Often described as the best day of your life, the pressure is on to follow up a wedding with an equally epic and memorable holiday.
While some people choose to honeymoon in the magnificent mountains or a magical city, it’s hard to beat that quintessential feet-in-the-sand island getaway with luxurious accommodation, pristine beaches, tropical cocktails sipped under swaying palms, and romantic sunsets. The very best destinations also offer a chance for adventure beyond the sun lounger; from kayaking through inviting waters, to hiking rugged coastlines, and more.
Here are our picks of the most incredible honeymoon island idylls across the globe.
The Maldives is often compared with paradise on earth and it’s easy to see why – glorious white sands, water as calm (and warm) as a bath, and coral reefs teeming with colourful fish, turtles, and baby sharks. This country’s otherworldly beauty is matched by the quality of its hotels, many with overwater villas allowing you to fall asleep to the sound of the sea, knowing you can jump straight in when you wake.
Hotel highlight: Kandolhu is a tiny, tranquil island offering diverse dining options that belie its size. As well as four à la carte restaurants, the resort has a private cinema experience where a large screen is set up at the end of the jetty, roped off with a selection of comfortable seating and freshly made popcorn.
Sri Lanka packs a punch thanks to its beautiful and diverse landscapes – from beaches to jungles and mountains. You can visit tea plantations, elephant sanctuaries, temple ruins, and more – it’s the perfect honeymoon spot to discover something new. The capital, Colombo, is steeped in culture and there’s also the opportunity for animal lovers to go whale watching on the south coast, as well as spot leopards in the north at the Wilpattu National Park.
Hotel highlight: Uga Jungle Beach’s villas offer the ultimate castaway experience; they blend in with the surrounding flora, and give the feel of a luxurious tree house. Go exploring, or simply relax in the spa with a soothing couple’s treatment.
Grenada is the Caribbean at its best: a blend of chic retreats and more traditional resorts. With lush, green landscapes to explore, a visit to Grenada goes a lot further than just a beach break. This magical spice island is particularly good for fans of diving and snorkelling thanks to its extensive unspoiled natural reefs, fantastic visibility, and the world’s first underwater sculpture park. Top spots are found on the west and south coast, including off Magazine Beach, and around the smaller sister island of Carriacou.
Hotel highlight: Silversands Grenada takes luxury to new heights and offers direct access to the island’s best stretch of beach, Grand Anse. The minimalist interiors incorporate natural materials such as limestone, marble, and walnut, and the 43 rooms are spacious while offering the utmost privacy.
With more direct flights from the UK recently added to the schedule, the Seychelles has rightly been getting newlyweds attention of late. This archipelago of 115 islands floats in the middle of the Indian Ocean, off the east coast of Africa, and looks postcard-perfect with its white sand beaches, dramatic granite boulders, and verdant landscapes – no wonder Prince William and Kate Middleton chose it for their own honeymoon in 2007.
Hotel highlight: Spend your first days as a married couple in style at the secluded Mango House on the main atoll of Mahé, where you’re welcomed with a glass of fizz and smiling staff. There are just 41 villas and suites here, and all of them offer dazzling sea-views with the chance to experience the hotel’s sparkling swimming pools, and to take invigorating treks through the lush forest.
The epitome of romance, Hawaii has seen a post-Covid revival and is a wonderful place to relax after months of wedding planning. Home to active volcanos dotted with hiking trails, cascading waterfalls, glorious stretches of beach, and incredible marine life, these dreamy islands are the place to spot dolphins, sea turtles and even whales – making it ideal for those who love the ocean. Many couples choose to pair the destination with a stopover in the USA to see the sights of Los Angeles or Las Vegas en route.
Hotel highlight: Discover the joys of island life at The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort, nicknamed the Pink Palace of the Pacific because of its pink Spanish-Moorish architecture. Here, you can sample a slice of timeless Hawaiian charm, with elegant suites, colourful furnishings, and locally caught seafood on the menu. Plus, guests can experience the Aha’Aina Luau show and learn about the destination through music and dance.