Mykonos named the hottest spot among Europe's islands

Click to follow
The Independent Travel

The Greek island of Mykonos has emerged as the most popular island destination in Europe. Part of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea, Mykonos is where Zeus supposedly once battled the Titans – but is now favoured by DJs, who entertain sprawling legions of clubbers in beachside bars.

The list, based on votes by the readers of Condé Nast Traveller magazine, also contained a surprise: the Isle of Skye in Scotland was named in the top 10, beating sunnier spots including Sicily, and Hvar in Croatia. The Turkish island of Bozcaada came second, ahead of Ibiza.

Those not familiar with Skye's handsome scenery might have inadvertently caught a glimpse last week, when its autumn-dappled hills and serrated shoreline featured as the backdrop to coverage of the stricken nuclear submarine HMS Astute.

Equally tempting is the relatively tropical south of the island: even at 57 degrees north, about the same as Alaska's capital, this part of Skye enjoys a benevolent climate. From Armadale, Caledonian Macbrayne ferries sail over the sea from Skye to Mallaig – one end of Scotland's other great railway, the West Highland Line. There is no doubt that, when the sun shines, Skye is an island worthy of its new status among European travellers. In the meantime, however, Sicily might be a better bet this winter.

Three Scottish golf hotels, The Old Course Hotel in St Andrews, the Turnberry Resort and the Gleneagles hotel, were also named in the Top 20 European Resorts category. Ardanaiseig Hotel at Loch Awe was named as the UK's third-best leisure hotel, and also made it into the World's Overall Travel Top 100 list.

"The results of this survey are fantastic news for Scotland, especially as they are voted for by visitors themselves," said the chief executive of Visit Scotland, Malcolm Roughead.

Scotland's Tourism Minister Jim Mather added: "I am delighted to congratulate the picturesque, evocative and timeless Isle of Skye and all those across Scottish tourism who have been highlighted as being among the best of the international travel community."

The timing is also good for the Isle of Skye as it has been featured prominently in Visit Scotland's "Meet the Scots" campaign, a Europe-wide drive to promote Scottish tourism.

More than 25,000 people voted in the awards, with the winners featuring in the November issue of the magazine.

Calder's top five islands


On a spectacular rocky outcrop in mid-Atlantic, nature, history and culture converge. Beyond the monuments of the capital, the volcanic landscape is draped with woodland that provide marvellous hiking.


Memories of Ibiza endure – the crumpled terrain with dramatic coastal views, and the intricate old town whose serenity is only infrequently punctured by a passing aircraft.


Quaint and tiny streets criss-cross the "capital", and the decaying waterside quarter resembles a delicious corner of Venice. The rest of the island ranges from smooth to rugged.


Track down glass factories where centuries-old skills are practised to make exquisite creations, and bars where the chatter is still in the Venetian dialect.


Palma, the capital, has grandeur, culture and allure in equal measure, while the beaches are some of the best in the Mediterranean. Its real strength, though, is the spectacular mountain terrain that provides stunning hiking, cycling or driving.