Tristan de Cunha
South Africa (1700 miles away) and South America (2,000 miles away) are the nearest neighbours of this sparsely populated rocky archipelago in the southern Atlantic Ocean. Boats from Cape Town are your only options to reach this British Overseas Territory. But it is easier said than done. You need prior permission from the local authority, book your berth on a boat and abide by a host of rules and regulations. The official tourism website writes, “Tristan da Cunha has always welcomed visitors … can offer comfortable accommodation and a range of services for privileged visitors who are able to secure a passage.”
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Said to be the coldest inhabited place on earth, where apparently you can get frostbite within minutes. To reach this thinly populated town, you have to take flights from Moscow to Yakutsk or to Magadan and then travel by road. The entire one-way journey can take a few days. And once there, be prepared for 21 hours of darkness in a day.
Reaching this most isolated town in Greenland is almost as difficult as saying its name. According to Greenland’s official tourism website, “Even though the sea ice blocks ship access to the town for about nine months of the year, Ittoqqortoormiit has nevertheless become an important cruise destination for small expeditionary vessels exploring the nature, wildlife and culture of Northeastern Greenland.” One of the best places to visit the Northern Lights is what draws travellers to this remote land.
Cape York, Australia
It is the sheer adventure of reaching this northernmost point of Australia is what makes it one of the remote places on earth. Popularly known as The Tip, it is over 1400km one way from Cairns (Queensland), the road accessible to 4WDs only. According to travellers, it takes about seven days to complete the trip, passing through national parks, and other scenic locations. But adhering to all rules of travelling to remote locations is not enough – you have to be wary of crocodiles too. Do not ignore crocodile warning signs advise travellers who have been on this route. More details on their website.
Lying 3,475 km away from the nearest city, Edmonton, and a mere 817 km from the North Pole, Alert is said to be the most northerly, permanently inhabited location in the world. This polar desert remains frozen for nearly 10 months of the year. Part of Canada’s Territory of Nunavat, Alert was first settled in the 1950s as a weather station. It is now home to the Canadian Armed Forces signals intelligence intercept facility and the Dr Neil Trivett Global Atmosphere Watch Observatory, whose personnel are the only people living here. The nearest settlement of Grise Fjord (inhabited by the Inuit people) is located about 725 km away from Alert.
Siwa Oasis, Egypt
This oasis in the Western Desert may not be terribly remote – only 560km from Cairo – but the drive through the barren desert devoid of any noticeable features will give you the feel of being in the remotest part of the world, devoid of any human connection. The oasis is known for its mineral springs, salt lakes, and olive and Palm groves. The cooler months (usually between October and April) are the only time to embark on a journey on this route.