(CNN) — Leonardo DiCaprio, Richard Branson and Shakira each have one — no, not a major award or trophy, but their very own private island.
Browsing the website, you’ll see islands up for sale or rental everywhere from Fiji to Canada. But even if you have the cash required to become king or queen of your own little paradise, there’s more than just money at play.
“Many islands are not extremely expensive to purchase,” explains Stacy Fischer Rosenthal, president of the high-end travel company Fischer Travel Enterprises.
“However, the building and maintaining is usually a large cost. Power, water and accommodations (guest and staff) are the big expenses. Hiring the staff can be a challenge, and keeping them can be an even bigger challenge.”
So if your dream is to become a Bond villain, you have some plotting to do before you can open up your lair.
Spalathronisia (say that 10 times fast) is off the coast of northern Greece, about 140 km from Thessaloniki.
Sotheby’s International Realty
Another question to ask: “How will people get there?”
Some islands are so remote that you’ll need your own form of transport, such as a private plane or boat, to get there. You’ll also need plans for inclement weather and an Agatha Christie type on hand in case of an “And Then There Were None”-level whodunnit.
By those difficult standards, some islands almost — almost — feel like a bargain.
And on the Long Island Sound, Great Island — the name really sells it — comes with a nine-bedroom lodge and is accessible by boat from New York and Connecticut.
Meanwhile, on the Greek island of Spalathronisia, you’ll have to handle setting up your own amenities, but you won’t be isolated. The island is just off Sithonia, a peninsula off the northern coast of Greece, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) from Thessaloniki, meaning you won’t have to go too far to stock up on groceries and other essentials.
That said, there are ways to get pretty darn close to the private island experience without having six or seven figures to throw around.
Marta Tucci, co-founder of Naya Traveler, says, “Some hotel properties do offer a separate villa on a cay, for example, that can benefit from the service and amenities of the hotel brand. These in many cases are a great middle ground for larger family groups where the profile of the clients requires more flexibility and diversity of options.”