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Mount Cook New Zealand
Photograph: Shutterstock

This country has been voted the world’s most beautiful

It beat Italy, Canada and Switzerland to the top spot

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly

From villages and valleys to castles and cliffs, the planet is chock-full of beautiful places – but which country can lay claim to being the most gorgeous on the planet? 

Rough Guides, the online trip-planning company, asked its readers to vote on where they thought were the world’s most beautiful countries, and the results are in. 

Claiming the number one spot is (drum roll, please!) New Zealand. The island nation is loved particularly for ‘the contrast in scenery and beauty to be found in the people and culture’, according to Rough Guide’s readers. 

The country is made up of around 600 islands, and boasts a huge variety when it comes to scenery, from knockout beaches like Maitai Bay in Northland to majestic peaks such as Mount Taranaki. And then there’s its roster of great cities, like Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, which are all set in some pretty glorious surroundings. 

In second place was Italy, which has everything from picturesque mountain ranges and pretty islands to lovely beaches and absolutely glorious cities. In third place was Canada, and in fourth it was Switzerland – have a look at the rest of the list below. 

The 20 most beautiful countries in the world, according to Rough Guides

  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

You can read about why each country was selected by Rough Guides readers on their website here

Picture-perfect travel spots

For more on the world’s most beautiful places, check out our round-ups of the world’s prettiest small townsmajestic mountains and stunning beaches

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