The onset of summer means vacation plans—or at least daydreams about them—abound. Whether you're looking for seclusion or are simply ready for a change in beach venues, these islands offer lesser-known ways to get your seaside fix.
The Outer Hebrides
Known for its ruggedly mythic terrain, the Outer Hebrides are an archipelago off the coast of Scotland. If you're in the mood for a relaxed summer sojourn, consider renting a beach-front cottage. The Callanish Stones on the Isle of Lewis offer a peek into ancient architecture, while the small islands of Barra and Vatersay present picturesque white sand beaches, playful schools of dolphins and other marine life.
Located in the Bahamas, Conception Island is a tropical gem hidden among the other more popular destinations. As its name suggests, the locale is a return to nature—the 2,100 acre island is a wildlife refuge replete with sandy beaches and clear water. A favorite for diving and bird watching, the closest civilized life is Rum Cay, which has a small airport and basic amenities.
Just off the coast of Turkey, the Greek island of Kalymnos is a newly popular Aegean Sea hotspot that has a range of outdoor possibilities. With mountainous terrain bordering the pristine sea, Kalymnos offers scenic hikes and swimming options. Rock climbing is also popular—the Grande Grotta cliffs are well known for their sheer size and impressive scale. Do your part to help Greece through their recent economic woes by enjoying the quintessentially beautiful Greek terrain of this small island.