Inconvenience isn’t exactly a buzzword in today’s travel industry, but maybe it should be.
Mass tourism has left many of our favorite destinations overcrowded, and it’s becoming harder and harder to find any real sense of “escape” on vacation. This list is built from seven gloriously inconvenient locations — places that remain sweetly protected simply by the fact that, well, they’re really hard to get to. We’ve got an island off the coast of Tasmania accessible only by ferry, a tiny mountain town in the Swiss alps, and an ancient village in Japan known as “Little Kyoto.” Scroll down for seven remote destinations that are totally worth visiting, and start planning your next off-grid adventure.
photo by athena calderone
The Aeolian Islands, Italy
These rugged islands sit about 150 miles off the Amalfi Coast in Italy, and are known for being a refuge for artists and intellectuals. There are a total of seven islands, the most famous of which is Stromboli (thanks to the 1950 Rossellini film starring Ingrid Bergman). But we’ve got our eye on the island of Salina, thanks to this gorgeous piece from photographer Oliver Pilcher.
photo by satellite island
Satellite Island, Tasmania
A short ferry ride from Bruny Island will carry you to the tiny, unspoiled island of Satellite off the coast of Tasmania. The island is completely owned by one hotel property, and prior to that, was never accessible to the public. Now you can experience the rugged landscape all to yourself by booking a room at Satellite Island (maximum occupancy 8.) The property has been well documented by one of our favorite photographers, Kara Rosenlund, here.
photo by awol junkie
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Located in the middle of the vast Atacama desert, San Pedro de Atacama is one of the driest cities in the world. In terms of lodging, you can choose between budget friendly hostels or the super chic Tierra Atacama (yes, please). Either way, you’ll well positioned to explore the regions incredible terrain of salt flats, geysers, and flamingo-filled lakes.
photo by jetset christina
This group of 1200 islands (only 200 inhabited) sits off the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean. It’s neither cheap nor easy to get to the Maldives (many of the resort islands are only accessible by sea plane). If you’re visiting from the United States, you can expect 20+ hours of travel time to get there. But it’s a once in a lifetime trip for those who can afford it, and fellow blogger Jetset Cristina has a very comprehensive guide to the islands. There is a myriad of picturesque over water bungalows to choose from, but the famed Six Senses Laamu is at the top of our list.
photo by jenn rose smith
I recently made the long and dusty road trip to this tiny town near Big Bend National Park, and the drive was nothing short of magic. Stay at the newly opened Willowhouse for a luxe AirBnb experience that will have you waking up to awe-inspiring views of the Chisos Mountain range. Explore the nearby park during the day, and settle in for some serious star gazing at night.
photo by iltwmt
It’s been several years since I took a train (followed by death defying cab ride) into the tiny Swiss mountain town of Adelboden, but it’s a trip I think of often. I stayed at The Cambrian Adelboden, which offers incredible views of the surrounding Alps along with first class Swedish massages and heated pools. In summer or winter, the landscape here is dumbfounding. Hike through surrounding trails to see waterfalls, or (if you’re an expert skier) take a gondola to the top of a black diamond run.
photo by i am aileen
Known as “little Kyoto,” this historic Japanese village in the Hida Mountain range seems frozen in time. Check out Sannomachi Street for a movie-perfect view of latticed wooden buildings, and visit in October to be there for the Takayama festival (where the streets are lined with ornate lantern-filled floats.)