Whoever came up with the idea of a honeymoon is a legend in our books – then again, we’ll take any excuse for a loved-up getaway. Planning a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon in 2018? Thanks to our sister-publication, Holidays for Couples, we’ve found 18 next-level romantic destinations to get you inspired. Scroll down or read the original story here…
Related article: The bride’s easy guide to honeymoon packing
If you’re all about that Riviera life (even for just a week or two), prepare to fall in love with Montenegro in southeastern Europe. Here, some of the continent’s most beautiful scenery (think rugged mountains, weatherworn churches, and pine-filled forests) overlook terracotta-hued cities and their dazzling azure coastlines. In other words, it’s the stuff of fairytales.
Obvious statement of the day: the Maldives kicks a total 10 in honeymoon goals. A go-to destination for luxe overwater bungalows, shockingly turquoise waters, and white sandy beaches, this Indian Ocean gem is made up of nearly 1,200 islands. Many have been turned into Insta-ready private island resorts – and, the only challenge of your Maldives honeymoon will be choosing exactly which one to escape to!
Every bit the tropical island idyll but without the crowds, Samoa is hot on the travel radar right now while still feeling blissfully quiet. Rich with natural beauty and cultural heritage, Samoa’s islands still have a genuine sense of community and a strong preservation of tradition. What does that mean for honeymooners? The vibe here isn’t so touristy and the lifestyle is authentic and welcoming. That gets a big tick from us!
A honeymoon in Marrakech is all about immersing yourselves in its day-to-day excitement. Walk the labyrinth-like souqs and pick up an abundance of treasures, enjoy flavoursome food at the many street stalls and restaurants, and tick off amazing sites like the opulent Saadian Tombs. Adorned with pure gold, the site is made from more imported Italian Carrera marble than on your dream kitchen renovation Pinterest board. Yep, that’s a lot.
The Solomon Islands
Take a palm leaf out of Kate and Will’s book and leave the rest of the world behind in the Solomon Islands (they actually stayed at Tavanipupu Island Resort, pictured above). One of the last destinations in the world where you can really switch off, the islands (there are over 900 in total) look straight out of a screensaver. Think fluorescent blue waters, dense jungles, palm-topped islands and a totally laid-back atmosphere. There’s also world-class diving, snorkelling and surfing to be found. Plus, the islands aren’t as commercialised as other tropical destinations – just the way we like it.
Who says a honeymoon has to be overseas? You’ll come across some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery right here in Queensland – yes, we are truly #blessed. Jump on the minimoon trend and (re)discover the wonders in your own backyard. From sun-soaked islands to sigh-inducing hinterland and lush rainforest (with amazing waterfalls!), there’s plenty to be won over by. One stand-out destination, Queensland’s north is home to two World Heritage-listed sites, right next to each other – that’s impressive stuff! The world’s oldest rainforest, the Daintree Rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef here, making this crazy-cool part of the world an absolute must-see.
Home to forest-covered gorges, snow-capped mountains, gushing rivers, cliff-hugging monasteries and shingle-roofed houses, the Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan seems purely mythical. A real bucket-list item for your inner Indiana Jones, Paro Taksang (the Tiger’s Monastery, pictured above) seems almost gravity-defying and is a rewarding end to a challenging hike here. If you’re more into spiritual journeys, visit one of Bhutan’s many shrines, soak in a natural mineral spring bath or find yourselves a peaceful spot to meditate (many hotels here have their own dedicated spaces). Leave? Namaste here forever.
Blessed with sensational scenery, the South American destination looks like the set of a sci-film (in the very best way). Icy glacial fields, dry deserts, scenic valleys, volcanoes and forests – it’s all here. For a real pinch-me-now experience, go stargazing (pisco sour in-hand) in the Atacama Desert. It’s one of the best places on the planet for spotting stars, but there’s also geysers, sand dunes and lagoons populated by flocks of flamingos to see here, too. Or, check out Chile’s ‘Wild West’ in Patagonia. Here, there are snowy mountains, fjords, ice-blue lakes and glaciers to ride past on the back of a horse.
Synonymous with honeymoons, Tahiti’s Bora Bora is just as stunning as you’d imagine. Picture pristine lagoons, vibrant coral gardens, postcard-perfect beaches and glamorous overwater bungalows. There’s also mountain ATV rides, SUP-ing, volcano hikes, diving and swimming with friendly manta rays for the adventure-loving couples out there. Ready to go – like, yesterday? Yeah, we thought you might say that.
New York City, USA
Arguably the world’s most famous city, New York City (baby) is a timeless favourite for a reason. Busy, loud and in-your-face, this exciting destination is probably one of the coolest places you’ll ever go. Our advice? Sample as much as you can off New York’s ever-changing menu of experiences. Hail a cab and head to Brooklyn, one of NYC’s largest and most authentic boroughs. Great for dining, entertainment and super-sexy bars, Brooklyn is worth visiting just for the pizza alone. Top it all off by exploring Manhattan, with its famous streets, Times Square, Broadway and Greenwich Village.
Located just off the coast of India, Sri Lanka is pure paradise. When you’ve had your fill of secluded beaches here, uncover the island’s eight Unesco World Heritage-listed sites. From colonial fortresses to tea plantations, verdant rainforests and ancient temples, there are a slew of gorgeous sights to seek out. And if you’ve always wanted to go on safari, you can cross that off your wishlist in Sri Lanka, too. Cap off an unforgettable honeymoon by joining a guide and spotting elephants, leopards and water buffaloes in the jungle.
Shanghai isn’t just super-futuristic skyscrapers, robot bartenders, flashy high-end stores and fast cars (you will find plenty of that, though). Beneath it all, there’s plenty of sophistication and old-world charm that couples will love. After checking into a luxury hotel on the Bund river, weave your way through Shanghai’s Old Town for some serious romance. Said to pre-date the 1850s, the district is the old core of the city and is home to tempting culinary wonders, colonial architecture, temples, teahouses, and the blossom-filled Yuyuan Gardens and Bazaar.
Everything in New Zealand is epic. The scenery, the adventure, the Maori culture, the romance… do we even need to say it? Yep, epic. New Zealand’s natural gifts – think forests, fjords, mountains, lakes and remote beaches – are mandatory viewing. Whether you hike past them, fly over them in a helicopter or just stay in a luxury retreat nearby, you have to see these beauties for yourselves. New Zealand’s cities are also worth adding to your itinerary, with fine dining, fascinating history and fantastic culture available right at your fingertips. That’s choice, aye, bro.
It’s not hard to see why Hawaii’s Oahu is making it big once again in travel-world. With spellbinding natural wonders, a chilled lifestyle, easygoing locals and enticing delicacies (think poke, not spam), the island is also where you can stumble across deserted islands after driving past pineapple plantations and deep valleys. Top it all off and go all-out with a helicopter flight over the Diamond Head volcanic crater.
It’s no secret that Australians have a love affair with Bali. We don’t blame you, though. Cherished for its wonderful scenery, oh-so pretty accommodation, laid-back lifestyle and vibrant culture, the Island of the Gods (as it’s known) is worth thanking some sort of deity for. A winner for emerald rainforests, rice paddies and majestic mountains, Ubud seems made for honeymoons. If a beach escape is more your style, hit the surf and feast on fresh seafood in Jimbaran; or dance the night away at a sumptuous beach club in Seminyak. Just seeking a little relaxation? Claim one of Nusa Dua’s secluded villas (preferably one with its own pool) for yourselves.
If Australians have a love affair with Bali, they also have a long-term, Obama-and-Michelle-level committed relationship with Thailand. One seriously incredible destination, Thailand and its islands will always have our hearts. For a tropical honeymoon, head to Koh Samui, Phuket or Koh Lanta. You’ll literally be stopped in your tracks by their soaring limestone cliffs, bright blue bays, gilded cultural sights and golden beaches. The food’s not too bad there, either.
A long-time favourite for honeymoons, Fiji is another destination we’ll happily return to over and over (and over) again. Comprised of 332 islands, the tropical wonderland has all the makings of a romantic getaway – heavenly beaches with crystalline waters, thatched-roof overwater bungalow accommodation (like Likuliku Lagoon Resort, pictured above), colourful creatures, marvellous culture and super-friendly locals. For a truly special getaway, pretend you’re in the 1980 film Blue Lagoon and stay at an eco-luxe resort in the Yasawa Islands (the film was actually shot here).
You don’t have to travel far for an island honeymoon of a different kind. Delightfully isolated off Australia‘s south coast, Tasmania is great for the three Ws: wildlife, wilderness and wine (or whiskey, if you like). Experience it all on a scenic multi-day walk in Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Freycinet National Park or on the Three Capes Track. Prefer something a little more high-end? Tasmania also offers everything from luxury lodge stays to adventure-filled glamping getaways.
Want more honeymoon inspiration? Check out our sister site, Holidays for Couples