Bucket List Worthy
There is, perhaps, no better way to find and explore the world’s hidden gem islands than aboard a cruise ship. Indeed, some 24 million vacationers worldwide are expected to cruise this year, sailing into the pristine bays, harbors and coves that bring peace and tranquility to busy lives. With so many destinations to see, we asked the experts at U.K.-based cruise seller Cruise118.com to share their thoughts about the globe’s top hidden gems:
Located off the coast of French Guiana in South America, Devil’s Island is most notable for its eerie history as a colonial prison camp. It’s this air of mystery – coupled with the equatorial climate and awe-inspiring scenery – that makes this island such a fascinating place. It’s ideal for holidaymakers who look for a combination of beauty and intrigue when picking a remote island to visit.
If you’re looking for a Caribbean island that’s off the beaten tourist path then Guadeloupe is the perfect option. Sandwiched between Antigua to the north and Dominica to the south, Guadeloupe is a veritable treasure trove of jaw-dropping landscapes, rainforest, sun-kissed beaches and crystal clear waters.
Located off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Ilha Grande at one time housed prisoners. Now it’s a tranquil paradise that remains largely untouched by developers, making it an ideal retreat for vacationers who want to relax on a golden beach and detach themselves from the demands of modern life back at home.
Perfect for surfers and those who like to sunbathe on spectacular beaches all day, Lombok is a true Indonesian treasure. It’s worth visiting this island if only to see the breath-taking Mount Rinjani – a towering active volcano.
The best thing about the Canary Islands is the weather. Because of its equatorial location, it tends to be hot and sunny all year round. You’ve heard of Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Tenerife, but what about La Gomera? The fact that it’s a lesser known Canary Island works in La Gomera’s favour. Visitors find wonderful beaches and scenery without the crowds of tourists.
Located in the Bay of Bengal, Port Blair feels like a typical Indian town but without the heaving crowds. For such a small, under-explored place, Port Blair is a cultural marvel. There are plenty of wonderful restaurants to try, especially if you’re a fan of fresh seafood.
Nearly 400 islands make up this archipelago, the majority of which have no inhabitants. If you want your own private oasis in stunning surroundings, this is the place for you. Until now, the San Blas Islands have flown under the radar of tourists, but this is slowly starting to change. Better start packing.
In many ways, Sir Bani Yas Island is the polar opposite of Abu Dhabi, which lies about 100 miles to the northwest. While the latter is a bustling tourist hub that is teeming with spectacular man-made structures, Sir Bani Yas Island is quiet, secluded and all natural. The perfect place for nature walks or snorkeling and scuba diving, visitors will be amazed by the wildlife that lives on this unknown island.
Although Tortola is the largest of the British Virgin Islands, it still falls into the hidden gem category. With ancient ruins to explore and an abundance of quiet beaches to choose from, Tortola has everything you need for a relaxing holiday. The magical Sage Mountain National Park, a protected natural area, is definitely worthy of a visit.
You’ve probably heard of the Great Barrier Reef, but fewer people are familiar with the Whitsunday Islands. Found off the coast of Queensland, the Whitsundays are largely deserted and are very much the embodiment of everything one would expect from an exotic and romantic island setting.