Though its sister island, Ibiza, is the one with the wild reputation, you can party just as hard on this Spanish isle. Spend days in the water or sitting under a palapa, and if you get bored, sip cocktails in beach clubs like Purobeach. When night falls, head to Titos for DJ-fueled madness, or Abraxas for a lounge atmosphere. In need of a romantic interlude? Retreat to candlelit cocktail bar Abaco.
Where to stay: With all that revelry, your hotel should be utter Zen. Choose Cap Rocat, a fortress on the sea.
When to go: Summer sees the most raucous nights. Book several months in advance to guarantee the cream of the hotel-room crop.
How to get there: Snag the cheapest flight you can to Europe, then continue on to Majorca on a discounter like EasyJet or Vueling.
With miles of lush jungle ringed by sweeping shorelines and crescent coves, this island is truly the best of both worlds. Once you’ve had enough sun, hook up with acclaimed tour operator Junglewalla for treks through the greenery as dusky monkeys swing from tree to tree. Or go by boat and explore coastal mangrove forests, where you might catch dolphins or otters at play.
Where to stay: Perched right above a drop-dead-gorgeous beach and surrounded by rain forest, The Datai is as close to paradise as it gets.
When to go: Travel between April and August, after high season trails off but before the rain picks up.
How to get there: Fly to Kuala Lumpur on mainland Malaysia, then connect to Langkawi on low-cost carrier AirAsia.
Head to Baja California’s gulf coast for a new take on a tried-and-true honeymoon spot. The beaches are long stretches of white sand, and though there aren’t any palm trees in sight, you may spot a cactus or two. For a day trip, sign up for an unforgettable whale-watching experience with Mag Bay Tours. They’ll take you to Magdalena Bay (next slide), a Pacific Coast lagoon a couple of hours away, where gray whales migrate every year to give birth. Like proud parents, the gentle giants bring their babies right up to the boats for you to stroke their slippery snouts.
Italy has the Amalfi Coast, France offers the Cote d’Azur, and Croatia is blessed with Dalmatia, miles and miles of dramatic coastline and sun-kissed islands dotted by ruins and medieval villages. There are many spots to settle in, but Hvar is undoubtedly the most glamorous. (Beyonce and Jay-Z, who took a recent babymoon there, would agree.) Get your fill of the beach at Zlatni Rat, just a short water taxi ride away on neighboring Brac. Then reach out to Hvar Tours for a guided walk through the walled Old Town (next slide), the crumbling ruins of 16th-century Fortica Castle, and a Benedictine nunnery.
Where to stay: Hotel Park Hvar boasts spacious rooms and pinch-yourself prices.
When to go: June and July for Hvar’s lavender season (that said, it’s also high season), or late spring and early fall for great deals.
How to get there: Fly to Split and hop on the Jadrolinija ferry for the hourlong cruise to the island.
Beach plus vino? Sounds like the perfect pairing to us. This first-rate resort town (think of it as Chile’s South Beach) is just 45 minutes away from the Casablanca Valley, known for its white wines. See and be seen on nearby Renaca beach, share the shores with fishermen on Cau Cau, and then spend a leisurely day among the vines with Wine Tours Valparaiso. A typical sommelier-guided day includes sipping at top wineries like Matetic Vineyards (next slide) and a four-course lunch with plenty of wine.
Where to stay: For grandstand-quality views of the ocean, check into the Sheraton Miramar Hotel.
When to go: February, for great beach weather and ripe grapes.
How to get there: Jet into capital city Santiago, and then rent a car for the scenic, two-hour drive down Route 68 to Vina.
There are few places in the world where you can chill by the surf in the morning and stand at an elevation of almost 14,000 feet in the afternoon. This is one of them. It has countless beaches (in just as many colors), so try several on for size before committing to just one. Hapuna Beach State Park has the most stunning white powder, while Spencer Beach Park is a peaceful, creamy stretch. Punalauu has black sand and sea turtles, and if you’re feeling up for a hike, the green sand of Papakolea Beach is worth the sweat. When you’re all beached out and ready for high ground, the windswept, otherworldly 13,796-foot summit of Mauna Kea volcano (next slide) awaits. Contact Hawaii Forest & Trail for a fascinating tour that includes stargazing from the top, complete with parkas and hot chocolate.
Where to stay: Do yourselves a favor and spring for the Four Seasons Hualalai. It’s beautiful, private, luxurious, and consistently rated Hawaii’s best hotel.
When to go: Late spring or early fall, when the crowds aren’t crazy.
How to get there: Catch a direct flight into the Kona International Airport from major West Coast cities like Los Angeles and Seattle.
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