8 private islands you can rent on Airbnb that are cheaper than you think

Private island getaways are no longer just for the rich and famous.

If you’ve always envied Richard Branson and his getaway, Necker Island, jetting off to your own private island might not be as out of reach as you’d think.

In fact, thanks to Airbnb, you can now play at being Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp.

Here are eight islands available to rent:

1. Bird Island, Belize

It might not have a pool, but this small island – which can sleep four people – is inside a coral reef! You can swim in the clear shallow water, snorkel, fish, kayak, laze around in a hammock and potter around the colourful blue and orange wooden huts that will be your temporary home.

Luckily, the island is only 20 minutes from the village of Placencia, Belize, so you’re not cut off from civilisation, even if it feels that way.

2. Laurel Island, Connecticut

If you’re looking for an island for a big, luxury celebration, and have 35 friends you want to hang out with, this spot in East Hampton should tick the box.

Featuring five rustic cottages on the five-acre island, there’s canoeing, kayaking, swimming, water skiing, volleyball, badminton and more to play. You can opt for catering too if you’ve got the dosh to spare.

3. Vesterøy, Østfold, Norway

Escape to the sunniest archipelago in Norway, Hvaler, where you get your own cabin on your own rocky outcrop, and your own boat for getting around.

Provisions are basic (think camping stove and fire pit for cooking) and it’s cosy (the cabin is only 10 sq. metres), but there’s a private beach, books and board games to keep you occupied (but no TV or internet).

4. Ilha Grande, Brazil

For pure luxury, head here (it’s honeymoon/golden wedding anniversary-worthy). Two hours from Rio and off the coast of Angra Dos Reis, the island offers waterfalls, rainforest, jungle trails and deserted beaches, and there’s an oyster farm and floating restaurants nearby.

Catered (sea urchins are often on the menu), apparently you’ll be plied with caipirinhas too.

5. Cavinti, Calabarzon, Philippines

Billed as the perfect place to go to finish your novel or play, this grassy knoll of an island is surrounded by mountains and is just three miles from Manila, the capital of the Philippines.

With limited technology available (there’s a generator for power), the idea is to go there and relax, read, play board games and splash about in the lake.

6. Ottawa, Canada

With great views out over the lake and a cabin that has stood there for almost a hundred years, the wildlife is ace too. Look out for herons, loons, ducks, geese, turkey vultures, turtles, mink, muskrat, beavers, bullfrogs and even deer and snakes.

7. Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

The Ark is a four-bed villa that is surrounded by white sands, palm trees and exotic flowers, which boasts a lot of hearty Caribbean cuisine during your stay. There are reefs to see via snorkel and several decks to sunbathe on.

8. Popa Island, Panama

Stay in a pink bungalow on stilts with a straw roof at the Urraca Private Island Eco-Lodge. With space for 14 people, there’s a natural swimming pool, solar power, a bar, fresh lobster for dinner, crocodile night trails and some monkeys for neighbours.

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