Getting out of town to a warm-weather destination is often the dream of many people, especially when it comes to the colder winter months. Island destinations typically offer you exactly what you are looking for at such times of the year: sun, beach, and a fruity drink of some kind with an umbrella. Islands can often be overcrowded, however, as many people rush to escape the dreary weather at home. If you are looking for an island vacation where you do not need to worry so much about the crowds, you could consider heading to a smaller island.
Small islands are typically less crowded, but that does not mean they lack in accommodation or attractions. Check out some of the best little islands that you should go see.
1. Santorini, Greecе
Let’s start off the list by looking at one of the oldest island destinations out there. Santorini’s civilization goes back to the times of ancient Greece. Actually, quite a few structures from ancient Greece are still there, including a number of windmills. The vivid white buildings next to the incredibly blue water will leave you with an image you are not going to find anywhere else. You can pull up a seat on the red sand beaches, sip your ouzo, and enjoy the view.
2. Lanai, Hawaii
Hawaii has a lot of amazing islands and features to offer. If you were hoping to look for a smaller island to take in, Lana’i might be the right one for you. The island is known for its pineapples, as it used to produce about 75 percent of the entire world’s pineapples. Dole (the large fruit company) left the island, however, and the island was then taken up by hotels, giving visitors a quieter and more secluded tropical vacation.
Situated in the Caribbean, Barbuda might be the least-visited island in the entire sea. The beaches are phenomenal, and as the island is relatively untouched, the sand is left unspoiled. The sand on Barbuda is also white and pink, and truly incomparable. There is only one resort on the island, Lighthouse Bay, but you can still get plenty to eat and drink while you get a true quiet vacation in the sun, far away from the bustle of areas full of tourists.
4. Key West, Florida
Sitting at the end of the Florida Keys, Key West is still part of the United States while feeling more like an exotic destination. The island is known for inspiring authors, including Tennessee Williams and Ernest Hemingway. It is also known for its much-photographed lighthouse as well as the roaming chickens that seem to wander everywhere.
5. Terre de Haut
Also known as a mini St. Barth, Terre de Haut has a unique ambiance mixed in with its charming scenery. Terre de Haut sits in the Guadeloupe archipelago and is definitely one of the most relaxing islands in all of the Caribbean. Because of the secluded vibe, it really might feel like it is just you visiting, giving you that much-needed break you were hoping for.
6. Con Dao, Vietnam
You may not have considered Vietnam as the ideal escape for you, but you might be surprised. This small island is in an archipelago that is mostly uninhabited, with the exception of Con Dao. With villas and restaurants, you can still get the 5 star treatment while getting that much sought after peace and quiet. With the granite cliffs and bright blue water, Con Dao is an excellent away from it all beach vacation.
7. Caye Caulker, Belize
Belize is a popular destination for many North Americans and for a good reason. The beaches and jungles make the country itself a warm-weather paradise. Caye Caulker offers all of the treats of mainland Belize, but on a small and relaxed island. There is a lot of scuba diving and snorkeling available, letting you catch a glimpse at the remarkable tropical fish living there. The island is only 5 miles long, meaning it may be exactly what you were hoping for when it comes to warm weather vacations.
8. Gozo, Malta
Heading back to the Mediterranean, there are a lot of islands that you could take into consideration. One of these is Gozo. This island, while small, has a great and long history. In Homer’s story of “The Odyssey,” Odysseus was said to have been held captive by Calypso on Gozo, following the Trojan War. When you look at the incredible rolling hills, bright water, and underpopulated beaches, I think most of us could understand why Odysseus did not escape for so many years. The beauty is remarkable.
9. Andaman Islands, India
Heading back to Asia, there are the Andaman Islands of India. The Andaman Islands will give you what you were looking to find in a warm-weather destination, but it will also give you a better sense of Indian culture and history. The indigenous people are still on the island. The tribes are so old that they have been referred to as ancient. Beyond the ancient ruins and culture, you can still get a remarkable view of the city.
10. Rodrigues, Mauritius
Rodrigues is considered to be one of the most secluded islands in the world, and is known as a place of escape for celebrities and royals from the constant harassment of the paparazzi. The island has lagoons and valleys to explore, making it a great destination for hikers and kite-surfers alike. There is a hotel on the island where you can stay.
No matter where you decide to take your next trip, do keep in mind that some tropical locations, including the Caribbean, have suffered through some natural disasters in recent years and may not have all of the facilities available. It is a good idea to check the situation before traveling.
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