Don’t Travel To These Forbidden Places – You Might As Well Leave These Off Your Bucket List

    It may be hard to imagine that places still exist on Earth that remains unexplored and mysterious. From man-made and guarded structures to natural perplexities that are protected by governments, exotic islands covered in deadly vipers or used as a facade to conceal secretive facilities, and haunted regions that no soul dares to go, the wonderful planet contains them all.

    This fascinating list of forbidden places will both intrigue and frighten you. In most cases, you will never get the chance to visit these destinations as both fear and regulations prevent easy access.

    1. Lascaux Caves – France

    pinterest.comThe Lascaux caves are a complex set of caves lined with prehistoric art dating back to the late Stone Age. The caves were closed to visitors in 1963 and in 1979, it was declared a World Heritage Site.

    The reason visitors are no longer allowed inside is because of the outbreaks of fungus and bacteria that have plagued the caves making conditions unsafe. Today, only a couple of people are permitted to enter for a restricted time period to observe conditions inside.

    The closest that you will be able to get to these caves is by visiting the replica created because of the conservation issues with the original.

    2. North Sentinel Island – India

    The North Sentinel Island is a remote island under Indian territory. Typically, a tourist would need a visa from Indian authorities to visit the surrounding islands but in this case, you can give up all hope of getting a visa. The Indian government does not allow anyone for any reason to travel near North Sentinel as it is home to the Sentinelese, an isolated and uncontactable tribe.

    Unfortunately in 2019, a missionary, John Allen Chau, illegally ventured onto the island in the hopes of converting the Sentinelese to Christianity. He was confronted with aggression in his attempts to make contact but persevered in getting close to the tribe, however, he has never been seen or heard of since.

    3. Snake Island – Brazil

    snakes in tree

    Ilha da Queimada Grande is an island off the coast of Brazil that you will want to avoid even if you were allowed to visit. The Brazilian government only lets scientists and biologists onto the island but prohibits tourists because of its deadly inhabitants.

    Snake Island is named as such because it has over 4000 venomous vipers that reside there, in particular the Golden Lancehead pit viper. This is one of the world’s most lethal snakes and their diet consists of the local birds. The island is about 110 acres with one snake for every square meter. All the more reason to forget about this destination.

    4. Heard Island – Australia

    The Australian territory of Heard Islands is one of the most remote places on Earth. The islands are made up of volcanoes that have become active in recent years. There are no ports or harbors and you need to apply to the Australian Antarctic Division for a permit to visit for specific reasons.

    Heard Island is literally in the middle of nowhere and takes about two weeks to get there by ship from Australia. The voyage is through some of the roughest seas on the planet and there are no commercial tour operators that can get you there.

    5. Bohemian Grove – USA

    While this destination is not remote, it is not accessible by the general public. Bohemian Grove is a restricted 2700 acre plot north of Sonoma County in California. It is exclusively reserved for a private gentlemen\’s club known as the Bohemian Club that consists of some of the world’s most prominent men.

    Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon have been photographed attending the Bohemian Grove and it is also famous for being the location where the Manhattan Project was planned, which lead to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

    6. Doomsday Vault – Norway

    The Global Seed Vault located 1200km from the North Pole in Svalbard, Norway is the most important room in the world. It has been carved deep underground by the Norwegian government and although you might be able to get close enough to see the front door, it is not accessible to anyone except the dedicated and skilled staff that are needed to maintain the vault and its contents – and with good reason.

    The Global Seed Vault contains over a million of the world’s plant samples and seeds securely packed and sealed in the unlikely event of a global catastrophe. This project is to ensure the continued survival of the planet’s flora.

    7. Pravčická brána – Czech Republic

    The Pravčická brána is a narrow rock formation in Bohemian Switzerland in the Czech Republic spanning 26.5 meters, a height of 16 meters, making it Europe’s largest natural sandstone arch. While it may be the most striking natural monument in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, it was placed out of bounds to visitors since 1982 due to heavy erosion.

    The movie, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was filmed here but because people are not allowed on the structure, the arch had to be digitally superimposed on the scenes.

    8. Surtsey – Iceland

    Surtsey is a newly formed island in Iceland. Between 1963 and 1967, volcanic eruptions gave birth to this landmass that has since been legally protected to limit environmental threats. It completely void of human interference and has become a pristine natural laboratory as it has given scientists insight into producing long-term information on the colonization of new plant and animal life.

    Visiting is strictly prohibited so as not to disrupt the ecology and geological formations, so you won’t be able to put your foot on the island or even dive nearby.

    9. Mezhgorye – Russia

    Mezhgorye is a town in Russia that is closed to outsiders. It is situated near Mount Tamantau, which is alleged to have an underground military complex. During the Cold War, Russia sent thousands of people to live here and work in the top-secret facility. Because little information is available, the actual size of the facility is unknown although rumors indicate it could be around 400 square miles. Even the existence of this military compound is not confirmed.

    Nobody is allowed in or near the town if you are not a local resident so it is impossible for tourists or reporters to get close enough to find out more. It is one of the most mysterious corners of Russia and will remain that way for the unforeseeable future.

    10. Bhangarh Fort – India

    The Bhangarh Fort is infamously known as the Most Haunted Place in India and while it is not strictly forbidden to visit the 400-year-old ruins, there are rules for entry. Firstly, the entry of foreign tourists is not freely permissible and you will need to get a special permit from government officials. Secondly, visitors are prohibited to enter or remain in the area before and after sunset.

    There have been one too many incidents of people getting lost and, in some cases, death. The eerie signs around the fort warn visitors to leave before dark, which is enough to send a chill down your spine.

    11. The Vatican\’s Secret Archives – Italy

    Pope Francis renamed the Secret Archives to the Vatican Apostolic Archives so as to get rid of the negative nuance inferring everything that lies within is a secret.  But the Pope said the contents are more private and reserved than secretive.

    Centuries of documents are stored here such as letters concerning King Henry VIII’s request to divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn, which led to the English church breaking away from Rome in 1534. While it is no longer named The Secret Archives, it does not mean it’s become a public library. Special permission to enter the archives must be requested through The Vatican and your reason needs to be very special and not just for curiosity.

    12. Poveglia Island – Italy

    The Italians prefer to keep Poveglia Island off their list of tourist attractions and have forbidden visitors to frequent the place. It is also known as the Abandoned Island of Death because it is the final restless place of thousands of diseased, murderous, and insane people who were shipped off to Poveglia during epidemics like the Bubonic plague. Then in the 1920s, a mental institution was built there and horrific experiments were conducted.

    There aren’t any boats that make regular stops here and if you feel the urge to set your trembling foot ashore to be in the company of crazy, angry ghosts, you will need to go through a lengthy application process to get approval. Hardly seems worth it.

    13. Spy Museum – China

    The Jiangsu National Security Education Museum is a Chinese museum that exhibits guns disguised as lipstick, calculators that conceal microphones, classified documents, wire-tapping techniques, and many other James Bond-type gadgets that you would expect from the world of espionage. What you won’t find here though are foreign tourists.

    The sign outside states that only Chinese citizens are allowed inside in an attempt to keep the communist regime\’s cloak and dagger methods secret. Unless you can pass as a Chinese citizen, you may as well scratch this from your vacation list.

    14. Diego Garcia – British Overseas Territory

    Looks can be deceiving, so before you imagine your plane touching down on the runway for an exotic holiday, be warned – this is not a tourist destination. There are no commercial flights and permits for yachts are only issued to allow passage through the outer islands.  Access to Diego Garcia is restricted to military personnel only as it houses a US-UK defense force facility.

    This facility provided a platform for emergency response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the 2013 response to the typhoon in the Philippines, and also for the search and rescue missions for Malaysian Flight 370.

    15. Ise Grand Shrine – Japan

    Japan\’s version of The Vatican, the Ise Grand Shrine is officially known as Jingū, and it is part of a complex of Shinto shrines. It is the country’s most sacred Shinto shrine. The surrounding shrines are accessible and attract over 6 million pilgrims and visitors every year. You are not able to see inside the shrines and taking photos looking into them is not allowed. Being around the shrines still requires obeying Japanese rules and following proper etiquette to be respectful.

    Rocks in different shapes are found at the Outer Shrine and legend says that if you find a heart-shaped rock, it will bring good luck!


    List25 – 25 Forbidden Places You Are Not Allowed To Visit
    Express – Forbidden Places You Can\\’t Visit
    Living It – Euronews – 11 Famous Places You Are Not Allowed To Visit
    Far and Wide – Forbidden Destinations
    The Culture Trip  – Its Illegal To Visit These 11 Places In The World And Heres Why

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