SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - After a frenzy of family activities over the holidays, peace and solitude is a dream for many people.
Upscale travel website Jetsetter (www.jetsetter.com) has come up with a list of the world's top 10 islands off the beaten track. This list is not endorsed by Reuters:
1. Mustique, the Grenadines
This small, privately owned island in St Vincent and the Grenadines is an exclusive getaway frequented by rock-n-rollers and royalty alike. The Cotton House and Firefly are the only places for non-residents to stay. If you need an escape with sun, sea, and salt water this is it.
2. Canouan Island, St. Vincent, the Grenadines
Canouan means "island of the turtles" in the local language and sports a lush landscape with rolling hills and secluded coves to explore. The powder-white sand, turquoise waters, exotic coral and quaint beaches make it paradise to enjoy. The Raffles Canouan offers breathtaking views and a list of activities.
Mauritius, an island nation off the coast of Africa, is a vibrant island with white sand beaches and turquoise waters as well as an interesting blend of Creole, Chinese, Indian and European cultures. It's renowned for having been the only known home of the dodo.
4. Fernando de Noronha
Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago of 21 islands off the coast of northern Brazil with a majority of the archipelago declared a maritime national park. With a restricted number of visitors allowed at any time, this national park is a true treasure of protected and endangered species.
Lipari is the largest of the Aeolian Islands north of Sicily. Its natural beauty was created by a succession of volcanoes making it a fascinating geological masterpiece. As expected the food, the people and the beat of Lipari is Italian in every way.
6. Harbour Island, Bahamas
Part of the Bahamas collection of over 1,100 islands, this small island has more than three miles of pink sand. The Rock House is a stand-out place to stay.
7. Kangaroo Island, Australia
You'll have to fly from mainland Australia or ferry over, but once you're at this island you'll appreciate the effort. For animal lovers there's no place better to see native Australian animals and birds in their natural habitat.
One of the islands off Croatia, part of the Dalmatian coast, Hvar has a beautiful port town of the same name. Explore the small villages, vineyards, and the fig and olive groves.
9. Muhu Island
Muhu is an island off Estonia in the Baltic region with a population of less than 2,000. The island still has a working windmill, folk traditions, and a small luxury hotel and spa called Padaste Manor.
Culebra is an archipelago off Puerto Rico with many of its islands classified as nature reserves. There are bird sanctuaries as well as stunning beaches.
Editing by Belinda Goldsmith