Small countries big on travel

There’s something nice about the notion of seeing an entire country, and with these five tiny destinations, you can pretty much do just that!

5. Marshall Islands
The Republic of the Marshall Islands, is a 181-square km island country in the Pacific Ocean, situated about halfway between Hawaii and Australia. It’s actually the world’s seventh smallest country. Snorkelers, swimmers and scuba divers will delight in this incredibly biodiverse region, which boasts shipwrecks, over 800 species of fish and 160 species of coral.

4. Malta
Consisting of three islands – Gozo, Comino and Malta – Malta is a Mediterranean gem that features a warm, sunny climate, beautiful beaches, fascinating history and architecture and a buzzing nightlife. At 316 square km, it’s the 10th smallest island in the world but one of the most densely populated.

3. Maldives
The world’s ninth smallest country and the smallest in Asia, the Maldives is a popular destination in the Indian Ocean. Consisting of 1192 coral islands, the Maldives are actually spread over 90,000 square km but with a land mass of just 300 square km, it is one of the world’s most dispersed countries. You’ll notice Portuguese, Dutch and British influences, as nationals of all these countries once called the Maldives home. With pristine white beaches and crystal clear waters, it’s little wonder the Maldives has such a lively tourism trade.

2. Tuvalu
Formerly known as the Ellice Islands, at 26 square km, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Tuvalu is the world’s smallest country. Located in the Pacific Ocean just off the northeast coast of Australia, Tuvalu is in fact the world’s fourth smallest country. It may not be a tourism hotspot, but it is stunning nonetheless and, with rising waters, it may not be with us for long, so it’s worth a visit soon.

1. Vatican City
The world’s smallest country is home to the Pope and the heart of the Catholic Church – the Vatican. At just 0.44 square km, the ‘Holy See’ fits entirely within the Italian city of Rome. It’s a small country but home to St Peter’s Basilica – the biggest church in the world which also houses some of history’s most important artwork. The Vatican’s economy may be derived from all those times you’ve passed the basket around church, as well as other contributions from members and savvy investments, but tourism, especially the sale of mementos and admission fees to museums, funds the rest of its economy.

Have you visited any of these countries? What was your impression? Would you recommend a holiday there to our members?

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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