If you’re trying to decide where to go for your post-wedding escape, a sun-splashed island can be a solid choice. But which one to choose? The ideal island for your newlywed getaway depends on your budget, and how much time you have. But whether you’re simply looking for sand and scenery close to home, or seeking adventure on distant shores, we’ve got you covered with this list of the best islands for honeymoons.
This petite island just off the coast of Venezuela has plenty to offer day and night. The alabaster sands and baby-blue waters of Palm Beach create the perfect honeymoon setting, or you can head to Arashi Beach for a bit more privacy and stellar snorkeling. Couples can go horseback riding, while soaking up the unique desert-meets-the-sea landscape, at Rancho La Ponderosa. Excellent dining is also easy to find. At Atardi, you can enjoy dinner while feeling the sand between your toes. And while you may lose a few bucks at the shiny Stellaris Casino, the weather is much less of gamble. The average year-round temperature is 82 degrees Fahrenheit, and Aruba sees the most sunny days per year of any Caribbean island. Plus, its location puts it south of the hurricane belt.
Our romantic Aruba hotel pick: Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort
2. BORA BORA
If you and your sweetheart want to splash out, a honeymoon to Bora Bora is a great pick. Jagged Mount Otemanu, rising about 2,400 feet above the sea, is the dramatic centerpiece of this French Polynesian island. The dormant volcano fans out to lush jungle and is ringed by a lagoon that’s home to stingrays and colorful fish. Whether you’re taking pics from afar, or hiking at its base, it’s awe-inspiring. Overwater bungalows, many with private plunge pools, are the favored accommodations on the island. A meal at Bloody Mary’s, an island institution where staff can explain the fresh fish on display in seven languages, is a must. You can sample poisson cru (raw tuna or mahi-mahi marinated in lime and coconut) while sitting on a coconut stump at a wood slab table. Fun fact: Famous lovebirds Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell have eaten there more than once.
Our romantic Bora Bora hotel pick: InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
Located 700 miles off the coast of North Carolina in the Atlantic, Bermuda is famed for its pink-sand beaches. Visitors here like to golf and have a proper afternoon tea — the latter owing to the fact it’s a British territory. If strolling around flower-lined lanes, admiring historic architecture, and riding around on a moped built for two (there are no rental cars here) sounds like your idea of a fun vacation, then Bermuda is might be your honeymoon spot. Astwood Cove is a small, pretty and secluded beach that’s surrounded by cliffs, with a trail down to the sand. Don’t be surprised if you’re the only ones there (save for the colorful fish darting around your feet). After a day on the sand, head over to Waterlot restaurant for a blueberry bourbon smash.
Our Bermuda hotel pick: Cambridge Beaches
White-washed homes dotting the hillside, ancient vineyards, a tangerine-tinted sunset over the sapphire-colored Aegean Sea and fresh seafood for days — sounds amazing, right? Santorini consists of two inhabited islands and a handful of islets, the site of a massive volcano eruption. You can tour Akrotiri, the excavation site of a 3,500-year-old Minoan town covered in ash (much like better-known Pompeii). Santorini’s fascinating geological history is to thank for its otherworldly beaches of red volcanic sand and black lava pebbles. Meanwhile, the village of Oia, full of quaint tavernas and family-run shops, is the perfect place to stroll for an afternoon. Its main plaza often has local musicians performing, and the stunning Greek Orthodox church has an interesting backstory.
Our romantic Santorini hotel pick: Lilium Villas Santorini
With spectacular scenery, top-notch restaurants, opportunities to spot whales and sea turtles and luxury resorts, Maui is arguably the best Hawaiian island for honeymooners. Plus, it’s noticeably less crowded than Oahu. Snorkeling in Molokini (a crescent-shaped volcanic crater) and Kapalua Bay is exceptional. Driving the famous Road to Hana, lined with waterfalls, black-sand beaches, and rainbow eucalyptus trees, is full of surprises. And while you may not picture yourself getting up and out before dawn on your honeymoon, taking a tour to see the sunrise at Haleakala National Park is worth it. Mama’s Fish House, known for its superior mahi-mahi, is one of the more popular romantic dinner spots.
Our romantic Maui hotel pick: Andaz Maui At Wailea
6. ST. LUCIA
St. Lucia boasts both beautiful mountains and stunning beaches. It also (at least for now) sees fewer tourists than other Caribbean islands, so it’s a solid pick for couples seeking a tropical getaway without crowds. Lounging on Sugar Beach and kicking back on a sunset cruise will prove irresistible, but you’ll also find plenty of active pursuits. For example, a day spent hiking the Pitons (St. Lucia’s signature volcanic spires) and dunking in the nearby mud baths is worth the trip alone. Segway tours, zip-lining over the dense rainforest at Treetop Adventure Park, and a romantic walk around Morne Coubaril Estate, an 18th-century plantation, will also keep couples occupied.
Our romantic St. Lucia hotel pick: Anse Chastanet Resort
For a laid-back (and fairly affordable) beach honeymoon, check out the Caribbean island nation of Jamaica. Great all-inclusive resorts abound here, including several with a lovey-dovey vibe, such as the Sandals and Couples properties. And after the stress of planning (and spending on) a wedding, the budget-friendly aspects of an all-inclusive can be enticing. If you do feel like getting off your lounger and exploring a bit, day trips to Dunn’s River Falls, Dolphin Cove, and Ochos Rios can be easily arranged. An outing to Rick’s Cafe in Negril is worth considering, too; the cliff diving and sunset you take in over dinner are seriously memorable.
Our romantic Jamaica hotel pick: Couples Swept Away
New spouses dreaming of an exotic honeymoon might land on Bali, a relaxing, romantic island in the Indian Ocean. Staggered pagodas and grand temples, like the water temple Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, dot the landscape. Exotic bird-watching tours, snorkeling excursions to coral reefs and dolphin swims are popular activities here. Kuta, one of Indonesia’s more bustling tourist destinations, is the place to head for after-dark fun.
Our romantic Bali hotel pick: Bulgari Resort Bali
9. PUERTO RICO
This U.S. territory in the Caribbean has big advantages as a honeymoon destination: plenty of flights from the mainland (and a relatively short trip), no currency or language differences and no need for a passport. Puerto Rico is home to an appealing mix of lively nightlife, fascinating history (Old San Juan is a UNESCO World Heritage site) and natural wonders. Among the latter are the caverns in Rio Camuy Cave Park, the El Yunque National Forest, and the bioluminescent bay in Fajardo. Another reason to put Puerto Rico on your list: After the devastating hurricane of 2017, it’ll feel good to support their tourism industry.
Our romantic Puerto Rico hotel pick: Condado Vanderbilt Hotel
Kick off married life in style by jetting off to the Maldives, an island nation of 26 atolls scattered in the Indian Ocean. A honeymoon to the Maldives doesn’t come cheap or easy (there are no direct flights from the U.S.), but if you have the money and vacation days to spend, this destination will not disappoint. Scuba diving opportunities are stellar, especially at the shark-filled Fish Head and the Victory shipwreck. Exquisite seafood, unsurprisingly, figures prominently on menus. The Maldives is also home to the one of the smallest capital cities in the world — Male — at 2.2 square miles. The National Museum is the big draw here, and many visitors enjoy strolling around the bustling fishing dock area.
Our romantic Maldives hotel pick: Taj Exotica Resort & Spa
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