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Lewis and Harris named best islands in Europe by top travel site

The Orkney Islands mainland and the Isle of Mull were also named in Europe's top ten.

Isle of Lewis
Historic Scotland

Lewis and Harris has been named the best islands in Europe.

The Scottish Isle topped the poll compiled by international travel website TripAdvisor.

Lewis and Harris also beat tropical rivals in Thailand, Chile and Madagascar to be included in the top five islands in the world.

Scottish Isles were among the best performing in the world, with the Orkney Islands mainland and the Isle of Mull also named among Europe’s top ten.

Six of the UK’s top ten 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.

Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said: “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”.

Lusskintyre beach on Harris Western Isles scenic tourist quality image
STV

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.

James Kay, TripAdvisor spokesman, said: “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."

Top ten 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

Isle of Lewis in Western Isles scenic tourist quality image
STV

Top 10 Islands in the UK

  1. Lewis and Harris, Scotland, United Kingdom

  2. Mainland, Orkney Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom

  3. Isle of Mull, Scotland, United Kingdom

  4. Jersey, Great Britain

  5. Isle of Skye, Scotland, United Kingdom

  6. Isle of Arran, Scotland, United Kingdom

  7. Isle of Man, Great Britain

  8. Islay, Scotland, United Kingdom

  9. St Mary’s, Isle of Scilly, United Kingdom

  10. Island of Anglesey, Wales, United Kingdom

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

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