Looking for a remote getaway for your next holiday? Visit one of these out-of-the-way islands for the perfect mix of sun, surf and solitude:

Lord Howe Island

This close-to-home retreat is a World Heritage Island that only allows 400 visitors at a time, to prevent damage to the ecosystem. With the southernmost coral reef in the world, the waters of Lord Howe host over 500 species of fish. Scuba diving is a must-try activity on this island. Feed fish and snorkel at Ned’s Beach or shell, surf and fish around the island.

This island doubles as a birdwatcher’s paradise. Home to the endangered woodhen, Lord Howe Island has more seabird species than anywhere in Australia.

Banana Island

Get away from it all when you visit this private island off the coast of Qatar. There are only 141 available rooms on the island, so you must book early to get your spot. The perfect honeymoon getaway, everything here is exclusive and immaculate. Enjoy the private beach, lagoon pool, restaurants, golf course, VIP cinema, bowling alley, marina and spa.

Easter Island

Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, is a remote island with a lasting mystery. Home to more than 850 statues of large heads, known as moai, this island has puzzled anthropologists for years. The faces on these statues, thought to be carved between 1250 and 1500, all face inland.

Despite its remote location, Easter Island is relatively easy to navigate to. LAN Airlines has direct flights from Santiago, Chile several times a week.

Pitcairn Island

In 1787, a ship called Bounty left England on a mission to collect and transport goods from Tahiti to the West Indies. When conditions on the ship deteriorated, a few disaffected crewmen seized control of the ship and set him and 18 others adrift. The mutineers then settled in Tahiti or Pitcairn Island. Amazingly, most of the island’s residents are still descended from these sailors. As justice for their actions, though, Pitcairn became a British Colony in 1838, and still remains the last British overseas territory in the Pacific.

Come to Pitcairn for history and mystery with a British flare. Visit the volcanoes or the stunning cliffs, or swim through the surrounding marine life. Earlier this year, the British government established the largest continuous marine protect area in the world around Pitcairn to preserve its wonderful wildlife for generations to come.

Tristan da Cunha

Visit the world’s most remote island, Tristan da Cunha, to literally get away from it all. The nearest inhabited island is 2000 km away from this British overseas territory (and the closest uninhabited island is comically named Inaccessible Island). The permanent population of this island sits around 300 people. All land is communally owned and the main income is farming, fishing and selling postage stamps (go figure).

This island isn’t exactly the tropical getaway you may be picturing, though, as it sits in the South Atlantic Ocean and record highs for the island fall around 23°C. The island can only be reached by boat from Cape Town, South Africa, a journey that takes more than six days. For permission to visit, you must write the Island Council ([email protected]) for permission to visit. There are only six guest houses on the island, but some families open their homes to tourists as well.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Arian Zwegers; cropped from original