The phrase “island adventure” may evoke images of white sand beaches and cerulean waves, but not all island adventures are set in a tropical paradise. Here are five islands from around the world that offer a variety of exotic adventures for your family to enjoy!
MadagascarIt’s no surprise this island has been growing in popularity among eco-tourists. Isolated from mainland Africa, Madagascar boasts a massive number of unique animals, birds, and plants. There are several wildlife preserves to explore, where your family can see birds, orchids, and lemurs that can only be found here – a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience!
In addition to its natural bounty, Madagascar also has a rich history and strong cultural roots, including Unesco world heritage sites and the historical Route Nationale 7. Traverse RN7 and your family can visit many communities, taking in their individual cultures and handicrafts along the way.
Saint Pierre & MiquelonThese islands offer visitors a slice of Europe without leaving North America. Located off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, they were permanently settled by France in 1816. Your family can immerse themselves in this rich history at the numerous museums, archives, and historical sites dotting the landscape.
Although Saint Pierre and Miquelon remain a territory of France, these islands exude a unique culture all their own. Featuring a distinctive French dialect, a custom architectural style born from the old world and moulded by new world geography, and an exceptional seafood culinary tradition, there’s something here for each member of your family to enjoy.
SvalbardInterested in an Arctic adventure? Look no farther than Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. These islands are home to multiple national parks, sanctuaries, and reserves – a promising opportunity for an epic expedition!
Svalbard has three seasons to discover. During Polar Summer, the sun never sets and the wildlife population explodes as birds and sea mammals arrive. The Northern Lights Winter, in contrast, is uniformly dark 24/7. Your family can expect unmatched stargazing, complete with the eerie beauty of the Northern Lights. The light returns during Sunny Winter, making dog sledding and snowmobile safaris possible. Your family may even spot a polar bear during your journey!
Sri LankaSri Lankan history runs deep, with evidence of prehistoric human settlements from 125,000 years ago, and a documented historical record spanning over 3,000 years. This island just southeast of India also has deep cultural roots in the Buddhist tradition, making it an ideal location for those families looking to discover their spiritual side.
Sri Lanka is also home to a richly diverse animal population and boasts the highest biodiversity density in Asia. Over 20% of the animals found here are totally unique to Sri Lanka, and they can be experienced at any of the 24 wildlife preserves located across the country.
All right – some islands are a tropical paradise, like the incomparable Solomon Islands. Situated in the South Pacific just southeast of Australia, the Solomon Islands boast thousands of years of history, sandy beaches, and a reliably temperate climate.
Your family can opt to enjoy the tropical weather beachside at one of the many resorts here or explore the islands and peoples who remain steeped in their ancient cultural traditions. The Solomon Islands were also an important locale during WWII, producing an exclusive mix of war and aboriginal artefacts set against this tropical backdrop.
By Amanda Rafuse
Amanda is a Halifax, N.S.-based freelance writer and public relations practitioner. When she’s not writing, she’s either volunteering with a local charity or spending time cuddled up with her husband and fur-baby.