There’s your standard romantic getaway, and then there’s your honeymoon — the trip where you want every single detail to be exceptionally romantic. Destinations like Paris and Hawaii are lovely and all, but you pretty much know that you’ll be getting a slightly fancier version of a standard tourist experience.
Why not make your first proper vacation as a legally wedded couple an exciting opportunity to think outside the box and seek those transformative memories that will bring you two even closer? To inspire you to go all-out on your first married vacay, we’ve rounded up five far-flung destinations that will make the perfect sendoffs, along with the best hotels to stay in. Click through to discover the adventures that will create intimate memories — and in some cases, epiphanies — to last a lifetime.
Miyajima, Japan Many travelers see Kyoto as the destination of choice for relishing Japan’s heritage and splendor. But in order to experience the most cinematic views in the country — without constantly bumping elbows with tourists — look to this hidden gem, off the coast of Hiroshima.
Nicknamed “The Island of Gods”, Miyajima is blessed with out-of-this-world natural landscapes and well-preserved historic shrines. Thanks to its remote location, the streets are hardly ever packed, making for an especially romantic ambience at night. Drink in the marvelous sunset at Mikasano Hama Beach, and take a loved-up selfie in front of Itsukushima Shrine, an iconic landmark.
Photo: Getty Images.
Where To Stay: You haven’t really experienced Japan without staying at a ryokan — a traditional guesthouse. Iwaso has been overlooking the floating crimson gates at Itsukushima Shrine for more than 160 years, and is the ideal accommodation to get a taste of old-world luxury. Snuggling in an open-air hot spring — partially supplied with water from a 19th-century well — is going to be a great kick-off to married life. Photo: Courtesy of Iwaso
Calvi, Corsica This Mediterranean island is technically a French region, but the scenery feels full-on Amalfi Coast. The compact area offers a diverse range of natural wonders in its relatively small parameters.
Calvi, an enchanting seaside town facing the French Riviera, is made for honeymooners. Active couples will love the adrenaline rush from surfing the tumbling waves, but if you’re more into getting some R&R, you can do that at the many glorious beaches along the coastline, too. Prepare to be dazzled by the rich history of the region, which boasts must-see spots like a gargantuan fortified citadel.
Photo: Getty Images.
Where To Stay: La Signoria is a seaside gem with a fascinating story: The Genovese-style property was originally a gift from King Louis XV to a nobleman, and it still retains its 18th-century charm. Each room comes with a terrace or balcony overlooking the Mediterranean sea, making for the perfect setting for a romantic tête-à-tête. Photo: Courtesy of La Signoria
Bhutan Consistently ranked as the happiest place on Earth, there are plenty of mysteries and magic to unlock in Bhutan. The flights and costs are steep, but the memories you’ll make will be unlike those at any other destination. The unspoiled Paro Valley provides a phenomenal hiking experience ending at Paro Taktsang, a sacred site hanging off a Himalayan cliff. Engaging with the local community and learning about their spirituality and way of life is immensely rewarding. Photo: Getty Images.
Where To Stay: There aren’t that many resorts in Bhutan yet, and Amankora is definitely cream of the crop. The luxury lodge tailors excursions for travelers seeking spirituality or an adrenaline rush, even making far-fetched dreams — like sharing a meal with monks at a 12th-century temple — a reality. Photo: Courtesy of Aman
Nelson-Tasman, New Zealand Nelson-Tasman is the sunniest region in New Zealand. There, you’ll be getting three life-changing experiences from one honeymoon: Soaring over Rotomairewhenua — the clearest lake in the world — in a helicopter, hiking up the coastal trail at Abel Tasman National Park, and vineyard-hopping on a bicycle. The buzzing local artist community also provides a wealth of original pottery, hand-blown glasses, and wood crafts for you to remember this trip by. Photo: Getty Images.
Where To Stay: Mahana Villa is a luxury retreat set within a vineyard, once a family-owned orchard. All of the terraces look out to the verdant grapevines, providing a setting for some of the most gorgeous sunsets you’ll ever see. It’s hard to imagine anything but honeymoon bliss at this hillside paradise. Photo: Courtesy of Mahana Villa
The Scottish Highlands The rugged landscapes of the Scottish Highlands have inspired countless romance novels, and it will be the optimal setting for your very own love story. Take a scenic drive along Northwest Highlands Geopark or go wildcat-spotting at Highland Wildlife Park to fully make use of the natural wonders the area has to offer. Whiskey lovers should not miss the opportunity to tour the single-malt Scotch distilleries in the region. Photo: Getty Images.
Where To Stay: Located in the heart of Inverness, The Heathmount is a family-owned boutique hotel that will impress with its cozy vibe, delicious food, and friendly services. Newlyweds will feel right at home in a Four Poster, a room category that comes with grand beds and sensual decor. Photo: Courtesy of Heathmount Hotel
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