Forbidden destinations you can never visit

Posted on 6 June 2024 By Tsoku Maela

We often come across captivating tales of places worth adding to our travel itineraries. The allure of these destinations triggers thoughts like, “Wow, I must add this to my Bucket List and experience it someday!” However, amidst these tempting locales, there exist places that we should distinctly exclude from our Bucket Lists – forbidden realms that remain off-limits.

It’s astounding to consider that such enigmatic locations exist within our world, yet they are indeed numerous. Among them are military installations, off-limits to all but authorized personnel. There exist historical gems so delicate that the mere presence of humans could irreparably mar them. Additionally, certain places are inherently perilous, holding no appeal for the average traveller. Nonetheless, these forbidden realms possess an irresistible allure, akin to forbidden fruit that becomes all the more tantalizing. Drawing curious wanderers like magnets, they ignite a fervor to uncover uncharted territories. Despite this, venturing into these forbidden enclaves is a perilous endeavour, one that could jeopardize your very life.

With this in mind, let’s go on a journey to explore some of the most captivating corners of the world – places that remain beyond the reach of ordinary travellers, accessible only to researchers, scientists, military personnel, or those with an unyielding spirit.

Lascaux Caves, France

Lascaux Cave, France

The Lascaux Caves stand as an archaeological treasure trove of global significance. Within their depths lie prehistoric paintings that date back a staggering 17,300 years. Evoking an almost uncannily lifelike quality, these Paleolithic depictions adorn the walls with haunting imagery of creatures like cattle, stags, and bison. Unfortunately, the cave has been off-limits to the public since 1963, as the delicate artistry within could be imperiled by human presence.

North Sentinel Island, India

Nestled within the Andaman chain, North Sentinel Island harbours the Sentinelese tribe, fostering an air of intense isolation. These inhabitants staunchly guard their seclusion, often resorting to violence to maintain it. Existing under the protection of the Indian Government for over 50,000 years, this territory remains unequivocally prohibited from any form of visitation, rendering it one of the planet’s most perilous and proscribed locales.

Surtsey Island, Iceland

Surtsey and other small islands from Heimaey is the largest of the westman islands, the westman archipelago is a bit west of Icelands southern tip

Emerging from the expanse of the sea, Surtsey Island is a testament to the raw power of volcanic activity. Born from a four-year eruption, it takes its place as Earth’s most recent island formation. While a handful of scientists and geologists are permitted to explore its realms, tourism is expressly forbidden. The delicate ecological processes unfurling here necessitate preservation from the potential disruptions of human interference.

Ise Grand Shrine, Japan

Ancient Uji Bridge of Ise Shrine (Ise Jingu) in Mie, Japan. The Shrine is Japan most sacred Shinto shrine and dates back to the 3rd Century.

Japan’s rich tapestry of shrines boasts an awe-inspiring array, with the Ise Grand Shrine holding an unparalleled significance. Revered for its architectural splendor and deep-seated Shinto traditions tracing back to the 8th century, this sanctuary undergoes a lavish reconstruction every two decades. However, entry into its hallowed halls is a privilege reserved solely for the royal elite, enveloping it in an aura of exclusivity.

North Brother Island, USA

Once a site of quarantine and later a rehabilitation center for addicts, North Brother Island, nestled within New York City, now stands as a sanctuary for birds. The island’s storied history and subsequent seclusion have rendered it inaccessible to the general populace, underscoring its status as one of America’s most hauntingly abandoned sites.

Dulce Base, USA

In the serene enclave of Dulce near the New Mexico-Colorado border resides an underground laboratory shrouded in secrecy. Whispers of advanced technologies and peculiar human-animal hybrids pervade discussions of the Dulce Base, a realm tightly sealed against prying eyes. This classified compound stands as a top-tier enigma, commanding its place as a globally renowned forbidden domain.

Heard Island, Australia

Nestled between Antarctica and Madagascar, Heard Island rests as an untouched enigma. Comprising two active volcanoes and characterized by its barren, volcanic terrain, it stands as one of the Earth’s most uncharted territories. Preserving its delicate ecological equilibrium, entry to this remote isle is rigorously controlled by the Australian Government.

Doomsday Vault, Norway

Deep within the Arctic Svalbard archipelago, the Doomsday Vault safeguards an extensive collection of plant seeds, poised to withstand cataclysmic events. A sanctuary of global importance, its doors swing open for select visitors on designated occasions, underscoring its role as an insurance policy against an uncertain future.

Snake Island, Brazil

In the vibrant landscape of Brazil, Snake Island resides as a true embodiment of its name, teeming with deadly serpents. A place of unparalleled peril, its shores remain untouched by human footprints, bearing the weight of being one of the most forbidden domains in both Brazil and the world. Government decrees have rendered it inaccessible, further emphasizing its ominous mystique.

Tomb of Qin Shi Huang, China

Deep within a pyramid lies the Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang, China’s inaugural Emperor, veiled in an enigma that has confounded historians and archaeologists for over two millennia. The contents of this tomb, though tantalizingly sealed, offer glimpses into an ancient civilization’s beliefs about the afterlife. With reverence for this historical marvel, the Chinese Government has set forth prohibitions against excavations, rendering it a sanctum of enigmatic reverence.


Pictures: Getty. Images

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