12 Unforgettable Island Vacations for Couples

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Man swimming in Catalinas Islands

Island destinations are trendy among travelers of all ages. By “travelers,” I mean myself, but I’m sure others would agree.

For example, approximately 28 million people visited the Caribbean islands in 2022 alone. You can’t deny statistics like that! And this doesn’t even include other islands in the world in the deep blue waters of the Indian Ocean, the South Pacific, or the Atlantic Ocean.

If you’re planning perfect romantic getaways and island vacations for couples, you’re probably looking for more than just beautiful beaches. Culture and cuisine, stunning sunsets, and amenities like an on-site spa or a plunge pool will draw you to the islands.

It doesn’t hurt to throw in a bit of adventurous activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing, or even mountain climbing. You do romance your way, no judgment here!

Ready for a romantic experience like no other? Whether it’s a honeymoon, anniversary, or just because you need to get away, our list of best couple island vacations includes luxury resorts, private villas, overwater bungalows, and the best beaches to create memorable romantic island getaways.

Unforgettable Island Vacations for Couples

1. The Maldives

Welcoming point of Anantara resort on Dhigu island
kross13 / Shutterstock.com

If you’re searching for total luxury and seclusion, the Maldives might be the best romantic island getaway out there. Excursions to coral reefs with some of the most fantastic snorkeling and dive sites in the world make this a top pick for adventurous couples.

Located along the Indian Ocean’s majestic sapphire-shaded waterways, off the coast of South Asia, the Maldives comprise 1,192 total islands. Only 187 of them are inhabited.     

The islands of Milaidhoo, Baros, and Komandoo offer adults-only resorts, all-inclusive options, and overwater bungalows perfect for a honeymoon or romantic occasion. A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve surrounds many of the islands and makes for excellent conditions for SCUBA and snorkeling excursions.

These romantic islands are a quiet haven for the rich and famous. The secluded beaches of the Maldives have been chosen for honeymoons, secluded getaways, and even family vacations by A-listers like Orlando Bloom, Madonna, Taylor Swift, as well as the Beckhams and the Ramsays.

Things to Do in the Maldives

Hotels in the Maldives

See Related: Amazing Places Similar to the Maldives

2. Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Port with Tortola Bay in British Virgin Islands
Gerwin Schadl / Adobe Stock

Couples looking for both mountain trails and white sand beaches will want to consider the British Overseas Territory of Tortola. The small island of Tortola is the capital of the BVIs and the largest island in the chain.

It’s a terrific anchorage to explore other islands or enjoy each other’s company on white sandy beaches. Go hiking and picnicking at Mount Healthy National Park, lounge in the sun at Cane Garden Bay, enjoy a rum-tasting and snorkel tour, or check out the ruins of sugar mills.

The Sir Francis Drake Channel, which runs along the islands, makes for excellent watersports. Enjoy fishing, swimming, and romantic activities like sunset sailing.

You can also take day trips to Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, or St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, which are very LGBTQ-friendly. I fully recommend doing a day sail excursion around these Caribbean islands.

Visit beach bars like the Soggy Dollar Bar and Foxy’s during this romantic getaway. This is still one of my favorite memories from my BVI vacation.

Hotels in Tortola range from luxury resort complexes to intimate inns and bed and breakfasts. Enjoy stunning beaches, your own private pool, and snorkeling and scuba diving excursions from hotels on this Caribbean island.

Things to Do in Tortola

Hotels in Tortola

3. Bermuda

Landscape of Ocean, rock and beach in Horseshoe Bay, Southampton Parish, Bermuda
Stephen Bonk / Shutterstock

Often included with the Caribbean on lists, Bermuda not really in the Caribbean Sea. This British Overseas Territory is actually in the Atlantic Gulf Stream, about 650 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

Bermuda is the perfect destination for couples planning a honeymoon, destination wedding, or romantic anniversary. You can’t get much more romantic than pink sand, pastel buildings, fragrant flowers, and winding cobblestone lanes. There’s even a perfumery at this romantic island getaway close to the U.S. East Coast.

If you’re looking for laid-back and relaxing, Bermuda is one of the most romantic island getaways to put on your list. This elegant island features a tropical outlook of palm trees and sapphire blue waves.

Add in the very British vibes of bobbies, local pubs, cricket matches, afternoon tea, and left-hand driving! The little island has banned neon lights and billboards. You won’t find wild clubs and saucy nightlife, either.

Don’t miss the chance to snap a picture under a limestone moon gate. These half-circle arches – found at parks, gardens, hotels, and more around the island – are said to bring good luck.

I stood under one nearly 28 years ago on my honeymoon and am currently married to the same person, so I’d say it may have brought a bit of luck. And proved its romantic credentials!

Things to Do in Bermuda

Hotels in Bermuda

4. Harbour Island, Bahamas

Beautiful tropical beach at Harbour island Bahamas
BlueOrange Studio / Shutterstock

The islands of the Bahamas nearly always come in on roundups of island vacations. Choosing the right one for seclusion with your significant other can be an issue when planning a honeymoon or an affordable beach destination wedding.

My advice? Skip the oft-named islands (we’re looking at you, Nassau and Grand Bahama) and head to a lesser-known isle like Harbour Island.

Harbour Island is situated east of North Eleuthera. Long and slim in stature, this romantic getaway is about 3.5 miles long and approximately .5 miles wide.

It’s just the right size for traveling around on golf carts. Choose from beachfront hotels with sparkling pools, fully equipped kitchens, on-site restaurants, tennis courts, and balconies with stunning views.

Enjoy romantic strolls amidst colorful architecture, horseback riding on pink sand beaches, or snorkeling the Devil’s Backbone coral reef. Adventurous couples looking to enjoy more watersports should checkout the Fishing, diving, and swimming scene.

Things to Do on Harbour Island

Hotels on Harbour Island

5. Aitutaki, Cook Islands

Hammock in Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Martin Valigursky / Adobe Stock

If white sand beaches, coconut palms, and a beautifully blue lagoon are your idea of paradise, Aitutaki is the island for you. Bonus points for being seriously remote, romantically secluded, and filled with the exotic vibes and rich history of the South Pacific.

Aitutaki is the second most populated island (Rarotonga is the largest) in the South Pacific’s Cook Islands, which includes Aitu, Mitiaro, and Mangaia. It was visited by Captain Bligh and the crew of HMS Bounty fame in 1789 (before the events of the Mutiny, of course).

I wonder if they spent much time on the beautiful beaches? I’d mutiny if I had to leave!

The reef is filled with coral formations, tropical fish, and other marine life for snorkelers and scuba diving enthusiasts. You’ll find some of the largest bonefish in the world in the waters around the idyllic escape of Aitutaki. Birdwatching couples will love searching for blue lorikeets, white-tailed tropicbirds, Pacific reef herons, and great frigatebirds. 

Things to Do on Aitutaki

  • Romantic lagoon cruises
  • Climb Piraki Lookout
  • Drive or bicycle around this gorgeous island

Hotels on Aitutaki

6. Block Island, Rhode Island

Trail in Block Island, Rhode Island
SE Viera Photo / Adobe Stock

You may not be interested in snorkeling, diving, and coral reefs. Islands do come in all shapes and layouts, after all.

Block Island is approximately 13 miles off the coast of Rhode Island, alongside Block Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. This island getaway is all about New England charm and natural attractions. No passport required if you’re traveling from the U.S. to the Ocean State!

At approximately 9.5 square miles in size, it’s the perfect little slice of heaven for outdoor enthusiasts. The craggy coastline gives way to beaches where couples can swim, fish, clam, or relax.

Hikers and bicycle enthusiasts will love the variety of trails. Check out Rodman’s Hollow, Hodge Preserve and the Block Island Greenway Travers.

Ferry service can be had from Point Judith, Rhode Island (this is the only one that can take cars, and reservations are required) and Newport (seasonally). You can also catch ferries from Montauk, New York, and New London, Connecticut. The ferries take about 55 minutes, or 30 minutes, aboard the high-speed ferry.

Things to Do on Block Island

  • Visit the 1800s-era Southeast Lighthouse or North Lighthouse
  • Hike around Block Island National Wildlife Refuge

Hotels on Block Island

7. Maui, Hawaii

Wailua Falls scenery in Kauai, Hawaii
Mohamed Selim / Shutterstock

Maui is one of the best islands for couples seeking the thrill and adventure of volcanoes, waterfalls, and winding highways. You’ve got secluded coves, romantic restaurants, sunset sails, and rainforests with lush greenery to add a picturesque approach to a romantic vacation.

Maui welcomes all couples celebrating anniversaries, honeymoons, and other romantic occasions. It’s known for being LGBTQIA+ friendly.

Go hiking and birdwatching through the immense Haleakala National Park, enjoy a scenic drive on the Hana Highway, or snorkel among turtles and tropical fish. Watch surfers hang ten at Ho’okipa Beach Park or snuggle at the quiet, secluded D.T. Fleming Beach.

And when it comes to romantic places to stay, hoo, boy! Choose from numerous hotels with poolside cabanas, infinity pools, on-site restaurants, and luxurious spas to create one of the most romantic island getaways for honeymooners and beach lovers.

Things to Do on Maui

Hotels on Maui

8. Barbados

Paradise beach on the Caribbean island of Barbados
Simon Dannhauer / Adobe Stock

Lively, colorful, and brimming with island culture and charm, Barbados is one of the best Caribbean islands for couples seeking cultural attractions and local cuisine with a side of tropical scenery. Enjoy unique attractions like sea caves, fishing villages, and rum distilleries, along with the beautiful stretches of sand and sea.

The island, part of the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, is an independent nation and member of the British Commonwealth. Consequently, you’ll find a charming blend of British influences melded with West Indian culture.

Check out rainforests, botanical gardens, historic sites in Bridgetown, and some of the most beautiful diving and snorkeling spots in the world. If you’re into parties and nightlife, plan your getaway to coincide with Barbados’ Carnival.

Carnival takes place during the summer months. You’ll experience traditional Tuk bands and the very best local cuisine like flying fish, macaroni pie, and Bajan pepperpot.

Things to Do in Barbados

Hotels in Barbados

See Related: Best Dutch Caribbean Islands to Visit

9. Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Canada

Aerial view of the historical Tilting Village on Fogo Island, Canada
Danita Delimont / Adobe Stock

The stereotypical romantic beach vacation isn’t for everyone. Couples who enjoy the outdoors, don’t mind chilly temps, and would rather go snowshoeing than sit on the sand will appreciate Fogo Island.

Located off Canada’s East Coast, Fogo Island welcomes travelers with its coastal cliffs, clapboard houses, and rugged landscape. It’s truly a peaceful and remote destination, the perfect vacation for seclusion seekers.

Hike beside the ocean at Brimstead Head Hiking Trail (there’s also an RV park), lounge along Sandy Cove Beach, or take Waterman’s Brook Trail to a waterfall. You’ll also find natural beauty, unique attractions, and activities like icebergs, puffins, and gazing at the Northern Lights.

Visit the fishing town of Tilting, a National Historic site of Canada. Check out historic structures like the Lane House Museum (built in the 1830s) and the Old Post Office.

You’ll want to pack for cold weather for a trip to Fogo Island. Even summer weather can be chilly. Of course, this is a great excuse to snuggle with your sweetie after your outdoor adventures.

Things to Do on Fogo Island

  • Hiking and bicycling
  • Snowshoeing
  • Whale-watching

Hotels on Fogo Island

10. Mnemba Island, Zanzibar

Zanzibar shore with boats in Africa
levgen Skrypko / Adobe Stock

How much more secretive and secluded can you get than Zanzibar? There’s a reason this place is referenced in Tenacious D’s most romantic ballad.

With such an exotic and romantic moniker, Zanzibar can’t help but bring up images of fragrant spice markets, elaborate wooden doors, and colorful landscapes. It’s often called the Spice Island, and you should definitely bring back souvenirs of cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg and take a spice tour.

Zanzibar, a region of Tanzania off the coast of East Africa, is actually an archipelago that’s made up of several islands in the Indian Ocean. There are two main islands: Zanzibar (or Unguja) is the larger one, and Pemba is the smaller one. Mnemba Island is just off the northeast corner of Zanzibar.

You’ll be surrounded by the lush landscape of turquoise water, powdery white sand, and tropical green foliage, and wonderful wildlife. Visit the Jozani Forest, and you might see red colobus monkeys!

Take off on a thrilling scuba diving adventure to see life underwater. You can then go sailing on traditional wooden boats known as shows, or park yourselves under a palm tree.

If you need a break from all that adventuring in paradise, there’s enough to keep you both occupied. Zanzibar’s culinary scene is about as diverse as it gets.

Enjoy traditional Persian, Indian, and African cuisine like samoosas, biryani, mandazi, and Swahili doughnuts dusted with cardamom. Check out Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and birthplace of Queen’s Freddy Mercury. There’s even a Freddy Mercury Museum!

Things to Do in Zanzibar

Hotels in Zanzibar

11. Pico, Portugal

Referred to as the Mountain Island due to the massive Pico Mountain, which is Portugal’s tallest, Pico is a wonderful choice for a romantic island getaway. Pico is in the Portuguese Azores and boasts a landscape of lava tubes, geothermal sites, vineyards, and whaling heritage.

Pico’s black volcanic soil provides an excellent base for the wine industry. The Trilha de Vinhas vineyards are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Couples can sip wine at the Museu du Vino, hike Mount Pico, or enjoy serenity at Lagoa do Capito, a small lake near Mount Pico.

Lagoa do Capito is an excellent spot to relax after hiking up and down that steep and challenging mountain. Be warned, the hike does take about nine hours to complete.

Fun fact: You can spend the night at the crater at the top of the mountain. Reservations are required, as only 32 people are allowed at a time. You can’t beat that vantage point for panoramic views.

Things to Do in Pico

Hotels in Pico

12. Santa Catalina Island, California

Overlooking boats in the bay of Catalina Island
Golden Image Photo / Adobe Stock

Situated approximately 22 miles off the coast of Southern California, Santa Catalina Island offers rugged hills, luxury resorts, and crystal-clear water along a curving coastline. Ferries are available in Long Beach, Newport Beach, and Dana Point.   

Commonly known as Catalina Island, this Pacific Ocean island is very LGBTQ-friendly and welcomes a wide array of visitors. It was a popular vacation destination and home base for Hollywood’s elite.

Some of the visitors have included Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, James Cagney, and film director Cecil B. De Mille. That Old Hollywood charm can still be felt among the Victorian architecture, casinos, and cozy cafés.

Catalina Island is an excellent romantic retreat for nature lovers. You can find whales, dolphins, and foxes. You might even see bison.

Fun fact: The bison were brought to the island in 1924 for a movie, The Vanishing American. Apparently, they liked it so much that they stayed – I can’t say I blame them.

Apart from big ol’ bovine, you can also go hiking, bicycling, and boating or explore the Catalina Island Museum, the Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Garden, or the Green Pleasure Pier. I gotta admit, though, they had me at bison.

Things to Do on Catalina Island

Hotels on Catalina Island

Summary Table

Island Country Attractions/Activities
The Maldives Republic of Maldives Beaches, diving, coral reefs
Tortola British Virgin Islands Mountain, beach, sailing
Bermuda British Overseas Territory Cliffs, pastel homes, pink sand
Harbour Island Bahamas Watersports, horseback riding
Aitutaki Cook Islands Diving, bonefishing, birdwatching
Block Island, Rhode Island United States Fishing, clamming, hiking
Maui, Hawaii United States Surfing, waterfalls, rainforests
Barbados Independent British Commonwealth Beaches, watersports
Fogo Island Canada Hiking, icebergs, puffins
Mnemba Island Zanzibar Spice tours, nature, watersports
Pico Portugal Wine tasting, whale-watching
Santa Catalina Island, California United States Casino, boating, bicycling

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Sandy Allen
WRITTEN BY

Sandy Allen

Sandy is a freelance writer based in Richmond, Virginia. Her specialties range from hotels, dining, beaches, and boating to theme parks, urban settings, mountain getaways, and fun attractions. She loves Nashville, Las Vegas, and Williamsburg, Virginia - but you're most likely to find her at the beach or on a boat somewhere. In addition to ViaTravelers, her work appears at AFAR, PierShare, Cozymeal, and more.

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