With technology and intelligence being the forerunner in today’s way of life, ‘remote’ is a relative term for those looking for some solitude. Fortunately, there are a few places left in the world that are either untouched by civilization or have limited interaction with the developing world. If seclusion, spellbinding nature and off the beaten paths are your preferences, then the following remote destinations are sure to capture your attention.
1. Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland
As the helicopter descends down upon this isolated strip of land, you’ll spot the small, wooden houses, dotted among the rocks, in colours of red, white and green. Ittoqqortoormiit lies nestled along the Kangertittivaq fjord, which empties into the Greenland Sea.
Squeezed between the world’s largest national park and the Scoresby Sound fjord in Northern Greenland, Ittoqqortoormiit is the remotest settlement one can find in the world. Frozen for the most part of the year, the isolated town has a very limited population and a lot of exotic wildlife to give you company. One can reach the town only by a short helicopter ride from the international airport in Nuuk. Dog sledges are used for transportation across the town while fishing and hunting are the only source of sustenance for both locals and visitors.
Best time to go to Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland?
- June through to September is an ideal time to make the journey to Ittoqqortoormiit. The climate is very unique, with days lasting almost 24 hours. You’ll have plenty of bright sunlight to go exploring, hiking and taking in the isolated beauty of Ittoqqortoormiit.
- Witness the midnight sun – which is a typical attraction during the Arctic summer (pack warm clothes though!)
- “Ittoqqortoormiit” means “Big-House Dwellers” in the Eastern Greenlandic dialect, most likely because of the size of the wooden houses.
2. Faroe Islands
Rows of identical houses, all covered in grassy turf roofs, make up the perfect subject to an otherwise majestic background – steep, rugged cliffs and stellar sea stacks.
An archipelago of 18 volcanic islands located between Iceland and Norway is an autonomous country belonging to the kingdom of Denmark.
The islands offer innumerable hiking trails, jagged cliff edges, alluring shorelines, and captivating landscapes. Around 15,000 people make up the population of the whole country. Turf-roofed dwellings provide shelter from the harsh weather, especially during winters. The scenic beauty of the islands is postcard-worthy, filled with green pastures, blue waters, and cascading waterfalls. There’s also a colony of puffins, which are instantly identifiable by their bright orange beaks.
A visitor can get by on the island with English, as most of the younger citizens now learn it in school. However, the national language is based on Old Norse. Faroese people are welcoming and helpful.
Before going, you can download a copy of the bus network map, and use this for travelling between major towns and cities. If the bus company is not passing your stop, or you don’t want to rely on public transport, you could hire a car. Ferry routes are great for moving between the islands.
The Faroe islands are jaw-droppingly beautiful. Gaze out at the massive fjords – ocean inlet with steep cliffs on either side. Observe the cheerful, Atlantic puffin in its natural habitat – short, black and white bird with triangular eyes and parrot-like, orange beaks. And be allured by the Sørvágsvatn Lake perched high up in a lush, green basin on a cliff, which appears to be floating above a stormy sea when seen from above.
When to visit Faroe Islands?
- May – September is the ideal time to visit. Although the weather remains cold and humid throughout the year, during this period you can expect longer days, brighter skies, and flowers. Furthermore, it is best to book in advance if visiting in August, as this is peak season.
- The islands are clustered closely together so one can easily see all the popular attractions on a short visit. However, getting between the islands is easy because of the ample bridges, sea tunnels and ferries.
- The Vikings were not the first settlers to make their home on this island, rather, it is believed that Irish hermit monks fled here two centuries earlier. Bringing with them the Irish language and sheep.
3. Connemara, Ireland
An isolated peninsula famed for its beautiful landscapes. Although desperately barren, windswept and rugged, it is an inspiring and compelling destination. A raw, frosty glimpse into the West Coast of Ireland.
Located in the westernmost corner of Galway County, Connemara is the most pristine and isolated destination in Ireland. With untouched nature and crisp air, Connemara is the ideal place to escape for a few days amidst a
There are many off the beaten path attractions available here such as the Brigit’s Garden, Patrick Pearson’s Cottage and other hiking and biking trails. Kylemore Abbey is one of the must-visit attractions here along with the Connemara National Park.
When to visit Connemara, Ireland?
- Opinions differ regarding when to visit Connemara. Ireland is a beautiful destination year round. Some say it is better to avoid the peak of summer, as it tends to be wet. April – May, September – October, are usually a safer bet for good weather, and fewer crowds. In November, the landscape is often clear and bright, with bogs appearing bright red.
- Connemara is mostly open and uninhabited land, so pack a pair of hiking boots and go exploring. This is one of the best ways to find unique and interesting views. Try the Twelve Bens.
- Old potato rows are still visible from the desperate times of the Great Famine. You can still make out the fields separated by collapsed, hand-made stone walls.
4. The Coral Sea Islands, Australia
The external territory of Australia located near Queensland is a group of islands with undisturbed nature and crystal clear waters. Willis Island is the only island in the region to be scantily inhabited. However, the island is gaining popularity among cruise liners making it a regular anchoring destination. There is a meteorology department stationed on the island and the land is also frequently visited by scientists and natural wildlife explorers.
Best time to go toCoral Sea Islands ?
- The island can be included in your itinerary during a visit to the Great Barrier Reef.
- There are no permanent inhabitants on the islands, nor any advertised accommodation.
5. Angel Falls, Venezuela
A UNESCO World Heritage Site that holds the crown of being the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall is not just remote but has no habitation within 50 km of its perimeter. The nearest settlement to be found is a small village called Canaima that can be reached only via air.
A visit to the Canaima National Park or Angel Falls is no less arduous than going on a discovery expedition. However, to those who like nature and seclusion, the lagoon around the village offers interesting activities and attractions for a care-free holiday.
When to visit Angel Falls?
- May – October is the wet season in Venezuela. This is the best time to visit the waterfall as the water level is at its highest. The days are typically sunny, but rain falls in the afternoon and evening. However, travel to the country is possible year round.
- You will need to take a plane or boat to reach the falls. Unfortunately, there are no roads leading directly to Angel Falls. The boat ride takes about a day to reach the base of the falls. Flights can be caught from Puerto Ordaz or Ciudad Bolívar to the town of Canaima.
- At a height of 3230 feet, Angel Falls is, in fact, the highest waterfall in the world. The uninterrupted water drop is an astonishing 2647 feet. Angel Falls creates its own climate in the rainy season.
6. Easter Island, Chile
Originally known as Rapa Nui, this remote island located between Chile and Tahiti has been the most talked about destination in recent times. Scientists have claimed to have solved the mystery of the unique moai statues that are found abundantly all over the island. The island is inhabited by a small community and visitors can reach them only via air. Easter Island is a volcanic island where adventurous spirits can try their hand at hiking up the slopes of the volcanic corners. The island has been developed a bit since its discovery in 1772 with a few boarding facilities and restaurants.
When to visit Easter Island?
- April – June, October – December (shoulder seasons) are your best bet when visiting the island, as the climate is more temperate. Easter Island sits in the tropics, meaning the weather is warm and wet year round. Prices also tend to be cheaper during the shoulder seasons.
- The flight from Santiago de Chile takes around 6 hours.
- When the first explorers landed on the island, they noticed the Moai (statues) all toppled and decapitated. The collapse of Easter Island’s civilization is attributed to poor management of resources.
7. Socotra Island
Often dubbed as an alien world, Socotra Island is an archipelago located off Yemen in the Arabian Sea. It is a known fact that the island inhabits species of flora and fauna that are not to be found anywhere else in the world. The small native community of the island enjoys colourful landscapes such as the deep red shorelines and pristine white coastal cliffs. Scientists have now turned their focus on the unique Dragon Blood Tree for its unusual anatomy.
When to visit Socotra?
- November – March is cooler and less windy.
- Travelling to Yemen is complicated. The country is in political turmoil and warfare is on/off. It is best to conduct research and find a reliable tour agency to help plan your visit.
- Socotra was an early hub for exchanging with people from Rome, Greece and Egypt, trading exclusive medicines; frankincense; and a special red resin is known as ‘dragon’s blood‘ that was used as a dye and for medicinal purposes; all obtained from different endemic plants.
8. Oymyakon, Siberia
Located almost near the Arctic Circle, Oymyakon has to be the coldest town on earth. This cold post in Siberia has a population of 500 people living under dire conditions where frostbites are a common part of life. The temperatures never sore above -20 degree Celsius because of which the only food available to the locals for their sustenance is meat and fish. However, Russia has not abandoned this little settlement and often organizes the Cold Pole Festival every year during spring. The land is not accessible by air or water due to the weather conditions. Alternatively, one has travel by road for more than 48 hours to reach Oymyakon.
When to visit Oymyakon?
- There is no best season or time to visit Siberia. If you are wanting to experience the extreme temperatures, December to January is when the lowest values are recorded.
- The temperature in winter typically falls below 40 degrees Celcius.
9. Motuo, Tibet
The isolated town of Motuo is located on the southern slope of the Himalayas that inhabits 10,000 people belonging to Menba and Laoba ethnic groups.
Literally known as the ‘hidden lotus’, Motuo county has no physical link to any of the highways that connect it to its neighbouring countries. The River Brahmaputra passes through this small town before entering India making it one of the holiest places in Tibet. The only way to reach Motuo County is to trek for 4-5 days from the nearest town called Pai.
10. St. George’s Monastery, Jerusalem
The finest of pearls in the casket of Israeli’s sights. Tightly tucked between the steep, desert cliffs and shrub-covered islands. A modest marvel that evokes a sense of delight and beauty to those who gaze upon it.
Located on a secluded cliff in the Judean Desert, St. George’s Monastery is known to be the oldest monastery to survive on the Holy Land. It should be noted that a few monks still reside in the monastery and thus visitors are expected to adhere to certain rules and regulations. Women are prohibited to enter, but they can walk about and enjoy fantastic scenes of the monastery from the exterior. The visit promises to be the most kosher of experiences.
Reaching the monastery requires one to hike through the arid and ruthless Wadi Kelt. The terrain is uneven and since the hike takes a few hours in the desert, it is advisable to keep yourself hydrated.
Having listed these most remote places to travel, we are sure to have inspired you to embark on your adventure of a lifetime. So, where are you heading to this season?