If the holidays are looming, the time is ripe to start searching for a destination that’s child-friendly, educational and guaranteed to inspire memories of a lifetime – like one of these five awesome islands, as recommended by the team at luxury travel company Jacada Travel.
#1 Galapagos Islands
Among the most amazing places on the planet, the Galapagos Islands allow the whole family to view the region’s iconic wildlife extremely closely, such as giant tortoises, vibrant birdlife and inquisitive sea lions. The island’s diversity famously charmed scientist Charles Darwin when he arrived in the early 1800s, leading him to develop one of the world’s most crucial pieces of scientific research.
Jacada tip: “Our travel designers can create the definitive educational experience – from nature walks around the island, to snorkelling and meeting marine life up close in the pristine blue waters.”
An off-the-beaten-track destination for even the most seasoned safari-goer, the remote island of Madagascar has started to emerge as a popular destination for wildlife lovers. With 90 percent of all flora and fauna found in Madagascar endemic, and a blend of African, Arabian, European and Austronesian culture, it’s no stretch to call the island unique. Madagascar has plenty of beautiful Indian Ocean coastline, along with exclusive island retreats, a rugged interior just waiting to be explored and warm people to get to know.
Jacada tip: “We can help you plan a perfect family trip, including an opportunity for children to meet the island’s iconic lemurs.”
#3 Sri Lanka
The small and stunning island nation of Sri Lanka boasts startling beauty and striking Indian Ocean-lapped shores. The country is home to hundreds of miles of palm-lined golden beaches, rolling hills of verdant tea plantations, millennia-old temples, historic colonial mansions and ancient forests where herds of elephants roam. It also offers swathes of luscious wilderness as well as safari excursions perfect for leopard and elephant spotting.
Jacada tip: “A vast array of child-friendly activities are available, ranging from mask making with master craftsmen to treasure hunts around the World Heritage Sites.”
The island of Tasmania lies off the southern coast of Australia, and is widely known for its vast expanses of unspoiled wilderness, diverse landscapes that range from rugged mountains and highland lakes to rainforests, cascading waterfalls and a dramatic coastline. “Tassie” boasts areas and experiences that draw outdoor enthusiasts from far and wide; whether hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, wild swimming, sailing or fishing, there’s plenty for the whole family to do here.
Jacada tip: “The island is home to a fascinating range of endemic species, and we can arrange trips to Bruny Island to see curious white wallabies and visit the open-range Tasmanian devil enclosure, which children are guaranteed to love.”
#5 The Seychelles
No must-see island list would be complete without highlighting the beautiful Seychelles. Indeed, there is no beach destination more pristine; it’s the ultimate island escape and an idyllic finale to a family friendly safari. This nation archipelago of 115 islands has five marine national parks, abundant biodiversity in its land and marine wildlife, spectacular coral reefs for diving and snorkelling, and is the world leader in sustainable tourism matched with unparalleled glamour and luxury. The white powder-thin sand, turquoise water and rocky outcrops are perfect for exploring with the family.
Jacada tip: “Let us organise a private wildlife tour, so you and the family can get up close to rare birds and see turtles nesting.”
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This article first appeared in the April/May 2018 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.