Gorgeous weather and endless opportunities to “help” each other apply sunscreen, it’s no wonder that beach holidays are popular with couples. So – whether you’re embarking on a summer fling or celebrating your 50th anniversary – these are the best beaches for a romantic getaway.*
Batu Ferringhi near George Town, Malaysia
Have a breakfast picnic on Batu Ferringhi beach
Known locally as “the food paradise of Malaysia”, George Town is surrounded by utopian beaches, the most popular of which is Batu Ferringhi. Once you’ve ransacked the local night markets and put together a breakfast picnic to greet the sunrise with, the white sand, blue skies, and palm trees create an idyllic setting for a day at the beach. Batu Ferringhi also has plenty of luxury hotels and candlelit restaurants.
Scarborough Beach in Scarborough, Australia
Check out the clean waters and great surf conditions at Scarborough Beach
No, not the English seaside town, the Australian suburb of Scarborough is based on the Sunset Coast and this beach is ideal for laid-back couples. It's popular with surfers of all levels due to its clean waters, good sandbars, and long shore gutters. And for couples who just want to relax in the sun there are long expanses of sand, sun loungers, coastal restaurants, and sea-view apartments.
Ocean City Beach in Ocean City, USA
Cycle along the coastline at Ocean City Beach in Maryland
Ocean City is a coastal resort town in Maryland and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular with couples in search of a romantic beach break. The town’s beautifully-maintained beaches provide plenty of daytime diversions and at night the boardwalk has a reputation for amazing food. Dining options ranging from awarding winning restaurants to grab-n-go beachside kiosks. Visitors looking to travel further afield can also rent bikes for free at most of the local inns.
Bournemouth Beach in Bournemouth, UK
Draw inspiration from your favourite Jane Austen novel in Bournemouth
The romantic seaside holiday was pioneered by Jane Austen and, 200 years since Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot swapped heated glances at Lyme, couples are still flocking to English beaches. Bournemouth is a South-facing coastal town, to the east of the Jurassic Coast, that has great accessibility for couples with mobility issues. The town is known for hosting arts festivals and the annual Bournemouth Air Festival draws thousands of visitors, many of whom book into beach-facing hotels to get the best view of the airshow.
Praia dos Pescadores in Albufeira, Portugal
Another great spot to watch the sunrise, Praia dos Pescadores
Albufeira used to be a small fishing village but, thanks to its beautiful beaches, today it’s a tourist destination with visitors coming from all over the world. Topless sunbathing is accepted and Albufeira has some of the best nudist beaches in the world. But romance seekers are advised to head over to Praia dos Pescadores (known locally as “Fisherman’s Beach”) to watch the sunrise, followed by breakfast at one of the coastal hotels and restaurants.
Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, USA
Recreate Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr’s cinematic kiss on Waikiki Beach
Romantic films as diverse as From Here to Eternity, Blue Hawaii, and pretty much every rom-com Adam Sandler has made in the last decade were filmed on Hawaiian beaches and the biggest and most romantic of them all is Waikiki Beach. Romantic activities include greeting the sunrise with a yoga class on the beach, recreating Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr’s cinematic smooch in the surf, and moonlit dinners for two, at one of the many beachside bars and restaurants.
Platja de la Fragata, Platja d’Aiguadolç, and Platja de la Rodona in Sitges, Spain
Sitges, the coastal town with 17 beaches to choose from
Lazing on the beach all day might sound like heaven but for couples who like a change in scenery there’s always Sitges. This Spanish coastal town is home to 17 beaches with every kind of romantic diversion imaginable. For the classic romantics there’s salsa dancing on the beach at Platja de la Fragata, for those in search of a more secluded spot there’s Platja d’Aiguadolc, or for those looking for great nightlife the Platja de la Rodona beach bars are a great party spot.
** These destinations were the most highly-rated by Booking.com customers for the ‘beach’ and ‘romance’ endorsements.