Ever wanted to get away from it all, as in *really* get away? We all travel for different reasons, but more and more of us are opting to go even further and take a digital detox out in the wilderness. If you’re curious about an off-grid break, we’ve listed some of the best remote hostels around the world, from the depths of the Guatemalan jungle to the luminous skies of Finnish Lapland.
So, what makes for a remote hostel? Forget your modern expectations. Some of these hideaways require a trek to even get there, some don’t have hot running water and in others there’s not even a whiff of Wi-Fi (gasp!) But what they lack in luxuries, they make up for in dramatic locations, fireside suppers and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world to wake up to. This is the stuff of real adventures, so get ready to embrace the outdoors, pack some provisions and disappear into the woods for a while. Here are the 12 best remote hostels in the world!
1. Loch Ossian Youth Hostel – Fort William, Scotland
Only accessible via a 20-minute walk or a bike ride from Corrour train station, this well-equipped hostel is in a dreamy location, on the shores of Loch Ossian in the Scottish Highlands. It’s popular with hikers, cyclists and solo travellers wanting to escape the city and explore the remote moorlands and munroes right on the doorstep. Warm your boots by the fire after a day of exploring, enjoy the lack of Wi-Fi as an opportunity to switch off and check out the starry skies at night. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the majestic stag who has been known to wander around the loch. Bring plenty of supplies with you as you won’t want to leave.
- Top-notch kitchen facilities
- Stunning location
- Amazing staff
🏠 Address: Corrour, Fort William, Scotland
🚉 Nearest station: Corrour train station
2. Ch’i Bocol Community Hostel – Semuc Champey, Guatemala
With a challenging 30-minute hike through a Mayan trail in the jungle, simply getting to Ch’i Bocol is an adventure – especially if you’re arriving at night! – but oh so worth it. Try to stay at least 3 or 4 nights to make it worth the trek. You’ll be rewarded with jaw-dropping views from your dorm, snoozy hammocks and a real sense of isolation in the jungle. But don’t worry, there are delicious home cooked meals on offer by local chef Ava, so you won’t need to pack any extra food. Take the one-hour hike to Semuc Champey, a series of cascading turquoise pools under a natural limestone bridge, then go tubing right back down to the hostel! With natural swimming pools, an outdoor yoga studio and even chocolate masterclasses on offer, why would you ever want to leave?
- Secluded location
- Delicious homemade meals available
- Jungle hikes from the doorstep
🏠 Address: Aldea Chicanuz, Semuc Champey, Guatemala
🚉 Nearest station: Lanquin bus station – free shuttle to the hostel from here
3. Projekt-Kodu – Lahemaa National Park, Estonia
Start your day with free yoga in this peaceful retreat in the forests of Estonia’s Lahemaa National Park. Owner Jim will cook you up a fireside feast after a day of cycling through the woodlands on one of their free bikes. There’s even a fire-heated bath outside, and the plush bell tents will give you that luxurious glamping feel in the wilderness. It’s surrounded by hiking trails so exploring the park couldn’t be easier, plus there’s a sauna to unwind in when you return!
There’s a shuttle service on offer from the closest village, Loksa, or you can get there by bike in around 25 minutes. Don’t be too rigid with your planning if possible; people tend to book two nights and end up staying three weeks!
- Wonderful hosts
- Fully immersed in nature
- Homemade veggie friendly meals on offer
🏠 Address: Metsa, Hara Kula, Lahemaa National Park, Estonia
🚉 Nearest station: Loksa bus station – free shuttle to the hostel from here
4. HI Rampart Creek – Banff, Canada
Ready to get back to basics? At Rampart Creek, there’s no phone coverage, no showers and no running water. But there are open fires, glacier fed lakes, an excellent kitchen and a wood fired sauna. Manager Ken keeps it spotless and will happily help you plan your hiking routes with hidden trails that you may have all to yourself. Book well in advance, especially in the summer as this is one of Canada’s most popular and best remote hostels. With the chance to wake up to mountain views and spot grizzly bears, we can hardly say we’re surprised.
- Outdoor firepit for stargazing
- Excellent kitchen facilities
- Knowledgeable staff for local hikes
🏠 Address: Highway 93, PO Box 1358, Banff, Canada
🚉 Nearest station: Banff train station
5. Elundini Backpackers – Hogsback, South Africa
Owners Lieve and Elliot will make you feel like part of the family in this serene corner of The Eastern Cape. Get a feel for ‘Real South Africa’ by staying in a traditional rondavel (little round buildings that are warm in the winter and cool in the summer). You can also learn about Xhosa Culture and take bespoke three-day hikes and horseback rides through in the Amathole Mountains. This remote hostel is truly immersed in the Xhosa community, which makes for an unforgettable experience. Sustainability is a big priority here too, with compost toilets, solar power and recycled rainwater used in the bathrooms and kitchen.
- Authentic cultural experience
- Excellent guided hikes available
- Wonderfully warm hosts
🏠 Address: Elundini, Alice 5700, Hogsback, South Africa
6. Glenmalure Hostel – Wicklow, Ireland
Wanna get rustic? Glenmalure has no electricity or running water, and Wi-Fi and mobile phone service are the stuff of myths. There’s only one road in and out to this old Irish house, steeped in history in The Wicklow Mountains, right beside The River Avonbeg. There’s a kitchen to cook up some Irish Stew (or baked beans, whatever!) and some books available should you want to curl up by candlelight. This is a truly memorable stay, so take in the starry skies and embrace the solitude. By day, explore the surrounding green valleys, paddle in the nearby stream in summer and get to know all the neighbouring sheep. Bliss!
- Dramatic location
- Perfect for hikers
- Super helpful staff
🏠 Address: Glenmalure, Baravore, County Wicklow, Ireland
🚉 Nearest station: Rathdrum train station
7. HI Point Reyes – California, USA
Escape the hustle and bustle of The Bay Area at this spotless remote hostel – the only one in Point Reyes National Seashore. This former farmhouse offers stunning views and a number of hiking trails right out the door. See what local wildlife you can spot, like elk, bobcats and sea lions! There’s a spacious kitchen and free organic coffee every morning. You won’t get a scrap of internet or phone service out here, but waking up to the smell of the ocean every morning is something that shouldn’t be disturbed. They’ve got a patio to enjoy the Californian sunshine with your new hostel mates, and the staff are always down to chill and share tips about the area.
- Tranquil location
- Warm and friendly atmosphere
- Super cute building
🏠 Address: 1390 Limantour Spit Road, Point Reyes Station, CA 94, USA
8. Pittwater YHA – Sydney, Australia
Backpackers in Sydney, want to get away from it all without travelling for seven hours? Pittwater YHA is only 30km from the city, but feels like an oasis in ‘the bush’. Hidden away in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, you can go kayaking in the bay, or take a bushwalk to aboriginal rock art sites. Spot colourful bird life and curious wallabies from the veranda, or pop a cold beer by the firepit. Don’t forget to bring your own food as there’s no shops around this hostel – when we said remote, we meant it!
- Secluded location within easy reach of the city
- Kayaks available
- Wallabies on the lawn!
🏠 Address: Halls Wharf, Morning Bay, NSW, Sydney, Australia
🚉 Nearest station: Sydney
9. Village House – Phong Nha, Vietnam
Take a slower pace of life at this family run home stay, perfectly positioned to take a free bike to explore Phong Nha National Park. Enjoy #HammockLife in front of the river, where you can take a dip if it’s a hot day, or just hang out with the lazy resident puppies and wait for the stunning sunsets. The family dinners overlooking the river are great value for money, plus the adorable local children might even talk you into a game of volleyball afterwards. UNESCO World Heritage Site Phong Nha Cave is right on the doorstep, and you’ll want to set aside a day for exploring its epic underground river and shaded grottoes.
- Peaceful location
- Free bikes to explore the National Park
- Feel like part of the family
🏠 Address: Cu Lac Village, Son Trach Commune, Bo Trach, Phong Nha, Vietnam
🚉 Nearest station: Phong Nha bus station
10. Pacheco Farmhouse – Otavalo, Ecuador
Take a two-hour drive from the market town of Otavalo to find this tiny Ecuadorian beauty tucked away in the Cloud forests of the Intag Valley. If you’re travelling solo or in a couple, request the separate little house if you can. The bread, jam and yoghurt on offer is all homemade, and the restaurant is so good you won’t want to eat anywhere else. Host Jimena will point you in the right direction for unspoilt hikes, coffee farms, waterfalls or the longest zip line in Ecuador if that’s your thing. Plus, you may even get to share your view with the local nesting hummingbirds. When can we move in?
- Stylish upcycled interiors
- Hosts who go the extra mile
- Tranquil location with stunning views
🏠 Address: Via Intag KM 60, Cotacachi, Otavalo, Ecuador
🚉 Nearest station: Otavalo bus station
11. Te Nikau Retreat – Punakaiki, New Zealand
Tucked away in the Paparoa National Park, Te Nikau has a retreat-like feel, and being just a short walk from the Truman Track and the isolated beach, you can feel a million miles away from the real world. Book the Stargazer hut, where you can gaze up at the galaxies from your comfy double bed. There’s a small shop on site, and freshly baked bread and brownies on offer each day. Fill up on these before making the 3km hike to pancake rocks, a series of limestone formations and explosive blowholes that’ll give you an introduction to New Zealand’s out of this world scenery.
- Secluded location
- Surrounded by native bushland
- Starry views from your bed!
🏠 Address: Te Nikau Retreat, CMB 8, RD 1 Runanga, Punakaiki, New Zealand
12. 7 Fells Hostel – Akaslompolo, Finland
Cosy up in Finnish Lapland in this gorgeous boutique hostel. With super comfy beds, a well-stocked kitchen and stylish Scandi interiors, this is the place to do the Northern lights in style and on a budget (in fact you can see them right outside the hostel!)
Mountain hikes, free kick sleds in the winter and a toasty fire to warm up at the end of the day make this magical spot one of the best remote hostels in Northern Europe. There’s even an on-site sauna for a full-on Finnish experience.
- Super stylish interiors
- See the Northern Lights from the hostel!
🏠 Address: Aihkitie 1B, Akaslompolo, Finland
🚉 Nearest station: Akaslompolo bus and train stations
Has our list of the best remote hostels around the world got you yearning to escape civilisation? Then you know what to do – and where to stay!
About the author:
Gemma Thompson is a writer and broadcaster and specialises in solo female travel. You can find planning tips, city guides and inspiration at girlsthattravel.com.