Seven hundred emerald-green islands and cays scattered over 100,000 square miles of perfectly blue sea, the Bahamas are favourite subjects for satellite photographers. Crystal-clear waters glisten over banks of sand, stretching for miles, allowing you in places to walk hundreds of yards into the sea before you are waist-deep. There is activity here too – the reefs are superb and make for enthralling diving, and the fishing and sailing are world–renowned.

    The islands are divided into three separate groups. Cable Beach and Paradise Island lie on the senior island of New Providence at the heart of the Bahamas, where the capital Nassau is situated. To the north is Freeport/Lucaya on Grand Bahama island, a complete resort area that sprung up from a barren and virtually uninhabited island 30 years ago.

    The 697 other islands are known as the Out Islands, and are less developed, offering a more relaxed pace of life, so making for an ideal isolated island break. The only problem is choosing which to visit. They include islands such as Harbour Island, Bimini, the Abacos, Eleuthera, the Exumas and Andros.