Some countries are more accessible to travel to than others. Your passport and visa situation will play a role. But so will the number of options available for actually making your way to the country in question. Americans can pretty easily catch a flight to many places in Europe, for instance. But other places in the world can require a longer and more complicated journey. One of the more significant challenges even for seasoned travelers? Figuring out how to visit a country that doesn’t have an airport.
Below, check out the countries that don’t have airports of their own.
Encamp. Andorra | iStock.com/Андрей Шевченко
- Location: Europe
- Official language: Catalan
Reader’s Digest reports that Andorra, located between France and Spain in the Pyrenees mountains, has a very good excuse for lacking an airport. “Sitting in a Pyrenees mountain range valley means building an airport runway would be difficult, so visitors can arrive through Spain or France,” the publication notes. The closest airport to Andorra’s capital is Girona-Costa Brava Airport in Spain, but you could also travel through Toulouse in France or Barcelona in Spain. Culture Trip notes Andorra isn’t part of Europe or the Eurozone, even though it uses the Euro and, in fact, has never had its own currency.
Next: This tiny and wealthy airport also lacks airports of its own.
Balzers village in Liechtenstein | RossHelen/iStock/Getty Images Plus
- Location: Europe
- Official language: German
The BBC characterizes the Principality of Liechtenstein as a “tiny, doubly-landlocked country tucked away between Switzerland and Austria and with mountain slopes rising above the Rhine valley.” Lonely Planet refers to the tiny — and wealthy — nation as “a fairy tale come to life.” It has castles, mountains, and an “iron-willed monarch.” The only thing it doesn’t have? An airport. Reader’s Digest reports that to get to Liechtenstein, you’ll need to travel through Switzerland’s St. Gallen-Altenrhein Airport, 24 miles away.
Next: This notoriously wealthy country doesn’t have any airports.
Monaco | OSTILl/ iStock/ Getty Images
- Location: Europe
- Language: French
Monaco ranks as the second-smallest country in the world, according to Reader’s Digest. That makes it unsurprising that the wealthy city-state on France’s Mediterranean coastline doesn’t have an airport of its own. Lonely Planet characterizes the nation as “a magnet for high-rollers and hedonists since the early 20th century.” You may also know it as a notorious tax haven, or as the home of the annual Formula One Grand Prix. Reader’s Digest reports that to visit Monaco, you’ll need to fly into France’s Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport, which puts you within a 25-minute car ride of the tiny country.
Next: This state declared its independence, but doesn’t have a functioning airport.
4. Republic of Artsakh
Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) Republic | Konstantin_Novakovic/ iStock/ Getty Images Plus
- Location: In the South Caucasus between Eastern Europe and Western Asia
- Language: Armenian
The Republic of Artsakh, also known by its former name of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, a state with limited recognition in the South Caucasus. (It has declared independence. But it’s internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, which remains in dispute with Armenia and Artsakh’s Armenian ethnic majority over the territory.) Artsakh technically does have an airport in Stepanakert. But nobody has flown in or out of it since 1992.
Next: This remote territory has no airports of its own.
5. Pitcairn Islands
Pitcairn Island | Pitcairn Islands Tourism via Facebook
- Location: In the southern Pacific Ocean
- Language: English and Pitcairnese
The Pitcairn Islands consist of four volcanic islands that, together, comprise the last British Overseas Territory in the South Pacific. The Telegraph reports that the territory is famous for being settled by mutineers from HMS Bounty. But the territory’s population has dwindled over the past few decades, and as of 2015, authorities counted fewer than 50 people living on Pitcairn, the only inhabited island in the territory. Pitcairn doesn’t have an airport or even an airstrip and is accessible only by sea.
Next: This tiny nation in Europe is within close range of an Italian airport.
6. San Marino
Guaita fortress on Monte Titano with San Marino city in background | Infografick/iStock/Getty Images Plus
- Location: Within north-central Italy
- Language: Italian
San Marino numbers among the world’s oldest republics, dating to 301 A.D. And it also counts as the fifth-smallest nation in the world. That makes it relatively unsurprising that San Marino doesn’t have an airport of its own. It’s the sole survivor of Italy’s ancient city-state network and is landlocked, surrounded by Italian land. San Marino doesn’t have an airport. But Reader’s Digest reports that it’s located a convenient nine miles away from Federico Fellini International Airport in Rimini.
Next: This partially recognized state has no airports of its own.
7. Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Flag of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic | NatanaelGinting / iStock/ Getty Images Plus
- Location: Western Sahara
- Language: Arabic and Spanish
The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, a partially recognized state, controls territory in the Western Sahara. It joins the list of countries (and territories) that don’t have airports. The BBC reports that this state was a former Spanish colony and was annexed by Morocco in 1975. Since then, it has remained the subject of a dispute between Morocco and the indigenous Sahrawi people.
Next: This disputed territory has no airports. Plus the border with one of its neighbors is closed.
8. South Ossetia
River Ksani, Caucasus Mountains, South Ossetia | Zmiy/ iStock/ Getty Images Plus
- Location: South Caucasus
- Language: Ossetian, Russian, and Georgian
Next on the list of countries (and territories) without airports of their own? South Ossetia, a disputed territory in the South Caucasus. The BBC reports that South Ossetia is officially part of Georgia and is separated from Russia’s North Ossetia region by a border high in the Caucasus Mountains. The territory has remained a source of tension since the breakup of the Soviet Union and even hosted a war between Russia and Georgia in 2008. South Ossetia depends on aid from Russia’s military. There is no airport, and the border with Georgia has closed, so you have to travel through Russia to get there.
Next: This state used to have four airports, but now has none.
9. State of Palestine
Silwan, a Palestinian town near Jerusalem | rglinsky/ iStock/ Getty Images Plus
- Location: Middle East
- Language: Arabic
Palestine is technically a de jure state that claims the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its designated capital. But most of the areas claimed by Palestine have been occupied by Israel since the 1960s. Reader’s Digest notes that there are no airports located within Palestine. In fact, there were once four within the Palestinian territories — at Rafah, Khan Yunis, Ramallah, and Jenin — but all are defunct. Fortunately, Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel is only 26 miles away from Bethlehem.
Next: This territory lies more than a day’s journey from its closest neighbor. And no airports here.
Mountain view in Tokelau | Miffysnoop/ iStock/ Getty Images Plus
- Location: South Pacific
- Language: Tokelauan and English
Tokelau is an island country and dependent territory of New Zealand. But it’s also one of the most interesting places in the world to lack its own airports. The BBC reports that Tokelau consists of three far-flung coral atolls, Atafu, Nukunonu, and Fakaofo. Located between New Zealand and Hawaii, Tokelau “has few physical links with the wider world,” the BBC explains. “There is no airport and it takes more than a day at sea to reach its southern neighbour, Samoa.” More than 1,500 islanders depend on subsistence farming to survive, and Tokelau’s main industry is fishing.
Next: This territory acts like a country, but isn’t. And it has no airports of its own.
Tiraspol, the capital of Transnistria | Pe3check/ iStock Editorial / Getty Images Plus
- Location: Betwen Moldova and Ukraine
- Language: Russian, Moldovan, and Ukrainian
Transnistria goes by many names, including its preferred moniker of Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. Wired characterizes the territory as a “thin strip of land wedged between Moldova and Ukraine” that “has all the trappings of an independent nation — but isn’t.” Those trappings do exclude an airport, for the record. Transnistria declared independence from Moldova in 1990, hoping to establish a socialist republic and remain part of the Soviet Union. In the years since, neither Moldova nor Russia have acknowledged Transnistria’s independence. (Nor has any member of the United Nations.)
Next: This tiny country in Europe has no airports of its own. It doesn’t even have the space for them.
12. Vatican City
Vatican City’s Piazza San Pietro | Banauke / iStock/ Getty Images Plus
- Location: Within the city of Rome
- Language: Italian
Fortunately, even though Vatican City is a city-state — technically like its own country — it’s not really that difficult to get there. As Reader’s Digest notes, the 109-acre state is located within the city of Rome. As the smallest state in the world both by area and by population, it doesn’t have its own airport. But as many Americans who have traveled to Italy can tell you, you won’t have a hard time booking a trip to Rome or finding your way to Vatican City.
Next: Having no airports is rare. But what about having just one?
How many countries have just one airport?
Equatorial Guinea in Central Africa | Jan Ziegler/ iStock/ Getty Images Plus
Just 12 countries and territories around the world lack airports. As that demonstrates, most places in the world are pretty well-connected. And having zero airports within your borders is pretty rare. But you can’t say the same thing of having just one airport, especially in a small nation.
It might be hard to imagine if you’ve lived most of your life in the United States, but there are plenty of countries around the world that have only one airport. Don’t believe us? Check out these lists yourself:
- In Africa, countries with just one airport include Equatorial Guinea, São Tomé and Príncipe, Burundi, Comoros, Mauritius, Réunion, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Sudan, Uganda, Djibouti, Eritrea, Chad, Lesotho, Mayotte, Swaziland, Benin, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Sierra Leone, and Togo
Next: Even countries and territories in the Americas get by with just one airport.
There are countries in the Americas with just one airport
Anguila | daniloforcellini/iStock/Getty Images Plus
You don’t even have to leave the Americas to find nations and territories that have only a single airport to serve their entire population, as well as any tourists who want to travel by air to discover what their country has to offer. In the Americas, nations with just one airport include:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- The British Virgin Islands
- Saint Barthélemy
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- El Salvador
- The Falkland Islands
- French Guiana
Next: A few countries in Asia and the Middle East each have one airport, as well.
A surprising number of Asian and Middle Eastern countries has just one airport, too
Pyongyang, North Korea | Kim Won-Jin/AFP/Getty Images
It’s easy to think of Asia as a part of the world that’s pretty well connected to everything else. But in reality, you can find a number of Asian nations, as well as those in the Middle East, that have just a single airport to serve all their citizens as well as any travelers who visit. In Asia, countries with just one airport include:
- North Korea
- Hong Kong
- East Timor
In southwest Asia and the Middle East, nations with just one airport include:
Next: More than a few places in Europe have just one airport, too.
Several European countries and territories have single airports, too
Gibraltar | marcelina1982/ iStock/ Getty Images Plus
Interestingly enough, a number of European countries and territories also fall on the list of places with just a single airport to serve their residents and any tourists who decide to plan a location within their borders. In Europe, countries and territories with just a single airport include:
- The Isle of Man
- The Faroe Islands
Next: In Oceania, many places get by with just one airport.
Oceania has numerous countries and territories with just one airport
Christmas Island | KiltedArab /iStock /Getty Images
Finally, Oceania is also home to a variety of countries and territories that each have just a single airport. For many, it just wouldn’t make sense to have multiple airports given their small land mass — and the remote nature of the islands that comprise them. In Oceania, nations and territories with just one airport include:
- Christmas Island
- Cook Islands
- Easter Island
- French Polynesia
- New Caledonia
- Norfolk Island
- Papua New Guinea
- The Solomon Islands
Read more: These Are the Countries That Have National Airlines (and Why America Doesn’t)
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