Romance. They say you can find it anywhere if you’re with the right person. But to see it truly flourish, it helps to be in the right place—whether near or far, celebrating a special occasion, or simply escaping the bustle of everyday life. Enter the world’s most romantic island getaways. You can thank us later…
We’ve rounded up 15 islands we think are just right for a romantic vacation, and there are some pretty dreamy destinations to choose from! Some offer a slower pace of life ideal for tranquility and relaxation, others are exciting playgrounds abuzz with adventurous activities. All of them have the benefits of good weather, pristine water views, and the warm, warm welcome that islanders are famous for.
When it comes to finding a great place to stay, Holiday Lettings has you covered with an array of bookable rental properties. A Palawan bamboo cabin on the beach, a luxury villa in St. Lucia, or a historic house on Mackinac Island, perhaps? With a private rental, you have the luxury of extra space (always a plus, even when it’s just the two of you). You’ll be able to come and go as you please, enjoy amenities such as a pool or a patio, and even prepare candlelit meals if that’s your thing—all in the blissful seclusion of your own rental. Rental homes can offer great value for money, even in the more upscale destinations mentioned below, so a taste of the high life might be closer to your budget than you think. That could leave you more to spend on that sunset cruise, waterfall tour, or a soak in the hot springs.
Ready to dive in? Here are some of the most romantic islands in the world for a perfect couples getaway.
The unspoiled archipelago of Palawan is a real treat, with its white beaches, karst outcrops, and pristine waters waiting to be explored. Try this underground tour of the Puerto Princesa Underground River and marvel at its stalactites on an unhurried, small-group excursion. And what could be more romantic than an evening gliding by boat while fireflies light the way? The area is famed for its food, although you may have to step outside your comfort zone for certain dishes—minced crocodile, anyone?
Capri is all about the good life, with stunning views, lovely coves, and decidedly upscale shopping all making it worthy among the world’s most romantic island getaways. Don’t miss the Blue Grotto and a taste of the local limoncello. For a special treat for your significant other, you could book a private couples’ boat tour of the island, including lunch, wine, and time to stop and snorkel. The best part: it’s reserved for just the two of you and your guide.
Catalina Island, California, USA
This sunny Californian isle offers beaches, diving, and wildlife spotting, as well as the popular Art Deco Catalina Casino. You could start your visit with a small-group guided trip around Avalon city, a relaxed food and walking tour, or spend the day diving, swimming, and snorkeling, just the two of you. If your idea of romance comes with a bit more energy, try swinging 600 feet above sea level on this fantastic ziplining eco tour.
St. Lucia, Caribbean
With its gorgeous rainforest, volcanic beaches, and fine dining, St. Lucia is an obvious choice for a romantic island getaway. You can spend a day exploring your surroundings by catamaran, stopping for a romantic walk through the tropical greenery of the Diamond Botanical Gardens. Or you could opt for champagne and hors d’oeuvres on a sunset cruise. Get closer to some of St. Lucia’s most fascinating residents, such as the jacquot parrot, on this small-group aerial tram tour.
Tahiti, French Polynesia
Tahiti’s gorgeous landscape—made up of two joined islands—has beaches of black sand, volcanoes, lagoons, and homes perfectly perched above the blue waters. Get your bearings, along with some awesome views, on a Tahiti island tour, which includes the lovely waterfalls and tropical flowers of the Vaipahi Gardens. There’s even an excursion for watching the huge waves break at Teahupoo—maybe with a glimpse a surfer or two taking on the challenge.
Maui, Hawaii, USA
Maui is no doubt one of the most romantic islands in the world, with its famous sunrises and sunsets, and its magnificent beaches. You can catch one of those sunsets on a dinner cruise with evening views to die for, or you could snorkel around the Turtle Arches reef on this boating and snorkelling excursion. To see the island views from the sky, book a helicopter tour and soar over Molokai and Maui.
Moorea, French Polynesia
West of Tahiti is the smaller island of Moorea, with its lovely lagoon and white-sand beaches. There’s plenty to see here: follow hiking trails up into the lush hillsides for views across the water, try a twin jet ski tour with a guide, including the chance to swim with sharks and stingrays, or take a tour on a transparent kayak over the warm waters of the Moorea lagoon.
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
It’s easy to dial up the romance when you’re visiting beautiful Virgin Gorda. Book a sunset catamaran cruise, including some leisurely snorkelling, or for bigger budgets there’s this private sunset sail. Don’t miss The Baths, the island’s most famous natural landmark, made up of smoothed granite boulders forming pools, arches, and atmospheric tunnels.
Santorini, famous for its bright white and blue houses stacked up into the hillsides, is another incredible (albeit quite well-known!) spot for a romantic island getaway. You can combine a volcanic hike and romantic dip in the hot springs on this three-hour tour. The hot springs are also on the agenda as part of this sunset catamaran cruise, which sets aside time for swimming or snorkelling along the coastline, a Greek barbecue, and breathtaking views at sunset. For something a little different, escape the beaten track on this tour of the locality’s hidden gems.
St. Barthelemy, Caribbean
This world-class romantic island getaway attracts the rich and famous to its soft sands, cliffs and coves, and fragrant gardens. You’ll see more than a few exclusive yachts bobbing in Gustavia’s harbor and maybe a few famous faces, too. You’ll undoubtedly be drawn to the island’s beaches (22 in all)—keep an eye out for humpback whales and sea turtles. Shell Beach is recommended for romantic wanderings and beachcombing for sea-polished treasures.
One of the most romantic islands on our list is Bali, with its fantastic food, historic temples, and idyllic beaches, not to mention its inquisitive monkey residents. See them on this private Ubud tour, complete with romantic tumbling waterfalls and hot springs. You can also swim with moray eels and butterfly fish on this snorkelling experience.
Coral reefs, sandy beaches, unforgettable food—welcome to Mauritius! There’s plenty for romantic souls to get up to here: join a day trip to Bénitiers Island and see dolphins swimming about, enjoy a full-day catamaran cruise, or book a day excursion around southern Mauritius, taking in wildlife, traditional Mauritian fare, and the Saint Aubin sugar estate.
This is a famously upscale destination for honeymooners, but there are deals to be had when you sidestep the pricier accommodation and book a private home instead. You can learn about the marine life of this Indian Ocean idyll on a boat trip to St Anne Marine Park, which includes time for lounging on the beach, swimming, and snorkelling. Or you could hop on a half-day tour of Victoria’s landmarks.
The peaceful island of Bonaire is another top choice for a romantic island getaway. It’s particularly favored by divers, and you can also try adventurous activities such as kitesurfing and windsurfing. Check out Bonaire National Marine Park and snorkel around its stunning coral reefs. First-time visitors will love this three-hour tour of Bonaire taking in its main villages, Lake Gotomeer with its resident flamingos, and the salt flats in the south.
Islamorada, Florida, USA
This is the place for tranquil fishing sessions and eco reef adventures, or soaring up, up, and away to grab some amazing aerial views on a parasailing tour over the Keys. Head out to Indian Key State Historic Site to hike, snorkel, and see wading birds paddling about.
Mackinac Island, Michigan, USA
We round out our most romantic island getaways with arguably the biggest “hidden gem” destination on the list. But don’t sleep on Michigan’s Mackinac Island, a true American treasure. This blissfully car-free zone on Lake Huron is best explored on two wheels, so hire a couple of bikes or electric scooters and get pedalling. Or why not increase the romance factor with a horse-drawn carriage tour? There are plenty of activities to enjoy: take advantage of the boat tours and water sports, or stay inland for a few peaceful rounds of golf.
This post was originally published on the TripAdvisor blog. Holiday Lettings is a TripAdvisor company.
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