Think you've been to every sandy strip on the planet? We bet these nine secret islands will surprise even the most well-traveled adventurers.
By Chelsea Bengier
Holbox Island, Mexico
Off the north coast of Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula, this secluded strand is a three-hour ferry from Cancún’s crowded shores, but it feels a world away. The car-free island is all about embracing a low-key, boho-barefoot vibe. For the ultimate R&R, check into CasaSandra Boutique Hotel, which has breezy palapa-roofed casitas with hammocks and a seafood-heavy (read: lots of ceviche!) Mexican-Caribbean restaurant.
Desroches Island, Seychelles
If your idea of paradise is having an island all to yourself then look no further than Desroches, a 40-minute flight from Mahé, the capital of Seychelles. The island is remote—there are no restaurants or shops, and almost no other human in sight—except for the sole 5-star resort, of course. Bunk down in your own sprawling villa, which overlooks nine miles of white-sand beach and has its own tropical garden and plunge pool. Not exactly roughing it, if you ask us.
Côn So’n, Vietnam
The largest of a 16-island archipelago, Côn So’n remains super under-the-radar—despite being just an hour’s flight from Ho Chi Minh City. Here, it's all about the untouched nature (picture: craggy granite cliffs, windswept sands, turquoise waters). And while there aren't any shops or bars, the luxe Six Senses provides over-the-top perks to keep you occupied. We’re talking personal butlers, a serene spa and even private guides who will give you a tour of the island’s hilltop lighthouse and crystal-clear lagoons.
Santorini. Mykonos. Crete. Greece is home to 227 inhabited islands across the Aegean and Ionian Seas, yet these three steal the spotlight every time. But Skopelos, just an hour ferry ride from Skiathos, is an equally beautiful and less crowded alternative with an unspoiled coastline, charming blue-roofed tavernas and Byzantine-era monasteries. Rent a private villa with terraces overlooking the cerulean Aegean at Adrina Resort & Spa (trust us, you’ll never want to leave). The terracotta-tiled buildings in Skopelos Town house romantic garden restaurants like Perivoli and Antolia, where locals come to listen to live rebetika music. On the northwest tip of the island, the quaint village of Glossa offers the best water vistas, especially at Agnanti, whose cliffside deck is the perfect spot for Greek classics like kleftiko (leg of lamb) and stifado (beef stew).
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Scrub Island, BVI
Don't let the name fool you—this small inlet near Tortola is as lush and dreamy as islands get. Until a few years ago, it was uninhabited and relatively undiscovered. But that all changed when Scrub Island Resort, an Autograph Collection opened its doors. Featuring three private beaches, a dive shop, marina, and award-winning spa, the property has all the trappings of a quintessential tropical escape. Bliss out with the island rock massage in an open-air pavilion overlooking the Caribbean.
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Read the rest of the original story: 9 Secret Islands You Need to See Now by Chelsea Bengier, a regular contributor to Jetsetter.