Five Islands You've Never Heard Of

Last updated on 07/09/2024

When you're trying to plan the best island vacations, you might think of the staples like the Caribbean Islands, the Dominican Republic, or Puerto Rico. The problem, however, is that other tourists are thinking of them, too. That can lead to a less-than-relaxing vacation (especially when you think of all the crowds rushing for a prime spot on the beach).

To avoid that, we recommend looking into more underrated vacation spots. "Underrated" can mean a lot, but here it stands for islands you may not either know much about or have heard of at all (which makes it more likely that others haven't either). To help you put your itinerary together, we've collected some of our favorites across regions and climates so you can plan your ideal getaway.

1. Isla Mujeres, Mexico

First up on our list is Isla Mujeres, an island with a laid-back atmosphere and world-class beaches found just a short distance from Cancun. A trip here can include lounging on the sands of Playa Norte, considered one of the best beaches in the Mexican Caribbean. After a swim in the island's turquoise water, you can venture beneath them to visit the Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA). This underwater museum features more than 500 sculptures posed across the sea floor that divers of any experience level can approach. Made from a special pH-neutral concrete, these sculptures also encourage coral growth, making them havens for local marine life.

2. Koh Lanta, Thailand

Another destination for one of the best island vacations is Koh Lanta, an island in southern Thailand's Krabi Province. Less developed than other Thai islands like Phi Phi and Phuket, Koh Lanta has fewer crowds to contend with on its beautiful beaches, or at the many waterfalls that are part of its abundant natural beauty. The lesser development also keeps Koh Lanta closer to the traditional roots of Thai culture, making it a perfect place for tourists to take a cooking class or explore its stunning Buddhist temples.

3. Îles de la Madeleine, Canada

Islands for great underrated vacation spots aren't limited to the tropics. For a vacation in a cooler climate, try Îles de la Madeleine. Also known as the Magdalen Islands, these form an archipelago in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada. In contrast to the tropical locales on this list, the Magdalen Islands' natural wonders include breathtaking red sandstone cliffs and lush, green, rolling hills. If you visit in the warmer months, hiking, kayaking, and birdwatching await. Plenty of activities are possible in winter, too, including snowshoeing and ice fishing.

4. Møn Island, Denmark

Another one of our underrated vacation spots with incredible cliff views is Møn Island in Denmark. Overlooking the Baltic Sea, these breathtaking drop-offs run down into soft white sand beaches where visitors can relax after hiking through its teeming forests. These features make Møn Island popular with outdoor enthusiasts, but it's also a great destination for history buffs. Heading to the interior, you'll be able to see sites like the Liselund Palace.

5. Ilha do Maio, Cape Verde

Ilha do Maio, Cape Verde, wraps up our list of hidden gem destinations for best island vacations. More than a peaceful and relaxing getaway, this island off Africa's western coast is an ideal location for dolphin and whale watching. If you visit between the months of July and October, you might also be lucky enough to see turtles nesting on the shores. Beyond wildlife sightings, however, there is much to enjoy—especially the traditional cuisine with African and Portuguese influences.

Protect Your Island Adventure with Travel Insurance

No matter what type of island vacation you're looking for, you should be able to plan your trip focused on relaxation, getting outdoors, grabbing the ideal photo, or learning something new—not the obstacles that could arise. If those concerns are on your mind, you may be able to address them before you leave by considering international trip insurance.

Coverage for travels abroad may be able to financially protect you in several scenarios, including delayed or cancelled flights, lost or damaged luggage, or needs for medical attention while you're away. And one of the best ways to find the right plan for your priorities is to compare options on

As the world's first travel insurance comparison website, InsureMyTrip is your unbiased resource for comparing plans and finding the right coverage for your trip. Here you can compare travel health insurance, coverage for flight cancellation, and more from top providers. You can also contact our dedicated Customer Care team of fully licensed travel insurance agents to answer your questions about international trip insurance.

To get started, build a quote on our site today and begin compare travel health insurance or any type of trip coverage you need. Then head to one of these hidden island gems and enjoy your peaceful vacation.