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Liechtenstein
 
It has to be said, Liechtenstein is small. A principality dating back to the Holy Roman Empire, the current ruler, Prince Hans-Adam, reigns over just 62 sq.m. containing some 35,000 souls – some admittedly very wealthy, since personal income tax hits you at just 1.2%. The royal family’s handsome castle home, Schloss Vaduz, overlooks the main (only) city, Vaduz itself. The important financial aspects of this tax haven seem at odds with the almost toy-town atmosphere – a brightly colourful ‘city train’ guides you on leisurely tour in some 40 minutes. The country is, of course, set high in the mountains and contains the upper reaches of the Rhine. In summer it provides wonderful vistas of alpine-flower-covered meadows but really comes into its own once the snow arrives and creates a winter-sports paradise. The tiny population has won more Olympic medals per capita than any other country (winter or summer) and if you want to get your skates on you can enjoy more than 9km of flat natural ice field.
 

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