Best and Worst Islands Rated

Best and Worst Islands Rated
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TOP FIVE ISLAND DESTINATIONS

Shetland Islands, Scotland, U.K.

A lighthouse by the Eshaness Cliffs is shown in this undated picture of the Shetland Islands, which tied with two other destinations for third place among 111 islands rated on their preservation record and forecast.

As one of the 522 expert judges said in the November/December 2007 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine, the islands have "spectacular sea cliffs; pristine beaches; fascinating geology; over a million breeding seabirds; the highest density of otters in Europe; regular sightings of killer whales; and superb displays of rare sub-Arctic flora."

About 130 miles (210 kilometers) north of mainland Scotland, the islands were applauded for the preservation of both heritage and ecology, despite nearby oil developments.

"A unique blend of Scotland and Nordic culture," wrote another expert. "Somewhat remote, the Shetlands have protected the environment and continue to attract tourists and maintain other sectors (fishing and oil) in harmony."

(Both National Geographic News and Traveler magazine are part of the National Geographic Society.)

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—Photograph by Patrick Dieudonne/Getty Images
 
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