St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

On a map, the remote islands of St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha appear to be mere specks in the ocean – but they have much to enthrall the intrepid traveller.

Tricia Hayne, author of St Helena: the Bradt Guide

Hiking, history and he cabbages: St Helena offers an alluring mix of holiday attractions, but none so great as the sheer grandeur of an island that was wrought from not just one but two huge volcanic eruptions.  For dramatic spectacle, it is hard to beat.

Dark cliffs soar straight up from sea level, giving no hint of the landscape imprisoned within: lush valleys, high peaks clothed with extraordinary endemic plants, rolling hills dotted with cows, bleak, barren rock carved over millennia by wind and rain. 

St Helena is not just an exceptional backdrop for walking, of course: you can spend hours swimming, diving, fishing or simply taking in the scenery. And don’t forget the wildlife:  dolphins are present year round; whale sharks put in an appearance in the summer months, and humpback whales during the winter.

Then there are 500 years of history, from the Napoleonic years to the island’s role in the slave trade and the Boer War. And most important are the St Helenians themselves, a gentle people who genuinely welcome visitors who have made the effort to seek out their remote rock in the middle of the South Atlantic.

To complete your exploration of this outpost of the former British empire, don’t forget that it’s part of a trio that includes Ascension Island, 1,120km further north. And if this isn’t remote enough, Tristan da Cunha could offer just what you need for the ultimate escape.

Related books

Where to visit

Related articles

Mesmerising St Helena: The five best postbox walks on the island

A series of ‘postbox’ walks take travellers on a round-the-island walking tour, showcasing the very best of St Helena’s scenic beauty.

St Helenian Plo Recipe by The Saint Cooks

Worldly Appetites: St Helenian plo

Savour the tastes of St Helena with this recipe for the South Atlantic island’s classic comfort food.

St Helena: The secret of the South Atlantic

Photographer Mathias Falcone shares his favourite shots from one of the world’s most remote islands.

A postcard from the end of the world: exploring St Helena

Photographer Scott Bennett shares his experiences of exploring and photographing this tiny island.

A record-breaking flight for St Helena

A Titan Airways Boeing 757-200 landed at St Helena airport on 31 July.

Unusual dive sites

We’ve all heard of the Great Barrier Reef, but what about these more unknown dive sites?

Welcome to the world, St Helena

After countless delays and postponements, the first flight to St Helena has finally touched down on rocky soil. There’s never been a better time to plan a visit.