaks in the tropical sun. The breeze toys with your hair and caresses your cheeks before hurrying away over the tops of the slender palm trees. Sounds like paradise doesn’t it? Anguilla Island is that and a lot more! A mini paradise located in the Caribbean it promises to blend lively music, beach and water sports, delicious local flavors and warm hospitality to give you a once in a lifetime experience. This island nation just a few miles north of the Saint Martin can be approached by boat or from air. Noted for its tranquility and the laid back lifestyle of the locals, it could be the perfect get away from your hectic life.
Island of Funen
Also known as Denmark’s garden island it is a splendid holiday destination. Dotted with gently sloping hills, orchards, fields and pastures it is no wonder it is called the garden island. Only a short drive from Copenhagen it houses many cities including Odense the birth place of Hans Christian Anderson renowned for his fairy tales. The main tourist attractions include St.Canute’s Cathedral and the Egeskov Castle, one of Europe’s best preserved moat castles. Anyone looking for peace and quiet can give this island a visit.
Lord Howe Island
This tiny crescent shaped island is situated between Australia and New Zealand in the Tasman Sea. Endowed with an abundance of flora and fauna, it can be a nature enthusiast’s delight. Tourists can amuse themselves with a number of activities which include snorkeling, surfing, kayaking, scuba diving, boating, golf, and tennis among many more. Hand-feeding the king-fish and wrasse at Ned’s Beach is an experience very popular among tourists. With bike rides, treks and recreational climbing it can prove to be the idyllic place for the adventurous.
This picturesque island floats serenely in the middle of Lake Bled in northwestern Slovenia. A popular tourist destination its main attraction is the church situated on the island. The church houses a bell tower whose spire peeps over the tree tops and can be spied from anyplace on the lake. The lake surrounding the island also boasts of very good conditions for rowing and even hosted the World Rowing Championships more than once. Quaint with old-world traditions it has managed to charm tourists for generations.
Situated in the Western division of Fiji it consists of six main islands and number of other islets. It was described by an U.S. commander as ‘a string of blue beads lying along the horizon’ such is its beauty to eyes of the beholder. Among the less commercialized islands in the world it is preferred by backpackers and those seeking tranquility. They can only be accessed by a daily catamaran service from the main island of Viti Levu making them very remote and appealing to someone hoping to flee sites thronging with tourists.
This South Pacific beauty is tucked midway between California and Australia. This island whose name literally translates to Yellow Lizard is just a few minutes by plane from Tahiti. An incredible spot for honeymooners it boasts incredible scenery, and super conditions for a number of water sports including snorkeling, scuba diving and for the non-swimmers there is always the option of a glass bottomed boat to come face to face with the wildlife among the corals. There are a number of hotels offering warm hospitality and an experience you won’t forget for life.
Situated in British Columbia, Canada it was named after the British navy officer George Vancouver who discovered it. The island hosts a number of sports including fishing, whale watching, hiking, scuba diving, surfing and skiing to attract tourists. The island houses many art colleges, galleries, art schools where an art community thrives. The mild weather combined with Victorian architecture and good hospitality makes it a popular holiday destination.
This tiny, pearl shaped island located in the Indian Ocean has managed to find its way into people’s bucket lists just by word of mouth; so it only makes sense if it is included in this list. This island is pristine beaches, clear, unspoiled waters, exotic panorama and picturesque villages gift wrapped in blue. Popularly featured in wedding magazines it is a favorite among newly-weds. The ruins on this island will take you back in time to the first landings of the Dutch on the island, hinting at its rich history. And if you happen to be on the island from May through November don’t forget to catch Thoroughbred racing the popular sport on the island.
Skopelos is one of several Greek islands. It gained fame after the success of the Meryl Streep movie Mamma Mia which was shot here. Blessed with a wide range of flowers, shrubs and trees and equally wide range of fauna it is easily one of the greenest islands on the Aegean Sea. Characterized with everything Greek from the traditional narrow streets, pristine beaches to the flavor-packed local cuisines this island is bound to take your breath away.
This list wouldn’t be complete if it did not include at least one of the Hawaiian Islands and Big Island being considered the jewel of the archipelago has made this list. This island is a natural wonder with its multi-hued beaches, lush rain-forests and active volcanoes; it can prove to be very exciting. The island is dotted with many aquarium blue waterfalls most popular being the Akaka Falls, Umauma Falls among many others. Also to be visited are Hulihe’e Palace, numerous botanical gardens and parks and museums.
If you are an environment aficionado then a visit to Galapagos is a must. Discovered by Charles Darwin during the voyage of the Beagle this island is a microcosm of a variety of endemic species. Every amateur naturalist would love to follow in Darwin’s footsteps to witness firsthand this treasure trove of intriguing creatures which includes the giant Galapagos tortoises known to live up to 200 years, the iguanas, flightless cormorant, Darwin’s famed finches, Galapagos penguins, and fur seals among many others. Guided walks and tours are provided for tourists to only a limited number of land and water sites on the island with prior permission.
A province of Indonesia, this island has been sought by tourists from all over the world for its spectacular beaches and stately mountains combined with a touch of the mystery of the East. The Balinese cuisine, rice served with spicy vegetables, fish and meat, and sambal or chilli paste, will entice your palates. If you ever have a few days off and are wondering where to go -pack your bags and head to these islands and experience paradise. Spend time with Mother Nature and experience her wonders.