IS­LAND FLING

Prestige Hong Kong - - AGENDA -

Leave the hordes be­hind this year. Make your hol­i­day heaven a far-flung speck in the wa­tery vast­ness

EV­ERY­ONE LOVES is­lands, per­haps be­cause of the senses of seclu­sion and oth­er­ness that they im­part. Sur­rounded by wa­ter, they’re by def­i­ni­tion places apart – tiny worlds unto them­selves that are fre­quently breath­tak­ingly beau­ti­ful. Bora

Bora in French Poly­ne­sia, for ex­am­ple, is what re­mains of an ex­tinct vol­cano that’s sur­rounded by a spec­tac­u­lar turquoise la­goon, while the lush green cliffs of Kauai were also punched out of the Pa­cific by vol­canic ac­tiv­ity. Off the Bay of Naples and within spit­ting dis­tance of the fury of Ve­su­vius, the ori­gins of Capri are some­what less dra­matic, hav­ing been grad­u­ally raised by tec­tonic up­thrust. Yet re­gard­less of how it came into be­ing, each of these specks in the blue yon­der – won­der­fully com­pact and in its own way re­mote – is ex­quis­ite. As the chances are high are that you’ll be con­sid­er­ing vis­it­ing an is­land this year (and we don’t mean Hong Kong or, God for­bid, Ts­ing Yi), we’ve done your home­work for you. So read on and dis­cover all the is­land you’ll ever need in 2018. western edge of the Philip­pines and has been hailed as the most beau­ti­ful is­land in the world. What this ac­co­lade re­ally refers to, how­ever, is the fab­u­lous karst lime­stone coast­line around El Nido, more ex­tra­or­di­nary than that of Thai­land’s bet­ter-known Phang Nga Bay, but less eas­ily reach­able and thus far less pop­u­lar. A fan­tas­ti­cal world – lux­u­ri­ant in al­most ev­ery shade of blue and green – of fluted crags that tower out of turquoise wa­ters, and caves, hid­den pools and la­goons – and even a sub­ter­ranean river run­ning into the sea, which Unesco has added to its list of World Her­itage sites – this ar­chi­pel­ago comes as close as it’s pos­si­ble to get to an Earthly won­der­land. Stay in one of nu­mer­ous small re­sorts, ex­plore by ca­noe or banka boat, snorkel and scuba dive – and con­stantly gaze in won­der­ment.

AZORES

PALAWAN

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