If you are looking for a unique honeymoon that is more than just a luxury island holiday, then here are some awesome ideas for a romantic escape with a twist.
Welcome to the Vipava Valley, a foodie utopia served up with a degustation of luscious landscapes, adventure activities and vintage villages; all washed down from the barrels of an underground world – with wine cellars and home-made brews common in many households.
Food + Spain + Honeymoon = an ideal romantic getaway!
Hike through ancient Inca ruins in Peru
The Caribbean, but different – that’s how I would summarise Dominica. If you want the climate of the Caribbean for your honeymoon, but awesome hiking takes priority over white-sand beaches, then the ‘Nature Island’ of Dominica might be just the ticket.
Gastronomy isn’t just about eating in Spain, it’s a way of life, so combining food and beautiful landscapes into your honeymoon is a fantastic way to explore the country. It’s no wonder that the Mediterranean diet s even inscribed onto the UNESO heritage list!
Recently awarded Slovenia’s first Michelin star, the Vipava Valley is truly a wonderful destination for foodies. Imagine rolling green hills of vineyards, almost Tuscan like in their appearance, with adorable villages, local food experiences, and plenty of adventure activities – from paragliding to more time cycle tours between wineries. Romance is very much alive in the Vipava Valley.
Experience a wildlife adventure in the Galapagos Islands
For a more active honeymoon, why not visit one of the most impressive ancient sites in the world, Machu Pichu in Peru?
Japan is rightly one of the most fascinating tourist destinations in the world. Amazing culture, cuisine and heritage combine here, and the charm and calm of the rural parts of the country make for a fantastic romantic escape.
A bonus of doing this, rather than hiking right there, is you can enjoy a good sleep and shower before visiting Machu Pichu – one way to ensure your honeymoon photos are a little more stylish than sweaty!
Indulge in traditions and heritage in rural Japan
Exploring New Zealand by camper-van is unsurprisingly a popular option, and over two weeks you could easily traverse across the nation and take in the most popular attractions. Is there any better commitment to formalise ‘I do’ than living the van life for a few weeks!
More than just a chance to see the famed locals, such as the Galapagos Iguana and impressive Galapagos Giant Tortoise, many sailings offer the chance to gain in-depth knowledge due to onboard biologists. Sailing and being at one with the ocean is one of the most romantic ways to travel, and coupling that with visiting some of the most remote and well-protected islands in the world makes for a honeymoon unlike any other.
Luxury lodges and bespoke tailored Safari’s make for an epic and unforgettable honeymoon. Witness wildlife in their natural habitat, unwind under the stars at night and repeat again the next day.
The classic over-water villas, but not the Maldives
Making your romantic escape something special is the main rule for a honeymoon – a trip that is both unforgettable but also unique to your particular interests. Whether that is mountain hiking, wildlife adventures, or indulging in the finest things our world has to offer.
My Intrepid Travel food tour across Spain was fantastic. Starting in Barcelona, visiting remote mountain villages, and then ending in Santiago de Compostela, this two-week tour took in some of the must-visit parts of the country. On the way through cooking classes, market visits, gastronomic cooking clubs, and vineyard and cider house tours I learnt all about the different regional flavours that make Spain such a fantastic destination. San Sebastian stole the show for me, but it also provided the chance to visit other parts of the country, like the lush green mountains.
Head to the lesser-explored nature island of the Caribbean – Dominica
Not only can you find the classic overwater Moorea villas here to tick that Maldives-Esque accommodation craving, but it’s one of the more affordable destinations to do so in French Polynesia. Thus rugged volcanic island has all the sandy beaches you could dream of, rainforest hiking trails, and some fantastic scuba-diving – so you can spend your honeymoon as relaxed, or active, as you desire.
Plan a safari adventure to see the big five
Relaxing on a beach, cocktail in hand, or zip-wiring through a rainforest? When it comes to honeymoons there is no perfect blueprint to follow. Sure, that all-inclusive beach escape might be someone else’s dream way of celebrating their nuptials, but if you want to turn your honeymoon into an epic adventure, there are plenty of options too.
Stay in a traditional Rokonan, hike along a unique route between temples, check-into ocean front deep-sea therapy hotels, and discover the magic of rural Japan. Find out more about what the region has to offer in my Kochi trip-report.
Enjoy a culinary tour across Spain
Imagine falling asleep under a canopy of the northern lights, with reindeer and winter wonderland adventures to keep you entertained during the day. At Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finland, you can choose from some specially designed honeymoon accommodation, from igloos to suites, and the famous glass-domed rooms to stare right up at the sky. You can even have your wedding here if you would prefer.
Zambia, Tanzania and South Africa are all popular destinations for a Safari, but these aren’t your only options – Namibia or Botswana for example are ever-growing in popularity and can provide some slightly more affordable package options if you want to enjoy a Safari for your honeymoon.
Or how about a hotel made entirely of ice? For example Sweeden’s Ice Hotel, the worlds largest that is constructed annually until it melts away in the warmer months – a truly unique and unforgettable honeymoon destination.
Road-trip through Slovenia’s romantic foodie utopia – The Vipava Valley
While permits to hike the Inca Trail are limited, there are plenty of other hiking routes in the local area. I did the Lares Trek with G Adventures, camping under star-lit skies, hiking through local settlements, and learning about other Inca ruins on the way. At the end of a trip, a glass-roofed train transported us to the dreamy village of Aguas Calientes, which is just below the famed sight.
In French Polynesia Tahiti and Bora Bora usually steal the headlines, but there are in fact over 100 islands in this South Pacific nation. If you want a more lush, rugged and mountainous escape for your honeymoon than the small sandy islands of the Maldives, then Moorea is a great alternative.
Away from the mega-cities like Tokyo, a much slower pace of life awaits – one dictated more by traditions than towering city blocks. The region of Kochi is one of my favourite, a lush land of crystal clear rivers, amazing hiking routes, tea-farms and traditional artisans – from knife makers to paper crafters. Also, expect plenty of amazing food thanks to the coastal position – sushi anyone?
Witness the northern lights in a hotel made entirely of ice
Sustainability isn’t a buzz-word in the Vipava Valley; it’s a way of life. Here, the Slovenians are tending to their beehives, sipping on fresh wines from local cellars and devouring delicious cheeses at family farms, usually accompanied with a heart-warming grin.
If you are an animal lover like myself, perhaps you’ll want to make your honeymoon all about the wildlife. Forget the traditional cruises for your honeymoon and instead opt for a small sailing option to the wonderful Galapagos Island.
Take a camper-van adventure through the beauty of New Zealand
New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited and offered a whole host of amazing natural activities for newlyweds to enjoy. From epic hikes to unique geothermal attractions, breathtaking beaches to fjords and wildlife. Couple this with some fantastic museums, filming locations, and cultural activities and you’ve got a fantastic trip through the world down under.