Snuggle up: Five amazing and romantic island getaways

Whether you’re planning a proposal or you’re looking to rekindle the spark in your relationship, there’s nothing quite like a beach to bring out the romantic in us. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and it’s not too late to book a romantic holiday with your loved one! Here are five places 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. Pamper yourself in a secluded, luxury resort. 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 a marriage proposal is on your list, consider that in 2014, the Fiji tourism board reported 600 asks — and 600 yeses. That’s some good mojo!

Perhaps you’re craving something a little wild, a bit rugged, and completely original? You can’t beat the Great Barrier Reef in Australia for magnificent snorkeling. Head for one of the 74 Whitsunday Islands, only 8 of which are inhabited, or take in a sea plane tour of the heart-shaped Hardy Lagoon.

Are mild temperatures, old-growth forests, a laid-back approach to life, and cozy, elegant Craftsman-era resorts more your style? Consider a romantic getaway to the San Juan Islands in Puget Sound. 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 city of Victoria.

Does the Mediterranean tickle your fancy? The island of Corsica, birthplace of Napoleon is fiercely loyal to its cultural independence resulting in a marvelous blend of French and Italian cultures, wine, food, and language. The emerald waters of the north and the dramatic rocky cliffs of Bonifacio in the south 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. Enjoy hiking the rugged interior mountains and sampling the cheeses and honey made in the historic, local tradition.

For a private island escape close to home, the private island resort of Cayo Espanto in Belize offers several secluded 5-star villas — and it was recently named the #1 honeymoon spot in the world. One of the bungalows features glass floors through which you can view the colorful and varied sea life. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can explore ancient Mayan ruins on the main island, or you can simply while away the hours overlooking the azure waves from your own private deck while the staff sees to your every need.

Helen Jordan is the owner of Jordan Luxury Travel, an independent affiliate of Brownell Travel, a member of Virtuoso. She can be reached at