The Indian Ocean’s most romantic islands

Honeymoons with a difference, from Sri Lanka to the Maldives

For some people, a honeymoon is time to totally unwind together after the hectic wedding planning period. For others, it’s a chance to begin the adventure of a lifetime together. Thankfully, the made-for-romance islands of the Indian Ocean offer the best of both worlds. Which island to choose is another question – but don’t worry, we’ve got some answers.

“We love relaxing but also want to explore some incredible scenery. Where should we go?”

For a honeymoon with a wild side, look no further than Sri Lanka. Along the southern coast from Galle you’ll find some of the finest luxury hotels of the Indian Ocean. From resorts such as The Fortress Resort & Spa it’s a fairly short journey inland to Uda Walawe National Park. Take a safari through open grassland and forests to go in search of elephants and the rare Sri Lankan leopard.

You could swap sea and sand for tea terraces at Langdale by Amaya – an elegant, colonial-style retreat that’s ideal for adventures in Horton Plains National Park.┬áThis mountain plateau brings together mist-topped lakes and cloud forest, along with rocky outcrops threaded with filigree waterfalls.

“We want somewhere that’s big enough to explore, but small enough to get to know. What would you suggest?”

Mauritius is perfect for pairing relaxed days at the hotel with going out discovering a fascinating culture and beautiful landscapes. Base yourself at Paradise Cove Boutique Hotel in the north to explore towns such as Grand Baie, with bustling markets that celebrate Mauritius’s varied cultural heritage.

As you move south, echoes of the island’s past dot the scenery, from the beautiful Pampelmousse botanic gardens, to haunting sugar cane fields. Of course, if you’d rather not stray far from the hotel, retreats such as Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Wellness Resort offer all you need for honeymoon bliss.

“We’d like to mix up time on the beach with something more active – where’s best for water sports?”

The Seychelles is a wonderful choice for water activities – whether you’re both avid divers or looking to pick up a new skill together. Big Blue Divers is a stalwart of the Seychelles diving scene, running group trips and private charters. You could find yourself spotting whale sharks and swimming with manta rays. Exploring eerie wrecks and approaching dramatic drop-offs.

Mahe isn’t just for wannabe mermaids, though. When you’re not under the water, dive into Creole towns, take to jungle trails or relax under a shaded palm tree on Beau Vallon Beach.

“We’ve dreamed about staying on a private island. Where can we go for a one-off romantic experience?”

Wooden villas perched over turquoise seas – perhaps with a private infinity pool. Tables set for two on deserted islets, where sunsets slip into candlelit dinners. There’s nowhere quite like the Maldives for a luxury honeymoon.

This scattering of tiny, jewel-like islands is made for contemporary castaway experiences. Resorts such as Kandolhu Maldives specialise in custom day trips, whisking you off to a desert island. Others, like Milaidhoo Island Maldives offer cultural activities where you’ll learn to fish or craft traditional Dhoni boats.