WONDERFUL Wales. We knew that all along didn't we.

From the fair isle of Anglesey and the wilds of Snowdonia down to the tip of the Mumbles in the south with everything packed in between it is no wonder that the principality has been named in the top 10 most beautiful countries in the world.

That is according to a list voted for by readers of the renowned Rough Guides series' social media channels.

Rough Guides asked travellers to vote for those countries they believed to be the most beautiful and there were plenty ready to heap praise on Wales.

Above: Moelfre

With more votes than tourist hot spots such as Vietnam, Switzerland and India, Wales was placed halfway in a top 20 list compiled by the publishers of the guide book which has been revered by tourists young and old as well as an army of backpackers and inter railers over the decades.

Rough Guides said: "There’s a lot of love for this country among our readers – and many of us have nostalgic memories of summer holidays along the coast of Wales. With beaches that could rival the Mediterranean (on sunny days at least), plus a slew of historic castles, mountains to climb, coast paths to walk, and of course, buttered welshcakes to eat, there's a host of entertaining ways to spend your days."

The lure of Snowdonia's rugged peaks, lakes and trails and picture postcard resorts such as Tenby, Beaumaris and Aberaeron are well known across the world. But Wales is full of many hidden gems that are well documented by the Rough Guides books that often focus on attractions off the beaten track.

Above: The 13th Century walls at the rear entrance of Ruthin Castle

For the discerning - let's face it we don't want too many visiting - there's a walk across the sands at Porthdinllaen near Nefyn to the Ty Coch inn; a mountain bike ride in Llandegla; historic Ruthin; a multitude of varied coastline and beaches such as Dinas Dinlle, Moelfre and Church Bay in the north while heading down south Aberporth, Llangrannog and Barafundle Bay stand out far from the madding crowd.

Wales is the home of castles and history seeps out of well-preserved fortifications such as Harlech, Beaumaris and Caernarfon to the ruins of the castles of the Welsh princes at Criccieth and Ewloe.

It is, of course, not just a north-south divide in terms of beauty. The heavily populated areas of Cardiff, Newport and Swansea in the south have all benefited from major investment which have highlighted their tourism potential in the past decade.

Above: The stunning Brecon Beacons

But the Brecon Beacons, including the loftiest southern peak Pen Y Fan, Three Cliffs Bay on the Gower and Tintern Abbey and the Wye Valley near Monmouth all demonstrate that Wales is a sight for sore eyes from top to bottom, Rough Guide to Wales is now in its ninth edition.

Scotland's wild beaches, deep lochs and craggy castles earned it top spot in the publisher's list with Canada in second and New Zealand third. England was placed seventh.

The top 20 most beautiful places in the world:

1. Scotland

2. Canada

3. New Zealand

4. Italy

5. South Africa

6. Indonesia

7. England

8. Iceland

9. The United States of America

10. Wales

11. Slovenia

12. Mexico

13. India

14. Finland

15. Switzerland

16. Peru

17. Norway

18. Ireland

19. Croatia

20. Vietnam