Greece’s Milos was voted the best island in the world for 2021 according to a survey carried out among the millions of Travel+Leisure magazine readers. Folegandros island also in the Aegean was voted second best in the world.
This year’s World’s Best Awards survey was open for voting January 11 through May 10, 2021, as destinations around the world were lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Survey rules have always allowed readers to reflect on their travel experiences over a three-year period.
The best islands in the world, according to T+L readers, are the kind of Instagram-perfect destinations that travelers fantasize about on winter evenings: dreamy, sun-drenched landscapes surrounded by the bluest waters. And since there’s an island destination for everyone, what constitutes “paradise” likely boils down to specific interests — history, culture, heart-pumping adventure, or something else entirely.
Milos: the dazzling Cycladic treasure
Located in the middle of the Cycladic islands, Mílos rose from its No. 3 spot last year thanks to friendly locals who welcome visitors to explore the quaint villages (Trypiti is famous for its windmills, Plaka for its sunsets), extraordinary tavernas, and dozens of picturesque beaches that vary in color depending on whether they are formed from shells, stones, or sand.
Because of its volcanic origin, Milos possesses a captivating colorful landscape with soft sandy beaches, underwater sea caves and reddish cliffs, and has more than 75 exotic beaches.
Being home to the Venus of Milos statue, which was found on the island, but is currently on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris, and the beautiful white rock formations of Kleftiko and Sarakiniko beach, rich-colored Klima village, and Plaka’s sunset, Milos’ beauty is unique and showcased in many ways.
The island is also the site of catacombs which tell the tragic story of early Christians in Greece.
According to archaeologists and historians, the awe-inspiring catacombs of Milos have served as the graveyard for 7,000-8,000 Christians, making the site the third most sacred early-Christian monument, after the Holy Land and the catacombs of Rome.
Folegandros, the unspoiled Aegean paradise
Folegandros. Credit: Navin75 – originally posted to Flickr as Hora, Folegandros at sunset, CC BY-SA 2.0
Folegandros, the unspoiled Greek island paradise, was voted second best island in the world, according to the T+L survey.
It is a quiet Greek island that remains relatively unknown to most tourists. Only an hour by high-speed boat form the popular island of Santorini, Folegandros is for those who are looking to experience a more simple and unforgettable Greek experience.
Known for its unspoilt landscapes, Folegandros was named after the son of King Minos.
There are only three small villages on the island. The main village, Chora, is filled with houses painted in white with multi-colored doors and windows, perched high on the cliff above the blue sea.
There are quaint squares and tavernas, so visitors will not run out of things to do when they are not enjoying the beautiful beaches – which are practically empty!