To get away from tourist traps, try this tranquil island, the most Hawaiian of all, with beaches less populated
and hikes more wild, but zero nightlife. It's a 25-minute flight from Honolulu or a daily ferry from Maui to reach.
Kamakou Preserve: a highland rainforest that is home to rare native plants and birds and offers some of Molokai's best hikes. Don't miss the view at Halawa
Valley lookout. Also try the easy one and a half mile Pepeopae Trail or Biking Trail by mountain bike.
Valley: this secret 'Cathedral Valley' is also a great hiking region. The 2 mile trail leads you to the spectacular 228 ft (76 m) high Moaula Falls, though a permit/guide is required as it is private property.
Kalaupapa peninsula and the Kalaupapa National Historic Park: The park once housed Hansen's disease patients and is a magnificent nature reserve with the world's highest sea cliffs at over 3,000 ft). Be sure to get a permit or entry to the park will be denied.
Hike or try a guided mule tour along the butt-clecnhingly precipitous 3 mile (4.7 km) trail to the gorgeous Kalaupapa peninsula; it is not accessible by a car. The ride takes 2 hours each way.
Papohaku Beach: also known as Three Mile Beach, this lonely stretch of fine sand is one of Hawaii's longest beaches. Located on the west end of Molokai, sometimes big surf makes swimming difficult but it is superb for strolling, romantic isolation and dramatic sunsets.
Hula: Molokai is the best place to view ancient, traditional Hula dancing, especially at the annual Ka Hula Piko Festival in May when locals celebrate the birth of Hula.
Lanai island, Garden of the Gods
A privately owned island, Lanai, also known as Pineapple Island, embraces two top-scale resorts and two championship golf courses. Accommodation is exclusive and expensive.
Munro Trail: a 7 mile (11 km) dirt path to hike or drive by 4WD up to the top of Mount Lanaihale, Lanai's highest peak at 3,368 feet (1,027m). The panorama from the top over neighbouring islands is totally awesome.
Garden of the Gods: a remote and surreal field of eroded rock formations, multi-coloured, multi-shaped butts and pinnacles. It's 7 miles (11 kms) north of the city of Lanai and the best times to visit are after sunrise or before sunset, i.e. low-light time.
Hulopoe Bay: overlooked by a lavish resort, Hulopoe Beach Park is public and one of America's best beaches with a splendid swim/snorkel/diving zone in crystal clear water. Encounters with dolphins are not uncommon. Less affluent tourists can camp nearby.
Take a daytrip by boat (1 hour) if you have time but not money.
Known as the Forbidden Isle, Niihau lies 17 miles (27 kms) southwest of Kauai and is a private ranching island. It is the least developed of Hawaii's main islands and the best
preserved, mainly because tourism has always been discouraged; no electricity, no running water and the native Hawaiian language is still spoken. Niihau is almost
impossible to reach unless you take a half day tour run by a helicopter company.
||GAA operate two good value, adventurous 8 day cruises around the Hawaiian Islands, including guided hiking trips, snorkeling, kayaking, paddle-boards and more: Cruise North | Cruise South
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