Tropical islands, swaying palms, and sandy beaches are some of the most favorite romantic honeymoon getaways in the world. That said, not every couple wants to simply kick back with a cocktail on the beach (at least not every day). From cruising across turquoise lagoons to hiking otherworldly coastlines, exploring ancient temples and well, just doing nothing at all, these island escapes offering something for everyone. Find your perfect slice of honeymoon paradise.
Quirimbas Archipelago, Mozambique
Why pick one island when you can have 30? That’s about how many specks of wonderful white sand make up this Indian Ocean archipelago. Among them is Ibo, home to the 16th-century Portuguese trading settlement of Ilha de Moçambique – a must-see. After a dose of the culture here, sail between the islands – remote Vamizi, luxe Quilalea – stopping off on nameless cayes for lobster barbecues en route.
This chunk of France, afloat in the Mediterranean, deserves its moniker: L’île de Beauté. The rumpled, maquis-cloaked interior – where you can easily forget the world – tumbles to perfect golden crescents, some touristy, some seemingly unfound. There’s wildness if you want it (the hiking is some of Europe’s best), but also fine food and indulgent retreats, not least Domaine de Murtoli (murtoli.com) – possibly the continent’s most romantic hideaway.
Huahine, French Polynesia
Huahine, a 40-minute flight from Tahiti, is Polynesia at its most sublime (and that’s quite a feat). Slopes of tropical abundance sink into eye-searingly blue lagoons; there’s culture aplenty, including the highest density of marae (temples) in the territory; and opportunities abound for snorkeling, horse riding, surfing or doing nothing at all.
With no all-inclusive resorts or cruise-ship ports, Nevis is as refreshing as one of its gentle trade winds. Accommodation is often historic – old sugar plantations converted into characterful hotels. Diversions include diving, hikes around Nevis Peak and sipping rum on Pinney’s Beach.
Algonquin Island, Canada
This tiny speck of pines on Ontario’s Kawawaymog Lake can only be reached by canoe and is ideal for two. There’s a cozy cabin with a second-floor deck and outdoor dining table ideally placed for sunset; a floating sauna bob in the shallows. Other than that, it’s you and the wilderness.
Praslin and La Digue, Seychelles
Beaches don’t get much better than the boulder-strewn powdery strands fringing Seychelles. Ferries run between Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, enabling multi-isle ’moons, and a bit of local interaction. Little La Digue is car-free – explore on foot or by bike. Praslin is home to good restaurants and the Unesco-listed Vallée de Mai nature reserve, where you can stroll beneath coco de mer palms and giggle at their suggestive seeds.
It might not have the weather of tropical Queensland, but Australia’s lush southern island state is where you’ll find some of the country’s best food and wine, epic mountains, cool lakes and hiking terrain. Outside the quaint capital, Hobart, there’s MONA – a world-class gallery, brewery, winery, and restaurant complex that will simply blow your mind (and where it’s now possible to stay in plush, futuristic pods); in the north you’ve got the otherworldly Bay of Fires, famed for a luxury beach hike that culminates with flair at an award-winning eco-lodge.
Santorini’s the sort of spot that might move you to marry in the first place: visit this Cyclades isle with a beau and you’re bound to leave engaged. It oozes romance, with its pretty white houses tumbling down a part-sunken caldera. Stay in a boutique bolthole where you can sip Santorini wines on a private terrace while watching the sun sink into the glittering sea.
(All photographs are courtesy of the original owners unless otherwise indicated)