Ever wanted to pit yourself against the elements and head off the beaten path? To get away from it all and really feel at one with Mother Earth? These far-flung places will make you want to pack your bags and head for the quiet life.
TRISTAN DA CUNHA
This archipelago of small islands in the South Atlantic Ocean is surrounded by rocky territory and rough waters and is home to less than 300 people.
Measuring 37.8 square miles in area, the settlement is officially known as “Edinburgh of the Seven Seas” and was named after the first Duke of Edinburgh in the 1800s. It is located below the 6,765-foot volcano Queen Mary’s Peak, but fear not, they do have Internet access and television via satellite.
What you need to know: You can only get there by a six-day boat journey from South Africa, its closest neighbour 1,700 miles away.
The small village on the Arctic Ocean is located 500 miles below the North Pole and on the crest of the Nunavut community in Canada. The hostile landscape, where temperatures can plummet to 40 degrees below zero, is home to only five people throughout the year. It’s named after the HMS Alert, a Royal Navy Arctic exploration ship.
What you need to know: Depending on when you go, you’ll either need sunglasses or a torch due to periods of 24-hour sunlight during summer and 24-hour darkness during winter.
MOTUO COUNTY, CHINA
Located on the southern slope of the Himalayas, Motuo County has no roads leading to the area. Amazingly, this means it has been left mostly untouched by the modern world. Previous attempts at creating a road have failed due to the unpredictable landscape.
What you need to know: The only way to access the community in the Tibetan Autonomous Region is by trekking across the Himalayas and crossing a 200 metre suspension bridge. Buddhist scripture says it is Tibet’s purest and holiest region.
MCMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA
You’ll find McMurdo Station in one of the most isolated places on Earth on southern tip of Ross Island, 850 miles north of the South Pole and 2,415 miles south of Christchurch, New Zealand. There are no permanent citizens, only seasonal scientists and researchers.
What you need to know: The station was built between 1955 and 1956 and is in fact Antarctica’s largest community with around 1,200 researchers at any one time.
The 500-strong community is located on the eastern shore of Greenland, just north of Iceland. They mainly live off fishing and hunting whales and polar bears. Millions of seabirds breed here and it also attracts walruses, seals and narwhals.
What you need to know: The remote village can be accessed by boat during the summer months when temperatures reach up to 5 degrees, but in the winter the harbour becomes an impassable thick sheet of ice. Locals hop on skis, snowmobiles and dogsleds during these chilly months.