Whether you want to drift through turquoise lagoons, trek along otherworldly coastlines or simply do nothing at all, your honeymoon is all about doing exactly what you (and your beloved) want to do.
Whatever that may be, there’s one thing we all know for sure: there’s no better place to celebrate love than on an island. Here are 13 island escapes that offer something for everyone – meaning you’re sure to find your perfect slice of honeymoon paradise.
1. St Vincent & the Grenadines
For dreamy island-hopping
This group of 32 small isles is ideal for those who fancy a Caribbean boat experience but don’t want to splurge on a private yacht. Public ferries hop up and down the Grenadines island chain, delivering on-deck local culture and the opportunity to find the island that suits you best, from unspoiled Union to exclusive Canouan. In other words, perfect for honeymooners who want to bring a touch of independence to their Caribbean vacation.
2. Menorca, Spain
For anyone committed to sustainable travel
Welcome to the easternmost point of Spain – a soulful, sun-soaked, beach-wrapped jewel of an island washed by the sparkling Balearic Sea, where sustainability has been the cornerstone of local tourism long before it became a buzzword. Declared a Unesco Biosphere Reserve back in 1993, beautiful Menorca boasts inspiringly designed agroturismos (rural hotels), mystifying Bronze Age ruins, rippling wetlands, pine-scented coastal trails and a string of the country’s most exquisite beaches. From its blissfully protected beaches to its strong gastronomic heritage, this go-slow island is making waves as a responsible-travel destination – and is the perfect spot for any couple looking for a sustainable honeymoon.
3. Quirimbas Archipelago, Mozambique
For dhow cruising and history
Why pick one island for your honeymoon when you can have 30? That’s about how many specks of wonderful white sand make up this Indian Ocean archipelago in Mozambique. Among them is Ibo, home to the 16th-century Portuguese trading settlement of Ilha de Moçambique – a must-see. After a dose of history here, sail between the islands – remote Vamizi, deluxe Quilalea – stopping off on nameless cays for lobster barbecues along the way. It’s the perfect spot for a couple looking to get off the beaten path.
4. Hvar, Croatia
For glamour, beauty and wine tasting
A favorite of the smart set who flock here in summer, Hvar is the sunniest and most glamorous of Croatia’s Dalmatian islands. Just 90 minutes from Split by ferry, Hvar appeals from the first moment. From the marble streets and Gothic and Renaissance palaces of handsome Hvar Town to quiet fishing villages and hidden coves lapped by crystalline waters to superb food and wine, this is quite simply a glorious place to hang out. Inland, fields are blanketed in lavender, rosemary and heather; along the coast, it’s easy to find deserted beaches outside of the busy summer months. Settle down in a whitewashed town, tour a winery, dine like a king and soak up some sun: a honeymoon doesn’t get much better than this.
5. Tasmania, Australia
For a taste of all things Australian
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 fabulous hiking terrain. Just outside the charming capital Hobart, MONA is a world-class museum that will simply blow your mind; it even has its own in-house brewery, winery and restaurant complex (and, now, accommodations in plush, futuristic pods). In the north, the otherworldly Bay of Fires offers a stunning beach hike that culminates with flair at an award-winning eco-lodge.
6. Corsica, France
For hikes, hills, haute cuisine and hidden sands
Afloat in the Mediterranean, this rugged part of France deserves its moniker: L’île de beauté. The craggy, maquis-cloaked interior – where you can easily forget the world – tumbles to perfect golden beaches, some touristy, some seemingly undiscovered. 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 – possibly the continent’s most romantic hideaway.
7. Tioman, Malaysia
For waterfalls, local life and sublime sand
West is best when it comes to beaches in Malaysia, and Pulau Tioman, 56km (35 miles) off the coast of Peninsular Malaysia, has some of the dreamiest. The fine sands and warm, crystal-clear waters fringe an adventurous interior of waterfall-filled jungle, while laid-back fishing villages ensure the island retains a local feel. It’s the perfect place to escape after a hectic period of wedding planning.
8. Isla Mujeres, Mexico
For an escape from Cancún
Just off the coast of Cancún, this tiny, pencil-thin island feels a world away from the hubbub of Mexico’s largest beach resort. With its tranquil turquoise waters, white sands and prismatic corals along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the island was revered by the Maya as a sanctuary for Ixchel, the jaguar goddess of midwifery and medicine. Today, its devotees are drawn by sun and sand. The scuba diving is sublime, the mood is laid-back (golf carts are the only transportation here) and the margaritas go down like lemonade as the sun plunges into the Caribbean Sea.
9. Zanzibar, Tanzania
For a heady escape to a beautiful coast
Bathed in spice-laden trade winds down through the centuries and beloved by travelers looking for a multi-layered Indian Ocean escape, Zanzibar is an East African destination unlike anywhere else. The island’s cultural and historical stories come to life in the exquisite architecture of Stone Town, in the enticing smells from spice warehouses along the waterfront on a steamy tropical afternoon, and in the call to prayer that animates the tangle of alleys unchanged for centuries. It’s also an island of swaying palm trees, perfect sunsets and incredible fun, both on and under the water.
10. Huahine, French Polynesia
For blissful beaches and ancient sites
A 40-minute flight from Tahiti, Huahine is Polynesia at its most sublime (which is quite a feat). This is what you picture when you think about honeymoons, with slopes of tropical abundance sinking into eye-searingly blue lagoons. But there’s also culture aplenty, including the highest density of marae (temples) in the territory. Opportunities abound for snorkeling, horse riding, surfing...or doing nothing at all.
For a Caribbean island experience you won’t forget
Forget everything you think you know about what a Caribbean island should look like: Dominica is the exception to the rule, in just about every way. For starters, it’s home to a whopping nine active volcanoes that tower up to 4921ft (1500m) above the island. Hidden in their midst are dense forests home to two parrots that live nowhere else on earth. The island boasts mostly black-sand beaches and spectacular waterfalls that tumble over cliffs into steaming-hot pools. The nation’s most famous attraction, meanwhile, is a remote lake that bubbles with boiling water. On the Caribbean’s so-called Nature Island, nothing is quite what it seems: even the rum tastes different, with each bottle infused with various botanicals meant to cure any ailment. This is the perfect destination for the honeymooners who want it all.
12. Praslin & La Digue, Seychelles
For a little taste of paradise
Beaches don’t get much better than the powdery, boulder-strewn strands fringing the islands of the Seychelles. Ferries run between Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, enabling multi-isle honeymoons with a bit of local interaction. Little La Digue is car-free, meaning you can truly slow down as you explore by bike or on foot. 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).
13. Kaua'i, Hawaii, USA
For a lush getaway
Near the far western edges of the Hawai‘ian archipelago, the ‘Garden Island’ of Kaua‘i is both an adventure seeker’s playground and a destination for travelers keen on exploring a diverse and multicultural food scene. After a day of active exploring, oceanside restaurants and food trucks – many focused on blending Hawai‘ian, Japanese, Korean and Filipino flavours and harnessing local and sustainable produce – are the relaxed focus for planning another day of kayaking, cycling and exploring. Away from the cosmopolitan influence of Honolulu, Kaua‘i is also one of the island state’s most traditional destinations, with regular events and festivals showcasing both hula and Hawai‘ian slack-key guitar.