Imagine a place where the only sounds are the gentle lapping of waves, the rustling of palm fronds, and the chirping of birds. A place where you can explore at your own pace, without the hustle and bustle of traffic or the stress of finding parking. A place where you can truly relax and escape the cares of the world.
That place exists on many car-free islands around the world. These idyllic destinations offer a unique blend of natural beauty, tranquility, and a slower pace of life that’s perfect for recharging and rejuvenating.
1. Mackinac Island, Michigan
This charming Victorian-era island is a true gem of the Great Lakes. With its stunning white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and historic downtown, Mackinac Island is a haven for relaxation and recreation. The only way to get around is by foot, bike, or horse-drawn carriage, which only adds to the island’s peaceful atmosphere.
2. Hydra, Greece
This picturesque Greek island is a popular getaway for Athenians and tourists alike. With its whitewashed houses, cobblestone streets, and donkey-drawn taxis, Hydra has a timeless charm that’s sure to transport you back to a simpler time. There are no cars on Hydra, so you can freely explore its narrow alleyways and charming shops at your own pace.
3. Caye Caulker, Belize
This laid-back island off the coast of Belize is known for its stunning coral reefs, friendly locals, and relaxed atmosphere. There are no cars on Caye Caulker, so the best way to get around is by foot, bike, or golf cart. Spend your days snorkeling, swimming, sunbathing, or simply enjoying the island’s laid-back vibe.
4. La Digue, Seychelles
This small island in the Seychelles archipelago is known for its pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and giant tortoises. There are only a few dozen cars on La Digue, so the best way to get around is by bike or on foot. Explore the island’s lush forests, discover secluded beaches, and soak up the sun in this tropical paradise.
5. Fire Island, New York
This barrier island off the south shore of Long Island is a popular summer destination for New Yorkers. With its 32 miles of sandy beaches, charming villages, and vibrant arts scene, Fire Island offers something for everyone. There are no cars on Fire Island, so the best way to get around is by bike, foot, or water taxi.
6. Lamu Island, Kenya
This Swahili island off the coast of Kenya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its rich history and culture. With its narrow streets, traditional dhow boats, and donkey taxis, Lamu Island offers a unique glimpse into the past. There are no cars on Lamu Island, so you can explore its labyrinthine alleyways and discover hidden gems at your own pace.
7. Isles of Scilly, England
This archipelago of islands off the coast of England is known for its stunning scenery, rugged coastline, and abundance of wildlife. With their white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and charming villages, the Isles of Scilly offer a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of mainland England. There are no cars on most of the islands, so you can explore their natural beauty on foot or by bike.
8. Carriacou, Grenada
This small island in the Grenadines is known for its friendly locals, laid-back atmosphere, and beautiful beaches. With its lush hills, verdant forests, and charming villages, Carriacou offers a taste of authentic Caribbean life. There are no cars on Carriacou, so you can truly escape the stresses of everyday life and enjoy the simple pleasures of island life.
9. Folegandros, Greece
This Cycladic island is known for its whitewashed houses, traditional windmills, and dramatic cliffs. With its stunning beaches, secluded coves, and charming villages, Folegandros offers a tranquil escape from the crowds of Santorini and Mykonos. There are no cars on Folegandros, so you can explore its hidden gems on foot or by donkey.
10. Vieques, Puerto Rico
This small island off the coast of Puerto Rico is known for its stunning bioluminescent bay, pristine beaches, and lush forests. With its laid-back atmosphere and friendly locals, Vieques is a perfect place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. There are no cars on Vieques, so you can get around by foot, bike, or golf cart.