Travel + Leisure readers name 15 best islands for 2018

Top three spots belong to Indonesia, while Philippines’ Cebu and Palawan dropped down the list

If you prefer to be separated from the world by the sea on all sides, now you know where to head.

Java, Indonesia

Indonesia has won the survey with Java, Bali and Lombok being on top three places — Shutterstock
Indonesia has won the survey with Java, Bali and Lombok taking the top three places – Shutterstock

A popular magazine for adventurers and holidaymakers, Travel + Leisure, has analysed the opinions of their readers in an annual survey asking about the best places in the world. The participants shared their opinions on the best cities, airlines, spas, cruise ships and, mainly, islands.

And according to their readers, this year’s three top islands belong to one single country – Indonesia. Its main island, Java, received an overall score of 95.28 per cent, which makes it the most desired island in the world.

Maldives

With crystal clear water and snow white sand it is no wonder why the Maldives are a popular honeymoon destination  — Shutterstock
With crystal clear water and snow white sand it is no wonder the Maldives are a popular honeymoon destination – Shutterstock

“Celebrated for its ancient culture, breathtaking vistas, and UNESCO World Heritage sites like the Borobudur Temple Compounds, the island also offers the opportunity to indulge in modernity (five-star hotels abound),” Travel + Leisure said.

“Waterfalls, volcanoes, protected parks, and white-sand beaches also allow visitors to get away from the thrum.”

Popular holiday destination, Bali, was named second while Lombok third. 

Palawan, Philippines

Palawan used to rule the ranking over past years. This time, it scored 6th position — Shutterstock
Palawan used to rule the rankings. This time, it scored 6th position – Shutterstock

Fourth place belongs to the tropical paradise of Maldives. With the bluest water and the whitest sand, it is no wonder why this favourite honeymoon destination scored so high and why it is popular among our readers.

Last year’s winner which also topped the Travel + Leisure list in 2013, Palawan island in the Philippines, dropped down this year to the overall sixth position followed by Mauritius and Philippines’ another iconic island, Cebu.

Páros, Greece

Greece can never be missed in such listicle, this time represented by Páros — Shutterstock
Greece can never be missed in such listicle, this time represented by Páros – Shutterstock

“The Edenic Philippine outpost of Palawan scored the top spot on this list in 2013 and in 2017; it also makes the grade this year, although it cedes the top spot to a surprise entry.  It remains in fine company, voted in along with its sister island Cebu,” the magazine said.

If you are fed up with tropical heat, the magazine readers have other interesting suggestion. An archipelago in the Northern Isles of Scotland, the Orkney Islands, offer some of the most picturesque landscapes.

The Orkney Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom

Orkneys, an archipelago in the Northern Isles of Scotland, offer picturesque landscapes — Shutterstock
Orkneys, an archipelago in the Northern Isles of Scotland, offer picturesque landscapes – Shutterstock

Tasmania has returned to the list after a short break and Greece can never be missed in such listicle, this time represented by Páros.

World’s 15 best islands according to Travel + Leisure readers

  1. Java, Indonesia
  2. Bali, Indonesia
  3. Lombok, Indonesia
  4. Maldives
  5. Waiheke, New Zealand
  6. Palawan, Philippines
  7. Mauritius
  8. Cebu, Philippines
  9. Páros, Greece
  10. Tasmania, Australia
  11. Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
  12. Cook Islands
  13. Orkney Islands, Scotland
  14. Maui, Hawaii
  15. Azores, Portugal