Want to beat the winter blues? Move to an island: we have the pick of the world's best ones to call home.
Soft pure white beaches, crystalline sea, balmy weather – islands are the perfect place to escape the winter blues. However, some also offer better prospects than others when it comes to buying a home. A new study by Savills estate agents in association with property developers and interior designers Candy & Candy and investment management advisors Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management have revealed the ultimate hideaways, where the best of island living meets return on investment.
Turquoise sea, stunning pink-sand beaches, whimsical limestone outcrops secret covers and gorgeous sunsets - small wonder that Bermuda tops the list of the world's island hotspots. The island is a magnet for the rich and famous, including Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas. But you don't have to be a multimillionaire to buy there: the typical price for a four-bedroom luxury home is about £2.5 million.
The Bahamas rival with Bermuda for beauty and glamour with local residents numbering many A-list celebrities, including Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, David Copperfield and Johnny Depp. The latter was so taken with the archipelago's palm-fringed beaches, clear waters and relaxed lifestyle when filming Pirates of the Caribbean there that he bought himself a private island. And although the island is so popular with celebrities, house prices are surprisingly down to earth, with a four-bedroom top-end home costing about £1 million.
Closer to home, the Bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey are both fantastic places to live, especially if you love watersports. From windsurfing to sand-racing, they have got it all and the boating is unparalleled - especially because you can sail to France for lunch and be back home to enjoy the sunset. A luxury house with four-bedrooms on the open - the one open to incomers - costs about £1.5 million.
Image courtesy of: Visit Guernsey
It's hard to tell what's best about these tropical islands, whether
lounging on the soft, pure white beaches in Tortola, taking in the
majestic boulders of The Baths National Park in Virgin Gorda,
snorkelling along the coral reef at Anegada or simply go island hopping
by boat - the territory is one of the world's sailing capitals. A
top-end, four-bedroom luxury home here will set you back £1.9 million.
Image courtesy of: Calyponte / Wikimedia Commons
Palm leaves sway in the breeze, casting a pleasant shade over pristine e white beaches lapped by a turquoise sea. Life in Antigua is as idyllic as it gets, making the island popular with global celebrities - Oprah in particular is a fan. Best of all, a luxury four-bedroom island there can be yours for less than £1 million.
Image courtesy of: Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority
These islands just off Florida's western coasts have all the beauty of island living - with mies of soft white beaches studded with shells, thick coconut palms groves and colourful birds - with the added advantage of being just a short drive away from the buzzing Florida coast, as the islands all have causeway access to the mainland. The islands are predictably popular with American buyers but prices remain relatively reasonable, with a four-bedroom top-end home fetching about £1 million.
Image courtesy of: Peter J Markham / Wikimedia Common
Imagine soft white sand, the clearest waters, and fabulous beach bars, and you'll have the US Virgin islands - with the odd mongoose thrown in for good measure. St John in particular is a marine paradise studded with mango trees, and dense forests and surrounded by coral reefs. The islands are also surprisingly affordable for such a sought-after destination, with luxury four-bedroom homes selling for about £1.2 million.
Image courtesy of: Fred Hsu / Wikimedia Commons
The Hawai'ian islands have it all: some of the world's best beaches, such as Lanikai or Kauna'oa Bay hula dancing, the US's only royal palace (Iolani, home to Hawai'i's last queen) and even the tallest mountain on earth, though most of it is under water (the dormant volcano of Mauna Kea measures more than 33,000 feet from ocean base to peak). The islands are extremely popular with American buyers and a four-bedroom luxury house commands about £1.25 million.
Linked to Miami by a causeway, Key Biscayne is Florida living at its very best, with jaw-dropping beaches, coconut-tree studded parks and a barrier reef. Two hundred miles to the north Merritt Island, now linked to the mainland by a road, is a sanctuary for the alligators, manatees , dolphins and sea turtles of the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. A top-end, four-bedroom luxury house costs about £1.25 million.
Image courtesy of: Barry haines / Wikimedia Commons
Snorkelling, scuba diving, petting the stingrays in Stingray City, lounging on the coral sands at the Seven Mile Beach - the Cayman Islands have much to offer residents over and above their friendly approach to taxation (although that adds to the draw). Prices are relatively affordable for such a global hotspot, with a four-bedroom luxury home costing about £1.5 million.
Image courtesy of : Cayman Islands Department of Tourism