Courtesy of BBC Travel
By Sunshine Flint
There is getting away from it all, and then there is going off the grid — on a remote island somewhere in a patch of blue. Hours from anywhere and maybe hard to get to, these places require effort and usually a unique mindset for the more-than-one-time visitor. But the reward they offer is equally one-of-a-kind: the opportunity to live out a fantasy of seclusion and exclusivity.
Even the name is a whisper of silky South Sea breezes lifting the frangipani and palm fronds against a velvety tropical sky. The islands of Fiji are true paradises, whose reputations survive political coups and being the setting for the final episodes of this season of the US reality programme the Bachelorette, and whose bone-white beaches and coral atolls teeming with tropical fish are catnip to honeymooners and sunseekers.
Permanent residents have an easier time buying property here, and if you own, you can obtain a three-year residency that is renewable. Buyers can find empty lots on the oceanfront, as part of a development, and many luxury resorts have fractional ownership of villas and bungalows, but those with grander dreams can also become part owner of a private island. Developers on Nukudrau Island are selling lots for $795,000 a piece (how much you spend on the South Pacific dream home is up to you), accessible by seaplane. Much land in Fiji is allocated as native land and buying it is complicated. It is better to look at freehold properties, like those on Vanua Levu, the second largest Fijian island. On Viti Levu, the largest island, a luxury property with 1,500ft lanai, an open-air porch, and four bedrooms, and close to Suva, the capital, is $2.75 million.
Discover more about life on remote islands at BBC Travel!