Skip to main content

And the world's best island is ...

By CNN Staff
February 21, 2014 -- Updated 0240 GMT (1040 HKT)
Ambergris Caye, in Belize -- known for its beautiful beaches, limestone caves and tropical rainforest -- won the TripAdvisor top spot for the second year running. Ambergris Caye, in Belize -- known for its beautiful beaches, limestone caves and tropical rainforest -- won the TripAdvisor top spot for the second year running.
HIDE CAPTION
Island No. 1
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Lewis and Harris, Scotland
Naxos, Greece
Easter Island, Chile
Chincoteague, Virginia
Maui, Hawaii
Milos, Greece
Capri, Italy
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ambergris Caye wins TripAdvisor best island award for second year running
  • Scotland's Harris and Lewis is new entrant at no. 5
  • Chincoteague, with its wild ponies, and San Juan island among U.S. top 10

(CNN) -- Ambergris Caye, in Belize, has held on to the title of world's No. 1 island for the second year running in awards by the travel review site TripAdvisor.

The island is acclaimed not only for its beaches but for its coral reef -- the second largest in the world -- limestone caves, and tracts of tropical rainforest dotted with waterfalls.

Islands in Polynesia (Bora Bora), Greece (Naxos) and Thailand (Ko Tao), as well as Marco Island, off Florida, were other winners in the top 10 global list.

Perhaps less obvious postcard-rack material, the Scottish island of Harris and Lewis ranked no. 5 worldwide and top among European islands.

Alastair Lockett, from the Hebridean island's tourist board, was not at all surprised by the accolade.

With its "pure white sand" and "turquoise water," Harris and Lewis -- which ranked nowhere in last year's top 10 -- actually "looks Caribbean," he told CNN.

Its "accessible remoteness" and "sense of space" were what drew people to the island, he said.

Chincoteague: wild horses could drag you there.
Chincoteague: wild horses could drag you there.

Best U.S. islands

Among the 10 best islands in the United States -- aside from Marco Island, at No. 1 -- were Chincoteague, in Virginia, known for its wild ponies, and San Juan island, in Washington, acclaimed for its orca-sighting.

Mauii, a beautiful possible shoe-in from Hawaii, was another U.S. winner, as was the "golfer's paradise" of Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Trailing in the wake of Lewis and Harris among 10 best European islands was Gozo, Malta; Santorini and Cephalonia, among a clutch of Greek islands; and Mull and Mainland, the largest of the Orkney Islands -- making up a Scottish trio.

TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice Island awards are based on the most highly rated hotels, restaurants and attractions listed for each island on the website during a 12-month period.

MORE: 7 secret Caribbean islands

The top 10 islands in the world were:

1. Ambergris Caye, Belize

2. Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

3. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

4. Marco Island, Florida

5. Lewis and Harris, Scotland, United Kingdom

6. Naxos, Greece

7. Aitutaki, Cook Islands

8. Nosy Be, Madagascar

9. Easter Island, Chile

10. Ko Tao, Thailand

Top 10 islands in the U.S.

1. Marco Island, Florida

2. Chincoteague Island, Virginia

3. Anna Maria Island, Florida

4. San Juan Island, Washington

5. Maui, Hawaii

6. Kauai, Hawaii

7. Island of Hawaii, Hawaii

8. Nantucket, Massachusetts

9. Hilton Head, South Carolina

10. Key West, Florida

Top 10 Islands in Europe

1. Lewis and Harris, Scotland, United Kingdom

2. Naxos, Greece

3. Gozo, Malta

4. Mainland, Orkney Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom

5. Milos, Greece

6. Cephalonia, Greece

7. Santorini, Greece

8. Capri, Italy

9. Isle of Mull, Scotland, United Kingdom

10. Paros, Greece

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 0256 GMT (1056 HKT)
Journals, luggage tags, Panama hats? Yawn. We've got a selection of gifts travelers will actually use.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 1226 GMT (2026 HKT)
Global events, new attractions and anniversary celebrations will put these destinations on travel radars next year. Question is, which one(s) to visit?
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
Of all Christmas traditions out there, one has an All-American pedigree: electric Christmas tree lights.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it's never looked better.
December 17, 2014 -- Updated 1004 GMT (1804 HKT)
.
Looking for snow porn? This helicopter ski adventure will fly you into the Coast Mountains for the freshest runs.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1519 GMT (2319 HKT)
From Singapore to Norway, there are plenty of reasons to plan your next trip around a fabulous hotel opening its doors next year.
December 17, 2014 -- Updated 0925 GMT (1725 HKT)
Step aside Mount Everest, this mountain country is home to cool cafes, crazy drinks and ancient Buddhist tradition.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
Nonprofit Ethical Traveler has released its annual list of the developing countries doing the most to promote human rights and preserve their environments.
December 11, 2014 -- Updated 1036 GMT (1836 HKT)
These waterfront watering holes have killer ocean views, creative drinks and the mahalo vibe we demand.
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 2038 GMT (0438 HKT)
Can't wait to book your ticket to Indianapolis and Oakland? The venerable guidebook is right there with you
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 0625 GMT (1425 HKT)
By helicopter, snowmobile and big-wheel truck across some of the world's most volatile landscapes.
December 9, 2014 -- Updated 2142 GMT (0542 HKT)
Construction begins on a new Singapore airport complex that could make delays and layovers a pleasure.
December 9, 2014 -- Updated 1441 GMT (2241 HKT)
Inflight chatterboxes are annoying but they're not the worst violators of onboard etiquette, according to an Expedia study.
ADVERTISEMENT