Top 10 Alternative Honeymoon Destinations
15 April 2016 | Written by Alex Sizer
Are you trying to find that special place to spend your first days of wedded bliss? Uninspired by the usual magnets for honeymooners; such as Bora Bora or Seychelles? Whether you still want the idyllic and relaxing beach retreat without the crowds, or something a bit more exciting and adventurous, there are alternative destinations out there that will make for the perfect honeymoon. Here are the top 10 alternative honeymoon destinations guaranteed to impress.
Dramatic green mountains tumble down to the sparkling blue waters of the Adriatic Sea in the postage-stamp sized former-Yugoslavian country of Montenegro. It mixes tranquillity with adventure in just the right way for a honeymoon. Go for a peaceful hike in the spectacular forests one day, white-water raft through a canyon the next.
Sveti Stefan is a Montenegrin icon. The 15th century island fortress is now a 5-star resort with its own private beaches – perfect for a beach honeymoon with a twist! Alternatively, stay in one of the quaint medieval towns higher up in the mountains, or in a lakeside guesthouse.
Like the idea of South East Asia but want something a little different to the usual honeymoon in Thailand? Philippines is the place for you.
The gloriously tropical weather and relaxed way of life are guaranteed to calm you down after the whirlwind of the wedding. Whether you spend all week on the beach or at a swim-up bar, or prefer a more stimulating experience of the bustling markets and interesting cities, there’s something for you here.
Hate getting sand in your toes and the idea of laying around at a resort for a week makes you bored just thinking about it? Iceland is the perfect alternative honeymoon destination for you. Iceland has stunning natural beauty, excellent food, plenty to do, and is easy to get to. It’s also got really, really nice hotels for you to stay in whilst you travel around.
Hire a car and drive the Ring Road to see all of the sites, or base yourself out of Reykjavik. Visit waterfalls, geysers, glaciers and volcanoes, and unwind in the healing waters of the Blue Lagoon. If the season is right you might even spot some whales or the elusive Northern Lights.
An African safari is one of life’s most unique and unforgettable travel experiences, and they make for a breathtaking honeymoon option. Take the opportunity to go all out – 5 star luxury retreats will have you getting back to nature but with all the best comforts. Private 4x4s will show you all of Africa’s most famous wildlife.
Zambia is the destination for thrill-seekers looking to keep the excitement coming on their honeymoon. Other than safari there are a wide range of activities on offer, including swimming in lakes, kayaking down the Zambezi River, marvelling at Victoria Falls, browsing local markets, trekking through the bush, or even elephant riding!
5. Gili Islands, Indonesia
The Gili Islands won’t stay an ‘alternative’ destination for long. As soon everyone starts hearing about these glorious drops of paradise off the coast of Indonesia’s Lombok, they won’t be able to resist the charm of the crystal clear ocean and glistening white beaches.
Of the three islands, Gili Meno is the one where honeymooners should head. With no motorised transport, secluded beach-front villas, and casual open-air eateries, Gili Meno is the destination for couples looking to simply unwind and relax.
6. Transylvania, Romania
Eastern Europe isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think of honeymoon destinations, but when it comes to bang (and beauty) for your buck, it doesn’t get much better than this part of the continent. Romania’s mountainous region of Transylvania is incredibly romantic. Lush green hills, medieval towns, and Gothic castles make for a picture-perfect backdrop for a honeymoon.
Stay in an adorable country villa and feel like you and your partner are the only people in the world. Hire a car and explore the rolling countryside, looming castles, and tiny villages at your own pace. Only a short flight from the UK, Romania is a great low-key, high-reward honeymoon destination.
The Turkish coast is more than just the overrun resort towns of Bodrum and Kusadasi. Hidden gems like Butterfly Valley and Cirali are as yet untouched and are perfect places for a post-wedding break. Take a day out from sun-baking on the Turquoise Coast to visit the healing thermal waters of ancient Pamukkale.
Istanbul, the capital, is especially romantic, with the opulent palaces and cobbled streets of the old town. In the centre of the country is the mind-boggling Cappadocia – a region where the landscape has formed the iconic ‘fairy chimneys’ and ancient dwellings were carved into the rocks. Stay in a cave hotel and take a hot air balloon ride at dawn for the ultimate romantic experience.
8. Costa Rica
Central America is made for honeymoons – perfect weather all year round, tropical forests and pristine beaches… And the cream of the crop is Costa Rica. With a Pacific coast and a Caribbean coast; an interior full of volcanoes, jungles, and wildlife parks; and wonderfully hospitable locals, you can’t go wrong with a Costa Rican honeymoon.
Accommodation options range from beach resorts to jungle hideaways, and activity options range from zip-lining and adventure sports to luxury spas and pure beach relaxation.
9. Colorado, USA
Colorado is the ultimate destination for those who like to get out and about and get back to nature. Whether you and your loved one like to mountain bike ride, hike, camp, or ski, there’s somewhere in this mountainous American state for you.
If you’re looking for a romantic winter destination or an outdoorsy summer escape to the wilderness, Colorado is a prime option all year round. Aspen or Breckenridge are particularly pretty towns that are worth basing yourself in, or to really get back to basics you can simply camp in the spectacular Rocky Mountains National Park.
If a Caribbean island honeymoon sounds good to you but you just hate the idea of doing the same old thing that every other newlywed couple does, Mozambique is for you. The island archipelagos of Bazaruto and Quirimas are quite literally made for honeymoons.
The romantic resorts specialise in private thatched chalets, plunge pools, fine dining on the beach, secluded beach picnics, and sunset cruises. The resorts of Mozambique are unbeatable for luxury holidays with all of the romantic trimmings included. Celebrating your marriage with a relaxing beach holiday away from the crowds is easily done here.
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