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The Top 25 Islands in the World!

No one region has a lock on the list of the top 25 islands in the world. Six continents are represented. Several countries have two islands in the rankings, including Australia, Thailand, French Polynesia, and the United States. Greece scored the most wins, with Crete (No. 15), Mílos (No. 3), and Páros (No. 2) all rated highly by T+L readers.

Some of those readers are reluctant to let the world know about their favorite finds. “I fear that this is going to be the next island to be widely discovered in Greece,” wrote one about Mílos. “Its appeal is due in no small part to the quiet ambience.”

Most of this year’s winning islands are sizable — like charming Tasmania, No. 19 on the list and also the 26th largest in the world. A handful are countries unto themselves, including Sri Lanka (No. 4), Mauritius (No. 6), and Anguilla (No. 7).

Anguilla was also the only Caribbean island to make this year’s list. “This is the way the Caribbean was 50 years ago, and they work hard to maintain its authentic charm,” one reader reported. “So much to do, and none of it is tacky T-shirt shops or chain restaurants.”

Across the Atlantic on Sicily, which ranked No. 9 this year, T+L readers felt drawn to the culture. “There are millennia-old Roman and Greek sites and museums; wonderful, friendly people; and the best food you’ll ever have,” wrote one World’s Best voter. “The beach towns are as beautiful as you can imagine.”

Read on for the full list of the best islands in the world, according to T+L readers, who again voted Palawan into the No. 1 spot.

1. Palawan, Philippines     Score:  94.83

Roughly 270 miles long and just 25 across at its widest point, on a map Palawan looks like an arm extending from the Philippines to Borneo. It’s dramatic at sea level, with mountains rising directly from the ocean palm-edged beaches. Though it’s difficult to reach from many parts of the world, once travelers get there they can dive in World War II wrecks, explore old-growth rain forests, and paddle one of the world’s longest subterranean rivers at Puerto Princesa. “The landscape and scenery are just gorgeous,” wrote one fan. “It offers the most beautiful beaches, resorts, and scenery anywhere.”

2. Páros, Greece     Score: 90.55







3. Milos, Greece     Score: 90.33

4. Sri Lanka  Score: 90.00

5. Koh Lanta, Thailand     Score 89.41

6. Mauritius        Score: 89.07

7. Anguilla     Score: 89.01

8. Langkawi, Malaysia     Score: 88.76

9. Sicily, Italy     Score: 88.62

10. Galápagos Islands, Ecuador     Score: 88.44

11. Azores, Portugal     Score: 88.42

12. Maui, Hawaii     Score:  88.38

13. Hvar and the Dalmatian Islands, Croatia     Score: 88.35

14. Boracay, Philippines     Score:  88.22

15. Crete, Greece     Score: 88.20

16. Cook Islands     Score: 88.15

17. Bali, Indonesia     Score:  88.14

WBA Hall of Fame honoree

18. Moorea, French Polynesia     Score: 88.05

19. Tasmania, Australia     Score: 87.89

20. Great Barrier Reef Islands, Australia     Score: 87.82

21. Ischia, Italy     Score: 87.76

22. Mallorca, Spain     Score: 87.58

23. Koh Samui, Thailand     Score: 87.56

24. Kauai, Hawaii     Score: 87.50

25. Bora-Bora, French Polynesia     Score: 87.27

Staycation or vacation, fantasy or fantasy realized, we thought these photos might take you on a journey and inspire you to dream.