Islands, particularly those in tropical locations, hold a certain allure that other holiday destinations just can’t replicate. Their remoteness and privacy, the fact that they appear out of the blue like a mirage, their unique accommodation offering, and their ravishing scenery are all reasons travellers are attracted to islands over more metropolitan options.
One potential deterrent for some energetic holidaymakers, however, is the thought of ‘island fever’; of being cooped up in a beautiful villa over the water with very little to do other than snorkel or sunbake.
The following islands might be small but they’re big on things to do, eliminating the chance of guests experiencing anything akin to boredom or monotony. From glassblowing and astronomy classes to strenuous hikes and stand up paddle board expeditions, they prove that islands holidays can be as active (or inactive) as you choose!
Hidden among dense foliage on the deserted island of Kunfunadhoo in the Maldives, Soneva Fushi is a barefoot luxury resort that offers an impressive suite of memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experiences inspired by nature.
There are too many ‘must-do’ activities and adventures at this five-star resort to list, but one of the most otherworldly choices is an astronomical dinner cruise. This incredible experience begins at sunset and features a four-course meal with wine pairings, while Soneva’s resident astronomer guides you through the wonders spread above you across the night sky, sharing secrets of the cosmos.
Located in the Baa Atoll, a UNESCO biosphere reserve, the island is one of the best places in the world for marine lovers, with an array of underwater activities and tours on offer, including swimming with mantas. Dive in and be prepared to be awed by these enormous, intelligent and majestic creatures.
If you’re seeking unparalleled romance, the resort offers a castaway picnic on a deserted island; or a unique overnight experience that allows you to spend a night camping under the Maldivian skies on your own private sandbank in a luxurious Bedouin-style tent.
From thrilling water sports and guided snorkelling tours with the resident marine biologist, to an introduction to the art of glassblowing and cultural excursions to nearby local islands, you can fill your days with as many beautiful, bespoke experiences as time allows. Some days you might even fill your itinerary with multiple trips to the resort’s complimentary dedicated chocolate and ice cream rooms!
Toberua Island Resort
Toberua Island Resort is a private-island resort set on four sandy acres of lush, tropical gardens located in the middle of a secluded azure lagoon off the east coast of Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu.
Home to 15 thatched-roof bures scattered along the island’s oceanfront and one three-bedroom villa overlooking clear water and white sand, the resort’s ambience fuses contemporary décor with traditional Fijian style and warm hospitality.
This resort boasts an impressive range of outdoor activities – from snorkelling, diving and sailing to SUPing and a nine-hole par three that’s only playable at low tide – that allow you to appreciate the local natural beauty and embrace each day with zest.
Toberua has been awarded a distinguished PADI Green Star Dive Centre Award, which is granted to PADI dive centres and resorts that demonstrate a dedication to conservation. The resort recently adopted a dive site right out the front, and once you arrive, you’ll understand why they want to protect and preserve their beautiful surroundings.
The selected site, which is available for guests to explore, is aptly named the “House Reef” and is home to an array of soft coral; numerous fish species, especially juvenile fish; several different types of sea cucumbers and four different varieties of starfish.
Only accessible by private seaplane from Singapore, and accommodating a maximum of 75 guests, Bawah Reserve is a private sanctuary in a far-flung corner of Indonesia that is perfect for active travellers.
The six lush, previously untouched islands that make up the reserve are a walker’s paradise and the resort offers a range of hikes, varying in length and difficulty. The best time for exploring is in the early hours of the morning, when the rising sun is illuminating the peaceful archipelago in a golden glow and the promise of yet another perfect day.
Stand up paddle board expeditions through three turquoise lagoons; exploring 13 untouched beaches; local cuisine cooking classes; picnics and dining on private beaches; and open-air cinema nights are just a few of the ways you can keep entertained while holidaying at Bawah Reserve.
Each night spent in this remote corner of Indonesia promises a spectacular star show. Join weekly stargazing sessions on the jetty, where there’s a telescope and a resident expert to teach you about different constellations and stars; or enjoy the night sky from the comfort of your suite, or while dining at the signature restaurant, Treetops. You’ll see constellations, shooting stars and may even witness a meteor shower!