Crisscrossed with hiking trails, Skomer Island is protected by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales. A maximum of 250 people may visit per day, but there's only room for 15 overnight guests in a converted barn (shown here) where scientists conduct most of their research.
Even the pirates of the Caribbean took a vacation from plundering, and to this day, their hideaway has remained a fairly hidden treasure. Forty miles off mainland Nicaragua, the Corn Islands are still populated by the descendants of buccaneers.
Except for the six weeks starting in mid-July, Greece's Kíthira Island is a sleepy place with compact medieval villages that are home to ancient grain mills, Byzantine chapels, and cheerful wooden beehives that are painted yellow, blue, or white.
(Aggelos Kaltsis/Invision Images/drr.net)
After a 70-year stretch as a penal colony, Rottnest Island, 12 miles off mainland Australia, has become a popular day trip from Perth.
Unlike its more populated neighbors Bora-Bora and Tahiti, French Polynesia's Fakarava Island is home to about 500 residents.
The natives' warrior reputation convinced European traders to avoid Sumba Island in southern Indonesia, leaving it relatively undeveloped for centuries.
After living in relative isolation for centuries, residents on Peru's Amantaní Island began to allow overnight stays about 10 years ago.