Top 10 Mediterranean islands according to new data – full list

Mediterranean islands are popular holiday destinations, but a new study has revealed which are the top 10 islands based on offering tourists history and culture, natural wonders, weather, and luxuries. A shortlist of 50 islands was chosen, and data was crunched taking into consideration the five-star hotels, museums, diving spots and ancient ruins. The research also looked into weather, with sea temperatures, rainfall and average summer highs studied. Here are the top 10 Mediterranean islands according to The Telegraph. 

10. Kefalonia, Greece 

#23/50 natural wonders, #18/50 history and culture, #2/50 weather, #20/50 luxuries 

Kefalonia is known for sandy coves and dry rugged landscapes, with its capital Argostoli, built on a hillside overlooking a narrow harbour.

The island scored well with readers for the number of beaches – apparently, you can reach a new one every 2.4 miles of coastline and the south is where the white sand is found, whereas the north offers pebbles. The weather is good too, offering average highs of 26 degrees Celsius in the summer, with 13 hours of sunshine per day. 

9. Ibiza 

#11/50 natural wonders, #11/50 history and culture, #22/50 weather, #8/50 luxuries 

Holidaymakers looking for a party that starts at sunset and finishes at sunrise should consider Ibiza, but the island also offers quiet inland villages, untouched coves and clear waters on the other side of the island. 

The notorious party island scored well for the number of dive sites available, but for those who’d rather enjoy wants on the island rather than in the water surrounding it, there are three Michelin-starred restaurants and 19 five-star hotels that were noted. 

Flight times to Ibiza also earned the island some points in the research, as it’s just two hours and 25 minutes away. 

8. Mallorca 

#9/50 natural wonders, #8/50 history and culture, #30/50 weather, #2/50 luxuries 

One of Spain’s Balearic Islands, Mallorca is known for beach resorts, sheltered coves, limestone mountains and Roman and Moorish remains. 

The capital, Palma also has an array of nightlife popular with younger adults. 

7. Crete 

#4/50 natural wonders, #19/50 history and culture, #26/50 weather, #15/50 luxuries 

The most populous island in Greece, Crete offers holidaymakers an abundance of beaches, ancient treasures and landscapes, weaving in vibrant cities and dreamy villages. 

It scored top for its 108 five-star hotels, which was more than any other island on the list, and the 117 museums and 212 beaches were also mentioned. 

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6. Santorini

#10/50 natural wonders, #7/50 history and culture, #4/50 weather, #5/50 luxuries 

Santorini’s rugged landscape enjoyed by millions every year was created by a volcanic eruption in the 16th century BC. 

The island is known for the whitewashed, cubiform houses of its two principal towns, Fira and Oia, that cling to cliffs above an underwater caldera. The towns overlook the sea and small islands to the west, with beaches made up of black, red and white lava pebbles. 

As for why it’s number six, the number of museums and Akrotiri ruins made it a popular destination for history and culture. 

There’s also a large number of five-star hotels, as the weather was a huge plus for readers; zero rainy days in August last year. 

5. Malta 

#8/50 natural wonders, #2/50 history and culture, #12/50 weather, #7/50 luxuries 

Located between Sicily and the North African coast, Malta is known for historic sites related to a succession of rulers including the Romans, Moors, Knights of Saint John, French and British. There are numerous fortresses, chambers and ruins for tourists to explore making it number two out of 50 for history and culture. 

Spring and early summer are said to be the best times to visit with the weather hot, nights are cooler and there are fewer tourists. 

4. Corsica 

#2/50 natural wonders, #5/50 history and culture, #39/50 weather, #3/50 luxuries 

Corsica is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean and lies 105 miles from southern France. 

Telegraph readers noted the “excellent snorkelling, catalogue of beaches and undulating landscape”, and was number three in the luxuries category thanks to its four Michelin-starred restaurants and 17 five-star hotels. 

3. Sardinia 

#1/50 natural wonders, #4/50 history and culture, #37/50 weather, #16/50 luxuries 

The second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sardinia boasts nearly 2,000km of coastline, with gorgeous sandy beaches and a mountainous interior with plenty of hiking trails. 

The rugged landscape is dotted with thousands of mysterious Bronze Age stone ruins shaped like beehives, which makes it a great location for history and culture. 

It was voted number one for the natural wonders category due to the beaches (all 470 of them), the snorkelling and 40 recognised dive sites. 

2. Cyprus 

#5/50 natural wonders, #3/50 history and culture, #10/50 weather, #32/50 luxuries 

“For an authentic Mediterranean experience, Cyprus is your holiday destination,” Visit Cyprus claims. It’s named “Europe’s sunniest island” and has a long history and rich culture that spans 11,000 years, making it one of the oldest civilisations in the Mediterranean. 

It made number 10 for weather, with summer highs of 27 degrees Celcius and 12 hours of sunshine a day. 

1. Sicily, Italy 

#3/50 natural wonders, #1/50 history and culture, #40/50 weather, #1/50 luxuries 

Sicily won 70.7 percent of points from readers, with its 538 museums and seven World Heritage Sites, as well as Mount Etna, one of Europe’s highest active volcanoes. 

For those who prefer beaches, there are 334 to choose from and 922 miles of coastline to explore. 

In terms of weather, Sicily can experience rainfall and is slightly cooler than other islands in the summer. 

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