There’s an undeniable allure to remote islands, those far-flung paradises that offer an escape from the everyday hustle and bustle. For those seeking a unique vacation or even a chance to live off the grid, these stunning islands are the answer. From the mysterious Easter Island to the serene Lord Howe Island, here are some of the most remarkable remote islands you can actually visit.
1. Easter Island
Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, is the epitome of remote. Situated 2,300 miles off the coast of Chile, it holds the title of “the most isolated inhabited island on Earth” according to UNESCO.
Despite its isolation, the island boasts a rich cultural heritage and is home to around 3,000 people, many of whom are direct descendants of the Rapa Nui. Visitors can reach this extraordinary destination via direct flights or on cruise ship itineraries.
2. Faroe Islands
Located in the North Atlantic Ocean, nestled between Iceland and the Shetland Islands, the Faroe Islands are a collection of 18 volcanic isles, with 17 of them inhabited.
This remote archipelago offers dramatic landscapes, including towering cliffs, lush waterfalls, and peaceful coastal communities. With a population of approximately 50,000, there’s no need to worry about crowds here.
3. Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
Fernando de Noronha, an archipelago located 220 miles off the coast of Brazil, is a hidden gem in the Atlantic Ocean. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is renowned for its pristine beaches, imposing volcanic peaks, and thriving ecosystems.
While most travelers flock to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Fernando de Noronha offers a unique and unspoiled Brazilian experience.
4. Flores Island, Azores, Portugal
As the westernmost point of the Azores Archipelago and the European continent, Flores Island lives up to its name, which means “flowers.” This remote destination is known for its abundance of wildflowers, especially hydrangeas, as well as serene lagoons, cliffs sculpted by grottoes, hot springs, and volcanic remnants.
5. Koh Yao Yai, Thailand
Nestled between Krabi and Phuket in the picturesque Phang Nga Bay, Koh Yao Yai, the larger sister of Koh Yao Noi, offers an authentic and rural Thai island experience. With fewer crowds and a focus on relaxation rather than raucous parties, it’s an ideal destination for those seeking a more tranquil Thai getaway.
6. Lofoten Islands, Norway
The Lofoten Islands in Norway are a remote and breathtaking destination, characterized by rugged beaches, towering mountain peaks, and picturesque fishing villages.
This isolated region is a paradise for landscape photographers, astrophotographers, hikers, and bikers. The mild climate makes it a year-round attraction, with warm summers and moderate winters in the fjordlands.
7. Lord Howe Island, Australia
Lord Howe Island, situated about 370 miles off the coast of New South Wales, Australia, is a sanctuary for nature enthusiasts.
The island strictly limits its visitors to protect the Lord Howe Island Marine Park, a pristine diving location. Be sure to visit Ball’s Pyramid, the world’s tallest sea stack, which reaches a towering 1,844 feet.
8. Macquarie Island
Located over 1,000 miles southeast of Tasmania, Australia, Macquarie Island is a unique subantarctic paradise. It’s the only place on Earth where rocks from the planet’s mantle are visible above sea level.
The island is renowned for its massive penguin rookeries, where various penguin species gather, along with elephant seals, fur seals, southern right whales, and orcas.
9. Pitcairn Island, British Overseas Territory
Pitcairn Island, the most isolated island globally, sits 3,240 miles from the coast of New Zealand. It’s home to descendants of the HMS Bounty mutineers who maintain a population of just over 50.
This remote island supports pristine marine ecosystems due to its isolation and low human population, making it a paradise for marine life enthusiasts.
10. Skellig Islands, Ireland
These two desolate islands, Skellig Michael and Little Skellig, are perched in the Atlantic Ocean, 12 kilometers off the County Kerry coast in southwest Ireland. Skellig Michael is known for its stunning pinnacles and sixth-century monastery enclave.
Accessible by climbing over 500 ancient steps, the island offers breathtaking vistas, unique stone beehive houses, and a glimpse into the lives of the island’s former monks.
Visiting these remote islands promises an unforgettable journey, providing a unique blend of natural beauty, culture, and serenity that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s time to pack your bags and embark on the adventure of a lifetime.