1. MOUNT ATHOS, GREECE
Eastern Orthodox monks have lived on the remote Greek peninsula since the 4th century. It’s accessible only by ferry, and only men—who must apply for a special Byzantine visa—are allowed to visit. Athos is so removed from modernity that monks still keep Byzantine time.
2. TRISTAN DA CUNHA
More than 1,700 miles from the South African coast, this Atlantic island is so isolated that mail arrives only once a year. (Which is odd, since many of the island’s 270 residents make a living selling postage stamps.) With such little contact with the outside world, residents still speak a patois of 19th-century English.
Boasting the title of least visited country in the world, this South Pacific island has no seaport and can be reached only by small boats and planes. Most of the land isn’t arable, so natives depend mostly on imports. As a result, nearly 90 percent of them are unemployed.
4. GANGKHAR PUENSUM
At 24,836 feet, it’s the world’s highest unclimbed mountain. If you ever make it up there, don’t blame us when you get arrested. In 1994, Bhutan banned climbing the sacred peak.
5. FOULA, SCOTLAND
The Shetland haven is home to more ponies than people. A ferry stops twice a week and puddle-jumper flights are infrequent. Residents still use the Julian calendar and speak a dialect of Old Norse.