A home is a retreat — a place to escape the outside world, to be alone, to recharge, to relax with friends. For some, one apartment among many in a building wedged into a sea of other buildings provides all the sanctuary they need. But for others, true escape means getting as far away as possible from the rest of the world, to a beautiful and remote residence in a stunning location — with nobody around for miles.
Such retreats try very hard not to be found, but we’ve hunted down a few of them for your voyeuristic pleasure, searching high, low, and far to find a collection of lovely, unusual, and isolated homes that truly stand alone. (Just don’t go knocking on their doors.)
Floating house, Ontario, Canada
Being stranded in the middle of nowhere is just fine when your floating lake house comes equipped with a sauna and breathtaking views. A built-in boat dock ensures quick and easy departures and arrivals via water in warmer months.
Castel Meur, Plougrescant, Bretagne, France
If good fences make good neighbors, granite boulders make the best. Squeezed between two large rock formations, this home on the northern coast of France was built in 1861. The unusual location was well planned — the stones protect the house from strong sea winds.
Prefab home, Utah
Construction in a remote location can be cumbersome and expensive — which makes prefab a great choice for anyone seeking an escape from it all. The prefab home seen here was modified by the clients to suit their needs and took just 10 days to erect.
Island home, Vestmannaeyjar Archipelago, Iceland
This home — actually, a hunting lodge — sits on an island in the remote Vestmannaeyjar archipelago off the south coast of Iceland. Despite the isolated location, in true Icelandic style, it’s equipped with a sauna.
Log cabin, Idaho
The owner of this log cabin sought out rustic materials and an architectural plan that would yield a home befitting its picturesque mountain surroundings. The result? A traditional yet grand handcrafted log cabin that seamlessly blends with the landscape.
Lake home, Pedro Bay, Alaska
This is a view worth working for — and they did! The construction of this sprawling 4,400-square-foot home required that 380,000 pounds of materials be barged and flown in to its remote 40-acre location. The 5-bedroom home’s covered decks ensure that visitors can take in the spectacular views year-round.
Artist’s studio, Fogo Island, Canada
Seeming to defy gravity, this artist’s studio balances precariously on a rocky hill of Fogo Island in Newfoundland, Canada. Floor-to-ceiling windows make the most of the location, capturing views that we’re certain inspire the artist working inside.
Rustic eco house, Czech Republic
A preexisting barn at the site was dismantled and used in the construction of this energy-efficient home in the Czech countryside. Made entirely of recycled materials, the residence makes use of an on-site sewage system and freshwater well. Eventually, the home will depend solely on solar energy.
Jarson Residence, Paradise Valley, Arizona
The Jarson Residence stands out in its desert surroundings, but the generous use of windows in the house’s envelope lets the inhabitants feel as though they are living right among the rocks and cacti. The weathered steel and copper exterior helps the modern facade fit in with its environment.
Here’s a chance for you to try out remote living for yourself: Rent out a cabin at Cabañas Morerava on Easter Island. The architects thoughtfully considered the surrounding landscape in the cabins’ prefab design and went to great efforts to make as little impact as possible on the wild terrain.