Palm trees over white beach on a a Plantation Island, Fiji, South Pacific

Escape London: 8 Secluded Island Getaways For The Ultimate Beach Holiday

With light at the end of the Covid-tunnel, we are looking forward to heading to the sun once again. However, the pandemic has taught us is the importance of privacy and personal space and so crowded beaches, busy hotels and bustling bars and restaurants have lost their appeal to many. If you’re dreaming of an island escape, away from the ruckus, here are six secluded islands destinations to reawaken your wanderlust…

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1 Necker & Moskito Islands, British Virgin Islands
The ultimate escape is to indulge yourself on a private island, far away from mass tourism with a beach to yourself, a cocktail in hand and maybe just a tiny lizard for company. Probably one of the world’s most famous private islands is Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island, a 74 acre retreat in the fabulous British Virgin Islands, Caribbean. Now the Virgin mogul has added Moskito Island to his portfolio.  Just two miles away from Necker, Moskito is on 125 acres and offers ten estates available for rent. Villas are staffed by private chefs and a resident manager creates a personalised itinerary for each guest. Watersports and tennis are available for the energetic and a luxury spa for those craving some post pandemic pampering. It doesn’t come cheap, needless to say – rates start at £12,855 a night. 

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2 Vatuvara, Fiji
Megan and Harry stayed at the out-of-this-world private island Vatuvara in Fiji when they were on their royal tour of the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia. They would have arrived by private jet on the islands air strip and stayed at one of the three luxurious villas here, each with its own private beach and infinity pool. Here you will also be assigned a personal masseuse for the ultimate indulgence. The 800-acre property has a 4 hole golf course and putting green, and scuba diving, snorkelling and kayaking is available. If you do want to leave the island, tours can be arranged to a Fijian village.  All this for around £7,300 a night. 

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3 Eriska, Scotland
Closer to home, the isle of Eriska, near Oban, Scotland is a stunning 300 private acre island with a hotel and spa. Surrounded by clear mountain air and lakes it doesn’t have the beaches of the Caribbean or the Pacific, but for sheer escapism and solitude this is the place. You can feel like the monarch of your own glen as you wander around the island where deer roam and grey seals and otters swim in the surrounding waters.  There is a spa, golf course, croquet lawn, pool and gourmet restaurant. Rates start at £400 a night. 

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Koufansia, Greece 
While the likes of Sir Richard Branson’s private beaches are not within reach for most of us, places do exist that offer an under-the-radar experience with seclusion, lack of tourists, and peace and quiet at a price that won’t break the bank.  And some of these gems are just a budget flight away, hidden in European countries better known for busy mass tourism. One such gem is this overlooked jewel in the Small Cyclades, Greece, which has all you need for a quiet, undisturbed retreat. There are two islands in the group, Ano Koufonissi is inhabited, while Kato Koufonissi is uninhabited, meaning you can have isolation as well as  the opportunity to enjoylong lunches in uncrowded villages, explore quiet walking trails or simply soak up the sun. Koufonisia boasts some of the best beaches in Europe.  And when you’re on the beach you may not see another soul, let alone an A-lister or a Royal. If you want to explore the pristine coastline of Koufonisia, your best bet is to hire a boat. Koufanisa is a two and a half ferry ride from Naxos, but well worth the effort. 

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Levanso, Egadi Islands, Italy  
The Egadi Islands, off the western edge of Sicily, are not an obvious choice for British tourists although much loved by Italians who flock here in high season. Favigagna. Lavanzo and Marratimo are the trio of lovely islands with great weather, delicious food and some of Italy’s finest beaches. Levanso is the smallest and prettiest of the three islands, with white houses arranged around the port and unpolluted, blue sea. On the east, a short walk from the village, there is a small beach with clear and smooth pebbles. On the opposite side, a path leads to the Caletta Del Faraglione, considered one of the twenty most beautiful beaches in Italy for divers. Here you find the remains of a Roman shipwreck, with shards of pottery dating back to the first century BC. 

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Porquerolles, France
Porquerolles, an island in the Mediterranean Sea, is located just off the coast of France, near Hyères from where you catch the ferry. There are three islands in this little group, but Porquerolles is the biggest at seven kilometres wide and three kilometres long. With a wonderful climate and no cars allowed on the island you are assured of a quiet, clean atmosphere for cycling and hiking. You can visit  Fort Sainte Agathe, a fort built in the 14th century and the Cap d’Arme lighthouse. Visit the beaches in the north or the spectacular cliffs in the south and enjoy delicious French cuisine from the handful of excellent bars and restaurants.  

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Dhigurah, Maldives
While the Maldives conjures up images of glorious five-star resorts jutting off into impossibly pristine waters, the Indian Ocean destination also offers up more affordable but equally tranquil holidays with equally glorious views. In fact, the archipelago has several islands you can explore where you can experience local culture, do a bit of surfing, diving or snorkling, and laze in the sun. One such island is Dhigurah, which is just four kilometre long island is only 300 metres wide at its thickest. The palm tree covered tropical oasis is a place to swim with whale sharks or do a spot of snorkelling and diving to see manta-rays, turtles and coral. Dhigurah has a large lagoon as well, which is also a good spot to find a manta-ray or two. The island of Thoddoo is another good destination too, with good connections to the airport.

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La Digue, Seychelles
Another great Indian Ocean pick is the Seychelles, off the west Africa’s coast. An archipelago with a string of more than 100 islands, you don’t need to stray far to find a patch to yourself. The archipelago’s largest island Mahé is also the most popular. The third biggest island, La Digue, is a lot quieter than Mahé, but still easily accessible – it’s a 20 minute ferry ride from Praslin. Almost traffic free, explore the island by bike or on foot and laze away days on the white sandy shores of Anse Source D’Atrgent beach.

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