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
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0118 GMT (0918 HKT)
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
These quirky and beautiful subway stops make standing cheek-to-cheek with 45 strangers almost seem fun.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1314 GMT (2114 HKT)
A scene from a desert safari in Dubai
Luxury vintage Land Rover tours explore Bedouin backwaters without bashing up precious dunes.
November 20, 2014 -- Updated 0250 GMT (1050 HKT)
Cities around the world have closed the brew gap, but the Oregon city's innovative scene continues to lead the beer parade.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 2249 GMT (0649 HKT)
From gourmet hotdogs to Sevillian tapas, the food served in these London restaurants is worth lining up for.
November 20, 2014 -- Updated 1545 GMT (2345 HKT)
Plans are underway to build the world's tallest -- and quite possibly most terrifying -- roller coaster at an Orlando, Florida, theme park due to open in 2017.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 1932 GMT (0332 HKT)
The 7th Annual Cruise Critic Editors' Picks Awards highlight the top cruise lines for North American travelers in 18 categories.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 0206 GMT (1006 HKT)
Joining the ranks of pilgrims tackling Adam's Peak rewards with a spiritual awakening, or at least a stunning sunrise.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 1313 GMT (2113 HKT)
The cover of Norway's new passport design
Beautifully designed travel document reveals image of Northern Lights when placed under UV light.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 0525 GMT (1325 HKT)
Properties in the Italian village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio have been converted into a high end hotel spread through the village.
New concept offering luxury rooms in ancient dwellings helps spare beautiful villages from falling into ruin.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 2247 GMT (0647 HKT)
Are you the butcher or the cattle? Tainted meat-obsessed fans are following the tracks of their favorite "Walking Dead" survivors.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 0521 GMT (1321 HKT)
People never cease to find amazing ways to make water more incredible than it already is. Here are some powerful examples
ADVERTISEMENT