Islands are often considered the best places in the world to get away to, often associated with serenity and seclusion – two things we want in a holiday far from the madding crowd. But outside of the obvious suggestions like Indonesia, Vanuatu, et al – which are archipelagos, strictly speaking – not enough is known about some of the world’s most awe-inspiring and exotic locales, some actually solitary islands in the vast blue ocean.
That’s where The Islands Book by Lonely Planet comes in as a handy guide.
This beautifully bound coffee table book is packed with more stunning scenery than you can squeeze into an average Instagram feed.
Yes, there are some lovely places layered with silken sands and peppered with the usual palm trees but there are also some astonishing surprises – places you may never have heard of which offer glimpses of rare wildlife and insights into some amazing history.
Off the coast of America on Antelope Island, for example, you can witness the migration of thousands of bison, deer and, yes, antelope while hiking, horseback-riding or even mountain-biking.
Or there is Bled Island, the only natural island in Slovenia that is less than an acre in size and takes a rowboat to get to. Looking at a photograph of this place, you would think it was out of a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale.
Closer to home, there are tens of things to do in gorgeously kempt places like Rottnest Island off the coast of WA; Bruny Island off Tasmania; and the spookily named Deception Island just 100 kms from Antartica where volcanic activity and seal-watching vie for your natural attention.
Each destination profile includes an overview of the island’s backstory, beautiful photography, large-scale detailed maps highlighting the island’s top 5 points of interest, and even practical information so that you can fully plan your visit.
This book is a great gift idea for the ardent traveler in your life – even if they might be waiting patiently for airline ticket prices to fall to more realistic levels.
‘The Islands Book’ is published by Lonely Planet.