10 ultimate honeymoon destinations

Where to start with planning your dream honeymoon? How do you find the perfect balance between romance and adventure? Our travel experts think these 10 destinations will make your honeymoon the holiday of a lifetime
Couple on a tropical beach jetty at Maldives
Couple on a tropical beach jetty at Maldives

Couple on a tropical beach jetty at Maldives. Photo: haveseen / Shutterstock


For travel-lovers, a honeymoon provides the perfect opportunity to build the ideal trip, whether you're after a 'fly and flop' sort of wedding recovery, an active adventure, or a normally hard-to-justify trip of a lifetime.

Insight Guides can help you with planning, organising and booking your dream honeymoon. Simply, get in touch and share your budget, interests and travel style. Our local experts will create an itinerary exclusive to you and your requirements, which you can amend until it's just right. 

We're looking at some of the most tempting destinations and types of trip out there for a romantic getaway. If you're looking for honeymoon ideas, here are our top suggestions:

 

1. For a classic road trip: drive from New York to California, via the Grand Canyon

If the thought of lazing on a beach leaves you cold, this is the honeymoon destination for you. The quintessential open-road trip: first-class sights, the joys of the journey itself, the chance to really understand your new spouse's sense of direction... the possibilities are limitless.

Shake off the wedding hangover in exciting, energetic New York, then hire a car and hit the road. Where you go is limited only by your time and inclination, but heading south and then west, you could take in anything from Washington DC and the battlefields of the American Civil War to the small towns of the prairie states, the southern twangs of Nashville or the soaring Colorado Rockies. Heading directly from New York to Las Vegas will take about two days; catch a show and feel decadent in Sin City, before heading out to see the Grand Canyon, one of the world's most show-stopping sights. From here, it's not far to sunny California, where you can base yourself in Los Angeles or San Francisco, or keep hold of your car and hit US 101 for a trip up the Pacific Coast.

Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon, Arizona. Photo: Shutterstock


2. For a summer romance: Croatia island-hopping

When the weather is good in Europe, why look much further? And Croatia, with its gorgeous coastline and sprinkling of enchanting islands, is the perfect choice for a relaxed, sun-drenched break after a summer wedding. Hop from glamorous Hvar to beautiful Korcula (also known as 'Little Dubrovnik'), get active on Brac or soak up the glorious quiet and crystal-clear waters on Vis.

Korcula, Croatia. Photo: Fedor Selivanov/ShutterstockKorcula, known as little Dubrovnik, on Hvar Island, Croatia. Photo: Shutterstock


3. For a winter wonderland: Zermatt, Switzerland

Winter wedding? Take advantage of the time of year and head to the mountains for a snowy fairytale setting. At Zermatt in Switzerland's upper Valais, the fantasy is fully realised: the air is pure, the hotels superlatively grand and no cars are allowed, so horse-drawn carriages fill the roads with the sounds of clopping hooves and tinkling bells instead.

Zermatt Valley and Matterhorn Peak in the Morning, Switzerland. Photo: anshar/ShutterstockZermatt Valley, with the Matterhorn Peak in the background. Photo: Shutterstock


4. For the perfect mix of culture and relaxation: Andalucia, Spain

Spain's romantic Andalucian region is where you'll find the historic cities of Seville, Córdoba and Granada, not to mention the Costa del Sol, picture-perfect 'white towns' and lively Málaga. Moorish sights, moreish food and a nearly-always equable climate make this an ideal honeymoon choice after a wedding in the 'shoulder season', in spring or autumn. Discover this passionate region of Spain for yourself on Insight Guides' Andalucia Explored adventure. With so much historical legacy and quintessential Spanish culture on offer, there is much to see and do, but the relaxed atmosphere also lends itself perfectly to leisurely lunches in the sun or making the most of the beaches. 

Seville, Spanish Square or Plaza de Espana. Photo: Shutterstock


5. For tropical beaches with culture: Bali

Bali ticks many boxes for a long-haul, tropical honeymoon destination, being intensely beautiful and well-served with both luxury accommodation options and more budget-friendly, but still atmospheric choices. It is also home to a unique and colourful religious culture, fascinating arts and jungle terrain to explore: all within a fairly small, and easy-to-navigate, area. Those looking for a more peaceful setting should also consider Lombok

Want Insight Guides to create the perfect trip to Indonesia? Submit a trip request and have your honeymoon organised for you.

Honeymoon couple near the Balinese temple at beratan lake, Bali. Photo: Pavel Ilyukhin/ShutterstockHoneymooning in Bali. Photo: Shutterstock


6. For R&R in paradise: the Maldives

No matter how wonderful, let's be honest, organising a wedding can be pretty stressful. If you crave complete relaxation in the classic honeymoon setting of swaying palm trees, blinding white beaches and bathwater-warm seas, you can't go wrong with the Maldives. This coral archipelago is every inch the fantasy brought to life, and with activities generally limited to snorkelling/diving, boat cruises and sunbathing, you'll be unwound before you know it. 

Tip: go all-inclusive to take even less thought out of it (Insight Guides' Luxury Sri Lanka and the Maldives trip should do the trick) and make the most of the cocktails.

Couple relax on a tropical beach at Maldives. Photo: haveseen/ShutterstockOn the beach in the Maldives. Photo: Shutterstock


7. For classic opulence in Old Europe: Paris to Venice on the Orient Express

Sometimes, you can't beat Europe's grandest, most romantic cities, and what better way to see two of the most spectacular than on the timeless Orient Express? Start by exploring Paris' most romantic places, feasting on fine dining and macaroons, before setting off on your journey. Travel in a private cabin on the Orient Express from Paris to Venice, which travels through vineyards, painterly villages and staggering mountain scenery, before arriving in the unique wonderland of Venice, where romance isn't hard to find. To do this trip in style, stay in an equally classic hotel and don't skimp on the champagne and prosecco!

Honeymoon in Paris. Photo: Ditty_about_summer/ShutterstockThe City of Love. Photo: Shutterstock


8. To be alone: a grand stay in the Scottish Highlands

Honeymooning doesn't have to mean hot weather and if seclusion in a stunning setting with your other half is more what you have in mind, consider the grandeur of Scotland's Highlands. Travel in the summer for long days, or in winter for potential Northern Lights sightings. Boutique hotels, lodges and converted castles make the most of the fresh air and local food, while the remote landscape offers wonderful options for walks and boat trips.

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland. Photo: stocker1970/ShutterstockEilean Donan Castle, Scotland. Photo: Shutterstock


9. To keep the party going: Rio de Janeiro

Brazil is one of the destinations of the year and with good reason: there is much to see and explore. But for party-animals, there is one place to get under the skin of the nation, and that's Rio de Janeiro. Hit the lively bay-side districts of Ipanema, Leblon and Copacabana for sizzling nightlife and spend your days sight-seeing and making the most of the city's fabulous beaches.

Let Insight Guides' local experts plan your honeymoon to Brazil for you: simply tell us what you want to do and we'll do the hard work for you.

Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Shutterstock


10. For the trip of a lifetime: a round-the-world adventure, taking in Hong Kong, Australia and Los Angeles, or an overland trip across Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam

For many, a honeymoon is the excuse that was needed for a truly adventurous trip, an opportunity to push the boat out and justify going on the trip of a lifetime. If three weeks or more is at your disposal and you've opted for honeymoon contributions instead of a traditional wedding list, the world is your oyster.

Consider a mighty round-the-world plane ticket, starting in London and stopping in cities such as Hong Kong, Sydney and Los Angeles. Or fly to Bangkok and make your way overland across the big hitters of Southeast Asia: Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, taking in major sights such as Angkor Wat and Halong Bay, active treks or beachside resorts en route. Whatever you do, take a copy of your marriage certificate for honeymoon upgrades along the way!

Insight Guides' range of suggested trips cover these places and more: search for your ideal honeymoon destinations online now.

Halong Bay, Vietnam. Photo: Igor Plotnikov/ShutterstockHa Long Bay, Vietnam. Photo: Shutterstock


Taking your dream honeymoon: how to get started

Insight Guides can help you with planning, organising and booking your dream honeymoon. Simply, get in touch and share your budget, interests and travel style. Our local experts will create an itinerary exclusive to you and your requirements, which you can amend until it's just right. 


Ready to book your honeymoon with the help of Insight Guides?

Browse suggested trip itineraries online now or talk to a local expert today


Looking for more destination-specific information?

Great ideas for a honeymoon in Sri Lanka

20 honeymoon ideas in Costa Rica

18 of the most romantic places in the world


This blog was originally published on November 21, 2015