The best places to honeymoon is changes all the time. Which is why we update this guide every year. After all, a lot can change in a year.
“Happiness consists of living each day as if it were the first day of your honeymoon and the last day of your vacation.” – Leo Tolstoy
Are you planning a honeymoon for 2020? We’ve got some ideas to get you started. Using our firsthand knowledge of the best overseas destinations in the world, we’ve put together a guide on the top places to visit for an amazing honeymoon.
What Makes A Great Honeymoon?
We understand that everyone has a different view on what makes a great honeymoon. Relaxing at a luxury resort might be the ideal way to recover from stressful wedding planning for some, but this list is dedicated to pathfinders on a hunt for a fresh breath of unpolluted air. Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of unique outdoor honeymoon destinations around the world for newlyweds seeking a new adventure, and the best time of the year to visit them.
Before You Leave
One piece of advice—when booking flights, rooms, and anything else—be sure to mention that you are on your honeymoon. Sometimes an upgrade or complimentary gift is given in honor of your big day.
And once you have booked your dream vacation, take a look at our list of 24 Best Travel Apps to help you get the most out of your stay.
To help you navigate your choices we have divided our honeymoon destinations into 3 main categories; Luxury , Undiscovered (Hidden-gems), and Romantic. Between these groups there should be something for everyone. Yes, even the bridezillas!
First up, we have our luxurious destinations. These are places where you’ll be treated like a royal, with care and all the primping that a newly married couple deserves.
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Image Source: Flickr/Chris J CC2.0
Riviera Maya offers miles of white sandy beaches on an unspoiled coastline. It is perfect for lounging on, sipping margaritas and soaking up the sun. Riviera Maya is located in the Yucatan Peninsula on the Caribbean coast. Known as the “Cancun-Tulum corridor” until 1999, the rebrand signaled the start of a big change for the area. Expensive hotels and designer stores were built and the tourists changed from backpackers to celebrities. The Riviera Maya has accommodation to suit all tastes. Modern all-inclusive hotels and exclusive luxury villas are plentiful.
Things To Do In The Riviera Maya
The Riviera Maya has an impressive number of activities for you to do during your stay. From exploring ancient ruins, to sailing, snorkeling and scuba-diving. One of the biggest draws is the chance to swim with dolphins. This part of Mexico has two main seasons, rainy and dry. The dry season runs from mid-October to April and is definitely the best time to visit. If you are don’t mind risking a couple a couple of rainy days then the prices in November are attractive.
Recommended Hotel – Mi Amor Hotel, Tulum
A small boutique hotel with only 18 rooms, Mi Amor is set away from the hustle and bustle of the main strip, making it perfect for a relaxing stay. Mi Amor prides itself on its high standard of customer service. The hospitality is truly remarkable.
Recommended Activities – Swim With Dolphins
The chance to swim with dolphins in their natural environment is not one that presents itself too often. The website runs different promotions throughout the year, so check it regularly to ensure you get the best deal.
Gulf Of Papagayo, Costa Rica
Image Source: iStock/mihtiander
Costa Rica has some of the most stunning coastlines anywhere in the world. The Gulf of Papagayo is on Costa Rica’s Northwest Pacific coast. Here you can find a range of the luxurious 5-star hotels including the 4 Seasons and the Hilton. Relax in a private pool or on one of the many white sandy beaches. Papagayo benefits from excellent surfing as well as snorkeling, swimming and diving. Indeed the crystal clear waters provide some of the best diving locations in the world. It’s close enough to allow trips to Monteverde. Costa Rica is a hotspot for animal lovers and the biodiversity at Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is some of the best in the world. Also nearby is Arenal’s lush green, active volcano set on a stunning lake. The dry season is from late November through to May which is an especially good month to look for a bargain stay.
Recommended Hotel – Four Seasons Hotel, Peninsula Papagayo
The hotel has recently benefited from significant upgrades, and it shows. Set in one of the most spectacular locations you can find—close to the water, with the jungle teeming with wildlife, including monkeys and sloths.
Recommended Activities – Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Over half of Costa Rica’s plants and animal species are found within the borders of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Expert guides will educate you and help you find some of the more elusive animals.
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
One of the most popular honeymoon destinations in the world, Bora Bora is known as the ‘romantic island’. Bora Bora, in the South Pacific is famous for the beautiful color of its waters. It also boasts some of the world’s finest luxury resorts. The best accommodation options are over- water bungalows. These small houses built on stilts are popular with honeymooners. Try to book a resort that features views of Mount Otemanu from your room.
Exploring The Crystal Clear Ocean
You can expect to see dolphins, turtles, manta rays and even humpback whales in the seas here. There are also a huge array of tropical fish in the atolls. As you might expect, the scuba diving is excellent here. It is also a great place to go hiking and mountain climbing. Bora Bora is warm all year with the average temperature being 27 degrees. The best time of the year to visit is between May and October. This is when there is least chance of rain and humidity is at its lowest.
Recommended Hotel – The Marriott Hotel
Stay in a luxury cabin over the clear, blue waters that offer unimpeded views across the bay and to the volcano. Enjoy the butler service and diving straight into the ocean from your bedroom door.
Recommended Activity – Whale Watching
If you’re in Bora Bora between July and November, you can take a boat to see humpback whales. The warm waters off Bora Bora create a great nursery for the whales, who come here to reproduce.
Image Source: iStock/IgorBukhlin
Beautiful sunsets and some of the most luxurious hotels in the world have made Phuket a honeymoon hotspot in recent years. Based in the Andaman Sea, the island is carpeted in tropical rainforest. The location is about 500 miles south of Bangkok, capital of Thailand. Phuket has some of the most luxuries resorts for honeymooners anywhere in the world. As you would expect, all the usual facilities of a 5-star resort are present while there are local specialties such as yoga instructors and Thai boxing classes available.
Things To Do In Phuket
Honeymooners should try to stay near to Patong where you can find most of the best nightlife. Thailand is famous for its superb cuisine, in Phuket you can take some lessons and learn how to cook authentic Thai style dishes. There are also museums, temples, shows and cultural tours to see. If that isn’t enough there are a wide range of water sports to try. The climate is hot all year but avoid September and October which is the height of the monsoon season. Visit in June or July good prices out of season.
Recommended Hotel – Hotel Trisara
Trisara has some of the best culinary dining options you can find. There is a Michelin-star restaurant that uses local, organically grown produce. Trisara also has a seafood restaurant that serves high-quality food. Trisara has a private beach and a pool that overlooks the ocean.
Recommended Activity – Learn To Cook Thai Food
Thai cuisine is one of the most popular in the world. The English-speaking chefs can teach you how to cook the best of Thai cuisine, a skill you can make use of throughout your marriage.
An Undiscovered Honeymoon
Next we have our “hidden-gem” destinations, where you and your new spouse will be able to have a truly unforgettable adventure… whether you leave the hotel or not.
Image Source: iStock/Zimmytws
Any place where you can rent your own private waterfall has to make it onto this list. Belize offers that and much more. It is still relatively undiscovered, visitors get a good idea of the local culture which isn’t always the case in the Caribbean. Another benefit of this lack of tourism is that prices are lower than you would pay for your honeymoon elsewhere in this region. For accommodation consider staying at one of Belize’s many excellent lodges which provide privacy and an authentic experience.
Belize has pristine white sand beaches for relaxing but there is also plenty to do for people who feel the need to be more active. Diving at Glover Reef Atoll is a well-known tourist haunt but there are reefs all along Belize if you prefer somewhere quieter. A day trip to the Blue Hole, a 400 feet deep sinkhole with stunning dark blue water is recommended. Belize is a great place for hiking with jungle trails and Mayan ruins to explore. The dry season is from January to May and is the best time to visit. Belize is a tropical country and so you can expect to see a lot of rain during the rainy season.
Recommended Hotel – Green Parrot Beach Houses
The Green Parrot Beach House and Resort is a collection of private cabins on the beach. Fall asleep to the sound of the ocean and spend your days sipping rum cocktails in a hammock. Offshore, you can find some of the best fishing and snorkeling in the world.
Recommended Activity – Visit The Blue Hole
A two hour boat ride from the resort is the famous 480-meter deep Great Blue Hole of the darkest blue. Diving down into the Blue hole reveals an eerie world of limestone stalactites and winding caves.
This hidden gem is fast becoming one of Europe’s go-to destinations. It is also one of the very best places to go for your honeymoon. The evocative Venetian-style architecture gives the place a feeling of being set apart from time. Indeed, for one day a year Rovinj is entirely lit by candle light. Situated on the North Adriatic Sea, Rovinj is a busy fishing port and popular tourist resort. The city dates back to pre-Roman times and since Croatian independence in 1991 the town has become one of the most important in the country.
Best Time To Visit
May to September is the best time to visit this part of Croatia. You can expect more than 10 hours of sunshine per day and an average temperature of around 22 degrees. The waters are clear and great for swimming and there are many smooth rock coves for diving from. There are an abundance of museums and galleries containing works of art and many other religious artefacts for you to see. The St. Euphemia’a Basilica which dominates the town, offers some amazing views the city. The climb up the steps to the summit builds an appetite you can sate at one of the cities excellent restaurants. Rovinj has it all, visit before everyone knows about it.
Recommended Hotel – Hotel Adriatic
Perfectly situated right on the harbor, Hotel Adriatic is a tasteful, boutique hotel. The Old City is nearby, with its many restaurants and bars. The hotel has a traditional exterior, while the interior is filled with modern, local art.
Recommended Activity – Batana Eco Museum
Get acquainted with the regions history at the Batana Eco-Museum. Much of the museum is dedicated to the traditional wooden boats, known as batana boats. The museum also promotes local heritage and hosts different exhibitions throughout the year.
Iceland doesn’t have a tropical climate or the most historic architecture, but there’re plenty of reasons why it’s a solid choice. For starters, Iceland is the land of the Midnight Sun, with the sun shining for 24 hours all throughout summer. During winter, Iceland is one of the best places to see the magical Aurora Borealis—or Northern Lights. These unique experiences can make a honeymoon truly special.
It’s easy to imagine Iceland as a remote place, but it’s closer to the United States than you think. From the East Coast, the flight only takes about six hours to the international airport in Reykjavík. This is the capital city, and the place to start your Icelandic adventure. From Reykjavík you can venture out, and explore the many sights of Iceland.
How To Make The Most Of Your Trip To Iceland
The best way to experience Iceland is to head onto Route 1, a huge ring road that covers the whole country. Along the way you can stop at the famous hot springs (pack a swimsuit), black-sand beaches (pack a very warm wet suit), spectacular waterfalls, mountain ranges, glaciers, and looming basalt rocks. Iceland is perfect for a couple looking to tread new ground and experience nature in all its glory.
Recommended Stay – Hotel Kriunes
Forty minutes from Reykjavík is a family-run hotel nestled next to a frozen lake. During winter you can watch the Northern Lights dance above the lake from the comfort of your room. This is a perfect location to enjoy the rugged Icelandic countryside.
Recommended Activity – Northern Lights
Arrive between October and March for the best chance to watch the Northern Lights. Completely free to enjoy, just remember to bring warm clothes.
Maasai Mara, Kenya
Image Source: iStock/Rixipix
If you want to make your honeymoon an unforgettable experience, consider a safari trip to Maasai Mara. The large nature reserve in Narok County Kenya is named after the Maasai people who are the traditional inhabitants of the area. The Maasai people share the reserve with the animals to this day and help to protect the animals against poachers.
Animals You Can See On The Reserve
The reserve lies on the route used by wildebeests, gazelles and zebras on their migratory paths. Between August and October is the best time to arrive as you will be able to see the migratory animals as they try to navigate a path through the big cats. For the rest of the year the park is home to lions, leopards, crocodiles, giraffes, elephants, buffalos and many more. In addition there is a variety of birdlife. There is plenty to do here as well as viewing the animals. Bush walks, quad bike tours and trips to local towns fill days out. You can even take trip on a hot air balloon offering amazing views across the plains. Choose whether to stay at one of the luxury lodges with swimming pools or in a tranquil camp for the authentic safari feel.
Recommended Hotel – Keekorok Lodge
Keekorok Lodge is an open lodge, which means the animals can, and do, wander through the grounds. Don’t worry, though, the staff are well-trained and security is high. The lodge features a Hippo Bar that serves cold drinks near a lake filled with hippos.
Recommended Activity – Hot Air Safari
The most impressive way to take in the Kenyan planes is while in the sky as the sun rises. The most experienced company in Kenya have a balloon specifically intended for honeymooners.
Last, and perhaps the most sought after, are the destinations for a truly romantic getaway. These destinations are sure to ignite that honeymoon spark and give you a special retreat that you’ll cherish for the rest of your lives.
Lose yourself amongst the medieval spires and canal lined avenues of Bruges. Located in Flemish northwest Belgium, Bruges was occupied by Dutch, French and Austrians. Its location made it the wealthiest town in Europe for a long time. The town is said to have the highest concentration of castles anywhere in the world. In the 1960s Bruges went through a renovation period culminating in it being named ‘European City of Culture’ in 2002. It is one of the best maintained medieval towns in Europe and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are museums to satisfy all tastes.
Food And Drink Options
Bruges is home to the best beers and perhaps as a consequence the world’s best French fries. If this doesn’t sound very romantic consider that it is also home to the world’s best chocolate and waffles. It is a city of swans, horse drawn carriages and champagne breakfasts. It is not yet a famous honeymoon destination but 2020 could be the year it breaks out. Bruges makes a great base to explore the rest of Belgium from and France and Holland are also easily accessible from here.
Recommended Hotel – Hotel Jan Brito
A historic manor house located in the center of Bruges, Hotel Jan Brito is simple but elegant in a traditional European way. It’s also centrally located for exploring the many attractions of Bruges. During the summer months, the well-maintained garden is excellent for enjoying a late-afternoon drink.
Recommended Activity – Horse Drawn Carriage Tour
A romantic tour that you can take under the moonlight during summer. Book in advance to ensure you’re not disappointed.
Image Source: iStock/encrier
Honeymoon in the original City of Love. Also known as the City of Lights, Paris is one of Europe’s major players in the world of fashion, finance and fine dining. Paris has many the most beautiful and iconic sights in the world and as well as any number of world class museums and galleries. The Louvre museum is the most visited museum anywhere in the world. The Notre Dame Cathedral is a stunning example of French architecture. In spite of all the fine architecture and museums the most popular tourist destination in Paris is actually Euro-Disney.
The Home Of Fine Dining
French dining has long been considered the gold standard and Paris is the best place to sample it. There is traditional fine dining and innovative new restaurants here. Plus an abundance of terrace eateries and bars providing enchanting views across the city. There is a wide range of accommodation, from furnished apartments to quaint Bed and Breakfasts through to the most regal and decedent of luxury hotels. The best time to visit is during spring and autumn when the weather is and parks are at their best. During July and especially August the heat can become oppressive.
Recommended Hotel – Hôtel Signature Saint Germain des Près
Close to the metro and within walking distance to Paris’ most iconic venues, the Signature Saint Germain Hotel is on a surprisingly quiet street. The balconies overlooking the street reveal the authentic side of Paris. Despite being in the middle of the city, the neighborhood is far from touristy.
Recommended Activity – Notre Dame Cathedral
One of the most famous cathedrals in the world, the UNESCO World Heritage masterpiece offers a 360 degree views of Paris from the bell tower. Paris can be expensive, but this is certainly worth the money.
Bali offers something to appeal to every honeymooner. There are budget-friendly options that allow you to enjoy the honeymoon of your dreams without breaking the bank. There are undiscovered towns and fishing villages if interested in a quiet honeymoon away from the tourist hoards.
Bali is a romantic destination. With tropical sunsets, lush rainforests, and turquoise oceans, how could it not be? It’s easy to find a luxury destination to relax in style and have your every need taken care of.
The Best Time To Visit
The best time for a honeymoon in Bali is during April, May, September, and October. This will allow you to get the best of the weather and avoid the busiest months. Flights and accommodation are cheaper during these months, so if you’re planning an early, or late, summer getaway, Bali is well worth considering.
Things To Do In Bali
You won’t have a chance to get bored in Bali. For active pursuits, Bali has some of the world’s best surf breaks, with waves suitable for all abilities. Novices can take lessons, making it easy to return from your trip with a new skill. A hike up Mount Batur Volcano will reward you with one of the best views in Bali. Plus, you’ll burn off any excess calories you might have consumed since your wedding. If you’re looking for something more sedate, there’re lots of restaurants and cocktail bars with superb views of the sunset turning the ocean a fiery orange.
Recommended Stay – Warrick Ibah Luxury Villa
Located close to Ubud but set amongst the thick, tropical, jungle, the hotel feels like it could be in the middle of the wilderness. Great views from the rooms, and swimming pools that lookout across the valley. The hotel is also close to beaches.
Recommended Activity – UP2U Surf School Bali
The number 1 ranked surf school on Tripadvisor, UP2U will get you into the water, and surfing in just one 2.5 hour lesson. Individual tuition is available as well as group lessons.
Image Source: iStock/Seqoya
Watch the stars come out over the desert in spellbinding Morocco. One of Morocco’s four major cities also known by the French spelling of Marrakech, it means “the land of God”. Also known as the ‘Red City’ after the walls which surround the old district. From the moment you arrive at the stunning Marrakech Menara Airport you find amazing views around every corner. At the heart of the city you will find the Dejemma el Fna square. During the day the square is full of orange juice and water stalls, snake charmers, story-tellers and magicians. It is an authentic, living glimpse of Marrakesh’s heritage. You may have to take a leaf out of their book and remember this by memory though as they always charge for pictures! At night the square is full of food stalls serving delicious Moroccan Street food.
Rich Cultural History
Marrakesh is a place where traditional life has been preserved and was granted UNESCO Masterpiece status to protect this during the changing economic climate. Marrakesh is perfectly located for seeing all Morocco has to offer. It is an hour’s drive away from the Atlas Mountains, and around 3 hours away from the Sahara Desert and Essaouira on the coast. The recommended time to visit during the ‘shoulder seasons’ between March and April and October to November. The summer brings very hot weather which can be uncomfortable. One reason to visit in the summer is the Festival of Popular Arts. The festival celebrates Marrakech’s folk traditions and attracts performers from across the globe.
Recommended Hotel – Riad Ajebel
Riad Ajabel will take care of you from the moment you get off the plane by organizing transfers from the airport. Riad Ajabel is located just outside the old town. This means you’re close to the heart of Marrakech, but far enough away to ensure you aren’t disturbed by the noise and commotion.
Recommended Activity – Luxury Camp In The Desert
The fully customizable tours allow you to head out into the Sahara Desert and sleep in a luxury campsite under the stars. Transfers are included as well as camel trekking and other desert activities.
We hope you enjoyed this article on the best places to honeymoon. Please let us know your favorites in the comments section.