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The 10 best honeymoon destinations for a romantic getaway

From soaking in the Balinese sun to a safari across Kenyan savannahs, these are the best honeymoons to book with your beloved

Natalie Wilson
Tuesday 15 August 2023 16:39 BST
The white sands of the Maldives make for the ideal post-wedding escape
The white sands of the Maldives make for the ideal post-wedding escape (Baros Maldives)

After an inevitably stressful wedding planning period, the fundamentals of a honeymoon are non-negotiable: maximum relaxation, unrivalled luxury and swept-off-your-feet levels of romance.

A honeymoon is the opportunity to take the trip of a lifetime – after all, it’s what newlyweds deserve for making it down the aisle. But with so many intimate settings for post-nuptial escapes, picking the right place to celebrate your marriage milestone can prove tricky, and brochures of endless golden beachscapes can, unbelievably, become overwhelming.

From opulent island archipelagos to winter wonderlands and charming capitals steeped in history, these lovebird-friendly destinations champion romance to make a honeymoon memorable for adventure-seekers and luxury lovers alike.

Whether you’re looking to take a far-flung flight to the flirtiest of islands or spend just a few nights on a fairytale city break, here’s a selection of dreamy locales beyond the cliches, with impressive hotels for sleeping in – and more – after tying the knot.

Read more on honeymoons and romantic holidays:

Maasai Mara, Kenya

Spotting the Big Five meets candlelit bush dinners in the Kenyan game reserve (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Best for: Luxury safaris

What better time to take a bucket-list safari than on a Kenyan honeymoon to one of the East African savannah’s exclusive glamping sites? Purpose-built to escape the crowds with uninterrupted wildlife views, luxurious lodges are the ideal setting to see the Big Five for yourselves. Picture regal lions, leopards, rhinos and elephants mere metres away.

Newlyweds can travel hand-in-hand on thrilling 4x4 game drives in the unusual company of big cats, with a chance to witness the dramatic Great Migration, the journey of roughly two million wildebeest across the Maasai Mara. Hot-air balloon safaris meet nights spent under swoon-worthy skies that twinkle with stars, accompanied by candlelit bush dinners to amp up the wow factor of this off-the-beaten-track couples holiday.

Where to stay

Angama Mara, a deluxe safari lodge suspended above The Great Rift Valley, hosts two intimate camps overlooking the great mammals of the Maasai Mara. The elegant tented suites are kitted out with floor-to-ceiling window walls that allow panoramic views of the African savannah and freestanding bathtubs, all in the classic safari shades of cream and olive green.

All-inclusive tented suites from £1,104pp per night, including guided safaris.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Considered the Paris of South America, Bunenos Aires knows how to celebrate passion (Getty Images)

Best for: Sizzling culture

Considered the Paris of South America, electrifying passion is in the air in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, and culture-loving couples will find a wealth of sizzling romance, history and art in the fast-paced Latin American capital. Dotted with date night spots, including tantalising tapas tables in rosy Palermo, celebrating love by sipping sultry glasses of Malbec is an enchanting way to spend an evening – don’t miss tango shows full of sensuality, struts and twirls for the true Buenos Aires experience. Round off a romantic week in the cultural heart of Argentina with your own flirty late-night dancing at one of many milongas (tango clubs) in San Telmo, a hotspot for a hot date after tying the knot.

Where to stay

Palacio Duhau, Park Hyatt embodies elegance and romance, located in the shell of an aristocratic palace in the Recoleta neighbourhood. Fine Argentinian dining, spacious suites, one of Buenos Aires’ best spas and a private art collection create an unmistakable atmosphere of decadence and luxury reminiscent of the French Belle Époque era.

Canggu, Bali

There are innately romantic five-star resorts in every corner of the Eat, Pray, Love island (COMO Uma Canggu)

Best for: Boho beaches

The heart of the Indonesian archipelago, Bali is synonymous with romance and quintessential honeymoon holidays. A tropical climate, innate spiritualism and unwavering hospitality await at private pool villas that fuse modernity and Indonesian tradition.

Canggu on the south coast is a palm-fringed haven, not only for surfers on the white sands of Echo Beach but for pairs seeking all-inclusive weeks away at resorts with world-class spas where you can bask in the benefits of a muscle-melting Balinese massage. It’s a marriage of surf-shack cool and sun-drenched luxury that begs to be visited by trendy twos that just got hitched.

Where to stay

COMO Uma Canggu balances beach culture with Balinese wellness and spirituality, ideal for adventurous couples looking to retreat to two-storey penthouses and private tropical courtyards after a long day on the surf.

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Wine and dine on the magical shores of Lake Bled (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Best for: Fairytale scenery

Slovenia’s crowning jewel is its famous lakes fringed with traditional, pretty villages and Lake Bled is the picture of a town built for lovers. Framed by snow-capped mountains, the Alpine destination complete with Renaissance-style Castle Bled is a fairytale backdrop for a post-nuptial escape in eastern Europe. The lake’s glacial waters accommodate romantic boating to the 17th-century church on Bled Island, and the old-world charm extends to the handsome Baroque architecture of the resort village just an hour from Slovenia’s capital, leafy Ljubljana– a tangle of terracotta riverside cafes, markets and family-owned restaurants, with sheep cheeses and orange wine offerings for newlyweds to enjoy.

Where to stay

Villa Adora Bled, a quaint boutique hotel on the shore of Lake Bled, offers newlyweds calm, culture and a cosy atmosphere in the warm-toned suites. Lakeside yoga sessions, seasonal tasting menus and scenic rides on traditional pletna boats all enhance the magic of a holiday to Slovenia.

Napa Valley, California

Get a taste of the South of France in California’s wine country (Trinette + Chris/Auberge du Soleil)

Best for: Wines and vines

Teeming with hillside vineyards, lavish restaurants and chateaux that echo traditional French architecture, California’s Napa Valley allows you to find a very special type of romance with your partner. For those with a taste for the finer things in life, balmy days spent wine-tasting fragrant grapes and charcuterie at intimate vineyards are the epitome of rural elegance.

The wine country is a haven for aspiring sommeliers yet retains the soft ambience of quaint European towns, with classic Californian sunshine as you stroll between vines and sample the famous cabernet sauvignon. Jump on a hot-air balloon or the Napa Valley Wine Train for a 36-mile round trip of the most celebrated vineyards and wineries as you celebrate your marriage.

Where to stay

Adultonly getaway Auberge du Soleil, or the “Inn of the Sun”, sits within 33 acres of prime Napa Valley hillside. Sophisticated residential-style suites greet honeymooners, where you can sip and savour the local wines and sprawling vineyard views – but the luxe stay in California’s wine country will require splashing some serious cash.

Classic doubles from £827.20, based on a stay in November.

Baros, Maldives

Iconic overwater bungalows offer couples unrivalled privacy (Baros Maldives )

Best for: Idyllic islands

It’s unadulterated indulgence in a palm-lined tropical paradise on a winter sun honeymoon to the Maldives. Turquoise waters, dramatic jungle landscapes and thatched floating bungalows means it’s not hard to see why it’s a honeymoon favourite for some uninterrupted one-on-one time. Tandem bikes transport newlyweds around resorts, with personalised itineraries for snorkelling beside the vibrant coral, paddleboarding and scuba diving a given on Baros Island. After being lulled to sleep by the gentle lap of the waves, honeymooners can awake to floating breakfast in an infinity pool before a day spent taking some serious R&R from the comfort of a hammock.

Where to stay

Baros Maldives has been named one of the world’s most romantic by the World Travel Awards for 10 consecutive years, and it deserves it. Think destination dinners, private cruises and indulgent spa treatments for two as you celebrate your nuptials on the Maldives’ white sands. 

Hydra, Greece

The underrated Greek island buzzes with romance (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Best for: Romantic charm

Hydra, one of the Greece’s Saronic Islands, has the allure of the big-name Cyclades without the crowds – a match made in heaven for a pair of sun loungers lusting for quiet beaches. Just off the coast of Athens, terracotta-tiled white mansions, rocky coves and curious street cats greet couples disembarking the ferry.

Away from the harbour’s stunning waterfront, a maze of car-free cobbled lanes is peppered with plush boutiques and galleries, and quaint tavernas offer delectable meze spreads for two – the ideal accompaniment for evenings spent watching a Greek sunset over the deep waters of the Aegean.

Where to stay

The Four Seasons Hydra is an enchanting tangle of olive groves, beaches and intimate suites close to the port of Hydra. There’s a bridal suite to ring in your honeymoon in style, and a traditional seafront taverna for catch-of-the-day pairings with Greek wine.

Inari, Finland

Adventurous couples will feel at home in Finnish Lapland’s frosty great outdoors (Getty Images)

Best for: Winter wonders

Snuggle up in a glass igloo, your very own love bubble, under the glow of the aurora borealis on a post-nuptial Finland holiday to Inari. The snowscape is the ultimate destination for lovebirds looking for an escape that balances tranquillity and adventure. Frosted pines, pastel-hued skies and heart-warming glasses of glögg in a Lappish hut form a romantic setting.

Active resort itineraries embrace winter sports, so wooing your partner with your snowmobiling skills and trying your hand at being the “musher” to drive a team of Nordic-sled dogs is on the cards before you retreat to the steamy warmth of one of Inari’s hot spring spas.

Where to stay

At Wilderness Hotel Inari, couples can witness the colourful waltz of the Northern Lights (if they’re lucky) across the clear Finnish sky from the comfort of an Aurora Cabin – the hotel even offers celebration packages full of fizz and hearty carbs, designed for those on a snowy getaway.

Cefalù, Sicily

The Sicilian way of life seduces through its rich cuisine and laid-back culture (Getty Images)

Best for: Food lovers

Strewn with pastel houses, coastal resorts, and mellow beach villages, Cefalù is a Sicilian gem for blissfully in-love honeymooners on the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. Just an hour's drive from the capital, Palermo, Cefalù honours the seductive Sicilian way of life, from its sandy beaches to Norman architectural masterpieces and laid-back charm of the cobbled old town. Endearing candlelit dinners, heavy on seafood, on villa terraces are part of the appeal at this foodie haven.

Where to stay

Alberi del Paradiso is an ancient manorhouse on a private stretch of the coast featuring seductive Sicilian style, fine dining in a garden oasis and a spa offering dreamy couples massage on the site of ancient watermills.

Ninh Thuan, Vietnam

Ninh Thuận, an unchartered Vietnamese province, is lively with indigenous traditions (Aman)

Best for: Dreamy landscapes

Ninh Thuan, in Vietnam, is special enough already, thanks to its ancient Hindu temples, azure sea and lush forest canopy, but it’s now raising the bar for beach honeymoons. Famed for its sun-drenched secluded sands, the Amanoi resort provides couples with a private slice of paradise to practise yoga, spend mornings meditating and, if you’re the beach bum in the relationship, soak in the Vietnamese sun. The area is largely uncharted by international tourism, and panoramic views of the area fromNui Chua National Park are worth the jungle trek, or head into Phan Rang–Thap Cham city to learn about the area’s indigenous Cham culture.

Where to stay

Amanoi overlooks Vinh Hy Bay, and you’ll find clifftop restaurants, a lakeside Aman Spa and a private beach. Romantic pavilions and villas dot the treelinee, and three restaurants celebrate the flavours of Vietnamese cuisine at intimate tables for two.

Pavilion rooms from £673 including breakfast, based on a November stay.

Read more on the best romantic breaks in Europe

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