Hate crowds on holiday? Then follow our guide to the best remote adventures where you won’t suffer any fools gladly (except the ones you brought with you).
Words by: Jon Lipsey
Where to kip: Relaxed camping laws in Scotland mean you can pitch a tent anywhere. Alternatively, stay at Seil’s Willowburn hotel, which is run by sea kayakers.
Where to drink: The Oyster Brewery and Restaurant claims to be Scotland’s smallest brewery and has a veranda that overlooks the ocean.
What else is there to do? Get on your mountain bike and head for the trials at Eredine and Raera forests, which have tracks that range from 2-40km long.
Not enjoying the silence? Oban offers the best nightlife in the area. If you’re suffering from real crowd withdrawal, catch the seaplane to Glasgow, which takes 24 minutes and lands in the Clyde River.
How to get there: Sea kayak excursions cost £140 per day for a group (of up to five people). Equipment hire is £10 extra per person. Visit seakayakscotland.com
Where to kip: You stay in a different place each night. The small, family-run stops aren’t luxurious but are big on “character and local style", says Exodus’s Natasha Owen.
Where to drink: Join local Nicaraguans for a cold beer on the beach at San Juan del Sur, a crescent-shaped bay on the Pacific coast.
What else is there to do? Go surfing at the palm tree lined beaches of Panama’s Bocas del Toro islands.
Not enjoying the silence? Panama City, which you pass through towards the end of the trip, is a bustling mix of gleaming skyscrapers and old-style colonial Spanish buildings.
How to get there: Cycle Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama with Exodus travel from £1,899 (including flights and accommodation). Visit exodus.co.uk
Where to kip: The renovated slave fort at Princes Town is basic (as in no electricity) but you are at least sleeping in a castle.
Where to drink: If you’re after a marathon session, prop yourself up at the Baze bar in Accra, which stays open all weekend.
What else is there to do? Visiting the dungeons where slaves were held before being shipped off to work for European colonisers is a sobering but worthwhile trip.
Not enjoying the silence? Practise your haggling skills and get down to the Wednesday market in Accra, where you can pick up handcrafted statues and munch on local fruit and fish.
How to get there: Ghana Surf Tour with Errant Surf, £1,030 (not including flights). Fly to Accra with KLM from £458 return.
Where to kip: As part of the package you get put up in one of Kamchatka’s finest hotels, which, unfortunately, is still pretty basic.
Where to drink: Nightlife is virtually non-existent so at the end of the day you set up camp at one of the hot pools, just like natural Jacuzzis, and sink a few beers.
What else is there to do? The area is home to one of the world’s largest, but sadly dwindling, populations of brown bear, which can be seen roaming around the high peaks.
Not enjoying the silence? Then you’ve come to the wrong place. “If you want to have a social trip it’s not the place to go," says Mel McIntosh at McNab Snowsports.
How to get there: Eight-day heli-boarding in Russia with McNab Snowsports, 3,450 euros (approx. £2,420). Visit mcnabsnowsports.com
Where to kip: Bed down in the log cabins included in the trip. They’re close to the glacier and all have hot tubs, a comfort you’ll be glad of after a hard day in the snow.
Where to drink: It’s so remote there aren’t any bars so retire to your cabin with a bottle of Brenavin, a local vodka schnapps which apparently tastes like a cross between Marmite and cough mixture.
What else is there to do? Snowkiter are happy to keep you busy by organising activities like snowmobiling, ice climbing and blue lagoon excursions.
Not enjoying the silence? You spend the first night in the Icelandic capital Reykjavik. Head to Damon Albarn’s old bar, Kaffibarinn, and end the night in a blur.
How to get there: One-week snowkiting package from Snowkiter, £650 (including flights and accommodation). Visit snowkiter.co.uk
Where to kip: Mountain lodge-style accommodation is available at Kvitavatn Fjellstoge and is included in the package.
Where to drink: Hotels are generally the only places with licenses so stroll into one and proudly ask for Aass beer, a locally produced pilsner.
What else is there to do? If you fancy a bit of conventional skiing action, there are 20km of downhill slopes in the area, including green, red and black runs.
Not enjoying the silence? The small ski centre down the road at Gaustablikk is about as busy as it gets in this part of the world.
How to get there: Cross-country skiing package from Exodus travel £650. Visit exodus.co.uk
And five to avoid like Bilharzia. Save viewing the world’s most crowded tourist hotspots for Google earth.
Times Square, New York With 35 million visitors a year, NYC’s gaudy neon monstrosity is the world’s busiest and, arguably, least tasteful tourist stop.
Machu Picchu, Peru The ‘lost city of the Incas’ has been found by so many backpackers that it may have to be placed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site endangered list.
Mount Everest, Nepal With tourists swelling the population of Kathmandu in the valley below Everest from 40,000 to 700,000 in the summer, it can’t be long before the world’s highest mountain gets its own Starbucks.
Chamonix, France The French ski resort attracts around 5 million visitors a year, who all try to get on the same ski lift as you. Or does it just feel like that?
Surfrider beach, Malibu The Southern California stretch of sand is arguably the world’s most crowded surf spot, attracting around 1.5 million people a year.