Aside from the wedding day, your honeymoon is one of the most exciting times in your life – even the planning and packing. It can also be one of the most stressful times. Sure, your honeymoon is about relaxing and enjoying the company of your new husband/wife, unwinding in a way you have never done before – and likely never will again – but there’s always so much pressure to pick a really amazing honeymoon destination. It’s one of the questions people will ask you for the rest of your life, that and the engagement story, so make sure you’ve got a pretty good one for that too.
So, you need to make sure you go somewhere amazing. I mean, what better excuse than your honeymoon than to go to a truly exciting destination anyway? That’s why we rounded up the best of the best destinations all over the world, with something for everyone, so you can really make your mates jealous. You’re welcome.
Giraffe Manor – Kenya
The Instagram famous has truly earnt its time in the spotlight; the exclusive boutique hotel is a true once-in-a-lifetime destination where you can literally have breakfast with giraffes as your guests every morning. Built in 1932 in a typical English style, the manor is one of Nairobi’s most iconic buildings, and it comes with an impressive history: first built when European visitors began flocking to Africa to enjoy safaris, much of the 56-hectare estate has been given over to the Giraffe Centre, in order to protect the highly endangered Rothschild’s giraffe.
Nairobi itself is a great cosmopolitan city to explore, combining it with a stay at the Giraffe Manor. The polar opposite of the tranquil nature of the safari accommodation, Nairobi is a maddening concrete jungle with vibrant cultural life, fantastic places to eat, and a great nightlife scene. Thankfully, this distracts from the constant traffic, poor safety levels, and pretty horrendous appearance.
However, with great national parks, the excellent National Museum, and the promise that wherever you turn you’ll see something unique and quirky, it’s definitely worth having a day trip into the city planned for when you want a break from the giraffes. Or, should I say, if you want a break from the giraffes.
Chalkley’s Tree House, Sabi Sand – South Africa
The Sabi Sand Game Reserve contains some of South Africa’s most luxurious safari lodges, and Chalkley’s Tree House is no exception. Safaris are one of the most incredible experiences you can enjoy in your lifetime, and what better way to begin a marriage than with a true, once-in-a-lifetime trip? Start as you mean to go on, hey?
Chalkley’s Treehouse was created as a result of Guy Aubrey Chalkley’s idea to set up camp in the majestic, centuries-old Leadwood Tree in order to escape the predators roaming below. The result is a secure, lavish, and isolated platform under the stars, complete with wild animals roaming beneath.
Can you think of anything more romantic than sleeping under the stars, with the sound of zebras and lions rumbling in the background?
Deplar Farm – Iceland
Located in the scenic, secluded, and super-romantic Fljòt Valley in Northwest Tröllaskagi, Iceland, Deplar Farm is in the middle of emerald valleys, snow-covered mountains, and calm waters. The 60km stretch that is Northwest Tröllaskagi is teeming with eye candy, from the islet of Malmey and the promontory Þórðarhöfði, as well as the lakes in the north and various valleys and peaks towering above.
The farm is completely isolated and luxurious, with a living grass-covered roof, an indoor-outdoor geothermal pool which is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights in the northern hemisphere, and a spa complete with isopod flotation tanks. Its remoteness makes you feel like you’re staying at the edge of the world, cut off from the rest of the world and completely alone with your love for one another.
Whether you’re looking to explore the mountains and test out the heli-skiing runs that literally no one else has ever tried before, or test out the famous Nordic cuisine, Deplar Farm has everything you need.
Positano – Italy
When you think of Italy, you think of Rome, Milan, Tuscany, maybe even Florence. Chances are, you don’t associate any of these with a fantastically unusual honeymoon destination because let’s face it, you’ve probably already been. That’s where Positano comes in.
Easily one of the most romantic destinations in Italy – and possibly Europe – Positano comes complete with beautiful sunrises and sunsets in a kaleidoscope of reds and purples. There’s incredible food – as you would expect from Italy – and impeccable views of the famous Amalfi coastline, as well as beautifully quaint houses lining the way to the sea in a variety of peaches, pinks, and terracotta.
It has a truly southern Italian feel to it, and it’s refreshingly real; look closely and you’ll see streaked paintwork and crumbling stucco, all of which add to the authenticity and magic of the town. Fashionistas will love it here, with a fashion history dating back to Moda Positano – born here in the sixties.
Song Saa – Cambodia
With tropical reefs, amazing sunset views, and private white sand beaches, Song Saa is the ultimate romantic destination to escape the outside world and enjoy marital bliss. It’s well known that Cambodia is truly a journey into an ancient world, complete with the fabled temples of Angkor, but Song Saa is all of this wonder with the added paradisal atmosphere only found on secluded islands.
Just a 45-minute speedboat ride from the mainland, the island is nothing short of true, authentic Cambodian culture. The staff from the local village of Prek Svay, while the overwater restaurant services traditional, locally sourced cuisine and the spa includes Buddhism-inspired treatments. There’s plenty of opportunity for exploration; go kayaking or catamaran through the mangroves and witness the stunning array of flora and fauna.
The true beauty of the island is that it’s only an hour’s flight from the Angkor Temples – making it the perfect opportunity to include a few days on the mainland as part of your honeymoon. Soak up the culture of the temples and waterfalls in Siem Reap or visit the chaotic yet charismatic capital of Phnom Penh.
Hokkaido – Japan
Hokkaido is the place to go if you want to get away from it all. With 20% of the country’s land area, but only 5% of the population, the entire area is a wilderness complete with ancient forests, caldera lakes, alpine wildflowers, and hot springs.
Visiting in the summer versus the winter are very different experiences; winter sees cold fronts blow in from Siberia, bringing with it heaps of powdery snow that has earnt Hokkaido its famed reputation of being fantastic for skiers and snowboarders.
Just a short way from Hokkaido is Takinoue, a small town known for its famous Pink Moss Park. From early June, the bright pink carpet of flowers covers the entire park, which now spans over 100,000 square feet. This park is the ultimate example of Japanese determination; in 1956 a box of phlox seeds was planted, and more have been added every year until the carpet that you can see now was eventually created.
Bariloche – Argentina
Situated in the middle of a national park, Bariloche is in the middle of the soaring peaks of Cerros Catedral, Lopez, Nireco, Shaihuenque, and more. Truly one of the most gorgeous settings around, the town is graced with picture-postcard views in pretty much every direction.
With all those mountains, it’s no wonder Bariloche is perfect for a romantic ski/snowboarding holiday. The excellent snow coverage transforms the area into a true winter fairy-tale, and 60% of the ski runs are intermediate level – so there’s no need to feel intimidated. Plus, if its your first-time skiing, just take the chairlift up Punta Princesa and fall gracefully down the slope designed for all levels to enjoy.
Skiing isn’t the only activity to enjoy, though. The countryside is the perfect location for both winter and summer activities, plus it’s the same place Argentina’s best chocolate is produced – what more could you ask for? Enjoy your freshly made chocolate as you wander around the Museo de la Patagonia, soaking up all the local culture and history.
Cartagena – Colombia
Colombia is a growing destination, but despite the 300% increase in tourism over the last 12 years, it’s still not that much of an obvious honeymoon destination. It’s hard to see why, considering the deep-rooted romance of the country – especially Cartagena on the Caribbean-side.
The ancient walled town is reminiscent of colonial times, with sun-yellow villas and cathedrals, cobbled streets that lead into arcaded squares, and balconies covered in bougainvillaea. This is not a town you march through as a tourist, ticking off your bucket list before heading back home. This is a town yo0u amble through, enjoying the sleepiness of Old Town first thing in the morning, and breaking from the heat and humidity in one of the many bars during the evening.
Cartagena is an antique town with a contemporary atmosphere; from freshly experimental kitchens to the vibey fashion crowd, and a colourful blend of old and new wherever you step.
Vermont – USA
Vermont is full of quaint inns, top-rated ski resorts, and amazing food – which you’re going to need after months of a pre-wedding diet. No matter what the season, Vermont’s rural farmlands, mountains, picture-perfect villages and more all combine to create an atmosphere of quiet contentment.
The blankets of snow during the cold winter months makes for fantastic skiing, snowboarding, ice climbing, snowshoeing and more, but if you’re after a calmer, more relaxing honeymoon then visit during the spring or summer, when the state is alive with greenery.
Home to the incredible Lake Champlain, the Kingdom Trails, the 300-mile Long and Catamount Trails, and the slopes of Killington, Stowe, and Mad River Glen, as well as an impressive food selection. The famers have made Vermont a veritable paradise for all things locally grown and produced, alongside America’s densest collection of craft brewers. It’s also the only state without a McDonald’s in its capital city, which is something to rave about.
Alaska – USA
It’s easy to forget that Alaska is just a US state, rather than a country in its own right – and that’s because that such a sheer volume of things to do, and see, and experience that it feels like it’s another world. From bears bigger than bison, and national parks the size of small countries, or glaciers bigger than other states, everything about Alaska is on a huge scale.
Not one for anyone looking to spend two weeks in a bikini on a beach, but the magic of Alaska lies in the offering from mother Nature. It is here that you can get a close-up shot of a bear, in the wild, catching leaping salmon from a river, or hike across a national park and hike up an unclimbed mountain that has quite possibly never been visited by human feet before.
Uluru – Australia
The perfect destination for nay eco-lovers, Uluru – also known as Ayers Rock – is properly set in the outback of Australia; so secluded it feels almost apocalyptic. Whether you’ve been before or not, the first sight of Uluru on the horizon will never cease to amaze – and I can guarantee it’s not somewhere you’ve ever tho0ght of as a honeymoon destination.
The rock hides numerous sacred sites of particular significance to the Anangu – the Australian Aboriginal groups. Depending on what time of day it is, Uluru appears to change colour; in the afternoon its set against the horizon as an ochre-brown colour, covered in dark shadows. However, get up early enough to witness the sunrise and you’ll see it light up from charcoal, through a series of deep reds, and finally to a calm, burnished orange.
Explore a new world, with a new culture, and a new partner for life in the middle of the outback desert, where you can have dinner under the stars, while a chef serves you food from a contemporary Australian menu. Or take a tour of the desert, up high in a helicopter or on land with camel rides, and take a sunrise walk to the Mutitjulu water hole, where a guide will talk you through the cave paintings and local history.
A world away from the Australian mainland – despite only a short, two-hour flight from Sydney – Norfolk Island is a small 34.6km squared, complete with small-town community vibes and some of the best scenery you can find in Oceania. The island is surrounded by amazingly clear waters, perfect for surfing, kayaking, and snorkelling, while the immense national park provides plenty of walking trails and beaches completely untouched by human activity.
Slightly pricier than other nearby attractions – such as Fiji, Bali, or the Australian mainland – it means you and your partner can escape to the bays for a swim or a walk down the beach, safe in the knowledge that you are very likely to be completely alone.
Its more than just pristine beaches and fantastic wildlife, though; once a penal colony for the worst kinds of convicts, Norfolk Island is a place full of history. There’s a handful of museums that can offer you an indulgence into colonial history, and the handfuls of great restaurants give you a perfect setting to discuss what you’ve discovered.
Planning the perfect honeymoon doesn’t have to be stressful – and it doesn’t have to be boring. Sure, a 10 day stay in the Maldives is incredible, but it’s also what everyone else does. Try a 10-day stay Cambodia instead, or a safari hosted by Giraffe Manor. Bonus: these are all perfect for the ‘gram. Just saying.