17

A fairly simple question: from what single point could you see the most countries? It seems like it should be a popular tourist attraction.

This question lists 157 tripoints, however, there's also an almost quadripoint, where 4 countries Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe are very close to each other. From what I can tell, this is a very flat area so this place might not have the record.

So, from where on earth can you view the most countries?

29

According to the website HeyWhatsThat, you can see seven countries from the summit of Ljuboten on the Kosovo-Macedonia border.

The mountain as seen from Kosovo; image from Wikipedia

The countries are:

  • Kosovo
  • Macedonia
  • Albania (several peaks)
  • Serbia (several peaks)
  • Greece (at least one peak, Vitsi)
  • Bulgaria (some scattered areas)
  • Montenegro (at least one peak on the border and some scattered areas within the country)

The shading of the alleged view as well as marking of several peaks can be seen at this link: HeyWhatsThat page on Ljuboten. I found this peak by clicking on promising peaks at that webpage at random. The Wikipedia page on the mountain does not have this factoid. I have no idea about common weather conditions in the area (how often the air is clear in all directions). Moreover, you have to subscribe to the foreign policy of one of the 108 countries that recognize Kosovo for this to be a record. It should in any case have the record of "highest increase of number of countries viewable in the modern era" as the area in question did only contain 4 countries prior to 1992, and is in any case a tie to the Swiss mountain in JoeDeRose's answer.

  • 3
    Excellent finding. Well done! – Joe DeRose Jan 20 '15 at 19:28
  • 3
    I managed to find two locations with 7 fully recognized countries visible from there. Mount Scenery and La Grande Soufrière, both in the Caribbean. Check my answer here. – Aaron de Windt Apr 30 at 2:50
19

Being from the Caribbean (Curaçao) and with a rough knowledge of the area's geography I figured one of our neighbors might come close to the 7 countries in Jørgen's answer. It's all small mountainous islands close to each other with only the flat sea in between. So I went exploring on HeyWhatsThat.

After trying few peaks, I found two locations. One with 6 visible countries and another one with 7. But unlike Jørgen's answer these are all fully recognized countries.

La Grande Soufrière in Basse-Terre

The first location with 7 visible countries is La Grande Soufrière, an active volcano on the island of Basse-Terre in Guadeloupe, France. The countries visible from here are:

  1. France (Guadeloupe, Martinique)
  2. Dominica
  3. United Kingdom (Montserrat)
  4. Antigua and Barbuda

And several peaks on:

  1. Saint Kitts and Nevis
  2. Netherlands (Saba, Sint Eustatius)
  3. St. Lucia

Mount Scenery in Saba

The second location with 6 visible countries is Mount Scenery, a potentially active volcano on the island of Saba in the Netherlands. The countries visible from here are:

  1. Netherlands (Saba, St. Eustatious, St. Maarten)
  2. Saint Kitts and Nevis
  3. France (Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Guadeloupe)
  4. United Kingdom (Anguilla, Montserrat, British Virgin islands)

And several peaks on:

  1. Antigua and Barbuda
  2. United States of America (US Virgin islands)

Being in the Caribbean, the weather should be clear enough on most days to see long distances, depending on the time of the day.

Extra:

Depending on how you look at it, there could be 7 countries visible from Mount Scenery since the Dutch side of St. Maarten is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and thus not actually part of the Netherlands. Officially it's an EU Overseas Country or Territory (OCT) with a relationship similar to that of the Isle of Man with the UK and Greenland with Denmark.

HeyWhatsThat links: Mount Scenery, La Grande Soufrière

  • I was going to say that you shouldn't stand on top of Grande Soufrière, but I got it mixed up with Soufrière Hills. – Michael Seifert Apr 30 at 3:03
  • Edit: Removed Anguilla from the Mount Scenery list since somehow I missed it being a British Overseas Territory. – Aaron de Windt Apr 30 at 3:54
  • Interesting find! I was not aware that the Caribbean islands were that tall and/or close to each other. – Jørgen May 3 at 8:19
17

I think the solution to this puzzle depends on small, mountainous countries. Switzerland tourism claims that you can see 6 countries from Säntis: Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, France and Italy.

http://www.myswitzerland.com/en-us/saentis-schwaegalp2.html

  • 1
    This is exactly the region where I would expect to find such a point (really only Europe and Africa have lots of small countries with land borders and in Europe they are to a larger extent located in mountainous areas). However, from this "artificial" view from the mountaintop: peakfinder.org/… I was not able at first glance (just by the non-Germanness of the peak names) to locate any peaks in France or Italy. Ideally, your answer would have a less biased source or a specific lists of at least one point in each country that can be seen – Jørgen Jan 20 '15 at 18:37
  • 2
    Well, your own resource supports the contention. Perhaps you didn't realize you can click on the names of the peaks for information about where they are located. Ortler - Ortles is in Italy. Le Klintzkopf is in France. Leuenkopf is in Austria. Großer Daumen is in Germany. Kuhgrat is in Liechtenstein. Muttler is in Switzerland. Satisfied? – Joe DeRose Jan 20 '15 at 18:50
  • Absolutely. Also just found this site: heywhatsthat.com which has "santis" in the drop-down menu and confirms your assertion. Upvoted, though I will still (most likely in vain) try to find another six-country-point somewhere outside Switzerland... – Jørgen Jan 20 '15 at 18:57
7

I'll take a stab at answering this.

The near-quadripoint works, you can see four countries. I've been there myself:

http://babakfakhamzadeh.com/article/from-zambia-to-botswana-nearly-a-quadripoint

But, there are a few more candidates.

The Wakhan corridor (in Afghanistan, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wakhan_Corridor) is so narrow (8 miles at its narrowest), that I presume there will be peaks from where you can see Afghanistan, China, Tajikistan and Pakistan.

The eastern edge of Kazakhstan and the western edge of Mongolia nearly meet, separated by a 30km gap where Russia and China border. The border here is fairly mountainous, so it's likely there will be multiple points along this corridor where you will be able to see four countries.

Technically, if you stand on the south pole, you can see land claimed by 6 or 7 countries: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Territorial_claims_in_Antarctica#mediaviewer/File:Antarctic_Region.png

There's a road that connects Igdir (in Turkey) to Nakchivan (in an Azeri exclave). The road goes through a Turkish corridor that, at times, is only some 2k wide. There, Iran is one side, Armenia on the other. Beyond a doubt, you'd be able to see four countries here, from multiple locations.

So, the question is, besides on the south pole, where can you see five countries from the ground?

  • Wakhan Corridor could be five if you accept India's claims to northern Kashmir. – Michael Borgwardt Jan 20 '15 at 12:55
  • 1
    Yeah, I did think about that. But isn't the claim on northern Kashmir a bit tenuous? – MastaBaba Jan 20 '15 at 13:56
  • 4
    I have no idea. I assume Pakistan thinks so and India doesn't. – Michael Borgwardt Jan 20 '15 at 14:51

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