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September 4, 2017updated 08 Sep 2017 1:35pm

Rough Guides’ most beautiful countries in the world as chosen by readers

By Jack Rear

Some people might go on holiday to attend an event, or enjoy an experience, or just lounge by the pool.

But a traveller who really knows what they’re doing wants only one thing: to have their jaw-dropped by one of the most beautiful, awe-inspiring sights in the world.

Every country on Earth has its wonders.

Whether its Niagara Falls in Canada, the Northern Lights in the far North, Manhattan in the US, Botswana’s Okavango Delta, the white beaches of South East Asia, Uluru in Australia, or dawn in the New Forest of England, beauty can be found everywhere.

In fact, if you had to rank the most beautiful countries in the world, you’d be spoilt for choices.

Thankfully, you don’t have to.

Travel book company Rough Guide have asked their well-travelled readers to vote for the most beautiful countries on Earth and the results are surprising, but we’d be hard-pressed to disagree.

So, without further ado, here are Rough Guides’ most beautiful countries in the world.

20. Vietnam


19. Croatia


18. Ireland


17. Norway


16. Peru


15. Switzerland


14. Finland


13. India


12. Mexico


11. Slovenia


10. Wales


9. US


8. Iceland


7. England


6. Indonesia


5. South Africa


4. Italy


3. New Zealand


2. Canada


1. Scotland


To be fair, none of the options are particularly surprising. There’s some pretty incredible sights in all of them.

And the UK has been pretty lucky to have been nominated for all four of its constituent nations! Not bad at all!

So what makes Scotland the most beautiful country of them all? Well, according to Rough Guides, it’s the natural beauty of the landscape:

Who can deny that these wild beaches, deep lochs and craggy castles are some of the most wonderful and beautiful sights in the world?

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, revealed his enthusiasm for the verdict.

He hopes that the accolade will encourage more people to visit his country:

We are delighted that Scotland has received this remarkable accolade from Rough Guide readers, but of course it will not be a surprise to anyone who has encountered our wonderful country. From our awe-inspiring landscapes to our remarkable historic attractions, to our bustling but beautiful urban centres, Scotland takes people’s breaths away. Our latest campaign, the Spirit of Scotland, was based on feedback from visitors that they get a special feeling while in the country – whether it’s in the wilds of Glen Coe on a stormy day or taking part in a ceilidh on Burns’ Night – there is something different about Scotland that they can’t experience anywhere else in the world. Of course, with great beauty comes great responsibility and we urge both visitors and residents alike to respect Scotland’s natural assets to protect and preserve them for many generations to come.

Safe to say, if you want to find some beautiful sights, you might not have to look as far as you’d think!

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