Is Apparation limited at all by distance?

It seems to me that in the books no one Apparates further than length (or width) of the United Kingdom. Are there any instances where they travel further than that? If you knew the place could you Apparate to the other side of the planet, or to the moon?

  • 4
    Depends upon whether the apparation spell compensates for the wizard's change in angular momentum. – TGnat Feb 2 '12 at 21:26
  • Hey, it takes at least one second to apparate. So, 300000 kms, the distance light travels in a second is the limit... You know Dr. Einstein? – user3459110 Jun 1 '14 at 11:56
  • A maximum of 1000 miles, and never through space. – void_ptr May 23 '17 at 23:45
  • 1
    If apparating is done via quantum tunneling, then most apparations will occur within the width of atom. Hey! I could be apparating right now just one atomic-width to the left. – RichS Aug 8 '17 at 5:38

Rowling discussed this on Twitter:

Loved the movie. Burning Q from my wife though: How come Newt travels by boat to cross the Atlantic instead of apparating?

J.K. Rowling: There's a limit to how far you can Apparate. Inter-continental Apparition is very dangerous!

they might splinch, right? O_O

J.K. Rowling: correct

She later put this into the FAQ of her new website:

Why couldn’t Newt just Apparate to the USA? Why did he go by boat?
Apparition becomes increasingly risky over long distances. As with most magic, much depends on the skill of the spell-caster: Apparition requires knowledge of the terrain to which one is moving, or the ability to visualise it clearly. Cross-continental Apparition would almost certainly result in severe injury or death.

  • Hm. “Cross-continental” indeed. Sure, if we’re talking from the UK to the US. But how about if you go to this place just outside Magnitogorsk where you can cross over from Europe to Asia within a space of ten feet? Or across the Panama Canal? Or the less than ten miles across the Strait of Gibraltar? Seems like sloppy phrasing to me. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 16 '18 at 11:33
  • @JanusBahsJacquet - What's clear is that there is a distance limitation, that it applied when Newt was crossing the Atlantic, and that it would certainly in the OP's two examples of apparating to the other side of the planet or to the moon. JKR isn't usually the type to give more specifics than that. (But see KeithS's answer about Nurmengard to Malfoy Manor). – ibid Jul 16 '18 at 18:33
  • I agree it’s not really unclear in general (just vague as to exactly how far is too far, which is quite expected); it was just that phrasing from the FAQ that struck me as being very sloppy and needlessly Anglocentric (where ‘cross-continental’ so often refers just to the British Isles and North America). A good editor would have quashed that one in no time. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 16 '18 at 18:37

The Harry Potter wiki on apparition has a section on range. It explains that apparition may have a range, based on the events KeithS referred to (Voldemort returning from Nurmengard). However, it also cites this, from Quidditch Through the Ages (ch.9):

Apparition becomes increasingly unreliable over very long distances, and only highly skilled wizards are wise to attempt it across continents.)

So it appears the only limit is your skill, but in practical terms, you wouldn't even want to apparate across the ocean, much less to the moon.

  • 1
    Good find. This should be the accepted answer – DVK-on-Ahch-To Apr 26 '14 at 2:11
  • Then again even Voldemort didn't attempt it: he had to fly some way after killing Grindelwald before he could Apparate to Malfoy Manor. If Voldemort can't then probably nobody else could or be wise to anyway; after all, he could fly unaided and he was the first to do so: if he didn't think he could Apparate from Nurmengard to Malfoy Manor it's probable that nobody else could. Perhaps though, on second reading, that's what you get at with your latter sentence; I was responding to the quote though which is to say I think it'd be unwise for every wizard. – Pryftan Aug 8 '17 at 1:23

There seems to be an implied range limit to Apparation. In Book 7, Voldemort travels to Germany, to Nurmengard Prison, to see Grindelwald. While there, he's called by Lucius and Bellatrix to Malfoy Manor, and he has to fly for a significant distance before he is "close enough" to Apparate directly to the Manor.

However, it's unclear exactly what the range limit of Apparition is. It appears that you can pretty much go anywhere on the British Isles in one jump, but somewhere between London and Berlin you'd have to make an intermediate stop (or like Voldemort, simply fly until you're in range). Other methods of travel, such as Portkeys, have much longer ranges; The Salem Witches' Association probably used a Portkey to get from Massachussetts to Britain for the World Cup in Book 4, as there's not much in between and anyone of any age can use a Portkey once it's been set up.

  • 9
    I don't understand the reason of the flying thing. Why should you fly if you can do two jumps instead of one? If you can jump instantly 1000 kilometres, with enough jumps you can get anywhere instantly. Definitely anywhere in the World in under 1 minute. – Sulthan Jul 22 '14 at 9:50
  • 4
    Apparition is disorienting, even to experienced users, so it's probably unwise to try it back-to-back several times. We see a double-jump once in the movies and books, when HH&R escape the Ministry with Dawlish(?) in tow, with grisly results for Ron. Even with the handwaving that Ron's never been very good at Apparition, it's enough of a cautionary tale for me. – KeithS Jun 23 '15 at 16:51
  • OK but most of Germany is actually closer to Malfoy Manor (S. England) than the length of Britain. – Colin Jul 16 '18 at 15:25

There is not limit, but only extremely talented wizards and witches can apparates over oceans or extremely long distances. If not, there is a tremendous chance you will splinch yourself.

  • Is there any sources for that statement, where there is a relation between distance and splinch chance? – CBredlow Nov 23 '16 at 0:17

protected by Community Nov 18 '18 at 21:30

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.