Hawaii, we love you. But sometimes, we just want a place where we don’t have to see a single soul—except our soul mate, of course. So we asked Lonely Planet about the best spots for a romantic getaway post-“I dos.” Here, the ten best and most secluded islands for honeymooners (without a Chili’s in sight).
The fourth largest island in the Mediterranean has been largely left alone by American travelers who stick to the country’s mainland. But what’s not to like about the red-rock cliffs, Calanques de Piana, standing sentry over the warm Med waters, providing hundreds of miles of hiking trails? Seriously, the GR 20 is the hardest trail in Europe—perfect for those looking to work on more than just a tan.
Travel tip: Fly into Ajaccio, then rent a car to explore the interior of the island. Just make sure to book in advance for one with automatic transition—you don’t want to spend your entire honeymoon learning stick shift.
QUIRIMBAS ARCHIPELAGO, MOZAMBIQUE
This chain of 32 islands off the coast of Africa between Madagascar and the mainland began as a fishing settlement, but has become a gorgeous under-the-radar getaway with its nearly deserted, crystal-clear Indian Ocean beaches. Scuba dive in the coral reefs of Quirimbas National Park or explore the old forts and ancient ruins now filled with traditional silversmiths and fishermen on the former Portuguese settlement of Ibo.
Travel tip: While on the islands, stock up on souvenirs of fine jewelry from the local silversmiths.
HUAHINE, FRENCH POLYNESIA
Only about 6,300 people call “The Garden Island” (likened to Garden of Eden) home, which means you’ll really be able to spread out after the 40-minute flight from Tahiti. Explore hidden temples concealed in the forests of breadfruit trees and banana groves, try your luck at surfing or sailing in the Ava Mo’a Pass, or wander the Sunday morning markets in the tiny town of Fare.
Travel tip: Don’t forget to feed the famed blue-eyed eels in Faie, which are considered sacred by the locals.
ALGONQUIN ISLAND, CANADA
This private island retreat is exclusive to couples and is accessible only by canoe across the gorgeous Kawawaymog Lake three hours from Toronto, aka it doesn’t get more romantic (or secluded) than this. Your catered, all-inclusive trip leaves you plenty of time to plan a hike on one of the 17 surrounding trails, detox in the floating sauna or sip wine next to a roaring fireplace in the main lodge.
Travel tip: Bring your own wine, since the on-site restaurant doesn’t charge a corkage fee.
NEVIS, WEST INDIES
The smaller island of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis surrounds a volcano at its center and is filled with all the sun-filled activities you’d expect from a Caribbean island but without all the all-inclusive resorts and casinos. Bunk up in a former sugar mill turned idyllic inn or six-room boutique hotel built in the ruins of an 18th-century plantation.
Travel tip: Hey, Hamilton fans. Explore Alexander Hamilton’s birthplace at the Museum of Nevis History.
The Land Down Under boasts more than just the bustling cities and expansive Outback. This vast island is known for its uncharted wilderness, but amidst all the lakes and mountains, we recommend stopping to smell the roses lavender at Bridestowe Lavender Estate, then grabbing a glass (or three) at one of the many vineyards of picture-perfect Tamar Valley.
Travel tip: Visit during Tassie’s summer months of December to February for perfect temps of 70 degrees.
PRASLIN & LA DIGUE, SEYCHELLES
These two Indian Ocean islands are the perfect pick for couples looking to enjoy the lapping topaz waters sans crowds. Praslin boasts intimate beachfront hotels and the UNESCO World Heritage site of palm-covered May Valley, while La Digue, consisting of privately owned villas and breathtaking Anse Source d’Argent (one of the most beautiful beaches in the world), is still largely undisturbed.
Travel tip: The best way to get around once on the islands is by bike, which you can rent from any nearby hotel or villa.
Admit it: You’ve been dying to see the white-and-royal-blue homes against the sparkling turquoise backdrop of the Mediterranean for ages. But may we recommend skipping the main commercial town of Fira and opting for the smaller (and more romantic) villages of Imerovigli or Oia instead? Here, you’ll still get the breathtaking views of the sea-drowned caldera, but you’ll also find more local spots to dine on saganaki (fried cheese with honey) while sipping the dry white Assyrtiko wines of the region.
Travel tip: Bring your water shoes. The pebble-filled beaches make going barefoot feel like walking on Legos.
You and your S.O. can’t stand to sit still, which is why this 50-square-mile destination located off the coast of Malaysia’s peninsula in the South China Sea is your ultimate island adventure. Best known for its world-class shipwreck-and-coral-reef-filled dive sites that frame Tioman on every side, tropical rainforests with cascading waterfalls and picturesque Juara Beach, there’s no better place to put on your explorers’ hats.
Travel tip: The only way to reach the island is by a ferry from Mersing, which you can get to by bus or taxi from Kuala Lumpur.
ST. VINCENT & THE GRENADINES
Grenada? Barbados? Yawn. We’re in favor of this fancy-shmancy southern Caribbean nation instead, with its yacht-filled ports, black-sand beaches and 18th-century botanical gardens. Climb into the active La Soufrière volcano or grab an afternoon rum punch in one of the pastel-colored bars in Port Elizabeth on tiny Bequia. Hey, you’re on island time now.
Travel tip: Leave the camo leggings at home, since the pattern is now prohibited due to the fact that it’s the police force’s official uniform.