(James Kaiser ) James Kaiser, author of Acadia: The Complete Guide, says, "Thanks to its remote location, Isle au Haut is the perfect place to soak in the slow pace of Maine island life. Even in July and August, when much of the coast is teeming with tourists, Isle au Haut feels delightfully untouched."
10 Hidden Islands You've Never Heard Of
SEPTEMBER 06, 2013Anne Banas, Yahoo TravelUnspoiled and isolated, hidden islands are vacation bait for anyone with escapist tendencies. Protected from crowds and the stress of modern life, these retreats will allow you to become one with nature, soak up local culture, and live in paradise. So go ahead and become a castaway for a day or two. Here are 10 secret places—from the mysterious North Atlantic to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean—where you can completely surrender to island time.
The Azores, Portugal
Isolated in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Azores, a Portuguese island chain unknown to most Americans, feels remote but is actually closer to the U.S. than any other point in Europe. Each of the nine volcanic islands—from main island Sao Miguel to the tiny isle of Corvo (population: about 400)—exudes a distinct character. But all of the islands are rooted in Old World charm and offer plenty of ways to experience local culture and the outdoors. Feel the spray from the world's biggest mammals on a whale watch, hike up calderas to pristine crater lakes, or go spelunking though extinct lava tubes.
Ibo Island, Mozambique
Arab trading posts. Portuguese fortifications. Pirates and prisoners. Intrigued yet? Ibo Island in northern Mozambique may have a storied past, but it is still largely undiscovered by much of the modern world. Part of the Quirimbas Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, the island shifted from Arab to Portuguese rule until Mozambique gained independence in 1975. Arab influences are still evident in dhows (handmade wooden sailboats) now used for island-hopping and in silver filigree jewelry crafted by generations of skilled artists. When it comes to food, Portuguese culture shines; highlights include paozinho (a type of roll), cassava-leaf pesto, and dishes spiced with piri-piri pepper sauce. There has been very little island development since the Portuguese ended their 500-year stint. Now, the main tourist draws and centers for the local economy are the unspoiled reefs and mangrove lagoons filled with the likes of red snapper, barracuda, and other tropical fish. Part of Quirimbas National Park, these coastal areas remain protected through conservation efforts.
Isle au Hut, Maine
"You can't get there from here" is a common phrase in Maine. And for hidden locales like Isle au Haut that want to remain secret, that's a good thing. Located 17 miles off Maine's rocky coast, the Penobscot Bay retreat is a quiet place to land, a place where more than half of the island (about 2,700 acres) is protected as part of Acadia National Park. The small number of visitors (only about 7,000 annually) can camp overnight at Duck Harbor or come just for the day to take a scenic lighthouse cruise around the bay, lobster with local lobstermen, sea kayak, and walk on some of the 18 miles of hiking trails. Read more: Yahoo Travel