How to get to some of the most remote places on earth for under £500

9 minute read

Sometimes you just want to get off the beaten track and explore the more isolated places of the world. However, getting to these places can often be both challenging and expensive. We’ve put together a guide on how to get to some of the most remote places on earth for under £500 (And a few for under £1,000) for you.

This list is not an exhaustive guide and we’d highly recommend doing your own research before making your way to the places below.

1. Gurbantunggut Desert, China

The Gurbantunggut Desert is China’s second largest desert behind Taklamakan Desert and occupies 50,000 square kilometers of Northern Xinjiang. It’s one of the most arid areas of the world but it is nearby to the glacial mountains of Tian Shan which is a major water source for the province.

How to get there

To get to the Gurbantunggut Desert you can take a flight from London to Ürümqi (URC) the Capital city of Xinjiang province for around £419 (With Tianjin and Hainan Airlines). This may include a stop at XIY Xi An Xianyang

Once at Ürümqi take a one hour bus/train at a cost of £2 to the city of Shihezi, than take another bus to Group 150 (Yes this is a place, named by the military) for another hour for around £1.

After arrival at Group 150, take a taxi or a coach for the last 10 km for a further £1.

Total cost – £423

Best time to visit for under £500 is September – December

2. Supai, Arizona

Visiting Supai isn’t for the inexperienced traveller. It’s one of the most remote communities in the USA, sits 8 miles from the nearest road and the mail delivery service for it’s 43 households is carried out by a team of…mules. Home of the glorious Havasupai falls it’s not a place to be missed however.

Getting to Supai is unsurprisingly pretty difficult. You can get return flights to Las Vegas from London for around £300. From there you’re going to want to rent a car for the 4 hour drive to the Hualapai Hilltop which is essentially a car park where your options are an 8 mile hike to the village or the more pricey option of a helicopter ride. As we’re on a budget we’re going to recommend the hike here.

London Heathrow – Las Vegas – £350 via a short stopover in LA with American Airlines

Dates – Mid March – Early April

Car hire – £88

Entrance fee to the park – £38

Total – £476

3. Kolsai Lakes, Kazakhstan

Around 75 miles southeast of Almaty and near the north slope of the Tian Shan Mountains sits the breathtaking Kolsai lakes national park.  At its centre are the Kolsai lakes, often referred to as ‘The pearls of Tien Shan’, an untouched, scenic area of Kazakhstan.

How to get there

The first part of the journey involves flying into Almaty airport which can be done from London for £380 return. You should be able to get a taxi from there to Saty for around £16 return.

The first lake is fairly easy to get to by taxi or hitchhiking thanks to a new asphalt road from Saty. You are then able to hike to the second but make sure you take your passport as there is a border patrol due to the proximity of the Kyrgyzstan border.

LHR – ALA £389 with Aeroflot (Includes a short stopover in Sheremetyevo International Airport, Moscow)

These flights were found for 6th – 13th June but prices are consistent for a week long trip between April -June

Taxi: £16 return

Total cost – £396

4. Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands is a little closer to home than some of the other locations on this list but it’s still very much off the beaten track, in fact it’s about as remote as you can get and quite difficult to get to from the UK with ease. Our flight hackers have managed to figure out how to get you those of you who fancy an adventure for under £250.

6 of the islands are connected by road so you can soak up the vast amount of snow-capped scenery from a rental car once you have arrived at the pocket sized Vagar Airport.

How to get there

London Heathrow – Copenhagen – Vagar Airport Faroe Islands = £253

Airline – Scandinavian

Dates – Throughout May

Total cost – £253

5. Chang Tang, Tibet

Chang Tang is located to the west of the Tibetan Plateau and sits at an altitude of over 4000m. It’s a truly wild and untouched 700,000 km2 area  of largely uninhabited land which possesses harsh, arctic like winters.

How to get there

Fly to from London to Leh, India for £469 return with a long stop in Delhi. From here you’ll need to rent a car as its a 4hr bumpy ride towards the Tibetan Plateau

Total cost – £480

Airline – Air India

Dates – March 24th – April 8th. Similar prices around late March – Early April

6. Kungsleden, Sweden

Northern Sweden is perfect for the more ambitious wilderness loving travellers. Kungleden, also know as the Kings Path is 270mile long hiking trail between Abisko (North) and Hemavan (South Sweden). The trail passes through the Game of Thrones esk Vindelfjallen nature reserve which has to be seen to be believed.

Huts, which are located 6-14 miles apart, are open between mid-June and end of September but the weather is usually unpredictable and potentially treacherous all year round.

How to get there

You can fly from London Heathrow to Kiruna for £246 in June with BA & SAS via Stockholm. From there it’s a 1.5 hour bus ride to Abisko for around £10

Total cost – £256

7. Andaman Islands

The beautiful and largely untouched Andaman Islands are located in the Bay of Bengal between India and Myanmar. The islands are home to a number of tribes, including the Sentinelese, known for their hostility towards visitors. Many of the inhabitants have had little contact with the outside world.  Only a dozen or so of the 300 islands are even open to visitors so this is a must visit for those looking to tick off a major place on their remote location bucket list. We’ve figured out how to get you there for under £500

How to get there

Flights to Chennai, India from London Gatwick can come to a cost of around £345 with Qatar Airlines (Via connecting flight in DOH Hamad International). From Chennai it’s onto Veer Savarkar airport, also known as Port Blair which is the main airport for the Andaman Islands, this will set you back a further £58 with Air India.

Total cost – £403

Dates – September – October

8. Rila National Park, Bulgaria

Rila National Park is the largest nature reserve in Bulgaria that stretches across more than 800 square kilometers. Rila is perfect for blue lakes and hiking enthusiasts and it’s only 100km away from the Bulgarian capital, Sofia. This means we have figured out how to get you there for a mere £33!

Flights from London Stansted to Sofia – £28

Bus from Sofia to Rila National Park – £5

Total cost – £33

Dates – End of March – Early April but cheap flights to Sofia can be found most of the year with Ryanair

9. Siwa Oasis, Egypt

Siwa is the ideal location for those desert daydreamers. Despite its arid appearance, Siwa is home to both olive and palm trees as well as multiple crystal clear springs which are dotted throughout.

How to get there

Flying to Cairo can be done with Ukraine airlines for around the £200 mark. From here you have a rather long drive of around 740km which could take 10 hours+ . There is a night bus option which departs Cairo at 11pm and this only costs around £8.

Total cost – £208

10. Guam, Micronesia

If remote for you is crystal clear lagoons and white sandy beaches then the Micronesia island of Guam is for you, and we’ve found out how to get you there for under £500. The whole island is only 210sq miles, surrounded by coral reef it’s the perfect place for avid scuba divers and snorkelers.  Located in Typhoon alley, the higher risk months of a tropical storm are between August and October, so if you’re looking to stay dry then visit in the dry season between December and June.

How to get there

China airlines are offering a route from London via a night stopover in Taipei each way for £492.

Dates – between March – June and September – November

Total cost – £492

Here’s 3 more for under £1k

 

11. Barrow, Alaska

Ok, this one isn’t under our £500 threshold but we still think it’s worth including as special mention as you can’t really talk about remote destinations without including Alaska. Barrow, also known as Utqiagvik, is one of those unique areas of the world that basks in 24 hour sunlight for over 80 days in the summer and then the locals endure a complete blackout for over 60 days in the winter. Based at the tip of Alaska, you’ll struggle to find more remote surroundings.

How to get there

We’ve found flights from Dublin to Anchorage  for as low as £500 with Aer Lingus before and we know connecting flights to Barrow from Anchorage can cost around £250. So you could experience this one of a kind locations for around the £750 mark.

12. Cape York Peninsula, Australia

The Cape York Peninsula runs parallel to the Great Barrier Reef and is located north of Cairns. It’s nearest city however is in Papua New Guinea and not Australia, that’s how remote this place is. Tackling Cape York means spending a few weeks in the bush, in near complete isolation with just your travel partner, your jeep and  the scattered fuel roadhouses located every few hundred km for company. The juice is worth the squeeze if you like having your breakfast near pristine waterfalls, spending your days walking through rainforests and your evenings camping on deserted beaches. We’ve found out how to get you there for only a touch over £600 which includes a weeks 4×4 hire and a return flight

London to Cairns £498 rtn (During March) with China Southern via a stopover in Guangzhou

Flights in May and September can also be found for under £600

7 day hire of 4×4 = £140

Total cost – £638

13. Galapagos Islands

Known for it’s rare wildlife, The Galapagos are a pristinely preserved set of Islands off the coast of Ecuador.  The islands and their surroundings are home to flamingos, sea lions, whales, rare birds and of course the Galapagos Giant Tortoise.

How to get there

In order to get to the islands you first have to fly into Quito, Ecuador. A return flight from Quito can be done for under £500 via an overnight connection in Mexico City.  From there the Galapagos can only be reached via another flight from Quito, which usually costs around £427.

London Heathrow – Mexico City, Mexico – Quito, Ecuador – £498 (September 2019) with AeroMexico

Quito – Galapagos – $553 (£427) 

£15 for the Ingala transit control card

Park entrance fee, non-residents of Ecuador 12+ years – £77

Total cost – £1,017 (Let’s blame the exchange rate for this being slightly over)

Jack Sheldon

Jack Sheldon is founder and chief flight searcher at Jack's Flight Club. Jack has visited 56 countries to date and currently lives in Barcelona, Spain. His favourite things are error fares, but he also enjoys a good audiobook, fresh squeezed OJ, and surfing (though he's not all that good at it). Jack also writes about cheap flights for the Independent.