Best Private Island Getaways (I)
For many travelers, their idea of a perfect vacation is a secluded spot away from the rest of the world. These vacationers prefer to be close to nature, isolation and utter relaxation. If this kind of destination appeals to you, we've picked out the best private island gateways. The following islands all have one thing in common: peace and quiet.
1. Best Private Island Getaways: Easter Island — Chile
Easter Island is over 2,000 miles from the nearest population center, (Tahiti and Chile), making it one of the most isolated places on Earth. A volcanic rock in the South Pacific — it is best known for the giant stone monoliths, known as Moai, that dot the coastline. How they were moved across the island remains a mystery. The early settlers called the island ''Te Pita O Te Henua" (Navel of The World). Today, the land, people and language are all referred to locally as Rapa Nui. The islanders developed the only written language in Oceania, but the meaning of the script has been lost. Today, the island is part of Chile and its lengthy runway doubles as an emergency landing strip for the space shuttle. But the moai remain part of the landscape, so, walking around the island is like touring a living, open-air museum. You can walk to the major sites in three or four days, or cover even more ground by horseback or four-wheel-drive.
2. Best Private Island Getaways: The Hallig Islands in the Wadden Sea — Germany
Germany's Hallig Islands are picturesquely dotted among the North Frisian Islands off the North Sea coast and offer walks on the mudflats in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park. Flooding is one of the features that distinguishes Hallig Islands from other islands. During these periods of submersion, only the island's warfts are visible — man-made hills upon which the houses of Hooge's inhabitants can be seen jutting out of the water. The Hallig Island of Oland is a true gem, as it is also home to a wide variety of water birds and waders. The coastal landscape features vast expanses of salt marshes and the natural beauty of the area is enhanced by the blooming purple sea lavender. Walks on the mudflats demonstrate the rich diversity of the region's water birds and waders, and the constantly changing salt marsh landscape makes the Hallig Islands a truly magical place.