When we start thinking about going somewhere to travel, we often pick the larger and more well-known countries. Mostly for a wide range of activities, modern infrastructure, and amenities of the big states. And right now you might be wondering why I am writing about some of the smallest countries in the world which are worth to visit instead of writing about big cities.
I am pretty sure when you will discover the smallest country in the world that is home to the largest Catholic Church visited by 5 million visitors a year or a country that is still ruled by a royal family that lives in the castle on the hill, like me, you will also want to visit the places. Who knows? You may fall in love with them!
Let's then start touring!
Malta (246 square kilometres)
If you are a historian, explorer or anyone looking to do something dIfferent during travels, Malta is the country to visit. With an average of 300 days of sunshine a year, Malta is not only a perfect year-round destination for sun and clear blue skies but also for the history, ancient temples, historic forts, the culture, the festivals and the people. That is why, the 246 square kilometres long country is often described as an open-air museum. If you have interest in history, the Valletta is a perfect place to visit for its stunning 16th-century architecture, incredible cathedral, excellent choice of restaurants. This smallest capital in the EU is the only capital city where the entire town is a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Malta is also home to numerous note-worthy festivals that draw tourists from all over the world. The beautIful beaches and clear waters provide tranquility and relaxation. Underwater divers can catch glimpses of rocky reefs, caves and an abundance of marine lIfe in the warmer months.
Maldives (300 square kilometer)
Maldives known as the "paradise on earth." The country is comprised of 26 coral atolls that contain 200 inhabited islands and 80 islands with tourist resorts. Visiting a resort here means your own private beach only shared with other guests of that resort. The Islands offer dIfferent luxuries like deep-sea fishing, scuba diving excursions, snorkelling, cookery classes, non-motorised water sports and a relaxing massage in the spa. But all the activities you want to do as much or as little are depend on which resort you have booked.
If you are one of them who wants to discover the underwater lIfe; then a trip to the only 300 square kilometer long country is a once in a lIfetime opportunity for sure. The white sand beaches, crystal blue waters and the choice of accommodations make this country worth every penny it costs to visit.
Vatican City (0.49 square kilometres)
Vatican also known "a city within a city" is enclave in the city of Rome. Every year more than 5 million people visit the place. Although Vatican is not a member of the United Nations, it is widely recognised as an independent nation. Many visit Vatican to see the beautIful St Peter's Basilica, the architectural jewel of the Renaissance, and the incredible collections in the Vatican Museums.
In Basilica, you will find Peter's tomb and famous works of art such as Michelangelo's Pieta. The Vatican museum is overflowing with art and history. Hence, this is best to visit the museum with a guided tour as it can be quite overwhelming. In the museum you will also find the Sistine chapel which is famous for the painted ceiling frescoes that depict the story of creation and the story of Noah. There are many hotels and B&Bs (Bed and breakfasts) located just a short walk from the Vatican City and most visitors pair their visit here with a few days in Rome.
Monaco (2.02 square kilometres)
Can you believe it? Only a 2.02 square kilometers long country is home to the yacht owners, superstars and billionaires! Located along the French Riviera, this glitzy state has over 32,000 residents. There are so many reasons to visit this beautIful tiny country. Among them include great weather, world-famous restaurants and nightclubs, the Grand Prix Formula 1 race, the world's most famous casino and exclusive shopping. Hence, this is obvious one need to reach deep into their pockets to visit this country. Even on the off-season hotel rates are surprisingly high.
Hotel de Paris, the oldest and most famous luxury hotel in the country, offers a private beach, thermal spa and a restaurant run by the very famous Alain Ducasse. One can visit one of the five casinos, attend a show at the prestigious Opera or simply gaze at the very expensive but very beautIful cars that line the streets. Visitors can go to the Old City which offers cobblestone streets, picturesque cafes and the Prince's Palace. Whether you can afford to stay a few days or simply take a day trip in this charming country; one thing is sure this small country worth visiting.
St Kitts and Nevis (269.4 square kilometres)
The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis is a small Caribbean island country that spans 269.4 square kilometres across its two islands but is packed with history, activities, beaches and mountains. This island once survived on the tobacco, indigo and sugar industry. Now tourism is its main source of lIfe.
Flights to St Kitts & Nevis are slightly costly than flights to some larger countries since only fewer airlines fly to the islands. However, once you arrive on the islands, you will not be disappointed. Tourists that travel here often find themselves drawn by the welcoming nature of the locals and beauty of the islands.
If you are more into history and culture, you can visit Unesco World Heritage-listed Brimstone Hill Fortress or visit Romney Manor. If you are seeking adventure, hike to the crater of Mount Liamuiga volcano or scuba dive in Frigate Bay.
The country also offers a bustling nightlIfe, adrenaline pumping activities such as zip lining with variety of dining options from beach bars. So, this small country should not be overlooked when you are planning your next holiday destination!
Niue (261.5 square kilometres)
Niue is the smallest island nation in the world located in between Tonga and the Cook Islands. The country is small in size but big on adventure. The best way to explore this small country is to have an open mind. A popular activities are exploring the most spectacular and extensive cave systems in the South PacIfic and the swimming pools that are often hidden within them.
Swimming with whales, dolphins, sea turtles, and going on an unga (coconut crab) hunt are all reasons why this small country deserves a visit. Being able to hike through the rainforest with no fear of poisonous plants or animals is just one of the bonuses in this 261.5 square kilometres country.
Grenada (348.5 square kilometres)
Known as the Spice, Island Grenada is home to exotic plants, flowers and an abundance of spice trees. The country is also the major source of nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and cocoa. The Island offers the lush green tropical rainforests with colorful hillside towns, towering waterfalls, cascading rivers and breathtaking mountain lakes, white sand beaches, the first underwater statue museum, rum distillery tours to its visitors.
Visitors can also enjoy in the number of local fairs, festivals and markets here. One should go to the fishing village of Gouyave on Fridays for an absolutely authentic local experience complete with fresh seafood, live music and a lot of late night partying.
Andorra (468 square kilometres)
Over the last few years, Andorra's ski resorts have invested millions of dollars to ramp up restaurants, chairlIfts, gondolas, snow-making machines and anything and everything ski related. So, the country, located between France and Spain, is known for having the best skiing in the Pyrenees. Besides, hikers will also be in paradise in the warmer months with plenty of trails ranging from beginner to expert.
The country's capital and only town is loaded with some 2000 shops which attract a number of visitors every year.
Liechtenstein (160 square kilometres)
Located on the banks of the Rhine River, Liechtenstein is squeezed between Austria and Switzerland. The world's sixth smallest country rich in beauty and mountains, is the last remnant of the Holy Roman Empire. The country is still ruled to this very day by the Liechtenstein family that lives in the castle on the hill.
Wine lovers can enjoy tasting the local wines in the Princely Wine Cellars of the Prince. Besides, Liechtenstein Treasury Museum, Liechtenstein National Museum and St Florin Cathedral are worth to get your attention.Though Vaduz Castle is restricted for visitors, medieval architecture lovers can explore the Gutenberg Castle in Balzers, and the Obere Burg ruins in Schellenberg to satisfy their interest.
But the real treasures of this 160 square kilometres long country lie elsewhere. The country is a paradise for hikers and skiers. The beautIful alpine nature, steep peaks, perfect slopes and excellent facilities in Malbun promise winter wonderland vacations. Hikers will appreciate the scenic trails on a compact territory. Liechtenstein is walkable, and its villages are connected by hiking and cycling trails.
Palau (458.4 square kilometres)
Palau, often known as Belau, is a group of 250 islands in the Micronesia area of Oceania. Most visitors like to spend their time in underwater scuba diving. The country is a home to famous sites such as The Blue Corner, German Channel and Blue Holes. Teeming with sharks, giant clams, coral reefs, blue holes, caves, tunnels, unique sea creatures and an abundance of colorful fish, this is the ultimate underwater playground.
Last but not the least, do not forget to dive in the sting-less Jellyfish Lake for an extraordinary experience. A range of accommodations from budget to luxury along with a number of restaurant choices and even a local brewery makes this country worth visiting.
The article was prepared based on information collected from internet.