Places you wish you could visit

Whether they’re sealed off for the sake of government secrets, preservation, or protection; these seven places you can’t visit are as interesting and enticing as they are inaccessible.

Lascaux Caves

This stunning complex of caves is adorned with beautiful Palaeolithic-era cave paintings. Estimated to be 17,300 years old, the paintings primarily depict large animals that lived in Southern France around the area of the cave, many of which are now extinct.

Initially open to the public, the caves have since been beset by a black mould that is threatening the paintings. The cave is now only open to scientists and only for very short durations as they attempt to control the microbial and fungal growths.


Located in Moscow, this underground railway system supposedly began construction during the reign of Joseph Stalin to provide discreet transport between government sites. Codenamed D-6 by the KGB, some believe the railway is still in operation and is larger than the public metro system. See more images of Metro-2.

Vatican secret archives

The Pope owns these archives until his death or resignation, after which ownership passes to his successor. Containing approximately 85km of shelving, the archives contain documents that date back as far as the eighth century.

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Area 51

Perhaps one of the most tantalizing territories upon which regular citizens cannot tread, the Groom Lake Air Force Facility has been central to countless conspiracy theories and rumours since the 60s. In July 2013, the CIA officially acknowledged the existence of the base, some 50 years after it was built.

Whether the enigmatic area holds military secrets, proof of alien life or Walt Disney’s frozen head, we’ll probably never know. But as long as the United States Government keeps its lips sealed, imaginations will thrive.

Snake Island

This interesting little island off the coast of Brazil has a damn fine reason for being off limits to the public. The endangered Bothrops insularis, commonly known as the golden lancehead snake lives only on this island, and while it may be critically endangered, there is an estimated one snake per square metre on this island. We’re quite happy to leave this island to the scientists and researchers.

Pine Gap

Located in the Northern Territory, about 18km south west of Alice Springs, is this mysterious satellite tracking station. Operated by both Australia and the United States, the facility opened in the 1970s during the cold war when 400 American families moved there.

The facility controls United States spy satellites as they move over Asia and Russia; Australian Government officials have refused to give further details about the facility.

Chapel of The Ark of the Covenant

This Ethiopian Orthodox church claims to posses the Ark of the Covenant, the golden-coated chest that supposedly contains the two stone tablets upon which Moses carved the Ten Commandments.

Do you wish you could visit any of these locations?

Related articles:
Seven natural wonders
Five underground wonders
Five must-visit conservation areas 

Written by YourLifeChoices Writers

YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.

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