Six Islands We Wish We Were Self-Isolating On

Mon, 23 March 2020

If only we’d known that three months of self-isolation were in store, perhaps we would have hot-footed it to one of these quiet enclaves before travel restrictions stopped us in our tracks. From the original Neverland to a tropical paradise ruled by pigs, these verdant island escapes were practically made for alone time.

Social distancing never looked so good


1. Rosario Islands, Colombia

To Cartagena, and beyond. This breadcrumb trail of an archipelago, just a paddle away from the pulsing port city of Cartagena, comprises one of the 46 natural national parks of Colombia. You’ll find us in a hammock, sipping a straw-speared coconut and leafing through a heavy stash of self-isolation literature.

2. Sifnos, Greece

There are a handful of those white Cycladic villages – the types which thrum with the click of cicadas – on this somnolent Greek island. We’re foregoing Mykonos and Santorini in favour of this islet. Not that we’d be on terra firma for long. We plan to gently stew in salty quarantine for 12 weeks, occasionally touching base for a spot of mezze.

3. Eilean Shona, Scotland

Where better to escape the current hellscape than Neverland? This Scottish island was supposedly the inspiration behind J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. It’s a fuzzy wilderness, punctuated with decadently furnished cottages (read: doomsday bunkers) and artists’ studios.

4. Medjumbe Island, Quirimbas Archipelago, Mozambique

From a bird’s-eye view it looks like a tadpole – a thicket of greenery with a spit of sand unfurling behind it like a tail – but on the ground, Medjumbe Island is a thriving hub of biodiversity with enough dolphins, humpback whales and sunken islands to keep a scuba-certified self-isolator entertained for approximately three months.

5. Niue, Oceania

Three months? Good luck. There’s almost too much coral for quarantine off the coasts of this South-Pacific island – one of the most reef-heavy in the world. It’s all chasms, caves and craggy coastlines here. We’ll be staying on after self-isolating for some full Polynesian cultural immersion. Niuean isn’t available on Duolingo: our plan is to wildly gesticulate and pray for the best.

6. Big Major Cay, Bahamas

Isolating with family and friends can be testing. Had we foreseen the current scale of the crisis, we might have booked a one-way ticket to Big Major Cay and formed an isolation cell with its population of swimming pigs.

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