Our world has more than 100,000 islands, from tiny coral atolls to the expanses of Greenland and Borneo. For the most part, however, the island hideaways we have in mind have certain characteristics in common: a tropical climate, long white beaches, and crystal clear waters where you can swim, snorkel, and dive amongst the schools of fish. They are, in short, paradises of sun and sand, surrounded by a wreath of surf.
We have sought out a few private islands where you can get completely away from it all. You can’t beat them for seclusion, or, for that matter, the levels of luxury you’ll encounter. The World Travel Awards voted Thanda Island as the World's Leading Exclusive Private Island in 2016, and the following year it made Conde Nast Traveler’s Hot List. Similar accolades have rightly been heaped upon Malayasia’s Gaya Island Resort and Azura Quilalea off the coast of Mozambique.
You don’t have to go to sea to find your island paradise, either. One of the most remarkable hideaways we’ve found - the Royal Chundu Island Lodge - is within the mighty Zambezi, a stone’s throw from Victoria Falls.