Go Off The Beaten Track In The World’s Least-Visited Countries
Add these to your bucket list.
For some, a country barely touched by tourists may seem like an absolute paradise – free for uninterrupted exploration. According to a 2017 report on last year’s least-visited countries from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, such hidden gems do exist.
If you’re keen to discover the undiscovered, your next holiday destination could be below among the least-visited countries in the world.
1 / 15
Annual visitors: 1000
You’ll find Tuvalu – a Polynesian island nation – midway between Hawaii and Australia. So thin it resembles an island airstrip, Tuvalu is truly tiny and, with a population of 11,000 and an altitude of only 4.6m, it’s one of the least-elevated places on earth.
2 / 15
Annual visitors: 4000
Kiribati is an island republic in the Central Pacific, boasting white-sand beaches and crystal-clear lagoons. The isle with a population of almost 115,000 is a popular spot for fishing and bird watching.
3 / 15
Sao Tome and Principe
Annual visitors: 8000
Africa’s second-smallest country, Sao Tome and Principe is just 964 kilometres squared (smaller than a standard rural farm) and has a population of close to 200,000. Close to the equator, the seaside beauty boasts striking rock and coral formations, rainforests and beaches.
4 / 15
Annual visitors: 9000
Montserrat is a Caribbean island belonging to the British West Indies and is home to just under 5000 people. In the ‘90s, its Soufriere Hills volcano erupted, causing massive damage to the south part of the island, leading to an exclusion zone. The northern island is mostly unaffected, boasting black-sand beached, coral reefs and colossal shoreline caves.
5 / 15
Annual visitors: 24,000
Comoros is actually a volcanic archipelago, located just off Africa’s east coast. With a population of almost 800,000, the group of islands feature warm Indian Ocean waters, a rich culture and stunning beaches.
6 / 15
Annual visitors: 51,000
Located on the horn of Africa, Djibouti consists of mostly dry scrublands, volcanic mountain ranges and desolate beaches. The nomadic locals have settlements along Lake Abbe, known for being one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world.
7 / 15
Annual visitors: 60,000
You’ll find San Marino – the mountainous micro-state – in Europe, encompassed by northern-central Italy. One of the world’s oldest republics, the country is rich in historic and medieval architecture. The land is home to just 33,000 people, with an area of 61 square kilometres.
8 / 15
Annual visitors: 66,000
Otherwise known as East Timor, the Southeast Asian nation of Timor Leste occupies half the island of Timor and has ringed coral reefs, alive with marine life. The nation has a population of 3.5 million.
9 / 15
Annual visitors: 69,000
Lichtenstein is a 25km-long principality is located between Austria and Switzerland. Known for its medieval castles and alpine landscapes, the country boasts a rich culture and history. 37,500 people call it home.
10 / 15
Annual visitors: 74,400
Sierra Leone, famous for its white-sand beaches which line the Freetown Peninsula, is located in West Africa, on the Atlantic Ocean. For a country small in size, it boasts the rather large population of 7.4 million.
11 / 15
Annual visitors: 79,000
Anguilla comprises a main island and several offshore islets. The area, popular among the super-rich, boasts picturesque coastal views and white sandy beaches. Anguilla is home to around 15,000 people.
12 / 15
Annual visitors: 121,000
Moldova is home to an array of terrains, including forests, rocky hills and vineyards. You’ll find the nation in Europe, sandwiched between Romania and the Ukraine. Its wine regions include Nistreana, home to some of the world’s largest cellars. Moldova is home to around 3.5 million people.
13 / 15
Annual visitors: 125,000
Interestingly, Bangladesh made the list. The South Asian country, home to lush greenery and stunning waterways shares, rainforests with neighbouring India. The country is home to 163 million residents.
14 / 15
Annual visitors: 155,000
Bhutan is a Buddhist kingdom located on the Himalayas’ eastern edge, known for its dramatic landscapes and monstrous peaks – which can be as high as 7.3km. Home to some of the world’s most popular trekking destinations, the nation is home to close to 800,000 people.
15 / 15
Annual visitors: 199,000
The last on our list is the French Guiana, an overseas region of France situated on the northeast coast of South America. The land is mostly tropical rainforest, home to around 250,000 residents. It is famous for its colourful Creole houses and street markets.
(Lead Image: Image: nasir khan / Flickr. Note: Visitation data from 2016.)