5 Greek islands among the top 10 in Europe
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5 Greek islands among the top 10 in Europe

Every year Travel and Leisure posts the results of its World’s Best Awards survey, readers weigh in on travel experiences around the globe and share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, cruise lines, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated islands on their natural attractions and beaches, activities and sights, food, friendliness, and overall value. The sun-bleached islands of Greece make up half of this year’s top 10 of the best islands in Europe.

Perrennial favorites Crete, Mykonos, and Santorini (on the list for 16 years running) are here once again, but the often overlooked yet no less romantic Ionian Islands (excluding Corfu, which is rated separately) made a strong showing, too.

Madeira, Portugal — in the Atlantic Ocean some 400 miles off the coast of Morocco — was praised by readers for its dramatic landscapes, culture, history, and wines. “It’s different from any island I’ve been to,” wrote one survey respondent. “It has its own special climate, leaving a mystical, magical feeling in the air.”

The biggest news: after five straight years on top, Santorini was bumped to No. 2 by Ischia, a mountainous Italian island near Naples known for its vineyards, hiking trails, and natural thermal baths.

Read on for the full list:

1. Ischia, Italy – Score: 90.22


2. Santorini, Greece – Score: 89.07


3. Sicily, Italy – Score: 86.63

Scala dei Turchi, Sicily, Italy1

4. Madeira, Portugal – Score: 86.50


5. Ionian Islands (except Corfu), Greece- Score: 85.54


6. Malta – Score: 85.21


7. Mykonos, Greece – Score: 85.164


8. Páros, Greece – Score: 85.158


9. Hvar, Croatia – Score: 84.96


10. Crete, Greece – Score: 84.87

Elafonisi Beach, Crete – Greece