Travel isn’t always booking online, heading to the airport and going straight through security to find the nearest bar for your pre-flight drinks.
In fact, some countries can be almost impossible to travel to and you have to work hard at organising your trip if you want to get there.
While we don’t often think about planning a trip away as a difficult experience, based on the time and effort that goes into reaching these eight destinations around the world it’s clear that some places are much harder to reach than others.
Here is a guide that we have prepared with our friends at MyBaggage on some of the hardest countries to visit around the world.
Why are some countries hard to get to?
There are several reasons it might be difficult to reach or gain access to certain countries. Some of the key reasons that you might find it tricky to travel to these destinations include:
- Very strict visa policies
- Expensive travel or needing financial backing to enter the country
- Security measures if there is war or political unrest anywhere in the country
- Where you’re from (your nationality) or at least where you’re flying in from
- Logistics – it might seem like you can catch a plane anywhere, but in reality, that’s not always the case
Why would you want to travel to these countries?
You might be thinking if some countries are so hard to visit then why would you bother trying to get there in the first place. After all, there are plenty of other places in the world to see.
With some places tricker to reach, here are just some reasons you might try to enter these nations:
- For work or business
- To visit family or friends
- Intrigue or sense of adventure
- You’re hoping to visit every country in the world
- Because although they’re difficult to visit, these countries have a lot to offer when you get there
Where are these countries?
There is no one region that is notoriously difficult to visit, these countries are pretty well dotted about the planet.
And of course, there will be some nations on this list that you would have expected and some others that you might not have considered before.
Here is the list of the top eight most difficult countries to visit and why it’s so tricky to go there.
Here’s the one you were probably anticipating, but because of the war and ongoing unrest in Syria, it can be very difficult to get into the country.
You can apply for your visa as normal, but unfortunately, this isn’t always enough to guarantee your entry. Immigration can be suspicious of your reasons for coming into the country and often it helps to have a contact there if you hope to make it through border control.
It’s hard to imagine a place with less freedom of the press than North Korea – but it does exist!
Found in East Africa, Eritrea is a single-party state and obtaining a visa can be extremely difficult, not just for journalists but for any non-native hoping to enter the country.
Nauru is the world’s smallest independent republic at just 19km in circumference.
It is one of the least visited places in the world and as such, it can be very difficult to get a visa.
In fact, the only real way to get one is to apply for a diplomatic mission from either Bangkok, Brisbane, Suva or Taipei.
For some reason, this central Asian country makes it very tricky for you to get a tourist visa, but there is no real reason why!
There has been a lot of mystery and speculation surrounding the bizarre dictatorship of Saparmyrat Niyazov, who ruled the nation until his death in 2006. But in terms of getting entry into the country you can apply for a five-day transit visa, but to do this you also need a visa to the country you’re coming from and the country you’re travelling to afterwards.
Plus this only works overland so you can’t fly in. There’s a lot of intrigue surrounding this pace, but if you can get permission it’s worth a visit.
- Saudi Arabia
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is very grand and is a shoppers paradise, but as it is ruled by Islamic law it can be tricky to get there.
You can’t apply for a tourist visa (as these don’t exist) so the only way to enter is by either being of Islamic faith or by proving you’re visiting for business purposes.
Due to political unrest, Yemen is extremely difficult to visit. That said, the ongoing uncertainty has seen the nation dubbed dangerous and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) even advises against travelling there.
However, it is an extremely beautiful nation and the people are very friendly, so if you do travel to Yemen just be sure to do your research beforehand and it helps to have a contact over there to get you in.
Bhutan is a beautiful Himalayan nation and is the world’s only carbon sink.
This is because it is required by law to remain at least 60% forested. Because this country is so precious and takes sustainability very seriously it can be tricky to visit unless you go through an official Bhutan travel agency.
Once you’ve done that they can begin sorting your visa because unfortunately, it’s not as easy as just applying online. The good news is you can enjoy this beautiful nation, it just means that your trip has to be well organised and on their terms.
This small, remote nation is lost somewhere in the Central Pacific and is difficult to get to not for any political reason, but just because travelling there can be a logistical nightmare.
There are no scheduled boats that run to Kiribati, though some cruise ships may occasionally stop by.
And as for travelling by air, the remote location means that there aren’t many scheduled flights. Only a few flights head there each week (and we’re talking around three to four) and they only depart from a handful of destinations.
To get there you must fly from either the Tarawa, Kiritimati or Kanton Islands. And again, the flights leave and return just once a week from these islands.