Crowds and traffic—you are certain to find these in all the world’s tourist hotspots. The next time you really want to get away from everything and relax, book a private jet to one of the world’s secret islands. While these furtive destinations aren’t necessarily unpopulated, their natural beauty remains largely unspoiled by humankind.
In Christopher Columbus’ time, explorers thought that Pico was the last island settlement in the ocean before falling off the edge of the Earth. After the discovery of the New World, many ignored Pico, making it virtually unknown to many today. Visit the Azores island to walk through footpaths created by landscapes of black volcanic earth. Sample wines that you won’t find elsewhere in the world at UNESCO-designated vineyards. Rest your head in a basalt bungalow at Pocinhobay and take in the views of Faial Island and the Atlantic Ocean.
Côn Đảo, Vietnam
For a far-flung adventure, fly 110 miles away from Vietnam’s southeast coast in your chartered private jet to Côn Đảo, the only inhabited member of the 16-island archipelago in the Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu province. As you near the 20-square-mile island, you’ll see sheer granite cliffs lining deserted beaches with crystalline waters—like an uncrowned Amalfi Coast. With the arrival of the Six Senses Côn Đảo, you now have the option of staying in luxury villas that overlook the South China Sea. Arrange for a tour through the resort and see the island’s most remote spots, like the Dam Tre Bay lagoon and a 19th-century lighthouse. If you enjoy wildlife, visit Côn Đảo between May and September and charter a boat to Bay Cahn Island to see endangered hawksbill turtles lay eggs.
Rodrigues is so unknown that Prince William used it as a paparazzi-free escape for years. The fish-shaped landmass in the Mascarene Islands is full of islets and lush valleys, making it an epic destination for hikers. While the island is full of endemic flora and fauna, many enjoy walking among the Aldabra giant tortoises and radiated tortoises at the François Leguat Tortoise and Cave Reserve. These tortoises, along with three other species, once inhabited the Mascarene Islands in abundance before humans inhabited them in the 1700s. For your stay, book a private beachfront villa at the Creole-style Mourouk Ebony Hotel.
Skip Mykonos and charter a yacht to Skópelos in the Aegean Sea. Just an hour from Skiathos, the hit movie Mamma Mia used the island’s Kastani Beaches as a set. With one look, you’ll see why. From brightly colored Pelion architecture to hidden coves and Byzantine-era monasteries, picture-perfect Skópelos is the greenest island in the country thanks to its virgin pine forests. According to Greek folklore, Peparithos, Dionysos and Ariadne’s son, was the island’s first inhabitant. For the greatest comfort, book a Deluxe Pool Villa at the Adrina Resort & Spa. Don’t forget to try a Skópelos cheese pie, a local favorite.