Which countries have discontinuous territory?

Which countries have territory, occupying a common landmass, which is discontinuous, as Alaska is from the rest of the United States? I’d also be interested in political subdivisions that may be smaller than countries, such as the state of Michigan. Island chains or territory separated only by a body of water aren’t what I’m looking for. Doesn’t Russia still control some territory that is separated from its main expanse by some now-independent states? This seems to be uncommon enough to be interesting, and I’d like to learn about how this happens in individual cases.

Off the top of my head- Spain has a small enclave on the coast of Morocco; South Africa has Walvis Bay, surrounded by Namibia.

Spain is rather a stretch, though I suppose Eurasia and Africa are, technically, a single common land mass.

Traditionally, Flintshire (a division of Wales, in turn a part of the U.K.) is one.
Angola has Cabinda.
Azerbaijan has Naxcivan or some such (I can see it in the Wikipedia Geography of Azerbaijan article, but it’s hard to read).


UK and the Falklands?

Per the terms of the OP, the Falklands don’t count since they’re separated from Britain only by a (rather large) body of water. However, Britain’s overseas territories/dependencies also include Gilbraltar, Bermuda, the Caymans, Anguilla, Monserrat, Diego Garcia, Pitcairn Island, Ascension Island, Tristan De Cunha, the South Sandwich Islands and South Georgia, and the Turks and Caicos, most of which have somebody else’s sovereign territory in between them and the UK.

Plus some sovereign territory on Cyprus, and in Antarctica.

If we’re not counting islands, then France has French Guiana (if we are counting islands, France has lots of Carribbean and Oceanic island territories).

Pakistan as originally constituted was made up of the West wing and the East wing, which were separated by a couple thousand miles of India. The east wing is now the sovereign nation of Bangladesh.

The US also has the Northwest Angle, a discontinuous piece of Minnesota divided by Manitoba - which meets both the main request of the OP, and the subsidiary request, for examples of discontinuous sub-divisions.

By the OP definition, Michigan is not discontinuous. You’d need to be very strict about the definition to get unambiguous answers. How about: having territory that cannot be reached without passing through the territory of some other state (by land or sea). Then the US doesn’t count because you can get to Alaska and Hawaii by sea. If you add “or international waters” then the US, and many nations with island territories, would count.

I think the United Arab Eremites has some exclaves, but I’m too lazy to Wiki it.

The Netherlands and Belgium both qualify. There are parts of the Netherlands completely surrounded by parts of Belgium which are completely surrounded by the Netherlands.


See also this list


The UAE doesn’t have any of its own non-contiguous territory, but its territory separates Oman from its non-contiguous bit, the Mussandam peninsula.

There are quite a few towns which are surrounded by other nations. If you look around Switzerland you see this. Bangladesh and India still have some towns.

Walvis Bay was given back to Namibia in 1994. I find things like part of Manhattan is now connected directly to the rest of the Bronx.

The Wikipedia gives tons of example of such
though I’m not sure what the OP wants exactly

Wait, why not? From the Upper Peninsula, you can go through Wisconsin, Illinois, and then Indiana, and then you can cross into the Lower Peninsula.

The OP said, “…territory separated only by a body of water aren’t what I’m looking for.” Can’t you get to the UP over water? Maybe I’m misunderstanding.

Yes, the OP said “only by a body of water”. You can also get to the UP by land.

Someone else already submitted Baarle-Nassau, Netherlands/Baarle-Hertog, Belgium, my favorite example of this kind of border anomaly. There’s a similar situation along the border of India and Bangladesh, with little bits of India in Bangladesh and little bits of Bangladesh in India. Some of these little bits themselves contain even littler bits of the parent country.

Kaliningrad has already been mentioned, but there’s also Sankovo-Medvezhye which consists of two small villages within Belarus. It’s been abandoned since 1986 due to contamination from Chernobyl.

My WAG is that Lower 48 -> Hawaaii doesn’t count (no foreign country in the way), but Lower 48 -> Alasaka counts (Canada in the way)

There are lots of places in the US where a part of a state is separate from the state because of the Mississippi changing course over time.

How about, you can get to it on land by passing through other countries, but you can’t get to it on land without passing through other countries? By this definition, Alaska would count, which seems to be what the OP is looking for.

Besides Alaska and the Northwest Angle, the US also has Point Roberts, Washington.

This is exactly the situation I was thinking of. I made the body-of-water exclusion because any island anywhere which is not an independant country would otherwise fit. That’s clearly not an interesting case. Alaska counts, Hawaii doesn’t, and Michigan counts unless I can walk from one portion to the other without stepping foot outside of Michigan along the way. I don’t think that’s the case, maybe I’m mistaken. I love the Baarle example, that’s some fantastic history.