5 remote and romantic island escapes

5 remote and romantic island escapes

Escape the crowds and stresses of everyday life and feel like the only couple in the world on one of these remote, romantic islands

1. Summer Isles, Scotland

A couple of holiday cottages, a small café and a post office - that's all that exists on the tiny island of Tanera Mor. Extremely isolated and outstandingly beautiful, the island is actually the largest in the Summer Isles, a little-known archipelago that sits a mile off the rugged Coigach Peninsula, on the north-west coast of Scotland. With no roads and the feeling of complete seclusion, the 800-acre Tanera Mor couldn't be more perfect for a honeymoon away from it all.

Climb to the island's highest point - Meall Mor - for amazing views of the peat-covered slopes, its three jetties and fresh water lochs. The clear waters surrounding Tanera Mor provide excellent fishing and ideal conditions for kayaking, sailing and diving.

How to get there: From Inverness either drive or take public transport through the Highlands to Achiltibuie, where the owners of Tanera Mor will pick you up by boat by pre-arrangement.

2. San Andrés, Colombia

Waving palm trees, warm waters and a hugely colourful culture, San Andrés has all the benefits of a Caribbean honeymoon but without the resorts. Located approximately 450 miles off the coast of Colombia, the island is actually closer to Jamaica and is part of an archipelago of smaller islands and islets, all floating in the crystal waters of the Caribbean Sea. From the sky San Andrés looks like a giant seahorse, and is surrounded by the 'sea of seven colours', where calm waters and colourful fish flow around the beaches.

Because of its multi-ethnic history, San Andrés boasts a rich Raizal culture - a mix of African, English, Dutch and Spanish influences. Locals converse in Creole, a mixture of 17th century English, Spanish and African dialects, but also speak modern English and Spanish. There's plenty to do on the island itself - hire a scooter (around $20) and drive around the flat roads, go diving in the clear waters ­or take a day trip to nearby hidden coves. Most of the hotels are on the north end of the island and offer private beaches and amazing sunset views - perfect for toasting to your new marriage.

How to get there: Fly from Bogotá or Cartagena: Satena, Copa Airlines and Avianca all have direct flights to Gustavo Rojas Pinilla Airport in San Andrés. Flight time is around two hours from Bogotá.

3. Isle au Haut, Maine

Miles of unspoiled walking trails, quiet forests and a quaint harbour, Isle au Haut is a well-kept secret off Maine's Penobscot Bay. Just six miles long and two miles wide, more than half of the island (some 2,700 acres) is protected as part of Acadia National Park and the islands inhabitants have retained a unique village atmosphere. The name Isle au Haut means 'High Island' in French and that's definitely what you experience here - a natural high filled with pleasant views and romantic isolation. The small number of visitors - about 7,000 annually - means it's possible to spend your time here without encountering anyone.

For a unique experience, stay in The Garrett at the Keeper's Inn Lighthouse: a private, expansive tee-shaped room covering the entire top floor of the keeper's house. The room is lit by candles and the glow from the lighthouse.

How to get there: Catch the mail boat that offers a daily service year-round from the mainland town of Stonington.

4. Juist, East Frisian Islands, Germany

Germany and magic land aren't words you'd normally expect to hear in one sentence, but the people of Juist, an island in the wild North Sea, call their home just that. The island is relatively untouched - there are no cars and the only way to get around the 17km long island is by foot or bicycle. Juist has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009, and the islanders are fiercely protective of their idyllic environment, so much so that they have pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Despite the relaxed and peaceful atmosphere there are plenty of things to enjoy on Juist. Visit the eastern tip of the island to spot colonies of seals and stroll along the long stretches of sandy beaches that frame the island. Active honeymooners can take a cycle tour or a mudflat walk and those seeking relaxation can enjoy a Thalassotherapy treatment, which uses warm seawater and seaweed from the North Sea. Bliss!

How to get there: Juist is a 90-minute ferry ride from Germany's northern coast, or a seven-minute flight from Norddeich.

5. Pulau Ubin, off the coast of Singapore

Go back in time and sample a slower pace of life on Pulau Ubin, the last village or "kampong" in Singapore. This leafy island off the north-eastern coast almost feels like the land that time forgot; diesel generators power electricity and drinking water is still sourced from wells. Pulau Ubin is overflowing with flora and fauna and the island's main attraction is Chek Jawa, a unique natural area and one of Singapore's richest ecosystems.

For a romantic afternoon, pack a picnic and visit Mamam Beach where you can enjoy the beautiful shoreline of Johor Bahru on the mainland (note that bathing in the water is not allowed).

How to get there: The best way to get to Pulau Ubin is to take a bumboat from Changi Point Ferry Terminal. The ride takes just ten minutes and costs around $2.50.

 

 

Image: Dreamstime

 

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