WATCH: The 5 smallest countries in the world - and why you should visit them

2018-10-02 11:56 - Gabi Zietsman
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These five countries may be tiny, but that doesn't mean they aren't worth a visit. Some are far away in the Pacific Ocean, while others are just a hop, skip and a flight or two over to Europe.

One of them even has a Zimbabwean-South African as a princess!

SEE: World's smallest island gives owners no privacy

According to land mass, these are the smallest independent countries in the world:

5. San Marino

Situated inside Italy, this small country's tourist numbers have risen to double that of its local population.

Biggest Drawcard: The Fortress of Guaita overlooks the city of San Marino, and was built in the 11th century. There are two other prominent fortresses in San Marino, all three of which appear on their flag and coat of arms.

4. Tuvalu

An island state between Hawaii and Australia, Tuvalu is a tropical paradise made up of three reef islands six atolls.

Biggest Drawcard: The Funafuti Conservation Area includes a reef, lagoon and islets that make for spectacular diving and snorkelling, although the island state is constantly threatened by the effect of climate change and rising sea levels.

SEE: Lace up your itchy feet and run around these 10 islands 

3. Nauru

Once known as 'Pleasant Island', this Micronesia island was once occupied by Japan in WWII, who built its seaside airstrip as a military base, but is now used for commercial flights.

Biggest Drawcard: One of the few fertile places on Nauru is Buada Lagoon, a freshwater lake surrounded by lush plantations growing coconuts, bananas and pineapples.

2. Monaco

Monaco is known as the playground for the rich, characterised by extravagant casinos, fancy yachts and its royal family, which includes Princess Charlene, who was once an Olympic swimmer for South Africa.

Biggest Drawcard: Every year the Monaco Grand Prix draws crowds from around the world as the top drivers race through its city streets.

ALSO SEE: How to break the bank in Monte Carlo 

1. Vatican City

The city-state is the global centre for Catholicism, the main residence of the Pope and has famous churches that open its doors to pilgrims of faith from around the world.

Biggest Drawcard: The Vatican Museums have an impressive collection of Renaissance art and other religious artefacts.

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