Un­ex­pected Is­lands

BY NATALIE COMPAGNO AND GREG FRE­ITAS

Frequent Flyer Destinations - - CONTENTS -

Is­lands are in­her­ently sexy. Some are tanned, hot, laid-back, and ob­vi­ous—think Kauai or Capri. Other is­lands are darker, mys­te­ri­ous, re­plete with mist­ing ice, jagged rocks, and a tough, come-see­what-I’ve-got at­ti­tude. When trav­el­ers out­grow their easy island re­la­tion­ships, they turn to some­thing more ad­ven­tur­ous: is­lands that test their en­durance and leave them want­ing more. Wel­come to the wild side of island life.

TAS­MA­NIA, AUS­TRALIA

Don’t al­low the charm­ing nick­name of Tassie to mis­lead. This island chal­lenges vis­i­tors with its over­whelm­ing of­fer­ings, from fine wine and beer trails to rev­o­lu­tion­ary art, and from week-long treks to wild an­i­mals. Tas­ma­nia is also breath­tak­ingly beau­ti­ful, and its clean sur­round­ing wa­ters pro­vide the fresh­est fish in the world. The cap­i­tal Ho­bart is uber-hip, don’t ar­rive with­out proper at­tire.

Check into the Henry Jones Art Ho­tel in Ho­bart for a lux­u­ri­ous, cul­ti­vated jump­ing off point for all Tas­ma­nian ad­ven­tures. This ho­tel is Aus­tralia’s first ded­i­cated art ho­tel and hosts ro­tat­ing art through­out its wellde­signed ur­ban can­vas. Ar­rive hun­gry, Ho­bart is a cov­eted culi­nary hotspot. Frank, Pea­cock & Jones, and Preach­ers are all divine, but for an in­sider, cozy neigh­bor­hood haunt re­serve at Tem­plo. Wine lovers can grab pic­nic fare at the Satur­day Sala­manca Mar­ket and then drive through stun­ning ter­rain to the Ta­mar Val­ley for wine tast­ing. Tassie is a temptress, it’s okay to in­dulge.

Of the many at­trac­tions that beckon, there are a few musts. MONA, the Mu­seum of Old and New Art, should be at the top of any list. Imag­ine a state-of-the-art mu­seum with an­cient art, jux­ta­posed with con­tro­ver­sial

avant-garde works, set in a cav­ernous rock and metal mas­ter­piece. The grounds host a win­ery, brew­ery, and so­cial club along with vast views of the ocean. One day is not enough.

Wildlife and rare an­i­mals abound. Be very Aussie and try some trekking on Maria’s Island, Tas­man Na­tional Park, or Lake St. Clair Na­tional Park. A Tas­ma­nia trip is not com­plete with­out a meet and greet with its most fa­mous mar­su­pial – the Tas­ma­nian Devil. Head to the Bonorong Wildlife Sanc­tu­ary and meet those perky

Devils and their friends – koalas, wom­bats, and kan­ga­roos. This very spe­cial place works hard to save and nur­ture Tas­ma­nia’s rare beasts.

The Aurora Aus­tralis, or the South­ern Lights, the world’s largest laven­der farm, and the award-win­ning Sul­li­van’s Cove whisky are a few more “only in” Tassie check­list items, so head Down Un­der and get ex­plor­ing.

FOGO ISLAND, NEW­FOUND­LAND AND LABRADOR, CANADA

Seren­ity, de­sign, and small-town charm swirl to­gether on this re­mote and mag­i­cal island. Fogo Island is lo­cated in far Eastern Canada and hosts a mere 2,400 res­i­dents on its

15-mile-long isle. De­spite its size, Fogo Island has the kind of ac­tiv­i­ties that make vis­i­tors wish they could stay for­ever. In early sum­mer ice­bergs from Green­land float by, in the height of sum­mer fishing, boat­ing, and hik­ing en­ter­tain and in the fall blue­berry pick­ing makes desserts and dishes de­li­cious. Any­time is a good time to walk along Sandy Cove with the lo­cals. Never turn down an in­vi­ta­tion to a Shed Party as that’s when Fogo Is­lan­ders gather in a back­yard “shed” for mu­sic and mer­ri­ment.

Fogo Island Inn is the place to stay to en­joy Fogo Island’s scenery and cul­ture. At $1429 per per­son per night, dou­ble oc­cu­pancy, no ex­pense has been spared for guests’ im­mer­sion and com­fort. The Inn is owned by the Shore­fast Foun­da­tion, a non-profit ded­i­cated to pro­mot­ing the cul­ture and vis­i­bil­ity of the island. The struc­ture it­self is a mod­ern ren­di­tion of a tra­di­tional Fogo Island stage, a stilted fishing hut over water, and its in­te­rior pays homage to the wood­work­ing and quilt­ing artistry on the island. A small con­fer­ence cen­ter, gym, li­brary plus rooftop sauna, and hot tubs re­plete with sea views are avail­able for use. The inn also has iso­lated, strik­ing stu­dios avail­able to host artists through­out the year, nur­tur­ing cre­ativ­ity on the island.

Fogo Island Inn is a lux­ury ex­pe­ri­ence but the real value comes from the peo­ple guests meet and the na­ture to which they are ex­posed. The inn en­cour­ages peo­ple to ven­ture out and dine else­where on the island. For an all-in­clu­sive this is ad­mirable, but even more note­wor­thy - the inn will pick up the tab.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMI­RATES

In essence, Abu Dhabi is an island made up of more than 200 is­lands. Each island has its own per­son­al­ity, rang­ing from man­made

“WHEN I LANDED ON FOGO ISLAND AND AR­RIVED AT THE INN I WAS IM­ME­DI­ATELY STRUCK BY THE CRE­ATIV­ITY AND DE­TER­MI­NA­TION IT MUST HAVE TAKEN TO BUILT SUCH A RE­MOTE, LUX­U­RI­OUS HO­TEL ON ONE OF THE FAR COR­NERS OF NORTH AMER­ICA. AFTER A TOUR OF THE ISLAND BY ONE OF THE INN’S COM­MU­NITY HOSTS, AND A HIKE ALONG THE ROCKY SHORES, I WAS COM­PLETELY TAKEN BY THIS SMALL FISHING COM­MU­NITY.” JES­SICA CANTLIN, PHO­TOG­RA­PHER AND WRITER

to ex­clu­sive, and pri­vate to skyscrap­er­stud­ded. The Emi­rates are fast-paced, gor­geous, and ex­otic. Vis­i­tors must ar­rive with plenty of en­ergy, ready to ex­plore its in­no­va­tive de­signs and buzzing desert cul­ture. Home to co­conut palms, su­per yachts, wildlife re­serves, Fer­rari World, and win­ner of the “World’s Lead­ing Sus­tain­able Tourism Des­ti­na­tion,” Abu Dhabi is sure to amaze.

Yas Island and Sir Bani Yas Island, are two very dif­fer­ent oases, yet both share the Abu Dhabi fo­cus on ex­cel­lence in tourism and lux­ury. An emerg­ing en­ter­tain­ment des­ti­na­tion, Yas Island is home to the high-oc­tane Yas Ma­rina Cir­cuit--host to the an­nual For­mula One Grand Prix. Guests can chan­nel their in­ner race car driver for a day through a se­ries of track day pack­ages de­signed to raise the pulses of those who feel the need for speed. The cir­cuit’s cen­ter­piece is Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi, built half on land and half over water--the only five-star ho­tel in the world to strad­dle an F1 race track.

For more rac­ing adren­a­line, check out Fer­rari World Abu Dhabi the world’s first Fer­rari-branded theme park. The park tells the Fer­rari story with revved up pas­sion through more than 20 rides and at­trac­tions, plus in­ter­ac­tive shop­ping and Ital­ian din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences.

Call­ing all Su­per Yachts! The Yas Ma­rina com­petes with the Caribbean and Europe to daz­zle the world’s rich­est sea­far­ers. If be­ing in the water is bet­ter than bob­bing on top of it then try Yas Water­world, a water­park so large it fits 43 rides, slides and at­trac­tions. For the brave there is the world’s first, and largest hy­dro­mag­net­icpow­ered, six-per­son tor­nado wa­ter­slide. Thrill seek­ers love the three-me­ter high waves on Bub­ble’s Bar­rel, which has the world’s largest sur­fa­ble sheet wave for flow­boards and body­boards.

Sir Bani Yas Island brings the softer side of Abu Dhabi to tourists, with­out skimp­ing on five star rat­ings. A na­ture- based des­ti­na­tion alive with wildlife and adventure ac­tiv­i­ties, a 5-star bou­tique ho­tel, lux­ury vil­las, pur­pose-built sta­bles and his­tor­i­cal sites, Sir Bani Yas Island is one of the eight Desert Is­lands of Al Dhafra. More than half the island is the Ara­bian Wildlife Park, one of the re­gion’s largest wildlife re­serves, home to 10,000 free roam­ing an­i­mals in­clud­ing Ara­bian oryx (brought back from the edge of ex­tinc­tion), gazelles, gi­raffes, hye­nas, and chee­tahs. Guests can take a 4x4 Na­ture & Wildlife Drive of the park ac­com­pa­nied by ex­pert guides.

Dis­cern­ing trav­el­ers can en­joy five-star ac­com­mo­da­tions to suit their taste with Anan­tara Ho­tels Re­sorts & Spas retreats on the island. For a truly Ara­bian Nights’ gal­lop through time, im­pe­rial-like sta­bles offer a va­ri­ety of eques­trian ac­tiv­i­ties and lessons, each tai­lored to meet in­di­vid­ual needs. A per­fect end­ing to any island es­cape, it’s time to ride off into the sun­set!

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