Alofi, Niue

The Coolest Islands You've Never Heard Of

Zegrahm Contributor|March 21, 2016|Blog Post

Given that Zegrahm guests tend to be some of the most curious and adventurous travelers on the planet, we are constantly challenged with creating ever unique, off-the-beaten path expeditions. Of course, that's a challenge we relish wholeheartedly, as evidenced by the ultra-remote islands we’re exploring across the South Pacific and Southeast Asia in 2017. Here are just a few of the far-flung gems you've probably never heard of—but are sure to tell stories about.

 

Babuyan Islands

This entire group of 24 volcanic islands gets a shout-out for their sheer remoteness. That, and the fact that the Philippine archipelago features spectacular coasts lined with cliffs and sea caves, hot springs, white sands, and some of the clearest water you've ever seen.

 

Henderson

The largest of the Pitcairn Island groups is one of just a few elevated coral atolls in the world that has remained relatively untouched by humans. Granted designated status by UNESCO, Henderson displays a remarkably diverse ecosystem with numerous endemic species; it is the last known breeding area for the endangered Henderson Petrel. 

 

Naoshima

This small island in Japan's Seto Inland Sea has evolved from a sleepy settlement of fisherfolk to a contemporary art mecca. Nature gets incorporated in the installations at the Benesse House Museum complex; Monet goes underground at the cutting-edge Chichu Art Museum; and the Art House Project in Honmura has transformed abandoned buildings around the tiny port town into big-vision venues.

 

Niue

Located around 1,500 miles northeast of New Zealand and measuring a mere 100 square miles in size, Niue is one of the smallest self-governing states on Earth—while also being one of its largest raised coral atolls. Needless to say, the diving here is surreal, dropping off into deep ocean just hundreds of yards off shore. You can swim with dolphins, snorkel in rock pools teeming with fish, and get up close to whales in the warm, crystal waters.

 

Yakushima

Set off the southern coast of Kyushu, this forested island—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—is home to some of the oldest living trees on the planet. Many of the giant sugi or Japanese cedar, which reach 80 feet in height, are estimated to be upwards of 5,000 years old. The island also offers wonderful hot springs and hiking trails.

 

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