The hidden countries. These tours examine the history, culture and inner workings of the seven smallest independent countries in Europe. These are among the oldest lands in Europe, despite their diversity, they have much in common. They have relatively high per capita incomes and life expectancies, and relatively low unemployment, crime and poverty. Those are the facts but what do these places feel like? Do they have hidden secrets and how do they connect? The tours are divided into six sections for each country: History, Logistics, Sites and tours, Political and current issues, Arts and pop culture and Kurt and Martha. (Reviews of Hotels, etc.) The hidden countries tour will bring the countries alive for an intriguing visit or armchair exploration.
The seven microstates in Europe; Andorra, Malta, Luxemburg, San Marino, Monaco, Vatican City, and Liechtenstein are some of the oldest sustaining countries in the world (San Marino is the oldest surviving country in the world). They have rich history and importance throughout the continent's growth, past and present and are a symbol of wealth and power. In the middle Ages, Europe was a patchwork of tiny dukedoms, princedoms, and feudal states. Germany for example, was fragmented into over 300 of these, each with its own leader, weights and measures, crown jewels, and curfew. Most of these "countries" were only as big as the distance a cannon could fire from the city walls. And today, only a few of Europe's mini-nations survive