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The most beautiful countries in the world, according to actual travelers

The most beautiful countries, according to real people.

Roys Peak New Zealand
timbri97 / Pixabay

When it comes to choosing the perfect vacation spot, who better to guide you than those who have been there and experienced it firsthand? Instead of relying on arbitrary rankings from so-called “experts,” why not turn to actual travelers for their insights? Rough Guides recently conducted a survey where their readers voted on the most beautiful countries in the world. The results are in, with 20 breathtaking destinations making the list. Here are some of the top choices that could inspire your next unforgettable vacation. 

Japan

Cherry Blossoms Japan
morn_japan / Pixabay

Coming in at number 20 on the list, Japan is easily one of the most beautiful countries in the world. From the beautiful temples of Kyoto to the iconic cherry blossoms in spring to the bustling streets of Tokyo and the serene landscapes of Hokkaido, Japan offers a wide range of stunning scenes. Japan does a great job blending ancient history with modernity, offering travelers a unique experience. 

Portugal

Portugal
Julius_Silver / Pixabay

Portugal’s allure stems from its captivating coastal landscapes, charming cities, and friendly citizens. Whether you’re visiting the warm beaches of the Algarve or the picturesque vineyards of the Douro Valley, Portugal offers natural beauty at every turn. Lisbon’s busy streets, Porto’s riverside neighborhoods, and Cascais’ historical sites showcase the country’s rich heritage. Portugal’s warm climate, delectable cuisine, and welcoming locals further enhance its appeal, making it a must-visit destination for travelers from all over the world.

India

A picturesque mosque in India
Jeswin Thomas / Pexels

India’s beauty is unparalleled, and it offers a wide array of landscapes and cultural experiences. As one traveler noted in the study, “the different areas of India offer different things—lush rainforest in the south and the beautiful Himalayas in the north.” From the vibrant deserts of Rajasthan to the country’s majestic temples, India captivates travelers with its diversity. 

Iceland

Iceland
ReneGossner / Pixabay

Iceland’s otherworldly beauty helped the country snag the spot of number 13 on the list. The country’s dramatic landscapes include waterfalls, black sand beaches, and striking volcanic formations. The soothing hot springs, like the famous Blue Lagoon, offer relaxation amidst the rugged terrain. In the winter, the night sky lights up with the mesmerizing Northern Lights, providing an unforgettable spectacle for visitors. 

Chile

Two people hiking the W Trek in Chile, mountains in the background.
Toomas Tartes / Unsplash

Chile stands out as one of the world’s most beautiful countries and was one of the few South American destinations to make the list. Chile’s unique geography, with its extensive coastline, deserts, and mountains, provides travelers with a wide array of landscapes to experience. Travelers can check out the mystical moai statues of Easter Island and the colorful streets of Valparaiso. In the south, Patagonia’s scenery is complete with towering peaks, sparkling glaciers, and pristine lakes, perfect for nature lovers.  

Greece

Ermoupoli, Greece
gatsi / Adobe Stock

It’s no surprise that Greece is among the most beautiful countries in the world, as it consistently ranks as a top travel destination. The iconic white buildings of Santorini set against the deep blue of the Mediterranean Sea create scenes that are fit for a postcard. Greece’s natural beauty is matched by its vibrant culture. The local cuisine, with its fresh ingredients, is an art form in itself and adds to the overall allure. From the ancient ruins of Athens to the sunny island of Mykonos, Greece offers an unforgettable travel experience.  

Norway

Norway
trondmyhre4 / Pixabay

The beauty of Norway is unrivaled, earning its spot as one of the world’s most stunning countries. Ranked at number 7, its landscapes are both breathtaking and diverse. As one reader put it, “There are mountains, fjords, waterfalls, and breathtaking views, and everything is so clean and beautiful!” Whether exploring the vibrant city of Oslo, witnessing the Northern Lights in the Arctic Circle, or hiking the trails of the country’s west coast, Norway promises a pristine and unforgettable experience for travelers. 

France

Nice France
Charlottees / Pixabay

France came in at number 5 on the list, securing its spot as one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Paris, its iconic capital, is known for its romantic charm and timeless landmarks like the Louvre Museum and the Eiffel Tower. Beyond this popular city, the French countryside offers rolling vineyards, cozy villages, and historic castles. As the largest country in the EU, France offers something for everyone. From the beautiful beaches of Saint-Tropez to the snow-capped peaks of the French Alps, France has it all. 

Canada

Toronto Canada
geraldfriedrich2 / Pixabay

Canada stands out as one of the world’s most beautiful countries, coming in at number 3 on the list. This gorgeous country is widely recognized for its natural wonders. Niagara Falls, located just across the U.S. border, hosts around 12 million visitors every year. Banff National Park, located in the Canadian Rockies, offers turquoise lakes and stunning mountain vistas. Vibrant cities like Toronto and Vancouver add to Canada’s charm with their stunning waterfronts and bustling urban life. 

New Zealand

south island new zeland
ARUTTHAPHON POOLSAWASD / Getty Images

Coming in at number 1 on the list is the beautiful country of New Zealand. New Zealand’s top ranking as the most beautiful country is well-deserved. From the towering peaks of the Southern Alps to the beaches and fjords of the South Island, New Zealand offers a wide range of natural attractions for visitors to check out. Readers praised its “amazing scenery” and appreciated the country’s ability to offer everything from lush rainforests to rugged coastlines. 

All of the most beautiful countries in the world

Mougins France
dkatana / Pixabay

These aren’t all of the countries that made the list. Here is the full docket of the top 20 most beautiful countries in the world.

  1. New Zealand
  2. Italy
  3. Canada
  4. Switzerland
  5. France
  6. United Kingdom
  7. Norway
  8. Australia
  9. Greece
  10. South Africa
  11. USA
  12. Chile
  13. Iceland
  14. Argentina
  15. Croatia
  16. India
  17. Indonesia
  18. Portugal
  19. Slovenia
  20. Japan
Amanda Teague
Amanda, an accomplished freelance writer with four years of experience, is a dedicated explorer of both the world and the…
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