If you fancy a break from the music and mayhem that are so much a part of the Cup Match holiday why not make a retreat to some of Bermuda's little-known islands?

Most of the campsites are already booked up but if you fancy a tour of the islands' many historic forts, a quiet get away for some recreational sports, or simply to enjoy what nature has to offer, Bermuda's public islands have it all. The islands are mainly owned by the Parks Department, Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation and the Bermuda National Trust.

Coney Island

After hurricane Fabian this 14.5-acre island was badly damaged but the land has undergone major reforestation and most of the trees replanted from scratch.

There is a lime kiln on the island constructed by the military in the 1800s. Copying ancient traditions the soldiers piled alternate layers of wood and lime stone on top of each other and set alight to create lime. A large stone structure remains on the southern side of the island overlooking Grotto Bay.

In Baileys Bay there are natural formations called sinkholes; collapsed cave structures some fifteen feet in diameter.

The island is situated off the southwest tip of St. George's Island and is reached via the North Shore Road in Hamilton. Coney used to be home to a screeching motor cross racing track, which has now been moved to the east end of Bermuda's airport.

Castle Island

The eerie cries of Bermuda's Cahow birds can be heard on Castle Island, which is also home to Bermuda's famous longtail birds. It is situated in the body of water near the airport to the west of Clearwater Beach. The island is protected by the Department of Conservation Services and provides an excellent spot for snorkelling.

Paget Island

Fort Cunningham is guaranteed to make a trip to Paget Island one to remember. Constructed in three phases it replaced the old Paget Island Fort in 1875. Its 50-tonne guns have been pushed off the fort into the moat.

In the centre of the island is a lagoon covered by mangrove trees though it is not recommended for swimming. The north part of the island is home to the beaches, which are ideal for cooling off in the summer heat. Situated in St. George's Harbour the 37-acre island has facilities for camping though it is fully booked for Cup Match. Visitors to the island should first go through either government's Parks Department or the Department of Youth, Sports and Recreation before visiting Paget Island. Visitors to the out-bound section need to book through the police.

Cooper's Island

Situated off St David's, Cooper's has two large, picturesque beaches open to the public, which were formerly owned by the U.S. Navy until the base was closed in 1995. The island used to be home to a NASA space tracking station. It has nature trails and excellent views of Nonsuch Island and Castle Habour. To the east of Castle Harbour nearby on Outer and Inner Pier Rocks the Parks Department has opened a new beach to the public.

Morgan's and Palm Islands

The Ingersoll family donated both of these islands to the Bermuda National Trust in 1983. As with most of the Trust's islands they have been preserved as nature reserves. Situated in Ely's Harbour, Sandys they are accessible by boat. Visitors can enjoy picnicking on Morgan's and Palm's beautiful beaches.

Long Island:

This privately-owned island in Paradise Lakes, Warwick, is accessible only by boat. It has three cemeteries where prisoners of war are buried. Long Island was a designated prisoner of war camp during Boer War from 1901. It has a stone memorial dedicated to 40 prisoners who died there.

Higgs and Horseshoe

The Islands of Higgs and Horseshoe are connected by breakwaters. The islands are a particularly popular destination for campers.

Nelly Island

The island is covered in foreign casuarina trees planted following the cedar plague in the 50s. The Parks department is currently cutting down the invasive species and replacing them with local plants. Visitors are welcome to see the work that is being done on the island.

Darrell's Island

Here you can see the ruins of Bermuda's first airport. The million-dollar terminal was built on 12 June 1937. There is a small beach and fishing area as well as a field, which can be used for recreational sports.

Ferry Island:

Until the 19th century Ferry Island had a horse drawn ferry that provided the only access between St. George's Island and the Main Island. Situated across from Coney Island there is also an old fort there.

Hawkins Island

Originally called Elizabeth's island, Hawkins was renamed when the Royal Navy bought it in 1809. Otherwise inaccessible to the public Bermuda Island Cruises ferry passengers to the island for between $80 and $90.

This is one of the larger of the islands in the Great Sound at 5 acres and is situated in Warwick Passage.