Idyllic Islands Americans Don't Know About

Everyone has had a moment when a desire to just go out and get away takes over. The best destination for this kind of mood is a spot far, far away, preferably one you've never seen before. That means going somewhere other probably won't follow. And that means little-known or hard to get to places.

Marettimo, Italy

It may be hard to imagine but Italy has some remote islands. Marettimo is the most secluded of the three Egadi Islands off Sicily's western coast, which perhaps explains why most international tourists (except divers) don't really know about it. You can reach it by ferries from Trapani. The island lies within a marine nature reserve. You're going to love this quiet place that is kind of sleepy for most of the year.

Great Diamond Island, Maine

Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park are absolute otherworldly, especially in the fall, but Maine has other gems worth a visit. Diamond Cove, which is technically part of the city of Portland, is a just ferry stop at the northeastern side of the island. Tourists will probably like that the island is not easily accessible by cars and has few roads. A bike would be the best mode of transportation.

Fundy Islands, Canada

This is where you'd go on an island-hopping trip. The Fundy Isles is the name of a group of 25 islands in the Bay of Fundy along the southwestern coast of New Brunswick. Bay of Fundy is home to some of the world's highest tides and contains some of the rarest whales on the planet. Three of the islands are open year-round. Explore Canada's history in this incredible coastal environment – dinosaur fossils and sea cliffs.

Kythnos, Greece

Can you name any other Greek islands besides Santorini? If you're looking to expand your travel itinerary, consider the mountainous island of Kythnos in the Western Cyclades. It, too has stunning beaches, old-fashioned villages – make sure you stop by Chora and Driopida – and relaxing hot springs. Kythonos is popular with locals and people from neighboring countries in the summer, but there usually aren't many visitors from more distant places.

Piel Island, Cumbria, United Kingdom

The 50-acre Piel Island is on tip of the Furness Peninsula. There is a pub, called The Ship Inn, and its landlord is the king. You can pitch anywhere in the "kingdom" for free. How nice of him! There is also a castle, founded in 1327 by John Cockerham. It served as a fort protecting monks from Scottish raids.

Aitutaki, Cook Islands

Halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand, the Cook Islands are a remote paradise in the South Pacific. Most people would go to Rarotonga or New Zealand. The most impressive of the 15 islands is Aitutaki. There are 15 magnificent motus (islets) that dot the secluded turquoise lagoon that is home to tropical fish and unspoiled beauty.


Go if you want to escape the crowds and still have a blast. Google "best places to scuba dive" and Bonaire comes up a lot. The Dutch Caribbean island has captivated divers for decades. With more than 80 marked dive sites, more than 460 species of fish including seahorses, blue parrotfish, ocean triggerfish and plenty of soft and stony coral, diving in Bonaire is a real gem.

Magdalen Islands, Quebec, Canada

Get a feel of the Caribbean in Canada while you still can. Explore the sandy beaches and sandstone cliffs when the weather is nice. The islands in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence archipelago are different from each other, and each has its own dialect even, but they are connected with a well-organized road system. A road trip will take you pass wide dunes, cliffs and picturesque homes.

Andros, Bahamas

Andros is the largest island in the Bahamas (100 miles long and 40 miles wide) but it's one of the least explored, according to My Bahamas Travel. Those who go there do it for the amazing variety and beauty of diving and snorkeling sites. Bonefishing is also popular. Eco-conscious tourists like it for its blue hole exploration, sea kayaking and nature hikes.

Navarino Island, Chile

Isla Navarino is marketed as heaven for hikers, especially those who want to test their limits and see how tough they actually are. Challenge yourself and follow the southernmost trekking route in the world. The island is known for Dientes de Navarino (Navarino Teeth), a mountain range covered by Magellanic forests and extensive peat mud flats with lakes and lagoons rich in fauna, according to Chile Travel.

Admiralty Island, Alaska

Whatever you think of Alaska's out-of-this world nature and diversity, this island, located 15 miles southwest of Juneau, has it all on it. It's also home to the highest density of brown bears – about 1,600 of them – in North America, and to the world's greatest concentration of nesting bald eagles – around 5,000, according to Travel Alaska. It's no wonder that the whole island is designated as a National Monument.

Andaman & Nicobar, India

India governs a tropical island group of more than 600 islands in the Bay of Bengal. Some of the more developed islands have luxury amenities, but others are more peaceful and remote, perfect for relaxing or camping. Andaman and Nicobar is home to the only active volcano in India, miles of beachfront perfect for watersports and snorkeling, and plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities both in the wild and at nature reserves.

Hamilton Island, Australia

This is the largest inhabited island in the Whitsundays. Locals flock there all the time for honeymoons and family-fun vacations, but it's not as popular with foreigners. The island gives you access to the otherworldly Great Barrier Reef and the iconic Whitehaven Beach. As for land-based activities, bushwalking is a favorite way to experience the hidden coves and see stunning sights.


The "hidden" Vanuatu is among the most beautiful vacation spots in the world. Luckily for adventure travelers, the country in Oceania is mostly untouched by foreigners because of its secluded location. South Pacific Ocean nation made up of roughly 80 islands.

Ocracoke Island, North Carolina

You can get to this small fishing village only by boat, ferry or plane. The stunning beaches are protected by the National Park Service. Tourists who want to relax in a tranquil atmosphere and explore streets and buildings designed in 1800's-style, will find the island ideal. The most iconic attraction is the Ocracoke Lighthouse, which is one of the oldest lighthouses in the country that are still in use.

Mou Waho Island, New Zealand

One of only five islands in Lake Wanaka, it is accessible only by boat from Wanaka. "The island, in a lake, in an island, in a lake, in an island in the ocean!" according to New Zealand Trails. Mou Waho has a small lake, with a small rocky island in the middle. There are no scheduled boats or ferries, so you will have to join a tour that has a knowledgeable guide.

Quilalea, Mozambique

Quilalea lies off the shores of Pama in Mozambique. It sits in a protected marine reserve, ensuring spectacular diving, snorkeling and canoeing experiences. Dive sites around the area include walls and drop offs for the adventurous diver. See humpback whales in the summer and fall, and pods of dolphin year-round. You can stay at Azura Retreats. Guests are offered a true escape from the outside world and can detox digitally by focusing their attention towards the sea.

Utila, Honduras

Utila is the smallest of Honduras' Bay Islands, and one of the best scuba diving destinations in the world with abpout 60 dive sites. can offer some of the largest underwater animal encounters in the Caribbean. The water is warm, the reefs are majestic and there is plenty of tropical fish to swim with. The island is often frequented by whale sharks – one of the ocean's gentle giants.

Sifnos, Greece

Sifnos Island has everything you'd expect a Greek isle to have – crystal water, soft sand, traditional villages, and lots of places to have fun. Make sure you find time to go to Kastro, perhaps the prettiest village on Sifnos. The narrow streets, stone houses and breathtaking sea views will make you want to move there.

Ponza, Italy

This is where you go for a beautiful, non-tourist island escape. The waters are unlike any other location in Italy. Some refer to the place as the "secret island of Italy." Ponza is a small island, with small towns, beaches, fisherman, and good food, according to Italy Beyond The Obvious. You won't find big foreign crowds in this beautiful place with a laid-back island life.

Sanibel and Captiva, Florida

You don't need to go to the Caribbean for a remarkable tropical experience. Sanibel Island & Captiva provide the perfect vacation spot – 15 miles of beaches, 25 miles of bike paths, 50 kinds of fish, 230 kinds of birds, 250 kinds of shells and, very importantly, zero traffic lights. You'll be truly captivated. Explore areas where pirates roamed – the mystery and adventure is still there – and find new treasures.

Cuttyhunk, Massachusetts

This is the outermost of the Elizabeth Islands, which are often overlooked as a whole, in Massachusetts. You can see Cuttyhunk, which is about two hours from megapolis Boston, from the ferry to Martha's Vineyard, but you have to stop by to experience its serenity. Forget about cars, bustling night life and even Wi-Fi.