As a traveler, one of your goals in life is probably to visit every country in the world. Making a list is easy; you know the best travel destinations and their major landmarks. You’ll go to Germany, France, South Africa, China, and maybe make a quick stop in Australia. However, along your way, you have missed a few of the world’s hidden gems. Here are 10 of the smallest countries in the world that are, in fact, the best travel destinations.
Attached to the South of France, Monaco is known as the smallest country to have a coastline. It’s borders may only encompass 0.78 square miles of land, but Monaco has plenty to do to keep any traveler busy. Most popularly known for the neighborhood of Monte Carlo, car racing, gambling, and expensive champagne, Monaco knows how to keep visitors busy and entertained.
2. Vatican City
The smallest country in the world, with a total of 0.17 square miles, Vatican City is also home to the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. The Sistine Chapel stands out among the many Church-based museums, since it is decorated with Michelangelo’s paintings. Both a historical and religious site, this culturally-rich country brings in travelers from all over the world.
Nauru, a small island country northeast of Australia, stands as a landmass of 8.108 square miles. In the 1940s, the Japanese took control from the Australians, using the tiny island as a military station in World War II. Visitors can still see the Japanese weaponry that remains along the beautiful coastline. Anibare Bay attracts beach lovers from all over the world, making it one of the best travel destinations for wartime history.
Tuvalu is a chain of 9 islands, collectively 10.04 square miles. Like many small countries in the Pacific, Tuvalu was occupied during World War II by the United States. On top of their wartime attractions, snorkeling and diving are also popular activities to do just off of Funafuti’s shore, the nation’s capital. The clear waters of the Pacific invite many divers to travel to Tuvalu.
61.78 square miles of alpine villages, Liechtenstein is a gorgeous destination for any traveler. The villages are connected by walking trails that wind through the mountains. Not only does this charming little country have a beautiful scenery, it is also home to 100 wineries. The fertile land and climatic conditions make Liechtenstein the perfect place to grow grapes.
6. San Marino
Landlocked by Italy, San Marino takes up only 23.63 square miles of land. The small country is known for it’s medieval history and narrow cobblestone streets. Many museums, like the Torture Museum, bring tourists in to San Marino. Visitors can visit the capital, situated on Mt. Titano, and on three neighboring peaks, you can visit the Three Towers that date back to the 11th century.
7. Marshall Islands
The Marshall Islands are a 70.05 square mile chain of islands situated between Hawaii and the Philippines. Divers from all over the world dive in Bikini Atoll’s World War II ship graveyard. Visitors can also see a variety of marine life in the Kalalin Pass and enjoy the beautiful beaches on Arno Atoll.
8. Saint Kitts and Nevis
Both Saint Kitts and Nevis islands make up the dual nation-state, covering 100.8 square miles of land. The islands are home to many activities, including snorkeling, diving, hiking, and safaris through the rain forest. On Saint Kitts, Mount Liamuiga sits as a dormant volcano, and many visitors hike to the peak to look out over the gorgeous view of the Islands and the sea.
Situated in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is a series of 26 tropical islands, covering 115.1 square miles of land. These beautiful islands are a popular beach destination and home to an extensive coral reef, which both bring in many tourists. One of the most unique experiences in the Maldives is a submarine tour to view the beautiful coral reefs and marine life inhabiting the surrounding waters.
This island is one of the best travel destinations in the Mediterranean. This 122 square mile island has been home to numerous civilizations, dating back to 4000 B.C.E. The Romans, Moors, Knights of Saint John, the French, and the British have all left their marks on Malta throughout history. They have all left behind many artifacts and cultural traditions. Multiple historic temples and catacombs are scattered throughout the island, alongside the gorgeous beaches.
Which small countries do you think make some of the best travel destinations? Tell us down below!
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Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Katherine moved up to upstate New York in 2016 to begin her years at Syracuse University. She is majoring in International Relations.