We showcase our favourite places in the world for a honeymoon less ordinary! Check out our top 10 unusual honeymoon destinations here…
1. Antigua… for the brave!
Smack-bamb in the middle of the Caribbean Islands, Antiqua boasts more than 350 chalky-white sandy beaches, including the unsurpassable Half Moon Bay – perfect if you’re a go-get-‘em couple, into your windsurfing. With one of the most idyllic climates in the Caribbean courtesy of constant sea breezes, highlights include lazy afternoons at Shirley Heights Lookout, an unmissable restaurant with sizzling-hot barbecue, perched high on the south side of the island and with a stunning panoramic view of English Harbour and the island of Montserrat. This English-speaking island would suit those who have opted for a winter wonderland wedding and can think of nothing better than a spot of sun-soaked heaven.
Memorable Highs: For those who dare, clothing is only optional at one of the Five Islands Peninsula’s beaches!
When to go: December to May.
What to pack: Sarongs aplenty, a pair of sturdy boots for exploring, and bikinis.
2. Charleston, South Carolina… for the boutique chasers
Oak-lined cobblestone streets anyone? With a huge helping of genuine Southern hospitality (and an inimitable music scene), why not check out Charleston? For gastro-lovers who like their breaks to include unbeatable boutiques and a real sense of the historic past right on their doorstep, Charleston is the place for you. We love their buzzing live theatre and street-side jazz quartets, perfect for a romantic pair in search of a lively scene washed down with a cocktail or two. On a Sunday afternoon, pack a picnic for two and take a turn around the eight-acre Waterfront Park; the perfect spot for newlywed canoodling.
Memorable Highs: The South Carolina Aquarium would have to be a honeymoon must: your chance to touch the sting rays and sharks!
When to go: The magnolias and honeysuckles are in full bloom April-June, when the temperatures aren’t too sweltering.
What to pack: A top-notch camera, lots of light dresses for sightseeing, flats for shopping; sky-scraping heels for dance time!
3. Malta… for the art aficionados
Recently named the European Capital of Culture in 2018, The city of Valletta, nestled on the island of Malta between Sicily and North Africa, is a must-visit for newlywed culture-vultures. With over 400-plus events, exhibits, and art shows in every season, do your research and plan your honeymoon to take in the breathtaking sights, including the perfectly preserved Medieval streets. Don’t miss the Baroque St John’s Co-Cathedral or the prehistoric ruins at the Hagar Qim Temples. Find sanctuary in the original sanctuary of The Hypogeum, a unique monument recognised with an individual listing on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
Memorable Highs: The romantic red-tinted Ramla il-Hamra beach on sister island, Gozo (the mysterious ‘Island of Legends’).
When to go: Visit in less-touristy Spring or Autumn.
What to pack: Snorkels and wetsuits for island hopping, a Panama hat for boat rides, an enquiring mind and oodles
4. Todos Santos, Mexico… for the escapists
Truly stepping off the beaten track – and a far cry from all-inclusives that tend to dominate the honeymoon market – adventure, mystique and escapism couldn’t come more perfectly gift-wrapped than the tiny fishing village of Todos Santos. Get off the grid (and still experience five-star luxury) at the 32-room Hotel San Cristobal. Downtown boutiques are destined to dazzle, whilst the seafood is fantastic. Favour fortunes the bold here; as the local saying goes, if you see an unmarked dirt road, you should take it (although we suggest hiring a four-by-four for exploring!). Here, it’s wild, undiscovered, utterly glorious, and timelessly romantic (every night when the sun sets, it is marked by the ringing of a giant gong…).
Memorable Highs: Drinking a ‘michelada’ (spiced-beer cocktail).
When to go: If you like your honeymoons hot, pick the summer months. Alternatively, opt for
What to pack: A cardigan for whale-watching in cooler climates, your driving license, Khaki playsuits for exploring.
5. New Zealand… for the once in a lifetime
The ultimate travel destination and a sure-fire memory maker. Ever dreamed of seeing a volcano up close and personal? Want to see a traditional Maori Haka? The incredibly diverse and unspoiled scenery includes everything from subtropical forests, to breathtaking beaches, to snow-covered mountains. Where else on the planet can you go surfing, skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, tramping, sailing, swimming, parachuting, horseback riding, or caving – all within a 100-mile radius and even on the same day?! Plus, ‘Kiwis’ are one of the friendliest people on the planet; their hospitality is legendary (and they love a good love story).
Memorable Highs: Bungee jumping was invented and made famous right here guys… just saying…
When to go: The months of March, April and May times the tourist rush to perfection, and you’ll still be in your summer dresses.
What to pack: Everything but the kitchen sink?! You could be doing literally anything! A waterproof phone case is a must!
6. Vienna to Budapest… for the cyclists
Actively gorgeous may describe you and your new husband, but it could also be the description of choice for your honeymoon! As a pastime and fitness craze, cycling has enjoyed something of a huge comeback in recent years and we think it deserves consideration for more energetic newlyweds. Blissfully romantic, we can’t think of anything more joyful than discovering this classic cycle ride that links these historic cities, just the two of you together. Hugging the river Danube, which serves as the spine of your journey, take in the glorious sights of Baroque Vienna contrasted with the Gothic architecture of Budapest.
Memorable Highs: One of the world’s few remaining functioning Turkish bath houses in Budapest,
When to go: In the Spring before it gets too hot.
What to pack: Many, many pairs of cycling shorts, sunglasses, fancy water bottles (put them on your wedding list!).
7. Santa Barbara, California… for the road trippers
There’s just something about being with the one you love on an open road, and in an old-school (pink) Cadillac. The picturesque city off Highway 1 sits between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains. Think Big Little Lies and you’re halfway there (it’s further along South down the coast). Enjoying something of a newfound ‘cool’ thanks to the burgeoning neighbourhood of artists’ studios, Santa Barbara embodies California dreaming with its mix of powdered-sand beaches, vineyards, and Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. This, and spectacular surrounding area, is the place to explore by car.
Memorable Highs: The splurge-worthy experience of a helicopter ride to enjoy a bird’e-eye view of the Channel Islands, known as the Galapagos of North America.
When to go: Early Autumn to late Spring will give you the best deals.
What to pack: Silk scarves for Hollywood hair in an open-topped car, ‘50s-style halter-neck bikinis, a thirst for wine tasting.
8. Albania… for the historians
Utterly fascinating and deeply absorbing, the little-known Mediterranean country of Albania, situated just north of mainland Greece, is a honeymooning couple’s treasure-trove of undiscovered joys. Past civilisations include the Romans and Byzantines, and a wander through these historic streets is an instantly transportive and wonderfully romantic experience. If it’s the first time you’ve heard the phrase, ‘Albania Riviera’, then you’re in for a treat (we told you it was little-known!). Berat in central Albania carries a distinctly Bohemian vibe with numerous hidden coves and secluded beaches.
Memorable Highs: A visit to Berat, The Town of A Thousand Windows and one of the world’s longest inhabited cities.
When to go: April, May and early June.
What to pack: Backpacks, clothes you can walk all day in, a torchlight in case of power cuts (ah, the romance…).
9. Bali… for the wellness-obsessed
Spiritual calm gets its Zen on in beautiful Bali. The perfect antidote if your wedding was a high-octane affair, a pampering retreat to Bali is as restorative an elixir as God’s sweetest nectar. Specialising in holistic spas that cater for the mind, body and soul, if it’s a cleansing retreat you’re after set amidst spectacular scenery and unforgettable beaches, then Bali is the place for you. Combining yoga, acrobatics and Thai massage, try acro-yoga on the beach before tucking into an authentic Indonesian dish to fortify the body and soul.
Memorable Highs: A visit to the Sacred Forest Monkey Sanctuary.
When to go: Expect a tropical climate all-year round, although April beats the rush.
What to pack: Your best yoga gear and something from Sweaty Betty, a selection of nail polishes, monkey-proof clothes.
10. Croatia… for the luxe-for-less seekers
Here’s the good news: Croatia is only two and a half hours away and a beer will set you back only a couple of quid. Here’s the really good news: Croatia is truly and utterly, absolutely beautiful. Described as having ‘Game of Thrones appeal’ and guaranteed not to break the bank, who says honeymoons have to cost the earth? We love Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes, which boast some of the finest waterfalls and most turquoise waters the world has ever seen. Feeling adventurous? Try zip-lining or rafting in Omis. Go back in time and visit Diocletian’s Palace, a fourth-century masterpiece built for the Roman Emperor Diocletian in the old town of Split.
Memorable Highs: Yacht Week – a chance to enjoy the Adriatic and party until the sun comes up again.
When to go: The warmer temperatures during Spring and Autumn make it a perfect getaway from the British bite.
What to pack: Jelly shoes for pebbly beaches, a sensational nightlife-ready outfit, a leave-in conditioner (the sun is stronger the closer you get to the equator).
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Main image credit: bookme.co.nz