5 Amazing Tranquil Islands!

cuverville island

The immense views and freedom from the top of Cuverville Island in Antarctica

I was thinking about all the islands I’ve visited and trying to narrow it down to the best ones, but I just couldn’t so I’ll compile a few different lists to sum them up in categories. First of all these are my 5 top tranquil islands. Places you can get away to for relaxing, with very few other people about. These lists are only compiled from places I’ve actually been to by the way, hence the peculiarity of it (I would love to include Rathlin Island in Northern Ireland on this list, but I haven’t been there yet!). They are in no particular order…

1. Cuverville Island, ANTARCTICA:

Well I had to include at least one island from the white continent, given that it’s the most peaceful continent on the planet. I’ve gone for Cuverville Island, as it was a hike to the top through gorgeous snow and was just an amazing adventure. When we reached the top of Cuverville we feasted our eager eyes on the totally magical wonderland of Antarctica. One of life’s better days. One of the best islands you could land on. My full report on Cuverville is here: The Hound of the Cuverville.

Cuverville Island, Antarctica

Cuverville Island, Antarctica

How to get there – If you are booked on a boat trip to Antarctica, there is a chance you will visit Cuverville. It will really depend on the weather conditions, and whether the captain and crew decide to land there. If not, your Antarctica trip may include other islands that I didn’t visit. No doubt, they will be just as magical!

2. Bruny Island, Tasmania, AUSTRALIA:

This was a gem of a place to relax away from the world. If you think Tasmania itself is tranquil, try driving to the south east corner of it and head across to the remote Bruny Island. This has Australia’s southernmost pub on it as well as some cracking sunrise and sunset viewing points. Plus the added bonus of being able to see some rare WHITE wallabies. Bruny Island, in its disconnected splendour is as quiet and remote as they come. A full report on my trip to Bruny Island is here: Bruny Island.

Lonely backpacking days on the Kettering to Bruny Island ferry in 2010

Lonely backpacking days on the Kettering to Bruny Island ferry in 2010

How to get there – Get the ferry across from Kettering in South East Tasmania. Ferries are daily, but if you miss the last one, you’ll have to stay overnight (there are hotels and campsites on Bruny!). Ferry timetable here.

3. Sark, CHANNEL ISLANDS:

Sark is inspiring. It is one of the Channel Islands, and was Europe’s last feudal state, it actually has its own parliament, and a population of around 600. While working on the cross channel ferries, I was able to see all these remote Channel Islands and i love them. A great place to relax and get away. It will feel like you’ve been timewarped.

guinness sark

A Guinness in the Bel Air Inn on Sark.

Sark is just north of the French coast, and I don’t class it as part of the UK, though it’s position is often debated. They have their own stamps and even once fielded an international football team (scoring 0 goals and conceding 70 in their only 4 matches: Sark International Football Team). Arrival is by boat and then a tractor takes you up the steep hill to the main village centre. There are some outstanding views, vintage buildings and pretty gardens. The capital is La Seigneurie. On my visit, I hired a bike and cycled all over the island, including crossing a bridge to an adjoining island, known as Little Sark. I recommend heading to Sark!

How to get there – I went by boat on the Bon Marin de Serk, which leaves from St. Peter Port in Guernsey. This is by far and away the best, cheapest and most obvious route to Sark. There is no airport in Sark, although a landing strip and helipad have been used before. Private boat is also an option.

4. Tai O, Lantau Island, HONG KONG:

I kind of wanted an Asian representative in this short list, and living in Hong Kong made me favour the wonderful Lantau Island in the west part of Hong Kong. If you can forget the fact that part of the island has a busy international airport on it, then get away to the very west corner at Tai O, where you can really relax. So much so that you will lose track of time, and even forget you’re in Hong Kong. There is no commercial element here. Plenty of hikes, even waterfalls, boat cruises and the highlight is the seafood and walking around the traditional fishing village on stilts. An amazing place!

tai o

The Magnificent Tai O Fishing Village in Hong Kong.

How to get there – Tai O can be reached by bus from near the Tung Chung MTR station. Or you can get a bus from Mui Wo (which has a direct ferry to Hong Kong Central).

5. Cape Horn/Cabo De Hornos, CHILE:

It would just feel crazy to leave the marvellous Cape Horn off this list! Cape Horn quite simply is the southernmost point of the civilised world and the marker for the dreaded Drake Passage. All that lies south is Antarctica, making Cape Horn feel like the end of the world. Though I didn’t actually set foot on Cape Horn (that would come at a high cost believe me!), we sailed eloquently passed it, stopping by to glimpse at this famous spot. Just breathtaking.For the record there are actually islands further south called Diego Ramirez Islands, which we also passed, but the famous one is Cape Horn.

The amazing Cape Horn in behind me on my trip from Antarctica back to Chile and Argentina.

The amazing Cape Horn in behind me on my trip from Antarctica back to Chile and Argentina.

How to get there – If you want to actually step on Cape Horn then you’ll have to contact the Chilean naval authorities, as there is a 13 kilometre rule for boats approaching it (our boat managed to get within a few kilometres of Cape Horn luckily as the sea was calmer than normal). If not you can book boat tours from southern Chile and Argentina which will take you round the Horn. Or do what I did and pop over to view it, on the way home from Antarctica!

Happy travelling, don’t stop living!

My Videos:

1. Cuverville Island, ANTARCTICA:

2. Bruny Island, Tasmania, AUSTRALIA:

3. Sark, CHANNEL ISLANDS:

4. Tai O, Lantau Island, HONG KONG:

5. Cape Horn, CHILE:

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About Jonny Blair

I'm Jonny Blair, a travelling Northern Irishman. Since leaving my hometown a decade ago I have managed to visit over 100 countries and over 600 towns or cities across all 7 continents. Along the way I have worked in countless jobs! Join my journey on Don't Stop Living - a lifestyle of travel as I provide you with tips and inspiration to live your travel dreams! Safe travels! Follow me on Jonny Blair Google Plus
This entry was posted in Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Horn, Channel Islands, Chile, Cuverville, Europe, Hong Kong, Lists, Oceania, Sark, South America, South Shetland Islands, Tasmania, X tips. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 5 Amazing Tranquil Islands!

  1. I would really love to see some penguins in Cuverville, Antarctica! They look so cute!
    Chanel @ La Viajera Morena recently posted…300 Facebook Likes Flash Contest!My Profile

  2. Jonny Blair says:

    I agree Chanel – it was a brilliant place! Cant believe it was 3 years ago though! Safe travels, Jonny

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