BY TIM HEDGLEY, GROUP TRAVEL EDITOR
As the UK prepares for the grand return of ITV’s Love Island, hitting screens on 28 June 2021, there is no better time for couples to start dreaming about their next island adventure.
The return of the nation’s favourite match-making show timely coincides with additional easing of restrictions on weddings across the UK, with a backlog of weddings due to take place in 2021 and moving into 2022, a selection of varied honeymoon options has never been needed more. Below are the hottest islands to honeymoon on, fall in love, or simply indulge in a touch of tranquility and charm.
Discover Mauritius, the Indian Ocean’s original island of love
Located in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius captures the essence of romance, with miles of white sand beaches fringed by coral reefs and surrounded by lush forests and volcanic landscapes. Active couples will love the array of activities in this tropical paradise, from fishing trips to watersports, skydiving to zip-lining, scuba-diving to horse-riding and more. Those looking to dive into the island’s history and heritage are in luck, as Mauritius offers a diverse blend of thriving Indian, Chinese, African and European communities, creating a vibrant atmosphere when exploring all corners of the island. From French colonial architecture in the capital of Port Louis to Indian temples, sega music filling the streets and local street food such as pineapple and samosas, the essence of Mauritian life comes alive across the island. By night, Mauritius has a range of enchanting accommodation for lovebirds to rest their heads, from sleeping under the stars in an environmentally-conscious Bubble Lodge on the tropical island of Ile Aux Cerfs, to indulging in all things luxury at One&Only Le Saint Géran.
Sail the coast of Ibiza with Click&Boat
Conjuring images of turquoise waters, secluded coves and mesmerising vistas, Ibiza is one of the hottest destinations in the Mediterranean for couples seeking a romantic getaway. On land, the island’s world-famous nightlife scene and dining options provide the perfect date night, but heading out onto the water provides couples the chance to explore the island’s coastline from a new perspective. On a sailing holiday, travellers can discover the popular Cala Bassa beach, one of the most beautiful coves on the west coast, sail to the rocky outcrop of Es Vedrà which is shrouded in myths, or gaze at the spectacular sunsets from the deck at Cala Benirras. Couples looking for a stress-free sailing experience can hire a private yacht through Click&Boat, where a skipper will suggest the route and point out hidden beaches and the best local restaurants.
Be whisked away by Wightlink to the Isle of Wight
Just 45-minutes from the mainland, the Isle of Wight is the perfect British island for couples to set sail and escape to. With 57 miles of pristine coastline to discover, dotted with beautiful beachfront accommodation, romantic restaurants serving fresh local foods, award winning spas and spectacular clifftop sunsets, couples are sure to fall in love with the Isle of Wight. Top date ideas for couples when on the island include: a tour of Adgestone Vineyard, one of the UK’s oldest working vineyards with a stunning sea view; an electric bike ride with Wight Cycle Hire, cruising along the coastal paths to find the perfect picnic spot; or indulging in a couples massage at The Cabin. As a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the Isle of Wight has some of the darkest skies in the UK, making it perfect for an astronomical night out. Couples can stare at the stars from a cosy glamping pod or watch the boat lights blink over a glass of wine in Bembridge.
Private island villa paradise on Colombia’s Caribbean coast
Located in the Caribbean sea off the northern coast of Colombia, Isleta Island is a wonderful place to unwind, switch off and let sparks fly. Part of Hotel Las Islas, a property that itself provides an unforgettable escape in nature, Isleta private island is it’s crown jewel. Just five minutes away from the hotel by boat the island escape features a seven bedroom villa, private infinity pool and more than 300 meters of beach for couples to host the perfect pool party or simply relax in the romantic surroundings, admiring the azure waters. Guests can also make the most of the hotel’s facilities on the private island, unwinding with a couples massage or indulging in the mouth-watering local cuisine. Not only a perfect holiday haven, Isleta Island can also be rented for day trips for the ultimate date, or as a truly one of a kind wedding venue.
Enjoy a break filled with beaches and Caribbean beats in Puerto Rico
When it comes to romance, Puerto Rico’s storied history and Latin flare is the perfect concoction for an electric couples getaway. By day, couples can search for sun on one of Puerto Rico’s nearly 300 beaches. From watersports and riding the waves, to wildlife encounters at idyllic island islets, and indulgent luxury beachfront resorts near San Juan, every couples’ fantasy is catered for. El Yunque National Forest also offers an exciting date alternative for those looking to venture beyond the beaches. As the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service, the lush landscape boasts exceptional biodiversity that can be explored on breathtaking waterfall hikes. At night, guests can enjoy stunning ocean sunsets with a tipple of rum punch or the Island’s iconic pina colada, before exploring Old San Juan. Music lovers will fall in love with the vibrant capital, where the streets come alive to the sounds of bomba, salsa, reggaeton, merengue and Latin pop. Or, for a more secluded starry night experience, couples can head out after dark on a glass bottomed kayak, to see the beauty of one of Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent bays.