Wednesday, 19 February 2014 8:47 AM
Scotland's Lewis and Harris Island has beaten some of the most famous and idyllic destinations around the globe to win Europe's Best Island in the Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Islands Awards.
Boasting dramatic landscapes and some of the best beaches in Scotland, the Outer Hebrides isle also topped the list above tropical rivals in Thailand, Chile and Madagascar to be included in the top five islands in the world.
The winner of Best Island in the World went to Ambergris Caye in Belize for the second year running. The largest island in Belize, Ambergris Caye is home to remarkable caves, waterfalls, lush rainforests and he second largest coral reef system in the world.
The Scottish Isles were among the best performing overall, with the Orkney Islands mainland and the Isle of Mull also named among Europe’s top 10. In fact, six of the UK’s top 10 islands can be found north of the border.
The Isle of Skye, Isle of Arran and Islay took fifth, sixth and eighth places respectively, in the UK list of winners.
“An island holiday usually conjures images of faraway palm-lined beaches, white sand and crystal clear water but the results of this year’s awards reveal that the ideal island getaway might be closer to home than you think,” commented James Kay, TripAdvisor spokesperson.
Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland added: “With hundreds of islands, each with their own unique character, diverse landscape and rich wildlife, it’s no surprise that these islands have been recognised in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Islands awards. It’s always great to get this kind of recognition and I’m sure it will help encourage even more people to visit these incredible islands in 2014, the year Scotland Welcomes the World”.
In its second year, the Travellers’ Choice Island awards winners are determined based on the quality and quantity of the most highly-rated hotels, restaurants, and attractions listed for each island on TripAdvisor gathered during a 12-month period.
Top 10 Islands in Europe:
1. Lewis and Harris, Scotland, United Kingdom
2. Naxos, Greece
3. Island of Gozo, Malta
4. Mainland, Orkney Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom
5. Milos, Greece
6. Cephalonia, Greece
7. Santorini, Greece
8. Island of Capri, Italy
9. Isle of Mull, Scotland, United Kingdom
10. Paros, Greece
Top 10 Islands in the World:
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