Kerguelen Islands – French Southern and Antarctic Lands - Atlas Obscura

Kerguelen Islands

French scientists make up the majority of the few humans to occupy this remote island in the extreme southern Indian Ocean. 


The Kerguelen Islands are located 2,051 miles away from any sort of civilization.

There are no native inhabitants of the island, but as part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands it is permanently occupied by 50 to 100 French scientists, engineers and researchers at any given time of the year.

The main island of Kerguelen goes by the morose title of Desolation Island, and is surrounded by almost 300 lonely satellite islands. Massive active glaciers cover the main island, which stretches nearly 100 miles long and reaches 6,445 feet at its highest peak.

The islands are so very remote that even if there was an airport, the harsh freezing climate and icy terrain make it an undesirable location for visitors. The only way to and from the island is by ship, but if you plan to take what would basically be the worst vacation ever, a cabin is €15,000 and the ship departs only four times per year, so plan accordingly.

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