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14 Islands for the Best Short Getaway from Singapore

short getaway from singapore - telunas resort
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Check out our guide to the best islands for a short getaway from Singapore – no flights required!

Looking for a short getaway from Singapore without the headache of flights or long-haul travel? These nearby islands make for some amazing short trips from Singapore! All of the destinations below are within driving and boating distance with a travel time of under 5 hours. Perfect for a long public holiday weekend or a sneaky mid-week break! These lesser-known island destinations each have their own charms too. Did you know, for instance, that nearby Tioman Island in Malaysia stood in for the paradisal Bali Hai in 1958’s South Pacific? Or that you can catch a glimpse of rare Pangolins on Cempedak in Indonesia?

Check out our guide to easy island breaks, so you can start planning your next short getaway from Singapore with the kiddos!

Read more: Where to Buy Travel Insurance

14 Islands the Best Short Getaway from Singapore:

Alang’s Rawa: affordable island

short getaway from singapore - rawa island alangs rawa
Image Credit: Alang’s Rawa Beach Resort

Travel time from Singapore: 3.5 hours by car and boat
You’ll find turquoise water, palm-fringed white sand beaches, and great seafood at this beach resort on Rawa Island, near the seaside Malaysian town of Mersing. With simple houses, guest rooms, and charming beachfront chalets, there’s a range of accommodation to suit any family’s needs (no TV or aircon, though). Prices are pretty affordable too with packages that include a minimum two-night stay, all meals included and boat transfers. We hear things get particularly lively on weekends with barbecues and table-top dancing, which makes this an exciting destination for a short getaway from Singapore!

NB: Children are not allowed on weekends, though from Sunday to Friday kids under 3 stay free!

Alang’s Rawa, Mersing, Malaysia, [email protected],

Rawa Island Resort: kid-friendly island resort

short getaway from singapore - rawa island resort

Travel time from Singapore: 3.5 hours by car and boat
Compared to neighbouring beach hotel Alang’s, Rawa Island Resort has the edge in kid-friendliness, thanks to a trampoline and giant water slide that are always a hit with kids. It’s also a bit bigger, with 77 rooms in total (with aircon; Wi-Fi and TV are available in public areas only), and serves up all meals buffet style. Other attractions include snorkelling, diving, and a lovely Thai-style spa. This short getaway from Singapore is best if you plan to bring the kiddos along!

Rawa Island Resort, Jalan Abu Bakar, Mersing, Johor, Malaysia, [email protected], Tel: (+60) 7 799 1204 / (+60) 7 799 1205,

Batam: easy island getaway

short getaway from singapore - batam

Travel time from Singapore: 45 minutes by boat
This island in Indonesia just might be the closest getaway possible from Singapore. Of course, that means the scenery won’t change that much (you still might see the odd oil tanker off in the distance), but it’s certainly quieter and more peaceful than our Little Red Dot with some particularly picturesque beaches. Top family resorts include the luxurious Montigo Resort Nongsa and affordable Holiday Inn Batam, which offers a kids’ club, water slide, and family-friendly 2-bedroom suites. Mamas and papas looking to treat themselves should head straight for the spa pampering of Tempat Senang!

Montingo Resort Nongsa, Jalan Hang Lekiu, Sambau, Kecamatan Nongsa, Kota Batam, Kepulauan Riau 29465, Indonesia, Tel: (+62) 778 776 8888,

Batu Batu (Pulau Tengah): great snorkelling

short getaway from singapore - batu batu island
Image Credit: Batu Batu

Travel time from Singapore: 3.5 hours by car + boat
A luxury private island off the coast of Mersing in Malaysia, Batu Batu draws rave reviews from families for its laid-back vibe and kid-friendly activities (everything from turtle-watching camp to a children’s playhouse, not to mention all their baby supplies so you don’t have to schlep too much gear). We also give a big thumbs up to the children’s annexe rooms located in most of the resort’s plush Villa accommodation (Beach Villas are your best bet!). Parents will love the on-site spa and PADI dive centre. Food is delicious, but menu options are limited for picky eaters. Batu Batu makes for a relaxing beach getaway from the hustle and bustle of Singapore.

Batu Batu[email protected],

Bintan: easy island getaway

short getaway from singapore - The Spa Villa Bintan
Image Credit: The Spa Villa Bintan

Travel time from Singapore: 1 hour by boat
Another easy-peasy short getaway from Singapore, Bintan in Indonesia feels just far enough away from Singapore to justify the rather high hotel prices you’re apt to pay (considerably more than you’d pay in Thailand or Bali, for instance, despite fewer cultural activities and restaurants). The beach and some excellent golf are major selling points; we also can’t fault the gorgeous spa at the Banyan Tree. Other fam-friendly lodging options include Pantai Indah, Club Med Bintan and Nirwana Gardens (or you can really splash out at The Sanchaya).

Banyan Tree, Jalan Teluk Berembang, Sebong Lagoi, Kec. Tlk. Sebong, Kabupaten Bintan, Kepulauan Riau 29155, Indonesia, Tel: (+62) 770 693 100, 

Read more: Ultimate Guide to Bintan: Where to Stay and What to Do

Cempedak Private Island: Adults-only island

short getaway from singapore - cempedak private island near singapore

Travel time from Singapore: 2.5 hours by ferry + car + boat
From the team that created luxury family escape Nikoi Island, comes this 17 hectare adults-only private island off the coast of Bintan – perfect for a break from the rowdy kiddos and a short getaway from Singapore with the hubs. With its own rainforest and a host of fascinating birds and other wildlife (including the endangered pangolin), Cempedak makes the most of its natural surroundings with state-of-the-art villas constructed using bamboo and local grass (each has its own private pool, too!). Villas are either beachfront or have sweeping sea views. You’ll also have tennis, a spa, and plenty of water sports to keep you busy.

Cempedak Private Island, Indonesia [email protected],

Nikoi Island: Robinson-Crusoe island vibes

short getaway from singapore - nikoi island

Travel time from Singapore: 2.5 hours by ferry + car + boat
A 30-minute boat ride from Bintan, Nikoi is a private island renowned for its unspoilt coast and pristine conditions, which makes this one of our favourite spots for a short trip from Singapore. Ringed by white sandy beaches and coral reefs, it’s also home to a rainforest and a diverse population of local birds. All accommodation is in villas handcrafted from driftwood; a number of the one-bedroom villas even come with bunk beds to accommodate families of four. There’s also a pirate-themed kids’ club, plus plenty of back-to-nature fun like swinging on vines, climbing rocks, and snorkelling. Meanwhile, mamas can head to the plush spa (they actually offer kids’ massages, too!), or get active with rock climbing, mountain biking, or any number of water sports. Book early – Nikoi is known to fill up months in advance.

Nikoi Island, Indonesia,

Joyo Resort: rent your own private island

short getaway from singapore - joyo resort

Travel time from Singapore: 3.5 hours by car and boat
Calling itself “your classic Robinson Crusoe island”, this spot near Bintan in Indonesia is all about barefoot luxury – think white sand beaches, turquoise seas, luxe massage bales and fab food (which is included in your room rate). With just seven “palaces”, mostly constructed out of local driftwood and fronting directly onto the beach, it really can feel like your own private island, particularly if you manage to book in with a group of friends for a fun short getaway from Singapore.

Joyo Island Resort, Pulau Suka, Pulau Bintan, Kepulauan Riau, Indonesia, [email protected],

Pulau Pangkil: rent your own private island

short getaway from singapore - pulau pangkil

Travel time from Singapore: 3 hours by car and boat
The sister resort to Pulau Joyo, Pulau Pangkil is actually a private island that’s intended to be hired out to one group at a time. Rates include just about everything: accommodation, meals (not alcohol, though), transport, and a full slate of activities ranging from sailboats and snorkelling to beach volleyball and evening bonfires. Accommodation is perfect for families: you can squeeze up to six beds into one big room (or go plush with just a single four-poster). Pulau Pangkil is perfect for a private weekend getaway from Singapore!

Pulau Pangkil Private Island Resort, WPC8+6R6, Kelong, Air Gelubi, Bintan Pesisir, Kelong, Kec. Bintan Pesisir, Kabupaten Bintan, Kepulauan Riau 29151, Indonesia,

Sea Gypsy Village Resort

short getaway from singapore - sea gypsy village resort

Travel time from Singapore: 3.5 hours by car + boat (direct transport from Holland Village MRT available)
This back-to-nature, jungley option in Malaysia is perfect for a digital detox with no Wi-Fi, no TVs, and in fact no aircon and no hot water. It’s all about chilling by the golden sand beach, exploring the island’s wildlife, and enjoying the tranquil sea breezes. Kids can get in touch with nature during this short getaway from Singapore. Along with plenty of supplies for babies, you’ll find lots of great kids’ facilities (and we hear kiddos are usually quite worn out after days filled with plenty of exploration). Rates are reasonable and include all meals.

Sea Gypsy Village Resort, Pulau Sibu, Johor, Malaysia, [email protected],

Telunas Resorts

short getaway from singapore - telunas island

Travel time from Singapore: 2.5 hours by boat
Whether you opt for a villa on the luxe Private Island or the budget (and family)-friendly Telunas Beach Resort, you’re in store for absolute tranquility (no Wi-Fi!), picture-perfect beaches, delicious, eco-conscious cuisine and warm, friendly service. Telunas Private Island has a one-of-a-kind spa and kids’ club, and you’ll also find various water sports like kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding. Can’t decide which accommodation is right for you? With a 3-night minimum stay, you can try out both during your short trip from Singapore!

Telunas Resorts, Riau Islands, Batam, Indonesia (50km South of Singapore), [email protected]

Tioman Island

short getaway from singapore - tioman island

Travel time from Singapore: 5 hours by car + boat
Another island located off Malaysia’s eastern coast with ferry access from Mersing, Tioman offers an idyllic short getaway from Singapore (it stood in for Bali Hai in the 1958 movie of South Pacific!) with lush mountains, gorgeous beaches, and world class dive sites. Besides all the obvious water pursuits Tioman also offers jungle trekking, mountain biking, and sea turtle conservation. Here you’ll find everything from backpacker accommodation to high-end resorts like Japamala. Good family-friendly options include Tunamaya Resort, Minang Cove Resort, and Berjaya Tioman Resort.

Japamala, 26800 Pulau Tioman, Pahang Darul Makmur, Malaysia, Tel: (+603) 2771 2741,

Read more: A Fuss-free, Low-cost Getaway with Kids on Tioman

Coastal getaway: Desaru

short getaway from singapore - desaru

Travel time from Singapore: 90 minutes by ferry
Desaru deserves an honorary mention just because it’s so easy to get to from Singapore! While it’s not an island, getting to Desaru is just a 90-minute ferry ride away from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal and boasts gorgeous beaches and premium resorts, including Anantara Desaru, The Westin, Hard Rock Hotel and more. There’s even Adventure Waterpark which is perfect for kids and lots of fun nature activities such as mangrove tours. Read our review of Desaru here.

Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast, Johor Darul Ta’zim, Desaru Coast, Jln Pantai 3, 81930, Johor, Malaysia, Tel: (+60) 7 838 8888,

Aseania Beach Resort: laid-back island getaway

short getaway from singapore - aseania beach resort besar

Travel time from Singapore: 3.5 hours by car and boat
Located just off the coast of Mersing, this 3-star resort on Pulau Besar is a fave for snorkelling, jungle trekking, or just kicking back on its beautiful beach. Describing its style as ‘laid-back kampung’, rooms are fairly basic but do offer both aircon and satellite TV. So, if you’re looking for a weekend beach getaway, Pulau Besar should be on the top of your list to satisfy your need for a short trip from Singapore!

Aseania Beach Resort, Pulau Besar, Mersing, Johor, Malaysia,

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Lead image by Telunas Resort via Instagram

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