Six centuries ago, the old European empires challenged the waters and the unknown, sailing through new routes towards what today are the Americas, Africa, India and Oceania. And however 600 years might sound like a lot of time, and arguably time enough for most of us not to even consider there are still some overseas territories part of France, The Netherlands, Portugal, UK Spain or even Denmark with Greenland, they do exist and we selected 5 of them. They use Euro as a currency, they are part of European countries, but they are not in Europe.
In the archipelago of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote is just 100km away from Africa’s mainland, right next to the Western Sahara and about 1000km from the coast of Spain. The island is known by its amazing volcanoes and colorful lava fields where, apart from the beauty, you can actually grill steaks or fish on the rocks. Here you are in Spain. But in Africa.
2. Îles Loyauté
This small French island in New Caledonia is inhabited by 17.000 people, most of them natives, being the Europeans a small minority. However being officially France, it is only 1800 km from…Sidney! It is a piece of paradise with amazing beaches, clear water and even the traditional round houses with conical roofs are really what you imagine when thinking of this kind of destination. Here you are in France. But in Oceania.
However first discovered by portuguese explorers, it was France that ended up settling in the island right next to Madagascar. An amazing tropical weather all year long, but with a freshening breeze from the Indian Ocean, there is a perfect mix between the wildlife in the mountains or the cliffs and the beaches you can enjoy all year long! As a volcanic island, there is still some activity, the highest volcano is Piton des Neiges, 3,070m above sea level! Here you still in France, but in Africa.
4. Tristan da Cunha
Discovered by the portuguese Tristão da Cunha, the explorer named the island after himself, but the name was later anglicised. In the middle of the south Atlantic, the temperature is incredibly mild, never reaching 25ºC, but never going lower than 12ºC, due to its location however it rains constantly. The island might be remote and only inhabited by 300 people, but its beauty and wildlife are certainly worth visiting for nature lovers. Here we are in the United Kingdom, but…in the south of the south Atlantic!
In the South Caribbean Sea, this is just pure summer all year long. No rain. No cold, just 30ªC everyday and 25 every night. One of the things Aruba is known for is the amazing cultural diversity, natives, europeans, filipinos, indonesian, chinese, everyone is there. The Arikok National Park occupies around 20% of the island and it is great to see the coastlines, natural bridges while enjoying the “Conchi”, a natural pool sorrouded by ocks. From Aruba you can see Venezuela, but you are in The Netherlands.
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