No matter north or south, few geographic locales can match the stunning natural environment of an island. Nestled into a dramatic cape surrounded by lush forests of cedar, Douglas fir, and spruce, this home on Canada’s West Coast scores high marks for its stunning vistas: walls of glass look out onto unobstructed views of the rolling mountains of Mount Baker and the San Juan Islands, and a spacious rear patio backs out onto 300 linear feet of ocean frontage. Whether you’re an up-for-anything adventurer or an indoorsy nester, this slice of island life could easily be your next paradise.
A marvelous Mauritius villa tucked into a cozy island corner offers a decidedly more tropical backdrop. Walls of foliage create a sheltered private refuge, while both the indoor and outdoor spaces are designed to maximize views of the paradisal surroundings. An expansive terrace and sizable plunge pool overlooks swaths of abundant vegetation with the Indian Ocean in the distance.
Untouched beaches are another one of island living’s primary calling cards. With powder-soft sands set against some of the most vibrant turquoise waters on the planet, when it comes to beaches, Bahamian islands are some of the world’s best. This enchanting 20-acre private island located on the Sea of Abaco enjoys a secluded cove, perfect for snorkeling the crystal waters or sinking into a hammock amidst breezy palms.
Changing oceans from the Atlantic to the Pacific leads the shores of this Hawaii beach house situated on the northeast coast of the island. Whale watch from the comfort of your own living room, kitchen, or master bathroom, each boasting views spanning Anahola Bay and Kahala Point up the length of Aliomanu Beach. A 50-foot pool on an ocean-facing patio, steps from a private beach, ensures that whatever your method of relaxation, shoreline views are practically always in focus.
A chance to set your clock to the unhurried pace of island time is a principal reason for putting down permanent roots. For a truly tranquil experience, travel back centuries at this rural Gozo idyll, located in one of the world’s smallest and most archaeologically-rich countries. House of Character offers a rare opportunity to acquire a portfolio of 25 traditional houses in Malta, an archipelago steeped in history in the Mediterranean Sea. Memories of a bygone era are instilled in stone walls and fireplaces, while sun-drenched patios overlooking rolling countryside call for long, leisurely meals in the sun.
Cross the Tyrrhenian Sea and you’ll find another magnificent and historic property among the Balearic Islands in Spain. Built in the 15th century, old-world touches abound at this Spanish country house, including exposed beams and a stone façade, while charming gardens, abundant olive groves, and sunny terraces offer plenty of inspiration for wanderings and reclining. With 14 bedrooms across several main buildings, this comfortable restoration is the perfect place to host extended island stays.
Surrounded by water, island homes often gain unfettered access to the best sunsets on the planet. There are few places on the globe where magic hour is more memorizing than Mykonos, and this spellbinding villa gets a front-row seat to Mother Nature’s most brilliant display. The aptly-named White Vista stands in striking contrast to the bright blue of the Aegean Sea during the day, while at dusk becomes a mirror for the pooling gold and pinks of the sunset.
It’s hardly surprising that many islands—like Fiji, for instance—offer exceptional sport fishing. Cast your lines on the waters at this private tropical island located an hour’s drive from Vanua Levu. Spend your afternoons chasing a variety of different species, ranging from tuna to the wahoo, before enjoying the catch of the day on the oceanfront patio.
Life on an island is all about being present. From adventure to downtime, it’s easy to enjoy the stress-free pace by making the islands your permanent home.