Though you might imagine the best islands in the world to share similar characteristics, Travel+Leisure's World's Best List proves there are many destinations that don't fit the palm-fringed mold. The travel authority tapped thousands of readers to vote on the number one island destination and the winner might be considered surprising.
Beating popular choices like Bora Bora, Tahiti, and Santorini, Greece, the title of "best island in the world" was awarded to Java, Indonesia. Unlike many of the small islands on the list, Java is the geographic and economic center of the country, home to half of its population. It's the first time Java has featured on the annual list and readers gave it a total score of 95.28, thanks to its idyllic waterfalls, towering volcanos, and protected parks. In fact, Indonesian islands took out the top three awards, with Bali and Lombok voted the second and third best islands in the world.
The 10 Best Islands in the World
1. Java, Indonesia
2. Bali, Indonesia
3. Lombok, Indonesia
5. Waiheke Island, New Zealand
6. Palawan, Philippines
8. Cebu, Philippines
9. Paros, Greece
10. Tasmania, Australia
Next up: This was voted the best island in Europe.