Turns out private islands aren’t just for billionaires and Bond villains. In fact, there are quite a few scattered throughout cottage country that don’t require a small fortune, or evil moniker, to rent. Sure, they’ll cost you more than your basic cottage rental, but they’re still quite affordable when you split the rate* among a group of friends. Plus, why rent a cottage when you could rent an entire island?
*The rates listed may fluctuate.
A secret retreat in the Quebec Laurentians
With a name like Secret Island, how could this Laurentian retreat not be a hidden gem? Located on Quebec’s Lake Echo, just 45 minutes away from Montreal, this entire island is available to rent for roughly $600 per night. The property sleeps up to eight people in the rustic stone-walled cabin, so if you max out your occupancy, it’ll cost you less than $100 each per night. Best of all, it’s available for rental year-round, so you can make your great escape no matter the season. More info: privateislandsonline.com
A party for you and 17 friends in Maine
If your idea of getting away involves bringing 17 of your closest friends, Spruce Island in Maine is your ideal retreat. This 80-acre private island has just one large house and a sleeping cabin, which can fit 18 people across seven rooms. The rest of the huge island is free for nature walks and outdoor games. If the weather’s bad, there’s a video library, board games, a ping pong table, and even WiFi to keep you entertained. The rate—$475 per night plus $57 for each additional person—might seem high at first, but split among 18 people, that’s less than $500 each for a full week. More info: vrbo.com
A digital detox for two near Algonquin Park
Those seeking a bit of off-the-grid romance might like this private island near Ontario’s Algonquin Park. With no electricity or plumbing, and only small villages nearby, you can get back to nature and leave the rest of the world behind. There’s no television or internet, but there is a sauna for warming up after an evening swim. Plus, transportation to and from the island is offered, and breakfasts and dinners—with vegan and local menu options—are available on request. The one-room cottage sleeps two and will cost you $100 per night. More info: airbnb.ca
A sunny spot for a dozen friends in Ontario
Who could turn down an invite to Sunny Island? Located in Port Severn, Ontario, this private island holds a historic 1926 six-bedroom cottage and separate bunkhouse—perfect for cramming in lots of friends. Amenities include a hot tub, horseshoe pit, basketball net, badminton set, water slide, and paddle boat. And when it’s time to relax, there’s the waterfront fire pit or the 100-foot wraparound screened-in porch with dining and sitting areas. A weekly rate of $4,000 means a full house will cost each of you just over $600 for seven days. More info: canadastays.com
An island village in Connecticut
Have a really, really large group of friends? Well, you and your team can practically build your own village on Laurel Island in East Hampton, Connecticut. The 5-acre spot on Lake Pocotopaug has five private cabins and a main lodge that can host up to 36 people. Play volleyball or bocce ball, take a walk along the rocky outcrops, pick wild blueberries, or just spend your weekend lounging in a hammock or on the large, covered waterfront deck. A packed weekend will cost you between $210-$320 per person, depending on if you want to include local catering (menu options include vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free). More info: airbnb.ca