Best Private Island Getaways (II)
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.
3. Best Private Island Gateways: Heron Island —Australia
Heron Island is just one gem between the Queensland coast and the Great Barrier Reef — one of The 7 Wonders Of The World. But Heron Island is actually right on top of the reef. So, where a trip to the reef from some islands means a long boat ride, on Heron, the coral is right at your front door. Heron is not a large island, but it is a protected sanctuary for both sea turtles and birds: watching turtle hatchlings make their perilous journey to the sea is a prime activity around the holiday season. Diving is the main attraction, centered on corals and fish (lionfish, butterfly fish, sharks, manta rays, and a cast of thousands). Blue Pools is a little bay that is sheltered by the edge of the Heron reef. Essentially current free, it allows snorkelers to enjoy watching the local fish clans cruise the corals. It is estimated that more than half of the 1,500 fish species on the Great Barrier Reef can be seen here.
4. Best Private Island Gateways: Koh Yao Yai — Thailand
Thailand has long been known for its beautiful beaches. Because of this fame, there has been a lot of development on the beaches of Thailand and people are starting to avoid them as its simply too crowded. What people don't realize, is there are hide-aways in Thailand that are not yet developed, offering the beautiful white sand beaches and lush jungle landscape —without the crowds. Koh Yao Yai, a small island just 30 minutes from Phuket or Krabi by boat, is that special undiscovered island. With few hotels on the island, there are no crowds. Koh Yao Yai Village resort is a small hotel located on the sleepy little island — perfect for someone looking to get away from the crowds and have an old-world Thai island experience. Note that the islanders are keen to preserve their traditional ways, so it's important to respect the local culture by dressing modestly and refraining from drinking alcohol outside of the restaurants/resorts catering to visitors.