Pristine white sand, clear blue waters...

Readers of Condé Nast magazine have revealed their favourite islands in the world, with the Maldives clinching the top spot.

The Maldives bumped the Balearic Islands - last year’s winner - into fifth place, while the Greek Islands came second.

Situated in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives comprises of 26 atolls each with a subtly different character. All boast fabulous beaches and the capital, Malé, offers a range of restaurants and shops for tourists requiring a memento from their time in the country.


One defining characteristic of all the top ten islands was their stunning beaches. It seems that luxury travel magazine readers prize their strips of pristine white sand...

It’s not all lazing on the beach though, as cultural destinations also made an appearance on the list. Sicily came third and Malta just squeezed into the tenth spot. Both islands allow travellers to visit a mass of historical sites in the morning and then relax on beautiful beaches in the afternoon.

Associate editor Peter Browne, said: “The Maldives came out first thanks to high scores across the board, but most notably for its white-sand beaches.

“Closer to home, the Greek Islands, which have come in the top 10 for a decade or more, are in part so popular because our readers love open-hearted Greek hospitality.”

The results were compiled after questionnaires, inserted in the magazine and posted online, were returned by readers who rated foreign islands on six criteria: scenery, beaches, value for money, food, places to stay and the local people.