Ultimate Escape: The Best Private Islands Available To Buy Now
Linga Island

Whether it’s a private island owned by a celebrity trying to escape the paparazzi or the retreat of a superyacht owner prized for its deserted anchorages a private island is the most exclusive holiday home that money can offer. Click through our edit of the best private islands available to buy now to find your own piece of paradise.

Linga Island, Scotland

Closer to Norway than to the Scottish mainland, this 26-hectare island in the western Shetland Isles is not for those seeking a ropical retreat. However, what Linga lacks in palm trees and pina coladas it makes up for with spectacular scenery – including rugged beaches, pastures covered in wild flowers and a one-hectare loch. And all for a remarkably affordable £250,000.

Located in the sheltered Vaila Sound, Linga has been uninhabited since 1934. The island has the remnants of two cottages and planning consent is already in place for a new owner to make it habitable once more. The permission means the two existing stone buildings could be renovated and an additional cottage, pier and agricultural buildings could be built. In order to ensure the island’s natural beauty isn’t spoilt, the development will need to have a strong focus on sustainability. The plans nclude a windmill and solar panels for power, septic tanks with reed beds for sewage and rainwater capture from the cottage and shed roofs to provide a fresh water supply.

The Shetlands consist of nearly 100 islands, of which fewer than 20 are currently inhabited. Linga is located less than two nautical miles from the largest island, Mainland, meaning that the main town and port of Lerwick are easily accessible. The town’s facilities might prove useful if you are after some extra Shetland wool to get you through the cold winter months.

Linga Island is listed for sale with Vladi Private Islands for £250,000.

Big Scrub
British Virgin Islands

The tropical topography of Big Scrub has plenty of Robinson Crusoe potential. But because the island is connected by an isthmus to the well-known resort of Scrub Island, a new owner would have a much easier task if they wanted to create their own tropical hideaway. The larger of the two linked islands, Big Scrub offers panoramic views over the Caribbean Sea and has two peaks – standing at 133 metres and 95 metres – from which to take full advantage of the vistas. There are currently no buildings on the island but some infrastructure, including a limited road system and power from the mainland, has been put in place. The new owner could choose to develop the island in 55 separate plots, which have already been subdivided, or just create a personal residence.

The island is ideal for a yacht owner as the Scrub Island Resort next door has a 55-slip marina that can accommodate yachts up to 48 metres. Part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, it also has a sailing school, dive centre and an Elemis spa to unwind in. Big Scrub is also conveniently located just over a nautical mile from Beef Island at the eastern end of Tortola. This means that the airport, which has private-jet capacity, is easily accessible, as are all the facilities of Road Town the capital. Some of the BVIs’ best-known beauty spots, including The Baths National Park, are also just a short sail away.

Big Scrub is listed for sale with Sotheby’s International Realty, with POA.

Katafanga Island

Located in Fiji’s unspoiled Lau Islands, Katafanga has all the credentials to become a world-class luxury resort. One of the last freehold islands in the South Pacific, it has had a considerable amount of groundwork put in place. There is already a ring road, runway, reservoir and staff housing on the 90-hectare site. Twenty high-spec villas are also under construction, leaving a new owner free to come in and complete the development with their vision.

At 1.6 kilometres long and only 500 metres wide, Katafanga is covered in palm trees and tropical vegetation and is surrounded by sugar- white beaches. But it’s the 2,000-hectare turquoise lagoon surrounding the island that’s likely to be the biggest draw for future visitors. Encircled by a vast, healthy reef, it’s home to schools of tropical fish and bioluminescent organisms which light up at night.

Katafanga is an hour’s flight from Nadi International Airport, and by boat, the island is just over 200 nautical miles from Port Denarau Marina. Fortunately, there is a natural 60-metre break in the coral reef, which will allow superyachts to pass through and enjoy a sheltered anchorage within the lagoon.

Katafanga Island is listed for sale with Vladi Private Islands for $17 million.

Isola delle Femmine

Sitting 300 metres from the shoreline, Isola delle Femmine is just a quick tender (or an ambitious swim) from the toe of Italy – but it feels like it belongs to another time and place. The 15-hectare island, which is being sold by one of Italy’s aristocratic families, boasts a landscape covered in mandrake, mallow and erba stella, and dominated by an old watchtower.There are many rumours as to how the oval- shaped islet got its name. The most popular tale is that 13 Turkish maidens were banished by their families for misdemeanours and ended up shipwrecked there for seven years. Although there is little evidence for this, there are plenty of relics from the island’s genuine history, including Ancient Greek and Roman stone basins and a well that dates back to the Middle Ages.

The old watchtower was damaged during the Allied landing in Sicily in the Second World War but could be used as the starting point for a new development. The island’s shores are predominantly white pebble but there is also a sandy beach in a cove, which provides the best landing spot for small boats. Depending on the plans, it might be possible for the new owner to apply for tax incentives and funding to help secure the future of Isola delle Femmine.

Isola delle Femmine is listed with Christie’s International Real Estate with POA.

Ethereal Island

As its name suggests, the five-hectare island of Ethereal, which sits less than a nautical mile away from the mainland town of Eretria in central Greece, is so beautiful that it has otherworldly qualities. Surrounded by crystal blue waters, its flora-covered shores are home to pomegranate, apricot, peach, almond and fig trees that were planted by its original owner. The island’s natural beauty hasn’t gone unnoticed – previous visitors include The Beatles, members of the former Greek royal family and the late Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie.

The island is already equipped with two traditional Greek homes that were built in the 1960s. The main house has four bedrooms and extra guests can be accommodated in a bungalow on the largest beach. There is also a staff house with a further two bedrooms. Additional features include a picturesque chapel with hand-painted walls, and a Venetian-style stone tower, which previously served as a studio for the former owner, who was an artist. The island may feel like it belongs in another universe, but it is only 15 minutes by helicopter, or an hour’s drive, from Athens International Airport. It can also be easily accessed from the mainland by boat and has two piers on its west side that can be used for mooring.

Ethereal is listed for sale with Sotheby’s International Realty for €9 million.

Motu Moie
French Polynesia

Sailors have been seduced by the natural beauty of Tahiti’s Society Islands for centuries and this eight-hectare motu (island) is likely to engender love at first sight. Perched on the vibrant reef encircling the island of Taha’a, famed for its vanilla, Motu Moie is a private getaway. The island’s palm-tree- studded interior is home to an owner’s bungalow and three beach bungalows for guests. There is also a caretaker’s house and utility buildings. Freshwater is supplied by a natural coral-filtered well and there is solar-powered electricity. Ideal for making the most of the surrounding turquoise waters, a sports bungalow houses equipment for snorkelling, windsurfing, kayaking, fishing, spearfishing, water skiing and sailing.

Despite meaning “far-away isle” in Tahitian, Motu Moie is surprisingly accessible. The local village of Pātio on Taha’a, with its food shops and a doctor, is within kayaking distance. A 25-minute tender across the lagoon will get you to Raiatea Airport, with daily flights to Tahiti and Bora Bora. Alternatively, the latter’s iconic volcanic peaks are only 10 nautical miles away by boat. The Society Islands may be famed for honeymooning hotels – Four Seasons, St Regis and Conrad all have outposts on Bora Bora’s shores – but Taha’a has remained remarkably untouched by the international tourist influx. As a result, Motu Moie presents an exciting opportunity to develop an exclusive luxury resort – or you might want to keep this love affair all to yourself.

Motu Moie is listed for sale with Christie’s International Real Estate for $6.5 million


Just off Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu, Nananu-i-Cake offers nearly 243 hectares of tropical privacy, five soft sand beaches and its own private islet, called Bua. The island has plenty of development potential, but is already perfectly set up as a private getaway.

Sitting at the top of the island to make the most of the 360-degree views over neighbouring Nananu-i-Ra and Viti Levu is a four-bedroom residence. Designed by New Zealand architect Murray Cockburn, it has stone walls, dark wood shutters and a large open-plan living space. Further accommodation is found through a covered walkway in two Fijian guest “bure” bedroom suites. A pool is located outside within mature gardens, and is complemented by an outdoor dining and barbecue area to make the most of the tropical climate. A string of mangrove-lined tracks criss-cross the island to give access to its beaches and new 110-metre jetty. All of the island’s boats and all-terrain vehicles are included in the sale.

A helipad near the main house means the island can be accessed by chopper from Nadi International Airport in just 35 minutes. Those arriving by boat can make use of the sheltered jetty, which can house vessels with a draught of up to five metres at low tide. With all the benefits of owning your own island, coupled with easy access and a ready-made home, the new owner of this particular isle can have their Cake and eat it.

Nananu-i-Cake is listed for sale with Knight Frank for $12 million.

Blue Island

Sitting in the Bahamas’ Exuma Cays, Blue Island is one of the most expensive real estate offerings in the world – and with good reason. It’s the largest private island available in the Bahamas and the only one with its own private jet landing strip. Its location (approximately 550 kilometres from Miami) means it would be feasible to pop in just for lunch or sunset cocktails. Customs and immigration are available on the island for a seamless arrival and departure, and if you don’t fancy travelling by jet there is also a helipad, boat ramp and docks.

Blue Island (formerly known as Hog Cay) has a seven-bedroom main house, a guest house, staff  house and pool. The island has been set up with power, water and communication systems and there are more than six kilometres of roads and a jogging and bike path. With palm-tree-lined white-sand beaches and turquoise waters, the island exudes the charms that this chain of the Bahamas – which was not directly hit by Hurricane Dorian – is famous for. It is also only 20 minutes by boat to Exuma Island, where a further 20-minute drive gets you to the restaurants, shops and airport at George Town. Blue Island’s new owner could keep it as a private hideaway or turn it into a luxury resort relatively easily, as the Bahamian government encourages foreign direct investment. The biggest challenge for its buyer will be dealing with the celebrity locals wanting to use the runway.

Blue Island is listed for sale with Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty for $75 million.

Sheephead Island

Yacht owners seeking a remote residence in the maritime haven of Maine should check out Sheephead Island in East Penobscot Bay. The 26-hectare private island boasts not one but two properties with enviable Atlantic views. The colonial-style main house, which has five bedrooms, is framed by a meadow of wild lupines and juts into the bay at the island’s north-western point. An additional four-bedroom residence sits amid a forest of pines and offers direct access to a private beach. Connecting trails criss-cross its wild terrain and in the middle of the island there is a hidden swimming pond.

For those wanting to arrive by boat, the north-east of the island has a deep-water dock and protected mooring. However, a boat won’t always be necessary as at low tide the island is linked to Deer Isle – actually a collection of islands joined by causeways and connected to the mainland by a suspension bridge near Sargentville. The nearest village to Sheephead is Sunset on Deer Isle, a picturesque summer colony where  fishing and lobstering are still the main economy. Sporty types can also make use of the Island Country Club golf course and the hiking trails of the Barred Island Preserve. Sheephead Island is within easy reach of Bangor International Airport, which is just over 100 kilometres to the north on the mainland. It’s also an ideal starting point for ambitious sailors looking to navigate the Northwest Passage.

Sheephead Island is listed for sale with Vladi Private Islands for $7.975 million.

Lumber Cay

Made up of nearly 10 hectares of pure white sand and lush vegetation, Lumber Cay is a Bahamian blank canvas. Despite its wild appearance, the island’s optimal location makes it an enticing bolthole for any superyacht owner. Surrounded by deep aquamarine waters and with a protected bay to the west, the cay’s watery perimeters are ideal for anchoring and provide an easy hop from ship to shore. For those who prefer to travel by air, Lumber Cay is also primed for a helicopter or seaplane landing.

The Exumas may be known for their Robinson Crusoe aesthetic but this estate is just 200 metres from Staniel Cay, the region’s biggest yachting hotspot. With a marina that accommodates yachts of up to 65 metres, sunglass-shielded VIPs are regularly found propping up the bar at its yacht club. The Bahamas’ most famed Instagram stars, the swimming pigs of Big Major Cay, are also neighbours, while the bustling Bahamian capital of Nassau is only 70 nautical miles away. An ambitious owner has the opportunity here to create from scratch a personalised island paradise. With picturesque landscapes and a tropical climate, it’s no surprise that Nicolas Cage, Shakira and country-music power couple Faith Hill and Tim McGraw have created similar idylls nearby.

Lumber Cay is listed with Knight Frank for $9.3 million.

Image courtesy of Frangipani Photography.