Little-known Dream Islands
Anegada is the northernmost of the British Virgin Islands, a group of islands which form part of the archipelago of the Virgin Islands and even is a small airport and ferry service makes getting here fairly easy, Anegada still feels a world away.
Anegada is the second largest of the British Virgin Islands, covering an area of about 15 square miles (38 square kilometers); it lies approximately 15 miles (24 km) north of Virgin Gorda, being the most sparsely populated of the main islands. The other islands are mountainous and have a volcanic origin, but Anegada is flat and low, being the only inhabited British Virgin Island formed from coral and limestone, the population of roughly 200 living in the main town known as the Settlement.
It is surrounded by the largest coral barrier reef in the Caribbean and its highest point is only about 28 feet (8.5 m) above sea level, earning the name which means “the drowned land”, with a deserted north shore of white-sand beaches, in the west end you can find large salt ponds and exotic birds while the southern part is home to a huge population of bonefish. You can spend several nights here at one of the island’s few hotels and quaint guesthouse inns.
Fakarava, also known as Havaiki-te-araro, Havai’i or Farea is the second largest of the Tuamotu atolls in French Polynesia, having a rough rectangular shape and a length of 60 km and a width of 21 km, and a wide and deep lagoon with a surface of 1,112 km² and two passes. The nearest land lies 14 km to the northwest, being Toau Atoll, while the main pass to enter the lagoon is known as Passe Garuae, being the largest pass in French Polynesia and located in its north-eastern end, and the southern pass is called Tumakohua.
This island is often overshadowed in popularity by neighbors Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Moorea, yet, it is part of a UNESCO nature reserve and rich in natural fauna, offering to its visitors some incredible sights of pink-sand beaches, blue lagoon waters and a coral reef with rare aquatic life forms that includes loach, hammerhead, meru, barracuda, tiger sharks and much more. The main village of Fakarava is called Rotoava, home to 701 inhabitants; the island has to offer many attractions like the pearl farms, where rare black pearls are shelled; scuba diving; and the ancient village of Tetamanu, where you’ll find a Catholic church made of coral that dates back to 1874.
Cat Ba is an island of approximately 140 km2 in Ha Long Bay, Northern Vietnam, home to the remarkable Trung Trang Cave, cascading waterfalls, plummeting cliffs, and awe-inspiring National Park which was recognized by UNESCO in December 2004 as a Biosphere reserve of the world. Cat Ba is the largest island in the Bay and is commonly used as an overnight hotel stop on tours to Ha Long Bay run by travel agents from Hanoi, where you can opt for accommodations that range from sparse and basic affairs to full-fledged four-star resorts.
Half of the island’s area is covered by the National Park, home to the highly endangered Cat Ba Langur or golden-headed langur, the park also covering both land and marine areas so the best way to explore its surroundings is via motorbike; you can reach this island via an hour-long ferry ride from Halong Wharf.
The remote and beautiful Iles de la Madeleine or Magdalene Islands, in English, are located 130 miles off the coast of Quebec, though closer to Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, and form a small archipelago in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence with a land area of 205.53 square kilometers (79.36 sq mi).
There are nine major islands: Amherst (Havre Aubert), Brion, House Harbour (Havre aux Maisons), Île aux Loups, Entry (Île d’Entrée), Grand Entry (Grande Entrée), Grindstone (Cap aux Meules), Grosse Île, House Harbour (Havre aux Maisons), Île aux Loups, Entry (Île d’Entrée) and Bird Rock (Rocher aux Oiseaux), but only seven are inhabited, six of which are connected only by sand dunes and long grassy reeds. Of the dozen undiscovered islands that comprise this windswept archipelago, Ile du Havre aux Maisons is one of the most beautiful ones for its colorful houses, salty pubs, charming boardwalk and restaurants rife with local character, an uncomplicated atmosphere and the freshest seafood you’ve ever tasted.
Lamu town is the largest town on Lamu Island, which in turn is a part of the Lamu Archipelago in Kenya but also the country’s oldest living town, being one of the original Swahili settlements along coastal East Africa, and the headquarters of Lamu District, included on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.
Lamu boasts golden sands fronting the Indian Ocean, tiny villages, and a breezy, slow-moving pace of life while the port of Lamu has existed for at least a thousand years, the town being first attested in writing by an Arab traveller Abu-al-Mahasini who met a Judge from Lamu visiting Mecca in 1441. The residents keep their arms and legs covered out of respect while the main mode of transportation are donkeys, Lamu offering a glimpse into the past’s rich atmosphere but today, visitors can also enjoy the excursions to ruins or snorkeling the coral reefs frolicking dolphins, or simply enjoy a relaxing day and a good swimming at the popular Shela Beach.
Though well-known to European and Asian travelers, the island of Ischia, Italy, is a volcanic island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, at the northern end of the Gulf of Naples, less popular among American tourists. On this roughly trapezoidal island which lies about 30 km from Naples and measures around 10 km east to west and 7 km north to south with a 34 kilometres (21 mi) coastline and a surface area of 46.3 square kilometres (17.9 sq mi) you will find lesser crowds than on the nearby Capri island, the terrain being predominantly green and mountainous, the highest peak being Mount Epomeo at 788 meters. The island’s population reaches over 60,000 people so you’ll have no problems of finding accommodations for every budget, for as long as you want.
Monhegan is a plantation on an island of the same name in Lincoln County, Maine, United States, located at about 12 nautical miles (22 km) off the coast and accessible by mailboat ferry (no automobiles) from Boothbay Harbor, New Harbor and Port Clyde or an hour-long ferry ride from the Maine mainland.
Monhegan largely remains an undiscovered island, its full time residents numbering around 75, having as main occupation fishing or lobstering, supplemented by an artists’ colony and tourism. Lobster Cove in particular draws nature lovers for its bird-watching and coastal views while the Monhegan Museum, housed in what was once a lighthouse and residence, has an interesting collection of local artwork and it showcases the history of the community. The accommodations on this island are only open May through October, but the offers of quaint inns and cottage rentals are plenty.
Vis is a large Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea, and part of the Central Dalmatian group of islands, with an area of 90.26 km² and a population of 3,617, popular among tourists for its medieval villages, deserted beaches, ancient ruins, rambling olive groves, and the best vineyards in Dalmatia. The island has two towns and municipalities located on the seacoast and smaller settlements such as Podselje, Marinje zemlje, Podšpilje, and Podstražje, in its interior area. The two towns of Vis and Komiza are brimming with restaurants serving delicious seafood and Italian-style fare and beautiful sandy beaches, the peak of Vis being called Hum, tall of 587 m. Visitors can opt to rent apartments and villas or stay at one of the three modest hotels found in Vis. You can reach this island by taking a 2 hours ferry from Split.
Terre-de-Haut is a commune in the French overseas department of Guadeloupe, on Terre-de-Haut Island, but also the most populous island of the archipelago of the Îles des Saintes, a spectacular cluster of eight undiscovered islands accessible only by ferry or private yacht. The Fort Napoléon des Saintes is located in this commune, having the most options for overnight accommodations of Les Saintes’ islands. This island has to offer many attractions such as the spectacular underwater world of colorful reefs and exotic fish, which you can explore by taking scuba diving lessons or snorkeling around, or enjoy a relaxing day by renting a gold cart to get around or taking a sunbath at one of the powdery white sand beaches with palm trees.
Yap, also known as Wa’ab by locals is an island in the Caroline Islands of the western Pacific Ocean and a state of the Federated States of Micronesia, consisting actually of four continental islands joined within a common coral reef, very close together and formed entirely from an uplift of the Philippine Sea Plate.
Yap is the most intriguing destination in the island nation of Micronesia because it escaped most outside influences, like colonization and mass tourism, while an outer barrier reef surrounds the islands, enclosing a lagoon between the fringing barrier reef. This island offers many attractions like the rolling hills densely covered with vegetation, the antiquated stone paths which lead to some amazing places, the mangrove forests and swamps that line much of the shore or the ocean’s coral reefs. The U.S. dollar is the official currency on this island but the ancient stone money discs are still used as local tender.11