LONDON (Reuters) - Belize’s largest island, Ambergris Caye, a popular destination for scuba divers, came top of a list of the world’s 10 best islands in a survey of travellers released on Wednesday.
The western Caribbean nation, which boasts the second largest coral reef in the world after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, beat another Caribbean destination, St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, to top the TripAdvisor survey.
Third place went to Bora Bora in French Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean which is surrounded by a lagoon and a barrier reef and popular for its overwater bungalows.
“Ambergris Caye boasts spectacular caves, winding waterfalls, tropical rainforest and hundreds of limestone caves,” TripAdvisor spokeswoman Emma Shaw said in a statement.
She said the TripAdvisor’s inaugural list of the world’s best islands was based on millions of reviews and ratings by international tourists on the travel website over the past year.
The highest ranking European island to feature on the list was Santorini in Greece, known for its black volcanic soil beaches, whitewashed buildings and dramatic views.
Santorini topped a separate list of the top 10 European islands in which Greek islands took four of the slots, joined by Cephalonia, Naxos, and Zakynthos.
The top ranking island in a list for Britain was Mainland, in the Orkney Islands in Scotland, which also came fifth in the European list.
“It’s great to see UK islands recognised by travellers, proving that islands don’t have to offer exotic sunshine,” said Shaw.
Following are TripAdvisor’s lists of the top islands:
1. Ambergris Caye - Belize
2. St John, US Virgin Islands - Caribbean
3. Bora Bora - French Polynesia
4. San Juan Island - United States
5. Santorini - Greece
6. Isla Mujeres - Mexico
7. Moorea - French Polynesia
8. Koh Tao - Thailand
9. Easter Island - Chile
10. Nosy Be - Madagascar
1. Santorini - Greece
2. Cephalonia - Greece
3. Island of Capri - Italy
4. Naxos - Greece
5. Mainland, Orkney Islands - Scotland
6. Island of Gozo - Malta
7. Zakynthos - Greece
8. Jersey, Channel Islands - Britain
9. Isle of Skye - Scotland
10. Fuerteventura - Canary Islands
1. Mainland, Orkney Islands - Scotland
2. Jersey - Channel Islands
3. Isle of Skye, The Hebrides - Scotland
4. Isle of Mull, The Hebrides - Scotland
5. Lewis and Harris, The Hebrides - Scotland
6. Isle of Arran - Scotland
7. Isle of Man - British Isles
8. Island of Anglesey - Wales
9. Isle of Wight, Hampshire - England
10. Guernsey - Channel Islands
Reporting by Jemima Molyneux, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith