Everyone knows that an island is a piece of land surrounded on all sides by water. In total, there are about 500 thousand islands on our planet. They are all different in shape and size. The article presents the ten smallest inhabited islands in the world. You can’t even imagine how tiny the islets are, however, people live on them, and many of them are popular tourist attractions.
Pay attention, according to the Guinness Book of Records, the smallest island is the “participant” at number 3, in fact, there is an even smaller contender at number 1.
- 10. Visovac, Croatia – 3.15 ha
- 9. Caye Chapelle, Belize – 2.20 ha
- 8. Tiberina, Italy – 1.80 ha
- 7. Migingo, between Kenya and Uganda – 1.6 ha
- 6. Island of Lake Bled, Slovenia – 1.40 ha
- 5. Wilhelmstein, Germany – 1.25 ha
- 4. Pontikonissi, Greece – 1 ha
- 3. Bishop, England – 720 sq. m
- 2. Dunbar, Honduras – 490 sq. m
- 1. “Enough space”, USA – 306 sq. m
10. Visovac, Croatia – 3.15 ha
Croatia has many natural attractions. One of them is the Krka National Park. It is called the same as the river that flows through its territory and forms a lake. In the place where the river becomes a lake, there is a small island Visovac, which has an oval shape and an area of only 3.15 hectares.
The first mention of the island was found in the historical annals of the XIV century in a deed of dedication written by King Louis of Anjursky. On Visovac there is a functioning Franciscan monastery of the 17th century, which houses a museum. Some parts of the monastery date back to the 14th century. From a distance, the monastery with light walls and a red-orange roof on a small piece of land in the middle of the water surface looks amazing. It has preserved a valuable collection of works of art, manuscripts and books, among which there are also handwritten copies. This place is a cultural heritage of Croatia and attracts a constant flow of tourists.
9. Caye Chapelle, Belize – 2.20 ha
There is a small state of Belize in Central America. Caye Chapelle is one of the smallest islands in the world, washed by the waters of the Caribbean Sea and located 20 kilometers from the east coast of Belize. It was previously owned by Belize’s first black millionaire.
Caye Chapelle does not have any historical sites, but it is known as a beach and water sports center. A few hundred meters from Caye Chapelle is famous Belize, Barrier Reef. The island offers various types of entertainment for tourists: diving, surfing, yachting, fishing. There are also restaurants, shops, and nightclubs.
8. Tiberina, Italy – 1.80 ha
A picturesque corner of Rome on the water surface between the two banks of the Tiber River south of the Vatican. If you look at the small island from above, its outline resembles a boat. There is a legend about the revolted Roman inhabitants who threw the last king of Ancient Rome, Tarquinius the Proud, who was a cruel tyrant, into the Tiber River. Such a large amount of silt and dirt adhered to his corpse that a piece of land was formed, which was named Tiberina. The name translates literally as “an island in the Tiber”. It is not surprising that in ancient times there was a bad reputation about him.
During the plague epidemic, the situation changed. A temple to Aesculapius, the god of medicine, was erected on Tiberian. The location was not chosen by chance. The snake, considered an ancient symbol of medicine, crawled out of the boat and swam towards the island, thereby indicating the will of God. Since then, it has become a revered sacred site.
In the 10th century, a basilica was built here in honor of St. Adalbert of Prague, which in the 12th century was named the Basilica of San Bartolomeo or St. Bartholomew. It is believed that the relics of St. Bartholomew, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, rest here.
7. Migingo, between Kenya and Uganda – 1.6 ha
Migingo is located on the largest freshwater African lake Victoria and is the most densely populated island in the entire world. It is littered with shacks made of wood and metal sheets. Territorial disputes are ongoing over a tiny piece of land with an area of 1.65 hectares. It is claimed by two states at once, Uganda and Kenya. In 2009, a war almost broke out between them. At the moment, the border has not yet been determined, Migingo is under general management.
The first settlers were two Kenyan fishermen who moved to uninhabited territory in 1991. Now, according to preliminary data, the population has grown to 400 people. Most of the inhabitants are fishermen and fishmongers. The waters of Lake Victoria are home to the Nile perch, and fishing is a good source of income.
6. Island of Lake Bled, Slovenia – 1.40 ha
Imagine: a picturesque mountain lake with clear water, surrounded by green vegetation, snowy mountain peaks can be seen in the distance, and in the middle of the lake is a small island with a church with a red tile roof standing on it. A magical picture, isn’t it? And it is constantly seen by tourists who come to Slovenia to look at Lake Bled and the island of Bled.
You can reach this picturesque place by boat, and then walk 99 steps from the pier and get to the famous Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Weddings are often held there, and the newlyweds follow an old tradition, according to which the groom must carry the bride all the way to the church in his arms. In the church, there is a well-known bell of wishes. An old belief says: if you pull the rope three times and the bell rings, then your wish will come true.
5. Wilhelmstein, Germany – 1.25 ha
In northwest Germany, near Hanover, there is a lake called Steinhuder Mer. A man-made island with a fortress was built on it in the 18th century by the order of Count Wilhelm for the defense of a small county belonging to him.
The local population for several years in a row supplied the construction with sand, gravel, and stones, which were transported in boats in summer and in sleighs on a frozen lake in winter. The result is a small square-shaped island named after Count Wilhelmstein, and the fortress is built in the form of a star with four rays. At different times, it housed first a military school, and then a prison. Now this place is owned by the Schaumburg-Lippe family, who are descendants of Count Wilhelm.
4. Pontikonissi, Greece – 1 ha
It is considered one of the most famous and most beautiful historical sites in Greece. Pontikonissi is located next to Cape Kanoni south of Corfu in the Mediterranean Sea. It is all buried in greenery, so it is difficult to see what is there, but the white steps that lead to the top of the hill are clearly visible. If you look at this place from a distance, the ascent from the steps looks like a mouse’s tail. Therefore, in another way it is called Mouse Island.
On Pontikonissi there is the Byzantine Church of Pantokrator, which was built at the end of the 11th and beginning of the 12th centuries. In the 16th century, a small monastery was erected here, which became world-famous, as it painted colorful Byzantine icons.
From a certain angle, a small Greek island looks like a ship. Therefore, the ancient Greeks believed that the god of the seas Poseidon turned the ship of the legendary Odysseus into a piece of land when he was angry with him, and Pontikonisi is this ship.
3. Bishop, England – 720 sq. m
It is a rock in the Scilly Archipelago off the southwest coast of England in the Atlantic Ocean. Bishop entered the Guinness Book of Records as the smallest built-up island on our planet. There is a lighthouse right across the entire area of the rock, it seems that it has grown directly from the sea. It was very difficult to build it here, the first attempts were unsuccessful, but nevertheless, it was possible to do it 160 years ago. The lighthouse was erected for 7 long years, for the construction they took huge granite slabs. Now their total weight is about 6,000 tons.
The lighthouse started working in 1858, but after that, in 1875, one of the largest shipwrecks in the entire history of Britain happened. A sailboat sailing near Bishop ran aground. A navigation error led to the death of 335 people, only 37 were able to escape.
2. Dunbar, Honduras – 490 sq. m
Unlike Bishop, there is only one building on Dunbar. This is not a lighthouse, but a magnificent snow-white villa. On the territory of just under half a hectare, the owner has created a real piece of paradise. The luxurious three-story building with a staircase leading down to the pier took almost three years to build due to the rocky terrain. Around the villa, there is a small oak forest.
The villa is now used as a hotel popular with fishing and diving enthusiasts. The picturesque site is surrounded by the pearl of the Caribbean Sea, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.
1. “Enough space”, USA – 306 sq. m
It is the smallest island in the world with a size of only 306 square meters on the St. Lawrence River, inhabited by people. Only a small house and one tree fit on it. If you compare, then on one football field, as many as 13 such small islands will fit.
“Just Enough Space” is one of a group of islands in the Thousand Islands archipelago, which is located on the St. Lawrence River on the very border of the United States and Canada. Such a simple name was given to the island by the owners, the Sizeland family. They say that they acquired this place for solitude, and not for the sake of owning their own island. However, the place soon became popular, and tourists loved it very much.