Islands you can “walk” to from the mainland

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Craving an island getaway but afraid of getting your shoes wet? Here are some of the world’s most beautiful islands that you can walk to when the tide is low.

Eilean Tioram, Loch Moidart, Scotland

You can set foot on the tidal island of Eilean Tioram by crossing a small rocky causeway that only appears when the tide of Loch Moidart recedes the most. Walkers will be rewarded with stunning views of Tioram Castle gradually unfolding with each step they take. Now a mere ruin hidden away from the ocean, the castle still provides a magnificent backdrop, offering you a panoramic view of Loch Shiel.

After a long day of walking and exploring, stop by the Mingarry Park Guest House for a cozy meal and a glass of locally brewed wine.

Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy, France

Originally built on the mainland, Mont Saint-Michel is now a tidal island

One of the world’s most famous and visited tidal islands, Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy will not disappoint. The Saint-Michel Abbey monastery was originally built on the mainland, but as the high tide gradually isolated the monastery from the mainland, it became a stunning tidal island at the mouth of the Couesnon River.

Today, the island is connected to the mainland by a winding footbridge. Once on the mainland, along the banks of the Couesnon River, there are plenty of accommodations with rooms overlooking Mont Saint-Michel, such as the Le Relais Saint Michel Hotel.

Haji Ali Dargah, Mumbai, India
The Haji Ali Dargah mosque is stunning at any time of day

Located on a small islet off the coast of Mumbai, the Haji Ali Dargah is a magnificent mosque built in 1431 by a wealthy merchant who wanted to dedicate his wealth before embarking on a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.

A narrow causeway nearly 1 km long connects the islet to the mainland, and is submerged by water when the tide rises, limiting access to the mosque. Visitors can also see the mosque’s unique architecture, which has had a significant influence on many buildings on the mainland, including the St. Regis Hotel.

Koh Nang Yuan in Koh Tao, Thailand
The island looks like a small piece of Koh Tao when the tide recedes.

While some tidal islands are connected to the mainland by an artificial causeway, the islands of Koh Nang Yuan are connected to each other by a natural white sandy path. When the tide recedes, they look like a small piece of the province of Koh Tao and visitors can walk to explore the area.

When the tide rises, this path is submerged by seawater, and the three isolated islands will appear. To have the chance to witness this tide rising phenomenon, you can stay at Monkey Flower Villas, just a 5-minute walk from the beach.

Enoshima Island in Fujisawa, Japan
Spend a few hours exploring the Enoshima Botanical Garden.

The small island of Enoshima is connected to the city of Fujisawa by a 600m-long bridge, but you can also walk here on a sandy path that only appears when the tide recedes.

Thanks to its excellent location – right next to the nearest beach to Tokyo – Enoshima attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. Spend a few hours exploring the Botanical Garden on the island before crossing the bridge to rest at the IZA Enoshima Guest House and Bar.

Jindo and Modo Islands in South Korea

The Jindo Sea Parting Festival

We can only walk to the two islands of Jindo and Modo in South Korea once a year when the tide recedes to its lowest level, revealing the natural path that connects the two islands. Not only is this a rare sight, but this path only appears for one hour. This phenomenon is the origin of the Jindo Sea Parting Festival, also known as the Jindo Moses Miracle.

Traditionally, on the day of the festival, residents and tourists from both islands will walk across the sea connecting path and meet in the middle of the path. Stay at the nearby Familiar Hostel to make sure you don’t miss the sea parting phenomenon.

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