Traveling allows us to broaden our horizons, gain new perspectives, and create unforgettable memories. Some people head to new places to experience the culture or cuisine, but many travel for the other-worldly views that other countries are home to. If you’re one of those people on the hunt for mesmerizing views, you’ll want to add the most beautiful countries in the world (or at least their most picturesque locations) to your bucket list.
Traveling is also great for our health! A recent survey found that the average person has been on six vacations purely for leisure and relaxation in their life and is longing for more. Researchers say there is a noticeable increase in happiness and well-being among frequent travelers compared to those who don’t take any kind of long-distance vacation.
For starters, the U.S. is home to some of the most beautiful scenic destinations in the world! From the cobblestone streets of Charleston and the stunning Niagara Falls, to the beautiful vineyards of Napa Valley California or the dreamy snow covered hills of Aspen Colorado, America has just about every terrain imaginable. Not to mention the tropical paradise of virtually every beach in Hawaii!
And if you’re looking to travel the world, there are certainly many breath-taking places to visit! A recent study suggests that Banff National Park in Canada might be the prettiest place on Earth. Touropia describes Banff as, “filled with jaw-dropping scenery, from glistening multi-colored lakes and dramatic canyons to beautiful viewpoints and majestic waterfalls.” Likewise, Italy harbors some of the most beautiful spots in the world! From the gorgeous architecture of Milan to the lovely “floating city,” Italy has it all! “Together with its marble-inlaid bell tower by Giotto and the octagonal Baptistery with its incomparable bronze doors by Ghiberti, this is one of the world’s finest ensembles of Renaissance art,” writes Planetware in a description of Venice, Italy.
Greece is also considered one of those “bucket-list” destinations! A recent article describes Santorini, Greece, as, “the perfect destination for those looking for a truly romantic getaway. Santorini has been a popular honeymoon destination for centuries with its stunning views of the Aegean Sea and its iconic white-washed buildings.” Whether it’s the vibrant colors of a bustling city or the serene landscapes of a remote island, every place has something special to offer.
Ready to plan your next trip? StudyFinds examined ten expert travel sites to find the consensus most beautiful countries in the world! From our sources, we determined the top five regions, listing the most praised areas to visit. Did your favorite destination not make this list? Add it in the comments below and let us know where we should go on our next adventure!
The List: Most Beautiful Countries in the World, According to Experts
1. United States
If you’re looking for some of the most breathtaking natural wonders in the world, look no further than the United States. The Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona is a must-see, with its awe-inspiring views of the massive canyon carved by the Colorado River. Offering some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet, the Grand Canyon truly merits the term “breathtaking,” says Travel + Leisure. “The vast geologic wonderland, one mile deep and up to 18 miles across, displays countless layers of colorful rock and practically hypnotic vistas.”
And don’t forget about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, which boasts some of the most beautiful forests and waterfalls in the country. “Within the Blue Ridge Mountains are two large national parks: The Shenandoah and the Great Smoky Mountains,” adds Vacation Idea. “The best way to enjoy and get to know Blue Ridge is by taking the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469-mile-long beautiful scenic highway that runs along the ridge together with the renowned Appalachian Trail and which connects the two parks.”
Road & Track writes, “One of the most popular sections is the 80-mile stretch that starts out in the bohemian city of Asheville and passes the parkway’s highest peaks, including Mount Pisgah and Balsam Knob, before ending in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.”
These two national parks are just a few examples of the incredible beauty that can be found in the United States. Whether you’re a nature lover or just looking for a unique travel experience, these destinations are sure to leave you in awe. So why not plan a trip to one of these amazing locations and experience the natural wonders of the USA for yourself?
Two of the most stunning destinations in Italy are Venice and the Amalfi Coast. Venice is a city built on water, with its iconic canals and bridges. The city is a romantic and enchanting destination that draws visitors from all over the world. “As one of the bridges that spans the impressive Grand Canal, the Ponte di Rialto is undoubtedly the most famous and iconic,” says The Crazy Tourist. “The detail and design of the bridge is simply beautiful and its symmetry perfectly frames the grand canal.”
“If traversing the canals with a be-striped gondolier sounds unbearably touristy, stick to the sidewalks and spectacular arched bridges to get your fill of this truly unique, wildly romantic floating city,” writes Harpers Bazaar.”
With three Italian cities on their list, Via Travelers can’t help but agree! “When it comes to beautiful places, it’s hard to top Venice, Italy.” Alongside Cinque Terre and Capri, Venice is one of the most picturesque travel destinations in the world!
The Amalfi Coast, on the other hand, is a stretch of coastline in southern Italy that offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea. The colorful houses perched on the cliffs, the turquoise waters, and the lush greenery make it a paradise on earth. Before visiting Positano, I thought the Cinque Terre was the most beautiful place in Italy,” adds The Planet D. “But when I saw the plunging coastal cliffs of the Amalfi Coast as we drove to Positano, I was floored by its dramatic views.”
House Beautiful concludes: “Imagine gazing out over these sweeping views with a limoncello in your hand. Now that’s amore. But beautiful sights aside, you’ll also get to partake in plenty of outdoor activities and cultural experiences (Pompei! Vila Jovis!), whether you go island hopping to Ischia and Capri or stay on the coastline in Positano, Sorrento, and Naples.”
Both Venice and the Amalfi Coast offer unique experiences that cannot be found anywhere else. If you are looking for a truly unforgettable vacation, then Venice and the Amalfi Coast should be at the top of your list. These two destinations are not only beautiful but also rich in history and culture.
From the scenic Sa Pa Valley waterfall to the picturesque rice terraces, Vietnam may be one of the most underrated travel destinations. One of the must-visit spots is Ha Long Bay. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site, boasts stunning limestone cliffs and emerald waters. Visitors can take a cruise to explore the bay and marvel at the natural beauty of the area. “This majestic destination consists of thousands of jagged limestone islands emerging out of a bright emerald sea, forming a stunning landscape like no other,” Wander With Alex writes. “It’s not difficult to see why it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994, as its breathtaking beauty never fails to leave you mesmerized and longing for more.”
“With hundreds of jungle-covered karsts springing out of emerald green waters, Ha Long Bay is a photographer’s dream,” adds Travel + Leisure. “Hop on a boat or kayak to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s beautiful islands and surreal cave systems.”
The Crazy Tourist adds: “After an onboard lunch and cruise back to the pier, you’ll embark on a private cruise from which you’ll see many of the amazing geological features among the small islands – many of which have interesting names and shapes that resemble animals.”
This travel destination offers a glimpse into the natural beauty and cultural richness of Vietnam. So, if you’re looking for a place to escape and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, then Ha Long Bay should be at the top of your list!
Canada is home to some of the most stunning natural landscapes in the world, and Banff National Park and Peyto Lake are no exception. Nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park is a true gem. With its crystal-clear lakes, towering mountains, and abundant wildlife, it’s no wonder why Banff is a popular destination for nature lovers.
“The glacial lakes in Canada’s first national park have some of the bluest water you’ve ever seen,” says Harpers Bazaar. “Even if you’re not particularly outdoorsy, you can still admire the views from one of the cozy and luxurious lakeside lodges throughout the park, like the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.”
“The best time to see the Marvel Lake’s vibrant turquoise hue—created by sunlight reflecting off the rock floor—is July and August,” adds House Beautiful. “But Banff is also home to three world-class ski resorts and is lovely during the winter.”
One of the most iconic sights in Banff is Peyto Lake, known for its vibrant turquoise color that is caused by the glacial rock flour that flows into the lake. The view from the overlook is simply breathtaking and is a must-see for anyone visiting Banff National Park. Not only is the scenery stunning, but the area is also home to a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, skiing, and camping. “It’s a popular sightseeing destination for tourists who also want to explore the local mountain area, with plenty of hikes and impressive driving routes,” says Forbes.
If you’re looking for a destination that combines stunning natural beauty with rich history and culture, Greece’s Santorini and Thessaly regions should be at the top of your list. Santorini, with its iconic white-washed buildings perched atop dramatic cliffs overlooking the Aegean Sea, is a must-see for any traveler. The island’s volcanic origins have created unique black and red sand beaches, while its ancient ruins and charming villages offer a glimpse into Greece’s rich past. And let’s not forget the world-renowned sunsets, which are truly a sight to behold.
“Located on top of a cliff with a spectacular view of the Palea volcano, Nea Kameni, and the island of Thirassia, Oia is the most popular and arguably the most beautiful of all the picturesque villages of the Greek island of Santorini,” adds Vacation Idea. “While the village has its share of taverns, souvenir shops, and cafes, Oia is more quiet and laid-back than busy Fira and most people enjoy its quaint beauty by slowly exploring its narrow streets. Stroll through the village’s small port of Ammoudi by descending 300 steps down the cliff, or visit colorful galleries showcasing art from the many artists who fell in love with the village and made it their home. Oia, Santorini is considered by many one of the prettiest places in the world.”
In Thessaly, you’ll find a different kind of beauty – one that is lush and green, with soaring mountains and rushing rivers. The region is home to the stunning Meteora monasteries, perched precariously atop towering rock formations, as well as the legendary Mount Olympus, home of the ancient Greek gods. “A truly fantastical dreamscape, the mountains and boulders of Meteora offer some truly unbelievable and beautiful sights,” writes The Crazy Tourist. “The captivating region is famed for its Byzantine-era monasteries that sit precariously atop rocky outcrops overlooking the hills of Thessaly.” But Thessaly is not just about natural beauty – it’s also a foodie’s paradise, with a rich culinary tradition that includes local specialties like tsipouro and bougatsa.
You might also be interested in:
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- Travel + Leisure
- Vacation Idea
- Road & Track
- The Crazy Tourist
- The Planet D
- Via Travelers
- Harpers Bazaar
- House Beautiful
- Wander With Alex
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations