TRISTAN DA CUNHA
Sailing to these lonely volcanic islands feels a little like dropping off the map, as you aim for the seemingly endless ocean horizon. A true adventure, the journey rewards generously, as you track down the world's most remote archipelago, and discover its incredible, endemic birdlife. A full 1,500 miles away from the nearest neighbour, St. Helena, it's fair to say that the Tristan Da Cunha archipelago is a long way off of the beaten path. Venture to the only inhabited island, where a hardy 250 souls live out their lives.
Tristan Da Cunha was first discovered at the beginning of the 16th century by Portuguese explorer Tristao da Cuhna - who named the island after himself. He was unable to actually step out onto its land, however, as the waves churned violently below his ship, rendering the shores inaccessible. A volcanic island, the 2,000-metre tall Queen Mary’s Peak dominates it - although the islanders were unaware of its sleeping power until it rumbled into life in 1961. The population were forced to abandon the shores temporarily for their own safety.
The extraordinary, rare wildlife is the main reason why most set their compass for these far-flung islands. Tristan Da Cunha is alive with vibrant birdlife, from Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross to Tristan thrush, and many, many more - including the endemic and endangered Tristan wandering albatross. Roughly 90% of the northern rockhopper penguin population also visit to breed on this vital outpost, while sea lions lay around on the shores, and whales and dolphins cruise the waters.