13 Islands where you can feel deserted

Sometimes in life, you just wish you were Tom Hanks in Castaway - marooned on an island with imaginary friends, far away from the worries of daily life.

While it would actually suck to be a castaway in real life, you can still save up for a trip to the middle of nowhere, far away from the Bali beach crowds, the full moon parties of Thailand and the influencers snapping selfies on Santorini.

READ: 10 SA beaches that will make you feel like you're living on an island 

Some on this list are a little easier to get to than others, but the more isolated, the less chance that you'll have to deal with throngs of people - even maybe having a beach all to yourself.

But take some company with - otherwise you might end up making friends with a coconut called Wilson.

ALSO SEE: These are the cheapest months to fly to these visa-free islands from South Africa 

Penghu Islands

Where: An archipelago of 90 islands in the Taiwan Strait.

How to get there: You can either fly to Magong Airport from Taiwan, or you can catch a ferry from Kaohsiung or Putai (only in summer).

Highlight: Take a sailing boat to Qi-mei Island where you can cycle around on bikes past the occasional goat and tumbling cliffs.

Aldabra Atoll

Where: The atoll forms part of Seychelles' outer islands in the Indian Ocean.

How to get there: Fly from Mahé to Assumption Island, from where you can take a boat with Seychelles Island Foundation, from who you need permission to visit the atoll.

Highlight: It's home to the biggest tortoises in the world, as well as a major diving destination.

WATCH: The best Seychelles sunset comes with a Creole braai on the beach 

Galápagos Islands

Where: Situated in the eastern Pacific Ocean, it belongs to Ecuador.

How to get there: You can either take a plane from Quito or Guayaquil from Ecuador, or by private yacht.

Highlight: This is the site where Charles Darwin developed his theory of evolution, and today is a famous wildlife preserve for marine animals.

Bantayan Island

Where: Part of the Philippines, near Cebu Island in the Visayan Sea.

How to get there: You can take a ferry from Hagnaya on Cebu Island or opt for an expensive flight from Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

Highlight: Far from the crowds, this island offers peaceful beach retreats and positions itself as an alternative to Boracay.

READ: Philippines: It's time to break the mould on tropical island escapes 

Kudaka Island

Where: It forms part of the Okinawa Prefecture island chain in Japan.

How to get there: The easiest is to fly to Okinawa's capital Naha from Tokyo or Taiwan's Taipei, and then take a speed boat or ferry from Azama Port to Kudaka.

Highlight: Kudaka is a sacred island, thought to be the first place created by an ancestral god - because of this there's been little development with a thriving plant kingdom.


Where: This Greek island is situated in the Aegean Sea between the islands of Rhodes and Crete.

How to get there: You can take a ferry from Piraeus, Kasos, Crete and Rhodes, or fly in from the latter two and Athens.

Highlight: Traditional Greek life still thrives on this tiny island, coupled with pristine beaches that so far has remained untouched by mass tourism.

READ: Eco-travelling the Mediterranean: Greek out on this island going off the grid 

Faroe Islands

Where: Part of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Faroe Islands is found between Iceland and Norway.

How to get there: You can fly into Vágar Airport from Copenhagen, Billund, Aalborg, Stavanger, Bergen, Reykjavík, Edinburgh, Milan and Barcelona.

Highlight: Green hills, sweeping cliffs, rugged hikes - it's routinely touted as one of the most beautiful places in the world - but somehow has avoided overtourism.

Maluku Islands

Where: The archipelago forms part of eastern Indonesia in the Molucca Sea.

How to get there: There are regular flights from Jakarta and Makassar, or you can opt to take one of several ferry options, which is also the easiest way to travel between the islands.

Highlight: A hidden gem of Indonesia, the islands' lack of infrastructure and easy transport has kept its paradise beaches and forests off the beaten track.

QUICK GUIDE TO INDONESIA: Visa-free travel for South Africans 

St Helena

Where: This British Overseas Territory is found in a very remote part of the South Atlantic Ocean off Southern Africa's coastline on the Namibian side.

How to get there: You can catch an Airlink flight from Johannesburg which will have a stopover in Windhoek for refuelling.

Highlight: The last exile of Napoleon, its isolation has limited its population but it retains interesting natural and historical sights. 

Príncipe Island

Where: Forming a country with São Tomé island, it lies just off the coast of West Africa in the Gulf of Guinea. 

How to get there: You have to fly into São Tomé first (cheapest is with TAAG through Angola from South Africa) and then take a domestic flight to Príncipe. You can also book a charter boat.

Highlight: With few roads, the West African island looks like a world filled with dinosaurs and ancient forests.

READ: Quick guide to São Tomé and Príncipe: One of the least visited countries in the world 

Pitcairn Island

Where: In the remotest part of the Pacific, the British colony is the furthest inhabited island from any continent. 

How to get there: It's impossible to fly here - the only route is by taking a ride on the Bravo Supporter from Mangareva in French Polynesia, which you can fly to from Tahiti.

Highlight: It's considered the most remote island in the world, populated by the descendants of a group of British mutineers and their Polynesian companions.

Cocos Islands

Where: It's a remote territory of Australia in the Indian Ocean.

How to get there: You will have to take a flight from Perth that also stops at Christmas Island, or if you've got the money you can dock there with a private yacht. 

Highlight: It has two coral atolls, white beaches, palm trees for days and an immersive local Cocos Malay culture.


Where: Made up of nine islands, the country can be found in the South Pacific.

How to get there: You will have to find your way to Fiji, and fly from Suva to Funafuti in Tuvalu.

Highlight: It's one of the smallest countries in the world, as well as one of the least densely populated.

WATCH: These are the least visited countries in the world

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