One cannot deny that air travel is the most preferred form of transportation for most travellers. It tops other forms of transport due to its speed and distance connections that are possible with planes and airports. Airports have risen to become symbols of both economic and social progress, as aviation has brought in prosperity and urban development wherever it took off from. In present times, it is rare to find a country without an airport and still rely on other means of mass conveyance such as boats, trains etc.
However, there are few nations in the world where an airport simply doesn’t exist due to a crunch for space. Here we mention five such countries without airports.
The Principality of Andorra is located between Spain and France, remains isolated from the rest of Europe by the Pyrenees mountains, which surround it completely. Even though it is not as small as other countries and has a surface area which is hundred times larger than Monaco, it still doesn’t have its own operational airport/s due to its location. Peaks of close to 3 000 metres form several valleys and at such altitudes it is difficult and dangerous to operate flights, especially amid snow and misty conditions. However, the nearest airport to reach the co-principality is some 30 kms down in Catalonia’s Andorra-La Seu Airport, near Seu d’Urgell.
The principality of Liechtenstein due to its space limitations and hilly landscapes doesn’t have an airport. The principality with an area of some 160 square km is just a few kilometres long, and its entire perimeter barely stretches to 75 km. Due to its unique location and geographical landscapes, it is impossible to build an airport here. However, locals rely on bus or car routes to reach Zurich Airport, which is about 120 km away.
From being the smallest country in the world, the Vatican with an area of just 0.44 square km is another country without an airport. Even though the Vatican City is right in the centre of Rome, there is no alternate sea or river route of transport and is among the list of few countries where access is almost on foot. However, given its religious prominence and as a favoured tourist destination its isolation is offset by its proximity to other airports that surround it. Fiumicino and Ciampino airports are less than 30 minutes away by train and it also has rail links to Naples, Pisa and Florence.
The Principality of Monaco is connected with the rest of the world through railways running along the French coast, its large harbour receiving many of its goods and by car along rather winding roads. Due to its severe space crunch and close to 40,000 population there is no space for an airport here. But the princely state has solved the problem of not having an airport by signing an agreement with the neighbouring city of Nice. Its just 30 mins by car and five minutes by a rather pricey helicopter ride.
Considered as the oldest state in the world, San Marino is not far from the Vatican City and Rome. It is also completely surrounded by Italy and does even have access to the sea. It’s less than 40 km in perimeter area and does not have room for an airport. Luckily for its population and tourists the closest airports are that of Rimini, which is just 16 km away. San Marino being well connected by road, also has good access to airports of Bologna, Florence, Pisa and Venice. They all are close by and are often used both by the locals and by tourists visiting the country.