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Countries with Shortest Maximum Distances to the Ocean

Which mainland (not island) countries have no point more than 200 kilometers from the coast?
Only countries that are more than 50% on the continental mainland
Distances are approximate
Quiz by interopia
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Last updated: January 1, 2020
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First submittedApril 7, 2017
Times taken16,936
Average score59.1%
Rating4.06
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Max Km to Sea
Country
1
Monaco
22
San Marino
22
Vatican City
39
Qatar
60
Panama
72
Lebanon
96
Belize
100
Costa Rica
100
Djibouti
105
El Salvador
115
Kuwait
Max Km to Sea
Country
115
South Korea
123
Israel
125
Albania
134
Andorra
136
Greece
136
Montenegro
185
Netherlands
186
Estonia
194
Equatorial Guinea
197
United Arab Emirates
200
Eswatini
75 Comments
+9
Level 77
Apr 7, 2017
very interesting, well done!
+4
Level 85
Apr 7, 2017
Thanks. It's all from personal research, so feel free to give any comments.
+1
Level 35
Jan 19, 2023
I expected India and Indonesia.
+3
Level 85
Jan 19, 2023
Then you misunderstood what the quiz was looking for.
+12
Level 52
Apr 7, 2017
I was expecting Denmark. Does this count Greenland?
+3
Level 85
Apr 7, 2017
That was my thinking, but it's a tough call.
+6
Level 71
Feb 6, 2020
A little over half of Denmark (excluding Greenland and The Faroe Islands) is made of islands.. So it doesn't fit the criteria for the quiz.
+2
Level 69
Oct 30, 2020
That makes sense. Somehow, it made me really mad that Denmark wouldn't work. You'd think by now I would have learned to read the caveats!
+1
Level 71
Dec 2, 2021
The caveat does not say whether a country's dependencies are counted as being part of it or not.
+1
Level 75
Apr 25, 2024
I don't think so @benjaminmarker.

Roughly, by my calculations:

Jutland peninsula area (only Denmark's part): 9,200 sq miles

Islands area (not including overseas territories): 7,300 sq miles

+2
Level 82
May 20, 2024
I thought so too at first. But then I looked closer:

Jutland includes the North Jutlandic Island, which is... maybe an island?

(Short version: it didn't use to be, but has been since a storm in 1825, but is not traditionally or culturally considered to be one. Is it part of the mainland? Is it an island? It's a true edge case!)

So:

    • Metropolitan Denmark: 43,100 km².

    • Jutland (mainland only): 20,200 km².

    • North Jutlandic Island: 4,700 km².

Meaning that:

    • If you include NJI as mainland, then mainland = 24,900 km² = 58% of Denmark.

    • If you consider NJI an island, then mainland = 20,200 km² = 47% of Denmark.

It's... awkward.

+5
Level 65
Apr 7, 2017
I love your quizzes! A new subscriber :)
+4
Level 85
Apr 8, 2017
Thanks...I will do my best to keep the quality high
+9
Level 76
Apr 7, 2017
Yeah, nice quiz, this one made me think :) This continents v islands thing, I do wonder a bit about that, which gets Qatar in but Bahrain out; Andorra in but Ireland out (plus your deal about what to do with Denmark), but I guess you have to draw the line somewhere otherwise every small island country becomes an answer.
+4
Level 85
Apr 8, 2017
Another tough call is Malaysia. Peninsular Malaysia is no more than 140 km from the sea, but it only makes up 40% of the country, the rest of which is not on the mainland.
+1
Level 75
Apr 25, 2024
Why not simply "no island countries"? It's maybe unfair to ask people to know what % of a country is on the continental mainland. Like I would've guessed about 50% for Malaysia, but why am I having to think about that during the quiz? There aren't that many countries with a small bit on the mainland and a lot on islands, are there?

I thought it was a great quiz by the way, thanks a lot!

+1
Level 79
Mar 1, 2020
Bahrain and Ireland do not have territory on the mainland.
+1
Level 82
May 20, 2024
Right. We get that. Nobody is disputing that. We understand that that's why they're not answers to the quiz.

What's being questioned is why there's a constraint that leaves out island countries in the first place.

+2
Level 55
Apr 10, 2017
I like it! I would love to see this one featured :)
+2
Level 39
May 17, 2017
Awesome quiz!
+4
Level 31
Oct 15, 2018
Am I correct in asserting that there are four mainland countries that satisfy the requirements of:

- entirely within 200 km of the coast

- landlocked

And that they are:

Andorra

San Marino

Swazilan

Vatican City

+2
Level 89
Jan 1, 2020
Yup, that's what I counted. So close but potentially so far.
+2
Level 66
Aug 6, 2019
Great Quiz!
+2
Level 66
Aug 6, 2019
Really Fascinating Quiz!
+1
Level 79
Aug 18, 2019
Confusing quiz for me. I was not sure what was considered 'mainland'. Perhaps you could add a caveat of what you define 'mainland' as?
+3
Level 89
Jan 1, 2020
Not on an island.
+1
Level 82
Mar 1, 2020
A country with most of its land located on a continental landmass.
+1
Level 76
Dec 22, 2019
Guatemala?
+2
Level 85
Dec 22, 2019
Some inner parts of Guatemala are as much as 300km from the sea. Also, Monday morning I'm going to post another quiz you might be interested in.
+2
Level 69
Jan 1, 2020
Congrats on the feature! :)
+1
Level 68
Jan 1, 2020
Not Denmark?
+1
Level 60
Sep 18, 2021
Even without Faroe Islands and Greenland, it’s over 50% islands.
+4
Level 87
Jan 1, 2020
I'd like to further the Denmark discussion. In almost no quizzes does Greenland figure in, unless there's the notation about including overseas territories.
+3
Level 85
Jan 1, 2020
I'm all for adding it to the quiz, having it as a pre-filled answer, or adding a caveat.
+3
Level 93
Jan 1, 2020
including Greenland would disqualify it on two counts (maximum distance and more than 50% being islands). Without Greenland (and the Faroe islands) it looks like the maximum distance is about 50km and about 30% of the area is island based.
+1
Level 82
May 20, 2024
> I'm all for [...] having it as a pre-filled answer

I like this. Because: see my above comment about the North Jutlandic Island. (@interopia perhaps you have already looked into this and are aware of the awkwardness surrounding that island, in which case this part is mostly for the benefit of others reading this comment.)

There's an island that used to be part of the mainland. Then in 1825 a storm severed it and it has been an island since then. But culturally and historically it is not considered an island (the Danes don't even really have a name for it).

But: the "island" is big enough that whether you consider it an island or not will change the classification of Metropolitan (i.e.: non-Greenland or Faroes, etc.) Denmark to be on either side of the 50% mainland tipping point. I think having it pre-filled is perhaps the best solution.

+2
Level 75
Jan 1, 2020
Was wondering about Portugal, but even with Google Maps I can find a point which is barely 210 km away from the coast, haha
+2
Level 75
Jan 1, 2020
Kosovo must have been the "near miss"country for this quiz! 203 km :)
+2
Level 87
Jan 1, 2020
Or Chile.
+2
Level 86
Jan 7, 2020
No, in the North, there are places farther than 300km.
+2
Level 95
Jan 2, 2020
Guinea Bissau?
+2
Level 85
Jan 2, 2020
You could argue that it is more than 200 km from the northeast corner of the country to the coast, depending on where you define the border between the Geba River and the Atlantic Ocean to be. It is close, though.
+1
Level 89
Jan 2, 2020
Fun quiz! Interesting that four of these are landlocked countries :)
+2
Level 31
Jan 2, 2020
Gambia?
+1
Level 74
Jan 3, 2020
I'd like to see a sequel that includes islands. I'm not even from Denmark :)
+1
Level 77
Jan 6, 2020
Great to see it featured! Do we have 'island countries furthest from sea' yet?
+1
Level 85
Jan 6, 2020
Yeah! You were the first comment! Try this one I made recently: Island Countries Farthest From the Mainland!
+1
Level 86
Jan 7, 2020
Not bad. I guess it must be around 250km for Belgium (a bit less if you count the Scheldt estuary as the sea, and I bet you do to get 185km for the Netherlands). It must be close for Italy too, but I guess some places in the North are a bit farther than 200km.
+1
Level 86
Jan 7, 2020
Oh, and what about Portugal? It must be very close too.
+1
Level 78
Feb 26, 2020
What about Guinea Bissau?
+2
Level 47
Mar 1, 2020
I been drinking a little bit, but I feel the directions were a little confusing. Maybe more details for fools like myself.
+1
Level 76
Mar 1, 2020
I got everything except for the 4 landlocked countries.
+4
Level 76
Mar 1, 2020
I was surprised that Eritrea wasn't on here. And even more surprised when I checked it out that it wasn't close. About 350 kms.
+1
Level 69
Mar 1, 2020
great quiz idea! hats off.
+3
Level 58
Mar 1, 2020
I didn't understand this quiz, I thought I have to write only landlocked countries
+1
Level 82
May 20, 2024
Me too. My own fault for not carefully reading the instructions, but... jeez. I was wondering why almost none of my answers (except four) were being accepted, and wondering what landlocked countries I could have possibly missed that were closer to the ocean!

Then with 30 seconds to go, I re-read the instructions and understood what was being asked for. OOPS!!!

+1
Level 86
Mar 1, 2020
How far does Chile go inland?
+1
Level 23
Mar 1, 2020
I like how several of these are landlocked. so close ...
+1
Level 68
Mar 1, 2020
Yay glad to see this on the front page :)
+3
Level 72
Mar 2, 2020
Argh, I failed to read the instructions properly. I thought it was only countries that were near a coast but didn't have one, but that might make another interesting quiz.
+1
Level 49
Mar 2, 2020
Just so we're clear, do you count seas that connect to oceans (such as the Mediterranean) ?

Otherwise a lot of those countries don't qualify if you want to use the term "ocean".

+1
Level 64
Apr 21, 2020
I got them all with 6 seconds to spare. My last two were San Marino and Vatican City. Some of these are tricky because they aren't coastal. This quiz is a great geographic brain teaser!
+1
Level 69
Apr 24, 2020
Just wondering what the source is for this quiz? I found a [LINK REDACTED] quiz similar to this quiz, with the exact same measurements.
+4
Level ∞
Apr 24, 2020
That same user on the other site blatantly ripped off our Rust Belt Cities Map Quiz. I assume they copied this one as well.
+4
Level 85
Apr 24, 2020
The source is me using Google Maps and personally measuring the distances. A shame that other quiz took my research without giving credit.
+4
Level 78
Jul 1, 2021
i'm a bit surprised that Chile wasn't on here.
+1
Level 60
Sep 18, 2021
What about Gambia?
+1
Level 65
Nov 28, 2021
What constitutes "ocean"? Moldova is less than 100 km from the Black Sea and Monaco is on the Mediterranean Sea, nowhere near the "ocean" side of France.
+2
Level 85
Dec 29, 2022
But the maximum distance of Moldova from the sea is more than 200 km
+1
Level 72
Feb 9, 2023
The Mediterranean Sea is considered a part of the Atlantic ocean.
+1
Level 75
May 19, 2022
Would Brunei not fit on here?
+1
Level 72
Feb 9, 2023
Brunei is on the island of Borneo, so it is excluded.
+1
Level 76
Feb 28, 2024
I should've read the caveat defining what mainland means. Almost missed Equatorial Guinea because its capital's on an island