Setting out to plan European getaway might conjure thoughts about popular hot spots—you know, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the royals at Buckingham Palace in London, and the Colosseum in Rome. But sometimes, it’s fun (and rejuvenating!) to avoid the touristy destinations and instead travel off the beaten path.
Heard of San Marino? It’s one of the smallest countries in the world at only 23.6 square miles, and it’s completely surrounded by north-central Italy—AKA a country within a country, or a micro-country, if you will.
Take the well-known cable car for a dreamy bird’s-eye view of the sights, explore medieval villages on foot, and sip on fresh wine from local vineyards.
Despite being completely stunning with mountain views, castles (known as the Three Towers of San Marino), and all the homemade pasta made from fresh ingredients, you could ever want the tiny nation was named the least-visited country in Europe by the United Nations World Tourism Organization in 2016. And if it’s not on your current healthy-travel bucket list, there’s no day like today to amend that oversight.
During your stay in the lean land, you can take the well-known cable car for a dreamy bird’s-eye view of the sights, explore medieval villages on foot (gotta get your steps in!), and sip on fresh wine from local vineyards. Plus, you’d have a great ice-breaker for the future: Hanging out in San Marino for the day means you can say you’ve walked from one side of a country to the other in just a few hours. (Incredibly fast walker or a very small country? You’ll never have to spill the beans.)
And after you visit this dreamy outdoor oasis (which could very well become a busy it-destination after wanderlusters become aware of it), check out the least-visited nation in the whole world. Tiny restorative respites could be your tiny travel niche.