Ireland has been named as one of the 20 most beautiful countries in the world by readers of travel bible Rough Guides.
When you consider the number of areas of natural beauty Ireland has to offer – from Donegal to Kerry, from Antrim to Galway – it shouldn’t come as any big surprise.
The many historical sites, both religious and political, also add to the allure of the country for visitors from all around the world.
Rough Guide – who are renowned for their travel books – asked their readers to vote for the most beautiful country on the planet in 2017.
Out of 206 countries, Ireland came in at a very respectable number 18.
Rough Guide said of Ireland: “Among the romantic preconceptions visitors bring to Ireland, it is their expectations of the landscape that are most likely to be fulfilled.”
Our neighbours to the east did even better with England and Wales featuring in the top ten, while Scotland was named as the most beautiful country in the world.
The USA and Canada both finished high in the list at numbers nine and two respectively.
Here is the top 20, according to Rough Guide readers.
5. South Africa
3. New Zealand
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Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling