I’ve been to a lot of islands on my travels and really felt like doing a list of my top 5 tranquil islands – really remote places to visit! It was quite hard to narrow it down to just 5 but here I go. These are places you can get head out to for relaxing, where you will meet very few other people. These lists are only made up from places I’ve actually visited by the way, so that will explain the random places on it (I would actually love to include the remote Rathlin Island in Northern Ireland on my list, except I haven’t actually been there as yet). These are in no particular order by the way…
1. Cuverville Island in ANTARCTICA:
Well I had to include at least one island from the white continent, given that it’s the most peaceful continent on the planet. I’ve gone for Cuverville Island, as it was a hike to the top through gorgeous snow and was just an amazing adventure. When we reached the top of Cuverville we feasted our eager eyes on the totally magical wonderland of Antarctica. One of life’s better days. One of the best islands you could land on.
How to get there – If you are booked on a boat trip to Antarctica, there is a chance you will visit Cuverville. It will really depend on the weather conditions, and whether the captain and crew decide to land there. If not, your Antarctica trip may include other islands that I didn’t visit. No doubt, they will be just as magical!
2. Bruny Island in Tasmania, AUSTRALIA:
This was a gem of a place to relax away from the world. If you think Tasmania itself is tranquil, try driving to the south east corner of it and head across to the remote Bruny Island. This has Australia’s southernmost pub on it as well as some cracking sunrise and sunset viewing points. Plus the added bonus of being able to see some rare WHITE wallabies. Bruny Island, in its disconnected splendour is as quiet and remote as they come. A full report on my trip to Bruny Island is here: Bruny Island.
How to get there – Get the ferry across from Kettering in South East Tasmania. Ferries are daily, but if you miss the last one, you’ll have to stay overnight (there are hotels and campsites on Bruny!).
3. Sark in the CHANNEL ISLANDS:
Sark is inspirational. If you’ve heard of the Channel Islands, you’ll know it’s just north of France and a fair bit south of England. Sark was Europe’s last feudal state, and believe it or not it has its own parliament and a low population of around 600. It will feel you’ve been warped back in time on arrival in Sark. It is such a great place to relax away from the busy world. There are no cars on Sark. I visited Sark along with the rest of the Channel Islands while working on the Cross Channel Ferries.
Sark is just north of the French coast, and I don’t class it as part of the UK, though it’s position is often debated. They have their own stamps and even once fielded an international football team (scoring 0 goals and conceding 70 in their only 4 matches: Sark International Football Team. Arrival is by boat and then a tractor takes you up the steep hill to the main village centre. There are some outstanding views, vintage buildings and pretty gardens. The capital is La Seigneurie. On my visit, I hired a bike and cycled all over the island, including crossing a bridge to an adjoining island, known as Little Sark. I recommend heading to Sark!
Where Is It? – It’s near an island called Brecqhou in the Channel Islands. Your best bet to get there is hop on the Bon Marin de Serk mini ferry which leaves from Guernsey’s St. Peter Port. Aeroplane isn’t an option though there is a small landing strip and a helipad in case of emergency. Private boat could be an option.
4. Tai O, Lantau Island, HONG KONG:
I kind of wanted an Asian representative in this short list, and living in Hong Kong made me favour the wonderful Lantau Island in the west part of Hong Kong. If you can forget the fact that part of the island has a busy international airport on it, then get away to the very west corner at Tai O, where you can really relax. So much so that you will lose track of time, and even forget you’re in Hong Kong. There is no commercial element here. Plenty of hikes, even waterfalls, boat cruises and the highlight is the seafood and walking around the traditional fishing village on stilts. An amazing place!
Where is it? – Tai O is on the west side of Lantau Island and you can get there by bus from close to the Tung Chung MTR station. There’s also a bus from Mui Wo which in turn has a direct ferry to Hong Kong Central.
5. CHILE: Cape Horn/Cabo De Hornos:
It would just feel ridiculous to leave the magic of Cape Horn off this list! Cape Horn is pretty much the southernmost point of the civilised world and the marker point for the start of the Drake Passage. All that remains further south is Antarctica, which makes Cape Horn feel like the end of the world. OK, so I didn’t actually set foot on Cape Horn (that was a bit beyond my budget!), but our ship sailed right up close to it, so we could get a glimpse of ‘the horn’. Just to note there is actually a set of islands further south called the Diego Ramirez Islands but nobody lives there. Cape Horn is the end of the world.
How to get there – If you want to actually step on Cape Horn then you’ll have to contact the Chilean naval authorities, as there is a 13 kilometre rule for boats approaching it (our boat managed to get within a few kilometres of Cape Horn luckily as the sea was calmer than normal). If not you can book boat tours from southern Chile and Argentina which will take you round the Horn. Or do what I did and pop over to view it, on the way home from Antarctica!
Have fun on tranquil islands, don’t stop living!
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