I'm looking for places in remote locations away from other people as retreat from civilization with amenities.


  • Clean and drinkable water supply;
  • No other people in 5km radius;
  • No shops, restaurants etc in 25km radius.

Nice to Have

  • Hot water and heating;
  • Electricity;
  • Internet;
  • Picturesque location;
  • A way to let someone know that you need help (e.g. you get into an accident).

Where can I find or how to look for such places on the internet to rent for short period of time (1 week to 3 months) at reasonable price?

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    Manchester at night... – Nean Der Thal Nov 17 '15 at 15:37
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    Care to narrow it down a tad ? Europe is quite big and I can think of at least 10 places that answer to your description off the top of my head – blackbird Nov 17 '15 at 15:42
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    I just googled "rent a Scottish Island", and got back a surprisingly large number of remote and remote-ish islands that you can book exclusive use of, which should tick all your boxes. That's just islands off one European country, add in all the other countries, and mainland remote locations, and it just seems way too broad – Gagravarr Nov 17 '15 at 15:58
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    Not really relevant, but I'd like to ask what your motives are? You don't want any shops, but you do want internet. So you could order online instead of walking to the shop? :) Btw, in a chalet in Switzerland on top of a mountain could be an idea. Hard to get there though and the chalet basically sells food. – Lewis Nov 17 '15 at 16:27
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    My remote is usually under my couch cushions. Not sure if European remotes (or couches) are different than American ones. – Sycorax Nov 17 '15 at 19:28

If you want a place where you can't walk (or drive) to shops and restaurants, and people can't walk (or drive) to visit you, then absolutely your best bet is an island.

Purely as an example I present the Island of Torsa. If you rent the holiday home there, you will be the only person on the island and able to be as remote and isolated as you like, while enjoying running water and electricity. I don't think it quite fulfils either the 'no people within 5km' or the 'no shops within 25km', but since there is a sizeable chunk of water between you and either of them that shouldn't be a problem. There are certainly other examples.

I'm pretty sure there are going to be other islands like this. I know of plenty in Canada, but fewer in Europe.

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By far the largest remote area in Europe is in Russia.

Although Iceland has a lower population density overall, the northeastern provinces in European Russia have vast, empty forests. The Komi Republic is 415,900 km² (larger than Germany) with a population density of approximately 2 inhabitants per km², mostly concentrated in cities. Plenty of remote locations, including some reachable by train:

Asia-Europe border
(source: wikimapia.org)

Asia-Europe border. Source: Wikimapia.

If you want to be slightly more realistic, you may consider some islands of Northern Norway. For example, northern Sørøya is reachable by passenger boat only; reaching the nearest road with a car-ferry is around a 50 km walk through the mountains. On the northern end of the island there is an isolated farm which is now a bed and breakfast. A 6 km trip on a mountain track (jeep, snowmobile, bicycle) to Akkarfjord, from where there are several boats per week to Hammerfest, which has a store. Enjoy.

Gamvik, Sørøya, in the area of Hammerfest, Norway. Source: Hammerfest kommune.

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Iceland has the lowest population density of any recognised European country at just over 3 people per square kilometre - that's about 10% of the population density of the United States. This doesn't directly answer your question but may help, Iceland is a well-developed civilised country.

Iceland is cold however, but there are plenty of hot springs that you can bathe in and going to see the Aurorae Borealis (Northern Lights) can be quite spectacular. Iceland offers a good vantage point to see this phenomenen quite reliably.

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    Speaking of population densities: The finnish part of Lapland is almost twice the size of Iceland with almost half the population density. The swedish part of Lapland has around the same size as Iceland with only a third of the population density. I guess even the US have some remote areas... – user37269 Nov 17 '15 at 18:49
  • @moooeeeep "I guess even the US have some remote areas..." Well, yes. Most of Alaska, for example. All the pale yellow areas on this map have less than one person per square mile, which is about a tenth the population density of Iceland. All the pale green areas (i.e., almost everything west of the Mississippi) has a population density not much more than twice Iceland's. – David Richerby Nov 17 '15 at 20:54

Chernobyl alienation zone.

The water there may contain radiation though it depends so one can possibly find a radiation-free source. There can be also problems with electricity.

Some people live there on their own risk.

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If you can drop your 50km walking distance to 20-30km, then you there are plenty of places that meet your requirements in the Alps or the Pyrenees.

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  • 20–30 km from civilisation in the Alps? Any examples? – gerrit Nov 18 '15 at 11:18
  • No examples. But I've ridden my bike down many a lonely road in the mountains. I've seen plenty of places that are far from anywhere. Check on gites-de-france.com or en.gites-de-france.com if you don't read French. – Mohair Nov 18 '15 at 16:39
  • Perhaps we disagree on what is remote. Valleys that have roads but no habitation seem rare. To me the Alps appear densely populated almost everywhere, but I haven't been to the Alpes-Maritimes. – gerrit Nov 19 '15 at 11:56

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