In Pictures: The World’s Best Islands
The World Travel Awards grand final just took place, but which of these destinations scooped the title of World’s Best Island?
November 10, 2010 1:46 by shafeer
“Mauritius will enchant you, will uplift your soul, making you feel that you belong to the chosen few. Every visitor enjoys personal attention. Every encounter is an opportunity to discover a friendly face. Behind each smile lies the promise of a unique holiday. The contrast of a multitude of colours and tastes, the island, set in its turquoise sea, is an oasis of peace and tranquillity. Mauritius, a melting pot where past and present are smoothly blended together, offers an essential beauty that will compel to return to its shores time and time again. May your stay with us remain engraved in your memory forever.”
Winner revealed at end of slideshow.
“Surrounded by stunning turquoise sea, the interior of the main island is a mixture of picturesque paddy fields and jungle-clad hills. If you’re intent on carting off duty-free booze, cigarettes and chocolate, then this is the place to be. Still, Nature-lovers will find the island just as agreeable as the shoreline is fringed by powder-fine sand and swaying coconut trees. The island is especially recognised for its excellent diving opportunities and this tropical gem hides a treasure trove of other exciting holiday opportunities. The gastronomic options are vast and the sightseeing attractions certainly do not disappoint. From the expansive Underwater World Langkawi along Pantai Cenang to the soaring Cable Car in Pantai Kok, Langkawi is an electrifying locale that keeps visitors coming back for more.”
“Bali, a tropical island in the Indonesian archipelago, is so picturesque and immaculate it could almost be a painted backdrop. It has rice paddies tripping down hillsides like giant steps, volcanoes soaring up through the clouds, dense tropical jungle, long sandy beaches, warm blue water, crashing surf and friendly people who don't just have a culture but actually live it. In Bali spirits come out to play in the moonlight, every night is a festival and even a funeral is an opportunity to have a good time.”
“Barbados is a very beautiful island, with lots of art, activities, night life, music, history and some of the best restaurants to be found anywhere. But what makes Barbados even more special, and the reason why so many visitors keep returning to the island year after year, is the people. Barbadians, called Bajans, are warm and friendly souls, always ready to greet you with a sincere smile. Barbadians make you feel welcome and special, in this lovely Caribbean Island. You will feel its your home and will want to come back again and again to Barbados: A unique Caribbean paradise, surprisingly sophisticated, friendly, fun and always Naturally Charming!”
“A net of 15 islands in the heart of the South Pacific spread over an area the size of India with a population no bigger than a small New Zealand country town, 13,200 souls. These unique and friendly Polynesians have their own language and government and enjoy a vigorous and diverse culture with significant differences between each island. Despite some 100,000 visitors a year to the capital island – Rarotonga – the Cooks are largely unspoiled by tourism. They offer a rare opportunity for people from the cities of the world to experience a different type of vacation. There are no high-rise hotels and very little hype. Ideal for travellers seeking more than the usual clichés associated with the South Seas, each island has its unique qualities and offers the visitor a special experience.”
“Today’s visitors will appreciate their trip to Jamaica all the more if they embrace the island’s unique character and the inherent ‘African-ness’ of its population. Aside from its people, Jamaica has much to offer, the curious, thirsty or weary traveller. The Blue Mountains boasts the world’s best coffee, try a cup in the century-old factory at Mavis Bank. There are world-class reefs for diving including those at Runaway Bay and Ocho Rios and great stretches of palm-fringed sand at Treasure Beach or Frenchman’s Cove near Port Antonio. There are offbeat bush-medicine hiking tours, congenial fishing villages, pristine waterfalls, cosmopolitan cities, wetlands harboring endangered crocodiles and manatees, unforgettable sunsets – in short, enough variety to comprise many utterly distinct vacations.”
“Maldives has deep blue seas, turquoise reefs, white sandy beaches and palm trees. It is also a place full of character, where its people have long spent their days languishing in the very essence of idyll living. While it is the perfect place to sit on a beach and watch a sunset with a cocktail balanced on your hand, it is also a geographical marvel, knowing that there are thousands of fish swimming around the vivid corals just a few feet away from where you sit.”
“Seychelles is home to no less than two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the legendary Vallée de Mai on Praslin where the wondrously shaped Coco-de-mer nut grows high on ancient palms and fabled Aldabra, the world’s largest raised coral atoll, first seen by early Arab seafarers of the 9th century A.D. Seychelles, one of the world’s very last frontiers, promises adventure and breathtaking natural beauty in pristine surrounds still untouched by man.”
And the winner was: Mauritius (slide 1).
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