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Romantic and relaxing beaches for loved-up couples

With amazing weather and plenty of chances to cuddle up on the sand, it’s no surprise beach vacations are popular with couples. And whether you’re having 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

Have a breakfast picnic on Batu Ferringhi beach

Known locally as “the food paradise of Malaysia”, George Town is surrounded by utopian beaches, and Batu Ferringhi is definitely the most popular. After a night of bargaining at the local night markets, put together a breakfast picnic and watch the sunrise surrounded by white sand, blue skies, and palm trees – a truly perfect way to spend 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 water and great surf conditions at Scarborough Beach

Check out the clean water and great surf conditions at Scarborough Beach

No, not the English seaside town (we’ll get to that later). We’re talking about the Australian community of Scarborough located on the Sunset Coast. This beach town is ideal for laid-back couples and surfers of all levels thanks to its clean water, good sandbars, and longshore gutters. And for couples who just want to relax in the sun, there are long stretches of sand, lounge chairs, coastal restaurants, and apartments with ocean views – perfect for when you’ve had enough of the sun.

Ocean City Beach in Ocean City, USA

Bike along the Ocean City Beach coastline in Maryland

Bike along the Ocean City Beach coastline in Maryland

Ocean City is a coastal resort town in Maryland and it’s easy to see why couples looking for a romantic beach break love it. The town’s incredible beaches offer plenty of daytime fun – and at night the boardwalk puts out some amazing food. Dining options range from award-winning restaurants to grab-n-go beachside kiosks. Visitors looking for something out of the ordinary can also rent bikes for free at most of the local inns.

Bournemouth Beach in Bournemouth, UK

Get inspired by your favorite Jane Austen novel in Bournemouth

Get inspired by your favorite Jane Austen novel in Bournemouth

The romantic seaside vacation was basically invented by Jane Austen and, 200 years after Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot exchanged 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 and has great accessibility for couples with mobility issues. The town is known for hosting art festivals and the annual Bournemouth Air Festival attracts thousands of visitors, many of which book hotels with the best views of the airshow.

Praia dos Pescadores in Albufeira, Portugal

Another great spot to watch the sunrise, Praia dos Pescadores

Another great spot to watch the sunrise, Praia dos Pescadores

Albufeira used to be a small fishing village but now, thanks to its beautiful beaches, it’s a world-famous tourist destination. If you’re feeling free-spirited, many of Albufeira’s beaches are clothing-optional. In fact, it has some of the best nudist beaches in the world. If romance is more your thing, head over to Praia dos Pescadores (known locally as “Fisherman’s Beach”) to watch the sunrise, then have breakfast at one of the coastal hotels and restaurants.

Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, USA

Relive Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr’s cinematic kiss on Waikiki Beach

Relive Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr’s cinematic kiss on Waikiki Beach

Romantic films like From Here to Eternity, Blue Hawaii, and pretty much every rom-com Adam Sandler has made in the last decade were all 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 classic smooch in the surf,

and enjoying 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

Sitges, the coastal town with 17 beaches to choose from

A lazy day on the beach might sound like heaven, but for couples who like a change in scenery, there’s always Sitges. This coastal town in Spain is home to 17 beaches with something for any kind of hopeless romantic. For the more traditional type, there’s salsa dancing on the beach at Plaza de la Fragata. If you’re looking for a more secluded spot, check out Platja d’Aiguadolç. And don’t forget Platja de la Rodona beach bars – they’re the perfect spot for couples looking to party.