Top 10 XXS Islands Worldwide
The smaller the island, the more intense the island feeling will be for the owner: Those who can easily go round their beloved piece of land, in a lake or on the sea, are able to embrace it internally. And the nearby shores always bring pleasantly to mind the seclusion from the mainland.
A little island is not always cheaper to buy than a large one because of its smaller size—its location counts more than its largeness. Islands on sale are especially rare in beloved areas like in front of the countless bays of Rhode Island in the US, in the lakes around Toronto in Canada’s Ontario, or in Europe. Even the tiniest islands such as those in the lagoon of Venice, from where one can easily go out for an elegant dinner in the city, or in a Swiss lake, are coveted treasures.
It is recommended to only buy an island with a size of under 12,000 square yards if it is close to the mainland. Dealing with bad weather afar from the coast can be difficult if there is no large stock of trees or hills to protect the residence. Apart from this, there are advantages to be had from living close to civilization: electricity, internet, port facilities. On the whole, it is easy to use the infrastructure already in place. And to have access to the cultural life of the next city offers a welcome change from life on an island.
Sandy Spit, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean
Thousand Islands is what the name advertises, but 1,793 of them are actually gathered here. They lie partly in Canadian and partly in U.S. territory and constitute, as a whole, a UNESCO biosphere reserve in the area where St. Lawrence River emanates from Lake Ontario. The largest of these islands measures about 48 square miles, the smallest one has just enough space for a tree and two bushes. As a favored holiday region, the whole area is so densely populated that it never gets boring—no matter how small your own island is.
Fish Island, Nova Scotia, Canada
Fish Island in the Mahone Bay has been privately owned for 100 years and proves: the quality of life on an island is not necessarily dependent on its size. The lively holiday spot Chester lies only a few dozen yards away, so that your favorite restaurant can be reached with a couple of strokes by canoe.
Potato Island, Connecticut, USA
Potato Island, like its 22 inhabited neighboring islands in the archipelago of Thimble Islands, consists of rose-colored granite, which once made up the cusps of a chain of hills that drifted by before the last ice age. The summerhouse in the typical style of the American East Coast originates from 1912.
Chauve Souris Island, off Praslin, Seychelles
Chauve Souris Island may be really tiny with its 1.7 acres, but the owner constructed an exceptional holiday paradise by heaping up sand, planting palms, and constructing two luxury bungalows. One of the extraordinary rooms, the “Pirate Room,” has been built directly into the existing rock formation. Honeymooners prefer the secluded “Shipwrecked Bungalow.”
Motu Haapiti, Bora Bora Atoll, Society Islands, French Polynesia
Both of the small Motu Haapiti lie in the safety of the lagoon of the Bora Bora atoll which according to the weather showcases a fantastic play of colors from turquoise to cobalt blue to purple. The villa and the guesthouse on the larger island, surrounded by coconut palm trees, hornbeam trees, and fan-flowers, are built, as typical for the region, on stilts, in order to benefit from the cool breeze of the gentle trade winds. It is an indescribable luxury to enjoy the view at Bora Bora and the Mont Otemanu as early as breakfast time.
Motu Tapu, Bora Bora Atoll, Society Islands, French Polynesia
Anyone who thinks of the South Pacific inevitably thinks of Tapu, for this private island is the most often photographed Motu—the name given here to those tiny islands—of the region. Access is exclusive to guests of select resorts and groups with private invitations.
Apple Island, Nova Scotia, Canada
Neighboring Oak Island may be famous for its mysterious treasure, but Apple Island in the Mahone Bay shines because of its unusual shape. Like an apple with a stem that is just a bit too long, this small island extends over 5 acres. One benefit of the island’s manageable size: if you built a house in the middle of the island, you would have an ocean view from every room.
Coney Island, County Cork, Ireland
Coney Island in Roaringwater Bay not only benefits from the mild climate created by the Gulf Stream in the farthest southwest of Ireland, but is also protected from the forces of nature through its location between the coast and Long Island. The owner added a glassed winter garden to the old stone house from which, all year long, there is a wide view towards the South to be enjoyed.
Le Gouffre, Brittany, France
Over the centuries, Le Gouffre, one of the most famous photo motifs of Northern France, turned into a peninsula: the earlier space between the two small islands and the Breton coast has been filled with pebbles and fossil material by the roaring Atlantic Ocean, thereby enabling contemporary residents to reach the mainland by car.
Île de Salagnon, Lake Geneva, Switzerland
Salagnon was artificially constructed as far back as the second part of the 19th century. The island offers a fairytale scenery with a view over Lake Geneva and the Savoy Alps. This extraordinary panorama inspired a French portrait painter during his holiday stay at the chic “Swiss Riviera” around the turn of the century. He bought the island and had himself a dream house built on it: a villa based on a Florentine model with terraces, pergolas, little statues in the garden, and grand stairs leading down to the lake. The present owner is familiar with the island not only as a holiday residence; he also spent his childhood here. He has only one unpleasant memory from the life on the island: sometimes, when he had to row his way to school with his sister during stormy weather, it so happened that the children fell into the water, along with their schoolbags.
Île de Salagnon, Genfer See, Schweiz
Salagnon wurde bereits in der zweiten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts künstlich angelegt. Von hier aus bietet sich eine märchenhafte Kulisse mit Blick über den Genfer See und auf die Savoyer Alpen. Ein französischer Porträtmaler war von diesem Panorama so begeistert, als er um die Jahrhundertwende seinen Urlaub an der mondänen „Schweizer Riviera“ verbrachte, dass er die Insel kaufte und darauf sein Traumhaus errichten ließ: eine Villa nach florentinischem Vorbild mit Terrassen, Pergolen, kleinen Statuen im Garten und einer herrschaftlichen Treppe, die hinab zum See führt. Der heutige Besitzer kennt die Insel nicht nur als Urlaubsresidenz, sondern hat hier seine Kindheit verbracht. Nur eine unschöne Erinnerung hat er an das Inselleben: Wenn er mit seiner Schwester bei stürmischer Witterung zur Schule rudern musste, kam es vor, dass die Kinder mitsamt ihren Schultaschen ins Wasser fielen.