You can find the most beautiful and intriguing of sights where countries meet, where the extremities of territories touch, and where boundaries are established. From natural wonders to fascinating monuments, a passport check has never been so enjoyable.
Between Spain and France
Between Chardonnay and sangria, snails and paella, chain-smoking and flamenco-dancing, stands the Pyrenees mountain range. This stunning natural border between France and Spain is home to a multitude of ski resorts, picturesque alpine towns, and superb mountaintop sights.
Nestled in the Pyrenees' snow-capped peaks and verdant valleys also lies the discreet country of Andorra, the mountainous love child of Spain and France of which they share joint custody.
© Pedro Salaverria/123RF
Between Haiti and the Dominican Republic
For Haiti, grass truly is greener on the other side. These two countries sharing an island in the Caribbean have fundamentally different environmental protection laws, and it shows. The barren Haitian landscape stops abruptly to make way for a lush, pristine Dominican forest.
If the contrast is striking, it's important to remember that not all of Haiti is desolate, naked scenery, just like the Dominican Republic is not an irreproachable ecological pioneer.
© Ronnachai Limpakdeesavasd/123RF
Between Belgium and the Netherlands
Belgium and the Netherlands don't really have a defined border, and many Belgian and Dutch exclaves freckle the region where the two countries meet.
One of the most well-known of these geographical and administrative oddities is the town of Baarle-Nassau, which contains Belgian exclaves within which are found Dutch counter-exclaves. Talk about inception. The border is also indicated all over town with white crosses painted on the ground.
© Alyona Boiko/123RF
Between Norway and Sweden
Scandinavia went all in with the cliches with its Norway-Sweden border, which essentially is a snow- and pine-covered route of unspoiled and breathtaking polar beauty. The snowy terrain is over 1,000 miles long, and welcomes thrill-seekers who can enjoy a heart-pounding snowmobile ride down this frosty trail.
Beyond being a mere political boundary, the border is also a spectacular playground, and there's nothing that better embodies the friendly relations between these two icy wonderlands.
Between North Korea and South Korea
If there is one famous border in the world, it's this one. It's been decades since the war ended, and the two Koreas have evolved in diametrically opposed directions, but one thing remains the same: the demilitarized zone, or DMZ.
160 miles long and approximately 2.5 miles wide, the demilitarized strip's purpose is to act as a buffer zone to avoid military invasion by either side, as well as a way for North Korea to prevent the defection of its citizens to its southern neighbor. Beyond the DMZ, which is kept free of ammunition, the surrounding zone is among the most politically tense and heavily militarized in the world.
© Loes Kieboom/123RF