Discovering a secret cove to have all to your own. Watching a fiery sunset over a delectable dinner. Feeling stress float away with a soothing couple’s massage.
Romance is still alive and well—if you know where to look for it. A romantic adventure is one way for modern couples to escape the hectic pace of home life and reconnect. And when you want to get away from it all, islands are possibly the most romantic places on earth.
Whether abundant with sun-drenched beaches, covered in rainforest, or dotted with charming villages, islands are cut off in a way that makes them feel special and vibrant. (It’s not just your imagination that makes them feel more alive: Scientists have found that islands tend to be more biodiverse than mainland areas.) And the best islands for romance are ones that mix luxury with serendipitous adventure.
Whether you’re looking for beachfront sanctuary or a villa hidden in the trees, islands are ideal for romance, partly because your many options are all relatively nearby. Plus, when you’re on island time, it’s easy to spend the day exploring and still be able to enjoy relaxing meals and spa sessions.
Here are three islands perfect for rediscovering romance—and what to do when you’re there.
Capri, Italy The Amalfi Coast conjures images of sipping limoncello on a quaint village square, taking in breathtaking cliffs overlooking impossibly blue water, and soaking up the crystal-clear Mediterranean sun. From Roman ruins to high design, the isle of Capri strikes a stunning balance between natural beauty and the Italian dolce vita.
- Explore the hills: For pretty boutique hotels and gorgeous views, stay in Anacapri. This tranquil village offers easy access to Monte Solaro, the island’s highest point, which you can summit on foot in about an hour or via a 15-minute chairlift ride from Piazza Vittoria.
- Hire a private boat: Book a traditional wooden gozzo with a skipper for a tour of the coast and the otherworldly Blue Grotto. A natural skylight illuminates this remarkable sea cavern, which is only accessible through a tiny opening.
- Hike to a romantic lighthouse lookout: For a rewarding hike that can take between two to three hours (or less depending on where you start), follow the rugged coastline along the Sentiero dei Fortini, or Trail of Forts, to the 19th-century Punta Carena Lighthouse.
Aruba A few words of affection you may want to learn in Papiamento, the local language spoken in Aruba (along with English, Spanish, and Dutch), are mi dushi, my sweetheart, and un sunchi, a kiss. On this sun-kissed island blessed with sugary white-sand beaches, turquoise water, and picture-perfect sunsets, you’ll embrace romance mode the moment you touch down.
- Discover hidden gems: Stroll the gorgeous California Dunes, located on the island’s northern tip—these rolling sand dunes are especially spectacular at sunset. You’ll also find secluded dunes at Boca Prins in Arikok National Park.
- Have dinner on the sand: With torch-lit tables just steps from the calm shoreline, romantic sunset dinners are taken to a new level. Whether you’re sampling freshly caught seafood with local creole sauce or Dutch-inspired specialties like keshi yena with Gouda cheese, Aruba serves up an enticing culinary scene in idyllic settings.
- Say “I do”: With year-round sunny skies and picture-perfect backdrops, Aruba is a go-to destination for honeymoons, second honeymoons, and destination weddings. In August, Aruba will host the 3rd annual “Renew Your I Do’s” event, the largest Vow Renewal ceremony in the Caribbean!
Bali, Indonesia From terraced rice paddies to vibrantly painted Garuda statues depicting the winged national symbol of Indonesia, Ubud has become one of Bali’s most desirable destinations for couples who want to fly under the radar. Whether it’s de-stressing at a plush yoga retreat or sipping fresh smoothies, you’ll find a haven for healthy relationships.
- Hide away in the treetops: Known for its boutique hotels and resorts that blend harmoniously into the lush landscape with traditional Balinese architecture and design accents, Ubud offers a gateway to the island’s natural wonders, including the Monkey Forest wildlife sanctuary.
- Take a cooking class: Surrounded by farmlands, many local hotels offer hands-on cooking classes, which are great opportunities to bond and learn new skills. It’s also a fun way to remember your trip and spice up your kitchen repertoire back home.
- Spend an evening at the theater: Experience the cultural heart of Bali and watch an epic tale performed through traditional dance at the ornate Ubud Palace. On the palace grounds, you’ll also find the Puri Saren Agung temple.