Scottish Highlands

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Scotland has been voted the most beautiful country in the world by the readers of Rough Guides. The famously wild and idyllic country beat Canada to the top spot. A few of the countries fortunate enough to make the top 20 included New Zealand, Italy and Peru.

In the list, Rough Guides said: “And finally, the world’s most beautiful country is revealed: Scotland. Who can deny that these wild beaches, deep lochs and craggy castles are some of the most wonderful and beautiful sights in the world?”

From the pretty pastel cottages lining the waterfront in Portree on the Isle of Skye, to the spectacular stone architecture and cobbled streets of Edinburgh, it’s easy to see why Scotland features as a favourite among travellers. Many visit the Highlands and Outer Hebrides on a Fred. Olsen cruise holiday to take in the country’s rugged yet beautiful sights.

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, told The Independent that he felt the title would attract more visitors to the country. He said: “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.”

Mr Roughead went on to explain why the country makes such an impression on visitors: “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.”

Here is the full list of the 20 most beautiful countries in the world, as voted for by Rough Guides readers:

  1. Scotland
  2. Canada
  3. New Zealand
  4. Italy
  5. South Africa
  6. Indonesia
  7. England
  8. Iceland
  9. USA
  10. Wales
  11. Slovenia
  12. Mexico
  13. India
  14. Finland
  15. Switzerland
  16. Peru
  17. Norway
  18. Ireland
  19. Croatia
  20.  Vietnam

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