The Matsu Islands combine history, culture and beautiful coastal scenery. Made up of dozens of islands and islets, the archipelago served as a military outpost for centuries and is dotted with forts, garrisons and hidden tunnels. Today, a handful of the strongholds have been reimagined as trendy cafes and restaurants.
Nangan is the biggest island in the group and is a great base for exploring the archipelago. Tiny Jinsha Village is perched on the south-west tip of the island at the foot of Yuntai Mountain and is filled with historic stone cottages. On Beigan, Qinbi Village features granite cottages that cascade down to a sandy beach. Stroll around the charming village and enjoy lunch at one of the atmospheric cafes.
The Beihai Tunnel stretches for 700 metres into the hillsides and was used to hide boats from the People’s Liberation Army. Explore the tunnels on foot at low tide or join a guided boat ride or kayaking tour.
Most visitors fly to the Matsu Islands, with airports located on Nangan and Beigan. Direct flights run between Taipei and Taichung. Ferries run between Nangan and the Taiwanese mainland in eight to 10 hours. Sailings between Nangan and Beigan take around 20 minutes.