Your Next Holiday Tip: 2013 Top-20 Islands In The World

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Oct 22 2013
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It’s that season again – year end holiday – after a tiring twelve months working your head off. It’s time to reward yourself with a nice holiday trip somewhere where your boss can’t reach you (*grin*). If you’re not a shopaholic, chances are you may want to pamper yourself and your love ones with a nice lazy-do-nothing getaway in a remote warm island. Wouldn’t it be nice to get away from the buzzle of city life and spend the rest of your holiday in a paradise surrounded by nothing else but crystal clear beautiful beaches?


From islands such as Maldives, Seychelles to Santorini and tons of Hawaiian islands, you are spoilt for choice. Condé Nast Traveler has recently released its annual Readers’ Choice Awards on the top islands in the world. Ranging from scenery, friendliness, atmosphere, restaurants, lodging, activities and beaches scores, the compilation provides a rating which traveller can use to plan their next holiday – paradise on an island.


{ 20 } Seychelles (Indian Ocean)


Readers’ Choice Rating: 84.5

  • Scenery: 97.9
  • Friendliness: 89.6
  • Atmosphere: 93.8
  • Restaurants: 82.5
  • Lodging: 100
  • Activities: 90.5
  • Beaches: 100

Top-20 Islands In The World - Seychelles

Look forward to “the most stunning beaches in the world.” There is so much culture, nature and beauty to experience, making this paradise on Earth. The beauty of this place cannot be overstated and the water is so blue and so warm, you can literally swim forever. The friendly locals and few tourists make this spot the best place for swimming on the beaches, diving or snorkeling.



{ 19 } Nantucket (Massuchusetts)


Readers’ Choice Rating: 84.9

  • Scenery: 96.7
  • Friendliness: 80.5
  • Atmosphere: 93
  • Restaurants: 89.9
  • Lodging: 88.4
  • Activities: 83
  • Beaches: 79

Top-20 Islands In The World - Nantucket

The “nice cobblestone village” coupled with the rugosa roses in the salt air define this comfy Massachusetts island, bringing you back to the early settler days. You may feel like you are part of the old seafaring lives of whalers and fisherman. Of course, the island still features all modern comforts, including the best beaches on the East coast.



{ 17 } Lanai (Hawaii)


Readers’ Choice Rating: 85.0

  • Scenery: 90.5
  • Friendliness: 88.4
  • Atmosphere: 90.1
  • Restaurants: 75.5
  • Lodging: 87.4
  • Activities: 79.8
  • Beaches: 82.1

Top-20 Islands In The World - Lanai

There’s no 18th place since this Lanai and Nevis share the same rating score hence the 17th place. This beautiful hidden gem is a perfect place for those seeking some “secluded luxury”. Remember to go snorkeling at Manele Bay, where you may very well end up swimming with a school of about a hundred spinner dolphins – and amazing experience.



{ 17 } Nevis (St. Kitts and Nevis)


Readers’ Choice Rating: 85.0

  • Scenery: 91.7
  • Friendliness: 88.9
  • Atmosphere: 88.9
  • Restaurants: 82.9
  • Lodging: 86.7
  • Activities: 74.1
  • Beaches: 81.3

Top-20 Islands In The World - Nevis

Readers surveyed think of Nevis as a “secret hideaway” – the hidden gem of the Caribbean. Though it’s a small island, there’s more to do than you would think, and the greatest attraction is the natural beauty. In addition to friendly people and great food, readers also loved the fantastic hotels and the many fantastic, affordable rental villas. Overall, Nevis is a warm, friendly, safe island and a “great family destination.”



{ 16 } Vancouver Island (Canada)


Readers’ Choice Rating: 85.5

  • Scenery: 96.4
  • Friendliness: 90.9
  • Atmosphere: 94.2
  • Restaurants: 83.2
  • Lodging: 85.3
  • Activities: 87.3
  • Beaches: 68.7

Top-20 Islands In The World - Vancouver Island

Readers implore visitors of this “captivating gem in Canada” to stay as long as possible, since there is simply so much to see and do. It’s ideal if you are an outdoor enthusiast or interested in artists like potters and glassblowing. However Vancouver Island also offers more laid-back pursuits such as lovely scenery and lots of wineries to visit.



{ 15 } Whitsunday Islands (Australia)


Readers’ Choice Rating: 85.7

  • Scenery: 93.9
  • Friendliness: 87.7
  • Atmosphere: 90.9
  • Restaurants: 73.1
  • Lodging: 87.8
  • Activities: 85.0
  • Beaches: 79.0

Top-20 Islands In The World - Whitsunday Islands

This is a beautiful island – the sand is beautiful, the water is warm, perfect for snorkeling, sailing and whatnot. Beautiful location and an excellent starting point to see the Great Barrier Reef.



{ 14 } St. John (U.S. Virgin Islands)


Readers’ Choice Rating: 85.8

  • Scenery: 94.1
  • Friendliness: 85.5
  • Atmosphere: 90.4
  • Restaurants: 73.3
  • Lodging: 82.0
  • Activities: 83.6
  • Beaches: 92.3

Top-20 Islands In The World - St John

Readers find the “natural beauty” of St. John to be unparalleled. Most of the island is a preserved national park, allowing visitors to enjoy the emerald green beaches and exotic native fauna and flora. Bounce around the numerous cays in a kayak, or snorkel at Trunk Bay, where you might end up swimming with a hawksbill turtle.



{ 13 } Tasmania (Australia)


Readers’ Choice Rating: 86.0

  • Scenery: 95.0
  • Friendliness: 95.0
  • Atmosphere: 95.0
  • Restaurants: 73.3
  • Lodging: 71.0
  • Activities: 85.1
  • Beaches: 78.4

Top-20 Islands In The World - Tasmania

This fascinating place has “a rich cultural history.” Readers found wonderful beaches, great hiking trails and very friendly people. A fantastic scenery and a look at what Australia was like before tourism.



{ 12 } Santorini (Greece)


Readers’ Choice Rating: 86.6

  • Scenery: 98.3
  • Friendliness: 89.8
  • Atmosphere: 94.4
  • Restaurants: 79.8
  • Lodging: 86.8
  • Activities: 78.4
  • Beaches: 68.9

Top-20 Islands In The World - Santorini

“There is no place like Santorini, in the whole world” say one of the readers surveyed, who love the whitewashed buildings, wonderful beaches and views to die for. Their best memories are of the caldera vistas, the black-sand beach and the crystal clear water, but they also cast their votes for the island’s great shopping and awesome food. This is a great place to just stroll the streets, walk the stairs down to the sea level and just revel in the beauty and friendliness of the people. Due to calm seas, this is also a great place for first-time divers.



{ 11 } Bermuda (Bermuda)


Readers’ Choice Rating: 87.1

  • Scenery: 93.1
  • Friendliness: 89.4
  • Atmosphere: 90.4
  • Restaurants: 77.5
  • Lodging: 84.1
  • Activities: 81.0
  • Beaches: 89.5

Top-20 Islands In The World - Bermuda

For a fun blend of British, American, and Caribbean Culture, Bermuda is the place to be. It offers endless activities: historical sites, golf, scooters, superb shopping and dining, museums, gardens, perfumeries and aquariums. Go for a snorkel or explore the many private coves to truly experience the island’s lovely scenery, which is highlighted by the pink sand beaches and aqua blue waters.



{ 10 } Big Island (Hawaii)


Readers’ Choice Rating: 87.6

  • Scenery: 93.9
  • Friendliness: 90.7
  • Atmosphere: 92.2
  • Restaurants: 77.5
  • Lodging: 85.6
  • Activities: 90.6
  • Beaches: 80.8

Top-20 Islands In The World - Big Island

Whether it’s the smell of Plumeria flowers, the “glow of the lava at night,” or the general Aloha spirit, you can’t get enough of this appropriately named island. This wonderful family destination has something for everyone. For shopping, just swing by the great open farmers market in Kona, before travelling across the island to the rural Hilo area, where you can find beaches of any color sand you wish.



{ 9 } Great Barrier Reef Islands (Australia)


Readers’ Choice Rating: 87.8

  • Scenery: 93.7
  • Friendliness: 93.1
  • Atmosphere: 92.5
  • Restaurants: 73.0
  • Lodging: 79.7
  • Activities: 90.2
  • Beaches: 83.2

Top-20 Islands In The World - Great Barrier Reef Island

The Great Barrier Reef consists of more than 3,000 individual reef systems and hundreds of islands. You don’t have to be rocket scientist to see why everyone should come and snorkel here because it’s an awesome opportunity to see a whole different side to the ocean – truly breathtaking. The reefs are “full of life” and one of nature’s greatest treasures. The Great Barrier Reef Islands is indeed a must-go destination.



{ 8 } Oahu (Hawaii)


Readers’ Choice Rating: 88.0

  • Scenery: 92.0
  • Friendliness: 84.8
  • Atmosphere: 86.7
  • Restaurants: 85.1
  • Lodging: 85.5
  • Activities: 92.2
  • Beaches: 91.0

Top-20 Islands In The World - Oahu

Readers praise this island’s “great diversity of landscape” which seamlessly mixes city and island culture. Oahu offers you the excitement of Honolulu, the surfer lifestyle of the North Shore and everything in between. Checking out the lively street scene near the famous Waikiki Beach is a must, and if you’re feeling patriotic, stop by Pearl Harbor for some authentic American history.



{ 7 } Moorea (Moorea)


Readers’ Choice Rating: 88.5

  • Scenery: 97.9
  • Friendliness: 92.4
  • Atmosphere: 94.2
  • Restaurants: 69.8
  • Lodging: 88.0
  • Activities: 87.5
  • Beaches: 88.3

Top-20 Islands In The World - Moorea

Moorea’s “beautiful, lush scenery, beaches and really great restaurants” won over many readers’ heart. The tropical beauty with a French flair has a lot to offer with its beautiful lagoons, land tours and scootering. Even if you’re thinking of taking the local bus around the island, the experience is more than rewarding.



{ 6 } Sea Island (Georgia)


Readers’ Choice Rating: 88.6

  • Scenery: 90.7
  • Friendliness: 88.5
  • Atmosphere: 91.8
  • Restaurants: 85.1
  • Lodging: 92.1
  • Activities: 90.1
  • Beaches: 81.9

Top-20 Islands In The World - Sea Island

Sea Island is the epitome of “world elegance” in the deep south. Brimming with unparalleled gracious and southern hospitality, Sea Island is a magical place dripping in Spanish moss, luxury, charm and sunshine. Described as a world of its own, Sea Island is said to be a heaven on earth.



{ 5 } Bora Bora (French Polynesia)


Readers’ Choice Rating: 89.3

  • Scenery: 98.7
  • Friendliness: 91
  • Atmosphere: 94.1
  • Restaurants: 74.3
  • Lodging: 93.1
  • Activities: 85.9
  • Beaches: 89.5

Top-20 Islands In The World - Bora Bora

Bora Bora is the place to go when you want to decompress, notes one reader, who appreciated the “stunning tropical beauty and friendly natives.” Described as millennia away from the real world, this island offers many above-water bungalows, from which you can take in the unreal ocean scenery. Bora Bora is as beautiful below the water as it is above, so one should get a complete thrill of swimming.



{ 4 } Kiawah Island (South Carolina)


Readers’ Choice Rating: 89.4

  • Scenery: 93.8
  • Friendliness: 87.9
  • Atmosphere: 92.2
  • Restaurants: 78.5
  • Lodging: 90.5
  • Activities: 86.6
  • Beaches: 90.3

Top-20 Islands In The World - Kiawah Island

This “gorgeous island paradise” is a prime spot for a vacation away from all the hustle and bustle of mainstream city life. Kiawah also boasts an impressive nature preserve, so between trips to the expansive beaches and matches on the tennis court, make sure to check out the exotic wildlife. And don’t forget your golf clubs because no other courses compare to those of Kiawah, which hosted the 2012 PGA Championship.



{ 3 } Maldives (Indian Ocean)


Readers’ Choice Rating: 89.6

  • Scenery: 95.2
  • Friendliness: 91.0
  • Atmosphere: 93.1
  • Restaurants: 81.9
  • Lodging: 93.3
  • Activities: 87.0
  • Beaches: 98.5

Top-20 Islands In The World - Maldives

Who can forget Maldives, one of the most beautiful islands in the world which was hit by tsunami in 2004. This island is unparallel if you’re looking for “rest, relaxation, and indulgence”. Diving into the turquoise water, lounging on the white sands, and dining under the incredible sunsets make the Maldives experience more picturesque than postcards can portray.



{ 2 } Kauai (Hawaii)


Readers’ Choice Rating: 92.1

  • Scenery: 98.5
  • Friendliness: 93.2
  • Atmosphere: 96.0
  • Restaurants: 81.3
  • Lodging: 89.0
  • Activities: 93.5
  • Beaches: 92.5

Top-20 Islands In The World - Kauai

“A little slice of heaven,” as one reader put it, Kauai is praised as more laid-back than its Hawaiian counterparts. Indeed, the warm and inclusive attitude of the locals combined with the lush vegetation and sleepy little historic towns make for a distinctly relaxed feel. Yet there’s certainly still some”heart pounding adventure to be found – an open-door helicopter ride over the island is readily available for those who dare.



{ 1 } Maui (Hawaii)


Readers’ Choice Rating: 93.9

  • Scenery: 98.1
  • Friendliness: 92.6
  • Atmosphere: 95.8
  • Restaurants: 88.9
  • Lodging: 92.1
  • Activities: 95.2
  • Beaches: 95.6

Top-20 Islands In The World - Maui

Readers rave about this “veritable paradise,” calling it a combination of tropical ambience and American comforts. With an abundance of activities offered, from whale-watching to nature hikes to watersports, you will never have a dull moment. To experience Maui’s unending natural beauty, drive along the Road to Hana, a 68-mile scenic route featuring awe-inspiring waterfalls and ending at the breathtaking Seven Sacred Pools.


So, there you have it, the top-20 islands in the world for the year 2013. If you think you’ve discovered a better island than the above that worth mentioning and rating, do drop us a note. In the meantime, get yourself busy choosing the next holiday trip to a paradise island.


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