While the world is increasingly shrinking, and it may seem like there is really no place left to get away from it all, there are still some places that are off the beaten path, sometimes very far off that path, that offer the chance to truly escape.
A walk through these lonely, rugged mountains with no interior roads feels as if you’ve discovered Tolkien’s Middle Earth. This mountain range in County Down is famous for its glistening lakes and challenging peaks that serves as one of nature’s most beautiful playgrounds. Climb the nearly 2,800-foot-high Slieve Donard for spectacular views over Murlough Bay and the town of Newcastle, or enjoy easier strolls across the gentle slopes.
Rising abruptly out of the Atlantic Ocean, six miles off the southwest coast of Ireland, getting here requires a rather rocky boat trip, but your reward is a craggy, windswept island with stone steps reaching to a cluster of beehive-shaped stone huts that date back to the sixth century. It was here on the 750+ foot high cliff tops that early Christian monks once lived in their pursuit of a greater union of God.
This three-mile-long, half-mile-wide island lies off the coast of Devon, where the Atlantic meets the Bristol Channel, with nothing in between it and America. This unspoiled isle with fewer than 20 residents is filled with dramatic scenery and a fascinating array of wildlife, as well as being steeped in history with a number of interesting places to visit. The lighthouse, which sits at its center, is said to be the highest in England.
Along the northern border of Minnesota, there is a piece of land that looks like it should be part of the province of Manitoba, though it’s actually in the United States, surrounded by Canada on three sides, and the Lake of the Woods on the other. This northernmost location in the contiguous U.S., has a population of just 60 and is part of the Northwest Angle. It can only be reached through Canada, by boat or by snowmobile.
This tiny Micronesian island in the South Pacific is the least visited country in the world – but that’s not because it isn’t pleasant – in fact, its former name was Pleasant Island. Few make the trek to the island as its national airline, Our Airline, only flies from Brisbane, Australia to Nauru once a week – and, it’s not very reliable either.
Despite being a hub of economic activity due to its oil and gas projects, the island is blessed with nearly unspoiled nature. In the winter, frequent snowstorms keep airports closed for days on end, but in the summer, the island experiences lots of warm, sunny days as the best season to enjoy its quiet, secluded nature.
The Isle of Skye is absolutely intoxicating with a dramatic landscape of towering, emerald covered mountains and unique rock formations, as well as sheer sea cliffs that dip down to seashell-strewn beaches at the edge of azure waters. Located on the north of Skye in the area known as Trotternish, the Quiraing is a surreal region of crags, pinnacles and bluffs that date back to the Jurassic period.