Island getaways are the stuff of daydreams and of screensavers, but they’re not all built the same. No one said they have to feature white sands, tiny umbrellas and flirty barmen named Ketut. Maybe a Galapagos marine expedition, Icelandic waterfalls or the boab forests of Madagascar are more your speed. So if you’re looking for an isle with a little style, it’s time to think outside the box.

 

Lombok

Lombok is the quiet neighbour living next to a party house (i.e. Bali). Cross the narrow Lombok Strait and you’ll find yourself in a land of tobacco plantations and rice fields, where dense inland forests give way to white sands and some epic surf breaks. If you can drag yourself away from the coast, make sure you check out the enormous Gunung Rinjani, Indonesia’s second-biggest volcano. Read more about Lombom

Discover Lombok

8 days, from Ubud to Sengiggi 

  • Peruse Balinese art in Ubud
  • Discover Sasak culture and cuisine
  • Visit rustic craft villages
  • Soak up views of smouldering Mt Rinjani
  • Chill out on the secluded beaches of Gili Air
  • Discover a vibrant underwater world in Gili


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Galapagos Islands

There’s a reason the animals of the Galapagos have evolved in isolation for a couple of millennia: they didn’t want to leave. The islands may be more volcanic than lush, the beaches a little rockier than the Caribbean, but the wildlife spotting in the world’s most famous marine reserve is second to none. Sea lions, manta rays, sea turtles, bird colonies, sharks, migrating humpback whales. Read more about Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Venture

9 days, Quito round trip

  • Discover Quito’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Learn about the unique habits of marine iguanas
  • Be shell-shocked by giant tortoises on Isla Santa Cruz
  • Witness the splendor of the 150 m tall Kicker Rock
  • Swim with sea lions off Isla San Cristobal
  • Dive among white-tipped reef sharks, sea turtles and rays
  • Go kayaking in the Pacific Ocean
  • Watch the aerobatics of blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds


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Cuba

Dig beneath the peeling pastel paint of Cuba and you’ll find a heart of gold. Sure there are the picture postcard icons – cigars, rum, salsa, Cadillacs – but there are also acres of tranquil farmland, underground cave discos in Trinidad and the gorgeous Canarreos Archipelago: 350 mostly uninhabited islets just crying out for a sailing adventure. And with the recent changes to travel laws for US citizens, the Caribbean’s faded jewel is about to change forever. This could be your last chance to see Cuba before the crowds. 

Best of Cuba - 15 days

15 days, Havana round trip 

  • Stroll the streets of elegant Havana
  • Discover Cuba's pirate past in Baracoa
  • Get lost in the streets of colonial Camaguey
  • Experience Trinidad's unspoilt beaches
  • Learn how to move like a local in Santiago de Cuba
  • Visit Cuba's Che Guevara museum
  • Get acquainted with Havana's neighbourhoods during a city walk


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Iceland

Iceland is renowned for doing things differently. For starters, every Icelander is related in some way (they keep track in an app called the Book of Icelanders) and they don’t go in for family names. The island also gets 100% of its power from renewable sources courtesy of the geothermal forces bubbling beneath the island’s surface. But the country’s real power comes from the landscapes: immense beaches of black volcanic sand, surging waterfalls, steaming hot springs and lava fields bigger than Manhattan.

Iceland Discovery

10 days, Reykjavic round trip 

  • Discover Iceland's history in Reykjavik
  • Witness the steamy eruptions of a giant geyser
  • Hike to the tongue of Europe's biggest glacier
  • Travel to Iceland's 'Waterfall of the Gods'
  • Marvel at lava flows in Leirhnjukur that are still hot after 20 years


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Easter Island

Rapa Nui (that’s Easter Island to you and me) is a little speck of land way, way off the coast of South America. Separated from mainland Chile by 3,700 kilometres of open water, it’s a world apart in more ways than one. Of course the main drawcards are the 887 extant moai statues (not to mention a unique blend of Spanish and Polynesian culture), but travellers are also drawn to the world-class diving and snorkelling just off shore. If you like your island paradises with a dash of mystery, this is where you come. Read more about Easter Island

Easter Island - 4 days

8 days, Easter Island round trip

  • Walk on the verge of an extinct volcanic crater
  • View the ruined ceremonial village of Orongo
  • Play on the pure white sands of Anakena Beach
  • Enjoy the charming village ambience of Hanga Roa
  • Meet the magical and mysterious stone moai


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Madagascar

Take a slice of Africa and fill it with animals, then cast it adrift into the Indian Ocean. Leave it to simmer for a few million years, than add the culture of a dozen different migrant populations. Surround it with 5,000 kilometres of spectacular coastline, 450 kilometres of barrier reef and some underwater shipwrecks, then add a few moonlit boab forests and a migrating humpback whale or two. That’s the recipe for Madagascar. A lot of places claim to be unique, but this island really lives up to the label. Read more about Madagascar

Experience Madagascar

16 days, from Antananarivo to Ile Sainte-Marie 

  • Cruise to the beautiful Ile Ste Marie
  • Admire dramatic sandstone formations in Andasibe NP
  • Visit the historical centre of Foulpointe
  • Take a refreshing dip in the Indian Ocean
  • Watch local artisans at work in Ambositra
  • Revel in the romantic atmosphere of Antananarivo
  • Learn about sapphire mining in Tulear
  • Look for lemurs on a rainforest ramble in Ranomafana NP


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Greek Islands

It’s odd that Greek mythology is so violent and chaotic. You’d think with a world-class sunset every night, a few olive groves and an ocean of fresh seafood on your doorstep, the gods would have been a bit more laidback. Welcome to the Greek Islands, the Med’s most famous archipelago. This place ticks all the boxes: sun-bleached buildings, golden beaches, unnaturally blue waters, cliff-top views and enough ancient ruins to keep you busy for weeks. Want to learn more? Look up ‘paradise’ in the dictionary. Read more about Greece

Sail Greece: Santorini to Mykonos

8 days, from Santorini to Mykonos 

  • Enjoy stunning coastal views in Santorini
  • Swim in the warm turquoise waters off the island of Amorgos
  • Eat fresh seafood off the boat at a taverna in Small Cyclades
  • Wander the olive groves of Naxos
  • Explore the Church of Panagia Paraportiani in Mykonos


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Philippines

With over 7,000 islands to explore, each of them different, The Philippines isn’t an archipelago you tick off on just one trip. Scattered like confetti into the Pacific, this Polynesian island chain is fast becoming the new frontier of Asian tourism. You’ve got pristine beaches in El Nido, colonial architecture in Puerto Princesa, jungle-covered bluffs around every corner and tribes lost deep in the forest. Throw in some night-time fireflies in the mangroves of Palawan and it’s easy to see why people are beginning to take notice. Read more about The Philippines

Philippines Island Getaway

10 days, Puerto Princesa round trip

  • Visit picture-perfect Puerto Princesa
  • Take a trip out on the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River
  • Walk the Batak Trek
  • Enjoy lunch with a local tribe
  • Island hop around El Nido
  • Relax on pristine beaches
  • See a firefly show Peruse Balinese art in Ubud


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Hawaii

Its head might be in the USA, but Hawaii’s heart will always belong to the Pacific. The problem is, most travellers only come here for the same experiences they can get in America: big resorts, big buffets, big surf. And there’s so much more to Hawaii than that. We’ll show you the lava tunnels of Mauna Loa (the world’s largest volcano), take you snorkelling with manta rays off the coast of Kona and introduce you to the Humpback National Marine Sanctuary on Maui. Say ‘aloha’ to adventure. Read more about Hawaii

Hawaiian Highlights

9 days, from Hololulu to Kihei

  • Surf up a storm in Waikiki
  • Explore a volcano on the Big Island
  • Sample the national dish, poke
  • Stretch out on the golden sands of Kihei
  • Revel in Kona's beautiful weather and pristine waters
  • Discover the sacred site of Pu'uhonua


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New Zealand

The land of the long white cloud exploded onto the world’s radar with a little film franchise known as Lord of the Rings. It was a natural fit for a ridiculously cinematic fantasy world. But the thing is, the fantasy does exist. We’ll take you from tip to tip through geothermal springs in Rotorua, inky black fjords in Doubtful Sound and snow-clad mountain ranges straight from the silver screen. And considering you’re sharing these delights with only four million locals, there’s plenty of paradise to go round.

New Zealand Explorer

22 days, from Auckland to Christchurch

  • Be dwarfed by spectacular Mt Cook
  • Experience Rotorua's geysers and bubbling mud pools
  • Glide through breathtaking Doubtful Sound
  • Go wild in Queenstown - the adrenaline-rush capital of the world
  • Let Waitomo's glow worms show you the way
  • Savour the majesty of Mt Ruapehu
  • Soak up Auckland's cosmopolitan vibe
  • Spot sperm whales and dolphins in Kaikoura


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