For the majority of newlyweds, their honeymoon destinations are the trip of a lifetime. Sure, you’ll end up taking bigger or more adventurous travels later on, most likely with your growing family, but the first post-wedding holiday is spectacular. It gives you time to appreciate each other without the stress of planning. It sets the tone for your future activities, and it gives memories that will last a lifetime.
There are amazing places close and far to enjoy your personal vision of romance, whether you’re a lie-on-a-beach-with-a-coconut person, brave foodies, adventure junkies, winter bunnies, or city dwellers. We’ve compiled an exhaustive list! The following are the top 25 honeymoon destinations around the world.
1. Amalfi Coast, Italy
There are numerous reasons why the Amalfi Coast remains at the top of the honeymoon destination list. Positano’s steep village alleys, Moorish buildings, turquoise water, and colorful loungers and umbrellas bordering the black sand beaches are difficult to conceive in a more classically romantic setting. Glamour abounds, particularly at the five-star Le Sirenuse, which offers a tried-and-true formula for a sensual, sophisticated escape.
2. Antigua & Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda are similar to Eden. They have colorful houses, bustling markets, exotic fruits, limestone formations, and, of course, many lovely beaches. You can be alone on a white sand beach between the two islands or on a catamaran cruising at sunset between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Visit all-inclusive resorts such as the luxury and recently refurbished Curtain Bluff, which includes tennis, sailing, water skiing, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and bocce, as well as once-in-a-lifetime escapes such as Jumby Bay Island, a private island.
3. Austin, Texas
You appear to be a hipster, don’t you? Do you enjoy music? Do the words “barbecue” make your mouth water? Get to the coolest city in Texas, which may not be known for romance but boasts romantic spots like Mount Bonnell and Lake Travis at sunset. If you don’t want to do that, you can stay outside of town at the stylish bungalow-style Hotel San Jose or the remote luxury spa resort Travaasa Austin and try food trucks, see shows, and window shop on South Congress.
Sydney and Melbourne have a similar debate to Los Angeles and New York, but there are so many other sections of this vast island nation. In the first case, you can stay at the QT Bondi for a golden tan or at the relatively new Old Clare Hotel for a city trip. After seeing Melbourne’s fantastic restaurants and mural-adorned laneways, head to the artistic Jackalope Hotel on the Mornington Peninsula to feel like you’re in wine country. There is a lot to see and do in Western Australia. In busy Perth, for example, honeymooners can get a lot for their money. Rottnest Island is home to adorable quokkas and Discovery Rottnest Island, which offers Chris Hemsworth-approved glamping. The Kimberley and Ningaloo Reef are excellent destinations for desert and ocean excursions. And it’s difficult to find beaches more spectacular than those in the Whitsundays.
5. Baja California, Mexico
For those who live on the West Coast, Baja California is the most accessible honeymoon destination. The peninsula contains some of Mexico’s most beautiful areas. There are dozens of lovely beaches for above- and below-water sports in San Jose del Cabo, as well as exquisite resorts like the beautifully simple Las Ventanas al Paraso, the brand-new Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal or Viceroy Los Cabos, and The Cape, with its numerous rooftops. The Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas and Zadn, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, have both just opened on the East Cape, which has even more magnificent seascapes and a strong “get away from it all” atmosphere. Just across the border, in the bougainvillea-covered Valle de Guadalupe, you’ll find some of the best wine and food you’ve ever had, as well as affordable places to stay (like Cabaas Cuatro Cuartos and El Cielo Winery & Resort).
6. Bali, Indonesia
Bali is a magical place for a honeymoon. The only Hindu island in the huge country of Indonesia is a great place to feel passionate. Bali feels a bit more exotic than the tropical islands closer to the US. It has unspoiled beaches, surfing, snorkeling, massages, and a lot of cultures, art, music, rice terraces, and temples. Nature is honored here, and it’s easy to get into the spirit at incredibly lush places like Four Seasons Bali at Sayan and Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve for jungle vibes, and Uluwatu Surf Villas or Mulia Villas for beach bliss.
If you and your partner like to do things that aren’t the norm, this South Asian gem is the way to go. Bhutan is a magical country that sits between China and India. It has its own culture and landscape, but anyone who has been to either of those places knows that they are both beautiful. The tiny kingdom in the Himalayas is a great place to go trekking, and it has kept a lot of its culture despite being far away and having a small amount of Western influence. As you move from one valley to the next, you can see Buddhist monasteries, jaw-dropping views, and forts.
8. The British Virgin Islands
Hurricane Irma is getting his comeuppance from a group of beautiful Caribbean islands that have come back to life. It’s a glorious rebirth. Valley Trunk, a super-luxurious resort on Virgin Gorda, started letting people back onto its beautiful beach in December 2019, showing off its updated interiors, cinema, gardens, and infinity-edge pool. Quito’s Inn, with its reggae music, is a new 21-room option in Cane Garden Bay on Tortola. On Anegada, a truly unspoiled island, beach bums can sleep in tents right on the sugary sand at Anegada Beach Club.
9. Buenos Aires, Argentina
If you spend your honeymoon in Argentina, be ready to dance the very sensual tango. People come from all over the world to dance at night in the capital city, which is known for its great nightlife. Most of the city has bike lanes, so you can get around easily on two wheels, or you can stay in a place like the Faena Hotel Buenos Aires or the Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires, which are both stylish and well-designed.
10. Cape Town, South Africa
Since the US dollar is stronger than the South African rand, your money goes a little further in this city at the southernmost point of Africa. Beautiful hotels and small guesthouses, like the design-forward The Silo and the resort-like One&Only Cape Town, offer great service and are great places to stay while exploring Cape Town’s beautiful mountains, coastline, and wildlife, like penguins and baboons. There is a lot of history to learn about, as well as great wine (try La Residence in Franschhoek) and exciting activities like cage diving with great white sharks.
11. Cartagena, Colombia
Spain colonized what is now Cartagena in the 16th century. It is now a popular tourist attraction on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, with cobblestone walkways, colorful buildings, and live music at every turn. There’s romance everywhere, especially late at night when it’s salsa time. Stay at one of the city’s greatest boutique hotels, such as the lush Casa Lola or the wonderfully renovated Hotel Casa San Agustin, and make a point of seeing the nearby islands. Casa San Agustin’s new ACAS Experience whisks lovers away on a private boat charter to the idyllic Isla Bar for lunch on a pristine sand beach bordered by turquoise ocean and palms.
Colorado’s allure is simple: it’s beautiful in the winter when it’s buried in super-romantic snow, and it’s beautiful in the summer when the white stuff has melted and left behind verdant, pastoral views. Active types will find plenty to do, especially if they stay at Vail’s Hotel Talisa, a ski-in/ski-out resort where the service is so good that they’ll even transport the chapstick you left in your room to the top of the mountain for you. The sleek and convivial new ski-in/ski-out Gravity Haus in Breckenridge comes complete with a Japanese-style onsen. Meanwhile, Beaver Creek is home to the five-star alpine retreat Trappers Cabin, where honeymooners may hike, ride, and soak in a hot tub in elegance.
Most of the terms in Denmark’s capital are difficult to pronounce, but that’s half the pleasure. The beautiful Scandinavian home of the Little Mermaid sculpture, towering castles, and loads of hyper-influential design are intimate and easy to navigate. Beyond the city, take day trips to trek in woodland Edens, and at night, cuddle up in hygge style with your one true love in a top hotel like the historic Hotel d’Angleterre, with an abundance of candles, wine, sweets, and a fire roaring in the background.
14. Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s Pacific coast has something for everyone who loves nature and adventure. Santa Teresa is a small coastal town with plenty of surfing to keep you entertained. The jungle above the beach is home to inventive kitchens and boutique hotels like Florblanca Resort and Milarepa, and the ocean is warm and the waves are wonderful. Further north, on Peninsula Papagayo, lies the tiny, immersive boutique resort Kasiiya, with exquisite platform tents and a plethora of options to connect with nature and each other. The Retreat Costa Rica, located on a quartz mountain overlooking the Pacific Ocean, is a go-to for all things spa, therapeutic, and organic gardens.
Croatia is the place to go if you want to see magnificent crystalline tiered lakes and waterfalls, historical buildings and ruins, sail around on a yacht, tour cathedrals, or even go wild partying. The country that spans down the Mediterranean has a Greek Isle-like feel but its own culture and appearance. This original, pristine area is all about superbly crafted sea-view spots like Villa Dubrovnik.
16. Cyclades, Greece
This Aegean Sea collection of islands includes favorites like Santorini (where Grace Santorini recently underwent a stunning refurbishment) and Mykonos, which is home to the new swoon-worthy, fully farm-to-table Nesaea restaurant. There are also significant archaeological remains, breathtaking sunset panoramas, and emerging islands such as Paros and Folegrandos, where you may enjoy the beauty of your surroundings with fewer people around. Even better, explore the entire region aboard Entre Cielos’ 104-foot luxury boat.
Dominica is a water baby’s paradise, with rivers and streams, waterfalls, hot sulfur strings, and a boiling lake, not to mention the Caribbean Sea. The longest hiking trail in the region is also an option. Following Hurricane Maria’s devastation, the island has become a haven for jungle-y adventures (such as canyoning in Titou Gorge), relaxation (such as the mud pools of Wotten Waven Hot Springs), whale watching, and beautiful new hotels such as Jungle Bay, Secret Bay, and Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski.
Is there a more traditional exotic island honeymoon destination than Fiji? It’s difficult to imagine a better way to spend a vacation than hopping between five-star resorts on the South Pacific’s 300-plus islands, which are covered in white beaches, palm trees, mountains, and blue lagoons. Visit Laucala, a private island getaway that combines lush rainforests and volcanoes with deserted beaches, sustainably grown cuisine, and sports ranging from diving and golf to horseback riding and game fishing. Two other possibilities for postcard-perfect escapes are Kokomo Private Island Resort and Nanuku, Auberge Resorts Collection.
There’s something to be said for the simplicity of a beach resort honeymoon, but if you’re looking for something more, nothing beats a Galapagos trip. Charles Darwin’s favorite place provides outdoor enthusiasts with the ultimate opportunity to soak up an exotic dose of nature. A cruise, ideally on a small ship or mega yacht like Ecoventura’s brand-new luxury-meets-eco-friendly Theory, which sails around the northern or southern islands for a week at a time, with snorkeling, standup paddleboard and kayaking gear, and naturalists on board, is one option for an island experience off the coast of Ecuador. Pikaia Lodge is another bucket-list luxury location with a sustainable culinary program, coffee is grown on-site, an infinity pool, spa, and carbon-neutral hotel suites.
The hurricanes that ravaged most of the Caribbean left Spice Island, an undiscovered paradise, completely intact. The timing was fortunate, since there are several luxury resorts in the pipeline, with the first large resort on Grand Anse Beach in decades launching last year. The Silversands Hotel features the Caribbean’s longest pool, but don’t expect to spend all of your time there—the island is full of promise in the form of stunning beaches to relax on, vibrant culture and cuisine to experience, and rainforests to explore.
Guatemala is a unique country that is next to Mexico, which was once ruled by Spain. Parts of the Central American country have cobblestone streets and colorful buildings like Antigua, while other parts are covered with rainforests and volcanoes. You can learn about the history of the area by going to ancient Mayan ruins and several museums in Guatemala City, which come alive at night. Get away from people at Casa Palopó on Lake Atitlan or in casitas on stilts at Francis Ford Coppola’s lakeside La Lancha, where friendly howler monkeys will sing you to sleep or wake you up for a beautiful day in the rainforest.
Iceland is for people who like to try new things. It has a long list of things to do, like seeing the Northern Lights in the winter (stay at Ion for the best view), hiking, riding Iceland’s famously small but strong horses, exploring caves, volcanoes, ice fields, and glaciers, and soaking in hot springs and lagoons. The new Retreat at Blue Lagoon is the place to stay and play at the most famous of these, with a spa built into the volcanic earth and a five-star restaurant. Even though it’s cold, the Land of Fire and Ice has enough excitement and romance to keep you hot.
Japan is known for its natural beauty, sake, sushi, history, and culture. Its awe-inspiring cities are a mix of ancient and modern, and it has a huge network of hikes and walks for people who prefer the outdoors. There are ski resorts, shrines, cat cafes, and beautiful coast. The deluxe ryokan-style Hoshinoya Tokyo is a good example of how exciting Tokyo is for all the senses. Kyoto, on the other hand, has more than a dozen UNESCO World Heritage Sites (plus the brand-new and breathtaking Aman Kyoto). The country also has a popular chain of tropical coral islands called Okinawa. On Hoshinoya Taketomi Island, you can see how traditional Japanese island life is, and at the new Halekulani Okinawa resort, you can experience real Japanese culture and nature.
Lanai is part of Hawaii, but some parts of its landscape are so strange that you’ll feel like you’ve gone to another planet. There are many things to do: ride horses up to the pines or spend the day driving a 4×4 Jeep on rough roads, snorkeling with spinner dolphins, have a picnic with fresh poke, swim in the blue sea, or take pictures among the moon-like rocks of Garden of the Gods. At the Four Seasons Resort Lanai, you can eat and drink a lot of good things that aren’t poking. And now, the wellness-focused, all-inclusive Four Seasons Lanai at Koele, a Sensei Resort, has opened, giving people a luxurious new way to relax and renew their minds, bodies, and spirits.
This little-known African island is a great place to go on a honeymoon. There is everything from luxury lodges to lemurs to beaches with no people on them. The land is very different, with rainforest, open savannah, highlands, and desert, as well as a lot of cultures to learn about. The next-to-last stay is at Miavana by Time + Tide, an ultra-luxurious retreat on picture-perfect Nosy Ankao. Here, you can dive into the depths of the Indian Ocean, fly high above it in helicopters, and search for translocated crowned lemurs in the forest, all while staying in dreamy accommodations and eating five-star food.