I have several islands in Minecraft, and I would like a simple way to walk from one island to another, that is, connect them together in some way.

I still don't want to prevent traveling by boat by filling up the ocean or something like that. I don't want to simply use a boat either, as it seems to be somewhat clumsy if I want to travel there often.


The simplest approach is to build a bridge.

You'll need to build up far enough (at least 3 blocks above water level) to ensure that you have clearance for your boat before building across.

You don't have to build mid stream supports as everything but gravel and sand are self supporting, but it might make building easier as you can build from both sides rather than having to creep to the end and add new blocks that way.

See this question on cantilevers for tricks and tips on this aspect.

If you don't want neutral mobs spawning on the bridge avoid dirt (unless it's completely disconnected from any existing grass). Cobblestone might be the best bet as you always have a surplus.

Make sure the bridge is well lit so hostile mobs don't spawn on it.

You could set up doors at either end to keep mobs off it too.



Ok, so I recently outlined how to make sign-roofs underwater, they can also be used to create nice long tunnels underwater. Ladders can be used as well, but you wouldn't want to walk next to them as you'll constantly be tugged up into the water. Of the two options, ladders require less wood:

~~~~~    ~ - water
⌧⌧⌧⌧⌧    ⌧ - sign/ladder
         # - block

The nifty thing about underwater tunnels is that you only need one bock of water above them to be able to boat across them, and they wont obstruct your view of the sky/surrounding area, and use renewable resources.


Build a bridge. You're going to want to have your bridge at least 3 blocks above the water so that you don't hit your head if you exit the boat while underneath it:

#####   # - block
        ~ - water

if you're making a bridge above water, you're probably going to want it to be attractive and well lit. I'd suggest choosing to make it out of a single material such as cobblestone or wooden planks, as they're readily available. The width of the bridge might be important to you, a wider bridge can look very elegant, especially if you use step pieces for the center and normal blocks for the edges: XxxxX. You can secure your road by enclosing the stairs/ladder up to it.

Also, an above-ground road can easily be expanded to be wider to include a railway next to the path.


I'm not sure on the "best" way, since that's a fairly ambiguous term... but I can think of three different methods:

1) Build a bridge: this could either be a really simply bridge, basically just a straight line - nothing fancy; or you could make a more complex bridge.

2) Another method, and in my opinion, the most awesome method: Build an underwater (or underground) tunnel going to each Island..or connecting each Island. not only is this just downright awesome, but it wouldn't block boats, take up 'premium' space, or just mess up the appearance you want (that is, if you'd rather not have a bridge, and just water for people to see)

3) Nether Portals.. I've done this before to link a flying Island with my ground base. You'll need to read up more on how Nether Portals to make sure you get this working correctly.

The basic idea is that a portal created in the "real" world will have a corresponding portal created in the nether with the following coordinate translation from the real world to the nether:

{X, Y, Z} → {floor(X) ÷ 8, Y, floor(Z) ÷ 8}


Obligatory suggestion: railways.

Assuming you're in multiplayer, make two bridges (avoid using dirt, for it enables sheeps and pigs to spawn; use cobblestone instead), then build two railway rings onto them. One goes strictly clockwise, another goes strictly counterclockwise.

Sample plan

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    Why is this assuming multiplayer? – Ronan Apr 12 '11 at 16:16
  • Presumably that's a lot of work to go to for just your own convenience. – Kzqai Apr 12 '11 at 16:41
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    Or because in single player you don't necessarily need two tracks -- in multiplayer you would want separate tracks to avoid collisions. In single player you can safely assume that you are the only person on the tracks. – PeterL Apr 12 '11 at 17:11
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    @Peter nailed it! A lesson hard learned in OpenTTD :) – badp Apr 12 '11 at 18:04

Why not simply make an elevated bridge? That way boats can still pass under, but you can quickly walk between islands as well. If you're not much for aesthetics, you should easily be able to find enough resources to make a dirt or cobblestone bridge assuming it's a reasonably short distance.

Alternatively, I've also made underground tunnels between islands. This is more visually attractive, but much more time consuming.

Edit - Added cobblestone to the list of easy materials to acquire. This has the benefit of easily avoiding grass growth, but if done properly (not next to any grass blocks) dirt will not grow grass or allow mobs to spawn as well.


Some scuba diving and careful counting can make underwater tunnels viable. It's easy to get confused and miscount, so you want to give yourself a margin.

If you're trying this:

  • Mark your start location.
  • Put up a small tower every few paces -- one block on the tenth step, two at the twentieth, one at the thirtieth, three at the fortieth, et cetera.
  • When you're digging, do the same thing, but with a side corridor. One block deep at 10, two blocks deep at 20, and so on.
  • Go deeper rather than shallower.
  • Start and end your tunnels inland a bit, or be very careful with your angles. You could have an endpoint on the top of a short cliff, and a 45-degree angle tunnel would have to cross through open water. I would stay level until there's land above.

My main objection to this strategy is that it doesn't afford much of a view. With a lot of work, though, you can replace the walls and ceiling with glass, then dig out the surrounding area. This is easier if you ignored my advice about going deeper.

Overall, I don't like this solution that much, but it works, and it doesn't mess up the view.


I'm going to take a different approach to this question than most probably would and suggest building an EATS Road.

EATS, standing for Etho's Advanced Transportation System, is a boat-based road system. It was developed by YouTube user EthosLab, who is well known on the Minecraft Forums for building amazing mechanisms.

The basic principle of an EATS Road is simple transportation between two destinations. After building the system, all you have to do is jump into a boat and the boat will automatically launch and send you on your way.

Despite what you may think, EATS Roads are completely automated. You don't have to steer the boats at all; all you do is jump in and the road will take you from point A to point B. Also, advanced EATS Roads have boat equalizing systems: when you arrive in one dock, it will dispatch another boat back to ensure both destinations will always have boats.

The main reason EATS Roads are effective is because, unlike minecarts, boats are not dependant of tracks of any kind; their paths can be easily altered by adjusting currents of water.

Assuming your islands are fairly far away, building a nice EATS Road may be the most efficient mode of transportation, as it's faster than walking, and you don't have to do anything while in the boat. Also, by building an EATS Road, you can be using boats without "simply [using] a boat". :)

Here is part 1 of a EATS Road tutorial by YouTube user scjoiner.

Also, here is a modified EATS Road demonstration by YouTube user Eyozix.

  • 1
    Why do people insist on running and jumping around while they introduce their video? It's so annoying. – user821 Apr 13 '11 at 17:59

I suggest using an elevated bridge at minimum 3 blocks high from the water surface. Build it at the point where it is as straight as possible, the shortest distance you can achieve. Railways are a nice help and recommended to make travel faster.

Any self-supporting material (such as cobblestone, dirt, wood) can be used for the bridge, and id say to stay on the safe side make it 3 blocks wide. If materials isn't a problem, try a bridge 3 feet wide with a 1 block high railing. if not you can do a one block path with a railing on its upper diagonals. this will keep you safe and you can use less blocks. Use torches every 8-12 blocks, depending on how you want.

If you wanna get fancy you can add columns every certain distance and use rare or the same materials throughout the structure just to make it more aesthetically pleasing.

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