17-04-15

5 incredible destinations hard to reach by scheduled flight | Chapman Freeborn

Kiribati / Credit:  KevGuy4101

In the past few years a very noticeable trend has emerged as an increased number of travellers go to great lengths to seek out holiday destinations off the beaten track. Many travellers have become tired of popular destinations, as growing crowds and over-development negatively impact on local cultures and traditions.

Increased visitor numbers to remote destinations like Bhutan and Dominica attest to this trend as more and more culturally aware travellers seek out authentic local experiences, rarely seen sights and destinations free of mass-tourism and international hotel chains.

Often, this can mean travelling to destinations with poor air transport links, making accessing a destination by scheduled flight either impossible or time consuming; with multiple stops combined with over-land and sea travel. Many travellers have begun to utilise air charter as a solution to this problem, with chartered aircraft often providing more direct access to some immensely remote and unique destinations.

We've rounded up a list of our favorite destinations that are hard to reach by scheduled flight:

Kiribati

Kiribati / Credit: Blogtrotters

The island nation of Kiribati is made up of 33 atolls situated in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The island is served by only 2 international flights a week from Fiji and Nauru meaning accessing the country by scheduled flight is time-consuming and often requires multiple stops.

Why Go?

Kiribati offers vast swathes of untouched, tourist-free tropical paradise and its crystal clear, azure waters have given it a reputation as a mecca for scuba diving.

Kiribati offers many of the quirks of a remote destination – for example, the nation has only one coffee shop and one registered taxi driver – but without requiring visitors to leave any creature comforts behind. There are several excellent hotels available on the main island of Tarawa, and the island is also famed for its delicious seafood.

How to get there

It's possible to fly direct to the Bonriki International Airport on Tarawa island or Cassidy Airport on Kiritimati by private jet charter.


Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein / Credit: Kyle Taylor

A mountainous principality land-locked between Switzerland and Austria, Liechtenstein has no airport, making flights to the country impossible.

Why Go?

The country sits on the Alps, meaning opportunities for world-class skiing, hiking and climbing are abundant. Cycling enthusiasts can enjoy the Alpine environment with over 56 miles of marked bicycle paths spanning the principality.

How to get there

Liechtenstein is home to a heliport, meaning virtually seamless helicopter charter is possible following arrival by private jet at surrounding hubs including Zurich Airport.


Bhutan

Bhutan / Copyright: COMO Hotels and Resorts

Nestled in the steep mountains of the Eastern Himalayas, The Kingdom of Bhutan is a land-locked mountainous country bordered by China and India. The countries only airport, Paro International, is considered to be one of the most challenging locations for take-offs and landings in the world and all flights require a specialist Bhutanese navigator on board to act as a guide.

Why Go?

Bhutan is regarded as the great jewel of the Himalayas and as the last Mahayana Buddhist kingdom the country has grown into one of the most exclusive and sought-after travel destinations. Activities on offer range from playing golf on one of the world's highest golf courses to making the hike to the Tiger's Nest – an ancient Buddhist temple that perches high on the side of a Himalayan rock face. With the government still restricting the number of tourists allowed into the Kingdom each year, many of the sights even today have been enjoyed by only a lucky few.

How to get there

Scheduled flights are available through Drukair Royal Bhutan Airlines, however available departure points are limited to the south Asia region. A recent partnership between Chapman Freeborn and the Bhutanese national airline has meant the kingdom is now more accessible to private jet travellers flying direct from a range of departure points worldwide.


Dominica

Dominica / Copyright: Galvano

The tiny island nation of Dominica is located in the southern Caribbean Sea, with its closest neighbours being the better-known Guadeloupe and Martinique. There are no scheduled passenger jet services to the island, and whilst turbo-prop services are available, travellers are limited to departing from nearby islands – some of which are also difficult to access.

Why Go?

Dominica is nicknamed the 'Nature Isle of the Caribbean' for a reason. It offers total immersion in an untouched tropical ecosystem – imagine well known beauty spots like Barbados and St. Lucia without the mass-tourism and development. Its lush mountainous rainforests are home to some of the rarest species of plants and animals in the world, and its near-empty beaches rival any others found in the Caribbean. The island is also a site of active geothermal volcanic activity, and is home to the world's second largest hot spring – the imaginatively named 'Boiling Lake'.

How to get there

The islands primary airport, Melvin Hall Airport, can take up to mid-size jet aircraft, meaning direct private jet charters to the island are possible from a host of departure points worldwide.


East Timor

East Timor / Credit: Jaya Ramchandani

Comprising of the Eastern half of the island of Timor in Southeast Asia, East Timor holds the title of first new sovereign state of the 21st Century. Scheduled services can be seasonal and irregular and are limited to departures from nearby Singapore and Bali as well as Darwin in Australia.

Why Go?

Visitor numbers from outside Southeast Asia are low in East Timor and as a result the unique local cultures have been left relatively untouched while the native population remains immensely curious of and welcoming to visitors. The island's northern coast is also home to a number of coral reef systems that offer world-class scuba diving and snorkeling along with abandoned white-sand beaches that easily equal any of those its more famous island counterparts have to offer. East Timorean coffee is also regarded by many as the best in the world – in fact Starbucks are one of the country's biggest customers – giving you the opportunity to kick back in an uncrowded island paradise with the freshest-possible cup of the world's finest coffee.

How to get there

Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport can accept up to mid-size airliners, making direct private jet flights possible from various departure points across the globe.

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By Michael Cooper