Spending the night on a private island is a dream considered out of reach to most travellers, especially if it conjures up images of relaxing in all-out luxury on the likes of Sir Richard Branson's Necker Island, which costs a cool £52,000 per night for exclusive use, by the way. But you don't have to be a millionaire to have a tropical island all to yourself, as we've found some amazing yet affordable spots you'll need to see to believe.
With hammocks over white sands, pristine coral reefs for snorkelling crystal-clear waters and wooden walkways leading to jungle hideaways, these incredible islands offer a Robinson Crusoe-style escape without the price tag.
For just £163 per night, you could enjoy one of nature's best-kept secrets in Belize on an island which has remained in its natural mangrove state in the Pelican Cayes, offering guests access to kayaks and snorkelling gear so you can make the most of the surroundings.
One island in the Philippines invites families to experience its white sands and rainforest when they choose to get away from it all in the Sulu Sea. The island is home to a two-storey house, a beach pavilion and a hilltop banyan house for secluded hours in the sunshine. It costs just £327 a night for up to ten people.
Want your own private island paradise? Take a look at the affordable options below.
Private islands you can rent
Ten private islands you can afford to rent
This private island getaway in the Caribbean is sheltered behind the Belize Barrier Reef and boasts two acres of land for you to rent exclusively. Located in southern Belize, eight miles east of the town of Placencia, French Louie Caye offers a coral sand beach and fascinating mangrove ecology. The rental includes a caretaker who will cater to your needs: he will catch fresh seafood for dinner, cook your meals, take you on a kayak tour and snorkel with you around the island. There are two bedrooms that sleep up to eight people on the island. From £283 per night with TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals.
Located in the Florida Keys, East Sister Rock Island is a private island offering a spacious living area with a veranda, boat dock, helicopter launch pad and other surprises. Built on a coral reef, the island is powered by wind and solar energy. There are three bedrooms sleeping up to six people and two bathrooms, as well as living and dining rooms, a bar and a private pool. Guests even get their own Skiff boat to go back and forth to the mainland. From £708 per night with TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals.
A lush, exotic sanctuary, Tropical Island Cove features a private beach, three types of monkeys (white faced, howler and squirrel monkeys), paths that go through the jungle and an open-air hut for you to sleep inside while still experiencing the jungle. The variety of animals and birdlife make this island one for wildlife lovers and the main house, which sleeps four people, has a palm roof and hammocks outside for embracing the island life. £163 per night with Airbnb.
One of nature's best-kept secrets, Hideaway Caye has remained in its natural mangrove state with boardwalks winding throughout the island. It is nestled in the Pelican Cayes, part of South Water Caye Marine Reserve, and offers guests access to kayaks and snorkelling gear to make the most of the surroundings. While the restaurant and bar are open to the public, at night you and your hosts will be the only people on Hideaway Caye. The elevated cabana for two people is reached by a walkway and boasts a queen-seized bed and beautiful veranda. £163 per night with Airbnb.
Escape to the Sulu Sea to experience gorgeous Brother Island, where you will find a two-storey family house for up to ten people. One third of the island is covered with white sand and coconut trees and the elevated beach pavilion offers a panoramic view on Daracoton Bay, with a chill-out area underneath. The rest of the island is a small rainforest with various jungle paths, a hilltop banyan house for secluded hours and a natural stone barrier protecting the island against waves and currents. £327 per night with Airbnb.
Experience life on your very own island in Croatia, the perfect place to go scuba diving, swimming, or perhaps even take the jet ski out for a spin. On the small island of Vela Sestrica, part of the Pelješac Channel, stands Korcula Lighthouse where you can dine in the shade or soak up the sunshine with sun loungers, a pool and a natural, rock-formed hot tub. Everything you need is inside, with four bedrooms for up to nine people, three showers, a fully-equipped kitchen and lounge to hang out together. When you tire of your island life, hire the boat and skipper for island hopping or head to the mainland to soak up city living in Dubrovnik. From £420 per night with CoolStays.
Just 20 minutes from the town of Placencia, Bird Island is a small island inside a coral reef, with its protected waters making it a unique destination in Belize. Ideal for total privacy, the island offers a Robinson Crusoe-style experience, featuring a main house and separate cabana for up to six guests. As it is surrounded by extremely shallow, crystal-clear water, you can snorkel, swim, wade or canoe right from the island. From £254 per night with Airbnb.
Just 90 minutes from Cartagena by boat in the archipelago of Islas del Rosario and San Bernardo, The Ark is a four-bedroom villa on its own private island with direct access to a lovely, white sand beach. It features original Caribbean architecture, with open spaces and outdoor living and dining. Designed by its owners, the villa's nautical architecture blends seamlessly with the lush tropical reef and the sea. Each of the four bedrooms has multiple beds so that up to 25 people can stay on the island. £218 per night with Airbnb.
For a super-luxury holiday you'll want to save up for, look no further than Little Whale Cay in the Bahamas, a 93-acre island that hosts its guests in three secluded sea-view houses for up to 12 people: Little Whale, Peacock and Flamingo. The stylish properties boast Cuban style, sea view terraces and a swimming pool. Around the island you will find small sandy beaches, a 'downtown' where the twelve staff live and a small church where guests can get married. £10,198 per night with TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals.
Indulge in privacy and luxury by booking an entire Caribbean island for a holiday like no other in Belize. Complete with staff including a manager, island chef and a concierge, Royal Belize is a little slice of paradise to enjoy with your friends and family. Spend your days relaxing or stay busy with beach games, jet skis, paddle boards and sea kayaks. The luxury villa has five bedrooms, six bathrooms and sleeps 18 guests, while boasting an unspoiled setting of tropical beauty. £3,116 per night with TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals.