Are you the kind of couple that prefers to wander off, sometimes far off the beaten path? These unique destinations don’t include popular honeymoon spots like Fiji or Maui, but they’re likely to make the ideal setting to enhance your newly wedded bliss.
The Emerald Isle is renowned for its practically endless picture-perfect scenery, and the Dingle Peninsula is where you’ll find the best of the best. If you’re looking for a spectacular, more secluded honeymoon destination, where you can soak up unparalleled vistas while picnicking in a beach cove with just you and the one you love, and afterward, head to a cozy pub to listen to Irish tunes and sip Guinness or a a cider, well, there is no place better than this. The peninsula is a finger of land reaching westward, with the mist-enshrouded Slieve Mish mountains forming its spine, dramatically plunging down to lush rolling hills, stone-fenced farms and steep cliffs set at the edge of the Atlantic. In the town of Dingle itself, you’ll have your pick of pubs offering live music, as well as fabulous restaurants and shops.
While many people aren’t even aware that Montenegro exists, having become an independent nation just a decade ago, the country, as well as the city of Kotor, offers extraordinary beauty few travelers get to experience. A coastal town on the Adriatic, you’ll discover an unspoiled escape from the chaos of the modern world, and an entire Old Town that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you cruise through the waters as with sunlit-drenched fjords and mountains soaring overhead, you’ll know that this is a place you won’t soon forget. Look forward to delectable Mediterranean meals, and exploring the medieval walled city hand-in-hand, taking in all of the ancient structures, churches, cathedrals, palaces and museums.
Molokai, Hawaii’s fifth-largest island, isn’t often talked about as few travelers ever make it there. Almost a tourist-free destination, with its informal motto: “Slow down: you’re on Molokai,” it makes the perfect romantic isle for a honeymoon. There are lots of opportunities for relaxing and cuddling up together, including gazing up at the brilliant night’s sky, unaffected by city lights, and watching the sunset at Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove, with the magnificent colors changing between gently swaying coconut trees. Of course, adventure is available too, including hiking, snorkeling, exploring botanical preserves and even mule riding. You can take a mule ride to Kalaupapa Historic Park, traveling down the steep north shore sea cliffs on the back of a mule, clip-clopping a 2.9-mile dirt trail with 26 sharp switchbacks, descending 1,700 feet to the sandy shoreline.
Appearing as if it stepped out of the pages of a fairy-tale book, Cappadocia is world famous for its unique mix of naturally formed rounded and jagged rock, hill, valley and chimney formations in shades ranging from pinks to clays that are dotted throughout the region. One of the most popular and romantic ways to view the surreal landscape is from a hot air balloon. Hundreds fire up across Cappadocia every morning before sunset, soaring above and around the rock formations. If you appreciate history, a honeymoon here has another plus, as from prehistoric times, civilizations have flourished here, with the Hittites, Persians, early and Byzantine Christians, Mongols, Greeks, and Ottomans all leaving evidence of their passage. And, what is more romantic than staying in a cave hotel? Cappadocia also houses the biggest concentration of cave hotels in the world, with the modern, underground dwellings an ideal place to spend some quality time together.
A romantic destination all year round, popular with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor who used to escape to this lovely Croatian city for a bit of romance away from the glitz and glamor of Tinseltown, you can follow in their footsteps, getting lost in the narrow streets of the old city surrounded by ancient walls. At its center, discover unique boutiques and jewelry stores, charming cafes with flower-filled gardens and tiny bars with private nooks and crannies.You can also take a ferry from Dubrovnik to Mljet, the greenest and most picturesque of the Croatian islands, with nearly three-quarters of it covered by forests, and the reminder dotted with vineyards, small villages, and fields. The island is renowned for its red and white wine, goat cheese and olives, as well as two salted lakes, Veliko and Malo Jezero, both perfect spots for a refreshing dip.
Saariselkä, Lapland, Finland
Buck the trend of tropical honeymoons and instead, head to this Finnish city above the Arctic Circle, which really comes alive in the winter. During the day, you can take part in a variety of activities that you probably couldn’t back home, like dog sled rides, snowmobile excursions, and ice fishing. Of course, one of the best reasons to travel here is the chance to view the aurora borealis or northern lights. At Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, couples will not only enjoy a romantic night under the stars, but they get a crystal clear view of nature’s spectacular light show from their own private igloo. The Igloo Village features 20 thermal glass igloos, all designed to stay frost-free, allowing guests to take in the aurora from the warmth and comfort of their own hut – what better way to enjoy some alone time. The main hotel also includes the world’s largest smoke sauna, a restaurant, an ice bar and a snow chapel that is rebuilt every winter.
If the northern lights are what you’re after, but you’ve also envisioned spending time soaking in hot springs together and enjoying a variety of outdoor adventures, Akureyri, Iceland may be where you want to go. It sits at the bottom of Iceland’s longest fjord, which measures 37 miles from its mouth to the bottom, surrounded by soaring, majestic mountains that are filled with awe-inspiring waterfalls, roaring rivers, and lush forests. This beautiful town nicknamed “Capital of the North,” is the country’s second largest urban area, after the greater Reykjavik area, but it’s home to just a little over 17,000 inhabitants. No matter what time of year you visit, you’ll find lots to do, including the chance to view the aurora from about late September through early April, whale watching, hiking, 4X4 tours, and relaxing in the warm waters of the Lake Myvatn Nature Baths. The town itself offers a number of notable cultural attractions, including a botanical garden which contains nearly every plant that grows in Iceland, while the main street, running along the oceanfront, is dotted with beautiful old houses and interesting museums.
Isle of Skye, Scotland
The Isle of Skye, connected by a road bridge to the west coast of Scotland, offers some of the most dramatic mountain and coastal scenery in Europe, and the world, along with plenty of opportunities for seclusion and enjoying each other’s company without intrusion. The fantasy-like landscape appears as if it was painted by an artist, absolutely intoxicating with its dramatic landscape of towering, emerald covered mountains and unique rock formations, as well as sheer sea cliffs that dip down to seashell-strewn beaches at the edge of azure waters. Picnic along the banks of the fairy pools, hike the majestic Quiraing, tour magnificent Dunvegan Castle and sample whiskey at Talisker Distillery.
Tofino, British Columbia, Canada
Located in Pacific Rim National Park on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Tofino faces the wild Pacific and offers lots when it comes to a romantic getaway. Its remote location ensures plenty of private, secluded spots to enjoy each other’s company. Stroll beautiful Chesterman Beach on a sunny day, or if storms roll in, watch it from the comfort of the luxurious Wickaninnish Inn. When hunger pangs hit, the inn’s Pointe Restaurant offers more than 240 degrees of ocean view scape as well as an award-winning menu. Other activities including hiking the dense temperate rainforest via a wooden boardwalk while gazing up at 800-year-old cedar trees, and enjoying a scenic drive to Hot Springs Cove, where a 30-minute trek culminates at the springs, ideal for a dip-for-two in the bathwater-warm waters.