Mapped: The world’s most – and least – crowded countries
Do you long for peace and solitude on your travels? Then you’ll do far worse than to take your next break in one of these countries. They are the 10 least densely populated, measured in number of people per square kilometre, according to the latest available figures from the UN Population Division.
Such trips could mean roaming the plains of Mongolia, striking through rainforest in Suriname, or cruising the vast fjords of Greenland. This is how to do remote, wild and adventurous – with the figures to back up your post-holiday bragging.
Population density: 0.0 people per sq km
Rounded to one decimal place, the population density of Greenland is officially 0.0. The world’s largest island is home to around 56,000 people, meaning that a population around the size of west Devon (an area of 448.3 square miles) inhabits an area of 836,330 sq miles. This vast land, which has been inhabited for around 4,500 years, has mountainous shorelines, long summer days and jewel-blue fjords. Try visiting the Arctic ghost town of Skoldungen, abandoned for more accessible settlements in 1961.
Getting there: Discover the World (01737 214 250; discover-the-world.co.uk) has a 14-night Greenland Explorer cruise from £5,600 per person, excluding flights.
2. Falkland Islands
Population density: 0.3 people per sq km
This archipelago on the Patagonian Shelf is home to just 3,000 people. Argentina famously lays claim to this British Overseas Territory, but a referendum in 2013 saw the population vote overwhelmingly to remain British – just three of the 1,517 votes cast favoured Argentinian rule. Chris Moss, a Telegraph Travel contributor, says it is a “special, strange place and those who do make the effort often become repeat visitors. Stanley [the capital] provides a nice homely stopover on voyages that revolve around wild seas, icebergs and penguins. Pubs, a post office, a cathedral, an excellent museum and good gastronomy mean that a stay is not just quirky, but actually very pleasant too.”
Getting there: Journey Latin America (020 3468 0965; journeylatinamerica.co.uk) offers a 14-day private trip to Chile and the Falklands, with a week on the remote islands, from £4,936 per person, excluding international flights.
Population density: 1.9 people per sq km
A landlocked country of wide steppe and semi-desert, Mongolia has a population that clusters in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, leaving swathes of land pinpricked only by small nomadic communities threatened by harsh weather, storms and economic difficulties. Visitors are lured by the chance to ride horses across wild, open landscapes (the country had an area of 1.5 million sq km) and the chance to stay in remote gers that offer an insight into traditional ways of living.
Getting there: In the Saddle offers a range of challenging riding holidays in Mongolia, including a departure that coincides with the festival of the eagle hunters in the Altai mountains, from £1,416 per person, excluding flights (01299 272997; inthesaddle.com).
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