Bouvet Island Travel Guide

Bouvet Island
Photo by Mila Zinkova

Bouvet Island OVERVIEW

Should you ever be fed up with the civilized world and willing to be left alone and virtually cut off, steer towards the Bouvet Island. No one will find you here, nor will anyone disturb you. There is no standard telephone connection, no postal code or distribution. If you are lucky and into the amateur radio stuff, you might get reached by a persistent relative of yours missing you dearly. One thing, it's icy cold.

Bouvet Island, a dependent Norwegian territory, is the most remote island in the world rising sharply from the freezing waters of the Pacific. It was discovered in 1739 by a French naval officer and later claimed by the British to be finally waived in favor of Norway. It's barely 50 square kilometers in area with 93 % of it covered by glaciers. The center of the island is occupied by an ice-filled crater of an inactive volcano and according to some data there is a lake of molten lava filling the caldera. The landscape is definitely not welcoming unless you are not put off by heaps of snow and ice formations but it surely is a dramatic one. The wave action has shaped the coastline into very steep cliffs rising up to 500 meters and plummeting into the sea or onto black beaches of volcanic sand.

As there are no ports or harbors, only offshore anchorages, the island is not easy to reach. The best way to access is by ship or helicopter but mind you, only if you are not denied permission. The island and adjacent territorial waters are a designated nature reserve so you might find it quite difficult to get there if your only purpose of visiting is mere tourism. You will be more lucky as a member of a scheduled expedition especially if your profession is a useful one - research biologists, geologists, helicopter pilots and doctors are most welcome. So wrap up warm and off you go!