Do you ever wish you could run away and hide out in a secret paradise where nobody could find you? Despite the fast pace of tourism development, there are still plenty of places in the world that tourists don’t know about, where you can enjoy a blissful getaway free from the crowds of the usual holiday hotspots.
These are some of our favorites.
1. The Faroe Islands
If you fancy soaking up Scandinavian culture, but you’d rather avoid going to such crowded places as Copenhagen or Stockholm, the Faroe Islands offers a more remote and tourist-free alternative. This tiny group of Denmark-administered islands are located in an exposed position far off the northern coast of Scotland. Travellers willing to brave the unforgiving North Atlantic climate will be richly rewarded with rugged, unspoiled natural beauty, interesting architecture and a world of Nordic mythology waiting to be discovered.
2. Koh Lanta, Thailand
If you’re looking for a real escape, the popular Thai islands of Phuket or Koh Samui won’t cut it. Instead, head to the less frequented Koh Lanta. Less built up than many of Thailand’s islands, but still with some upmarket resorts for a comfortable stay, Koh Lanta offers a more authentic experience of Thailand, as well as snorkelling and diving on the coral reefs in the warm waters of the Andaman Sea.
3. Sark, The Channel Islands
The small island of Sark lies off the coast of northern France, and one of its primary attractions - other than its picturesque landscape and coastline - is the fact that it has no cars and no man-made roads. This makes it a true escape from the noise and pollution of everyday life. Stay on Sark and you can enjoy a simpler way of life, a quaint taste of England as it used to be.
4. Jumeirah Dhevanafushi, Maldives
Visit the Jumeirah Dhevanafushi in the Maldives and you’ll truly be getting away from it all. It’s 400 miles from the Maldivian capital, Malé, tucked away on Meradhoo Island in the Gaafu Alifu Atoll. The hotel offers an Island Romance experience for couples: “four nights of unforgettable moments.” The package includes everything you could want from a romantic island hideaway, including spa treatments, guided snorkelling on the reef, luxurious bubble baths and even a sunken dug-out candlelit dinner on the beach.
5. Lord Howe Island, Australia
Two hours by plane from Sydney, UNESCO World Heritage Site Lord Howe Island has, very sensibly, placed a cap on tourist numbers, so there will never be more than 400 on the island at any given time. This volcanic island markets itself as “just paradise,” a place where you can feel at one with nature as you explore its volcanic peaks and snorkel its coral reef lagoons. There are rope-assisted climbs up Mt Gower, the island’s tallest mountain, and you can hire snorkelling gear with payment by "honesty box" at Neds Beach.
6. Treehouse Point, Washington State, USA
This forest hideaway in Washington state, USA, is evidence that you don’t have to be a child to appreciate a good treehouse. Half an hour from Seattle, it has a choice of tranquil treehouses for you to escape to. Wake up to the sounds of the forest in your cosy treetop home, and feel worlds away from home in this unique retreat.