10 Under-The-Radar Islands Of The World (PHOTOS)

by Kate Auletta Subscribe to Kate Auletta's posts Posted May 28th 2011 07:30 AM



Hollywood scouts were on to something when they skipped over Mykonos and chose a secret island in Greece as the location for Mamma Mia. The movie was a $600-million hit, in part because it fueled peoples' fantasies of escaping to a secluded island (and yes, those catchy ABBA tunes didn't hurt).

Surprisingly, that picture-perfect movie location, Skopelos, has stayed under the radar. There are still gems like Skopelos hidden all around the globe, if you know where to look.

Our friends at Travel +Leisure have done the requisite digging to find places you can truly unwind, from the rugged Chilean spot that inspired the novel Robinson Crusoe to a tiny island in the Caribbean that was virtually deserted for decades until a luxe resort opened in 2010.

Similar high-end resorts have been popping up across Southeast Asia, where many islands are vying to be the next Phuket. So those looking to get far off the grid head to Con Dao, an archipelago 110 miles off Vietnam's southeastern coast. Sheer granite cliffs border deserted beaches, and a private guide can lead visitors by motorbike to remote spots like the spectacular Dam Tre Bay lagoon.

Travelers looking to commune with nature can also find solitude on Nicaragua's acre-wide Jicaro Island on freshwater Lake Nicaragua. The nine casitas at Jicaro Island Ecolodge were built from storm-felled trees, and all the food is locally sourced; you can sip a passion-fruit-banana cocktail as you sit by the infinity pool.

No matter the daydream, check out their picks for the secret islands of the world.

Text and photos courtesy of our friends at Travel + Leisure.

Filed Under: Tips & Tricks, Luxury

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May 31 2011 at 12:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael N. Landis

And for those of us who cannot really afford $300 to $500/night, but would still like a low-key, relaxing island vacation, I would like to recommend the village of La Boca, about 10 miles from the colonial town of Trinidad, Cuba, and 3 miles from the more expensive three- and four-star hotels of Playa Ancon. You can rent a room in a beach-front bed and breakfast (in Cuba called Casas Particulares) for $25 to $35 per night. Nearby Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is little changed since the 18th and early 19th Centuries. Also, the village of Siboney, about 20 miles south of Santiago de Cuba, offers several beach-front casas particulares in the same price range. Dinners at the casas (best food you are likely to have in Cuba) range from $6 to $12, breakfasts half that. Both Boca and Siboney are low-key beach villages with a sprinkling of foreigners, but mostly Cubans. It helps to speak at least some Spanish. Flights from Toronto and Montreal, Cancun or Nassau, can get you to Havana (or Varadero, Santiago, Holguin, etc.), and from there you can take ViAzul buses (air conditioned, with movies--but who would want to watch them when you can look out the window!) to most places you'd want to go. My favorite (inland) Cuban town? Bayamo, the capital of Granma Province, near the Sierra Maestra Mountains. Go and enjoy! Don't let "our" government tell you where you can/cannot go. Just go!

May 29 2011 at 12:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nice list. Surprised than none of the Croatian islands made the cut. Check-out Viz for instance.

May 29 2011 at 10:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Navy CWO4

You missed the best kept secret of all islands......Midway Island, 1100 miles NW of Honolulu.

May 29 2011 at 10:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nice article,kinda ----particularly liked the prices-------------just wondering how a picture of a bed was a good idea?

May 29 2011 at 8:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have traveled with NASA for most of 42 years. There are outstanding islands and people all over the world
and I don't think any two people could agree on just one. I am impressed with ump85's assement of the
great Ocean City Maryland and the obsolete bay bridge......he has been there. If it's not too late tourist
wise....try the Azores . Was there many times in the '50's.......God bless the airplane !!!!!!

May 29 2011 at 8:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Larry Sanchez

Navy Seals found this article 10 top secret islands on OSAMA BIN LADENS lap top ....lol

May 29 2011 at 7:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeff Falk

Any island by Manhattan

May 29 2011 at 7:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

although not and island one has to visit ocean city maryland. ah yea the poop brown water. the 100.00 plus rude people and ignorant, disrepectful teens. $6.00 for french fries, $5.00 funnel cakes. diner at a not so elobarate restaurant where you wait for and hour for not to good food. traffic that creeps along like a snail.
and who can forget the traffic wait crawling like a snail over and back across the bay bridge. yea this would be my dream paradise. NOT.................

May 29 2011 at 7:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have been there twice great island and great fising asked for Piggie who lives on this island if you want to caught the best fising your ever have

May 29 2011 at 7:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply