The Best European Islands Are Greek Say Readers of Travel + Leisure

Once again Greece dominated Travel + Leisure's Best European Island list, taking 7 of 20 places, including the top two spots.


Every year, Travel+Leisure magazine conducts a survey among its readers on their favorite European islands.

And, as in previous years, in 2020’s list Greece once again emerges as a favorite destination, claiming no less than 7 of the 20 spots, including 1st and 2nd place.

To create the list, readers are asked to rate the islands “according to their activities and sights, natural attractions and beaches, food, friendliness, and overall value.” Each of the islands is then given a score according to the votes. On this year’s list, scores ranged from 90.55 (1st place) to 82.28 (20th place).

The voting for 2020 came to a close in early March, shortly before Europe went into lockdown, meaning the results reflect the readers’ opinions from before the Covid-19 crisis. Nevertheless, the magazine notes: “We hope that this year’s honorees will inspire your trips to come — whenever they may be.”

The Winners

The Cycladic island Paros was voted the best island in Europe in Travel + Leisure’s 2020 Best European Island list, for its combination of beautiful beaches, traditional architecture, picturesque villages, archaeological sites and bustling nightlife.

Paros took first place from Milos which came out on top last year, but only by bumping that island to second place, above Italy’s Sicily, the Azores in Portugal, the Dalmatian Islands of Croatia and another busy Greek destination, Crete in 6th place.

Travel +Leisure write of Paros:

“This 76-square-mile haven has some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, stretches of white sand embraced by craggy cliffs on one side and turquoise waters on the other. Inland, it charms visitors with its traditional Cycladic architecture, small villages, and ancient monuments. Those looking for nightlife will be pleased with the island’s many clubs, while relative recluses can indulge in massages and early bedtime at Yria Boutique Hotel & Spa.”

Rhodes and the Dodecanese came in 10th place, just above Santorini, while Corfu and the Ionian Islands ranked 18th, coming above the other wildly popular Greek island, Mykonos, which rounded out the list in 20th place.


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