There are small islands, and then there are truly small islands. Harbour Island, a glittering star in the Bahamas chain, is not simply small; it is tiny. When I say tiny, let me be more precise: Harbour Island runs a mere 3 and 1/2 miles long, and is approximately 1/2 a mile wide. Can an isle with that little territory be worth a visit? Here's a clue:
(Footprints in the sand on Harbour Island. Photo: Mike's Bird, Flickr.)
No, the color on your laptop, phone, or device hasn't gone all wonky. The sand is pink. Pink sand beaches...I've heard about them, read about them, and yes, dreamt about them, but sadly, never seen them in person. The idea of a Caribbean beach -- already stunning in and of itself -- with pink sand gets these Island Runaways eager to throw some bathing suits in a bag and hop on the next plane.
(Harbour Island License plate. The T signifies a truck. Photo by Jerry "Woody," Flickr.)
Ah, but not so fast. Despite that our nearest airport in Miami is hardly any serious distance from the Bahamas, it's not without a little effort that you reach the tempting beaches of this diminutive place. From MIA you will need to fly to North Eleuthera Airport. Then you take a taxi cab to the boat dock. Next you get a water taxi (a.k.a. a 10 minute boat ride) over to Harbour Island. In terms of hassle, that doesn't sound all that taxing...although if the sea is stormy that last 10 minutes could become somewhat "interesting." As I wrote in our recent Tyrrel Bay post, sometimes the best island beaches aren't the easiest to reach.
O.K., so Harbour Island can boast of terrific sand and sea, but is there anything else? We hear that the architecture is just absolutely charming.
(A fence with pineapple detail. Photo by t!m, Flickr.)
With so little territory, a lot of people get around in golf carts.
(Golf cart parking. Photo by David Boeke, Flickr.)
I first came across photos of this unusual place in a book called Island Life by India Hicks and David Flint Wood. This English couple have crafted an intriguing lifestyle for themselves on this 3 1/2 mile-long paradise, in the process raising their children and establishing various business ventures.
(The Landing Hotel's bar, designed by Hicks & Flint Wood. Photo by t!m, Flickr.)
Their book not only captures some of the Bahamian details of the houses, but also shows how they've used the island as an inspiration for their own interior design. Talk about real-life examples of Island Runaways!
Even if we all don't pack up our lives and move away to reside on a tiny sliver of the tropics, wouldn't it be fun to play castaway here for a week?
(Path to the beach. Photo by David Boeke, Flickr.)
Yes, I think we'll keep Harbour Island towards the very top of our island dreaming list.