The 3 Best Islands in Canada

The best islands in Canada, according to Travel + Leisure readers, possess an easygoing sensibility and rustic beauty.

If you harbor preconceived notions that you need to have a pair of broken-in hiking boots or a penchant for the cold to fall in love with our neighbor to the north, let this be the year you cast that notion aside and head to what Travel + Leisure readers have deemed the best islands in Canada. While the country has tens of thousands of isles, our readers consistently choose three that offer exquisite dining experiences, breathtaking vistas, and a plethora of year-round activities — both on land and on the water.

Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated islands according to their activities and sights, natural attractions and beaches, food, friendliness, and overall value.

Cape Breton Island, Canada
Biking along a path on Cape Breton Island, Canada. Adam Hill/Courtesy of Destination Cape Breton

Biking is a fantastic way to explore Prince Edward Island (No. 2), with a range of trails that traverse farmland and the dramatic coastline. Fans of the 1908 book Anne of Green Gables can take a themed tour to see where the character would have lived, while theater and music lovers can attend one of the island's festivals. Gourmands can feast on shellfish accompanied by a local beer.

Vancouver Island (No. 3) got a shout-out from one reader for being a "beautiful forested coastal island." Travelers can work up a sweat hiking around Mount Douglas, then plunge into an ice bath before getting a massage at Ritual Nordic Spa.

But as appealing as both islands are, neither could topple Cape Breton, which has extended its reign at the top of the best islands in Canada to a fifth consecutive year.

1. Cape Breton Island

Cape Breton Island, Canada
Swimmer at Gairloch Mountain Falls Black Brook Falls, Cape Breton Island, Canada. Adam Hill/Courtesy of Destination Cape Breton

Also voted one of the world's best islands by Travel + Leisure readers, this rugged Nova Scotia destination is beloved for its Indigenous culture, whale-watching, legendary lobster rolls, and the 185-mile Cabot Trail, which encircles the island. But golf lovers will know the island for its high-profile courses. One fan writes, "Cabot Cliffs, Cabot Links, & The Nest: The best courses in the world are here!" Many enthusiasts choose to stay at one of the resort's 72 rooms or 19 villas, with modern, airy architecture that showcases the ocean and landscape.

Score: 90.88

2. Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island, Canada
Canada, Prince Edward Island, Sandstone cairns on Cavendish Beach. Getty Images

Score: 87.72

3. Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island, Canada
People on SUPs in Inner Harbour, Victoria, Vancouver Island, Canada. Getty Images

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 87.48

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