3 Amazing Islands You May Have Never Heard of Before Now
Who hasn’t dreamt of moving far away from the mainstream hustle and bustle of civilisation to some forgotten place? I would assume most of us have had that dream pop into our minds now and again. There are a lot of beautiful places on this earth, some well-known, while others remain obscure. This article will reveal five amazing islands you may have never heard of.
1. Aitutaki, Cook Islands
First settled in A.D. 900 by Polynesians, Aitutaki Island is a part of 15 self-governing islands located in South Pacific Ocean. Captain Bligh from the British Royal Navy along with the crew of the HMS Bounty first made contact with the inhabitants of Aitutaki on April 11, 1789.
In 1900, the British Crown claimed large portions of the Cook Islands as Her Britannic Majesty's dominions. Nevertheless, Aitutaki was not included, even though the inhabitants of Aitutaki considered themselves as British subjects.
During World War II, New Zealand and American forces built a two-way airstrip to be used as a base for fighter planes and light bombers. Once the war had ended, many of the GIs remained on the island and married the local gals. In 2006, the US-based television reality show used Aitutaki as the location for its tribal council, while one of the tribes on the show was called Aitutaki or “Aitu” after the island.
Other than a few bars and restaurants, you won’t find a thriving nightlife as is expected on other famous islands around the world. A well-known place to grab a bite to eat and enjoy a few drinks is at Samade on the Beach, which is actually a small resort featuring a small hotel and twelve private bungalows.
Being that Aitutaki is right in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, residents experience a few typhoons a year, which can be hair-raising for those who aren’t accustomed to such weather.
It’s important to live in a solidly built home. This area is considered a tropical rainforest climate with only one season which is the rain season. The rest of the year is far from dry as well, with approximately 100 milliliters of precipitation per month. You can read more about the weather here.
2. The Azores, Portugal
The Azores, a Portuguese island chain, is an isolated oasis located in the North Atlantic Ocean. The Azores is all but unknown to most Americans and Europeans. The area feels very remote, nearer to the United States than any other point in Europe. Featuring an "Old World" charm, the nine volcanic islands emanate distinct characters supported by the local culture and the gorgeous tropical environment.
The Azores is an archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean approximately 850 miles west of Portugal, 1,020 miles west of Lisbon, 940 miles northwest of Morocco, and around 1,200 miles southeast of Newfoundland, Canada. It is an autonomous region of Portugal officially called the Autonomous Region of the Azores, one of two autonomous regions belonging to Portugal.
Due to its position in the North Atlantic Ocean, distance from the continents, and the passing Gulf Stream, Azores enjoys a very mild and pleasant climate. The ocean influences the weather, so temperatures stay mild year-round, with most daytime temperatures fluctuating between 60 degrees and 80 degrees Farrenhight. Additionally, Azores experiences consistently wet and cloudy weather depending on the season and other ecological influences.
Portuguese archaeologist Nuno Ribeiro speculated that earthen structures carved into the rocks on Corvo, Santa Maria, and Terceira islands date back nearly 2,000 years. Evidence found within these structures suggest they are ancient tombs used for burials and allude to the presence of human habitation before the arrival of the Portuguese.
By the fourteenth century, parts of the Azores Islands appear in the Atlas Catalan, indicating Europeans had already discovered them by then. But nothing else shows up in the way of literature or maps until the fifteenth century when Captain Gonçalo Velho, sailing under the command of Henry the Navigator, rediscovered the islands.
But other historians dispute this, saying that a Flemish-Dutch explorer named Joshua Vander Berg of Bruges, on his way to Lisbon, was forced to make landfall somewhere in the Azores during a severe storm. One such historian, Thomas Ashe, wrote a book in 1813 entitled A History of the Azores, in which he stated the Portuguese came after Berg and claimed it on behalf of Portugal.
Over the centuries, many of the "original" Azoreans have emigrated to places like Canada, the United States, Uruguay, and Brazil. Many Azoreans who migrate to the United States settle down in either Rhode Island or Southeastern Massachusetts.
3. Tuvalu, Polynesia
Formerly known as the Ellice Islands, Tuvalu is a Polynesian island country that sits in the Pacific Ocean. It’s situated in Oceania between Hawaii and Australia, lying little ways to the east-northeast of the Santa Cruz Islands.
Oceania spans the eastern and western hemispheres and comprises Polynesia, Micronesia, Melanesia, and Australasia. There are tens of thousands of islands that make up a large portion of Oceania’s total land area. In relation to all of that, Tuvalu looks like nothing but a tiny speck set off far from everything else.
Polynesians were the first humans to inhabit Tuvalu, having spread out from Tonga and Samoa and into the Tuvaluan atolls. Tuvalu acted as a stepping stone for their migration to the Polynesian Outlier communities in Micronesia and Melanesia.
In the mid-16th century, the first European to sail through the area was Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña. Mendaña first laid sight on the Island of Nui while on an expedition searching for Terra Australis. In 1819, the Island of Funafuti was given the name "Ellice's Island." English hydrographer Alexander George Findlay later applied the name "Ellice" to all nine of the islands.
Today, the United Nations has designated Tuvalu as being the least developed country "because of its limited potential for economic development, the absence of exploitable resources and its small size and vulnerability to external economic and environmental shocks."
Additionally, tourism is not very significant due to the country's remote location. In 2010, only 1,684 visitors from other countries came to Tuvalu, with 65 per cent of them there for business. That number only increased to 2,000 by 2016.
As would be expected of an island located in this part of the world, Tuvalu has only two distinct seasons: a wet season starting around November to April and a dry season starting sometime in May to October.
Beginning in October to March, Tuvalu experiences westerly gales and torrential rains - a period known as Tau-o-lalo. From April to November, the area enjoys moderate tropical temperatures, along with easterly winds.