Top 10 islands - number one might surprise you

2015-07-14 21:15
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Cape Town - While island breaks have become synonymous with cocktails and hammocks strung up between palm trees, a recent survey by Travel + Leisure has revealed that most travellers are looking for something quite different. 

Forming part of the travel magazine's recent Best of Travel Awards, the World's Best Islands category, saw readers from right around the world vote for their top ocean-locked spots. 

And where we totally expected one of the usual suspects (you know, Mauritius, Seychelles, Hawaii) to top the list, we were quite surprised when remote and wild Galapagos took the number one spot.

READ: Mauritius - 5 must-do day trips

Located almost 1 000km off the coast of Ecuador, it is definitely not just a quick jump and a skip for travellers to reach, the relatively pristine island keeps everyone intrigued. 

In fact, it is actually the third time in 10 years that Galapagos takes the top spot. 

So, what makes it so special? Mostly its array of wacky wildlife, it seems! Sleepy sea lions, flightless cormorants, seafaring lizards, giant tortoises and endemic penguins are just some of the species you can encounter during a trip around the island.

While you can catch a flight to the island, one of the most popular ways to experience it is as part of a cruise itinerary.

Check out these pics from the island and then the 9 runner's up in Travel + Leisure's Top Best Islands 

1. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

#tortuga #turtle #galapagos #santacruz #santacruzisland #island #galapagosisland #islasgalapagos #Ecuador

A photo posted by Fell (@felipe_aguilera86) on

Queriendo ser amigas ?? #iguanamarina #tortugabay #galápagos #galapagosisland

A photo posted by Susan Carrion Zambrano (@susancz13) on

Atardecer en San Cristóbal #Galapagos #Ecuador @theinstacollection @discoversouthamerica #travel #southAmerica

A photo posted by mdecristobal (@mdecristobal) on

#galapagos #mapremierefois #toutequateur #isabella #sealion #cactus #lostuneles #Ecuador

A photo posted by MaPremiereFois (@mapremierefois) on

2. Bali, Indonesia

#puraulundanu #temple #bali #lake and #jungle

A photo posted by Davide Mollica (@the_gamer87) on

3. Maldives

Life's a beach #gililankanfushi #maldives #LT ????

A photo posted by Cyn (@cyntcy) on

4. Tasmania, Australia

5. Santorini, Greece

The view from the terrace of our villa in #santorini

A photo posted by Cody McEachern (@cmceachern90) on

READ: Iconic Santorini

6. Moorea, French Polynesia

Un paradis sur Terre ???? #tahiti#moorea

A photo posted by @neimy_cariou on

7. Maui, Hawaii

8. Kauai, Hawaii

9. Great Barrier Reef Islands, Australia

#paradise #palmtrees #greatbarrierreef #cairns #australia #travel #tropical #vsco #vscocam #vscoph

A photo posted by Ruth (@ruth.connolly) on

10. Malta

Bye bye beautiful island #gozo #malta #fortchambray

A photo posted by Annika Wallentin (@wallentinannika) on

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