Somewhere there is an island just for you

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So many islands in the world (around 2 million at the last count), so little desire to leave the comfort of the computer screen.

So many islands in the world (around 2 million at the last count), so little desire to leave the comfort of the computer screen.

Until you realize that out there somewhere there is an island that could have been designed just for you.

So who are you? Millionaire? Nudist? Family guy or celebrity stalker? Figure that out first, then get booking.

1. Millionaires: Musha Cay, Bahamas

Musha Cay is a millionaire’s playground. More specifically, David Copperfield’s playground, after he purchased the island resort from Blockbuster Video co-founder John Melk in 2006 for a reported US$56 million.

Other millionaires such as Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates reportedly vacationed here, and in 2007 Google founder Sergey Brin hosted his wedding on the island.

Musha Cay spans 60 hectares, but there are only five villas on the main island accommodating a total of 25 guests. Each villa comes with a private beach.

High-rollers can head out to sea aboard the resort’s fleet of sailboats, waverunners and jetboats. There’s a coral reef near the shore to satisfy snorkelers, and championship tennis courts and an outdoor theater on shore for those who prefer to stay dry.

What you need to know:

– Musha Cay comes with a millionaire’s price tag too, with rates starting at US$37,500 with a four-night minimum.

2. Nudists: Rab, Croatia

The Croatian island of Rab claims to be the birthplace of modern skinny dipping. In 1936, King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson obtained permission from city authorities to bathe naked in the inlet of Kandalora, and people have been doing the same on the island’s beaches ever since.

The Lopar peninsula alone has three beaches that are clothing-optional. Sahara beach, a sandy shore fringed by shrubs, is perhaps the most famous. The other two nudist beaches are Stolac and Ciganka.

Tourists who are done with exposing themselves for the day love to stroll around in the medieval old town, where four ancient bell towers and a cluster of monasteries and churches beckon.

For more, check out Rab’s official tourism website.

What you need to know:

– To get to Lopar, board one of the ferries that runs from Valbiska on the island of Krk. Krk, in turn, is a 90-minute drive from Rijeka, which has its own airport.

3. Couples: Lizard Island, Australia

Few things kill romance faster than the company of other people. Australia’s Lizard Island resort makes sure that schmoozy couples stay happy, with 24 private beaches to ensure maximum privacy for occupants of their 40 villas.

Lizard Island basks at the northern end of the Great Barrier Reef, but here you’ll find none of the sun-seeking masses that crowd other parts of the reef.

Spend the day getting up close and personal with the potato cod, giant clown fish and stingrays that can be found at dive site Cod Hole, which is located near the resort. At night, recharge with torch-lit dinners at any one of the resort’s beaches.

Lizard Island is such a favorite among couples that it’s even got an in-house wedding planner.

What you need to know:

– Rates average at AU$1,160-1,655 (US$1,245-1,776) per night.

4. Environmentalists: Sark

The Channel Island of Sark has been designated the world’s first “dark sky island,” as millions of stars can be seen at night with the naked eye.

This is thanks to the island’s tradition of prohibiting street lights and motor vehicles. Instead, the island’s 600-strong population gets by with bikes and torches.

On a clear night, the Milky Way and the belt and sword of Orion the Hunter are visible. Up to 100 meteor showers an hour can be seen on late nights in November.

During the day you can go on a boat trip around the 64-kilometer coastline or explore the island on rented bikes.

What you need to know:

– Ferries run daily from Guernsey to Sark. For boat trips along the Sark coastline, contact George Guille at +44 (0)1481 832107.

– Bike rental shops can be found near The Avenue.

5. Loners: Ogasawara Islands, Japan

If you don’t like people, chances are you’ll want to jump on a ferry to Ogasawara Islands and never leave. The islands’ English name, Bonin Islands, is derived from an archaic Japanese term that means “no people.”

The Ogasawara archipelago, located 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo, consists of three islands inhabited by just 2,300 residents.

The islands’ only link to the rest of the world is a ferry service that runs approximately five times a month from Toyko to the main Ogasawara island of Chichijima.

Apart from world-class scuba diving, the islands also offer other me-time activities including free-diving, humpback whale watching and dolphin spotting.

What you need to know:

– Homestay inn Craft Inn La Mere, on the isle of Hahajima, is run by English-speaking proprietors.

6. Families: Oahu, Hawaii

This Hawaii island is made for young families. Uncle Byran’s Sunset Suratt Surf School claims to have taken infants as young as six months out to sea.

A trip 30 meters underwater on the Atlantis submarine will give kids something to talk about for years.

Back on land, Kualoa Ranch offers two-hour tours on horseback into Ka’a’awa Valley, where “Jurassic Park,” “50 First Dates” and “Lost” were filmed. The younger ones will delight in petting dolphins at Sea Life Park. Dole Plantation, home to the world’s largest maze, is another kid magnet.

What you need to know:

– Kids will love staying at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, which has a mammoth family activity pool with the longest water slide in Waikiki.

7. Shoppers: Hong Kong Island

The fact that millions of Mainland Chinese tourists stream into Hong Kong to shop every year is testament to its status as a mecca for shopping.

True, Hong Kong’s shopping landscape is increasingly dominated by luxury chains (with no tax, luxury items sell for much cheaper here than on the Chinese mainland), but the city has a good collection of offbeat stores as well.

Our guide to vintage shopping in Hong Kong provides tips on where to hunt down pre-loved items on Hong Kong Island and beyond. We love Island Beverly in Causeway Bay for picking up locally designed, fashion-forward items.

What you need to know:

– Island Beverly is located at 1 Great George St., Causeway Bay.

8. Party animals: Ibiza, Spain

Millions of summer ravers pour into picturesque Ibiza town every year to dance to the head-pumping trance of its nightclubs.

Since the 1950s and 1960s, artists and musicians from The Beatles to The Rolling Stones to Nico have been hanging out on Ibiza’s sunny shores. Parties on the island still draw the supercool, including Kate Moss, Elle Macpherson and star photographers Patrick Demarchelier and Mario Testino.

Privilege claims to be the biggest nightclub in the world and even if it isn’t, it comes pretty damn close. Space is regularly featured on “best club in the world” lists, but the most enduring of them all is probably Pacha, which has branches in 17 other cities.

What you need to know:

– Party fiends might want to stay at the 368-room Ibiza Rocks Hotel on the San Antonio seafront, which has live gigs every Wednesday, four bars and two pools, one of which is the venue of daily pool parties.

9. Paparazzi: St. Barts, French West Indies

Beyoncé and Jay-Z have been spotted at least twice on St. Barts. There have also been sightings of Paul McCartney and Usher.

Lindsay Lohan tweeted a picture of herself wearing a hot pink bikini on the island to ring in the new year in 2010, and Orlando Bloom, Gwen Stefani and husband Gavin Rossdale were spotted vacationing there in the same year.

We could go on, but we think you get the idea. You’re likely to spot as many celebs on St Barts as you do in a gossip magazine, especially around New Year’s Eve, when Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich regularly hosts star-studded parties on the island.

We may not all be rock stars, but to feel like one, check into Eden Rock at St. Jean Bay, a glitzy resort with 32 beachfront villas and suites. Their humungous Villa Rockstar even has its own professional studio for guests to record their own soundtrack, should their creative urges overcome them.

What you need to know:

– Saline Beach is an impossibly pretty stretch of sand. Russian billionaires like to throw parties at the Nikki Beach restaurant, which has teepees and plush beds right on the beach.

10. Gourmands: Sicily, Italy

Cuisine from Sicily is in a class of its own. It is Italian food that has been influenced by the Arabs, Greeks, Romans, Spanish, French, Germans and Normans, among others.

The result is a wonderfully complex food culture that inspired people to call Sicily “God’s Kitchen.”

Palermo, the capital and the island’s liveliest town, heaves with restaurants serving everything from Pasta alla Norma to saffron spiced rice balls filled with ragu.

The ancient fish market at Catania is one of the most colorful in the Mediterranean. The monasteries of Sant’Andrea in Palermo and the Santo Spirito monastery in Agrigento are the unlikely locations to find the most authentic Sicilian sweets, including cannoli and sweet couscous.

What you need to know:

– The Hotel a Noto is located in a town that’s known to produce what is possibly the world’s best ice cream.

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About the author


Editor in chief for eTurboNew is Linda Hohnholz. She is based in the eTN HQ in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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