Sometimes we need a getaway to simply do just that, get away. Nothing says a holiday quite like tropical beaches, deserted coastlines and crystal blue waters. We have your top five island adventures for 2016 already picked for you, now all you need to do is, get away.
Lord Howe Island, Australia
No cars, no transport and no phone reception? While this may sound nightmarish to some, you’d be hard pressed not to fall in love with this island getaway. Just a two hour flight from Sydney or Brisbane, exclusivity is guaranteed as only 400 visitors can lap up Lord Howe’s natural beauty at any one time. They join the 300 or so residents who live in the minute village year-round.
Hailed as one of Down Under’s premier bird watching spots, over 130 species inhabit this World Heritage-listed site. Those who seek adventure can climb the 875 metres to the summit of Mount Gower, a challenging hike complete with dizzying drop-offs and rope-assisted climbs. If relaxation is your principal aim, tranquil white sand beaches, coral reefs and awe-inspiring marine life awaits.
For Lord Howe luxury, Capella Lodge boasts unmatched vistas of ocean and mountain, as well as a seasonally driven restaurant and an outdoor spa where you can treat yourself to the aptly named “Gower’s Foot Therapy” upon return from the climb.
Song Saa Island, Cambodia
Cambodia’s first luxury private island resort is reached only by boat from the port of Sihanoukville. Meander through tropical rainforest, watch dazzling reef fish swim under your villa or see rare birdlife land on your balcony.
All of the villas on the island offer ocean views, private pools and an effortlessly luxe blend of thatched roofs, rustic timber beams, earthy stone and polished marble walls. Perched among the canopy, the two-bedroom Jungle Villa is secluded enough for you to enjoy its outdoor bathtub every day.
Tucked into the rainforest, Song Saa’s Ila Spa Sanctuary uses local herbs, oils and sand in its luxurious treatments, such as the Song Saa Blessing, a soothing 150-minute ritual. There’s even a yoga pavilion by the pool for ultimate blessed out harmony.
Zighy Bay, Oman
The Musandam Peninsula is both striking and rugged, from 2000 metre mountains to wild ocean fjords, earning it the title of the ‘Norway of the Middle East.’ This remote and utterly peaceful corner of Oman is a million miles away from its glitzy neighbour Dubai, but its only luxury resort, the Six Senses Zighy Bay, may be equally as glamourous.
The 82 villas vary in size from one to four bedrooms, but each has its own private infinity pool and traditional Arab summerhouse situated on the grounds. The largest and most exotic Private Reserve is often the resting place of Arab royalty, and accommodates up to ten people.
With its own private marina, the diving possibilities are endless. Absolute Adventure based in the little town of Dibba, provide a range of outdoor activities, from trekking and climbing to mountain biking and kayaking. Golf buggies are also on hand to transport you to its ultra relaxing spa with nine private treatment rooms.
Mnemba Island, Zanzibar
Unspoiled and unpretentious, Mnemba Island is a uniquely African paradise off the coast of Zanzibar. This private island is ideal for a romantic getaway (especially if you’re a scuba-loving couple), with white-sand beaches and dramatic coral reefs. For those seeking a little more adventure there’s the option to kayak or windsurf.
Mnemba Island Lodge provides the utmost in exclusivity, ensuring there’s never more than 20 guests on the island at any one time. Its 10 secluded bandas all have spacious verandas and their own stretch of beach, meaning the most likely disturbance you’ll encounter is a curious wild antelope.
Relax in the lodge’s thatched dining areas or enjoy a private candlelit dinner on the beach at night. Room rates also include all meals, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, daily scuba diving, water activities and staff on hand at all times.
Benguerra Island, Mozambique
The second largest island of the Bazaruto Archipelago, Benguerra is characterized by its towering sand dunes, inland lakes and idyllic beaches. It comprises an eclectic mix of forest, savannah and wetland ecosystems that allow it to sustain a diverse population of flora and fauna.
A National Park since 1971, there are over 140 bird species that inhabit Benguerra, which detached itself from the mainland some thousands of years ago. The local islanders make for fascinating and cultured encounters.
The Azura offers luxury accommodation for those that wish to stay overnight – and with so much to see, you’ll have no reason not to! Renowned for its traditional Mozambican cuisine, guests can tuck into some of the finest seafood and local produce around, with a team of butlers on hand to cater to your every whim.