Forbidden and fascinating – from illegal islands to dangerous destinations, these secret places are sure to tempt your travel curiosities.
We all love a bit of mystery. So what’s more tempting than visiting somewhere that is illegal to travel to?
Generally, when it comes to travel, places to visit include famous sights of the world, such as the Empire State Building or the Taj Mahal. But, what about the destinations of the world shrouded in mystery that are completely forbidden to visit? To spark your imagination (and hopefully not your travel plans), read on through our list of the most illegal places to visit in the world!
1. Ilha da Queimada Grande (Snake Island), Brazil
Meet Ilha da Queimada Grande otherwise known as Snake Island. Do we need to say more? This fascinating destination is totally forbidden to visitors as ruled by the Brazilian government who outlawed travellers of any kind to the island. And why would you want to visit? It has the highest concentration of one of the deadliest snakes in the world, the golden lancehead pit viper. Inhospitable to humans, myths about the island abound, with some saying it’s the hidden location to ancient pirate’s treasure and others even saying it is home to aliens. All we know is that we wouldn’t like our insides liquefied by poisonous venom, so it’s best to steer clear of this island off Santos.
2. Surtsey, Iceland
This island south of Iceland was recently formed by volcanic eruptions in the 1960s – making it the youngest landform in the world. For that reason, Surtsey is protected from human interference and is considered as one of the most forbidden places in the world that you cannot visit. Best described as a pristine natural laboratory that can only be accessed by scientists, those who do visit Surtsey are able to stay in the only man-made structure on the island – a small shack with bunk beds inside. The island has been providing information about the colonisation of new flora and fauna, and scientists have to remove any trace of their interaction when leaving. For the sake of science, please do not try to attempt to go to Surtsey.
3. Area 51, United States of America
Area 51 is perhaps the most famous forbidden places in the world. The mystery surrounding Area 51 has been the subject of many movies and conspiracy theories about the restricted area are incredibly popular. The area, hidden in secluded Nevada, was completely unknown until it came to light after documents were leaked; the CIA confirmed its existence in 2013. The general consensus is that it is a base which has been used to test aircrafts and weapons for the US Army, but the facts have not been confirmed as they are strictly prohibited. There is also a theory that it has been used for extra-terrestrial research, which was further supported when a US Scientist by the name of Bob Lazar went public about his experiences working in the prohibited area. Whether Bob Lazar was lying or not, we will most likely never find out. But one thing we do know for sure, is you certainly will not be allowed to visit Area 51.
4. Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Norway
Cut into the side of a mountain on the island of Spitsbergen, halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, is one of the secure and most illegal places to visit on Earth. It’s the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Housing over 960 thousand seeds from countries all over the globe, the vault is considered one of the safest places to protect seeds and flora species. The seeds can then be extracted in the case of circumstances which destroy all life of the plant on the planet. Only people who work there are allowed in. It is secured by several doors and security features. Better yet, it is only accessible by aircraft or snowmobile. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is definitely a great location and one we should steer clear, because we may regret attempting to tamper with it in the future if we ever happen to lose all of our food sources. Just some food for thought!
5. North Sentinel Island, North Andaman Islands, India
Unless you want a barrage of arrows and rocks coming your way, we certainly suggest not visiting North Sentinel Island in India. The local people are one of the last communities untouched by modern civilisation and are willing to keep it that way by any means possible. Renowned as an illegal island that you cannot visit, the area is also guarded by the Indian Navy and contact with outsiders may be fatal to the island community who have not gained immunity to many of the diseases we’re used to in the rest of the world. You are not allowed within 5 nautical miles of the island, with the population wanting to be kept to their own devices. We can only imagine what their world is like…
6. Poveglia, Italy
Meet Italy’s best kept secret destination, Poveglia. The island, less than half a mile from Venice is said to be the most haunted place on Earth. It was once used as a plague quarantine station and is said to have been home to over 160 thousand infected individuals. Rumour has it, the soil on Poveglia is approximately 50% human remains and, in 1922, a mental hospital was opened on the island, with myths now purporting that doctors tortured and hurt the unwell inhabitants. The island of Poveglia is now illegal to visit and strictly off limits.
7. The Queen’s Bedroom, Buckingham Palace, England
Not so much a location, but a room. Our last pick of the most forbidden places you can never visit is the bedroom of the now late Queen Elizabeth II. Deep into Buckingham Palace is the famed bedroom and it is completely off limits. Better yet, finding your way into the palace itself is already near impossible. Only specific security personnel and staff can visit this inner sanctum. However, if you managed to sneak your way in, you wouldn’t be the first one! In 1982, a man named Michael Fagan managed to get into the room and sat on the former Queen’s bed while she phoned the police. At the time, this was not considered a criminal offence (but now is) but is still historically considered to be part of one of the biggest royal security breaches of all time.