For some quality couple time, it's hard to beat heading away to an island in the sun and cuddling up under the palm trees. But picking the romantic retreats from the boozy break beach destinations can be tricky, so we've selected ten of the best.
Perfect 10 romantic islandsEfate, Vanuatu
Whether it's horse riding through the rainforest, sharing a kayak together or swimming in pools near waterfalls, Efate has all the ingredients for a lovey-dovey break. There are also a few uber-romantic resorts where the kids are banned and the accommodation is thoroughly secluded. More information: Taj Hotels
Lord Howe Island is Australia's best kept secret. Just under two hours north-east of Sydney by plane, it sits on its own in the Pacific Ocean, surrounded by a shimmering lagoon.
Part of the charm is the limit on the amount of people that can be there at any one time. Only 350 people live there, while there's a maximum of 400 tourists that can visit at once. This keeps it ultra-peaceful – people get around on bikes and in golf buggies – and thoroughly relaxed. There's also no mobile phone coverage, so it's possible to completely get away from it all. Part of Lord Howe's romantic attraction is its wildlife. The range of unique species that can be found there has led to the island being called Australia's Galapagos. Flights to Lord Howe Island with Qantaslink leave daily from Sydney. For packages leaving from the UK, try: Talpacific.
With a tiny population, beaches that are accessed by private boat and gorgeously clear waters, Barbuda is an understated desert island paradise. There's nothing much to do there, and most accommodation is guest houses rather than swanky resorts, but that's kind of the point. Go away, do nothing, and spend some quality time with each other. More information: Antigua and Barbuda
This is the archetypal South Pacific dream – overwater bungalows, impossibly blue lagoons and being ferried around on catamarans. Bora Bora doesn't come cheap, but for tropical paradise beauty, it's almost impossible to match. More information: Tahiti Tourism
With no more than 40 guests at a time and only accessible from the Seychelles capital by plane, Fregate is seriously secluded. The beaches are white, the hills are green, the gardens are lush and the whole idea is to get couples falling in love with each other all over again. More information: Fregate Island
On its own island in the middle of Lake Pichola, the white marble Taj Lake Palace is one of the world's most romantic hotels. It offers serious luxury, has a lake and mountain backdrop and the butlers are descended from royal servants. If you can't get smoochy here, there's no hope for you. More information: Taj Hotels
Picking the most romantic island in the Maldives is a bit like trying to pick the most beautiful in a Miss World contest, but Rangali is a definite contender. It has luxurious resorts, palm-fringed walkways, gorgeous beaches and overwater bungalows. Even better, you can get there by sea plane. More information: Visit Maldives
A tiny island in the Caribbean, Nevis has carved a niche as an upmarket place for couples to get away from it all in old plantation hotels. These include the Nisbet Plantation on the beach and the Montpelier where Princess Diana once stayed. All of them offer special wedding and romance packages. More information: Nevis Island
Mauritius, Indian Ocean
Thatched roofs, gleaming pools, palm trees and the warm Indian Ocean are just some of the draw cards of Mauritius. The island has long been an upmarket exotic retreat, and it pitches itself at couples wanting to get away from it all, slurp on cocktails and drape their arms around each other. More information: Mauritius
The spectacular volcanic caldera and the very un-European lagoon serve to make Santorini arguably the most beautiful of the Greek islands. It's also a contender for being the most romantic, as it has been spared the worst excesses of package tourism. Santorini is also well known as a destination for weddings and renewals of vows. More information: Santorini
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more