Sakhalin Island, Russia
Sakhalin is a beautiful and mostly uninhabited island off the eastern coast of Russia. Foreigners were not allowed to travel to the island until 1990, when it became a major oil drilling location. With crystalline rock cliffs and unspoiled beaches, Sakhalin is a vacationer's paradise. The best way to get there is from the Japanese side of the island, however major adventurers start in Moscow (a standard flight will get you to the city). From there take the Trans-Siberian Railway across the continent of Khabarovsk, Eastern Russia. Then ride a hydrofoil to Komsomolsk and another train to Vanino before booking a ferry. A minibus will take you from the ferry station to somewhere in the general vicinity of your lodgings when you arrive in Sakhalin. All that traveling is made worth it with beautiful views and friendly indigenous Nivkh people that love to show outsiders their traditions.
Antarctica is a beautifully unique destination located on the bottom of Earth, complete with the geographic South Pole. View the arctic landscapes and wildlife from penguins to seals. To get here, your first step would be to take a flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina. From there you would fly a regional liner to Ushuaia, a remote Argentine Viillage at the base of a rugged mountain range. Then you would take a shuttle from you hotel to a village port, where a ship will whisk you away through the Drake Passage to one of Antarctica's several research stations. All that travel is worth having the chance to glimpse a penguin!
Naru is a tiny Micronesian island and is known as the least visited country in the world. Naru is home, however, to miles of untouched, white sandy beaches. To get to those beaches, travelers must fly to Brisbane, Australia, lodging there for a few days. Naru's airline, Our Airline, only flies from Brisbane and back once a week, so you'll have to suffer for a few days in the beautiful Australian city. On your flight over to Naru, you will probably experience a layover in the Solomon Islands. Once arrived, you will have to flag down the one and only registered taxi driver in Naru, or hitchhike on a local's scooter to find your hotel. This little island is worth the travel pains as you will spend your entire trip sleeping away the days on the beautiful sandy beaches.
Ittoqqortoormiit means "Big-House Dwellers" in Greenlandic and is true to its name as it is littered with colorful, large houses. The inhabitants spend their days hunting polar bears. To get to the Big House, first you must fly to Edinburgh, Scotland. Twice a week, there is a flight from there to Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. You'll have to find lodging in Ireland, as you wait for the once a week charter flight to Constable Point Airport in Greenland. Once there, a helicopter will pick you up and drop you off in Ittoqqortoomiit. Once there, relax away all that travel with a serene sail down the longest fjord, glacial river, system in the world.
Masoala National Park, Madagascar
Masoala National Park is home to a variety of creatures and plants including exotic geikos and wild coral reefs. With endless scenic views, beautifully sandy beaches, and pristine turquoise water, this remote spot is worth the travel time. To enjoy Madagascar, take a flight first to Paris. From there board a flight to Antananarivo, Madagascar's capital city. From there you are advised to literally stow away on a cargo ship to get to the northeast coast of island.
About the Author: Cara is a guest contributor from America By Rail, offering amazing rail and sail tours to meet all your vacationing desires.