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.
Every year, travelers eagerly anticipate a list of the world’s friendliest islands – just so they can 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?
Here is a rundown of the islands that made it to the top 15:
#15: Caye Caulker, Belize
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 you cannot help but return to every time.
#14: Exumas of Bahamas
This island is so friendly; even the pigs are more than happy to swim with you! Untouched stretches of beach coupled with cozy accommodations foster a close-knit community that makes tourists feel right at home. On 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
The Bora Bora Island is a staple for those who want to hit all the world’s stunning beaches. The people here are used to seeing travelers enjoy their natural wonders and are more than happy to accommodate those who vacation in their island homes. With no language barrier to speak of, it’s not surprising that tourists feel completely at ease in Bora Bora.
#12: Paros of Greece
Paros is an emerging favorite 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.
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
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 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
Temples are always a sight to behold as you’re confronted with amazing architecture dedicated to religion, discipline, and self-improvement. Bali is packed with those, not to mention a thriving community that in some ways is comparable to the West while at the same time encouraging tourists to slow down and take everything in with a smile.
#8: Fiji Islands
The Fiji Islands have grown so popular that they’ve wormed their way into 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
If you’re a fan of the arts, you might want to skip Paris in favor of Tasmania, Australia. The sights here rival that of Paris as they present that eye-catching facade of society adapting to nature. While the amenities and locals are definitely friendly, the architecture here has a way of deferring to nature instead of the other way around.
#6: Ischia of Italy
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 to be handed to you but simultaneously 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 will show you that island life is more than just white sandy beaches. 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
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 beachgoers.
#3: Luzon, Philippines
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 of history, culture, and the modern. It houses the country’s capital, Manila, which is the seat of many carriers toward other destinations.
#2: Cebu, Philippines
Found in the Visayas, Cebu was once a Spanish Colony and thus showcases extensive architecture reminiscent of the Spanish style. The people here are friendly and extremely well-versed in English, allowing you to hold conversations anywhere you go.
#1: Palawan, Philippines
An island where white sandy beaches are the norm, the 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 travelers feel at home. Beach choices are extensive with the ever-popular Sabang Beach, the stunning El Nido, or the surfer’s favorite Nagtabon Beach.
Travel + Leisure asks people in a survey to score the best islands based on their characteristics, such as the friendliness of the people and romantic charm. With new places being discovered daily, it won’t be surprising if new island names pop up from time to time as the world expands for the willing traveler.
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