Beautiful Countries You’ve Never Heard Of, But Should Be On Your Bucket List

Every traveler dreams of visiting countries like Japan, France, and Italy. And for good reasons. But what about those of us looking to escape tourist hot spots and overcrowded destinations? Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice the quality of your trip to have a more private, calming traveling experience!

There are plenty of less-known countries in the world that are just as gorgeous and amazing as their alternatives. In this post, we will cover some of the least-visited countries that you’ve probably never even heard of. Small they might be, but they are also full of unique attractions and fun activities. Whether you’re looking forward to skiing, snorkeling, or sightseeing, we’ve got you covered!


The island of Kiribati
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Romaine W

Let’s start with something as exotic as it is tiny. Kiribati is a beautiful island country nestled in the Micronesia subregion of Oceania. Home to just over 119,000 people, the country remains fairly isolated from the rest of the world thanks to its location deep in the Pacific Ocean.

Though you probably never heard of this hidden gem before, Kiribati is known as a tourist-friendly destination. White sand beaches, flourishing fauna, and pristine blue waters. What’s there not to like?


Tuvalu Island
Image Credit: Shutterstock / mbrand85

Tuvalu is another independent island nation comprising nine islands decorating the vast seas of Oceania. Home to just over 11,200 people, this country has managed to stay fairly hidden from the tourist scene despite its gorgeous atolls, reef islands teeming with palm trees, and abundant marine life.

Thanks to its small size and remote location, Tuvalu welcomes just hundreds of visitors each year, making it a perfect choice for those looking to relax somewhere far away from overcrowded places.

The only way to get to Tuvalu is via Fiji Airlines – the only international airline flying to the nation.


Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan - Brunei
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Brunei

This small nation situated on the island of Borneo is known for its nature reserves, beaches, and biodiverse rainforests. With a population of 445,000, this Malay Muslim Monarchy is ruled by King Hassanal Bolkiah whose family has been overseeing all state affairs for the last six centuries.

Serious punishments for petty crimes, a low crime rate, and religious tolerance make Brunei a very safe country to visit. If your feet take you there, make sure to visit the country’s beautiful mosques, including the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque and the Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque, and nature reserves.


Port Vila, Efate Island, Vanuatu.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Martin Valigursky

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who hasn’t heard of Vanuatu before! The South Pacific Ocean nation is built of 80 islands that offer plenty of activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, and coral reef exploration to visitors.

Home to over 319,000 citizens, the archipelago’s white beaches and blue lagoons have begun attracting travelers and cruise expeditions in recent years. We suggest you visit it before it becomes the next tourist hot spot!

There are also several active volcanoes to explore.


Horses in Kyrgyzstan
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Pavel Svoboda Photography

Despite its gorgeous nature and scenic views, Kyrgyzstan remains one of the least-traveled Central Asian countries. Nestled in the mountain ranges of Tian Shan and Pamir, this country of nearly seven million offers plenty of adventures for those willing to explore.

For an immersive experience, you could go yurt camping, horseback riding, or hiking the local gorges and valleys. Bishkek, the capital, also offers a number of activities like bazaar shopping, culinary exploration, and strolling through green parks.

Cook Islands

Rarotonga in Cook Islands.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Svetype26

The self-governing island nation is named after Captain James Cook who visited the South Pacific paradise in 1773. Nowadays, just over 17,400 people populate the country’s 15 islands.

Popular among thrill-seekers, the Cook Islands are famous for their many scuba-diving and snorkeling sites. If sandy beaches and warm water are to your liking, don’t hesitate to plan a trip to this safe and fun destination.


Baku in Azerbaijan
Image Credit: Shutterstock / environmentalistt

Surrounded by Iran, Armenia, Georgia, and Russia on one side and the Caspian Sea on the other, Azerbaijan might not be the first country on your to-travel list.

In the last decade, the country significantly improved its tourism infrastructure to bring more money into the country. Visitors can now enjoy modern amenities and facilities while exploring the capital of Baku. Don’t forget to schedule a visit to Dənizkənarı Milli Park, Heydar Aliyev Center, and Icherisheher where you will be met with a mix of modern architecture and thousands of years worth of culture.

Avoid traveling to the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region in the west of the country due to an increased risk of armed conflicts.


Anibare beach, Nauru
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Robert Szymanski

Barely over one hundred people travel to Nauru annually. If you’re not much for social events and gatherings, book your trip now! This sparsely populated island country is home to just 12,500 people and is located northeast of Australia.

But don’t let the numbers deceive you. Nauru is a peaceful island with a very low crime rate. It is also full of opportunities for adventure. From snorkeling, fishing, sightseeing, and exploring its coral reefs and lagoons, Nauru won’t leave you disappointed.


Sant Esteve church in Andorra la Vella, Andorra
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Leonid Andronov

Who knew Europe had a country named Andorra? All jokes aside, this gorgeous little country with just 180 square miles of land and 79,000 citizens also happens to be one of the best places to explore if you like mountain hiking and skiing.

On top of its many ski resorts, Andorra also boasts duty-free shopping that helped it gain the title of tax haven. Since it is considered a very safe nation, don’t hesitate to invest in good skis and buy a ticket to this hidden gem landlocked between Spain and France.


Vaduz Castle, Liechtenstein
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Boris Stroujko

Another tiny European nation with just 39,000 people is Liechtenstein. This small but rich country is situated between Switzerland and Austria and is famous for its tall mountains and winter sports.

When in Liechtenstein, you would do well to visit the picturesque capital of Vaduz which boasts… drumroll please… FIVE THOUSAND souls. Don’t forget to visit the city’s attractions and take a few good shots of the towering Vaduz Castle. Another popular destination is the Gutenberg Castle which rests high above the village of Balzers.

San Marino

Guaita, the First Tower of San Marino
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Leonid Andronov

This mountainous microstate has just 23.5 square miles worth of land and 34,000 people inhabiting it. Independent as it may be, San Marino is surrounded by Italy on all sides.

Size aside, this beautiful European country is known for its scenic views and castles. Visitors are encouraged to visit the three towers of San Marino and take a sky cable to Monte Titano. With a rich and long history, this small nation also offers twelve state and six private museums.


Island in Cook Islands
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Svetype26

Earth truly is a magical place. There’s so much to see, and so much to experience. We’re all familiar with top tourist destinations around the world, and now you’ve also got a better idea of the hidden gems that are still strangers to hordes of tourists with cameras.

From the white beaches of Kiribati to the snorkeling paradise of Nauru to the castles of San Marino, you now won’t run out of fun destinations and ideas for your next adventure. Enjoy your trip!

Author: Zan Kokalj


Zan Kokalj is a veteran content writer, copywriter, and author inspired by the impact of ink on paper.

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