If you’re struggling to decide on the perfect place to spend your summer vacation, here’s some good news: the hard work has already been done for you. Travelers from around the world chose the most beautiful countries of the year — and the list includes spots for either beach lovers, fans of hiking, or those craving a big city vibe.
Bright Sight picked 10 of these stunning destinations and rounded up facts totally explaining why they need to be on every tourist’s list. And it’s now clear why first-place holder, Scotland, is considered a top location for shooting scenic movies.
Peru (16th place)
This country is famous for its awesome festivals, Incan ruins, and natural wonders — like the Amazon rainforest, Lake Titicaca, and the Andes Mountains, to name a few.
Something to be aware of when visiting the iconic Machu Picchu: the site has become so popular, the government introduced new restrictions for admission. Visits are now more strictly timed, with tickets valid for 4 hour time slots only.
Finland (14th place)
Finland is often called the “land of a thousand lakes” and there are more than 180,000 of them there. Here nature lovers enjoy amazing island-hopping and long walks in gorgeous forests that, by the way, cover around 3/4 of the country’s land.
Bonus for budget travelers: Finland is more affordable than other Nordic countries.
India (13th place)
This country fascinates with the flavors of its food, its amazing beaches, and the diversity of its cultures.
In India, you have a chance to visit one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Varanasi, which is itself an experience. The number of temples in the city is incredible — there are more than 23,000.
Mexico (12th place)
Among the things tourists can’t resist in Mexico are sunny beaches and fantastic ancient sites — one of them, the 1,500-year-old Mayan city of Chichen Itza, is included on the list of the new 7 wonders of the world.
Chichen Itza is pretty famous for its unusual sound effects. Hand clapping in front of the pyramid of Kukulkan, pictured here, is said to create an echo that resembles the chirp of the quetzal, a sacred bird in Mayan culture.
Unites States of America (9th place)
Some of the million reasons that draw tourists to the US are its amazing beaches and national parks with wide variety of landscapes.
4 of the country’s national parks lie entirely north of the Arctic Circle. And one of them, the Gates of the Arctic National Park in Alaska, is among the wildest places on the continent. Paved roads and trails just don’t exist here.
Iceland (8th place)
Postcard-like sights are all around you here. Unique traditions and the charismatic capital, Reykjavik, make travelers go “Wow.”
Spotting the northern lights here is hard to forget: the fact that Iceland is located so close to the Arctic Circle makes it one of the best places in the world for this type of adventure. Auroras are usually best seen from the middle of September until early April.
South Africa (5th place)
Travelers come to South Africa for the iconic views from the top of Table Mountain, their unique wine, the perfect beach time, and a safari.
Kruger National Park will blow every adventure lover’s mind. As one of the largest game reserves on the continent, it covers an area of over 7,500 square miles. This place is home to thousands of elephants, African buffalo, and leopards.
New Zealand (3rd place)
Those who survive the long-haul flight to New Zealand will be rewarded with the diversity of their local flora and fauna.
This country is home to stunning hills, beaches, waterfalls, and world-famous fjords — the largest of them, the Tasman Glacier, is about 17 miles long, covering an area of 39 square miles. A boat ride here allows you to take a fantastically close look at the icebergs.
Canada (2nd place)
Vibrant cities and incredible national parks are among Canada’s famous highlights. The largest national park of the country, Wood Buffalo National Park, is bigger than the country of Switzerland, covering an area of about 17,300 square miles in the northern Alberta and southern Northwest Territories.
Canada’s mountains hide dozens of incredible spots for winter activities and have long become a magnet for skiers and snowboarders.
Scotland (1st place)
Travelers flock to Scotland to see stunning castles, seemingly infinite wild beaches, and beautiful lochs. It’s no wonder biking and hiking are considered must do activities here. Long distance walking routes, like the West Highland Way, the Great Glen Way, and the Southern Upland Way, are among the best in the world for experienced hikers.
World-famous filmmakers adore Scotland’s natural beauty too. Skyfall, Braveheart, Prometheus, and dozens of other iconic movies were shot here.
Have you been lucky enough to check out any of these incredible spots? Do you agree with these travelers’ choices? Let’s create our own country rating in the comments.
Preview photo credit depositphotos.com