For some, travel copywriting means talking about azure seas and paradisaical beaches but in reality, all everybody really wants is to read about the next must-visit destination before the rest of the world cottons on.
It’s all about visually-pleasing places that are not only pretty enough to cause serious envy on social media, but also revitalise you, mind and body, in just one visit. It’s about destinations that still feel relatively untouched by mass tourism and have yet to lose their local charm and colour.
Read on to discover five islands that are as unique as they are unmissable – before everybody else books a trip there, too.
Koh Yao Yai
A Thai hidden gem, developments are not progressing at a fast pace here, so you can enjoy a tranquil and idyllic beach holiday while still being within easy reach of both Phuket and Krabi. There are no banking facilities on Koh Yao Yai, so take cash with you and be sure to try some of the freshest seafood you’re likely to find anywhere in the world. This is the perfect island for unapologetic self-indulgence, as the local spas are fantastic.
Generally, the Greek Islands are not short of tourists, but Ikaria has managed to remain a relatively well-kept secret despite being utterly unforgettable. Gorgeous beaches, great surfing and a culture built on merriment make this a relaxed but fun island to visit. You’ll find the evenings filled with live music, food that’s too good to share, and delicious drinks crafted from hundreds of years of heritage – all without bothersome crowds to steal the focus.
A pretty little Croatian island, Solta offers a surprising number of interesting things to see and do, but you won’t find yourself tripping over too many fellow tourists here. Found in the Adriatic Sea and part of the Dalmatian archipelago, it boasts pebbled beaches, clear waters for swimming and snorkelling, and plenty of scenic cycling routes, too. For a little education with your holiday, try one of the local wine-, honey- or oil-making classes, hosted by one of the local farming families.
If your tastes run to something more earthy, a trip to the Outer Hebrides island of St Kilda could be perfect for you. Offering nothing in the way of hotels, you’ll have to camp at the short-stay site on neighbouring Hirta, but for nature lovers, the lack of luxury is worth it. Home to a large colony of puffins, as well native sheep and other fascinating breeds, this dual World Heritage Site is as beautiful as it is intriguing.
Ile de Porquerolles
This tiny French island is bristling with things to do, despite being less than five square miles in stature. Pretty cliff-edged coastlines, lovely beaches and an intimate atmosphere combine to make for a quiet and elegant destination that has been a well-kept French secret for many years. Don’t miss your chance to try some tapas at Le Pelagos, and prepare for lots of walking, as visitors cannot bring cars with them. To indulge in good food and a simpler way of life, Ile de Porquerolles is the place to visit.
Whether you’re a keen nature lover, a budding vintner or simply someone who yearns to stretch out on an undiscovered beach for the duration of your holiday, you’ll find your perfect secret island in this list. Just make sure that you visit before everybody else finds out.