UV levels of the UK’s 50 most popular holiday destinations

How do you choose where you go on holiday? Most people will think about the weather, what there is to do and maybe how family-friendly the place is.

But few will think about UV levels, despite the potential harm they can do to our health.

Our latest research revealed the UV levels of the 50 countries Brits visited the most in 2019. The scale runs from 1 to 12, with anything over six meaning that your skin and eyes can be damaged if you’re not wearing the correct sun cream and eyewear. 

On this list of travel hotspots, Sri Lanka has the most dangerous radiation level, with an average score of 11.75. For comparison, the UK’s average is 3.08 – nearly four times lower. Among the popular European destinations, Cyprus has the highest UV level (6.33), followed by its Mediterranean neighbours Malta, Greece and Turkey. The safest countries are found in Scandinavia, with Finland boasting the lowest average (2.17) and Sweden, Norway and Denmark not far behind. 

Here are the UV ratings for Brits’ top 50 holiday destinations.

#CountryAverageUK visitors in 2019
1Sri Lanka11.7594,000
2Nigeria11.6723,000
3Thailand11.33389,000
4Barbados11.33166,000
5Mexico11.08653,000
6Brazil10.8373,000
7Jamaica10.75224,000
8Hong Kong10.08102,000
9United Arab Emirates 9.75 846,000
10India8.33411,000
11Egypt7.8385,000
12Israel7.58114,000
13Pakistan7.5850,000
14South Africa7.42253,000
15Australia6.83152,000
16Cyprus6.33878,000
17Morocco6.33680,000
18Japan6.17181,000
19Malta6.08725,000
20Tunisia5.92306,000
21Greece5.753,087,000
22USA5.582,899,000
23Turkey5.581,756,000
24New Zealand5.5051,000
25Portugal5.422,676,000
26Spain5.3315,836,000
27China5.17100,000
28Italy4.923,547,000
29Bulgaria4.83408,000
30Romania4.33202,000
31Switzerland4.25620,000
32Canada4.08232,000
33Hungary3.83491,000
34France3.757,123,000
35Austria3.75554,000
36Slovakia3.7567,000
37Luxembourg3.5823,000
38Belgium3.501,072,000
39Czech Republic3.50541,000
40Netherlands3.082,157,000
41Germany3.081,354,000
42Poland3.08819,000
43Republic of Ireland3.001,528,000
44Lithuania2.83123,000
45Russia2.7555,000
46Denmark2.67227,000
47Norway2.25236,000
48Sweden2.25183,000
49Finland2.17140,000
UK3.08N/A

Are you planning on going away this year? Make sure you pack a pair of UV-blocking sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun. Find your perfect pair here.

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