Here are The World’s Friendliest Islands: 4 Philippine Islands Take Top 4 Spots

Four Philippine Islands have dominated the top four spots in Travel + Leisure’s “The World’s Friendliest Islands” list. These islands include Palawan, Cebu, Luzon, and Boracay.

World's Friendliest Islands
World’s Friendliest Islands

Every year, travelers eagerly anticipate a list of the world’s friendliest islands – just so they could visit them, if they haven’t already. It’s easy enough to compile a list of exquisite islands, but are they welcoming for the quintessential beach lover?


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Here is a rundown of the islands that made it to top 15:

#15: Caye Caulker, Belize

Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker

The community motto is “slow down,” making it the perfect getaway for people who just want some R and R during their vacation. Thus, you’ll find that even the locals are content to stop, smile, talk, and make friends with the tourists. It’s the kind of community and environment that you can’t help but come back to every time.

#14: Exhumas of Bahamas

Exhumas of Bahamas
Exhumas of Bahamas By Personal photography, CC BY 3.0

This island is so friendly, even the pigs are more than happy to swim with you! Untouched stretches of beach coupled with cosy accommodations fosters a close knit community that makes tourists feel right at home. In this island where pets are free to roam, you’ll find that pigs will happily walk by your side and engage you in island life.

#13: Bora Bora

Bora Bora
Bora Bora

The Bora Bora Island is a staple for those who want to hit all the stunning beaches the world has to offer. The people here are used to seeing travellers enjoy their natural wonders and are more than happy to accommodate those who vacation in their island home. With no language barrier to speak of, it’s not surprising that tourists feel completely at ease in Bora Bora.

#12: Paros of Greece

From top left: Parikia, Panagia Ekatontapiliani, the Frankish Castle and a typical Paros street
From top left: Parikia, Panagia Ekatontapiliani, the Frankish Castle and a typical Paros street By Dimorsitanos – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Paros is an emerging favourite in the country of Greece thanks to its close knit community and untouched wonders. While Santorini is now used to the constant influx of tourists, Paros is still an untouched portion with locals who treat every tourist as a family member on vacation.

#11: Moorea

Moorea
Moorea

If you’re looking for an untouched location, Moorea might well be the perfect spot. Still a veritable unknown, the island is largely untouched and is home to some of the most exotic creatures. Small enough that tourists are easily recognized, you’ll always feel welcomed when walking the streets of this small paradise.

#10: Great Barrier Reef Islands

Great Barrier Reef Islands
Great Barrier Reef Islands

What makes this beach paradise stand out from the rest is the fact that you also bear witness to a natural wonder. Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef Islands gives you a glimpse of what thousands of years of evolution can do for the underwater life. The locals know exactly what kind of treasure they have and are more than happy to answer questions about the reefs and the conservation measures being done to keep them safe.

#9: Bali of Indonesia

Ulun Danu temple at sunrise, Bali
Ulun Danu temple at sunrise, Bali

Temples are always a sight to behold as you’re confronted with amazing architecture dedicated towards religion, discipline, and self improvement. Bali is packed with those, not to mention a thriving community that in some ways are comparable to the West while at the same time, encouraging tourists to slow down and take everything in with a smile.

#8: Fiji Islands

Fiji Island
Fiji Island

The Fiji Islands have grown so popular that they’ve wormed their way in movies, literature, and certain songs. Composed of 333 islands, most of those beautiful lumps of white sandy beaches are equipped with accommodation homes where guests can stay in comfort. Whether you’re roughing it with a tent or lounging in an air-conditioned room – you can be sure that your chosen island will have friendly people nearby to assist you with your needs.

#7: Tasmania of Australia

Tasmania
Tasmania

If you’re a fan of the arts, you might want to skip Paris in favour of Tasmania, Australia. The sights here rival that of Paris as it presents that eye-catching facade of society adapting to nature. While the amenities and locals are definitely friendly, architecture here has a way of deferring to nature instead of the other way around.

#6: Ischia of Italy

Ischia
Ischia

If you’re hoping for a calm and quiet vacation, Ischia of Italy is the place to be. The island is so blessedly friendly that people here offer that unique blend of accommodation and privacy. You will have everything you want handed to you but at the same time, be allowed to explore at leisure. Essentially a fishing village, Ischia offers its tourists a glimpse of the slow paced life and healthy living.

#5: Waiheke of New Zealand

Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island

Island life is more than just white sandy beaches – as Waiheke will show you. Best known for their vineyards, there’s really too much to do inland that it might take some time before you decide to venture to the coast. With locals who are proud of their heritage, you will find a veritable sea of people happy to tell you about their home.


#4: Boracay Island, Philippines

Boracay Beaches in Southeast Asia
Boracay Beaches in Southeast Asia

With more than 7,000 islands, it’s not surprising that another Philippine spot makes it to the list. For years, Boracay Island has been the go-to beach for locals and tourists alike. This long strip of white sandy beaches is lined with restaurants, bars, and hotels specifically for the accommodation of beach goers.

#3: Luzon, Philippines

Kalesa in Manila
Kalesa in Manila

It’s a little unfair to cite Luzon in this list considering that it practically covers 1/3 of the Philippine territory. On the plus side, Luzon covers a veritable sea of cities, each one offering a plethora history, culture, and the modern. It houses the country’s capital, Manila which is the seat of many carriers towards other destinations.

#2: Cebu, Philippines

Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu Poolside
Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu Poolside

Found in Visayas, Cebu was once a Spanish Colony and thus showcases an extensive architecture reminiscent of the Spanish style. The people here are friendly and extremely well-versed in the English language, allowing you to hold conversations anywhere you go.

#1: Palawan, Philippines

Pangulasian Island Resort in El Nido
Pangulasian Island Resort in El Nido

An island where white sandy beaches are the norm, Philippines’ Palawan consistently holds a position in the list of the best and friendliest beaches – and for a very good reason. The people are incredibly accommodating with a thriving tourist industry that’s built to make travellers feel at home. Beach choices are extensive with the ever popular Sabang Beach, the stunning El Nido, or the surfer’s favourite Nagtabon Beach.

Travel + Leisure asks people in a survey to score the best islands based on their characteristics, such as friendliness of the people and romantic charm. With new places being discovered on a day-to-day basis, it won’t be surprising if new island names pop up from time to time as the world expands for the willing traveller.

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