It’s easy to lose your sanity amidst the boisterous crowds, endless chatter and social media pings in our hectic lives. Rather than suppress your stress, flee from all those distractions and escape into nature’s beckoning arms.

If you’ve already explored places such as Bukit Timah Hill, Labrador Nature Reserve and the MacRitchie TreeTop Walk, why not make a day trip to the offshore islands lining Singapore’s edges?

1. St. John’s Island

St. John’s Island
Image credit: juanny on Instagram

With a bungalow and several chalets that can accommodate up to 60 people, St. John’s Island is a splendid getaway destination for large groups. Set aside any distractions and get together for a BBQ session at the island’s picnic area. Lounge by the beach with your guitars and ukuleles, and have a smashing good time singing cheerily to your favourite songs!

St. John’s Island
Image credit: mandalfe on Instagram

Just in case group activities aren’t really your thing, you can explore the quieter parts of the island and cuddle up to the friendly felines roaming around. St. John’s Island is known as cat paradise after all!

How to Get to St John’s Island

Take a ferry from Marina South Pier. Two-way rides cost S$18.

2. Lazarus Island

Lazarus Island
Image credit: huanylicious on Instagram

Take a literal meander down the road less travelled, and let the comforting touch of nature heal your tired soul. Whether you trek through the lush forest or stroll along coastline, the fresh air you breathe in will certainly be a transcendent experience. Otherwise, you can lay down a beach mat, slap on some sunscreen and get a nice golden tan on the quiet beaches on the island.

Lazarus Island
Image credit: juanny on Instagram

You can also take a dive into the inviting waters. You might spot colourful marine creatures such as carpet eel-blenny, seahorses and even allied cowry!

How to Get to Lazarus Island

Take a ferry from Marina South Pier to St. John’s Island, and walk across the link bridge from St. John’s Jetty. Two-way ferryrides cost S$18.

3. Pulau Ubin

Pulau Ubin
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Unapologetically rural and beautifully rustic, Pulau Ubin is a little island known for its laid-back ambience and cycling trails. You can cycle through the Ketam Bike Park, which is sectioned according to bikers’ paces and abilities. Otherwise, stroll through the kampong and keep your eyes peeled for adorable otters, curious long-tailed macaques, shy mousedeer and magnificent hornbills.

Pulau Ubin
Image credit: jayoheeal on Instagram

Whilst you’re at Pulau Ubin, don’t miss the trek up to the peak of Puaka Hill for a stunning panoramic view of the entire island!

How to Get to Pulau Ubin

Take a bumboat from Changi Point Ferry Terminal. Each ride costs S$3 per person, and is subject to an additional S$2 charge for bringing an accompanying bicycle onboard.

4. Chek Jawa

Chek Jawa
Image credit: jayoheeal on Instagram

Venture through the wetlands of Chek Jawa, and you’ll find yourself in the company of sandy and rocky beaches, seagrass lagoons, coastal forests and dank mangroves. The pretty island shows off the best of its rich ecosystem during low-tide season, but boasts beautiful views all year round. Ramble down the boardwalk, and capture picturesque photos that are sure to induce Insta-envy!

Chek Jawa
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If you’re in favour of an exceptional experience, rent a kayak and cruise through the mangroves; paddle slowly and keep a lookout for amazing flora and fauna such as the White-Bellied Blind Snake, Blue Pansy butterfly and Red-Breasted Parakeet.

How to Get to Chek Jawa

Hire a van from Pulau Ubin Jetty. Each ride costs S$2 per person.

5. Pulau Serangoon/Coney Island

Pulau Serangoon/Coney Island
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A far cry from the Coney Island of New York City, Singapore’s Coney Island is a quiet, charming enclave perfect for weekend cycling trips and picnics. Bike or hike through twisting roads, canopies and lalang fields, and when you’re tired, take a rest by the beaches. Dress in coordinated (and comfy!) outfits with your gang, and take advantage of the multiple photo opportunities peppered throughout the lovely island!

Pulau Serangoon/Coney Island
Image credit: Jomando Adventure & Recreations

If you’re not bringing your own bike, you can rent one from Jomando Adventure & Recreations, which is located at the tail-end of Punggol Settlement.

How to Get to Coney Island

From Punggol Temporary Interchange, take bus 84 and alight at Punggol Road End bus-stop. Walk for about 15 minutes towards Coney Island’s west entrance.

6. Pulau Hantu

Pulau Hantu
Image credit: mzfahmi14 on Instagram

Although more commonly known as the backdrop for many local horror tales, Pulau Hantu really deserves more credit for its beautiful lagoons. Here, you can dive and snorkel to your heart’s content. Keep an eye out for marine creatures – nudibranchs, flat worms, sea turtles, dancing fishes and batfishes. If you’re lucky, you might even spot sea horses, blue dragons and nurse sharks!

Pulau Hantu
Image credit: Pei Yan on Flickr

If you’re feeling particularly gutsy (despite the aforementioned terror connotation), set up a tent and camp overnight at Pulau Hantu Besar. Just be sure to apply for a permit with Singapore Land Authority.

How to Get to Pulau Hantu

There are no scheduled ferries to Pulau Hantu. Either join weekend dive trips organized by the Hantu Divers or the Hantu Bloggers, or charter a private vessel from the West Coast Pier or Marina South Pier.

Singapore and its many islands are waiting for you

Can’t wait to let nature invigorate your senses already? Start planning your trip out to one of Singapore’s little islands today!

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