When you tell yourself – pack a bag, leave everything behind and take off on a whim, but then buy a ticket to a very mainstream travel destination, you’re kind of ruining your own adventure. I don’t say it for other things, but when it comes to traveling, it’s not a bad idea to be a little hipster-ish.
Here are some of the most remote and/or toughest travel destinations in the world today.
1. Easter Island, Chile
Famous for its giant statues that dot the beaches, Easter Island in Chile is a loner’s wet dream. The place does bring in some good tourism money for Chile but the only way to reach the island that’s 2000 miles off the western coast is via a remote airport.
2. Lunar Landscape in interior Iceland
Iceland’s remote interior is a unicorn for most trekkers. Only the most hardy ones dare to traverse through the cold, icy, treeless landscape that resemble the moon’s surface. Who knows, you might even bump into some white walkers.
3. Cape York Peninsula, Australia
The northernmost tip of the Australian continent, Cape York Peninsula is not easy to reach, largely due to bad weather and relentless floods. But if you somehow find yourself in that region, you can witness some of the most untouched parts of the Australian coastline while surrounded by a rich aboriginal culture.
4. Pitcairn Island
We’ve recently talked about Pitcairn Islands on this site, but we’re mentioning it once more only because we’re so intrigued by it. A country with less than 50 citizens who are descendants of a bunch of mutineers in the 18th century. The adventure just writes itself. The picture below, is that of Adamstown, the capital of Pitcairn Islands.
5. Motuo County, Tibet Autonomous Region, China
Despite being in the news for many other reasons, like human rights violations of Tibetans, the Tibet Autonomous Region in China is one of the most beautiful places in the world. And in that region, lies Motuo (or Medog) County, a place that has somehow managed to keep itself shielded from the modern world. The trek there can be grueling but travelers who’ve been there, say that its worth every drop of sweat.
6. Republic of Nauru
Once a battlefield between Japan and America during WW2 and then a tax-haven, the Republic of Nauru is 2800 miles from Hawaii and a beautiful little island nation in Micronesia.
The only place on Earth where you can see four 26,000+ ft mountains, Concordia sits on the border of Pakistan & China. Pakistan might not be on your top must-visit list due to security concerns, but in case you visit the country, you might not want to miss the Concordia experience.
8. Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland
In a country where 57,000 people live within 836,000 square miles, Ittoqqortoormiit is the most remote town where around 450 people live. Yes, getting there can be a drag but once you do, you can keep yourself occupied with skiing, sledding or fishing, while living in houses that look like they were inspired by a monopoly board game.
9. Masoala, Madagascar
Remember the beach where Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman ended up in, in the film Madagascar? Well Masoala National Park is what the filmmakers were trying to show there.
10.Sakhalin Island, Russia
As long as the Cold War was still on, Russia was a mystery. Sakhalin Island was one of many within erstwhile USSR. Its beaches are unspoiled and its crystalline rock cliffs, untouched. The local Nivkh people are also quite fond of outsiders, perhaps because they don’t get to meet new people, owing to the geographic isolation.
11. Haute Route Trek, France – Switzerland
Not too many parts of Europe are remote. It’s a relatively smaller region with a whole of tourists throughout the year. But the Haute Route Trek, connecting Chamonix in France and Zermatt in Switzerland is not for the faint hearted. The beauty of the trail is matched by how dangerous it is. Don’t let the picturesque hamlets along the European Alps fool you.
12. Pays Dogon, Mali
Mali’s Dogon Country looks like Hobbiton, with villages like scattered rocks, granaries with witch-hat straw roofs, baobab trees and small fields spread across a rough terrain. The best way to experience this area is to trek slowly along the towering copper-red Bandiagara Escarpment, walking from village to village down ancient paths.
13. Patagonia, Argentina – Chile
If you’ve ever wondered how the end of the world looks like, this place might be the closest guess. It has rushing rapids, ancient forests, jagged cliffs, intimidating glaciers and wildlife. This is where South America literally disappears into the sea.
14. Darien Gap, Panama
A bird-watchers delight meets guerrilla playground – that’s what comes to mind when I talk about Dariend’s Gap, a swampy region located parts of both Panama and Colombia. While you can find rare species of birds and exotic orchids here, you might also find yourself whisked away for questioning by FARC rebels.
15. Sinbusi Beach, Somalia
Somehow, mentioning Somalia and tourism in the same sentence feels weird. But it shouldn’t. Despite the disturbances in the region and the presence of pirate groups all around, Sinbusi Beach still stands out as one of the few places in this world where tranquility and chaos seem to be dancing with each other.