Asia is the largest of the world's seven continents and is the most heavily populated. It is divided into sections - Far East, Middle East, Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. China is the historical treasure house of the Far East with many contrasting settings. Here you can see the modern world in the buildings of Shanghai and Beijing and the ancient practices of the small villages. The beauty of the geisha and the skill of the sumo wrestlers features the older culture of Japan, as well as the pagoda temples and the ancient festivals. Taiwan is a potato shaped island off the coats of China with rugged mountain areas and stretches of flat land.
Armenia is one of the countries in Central Asia where the landscape is studded with archaeological finds and artefacts. The capital, Yerevan, is one of the oldest cities in the world. Azerbaijan's strategic location has made it the gateway between the East and the West and was an important stop on the ancient Silk Road. The vast plains of Kazakhstan are largely inhabited by nomads with many of the settlements located in the eastern and south-eastern regions. There are many historical monuments in this scenic country where the snow-capped mountains seem to reach the sky. The breathtaking beauty of Kyrgyzstan will entrance you as you see the mountains, glaciers and lakes. This area is paradise for those who like outdoor adventure.
Bangladesh, on the Indian sub-continent, has some of the largest mangrove trees in the world and is the home of the Royal Bengal Tiger. It is one of the most densely populated countries in this part of Asia. The numerous monasteries of Bhutan and the sacred temples of the Punakha Valley make this country a historian's dream. However, tourism is limited in Bhutan so that it doesn't get out of hand. India is the largest country in this region of Asia and still retains its mystical character with religious rites and festivals woven into all facets of everyday life. The 25 natural atolls of the Maldives make it a water sports paradise in a string of low-lying coral islands.
Picturesque villages line the slopes of the Himalayas in Nepal, which has some of the highest mountain peaks in the world. The architecture of Pakistan rivals that of any other country and is home to some of the oldest cultures in the world. Sri Lanka is an island in the Indian Ocean that is shaped like a teardrop. It is home to many different cultures and is filled with national treasures.
Bahrain is a country in the Middle Eastern region of Asia that is characterized by an archipelago of 33 islands, considered at one time to be a heavenly paradise where there was no disease or conflict. Israel is known as the Holy Land with spectacular cultural, archaeological and religious attractions, as well as spas and beaches. Jordan is a tiny desert kingdom where Bedouin still herd their sheep, yet the cities have all the modern conveniences. Kuwait is an oil-rich country of elegant mosques and palaces, yet religion is very important to the inhabitants. The Syrian Arab Republic is the official name of Syria. This country has had a long and varied history with the traditional culture of the people still intact.
The landscape of Lebanon resembles a patchwork quilt in the diverse terrain - Mediterranean coastline, alpine peaks and fertile valleys. There are several World heritage Sites in this country. The images of mountain villages and camels carrying goods and passengers can become a reality in Oman, a country with over 200 forts and where ancient crafts are still practiced. Qatar, whish is basically a flat peninsula that extends into the Arabian Gulf, is one of the richest oil countries in the world. Saudi Arabia is a beautiful country with dramatic mountain peaks, glorious beaches and pristine lakes and rivers. However, travel is severely restricted in this country. From sleep villages relying on the fishery for the economy, the discovery of oil has transformed the United Arab Emirates into a country that has sleek, modern cities and towns that contrast with the desert. Yemen is one country where you can see more than 700 different species of wildlife experience the culture of an earlier time and still have all the modern amenities at your fingertips. The culture of Turkey features a blend of the East and West with a varied landscape carved through centuries of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.
Brunei Darussalam is a heavily forested country in South-east Asia. Here visitors will find archaeological and architectural treasures in grand palaces and mosques. The temples of Cambodia rise out of the jungle as a welcoming beacon to visitors. This country is a mix of the old and the new in the modern cities and the tribes of people that live in the hills and still carry out the ancient ways of life. Indonesia is an archipelago of islands spread strung across the equator with pristine beaches overlooked by volcanic ranges. Laos is just starting to open up to tourism and gives visitors the ambiance of being in one large village. Malaysia is characterized by tropical island resorts, the oldest rainforest in the world and pristine coastlines.
Although there are more than 7000 islands in the Philippines, most of the population is centered on only 11 of them, which have dramatic landscapes, gorgeous coral gardens and modern cities. Singapore is the cultural melting pot of the world. This tiny city-state known as one of the safest places in the world to visit. Millions of visitors choose Thailand as their destination because of the colourful culture, the exotic monuments, the stunning beaches and the numerous opportunities for hiking and backpacking. Viet Nam is the easternmost country on the Indochinese Peninsula and is the 13th most populated country in the world. South Korea has one of the oldest civilizations in the world with archaeological evidence pointing to settlement back to 2500 B.C.
Africa is the second larges continent in the world and is regarded by scientists as the place where human life began. Although Benin is one of the poorest countries on the continent, it is the best place to choose as your vacation destination for traditional markets and for seeing the native wildlife. Botswana is a vast African country highly prized for the game safaris, bit almost 40% of the country is designated as national parks. Burkina Faso is a landlocked state with wildlife as the key feature of its tourism industry. Although Cameroon is a miniature country, it has a mix of everything - rainforests, tropical beaches, deserts, and volcanic mountains. Cape Verde consists of a string of islands with breathtaking scenery and beautiful deserted beaches. The Congo is a vast country with many picturesque scenes and villages, but transportation around the country is very difficult.
Originally a colony of France, Djibouti is a country of strategic importance in Africa because it controls the access to the Red Sea. Egypt, the land of the Pharaohs and the Pyramids, is truly a land of archaeological wonders in the many sites to explore. Equatorial Guinea is a country where you will be entranced by the glorious scenery of tropical forests, snow-capped mountain peaks and attractive architecture. Ethiopia, a country with some of the highest locations in the world, is the only country in Africa that was never fully colonized. Gabon is a long sandy strip with lush inland vegetation along the Atlantic Ocean bordered by Equatorial Guinea, the Cameroon and the Congo. The coastline of Ghana is dotted with sandy beaches and spectacular lagoons, but the inland region of the country consists of dense rainforest.
Lesotho is a tiny African country completely encircled by South Africa. Many of the country's villages are so remote they can only be reached by horseback. Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world and has over 3500 species of butterflies unique to the island. The unique scenery of stunning rainforests and towering waterfalls and the many national parks and wildlife reserves make Malawi an exciting country to visit. Mauritius is one of the sunniest countries in Africa with world-renowned hotels, spas and golf courses. Morocco is a desert country where you will experience ancient traditions amidst a modern appearance.
Mozambique features palm-fringed lagoons, excellent fishing locations and stunning wildlife. Namibia is the desert country to choose if you want to see wildlife the African big game and is more peaceful and prosperous than many of the other countries of Africa. The tropical twist of Reunion is due to the influences of African, Indian, Chinese and French cultures of the country. Senegal has a hip music heritage, spectacular wildlife and stunning long sandy beaches, along with some of the friendliest people in the world. Seychelles is an isolated island paradise where there are plants you will never see anywhere else on Earth. From its lofty mountains to its superb beaches, South Africa offers a scenic vista you won't soon forget.
Swaziland is one of the smallest countries in Africa, sandwiched in between Mozambique and South Africa. Tanzania offers the ultimate in a safari vacation and has more land dedicated to wildlife than any other country on the continent. Togo is only a tiny country with dense rainforests, tropical lagoons, long sandy beaches and savannah. Tunisia is the smallest country in North Africa where vestiges of the Roman Empire dot the landscape. Uganda is known as the "Pearl of Africa" because of the stunning scenery. Zambia is the location of the famous Victoria Falls as well as 17 others and is the best place on the continent to witness an African sunset. Zimbabwe has some of the best natural sites in the world and some of the best wildlife parks in southern Africa.
The islands in the Caribbean Sea are all well known as popular tourist destinations. This is an area between North and South America. Anguilla is only a small island, but it has more than 19 km of coastline all if which is made up of serene beaches lapped by calm waters. Antigua And Barbuda is one country that consists of two separate islands. The numerous beaches of Antigua support the claim that there is a beach here for every day of the year. They form part of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean Sea. The Antilles refers to a group of islands in the West Indies, a part of the Caribbean that is divided into the Lesser Antilles and the Greater Antilles, of which Cuba and Jamaica are a part. Jamaica is the third largest of the Caribbean islands and is characterized by its white sandy beaches and blue mountain peaks.
Aruba is associated with the colour orange in the many buildings of this colour. It is also the site of the most duty-free shops in the Caribbean. The Bahamas is actually made up of more than 700 islands that have a slow pace of life, often called "island time". Barbados has two coastlines - the Atlantic and the Caribbean - and there are striking differences between the two. The Atlantic side has a rugged coastline with steep cliffs, while the Caribbean coastline has stretches of sandy beaches. Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory located about 1000 miles northeast of Florida in the North Atlantic.
The Cayman Islands were once called the Turtles because of the abundance of these creatures on the islands. It has also been long associated with a history of buccaneers and pirates who once made their homes in the sheltered coves and inlets. Dominica is the largest of the Windward Islands of the Antilles and is a very mountainous land. The Dominican Republic takes up half of an island in the Caribbean, with the other half being the country of Haiti.
Martinique, which has a French and Creole heritage, is a premier shopping destination in the Caribbean because of the items brought in from France. Saint Kitts And Nevis features an easygoing way of life that has not yet been touched by the commercialism associated with tourism. The island of Saint Lucia combines the beauty of unspoiled beaches with lush rainforests and volcanic mountains to present you with a panoramic vista in every direction.
St Vincent And The Grenadines have black sandy beaches due to the volcanic nature of the island. Trinidad And Tobago is the home of the steel band and is famous for its street festivals and carnivals. The Virgin Islands consist of a string of islands in the Leeward Islands. Part of the islands is administered by Britain, known as the British Virgin Islands. The other half is administered by the United States and is known as the US Virgin Islands.
The Ural Mountains, the Ural Sea and the Caspian Sea divide Europe from Asia. Albania has both wild mountainous areas and a delightful Atlantic coastline offering much to its visitors. Andorra is a tiny country in the eastern Pyrenees sandwiched in between France and Spain consisting of a narrow valleys and high mountains. Austria is one of the premier skiing destinations in the world with breathtaking mountain scenery. Belarus, which shares a border with Russia, has picturesque villages ancient castles and monuments and thousands of lakes and forests. The small country of Belgium has two main regions. In the Flemish region of the north, the people are mostly Flemish-speaking, while in the southern region of the Walloon, the people mainly speak French. Bosnia And Herzegovinia is a country of winding aqua rivers and woodland and mountain scenes.
Breathtaking mountains and golden beaches bring millions of tourists to Bulgaria each year. The coastline of Croatia extends for more than 1000 km along the Mediterranean Sea. The country also consists of more than 1000 islands. The island of Cyprus, also known as Aphrodite's Isle, is the site of many World Heritage Sites, pine clad mountains and stunning beaches. Along with the historic city of Prague and spa towns, the Czech Republic has 11 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Denmark is one of the smallest countries in Europe and has many picturesque villages, historic castles and monuments and a coastline that includes many secluded coves and bays. You can still see the Sami people herding reindeer in the Lapland region of northern Finland or visit the Swedish speaking wooden towns of the south. Iceland is a large island in the North Atlantic that is quite close to the Artic Circle. The coastline is indented with valleys and fjords and there are many thermal springs. Luxembourg has the highest population of foreigners than any other country in Europe and this contributes to its cosmopolitan ambiance. Most of the Netherlands is flat country dotted with windmills and tulips. Norway is the land of the fjords and the midnight sun in its location above the Artic Circle. As a neighbour to Norway, Sweden shares much of the same scenic beauty, but much of the country is forested and dotted with thousands of lakes.
Ireland is a "green" country where the legends of fairies and leprechauns are woven in which the prehistoric sites that abound in the countryside. The northern part of the island, known as Northern Ireland is a constituency of Britain. The Channel Islands are a group of islands in the English Channel off the French coats of Normandy. The United Kingdom has the largest cultural diversity of any of the countries in Europe. It is made up of the countries of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Wales is an historic country with fairytale castles, dramatic mountains and sweeping stretches of beaches along the coast. Scotland has long been associated with the Loch Ness Monster, but it is a land of exquisite scenic beauty in its lochs, glens and mountains.
Estonia, the most northerly of the three former Soviet Baltic states, is a sparsely populated country, half of which is covered by forests. Latvia, a small country on the Baltic Sea, is alive with ancient history and traditions as well as breathtaking scenery in its lakes, rivers and forests. France is a multifaceted land with a myriad of attractions and cultures from the boulevards of Paris to the skiing areas of the Alps. Germany is a country of remarkable diversity, due in part to its being a conglomeration of independent states before it unification in the 19th century. Tucked in between Switzerland and Austria, Liechtenstein is a peaceful, beautiful country with stunning mountain ranges and valleys. Macedonia is a mountainous country located right in the heart of the Balkans with beautiful valleys and lakes. Poland is located in the center of Europe with lowlands, uplands and mountainous areas.
The Rock of Gibraltar contains more than 140 caves and as such is a paradise for adventurers from sailing and diving to bird watching. It is known as the place where Europe meets Africa. Portugal enjoys an idyllic climate and has picture postcard settings and villages. Italy is a boot shaped peninsula that juts out into the Mediterranean. From the beaches of Tuscany to the medieval hill villages, it is not hard to experience the unique culture of the country. Greece is known as the birthplace of civilization, which is evident in the ancient architecture that still remains. Malta consists of five islands - Malta, Gozo, Comino, Comminotto and Filfla - all of which are located on the Mediterranean. Spain shares a border with Gibraltar and France, but most of the country lies along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
Hungary is a small European country renowned for its ability to retain its traditional language and culture. It has many beautiful landscapes and thermal springs. Lithuania is a land of castles where the landscape changes from dense forest to cast plains. Moldova is a landlocked European country that doesn't see many tourists mainly because its charms are not widely known outside the region. With its beautiful climate, golden beaches and renowned casinos, it is little wonder that Monaco is such a popular tourist destination. Romania is the largest of the Balkan States and is the site of the largest wetland in Europe. Switzerland, though small, is a country renowned for the high quality of life its residents enjoy. It is also famous for its breathtaking mountains and skiing resorts.
Once part of the Soviet Union, The Russian Federation is the largest country in the world with a landscape that is diverse and challenging. The Ukraine is one of the largest and most varied countries of Europe with the stunning images of the Black Sea, the Carpathian Mountains and the Central Plains. Often referred to as a miniature Europe, Slovenia is one of the smallest countries on the continent tucked in between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea. San Marino measures only 24 square miles, but every sight is a dazzling one from the mountain peaks to the lush valleys. Lying adjacent to the Czech Republic, Slovakia is a land of canyons, caves and meadows, all of which stand in the shadows of the beautiful Tatra Mountains.
North America takes up the northern half of the Western Hemisphere. Canada is the northernmost country on the continent bordered by the Atlantic, Pacific and Artic Oceans, The United States is its nearest neighbour, a vast country with 50 states.
No matter where you travel in Belize, you will see wondrous archaeological sites and wildlife sanctuaries as well as have opportunities to engage in numerous outdoor activities. Costa Rica is an island with a variety of landscapes and cultural diversity, which when combined with the warm climate makes it an exciting place to visit. Most of the country of El Salvador is volcanic with many archaeological treasures dating back to the Mayan people. Guatemala, too, has a long and varied Mayan culture with many of the people in the remote villages still wearing the traditional dress. Honduras is a country of lowlands and fertile valleys and a history long acquainted with pirates. Although there is no lack of tourist attractions in Nicaragua, much of the country has yet to be discovered by tourists with many of the locations lying off the beaten track. Panama lies at the center of the world forming an land bridge between North and South America.
Often called the Spice Islands, Grenada is a small island in the Caribbean Sea and is one of the smallest independent nations in the Western World. Guadeloupe is an island in the Caribbean Sea, but is part of France. Another island in the Caribbean is Puerto Rico, which is a constituency of the United States.
South America is a large continent that forms the southern half of the Western Hemisphere. Argentina takes up a significant portion of the southern part of the continent and is a land with diverse terrains, including the Andes Mountains. Bolivia is a country marked by high mountain peaks and breathtaking lakes and rivers. Often called the giant of South America, Brazil consists of dazzling beaches, colonial towns and lush rainforests. It is the fifth largest country in the world. Chile is a narrow strip of land along the Pacific coast of the continent.
Colombia has a Caribbean coastline, with large mountain lakes and the Amazon River basin. Ecuador straddles the equator and has parts of the country in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. French Guiana has the ideal location of being situated between the Caribbean and the Amazon Basin and as such is home to many protected species of wildlife. Paraguay is a landlocked country in South America and is very sparsely populated. Mexico borders on the United States so that it extends from North to South America. It has coastlines on both the Caribbean and Pacific Oceans.
Peru is the land of the Incas and many of the historic sites in the country reflect this heritage. Suriname is filled with fascinating wildlife and culture in a land that is 80% covered by a tropical rainforest. With over 500 km of beaches, Uruguay is known as the Oriental Republic because of its location on the eastern bank of Rio de la Plata. It is one of the smallest republics on this continent. The home of the world's highest waterfall, Venezuela is a land of jungles, waterfalls, tropical beaches and huge mountain ranges.
Oceania refers to the islands in the South Pacific and is divided into three regions - Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Australia is one of these islands and is the largest island in the world. It has an abundance of wildlife not found anywhere else in the world, such as kangaroos. Located about 3500 km northeast of New Zealand, the Cook Islands consist of two groups of islands. The southern group is mainly coral atolls, while the northern group is mainly volcanic. Fiji is made up of almost 300 islands that are mostly volcanic in nature. In earlier decades it was known as the Cannibal Isles because of the dangerous waters around the coastlines and the fierce warrior inhabitants.
French Polynesia is a collection of islands in the South Pacific that are administered by France. The largest of these islands is Tahiti. Guam is the largest and most southerly of the Marinas Islands and is the location of a large US military base. Micronesia, or the Federated States of Micronesia, is a small nation consisting of many islands that are divided into seven territories. New Caledonia is believed to be the fragment of an ancient continent and as such has unique plant and wildlife not seen in any other part of the world due to its isolated location.
New Zealand is a land of exquisite beauty in its rugged coastline, pristine beaches and snow-capped Alps. The Northern Mariana Islands consists of a chain of 44 islands with beautiful bays, spectacular cliffs and high mountains. There are 600 islands in the country of Papua New Guinea that stretch out into the Pacific from the mainland of Southeast Asia. The tribes of this country speak more than 700 different languages. Samoa is a collection of islands that were once known as the Navigators Islands because of the natives' skill in water navigation. Vanuatu is an archipelago of colourful reef islands, active volcanoes and rainforests.