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TripAdvisor Unveils Travellers’ Choice Islands
Revealing which UK islands are best in Europe

26 March, 2013 - TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site*, announces the winners of its inaugural 2013 Travellers’ Choice Islands Awards, based entirely on feedback from millions of TripAdvisor travellers.

Scotland has great cause for celebration laying claim to five of the UK’s top 10 islands. And, Scotland even features two islands in the European top 10 list, with Mainland Orkney beating the vast majority of sun-soaked Mediterranean islands by placing fifth. The Isle of Skye came in ninth place above Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands, and Jersey also places in the European list coming in eighth place.

“Whether you’re looking for idyllic palm-lined islands, or islands that offer a more cultural experience, you’ll find inspiration in these lists,” commented Emma Shaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson. “It’s great to see UK islands recognised by travellers, proving that islands don’t have to offer exotic sunshine.”

How about a trip to Malta? No, ‘Isle’ be heading to Orkney

While the ideal island break for some may be one that is drenched in sunshine, the results of the Travellers’ Choice Islands Awards reveal that this may not actually be the case. Despite the complete contrast in weather, two Scottish islands, Mainland Orkney and the Isle of Skye, beat European destinations with decidedly more tropical temperatures; Island of Gozo in Malta, Zakynthos in Greece and Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands.

Crowned the UK’s number one island and fifth in Europe, Mainland Orkney is the largest island of the Orkney Island group and is 26 miles long. 

The island offers lots to see and do and is divided into East and West mainland. On West Mainland is the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, prehistoric ruins that include a chambered tomb, stone ceremonial circles, and Skara Brae, a well-preserved Neolithic village. Over on the East side is a collapsed sea cave known as The Gloup, Mill Sands and Dingieshowe Beach.

Scotland racked up seven awards for its islands in total, two in the European list and five in the UK list. In addition to Mainland Orkney which took first place in the UK and fifth in Europe and the Isle of Skye which ranked third in the UK and ninth in Europe, the Isle of Mull, Lewis and Harris and the Isle of Arran took fourth, fifth and sixth places respectively in the UK list of winners.

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “For two Scottish destinations to feature in Europe’s top-ten islands is fantastic recognition for the unique beauty and eternal appeal of Scotland’s islands. It is particularly apt in the Year of Natural Scotland, something which celebrates our country’s outstanding natural beauty.”

‘Royal’ Anglesey crowned among UK’s top ten

Home to the Royal couple, Kate and William, the Isle of Anglesey has been crowned eighth best island in the UK.

Located off the north-west coast of Wales near the beautiful Snowdonia mountain range, Anglesey has lots of blue flag beaches and is rich in ancient history. Anglesey is also home to the village with the longest place name in Britain: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

You better Belize it – Central American island is world’s best

Ambergris Caye in Belize had been crowned the number one island in the world. The largest island in Belize, Ambergris Caye boasts spectacular caves, winding waterfalls, tropical rainforest and hundreds of limestone caves. The island also claims the second largest coral reef system in the world.

For the complete 2013 Travellers’ Choice Islands Awards winners and more reviews, opinions and candid traveller photographs, go to

To see the best hotels for luxury, service and more, as honored in TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards for Hotels from January, go to


For more information please contact Hayley Coleman: 077 398 27951 /  

TripAdvisor’s Traveller Choice Islands Awards winners: 


  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


  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. Ambergris Caye, Belize Cayes – Belize

  2. St John, US Virgin Islands – Caribbean

  3. Bora Bora – French Polynesia

  4. San Juan Island – US

  5. Santorini – Greece

  6. Isla Mujeres – Mexico

  7. Moorea – French Polynesia

  8. Koh Tao – Thailand

  9. Easter Island – Chile

  10. Nosy Be – Madagascar

Note to Editors

Awards selection:

The Travellers' Choice Islands are 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.