Micro countries of Europe: The world is full of remote places that can only be reached by air. For example, Macquarie Island, halfway between New Zealand and Antarctica, where there are more penguins than people. But in continental Europe, there are five countries to which you cannot fly due to the lack of airports. So if you’re planning to visit every country in Europe, don’t forget about these five free-flying nation-states. Here is a summary of how to get to them.
Five micro countries of Europe where there are no even airports
- Vatican: the religious center of Italy around the world
In the heart of Rome is the Vatican, the smallest country in the world. On an area of only 44 hectares, it would be difficult to squeeze the airport into this religious Mecca. But from Roma Termini Station, Rome’s largest railway station, you can reach the microstate in just 35 minutes.
If you’re traveling from Spain, you can get to Rome by ferry and transfer train in just 24 hours, and if you’re coming by car, you can drive along the French Riviera and reach the Vatican in just 13 hours.
When you get there, be sure to visit St. Peter’s Basilica, a stunning domed Renaissance building that happens to be the largest church in the world.
- Monaco: The playground of the rich and famous
Right along the coast of Nice in southern France lies the Principality of Monaco, a sovereign city-state and the second smallest country in the world. The French Riviera country is known for its glamorous casinos, fast cars, and wealthy residents, but due to its size, it doesn’t have its own airport.
Although many of its residents, including a large number of Formula 1 drivers, can arrive by private jets, they have to fly to Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, which is only 30 km down the coast.
If you prefer to get there in a greener way, then why not take a boat from Nice or Cannes and enjoy the sparkling coastline before disembarking.
- Andorra: A tiny country in the heart of the Pyrenees
Tucked between France and Spain in the Pyrenees Mountains, Andorra is a tiny landlocked microstate known for its ski resorts. In summer, there is also something to do – after all, 90 percent of the territory of Andorra is green spaces. From mountain lakes to horse trails, it even boasts the world’s longest alpine toboggan run.
Although the country does not have its own airport, it is easily accessible from France and Spain. From Paris, you can reach Andorra in just over eight hours by train or eight and a half hours by car.
There is a direct bus from Barcelona that will take you there in just over three hours.
- Liechtenstein: a quiet place to escape from everything
The fourth-smallest country in Europe is German-speaking Liechtenstein, nestled between Austria and Switzerland in the Alps. The miniature Principality is one of the least visited countries in Europe, making it the perfect place for a relaxing holiday in the mountains.
Since there is no own airport, the best way to get to the landlocked country is by train. From Berlin, you can get there in just over ten hours, and from Vienna in just seven, and you don’t even have to change trains.
During your visit, be sure to try the riebel, Liechtenstein’s national dish made from cornmeal or semolina.
- San Marino: A microstate on a mountainside
San Marino, located in northeastern Italy, is the fifth largest country in the world and one of the oldest republics in the world. Perched on the slopes of Mount Titano, the microstate is only 13 km long at its longest point, and its historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Since the country does not have an airport, visitors can travel by train from Rome, which takes just over five hours. From Pula in Croatia, you can travel by train/bus to the microstate in just over eight hours. Either way, you are sure to enjoy the stunning scenery.
Once there, be sure to visit the three fortresses guarding the mountain, the oldest of which, Rocca Guaita, was built in the 11th century.