Every year the list of the States that have registered a lower number of overnight stays during the previous 12 months is published. There is something for everyone. Throughout the globe, there are paradisiacal destinations that do not receive the attention of mass tourism. And every year, the World Tourism Organization makes a list of these unknown Edens. There are for all tastes: sea and mountain; hot and cold, in America, Europe, Oceania and Asia. All of them are ideal to escape from large-scale tourism. This is the ‘top 10’ of least visited destinations in 2019:
This small Principality, 160 square kilometers in size and located between Austria and Switzerland, occupies the tenth place in the list of States with fewer overnight stays throughout the past year. Only 85,000 tourists spent the night in their hotels. Among its main cultural attractions are the castles of Vaduz and Gutemberg.
9. San Marino
It is considered the oldest sovereign state in the world and, together with the Vatican and Lesotho, it is the only country in the world completely surrounded by another state; in his case, by Italy. Despite its small size, San Marino has a vast historical and artistic heritage, including 11th century walls and castles, located along Mount Titano. In 2019, only 84,000 people stayed overnight in the hotels of this tiny republic.
8. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
This Caribbean archipelago owes its name to the fact that it is made up of a main island —San Vicente— and a series of small islets (Las Granadinas). During the 17th and 18th centuries, the British and French disputed the ownership of this colony, which did not gain definitive independence from the United Kingdom until 1979. Among its attractions, natural beaches with crystal clear water, volcanic rock landscapes, navigable coasts and reefs, which only 80,000 people visited during 2019. Exteriors of the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ saga were shot in various areas of the archipelago.
7. East Timor
This former Portuguese colony shares a border with Indonesia, to which the western part of the archipelago belongs. It was the first sovereign state that was born in the 21st century, since until 2002, after an independence referendum that separated it from the neighboring country. As a curiosity, it is, together with the Philippines, the only Asian country with a Catholic majority, which is why a huge figure of Jesus Christ, 27 meters high, crowns the city of Dili, the capital of East Timor. In 2019, it was visited by 75,000 people.
The Commonwealth of Dominica is a Caribbean island located between Guadeloupe and Martinique, both French overseas territories. Christopher Columbus set foot in Dominica on a Sunday —hence his name— in 1493, on his second voyage. Among its main tourist attractions are the National Parks of Morne Trois Pitons —World Heritage Site since 1997, a natural landscape of volcanoes and geysers— and Cabrits, full of tropical trees, coral reefs and wetlands. Some 63,000 people visited Dominica in 2019.
5. Sierra Leone
The Republic of Sierra Leone is located between Guinea, Liberia and the Atlantic Ocean. Among its main tourist attractions are the beaches of Bureh, River Number Two, John Obey and Lumley. 57,000 people visited the African country in 2019.
Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory located in the Caribbean, which owes its name to its elongated shape. The 55,000 people who visited it last year were able to enjoy white sand beaches and bays, such as Rendezvous Bay or the coast of Sandy Ground, one of the most populous and lively cities on the island.
The Union of the Comoros is an archipelago of three islands located in southeastern Africa, about 870 kilometers from Madagascar. Its highest point is an active volcano on the island of Grande Comore, which erupted up to 20 times throughout the 19th century. Another of its tourism attractions is Lake Niamawi. According to local legend, a woman asked a family for a glass of water, which refused to give it to her. He tried his luck again, and a woman did give him a drink. The old woman recommended that the woman and her children leave the village before nightfall. The next day, the town appeared completely flooded, supposedly under the waters of the Niamawi. In 2019, 36,000 people visited Comoros.
2. Solomon Islands
The Solomon Islands archipelago is located in the Melanesia region, belonging to Oceania. Among its main tourism attractions are the Tenaru Falls —a 60-meter waterfall located in the Guadalcanal forest— or the islet of Malaita, a mountainous and almost virgin territory, which already appeared in the travel diaries of Spanish explorers of the 16th century. In 2019, 28,000 people visited the Solomon Islands.
1. Montserrat Island
The Island of Montserrat is also another British overseas territory, located southeast of Puerto Rico and which is part of the territories in the period of decolonization by the United Nations Organization. It was also discovered by Columbus in 1493 and it was the navigator who gave it this name, in homage to the Catalan mountain. If you travel to the Island of Monserrat, you can visit the Soufrière Hills, a volcanic area plagued with craters and whose most important peak, Chances, reaches a maximum height of 915 meters. Another of the area’s natural wonders is Fox’s Bay Beach. Only 9,000 people visited the Island of Montserrat in 2019.