World class diving, pristine beaches - all on luxury private islands - and complete exclusivity. If you haven't discovered the Turks & Caicos yet, then it's about time...

World class diving, pristine beaches and fantastic luxury

Turks and Caicos Islands might not immediately feature on people's Caribbean radar, perhaps because it isn't technically in the Caribbean, but it really should. It's paradise: world class diving, pristine beaches and fantastic luxury hotels on private islands are all yours for the taking, and the slow pace of life means relaxing is also high on the list of priorities. My parents have been living there for the past three years, and here's the low down on my latest trip…

Grand Turk, home

My first stop was Grand Turk, which is where home is. It's probably the most picturesque of the islands, filled with crumbling old colonial buildings, pretty streets and it's where you'll find one of the best dive walls in the world. I finally got round to doing my PADI course and I'm hooked. Lots of Dive in Style holidays for me…

The day I arrived I was lucky enough to see a couple of whales, even though the migration had finished a few weeks earlier. A mother and her calf had got stuck in a shallow part of the reef, but thankfully broke free just before I went to have a look and were happily splashing around in the open ocean by the time I arrived (worryingly close to the boat I was in, though!).

Pure relaxation in Pine Cay

The last couple of days of my trip were spent visiting two of the most exclusive properties in the Turks and Caicos Islands - Pine Cay and neighbouring Parrot Cay.

Pine Cay takes relaxation to a new level. No airs and graces here - the minute you step on to the island, you become part of the Pine Cay family. The rooms are all the same, a meal bell rings to call you to the delicious buffet lunch and supper, and you while away the hours on the beautiful beach or doing one of the very un-strenuous activities like snorkeling, sailing, kayaking or cycling up to the 'aquarium' on the south side of the island - not so easy on sand so I discovered!

Exclusive Parrot Cay

Parrot Cay is a couple of cays along, and equally exclusive, although very different to Pine Cay. Here, you'll find celebrity owned villas, super slick service, an immaculate spa but still enjoy the feeling that the island is all yours. There are masses of activities on offer to keep you busy too, like private catamaran excursions, fishing and diving. Take me back!

For more information on luxury breaks to the Turks and Caicos, contact Original Travel.