There are getaways, then there’s really getting away from it all. And if you’re in need of the latter, we’ve got a few islands for you to consider for your next vacation.
Sure, with the advent of the internet and social media, it can feel almost impossible to find a destination that remains off the beaten path, but that’s where an ultra-remote and under-the-radar island comes in. Here are 15 remote islands around the world that you can visit when you need a time-out from life.
Rapa Nui, Chile
Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, is as far away as one can get from the rest of the world. According to UNESCO, it is “the most remote inhabited island on the planet,” and sits some 2,300 miles from the coast of Chile. Though its Indigenous population saw a significant decline after colonization, they held on to their rich cultural traditions, and now there are about 3,000 people who still carry the Rapa Nui lineage. Travelers can visit the island on various cruise ship itineraries, or by flying directly there with LATAM Airlines.
Flores Island, Azores, Portugal
Find yourself at the westernmost point of Europe with a trip to the Azores; specifically, with a trip to Flores Island, a lush landscape that’s part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The island gained its name thanks to the plentiful golden flowers blooming all over its 54 square miles, including up and down its craggy coast. Get here by flying from mainland Portugal with Azores Airlines.
Los Roques, Venezuela
Those seeking gin-clear waters and very few other people around can make their way to Los Roques, an island off the coast of Venezuela, about 100 miles from the nation’s capital. It’s actually a small island chain that makes up one of the country’s national parks. There are no roads here, and just one of the islands is inhabited. There are no buildings taller than two stories, and hotels are limited to just 10 rooms, meaning if you do make the trek here, you’ll likely be one of very few visitors. The only way to get here is by plane.
Niue, an island some 1,500 miles off the coast of New Zealand, is a literal paradise. The small island is home to just over 1,600 people and remains as wild and rugged as the day it sprang from the ocean as the largest raised coral atoll on the planet. Visitors here can spend their days snorkeling in the clear waters, watching whales migrate in the summer, or biking through the dirt roads without a single care in the world. Get there via regular flights on Air New Zealand.
Pitcairn Island, British Overseas Territory
The Pitcairn Islands, located in the South Pacific, are made up of several smaller land masses, but just the main island of Pitcairn is inhabited. The island is located more than 1,300 miles from Tahiti and more than 3,300 miles from the closest mainland in New Zealand. And with clear, tropical waters, it’s a destination that feels like paradise on Earth.
Skellig Islands, Ireland
Want to go to another planet? The Skellig Islands are as close as you’ll get. That other-worldly feeling only deepens when you realize the remote islands off the coast of Ireland are featured in both Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens and Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. The rugged island is the ideal place to come for a bit of exploration, to see a flock of puffins, and simply to marvel at one of Mother Nature’s masterpieces. Just know you can only get here by boat, so plan ahead.
Keeling Islands, Australia
Those seeking a warmer-weather retreat should head south and keep going all the way to the Keeling Islands, located 1,700 miles off the coast of Perth. The drop-dead-gorgeous islands are filled with golden sands, palm trees, and plenty of space just for you, as only two of the 27 islands are inhabited.
San Blas Islands, Panama
Find more beachy bliss by making your way to Panama to visit the dreamy San Blas Islands. The archipelago is made up of 365 islands, but only 50 are inhabited. Come visit the Guna People who call the islands home, sleep in thatched-roof accommodation, and take a break from the internet, as there is no Wi-Fi available here.
Rodrigues Island, Mauritius
Located in the Indian Ocean, Rodrigues Island is a hidden gem that has stayed far enough off the mainstream radar to remain relatively untouched, but it still offers luxury accommodations like the Tekoma Boutik Hotel Rodrigues, which is happy to cater to your every whim as you take a break from reality.
Man Island, Bahamas
The Bahamas may be a rather accessible destination, especially for those living along the East Coast, but there are still plenty of smaller islands in the archipelago that your friends likely haven’t explored, and Man Island is one of them. Man Island has all the ultra-soft sand and turquoise waters of the other islands but none of the crowds. Take a snorkeling tour or just lounge in the sun without a care in the world.
Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. The beaches at Fernando de Noronha really are that heavenly. Located some 270 miles off the coast of Brazil, the islands are a tranquil paradise and ideal for divers and snorkelers looking to get up close to nature. Here, you’ll find dolphins, sharks, and colorful fish all intermingling in the coral reef. And attention surfers: Fernando de Noronha is known to have some of the best winter surf on Earth.
Fogo Island, Canada
Travelers seeking a low-key adventure should book a ticket to Fogo Island, the largest offshore island of Newfoundland and Labrador. Despite its size, it’s home to just 2,700 full-time residents. Come hike along its craggy shoreline and book a stay at the Fogo Island Inn, a high-design hotel with floor-to-ceiling windows in every room, allowing for maximum landscape-viewing opportunities.
Floreana Island, Ecuador
Floreana Island, part of the Galapagos Archipelago, is another swoon-worthy tropical getaway spot that will transport you to another time, long before humans walked these lands. It’s a spot filled with emerald greenery and a glittering natural pond, and it’s surrounded by clear waters. There is, however, one way to interact with your fellow man here, and that’s by visiting the “post office,” a small stand set up by whalers in the 1700s where you can still drop off a letter today.
La Gomera, Spain
Find a bit of peace on La Gomera, the smallest of the Canary Islands. The island, which is also a national park, is home to dazzling black-sand beaches, and even though it’s small, it has a terrain so varied you’ll feel like you’re in a whole new place with each step. Get here by taking a flight from either Tenerife or Gran Canaria.
Tristan da Cunha, British Overseas Territory
Travelers who are feeling a bit bold can head to super-remote Tristan da Cunha. The island, which sits in the very middle of the South Atlantic Ocean, is also an active volcano, but that hasn’t stopped a few hundred people from taking up residence here. Getting to Tristan da Cunha takes some work, including obtaining permission to visit, but you can reach this bird-watching utopia via cruise ship.