Europe : European Microstates
European microstates are a handful of very small sovereign states on the European continent and the surrounding islands. Most of them (except Liechtenstein) are located on or near the Mediterranean coast. Many of these countries are excellent for shopping, as they are tax havens.
- Andorra - between France and Spain
- Liechtenstein - between Switzerland and Austria
- Malta - in the Mediterranean Sea, between Sicily (Italy) and Tunisia
- Monaco - surrounded by France on one side and the Mediterranean on the other
- San Marino - totally surrounded by Italy
- Vatican City - totally surrounded by the city of Rome, Italy
There are also a handful of dependencies in Europe. These entities do have their own government, but are nonetheless under sovereignty of another state.
- Akrotiri and Dhekelia (British overseas territory, military bases in Cyprus, administered by United Kingdom)
- Åland (Autonomous province, Finland)
- Faroe Islands (External territory, Denmark)
- Gibraltar (British overseas territory, United Kingdom)
- Bailiwick of Guernsey (British crown dependency, one of the Channel Islands and including Alderney, Herm and Sark)
- Isle of Man (British crown dependency)
- Bailiwick of Jersey (British crown dependency, one of the Channel Islands)
- Mount Athos or the Autonomous Monastic State of the Holy Mountain (Autonomous monastic state, Greece)
- Sealand - a sea fort which declares itself to be the smallest independent 'country' in the world
- Seborga (a village in Italy which has discovered it's never been conquered by Italy and now it claims itself as a sovereign state)
There are airports in:
- Gibraltar (U.K. and Spain)
- Malta (from several destinations in Europe and many charters)
- Åland (from Stockholm and Helsinki)
- the Faroe Islands (between Denmark, Norway, London, Iceland and Sweden)
- Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey (from different airports in the U.K., France and Ireland
There are heliports in:
- Monaco (between Nice and Monaco)
- Liechtenstein, Andorra, San Marino and the Vatican City have non-public heliports.
San Marino, Seborga, Gibraltar and Andorra are only reachable by bus.
From Monaco ferries and cruise ships sail to several places at the Mediterranean Sea, also Malta. The Faroe Islands are linked by Smyril Line with destinations in Denmark, Iceland and Scotland.
Monaco, Andorra, Liechtenstein, San Marino and Malta are well linked by local buses. Even the Vatican City has a minibus service. On Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, the Faroe Islands and the Ålands are good public buses too.
- Catalan phrasebook - Andorra
- French phrasebook - Monaco
- German phrasebook - Liecthenstein
- Italian phrasebook - San Marino, The Vatican City & Malta (English is also an official language on Malta)
Whether they have a formal agreement with the European Union or not, all of these sovereign microstates (except Liechtenstein) use Euro (€, EUR) as their currency. Some of these states also mint their own Euro coins which are highly valued by collectors because of their scarcity. Liechtenstein uses Swiss Francs (CHF). Many of the European Microstates also offers the possibility of tax free shopping.
This page was last edited at 15:07, on 18 March 2009 by Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel. Based on work by Peter Fitzgerald, Wikitravel user(s) Vidimian, Pashley and Globe-trotter and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.