Whether you’re planning a proposal or you’re looking to rekindle the spark in a long-term relationship, there’s nothing quite like a beach to bring out the romantic in us.
Here are five places — for all kinds of tastes — where you can sit, sip, swim, hold hands, and just take in the majesty of big water.
For the ultimate tropical fantasy, check out Fiji. With over 300 separate islands — many of them almost completely untouched — this place really has it all. Pamper yourself in a secluded, luxurious resort. Take a walk through one of the world’s largest Asian orchid collections. Visit the shores where Tom Hanks taught himself to fish and create fire in Castaway. Submerge yourself in the breathtaking wonderland of exotic fish, gorgeous coral, and crystal clear waters with a scuba dive for two. If you’re looking for an extra boost for your proposal, consider that in 2014, the Fiji tourism board reported 600 asks…and 600 yeses. That’s some good mojo!
For a snorkeling adventure that will stay with you for a lifetime, you can’t beat the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. This is the place for you if you crave something a little wild, a little rugged, and completely original. The Great Barrier Reef is unparalleled is its sheer magnitude. Head for one of the 74 Whitsunday Islands, only 8 of which are inhabited, or take in a seaplane tour of the heart-shaped Hardy Lagoon.
What if tropical isn’t your thing? If you prefer milder temps, old-growth forests, a laid-back approach to life, and cozy, elegant B&Bs and Craftsman-era resorts why not consider a romantic getaway to the San Juan Islands in Puget Sound?
Here you can kayak along dramatic shorelines, watch the orcas migrating in magnificent pods, hike pristine forests with towering evergreens and a 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains, take in the beauty and romance of a lavender farm, or sail among the tree-covered islands to watch dolphins and whales play in the cool waters. Travel among the islands is easy, and you can even take a day trip to the gorgeous Canadian island of Victoria.
If you’re looking for something unique in the Mediterranean, book an adventure on Corsica. Birthplace of Napoleon and part of France, this island retains its fierce cultural independence, and the result is a marvelous blend of Italian and French cultures, wine, food, and language. The emerald waters of the north and the dramatic rocky cliffs of Bonifacio in the south, which drop precipitously into the ocean, will take your breath away.
This is a place filled with small private alcoves and turquoise waters, and accommodations from luxury resorts to charming hotels run by generations of Corsicans. You can hike or drive in rugged interior mountains, sample cheeses and honey cultivated in 400-year-old traditions, and there is plenty to see, do, and experience.
For the ultimate in a private-island escape, I have to mention Belize. Often overlooked in favor of more famous places, Belize is only two hours from Miami and boasts some of the most pristine shoreline in the world.
Cayo Espanto, just off the coast of Belize, is a private island resort with several secluded 5-star villas and was recently named the #1 honeymoon spot in the world. One of the bungalows, set 150 feet out in the water, features glass floors through which you can view the colorful and varied sea life.
If you’re feeling adventurous, explore ancient Mayan ruins on the main island — or you can simply while away the hours overlooking the cerulean waves from your own private deck while the staff sees to your every need. There are a million opportunities to rekindle the flame — and one of them has your name on it.