My title
How Coronavirus may affect your policy | Can I claim? Find out more

10 beautiful destinations that are illegal to visit

Does the fact you can't these destinations make you want to visit them even more? Snake Island? OK, maybe not!

  • Published on

There are lots of beautiful destinations in the world that you can explore, far-flung places in the world that are on the regular tourist trail, but what about those that are off the grid or even illegal to visit? It’s always tempting to do something you’re not allowed to, but that’s not advisable in the cases of the 10 beautiful destinations we’re about to talk about. There are very particular reasons why they’re illegal to visit, even if they are stunningly beautiful and enticing. Read on now to learn more about them.


#1. Snake Island, Brazil

Snake Island is the shorthand name for Ilha da Queimada Grande in Brazil. It’s also the home of the most deadly snake in the world, the Golden Lancehead Viper. Upwards of 4000 of these snakes live on the island, and that’s why you’re not allowed to visit the island. Only a handful of scientists are ever permitted entry to the island every few years.




#2. Tomb of Qin Shi Huang, China

The central tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang might never be fully uncovered. The Chinese government has stated that they want to respect the burial site and the burial rituals that were in place way back then in 210 BC, when the emperor was buried. So, unfortunately, you might never get the chance to glimpse the 8000 statues of the Terracotta Army thought to be located there.




#3.  Bohemian Grove, California

This secretive campground is off limits to most ordinary people, and that’s a shame because this is the spot where certain members of the rich and famous come to party and have fun each year. So unless you plan on becoming one of the most powerful people in the world, you’ll probably never get to see Bohemian Grove in California.




#4.  Lascaux Caves, France

Lascaux Caves in France are home to cave paintings that are up to 17000 years old. They’re also listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. But for the last 10 years, the caves have been made completely off-limits in an attempt to prevent fungal outbreaks that have the potential to destroy the incredibly precious paintings. These days, only scientists have access to them.




#5.  Poveglia, Italy

The history of Poveglia in Northern Italy is a fascinating one. It was once a port and was hit very badly by the bubonic plague, and after that, it became a mental asylum. Since 1968, it’s been abandoned, is now thought to be the most haunted place in the world and is off limits. Considering the amount of death and damage inflicted on Poveglia over the years, maybe that’s not a surprise.




#6.  Ise Grand Shrine, Japan

The Ise Grand Shrine in Japan is incredibly strange, as are the customs and rules surrounding it. It’s dedicated to a goddess called Amaterasu-omikami, and only members of the Japanese Imperial Family are allowed to enter it. On top of that, the Japanese beliefs around death and renewal mean that the structure is taken down and rebuilt every 20 years, most recently in 2013.




#7.  Chapel of the Tablet

Ethiopia is a beautiful country full of unexpected delights, but one of the beautiful things you won’t be able to experience fully is the Chapel of the Tablet. It’s the place where the Ark of the Covenant is located, and because of this, ordinary people are not allowed to visit it. The only people allowed inside is the Ark’s guardian.




#8.  North Sentinel Island

You’ve probably heard about North Sentinel Island because it’s been in the news recently. A tribe with no contact with the outside world lives here and they don’t like visitors. Anyone visiting will be greeted with arrows and a quick death, so no one should head to this beautiful and secluded island just off the coast of India. It’s not worth taking the risk.




#9.  Niihau, Hawaii

There are plenty of beautiful islands comprising the state of Hawaii off the west coast of America. Niihau the Westernmost and the seventh largest island in Hawaii comprises 69.5 square miles of tropical beauty. Unfortunately, you won’t get the chance to visit this natural wonder though, as it’s privately owned. The owner forbids visitors from setting foot on the island.




#10.  Heard Island Volcano, Australia

This is a volcanic island that’s generally thought to be one of the most remote islands on the planet. Located 4000km South-West of Perth, the island was discovered in the mid-1850s by American sailor John Heard.  It certainly looks beautiful, but you’re not allowed to visit and the terrain is so harsh and it’s incredibly windy. It’s not ideal for humans but a great habitat for penguins, seabirds, and seals.






Louise Boxall

Louise Boxall

Louise has 10 years experience in Travel Journalism, Blog Writing and Research in the Travel Insurance sector. Louise’s goal is to provide interesting, informative articles on subjects we know will interest our customers.

What is the traffic light system and how does it work?

Published on May 11, 2021

On Friday evening Transport Secretary Grant Shapps unveiled the English Government’s eagerly anticipated Travel Traffic Light System. Which countries are on the Green list? Can I travel to an Amber ...

Vaccine passport “a fact of life” says PM.

Published on April 8, 2021

As we prepare to leave the third government enforced lockdown behind us, one key issue is yet to be decided… How will the introduction of a Vaccine Passport play a part of our everyday lives? &nb...

Europe's third wave, will I need a vaccination passport?

Published on March 29, 2021

After Boris Johnson’s announcement that the UK was to enter its third lockdown on January 6th 2021, the prospect of a summer holiday felt somewhat unattainable. That all changed as England’s ‘ro...

I was very impressed by the level of service.

They beat the competition by a country mile! Super happy and will most certainly be buying insurance with them again.

ERGO Customer - December 2019