To bliss out on sugar-white beaches, enjoy hand-in-hand moonlight strolls under the star-studded skies, and indulge Zen-like pampering at a luxurious resort, your post-wedding getaway will definitely be one of your most unforgettable. We ‘re looking at the top 10 romantic honeymoon destinations for romance.
10. Clearwater, Miami
Why: A relatively new classic for newlyweds, Clearwater can tempt couples with miles of beautiful white public beaches, crystal-clear lakes, 5 star resorts, and an unbelievable 361 days of sunshine. Constructed over a three-mile section of the Pinella Peninsula on the Gulf Coast, Clearwater Beach straddles Tampa Bay to the east and the Gulf of Mexico to the west.
Honeymoon Highlights: Besides the clichéd romantic activities – dolphin-watching cruises, parasailing, and sunset serenades at Pier 60 – Honeymoon Island State Park is a joy-seeking spectacle. Formerly known as Hog Island, this slice of paradise situated north of Clearwater was so-called in 1939 when New York developer Clinton Washburn designed 50 palm-roofed bungalows and organized a contest for the newly-weds in conjunction with LIFE magazine.
See and do: Secluded sun-drenched beaches have always made this barrier island a huge hit for honeymooners. Couples can snorkel through tangling mangroves, take leisurely walks along nature trails, snorkel in warm Gulf waters, fish for snorkeling, and keep their eyes open for gopher turtles, oysters, and raccoons. Park amenities include picnic pavilions, bathhouses, bird watching areas, and Florida’s only pet beach.
Why: A short-haul hotspot The Sultanate of Oman seals a bargain for honeymooners searching for sun-kissed glamor without the glitz. Located in the southwest of Asia, the oldest sovereign state in the Arab world is home to beautiful desert landscapes, medieval cities, unspoiled beaches, romantic resorts, and legendary tales of the Queen of Sheba and Sinbad the Sailor.
Honeymoon highlights: Oman ‘s piece of resistance is Muscat, the capital city strung along 35 miles of breathtaking coastline. Most notable are the Sultan Qaboos palace Al Al Alam with its golden and blue pillars, the jasmine and frankincense-infused Mutrah Souq, and the awe-inspiring Grand Mosque with its massive Persian rug and 46-foot tall Swarovski crystal chandelier. For beach paradise, travel to Tiwi White Beach – this beautiful location is normally deserted on weekdays.
See and do: spend a romantic night under the star-studded sky at the Bedouin camp on the rolling dunes of the Wahiba Sands, walk in the spectacular Wadi Shab, ride the waves with the dolphins, and watch the unusual giant tortoises lay their eggs on the shores at night. Sporty duos are expected to book a tandem paraglide jumping off one of the cliffs surrounding Zighy Bay.
Why: steeped in reggae, rum, and Rastafarianism, Jamaica has it all; enticing white sands fringed by palm trees, beach shacks serving jack chicken, lush rainforests, and Marley memorabilia. Being the most convincing island in the English-speaking Caribbean, this laid-back hotspot is the best place to have fun in the heat.
Honeymoon highlights: The seven All-Inclusive Sandals Resorts in Tropical Sky deliver luxurious luxury accommodation, gourmet food, lavish facilities, five-star service, and swooningly romantic settings. Honeymooners are greeted with a bottle of bubbly, breakfast in bed, and regular service with new flower petals.
See and do: filled with free love and the spirit of Jamaica, Negril (the dubbed City of Casual) is home to Seven Mile Beach, a stretch of ivory beaches, coconut palms, and waters that offer some of the finest snorkeling and scuba diving on the island. Thrillseekers will go to Rick’s Café on the West End Cliffs to plunge from 100-foot-high cliffs into the ocean below.
7. Cancun, Mexico
Why: Honeymoon dreams are fulfilled in Cancun, the coastal resort town on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, renowned for its 14-mile coastline with mega-hotels, glittering white-sand beaches, sleek shopping centers, stunning regional cuisine, and Vegas-style nightlife. To those who want more than just beach life, world-famous ancient Mayan ruins and jungle rainforests are also on sale.
Honeymoon highlights: all four of Tropical Sky’s ultra-chic Oceanfront Secrets resorts feature spas, state-of-the-art fitness facilities, sumptuous accommodation, gourmet-style restaurants, and impeccable five-star service. Pick from Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun, Secrets Vine Club, Secrets Silversands Rivière Cancun, or Secrets Maroma Beach Rivière Cancun.
See and do: to break up the beach-driven days, take a day trip to the ruins of Tulum. Perched above the 40-foot cliffs, this well-preserved coastal Mayan site overlooks the sparkling turquoise waters of the Caribbean and is captivated by three main structures: El Castillo, the Temple of the Frescoes, and the Temple of the Descending Sun. It’s one of the most beautiful beaches along the Mayan Riviera, and it’s ideal for a swim after a visit to the ruins.
Why: To paradise in the Pacific, Hawaii offers swaying palm trees, glittering turquoise sea, soft golden sands, and a decent amount of noisy floral shirts and hula boys. Located 2,000 miles southwest of North America, the state consists primarily of eight major islands. The most common ones are Maui, Oahu, Kauai, and Lanai.
Honeymoon highlights: Aloha State is a trap for newlyweds who want time together on tropical beaches. Pick up a picnic and hit the sand at a secluded spot like Waimanalo Beach Park on Oahu, Kapalua Beach, or Hamoa Beach on Maui, Papohaku Beach on Molokai, or Kailua Beach Park on Kauai – the oldest of Hawaii’s islands and perhaps the most dramatic. For couples who want to fly off the beaten track, the 11-day Best of Hawaii combines guided sightseeing with relaxation.
See and do: Hawaii delights adventure-lovers with awe-inspiring water parks, active volcanoes, and lush green forests. Take a plane ride over West Maui, get on the Waikiki trolley car for a tour of Honolulu, book a surfing lesson at Waikiki Beach, and a 3,000-foot walk up the Haiku stairs on Oahu, also known as the Stairway to Heaven.
5. St. Lucia
Why: the green forests, the high mountains, the rich valleys, the fishing villages, and the acres of banana plantations characterize the devastated island of St Lucia. Most appealing is the coastline lined with luxurious boutique-style hideaways, stunningly spectacular scenery, and an enticing combination of relaxed Caribbean elegance and French finesse.
Honeymoon highlights: located above the 600-acre Palm Beachside resort of Anse Chastanet, the award-winning Jade Mountain is a designer-led mountainside retreat overlooking the UNESCO World Heritage-designated Pitons and the Caribbean Sea. Each of the 24 sumptuous suites (known as sanctuaries) has an infinity-edged plunge pool, and the interior designer touches everything – the only thing lacking is the fourth exterior wall to allow the view of the shoreline. Guests have access to a spectacular spa, PADI-certified dive school, private beach, and acres of rainforest steeped in hiking and mountain biking trails.
See and do: visit the busy market in the capital city of Castries, relax in the Diamond Mineral Baths and marvel at the tropical flowers and rare plants in the botanical gardens. Seek zip-lined over the treetops of the rainforest, and taste the bubbling mud pits and the sulphuric scent of rotten eggs at La Soufriere – the only volcano in the country.
Why: Synonymous with palm-fringed beaches backed by clear seas, high-rise golf courses, and idyllic resorts, the so-called Paradise Island is one of the most beautiful in the Southern Indian Ocean.
Honeymoon highlights: consistently ranked as one of the most enchanting places on the planet to tie the knot, most newlyweds prefer to stay holed up for their honeymoon. Tropical Sky offers a range of luxury resorts that exceed standards for the all-new Mr. and Mrs. Prices starting from only £1,399 per person for seven nights on an all-inclusive basis.
See and do: Loved-up duos will take Captain Nemo on the seabed four meters below the surface of the Indian Ocean at Grand Baie, kick back on talcum-white sands at Les Cerfs Island Playground, and cool down at Tamarind Falls. For the ultimate romantic gesture, watch the sun fall over the lagoons on a sunset cruise that includes dinner, drinks, and live music.
3. Koh Lant, Thailand
Why: less than an hour’s boat ride from Krabi, Koh Lanta is the largest of 52 largely uninhabited islands in the Mu Koh Lanta Marine National Park archipelago. Perfect for couples who want to experience beautiful sunsets, jungle-covered mountains, and near-desert beaches that get more secluded further south.
Honeymoon highlights: as Koh Lanta’s first five-star hotel, Pimalai Resort & Spa remains a firm favorite for peace and relaxation. Surrounded by a tropical forest on the edge of the white sandy Ba Kan Tiang Bay, each of the 121 guest quarters, pool villas, and pavilion suites are furnished with elegant designer furniture. Pleasure facilities include a spa, two swimming pools, eight restaurants and bars, a well-equipped gym, and an on-site PADI dive center.
See and do: zoom around the island on a rented moped, take an elephant walk through the rubber plantations, kayak through the mangroves, and enjoy a traditional Thai beach massage. For the true taste of the island, a variety of cookery schools offer short courses where you can learn about local herbs and spices – and even eat your own Thai food.
Why: Celebrated for their dreamlike atmosphere, Seychelles has 115 coral and granite islands spread across the Indian Ocean, a few degrees south of the equator. The three most famous are Praslin, La Digue, and Mahé – each offering its own slice of paradise and plenty of outdoor pursuits for active couples.
Honeymoon highlights: Love might not be inexpensive, but the extravagance is worth every cent. This beautiful nation delights with its intimate boutique-style resorts, endless ribbons of glistening sugar-white beaches, palm-fringed jungles, and majestic granite cliffs. The most beautiful is Anse Source D’Argent – the world’s most filmed and photographed beach with pale pink powdery sand, swaying palms, and shallow turquoise waters.
See and do: walk around the tiny capital of Seychelles, Victoria, with its silver-painted model of the Big Ben, birdwatching on Aride Island, and spend the afternoon hiking on one of the trails in the Morne Seychellois National Park. Nature lovers will head to the UNESCO-listed Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve of Praslin, home to the giant Coco de Mer trees that hold the world’s largest nuts.
Why: Probably the most romantic archipelago on earth for just-married couples, the small nation of the Maldives is a series of around 1,200 tiny coral islands, separated into 26 atolls. For sun, sand, and sea, this Robinson Crusoe-style desert island in the middle of the Indian Ocean dazzles with decadent, all-inclusive luxury resorts, pristine white-sand beaches, and some of the clearest water on the planet.
Honeymoon highlights: Honeymooners are put on the top-ranked islands of the Indian Ocean for good reason. Days are packed with poolside yoga, top-to-toe massages, snorkeling, and swimming; nights are spent going on sunset champagne cruises and enjoying intimate candlelit dinners under the stars. All here is conducive to intimacy, seclusion, and unrivaled comfort to thrill lovers in their first throes of passion.
See and do: swim with whale sharks or manta rays, visit the country’s capital, Malé, and take a dhoni-a traditional wooden sailboat to the sea. For an unforgettable diving experience, travel to the Maldives Victory Wreck, a 110-meter-long cargo ship that struck the reef and sank in 1981. The bottom of the wreck is now about 30 meters below the surface and is home to coral, sponges, tuba, and large fish schools.
More detail and to book: the Maldives stands out, even from other luxury honeymoon destinations, as if they were truly magnificent.