Samoa is a state that includes the westernmost group of islands in the Samoa archipelago, in Polynesia. Most of these islands are characterized by beaches with coral reefs and, in the interior, by rugged rain forests with gorges and waterfalls. These islands include Upolu, home to most of the Samoan population, and Savai’i, one of the largest islands in the South Pacific. The smaller islands either host small villages or are uninhabited, and some are nature reserves.
Scotland, the northernmost country in the United Kingdom, is a land with wild mountainous landscapes such as the Cairngorms and the Northwest Highlands, interspersed with “glens” (valleys) and “loch” (lakes) of glacial origin. Its main cities are Edinburgh, the capital, with its iconic castle perched on a hill, and Glasgow, famous for its lively cultural scene. Scotland is also known for golf, played for the first time at the Old Course in St Andrews, around 1400.
The Seychelles are an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian ocean, off East Africa. Here you will find numerous beaches, coral reefs and nature reserves, but also rare animals such as the Aldabra giant tortoise. Mahé, the starting point for all the other islands, is home to the capital Victoria, the mountain rainforest of the Morne Seychellois National Park and some beaches, such as Beau Vallon and Anse Takamaka.
Slovakia, officially the Slovak Republic, is a landlocked state established as a parliamentary republic, located in Central Eastern Europe. It has a population of more than 5 million and an area of approximately 49,000 square kilometers.
Slovenia is a Central European country known for its mountains, ski resorts and lakes. On Lake Bled, a glacial lake fed by hot springs, the city of Bled houses an islet surmounted by a church and a medieval castle perched on the cliff. In Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, baroque facades mingle with contemporary architecture designed by the native Jože Plečnik, whose iconic Tromostovje (Triple Bridge) crosses the narrow curve of the Ljubljanica river.
The Solomon Islands, a nation of hundreds of islands in the South Pacific, has many WWII-era sites. Guadalcanal, a province and one of the archipelago’s largest islands, honors fallen Allied soldiers at its U.S. War Memorial. Guadalcanal is also home to the nation’s capital, Honiara, whose bustling Central Market showcases the islands’ produce and traditional handicrafts.
Somalia, officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is an East African state located in the horn of Africa. The current name of Somalia was given to it by the Italian explorer Luigi Robecchi Bricchetti, who was the first European to visit extensively the region of the Horn of Africa called Benadir.
Sri Lanka (formerly called Ceylon) is an island country in the Indian Ocean, south of India. Its varied territory includes rain forests, arid plains, plateaus and sandy beaches. The country is famous for Buddhist ruins, including the 5th century citadel of Sigiriya, which includes a palace and frescoes. In the city of Anuradhapura, the ancient capital of Sri Lanka, there are numerous ruins that date back more than 2000 years.
Saint Kitts and Nevis is a dual-island nation situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. It’s known for cloud-shrouded mountains and beaches. Many of its former sugar plantations are now inns or atmospheric ruins. The larger of the 2 islands, Saint Kitts, is dominated by the dormant Mount Liamuiga volcano, home to a crater lake, green vervet monkeys and rainforest crisscrossed with hiking trails.
Santa Lucia is an island country in the eastern part of the Caribbean whose west coast is home to two very tapered mountains: the Pitons. The coast is home to volcanic beaches, diving sites along the coral reef, luxury resorts and fishing villages. Inland, the paths in the rainforest lead to waterfalls like those of Toraille, which plunge 15 m into a natural garden. The capital, Castries, is a popular cruise stop.
Saint-Martin is part of the windward islands in the Caribbean sea. It comprises two separate countries, divided between the northern French part, called Saint-Martin, and the southern Dutch part, Sint Marteen. The island is home to crowded beaches and secluded bays and is known for fusion cuisine, lively nightlife and duty-free shops selling jewelry and spirits.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a nation in the South Caribbean made up of the main island, St. Vincent, and a series of smaller islands. With its ports crowded with yachts, the luxurious private islands and the volcanic landscapes, it is famous for the destinations frequented by sailing boats; among these the island of Bequia, which is located off the coast of Admiralty Bay and is surrounded by coral reefs and white sandy beaches such as Princess Margaret. The capital, Kingstown, is located on the main island.
Sudan, officially the Republic of the Sudan, is a country in northeastern Africa. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, Libya to the northwest, Chad to the west, the Central African Republic to the southwest, South Sudan to the south, Ethiopia to the southeast, Eritrea to the east, and the Red Sea to the northeast.
Swaziland, a small monarchy in the hinterland of southern Africa, is known for nature reserves and traditional Swazi celebrations. The Lebombo Mountains, which form a natural border with Mozambique in the north-east and extend to South Africa, frame the many hiking trails of the Mlawula Nature Reserve. Not far away, Hlane Royal National Park is home to several species of animals such as lions, hippos and elephants.
Sweden is a Scandinavian nation with thousands of coastal islands and inland lakes, along with vast boreal forests and glaciated mountains. Its principal cities, eastern capital Stockholm and southwestern Gothenburg and Malmö, are all coastal. Stockholm is built on 14 islands. It has more than 50 bridges, as well as the medieval old town, Gamla Stan, royal palaces and museums such as open-air Skansen.
Switzerland is a mountainous country in Central Europe where there are numerous lakes, villages and peaks in the Alps. Its cities are home to medieval historic centers, with monuments such as the Clock Tower (Zytglogge) in the capital Bern, and the bridge covered with wood of the Lucerne chapel. The country is also known for its ski resorts and hiking trails. Banks and finance are two key sectors for the country’s economy, while Swiss watches and chocolate are famous all over the world.