LoAnn Halden No destination on the planet is more closely associated with luxury than the Maldives, and for good reason. Its landscape seems as if it burst from the sea floor ready-made for exclusive resorts: More than 1,000 coral islands rest contentedly atop an underwater mountain range in the middle of the Indian Ocean, basking in year-round sun and caressed by otherworldly azure seas. The surrounding reefs teem with tropical fish only a few fin kicks off the islands’ white-sand beaches
When considering the classic definition of a hideaway, it’s hard to come up with a better example than Petit St. Vincent. Renowned worldwide for the pristine seclusion it affords its guests, this verdant island floats serenely 40 miles south of St. Vincent in the Grenadines.
Returning from the legendary fall of Troy, Jason and Ulysses both heard the sirenic call of Isola Li Galli — an archipelago of five islands, 1.5 miles off Italy’s Amalfi Coast and 3.5 miles southwest of Positano. Isola Li Galli was believed to be the home of the Sirens, mythological women with the bodies of birds (“li galli”: “the roosters” in Italian) and beautiful human heads, whose haunting music lured sailors to their deaths on the rock cliffs.
Marlon Brando was not the first famous visitor to fall for French Polynesia; this scatter of 118 idyllic islands that glistens across an area approximately the size of Europe has been winning overseas admirers for hundreds of years. Brando fell for the Society Islands while filming Mutiny on the Bounty in 1960, but the first Europeans landed in Tahiti in 1767. Captain Cook, Herman Melville, Robert Louis Stevenson, W. Somerset Maugham and James A.