The top 10 least visited countries in the world
Take a look inside some of the most exclusive destinations in the world.Peter Iantorno November 10, 2014
What ingredients make up your perfect holiday destination? White sandy beaches? Clear blue waters? Total isolation away from the crowds? Yep, we love all those things too, which is why it comes as a bit of surprise that many of the world's least-visited countries have those very characteristics.
You'd think that the world's least-visited countries would be war-torn nations fraught with danger and devoid of all natural beauty. But according to a 2014 report from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, which surveyed the number of international arrivals in each country worldwide throughout 2013, that's not the case.
In fact, the major reason why most of the countries on this list are visited by so few people is geography, as some of the most beautiful places in the world also happen to be some of the smallest and hardest to reach.
So if time and money are no objects to you, here are ten destinations that should definitely be on your travel itinerary:
10. Palau (main image) - 105,000 visitors Located in the western Pacific Ocean, Palau is a diver's paradise, featuring beautiful coral reefs, blue holes, shipwrecks, hidden caves and underwater tunnels that are home to all manner of wildlife, including giant clams that can weight up to half a tonne!
9. Moldova - 96,000 visitors
Landlocked on the Eastern European mainland, Moldova isn't one of those countries that can use its location as a reason for its lack of tourists. But despite a history of war and a dearth of facilities holding it back, a trip into the countryside offers spectacular views of the natural landscape.
8. East Timor - 78,000 visitors East Timor is a country still suffering the effects of a bloody battle for independence from Indonesia, which was finally achieved in 2002. But despite the atrocities suffered by the country's people, they're some of the most welcoming around, and the scenery that can be found in the Southeast Asian country speaks for itself.
7. Dominica - 78,000 visitors It's a Caribbean paradise, but with very few sandy beaches and not a luxury resort to speak of, Dominica is very much off the tourist radar. But if you prefer untamed rain forests and wild nature to pristine white sands and fresh linen on your bed every day, this is the place for you. Just don't expect direct flights.
6. St Vincent and the Grenadines - 72,000 visitors Located south of Saint Lucia and east of Barbados, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is made up of 32 islands and cays that are pretty much the postcard-perfect destinations for a desert island escape. It might be remote and unspoilt now, but after being made famous by being the location for the Pirates of the Caribbean films and with new ferry routes to the islands being added all the time, don't expect to see this country on the least-visited list for much longer.
5. Anguilla - 69,000 visitors Technically a British overseas territory, Anguilla, which is one of the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles, is another island paradise that it surely is a matter of time before more people go there. At the moment it's the luxury lover's choice of remote destination.
4. Liechtenstein - 60,000 visitors It might be just the sixth-smallest country in the world measuring just 160km², but the micro nation of Liechtenstein boasts some of the most outstanding natural scenery you could possibly hope to see; perfect for mountain biking in summer and skiing in winter.
3. Niue - 7,000 visitors Situated west of the Cook Islands, the remote island of Niue is home to just 1,400 people. As such is its isolation, most people born there end up moving to nearby New Zealand. Although it looks pretty wild, in 2003, Niue actually became the world's first Wi-Fi Nation, which means you can now connect to the internet for free wherever you are in the country.
2. Montserrat - 7,000 visitors Another British overseas territory located in Caribbean, Montserrat wasn't always the desolate landscape it is today. Previously popular with tourists, the island was battered with natural disasters - first Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and then an eruption from previously dormant volcano Soufriere Hills in 1995 - leaving it severely lacking in facilities. However, the incredible volcanic landscape alone makes it well worth the trip.
1. Kiribati - 6,000 visitors As remote locations go, there are none that beat the central tropical island destination of Kiribati. Composed of 32 atolls and one raised coral island dispersed over 3.5 million square kilometres and straddling the equator, this is truly a unique destination that is so remote, very few people will ever get the chance to experience it.