Europe is so highly spoken of and dreamt of so much, it almost makes it to the list of every traveller looking to explore the continent that is home to so many wonders. But often with its increasing popularity so many of us find ourselves making plans around the same well-known countries. And there’s a voice inside that craves to go somewhere off the beaten path, somewhere without crowds so it feels as if you are quite literally exploring a place on your own. And so, here we are! Let’s have a look at the least visited countries in Europe:
How to reach: San Marino has no airport and the only way to reach here by taking a flight to Rimini in Italy. From there, you can take a bus or a train to San Marino.
Best time to visit: April to June, mid-September to October
Spreading over just 61.2 sq. km. San Marino is a tiny country in the continent of Europe. Legend narrates that a mason named Marinus founded this country and that it is actually the oldest republic ever in the world! Mount Titano which is the site of the capital is home to scenic walled structures on a rocky cliff side which overlook the small country resting in a valley. At night time it can be seen lit up with the lights while in the day you can see its simple, cosy and quaint existence. Although the least visited country in Europe, it is actually home to a scenic countryside. This is for the ones looking to walk around and explore the country at their own pace.
How to reach: Fly into Zurich, Milan or Munich from India. After landing catch a train to reach Liechtenstein.
Best time to visit: mid-May to late September
Meet the world’s 6th smallest country in size and also the 2nd richest one in the world! Liechtenstein is an overlooked gem and one that I find even more charming every time I read about it. In this country they value the good life to the point that there is an unstated rule as per which people follow a practice of not making too much noise during the lunch hour, so, from construction work to other activities come to a standstill to appreciate the meal hour. Now that’s a practice I wholeheartedly respect! It further has an interesting history, gorgeous castles and quaint villages all looking for the keen eye to glance upon them.
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How to reach: Chisinau airport is located 12 kilometres from the centre of the city. There is also a national airline, the Air Moldova, along with other foreign airlines that connects to Europe, Russia and other countries. There are a number of connecting flights from the major cities of India to reach Moldova.
Best time to visit: April and May
Precariously positioned in its geographical location between Ukraine and Romania is the country of Moldova. Small in size but mighty in its history, the nation has seen reigns of the Ottomans, Russians and even Romanians. Its location however makes it not so easily accessible, thus, hindering from its tourism initiatives to genuinely take off. Its attractive for the ones who love their fair share of wine as it is home to very pretty vineyards. And then, a hilltop-based monastery is its key tourism view point. The currency is also relatively cheaper and works out more lucrative for budget travellers looking to explore parts of Europe.
How to reach: Monaco does not have an airport of its own, and the nearest airport from the city is in Nice – the Cote-d’Azur International Airport, which is located about 30 km from the Monaco city centre. While there are direct daily flights operating from European cities like London and Paris to Monaco, travellers from India will usually be required to book a connecting flight with one or two stopovers since no direct flights operate between the two regions.
Best time to visit: April to May and mid-September to October
Again, quite a small country, this one sits squeezed into 200 hectares of land and yet goes on to create quite the luxury seaside experience for its handful of visitors. It is the second smallest country in the whole wide world. But this country too is quite the tax maker and is as grand enough to go onto host the Annual Grand Prix. Although Monte Carlo is quite famous it is in essentially home to high-rise buildings and concrete structures which also don’t come easily on the pocket, thus, making this not quite the favourite for travellers. However, should you choose to drop by, the area of Le Rocher on a rocky outcrop is known to play host to the royal family’s principality and it this perched area that makes for a charmer in this country.
How to reach: Fly down with a connecting flight from either Istanbul or Warsaw or Bahrain and reach Skopje.
Best time to visit: June to September
A country with quite the enrapturing history and past, Macedonia gained independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. The landlocked country is actually home to very pretty waterfronts and monumental structures and the country is expected to pick up a bump in the tourism world. It is a land of national parks and mountainous regions. Lake Ohrid is known as one of its most attractive places to visit. The truth is that the country writes quite a complex history too, so, deep dive into reading and witnessing more of that. Parts of the country were brushed up as parts of projects to revive tourism which may or may not have worked. But it is still home to old towns and charming regions which make you wonder about the life it has seen an the one it leads to today.
So, would you visit one of these lesser explored gems in Europe? And if so, then which one would be your first pick?
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