DREAM of an is­land ES­CAPE? There’s an op­tion for EV­ERY bud­get.

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if you want to take an is­land hol­i­day, there are plenty of op­tions to choose from, what­ever your bud­get

BEST FOR… LUX­URY Un­like many pri­vate is­lands in the Mal­dives, Ve­laa is owned by only one per­son: Jiri Smejc, a busi­ness man and fre­quent flier. Ve­laa is named af­ter the sea tur­tles that in­habit the is­land, which has been de­signed to look like the ma­rine crea­tures from above. The over-wa­ter vil­las seek to of­fer high-end lux­ury with the ocean as a cen­tre­piece. Lo­cated in the Noonu Atoll, 187km north of Malé, the re­treat is built us­ing lo­cal ma­te­ri­als. ve­laapri­vateis­ FOR… SECLU­SION Af­ter pur­chas­ing Isla Simca, its new owner, Jean Pigozzi, was so de­ter­mined to keep it se­cluded that he also pur­chased 4046 hectares of the Pana­ma­nian coast­line clos­est to it. It is all now a play­ground for guests, of­fer­ing man­groves for kayak­ing, scubadiv­ing and jet-ski­ing, plus 64km of moun­tain tracks. Sit­u­ated at the is­land’s sum­mit, 300 me­tres above the sea, four houses can sleep up to 30 guests. There’s also a pri­vate cin­ema. av­enue­prop­ BEST FOR… BACK­PACK­ING Isla del Sol (Is­land of the Sun), a Bo­li­vian is­land in Lake Tit­i­caca, is a favourite with back­pack­ers trav­el­ling across South Amer­ica. A boat from the main­land town of Copaca­bana will drop you at the north end of the car-free is­land and, from there, it’s a tough day’s hike to the south end for the boat trip home. Ac­com­mo­da­tion is ba­sic (but cheap!) and hard to book in ad­vance, but the casa own­ers are wel­com­ing. In the off-sea­son, you could eas­ily be the only tourist there. BEST FOR… COST-CUT­TING You can stay on a pri­vate is­land for free thanks to the start-up Work­, which matches hosts with hol­i­day­mak­ers who are will­ing to ex­change skills or man­ual labour for ac­com­mo­da­tion. The own­ers of a 263-hectare pri­vate is­land in Lam­bay, Ire­land, are cur­rently look­ing for some­one who can help in their home, babysit and do a spot of gar­den­ing. There are also is­lands that are listed in Croa­tia, Greece, Si­cily and New Zealand, in ex­change for labour such as nan­ny­ing, clean­ing and main­te­nance. work­ BEST FOR… PHO­TOG­RA­PHY Off New Zealand’s North Is­land, north of Welling­ton, is Kapiti Is­land, a wildlife sanc­tu­ary. A per­mit that can be booked via ap­proved tourism providers is re­quired to visit the is­land, which is home to rare bird species, in­clud­ing the white-faced heron and lit­tle spot­ted kiwi. Vis­i­tors can book overnight stays – in­clud­ing glamp­ing – through Kapiti Is­land Na­ture Tours, the only com­mer­cial op­er­a­tion on the is­land. kapi­ti­is­land­na­ture­

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