Soft sands. Cozy sunsets. Private beach-front houses. When you want to get away from the world and embrace luxury, these dreamy honeymoon destinations will put you in a blissful state of mind. Discover the romance behind these nine magical islands.
St. Lucia, Caribbean
Relax in the beauty of St. Lucia, the Caribbean island filled with unspoiled rain forests, beaches lined with palm trees and the twin peaks of the Piton Mountains. The volcanic plugs off the southwest coast create one of the most dramatic backdrops in the Caribbean with their natural waterfalls and jungle setting.
More than 1,190 islets make up this stunning island national in the Indian Ocean, but only 1,000 of them are inhabited making your odds of finding a sexy, secluded spot pretty high. Each resort sits on its own atoll for added privacy. Try Conrad Maldives Hotel on Rangali Island, a private atoll that you reach via seaplane over the clear waters. The hotel features an underwater glass restaurant and an over-the-water spa with glass floors for marine life viewing.
Relax like the Romans on this island in the Gulf of Naples. Capri’s stacks project their rocky crags above the sea. Frolic in the Marina Piccola or shop on the Belvedere of Tragara, a promenade lined with villas. You can even get a taste of history by visiting Villa Jovis, one of the best preserved Roman villas in Italy, built by Tiberius.
Consider Molokai the undiscovered island within the Hawaiian chain east of Oahu. Here you can find untamed wilderness and serene seas with nary a stoplight in sight. Experience nature with a hike to a remote waterfall or a donkey ride through the island’s untouched valleys. Let the world pass you by as you sun on Papohaku Beach with its three miles of golden sand and sea turtles playing in the surf. Be sure to visit one of the 60 fishponds that date back 700 to 800 years on the south end of the island. These semi-circular ponds were built with lava boulders and coral that allowed seawater to flow in and out while trapping the fish.
A volcanic eruption in 1600 BC split Santorini to create this caldera in the Aegean Sea 120 miles south of the Greek mainland. A lagoon in the center of the island reaches 1,300 feet in depth with high cliffs surrounding it. The capital Fira clings to the side of one of these cliffs overlooking the lagoon. Visit the picturesque village of Oja for views of architecture built on the edge of striated cliffs in the form of stone houses and domed churches.
Catalina Island, Calif.
By sea or by air, Catalina Island is a mere 22 miles southwest of Los Angeles but a world away with its constant Mediterranean temperatures. Take in some snorkeling at Lover’s Cove Undersea Garden, a protected marine sanctuary south of Avalon Bay. Take to the crystal waters of Two Harbors for diving or kayaking or just enjoy the view of the sherbet-colored homes that pepper the hillsides of Catalina Island.
Unpaved roads, deserted pink sand beaches and pristine landscape make up Barbuda Island in the Eastern Caribbean, a 20-minute plane ride from Antigua. A boat ride to the Frigate Bird Sanctuary on a lagoon in the island’s northwest reveals 5,000 Frigate birds sheltered here.
Bocas del Toro, Panama
Get ready for laid-back relaxation with a touch of Latin American flair on this cluster of islands near the border of Costa Rica. Waterfront bars and low-key nightclubs cluster the main island, Colon, while the smaller islands are dotted with deserted beaches and coral reefs to explore. Watch the sea for dolphins frolicking in the surf.
Laucala Island, Fiji
Sugar-like beaches, turquoise lagoons, green mountains and swaying palm trees make up the magic of Laucala Island, a private island in the Fiji Islands. The island is made up of a 25-cottage resort by the same name that each have their own private pool, dining pavilion and outdoor hot tub and shower. Swim in the lagoon pool with its man-made islands built just for two.