Travel By Numbers: Desert islands

As BBC Radio 4 marks 70 years of 'Desert Island Discs', Laura Holt counts some castaway destinations.

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The Independent Travel


The year that Alexander Selkirk was marooned on Juan Fernández, off the Chilean coast, so inspiring Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. Today, stay at the sleek Crusoe Island Lodge, which has B&B doubles for US$120 (£80), including guided treks and activities.


The price, in sterling, that Richard Branson paid for Necker Island, in the British Virgin Islands, in 1978. Branson originally intended to use Necker as a holiday destination for rock stars on his Virgin Records label. Necker's "Great House" was badly damaged in a fire last August, but the other residences are still available for exclusive private hire. There are also special "Celebration Weeks" when double rooms cost US$26,850 (£17,900) for a seven-night, all-inclusive stay. The next takes place from 22-29 September.


The number of islands in the Maldives archipelago. The vast majority of these remote specks in the Indian Ocean are deserted, but some 200 have permanent residents, while 99 are luxury resorts. The first to be established was Kurumba Village on North Male Atoll, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2012.


The price, in pounds, for a three-hop flight on Royal Brunei from Heathrow to Kota Kinabalu, Borneo. Just offshore is the Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park, where Pulau Mamutik is the idyllic island to visit.


Elton John's top Enigma Variation, as revealed on Desert Island Discs in 1985: "I've always got a cassette of 'Nimrod' ... I sit in the West Indies looking out to sea with the headphones on and start crying." Hear him on Archive Hour tonight at 8pm.


The number of volcanoes in the Aleutian Islands, which fan out from Alaska in the northern part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Arctic Wild has a week's tour of the hot springs, mud pots and geysers for US$3,600 (£2,400) on 28 July. Flights extra.