In Western tradition, honeymoons originated in early 19th century Great Britain. A newlywed, typically upper class couple would take a ‘bridal tour’ to visit far away relatives that were unable to attend the wedding. Now, the honeymoon is almost as big as deal as the big day. While many people opt to take this time to destress after months of wedding planning, there are many who look to start out life together on a more adventurous footing. From mountain climbing in New Zealand to shark diving in South Africa, here are five couples’ adventures to truly take your relationship to the next level.
Mountain Biking in Bali
The tropical climate and long stretches of beach may be the main draws here, but Bali is also a great honeymoon spot for adventurous types. With its many volcanic peaks, hiking is a popular activities for visitors, but our top choice is mountain biking, a great couples activity that is sure to bring you closer together while giving you the chance to let off some steam and unwind after the big day.
Bali’s perfect combination of fun and hospitality is guaranteed to make your time together as special as you could imagine. The mountains are challenging and the views are breathtaking. Perfect for the jack-of-all-terrain, Bali’s many mountains give you the chance to ride on dirt, volcanic lava, gravel, sand, and tarmac. Mount Abang, on Bali’s north coast, and its dry volcanic trail, runs 68 kilometers and ends with a wonderful black sand beach. Mount Agung is the highest point on the island, and for that its views are spectacular. Consider hiring a local guide or joining a tour group to help you make the most of the island’s terrain.
The cherry on top of this already incredible honeymoon is the array of luxurious rental homes in the area. Even adventurous honeymooners need to relax, and there is no shortage of options in and around Bali. Booking a private villa with Luxury Retreats means your time spent relaxing is actually… relaxing. A private chef, housekeeper, and butler are often included on-site, while 24/7 concierge service means the planning is taken care of. Whether it’s a private pool for a post-ride dip, in-villa massage beds, or a bubbly hot tub for a romantic dip, Bali’s luxury homes put the finishing touches on your dream honeymoon adventure.
Skiing in Jackson Hole
Not all winter weddings require warm weather honeymoons. If you got married during the snowy season because that’s the way you like it, chances are you’re a ski couple, and a week on the slopes would be post-ceremony paradise. In North America, few places do it better than Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which combines absolutely world-class skiing with a Wild West atmosphere.
As in most ski towns, your day doesn’t end once the slopes have been conquered. There are plenty of worthy dinner options available in town, while a drink can be had at one of many après-ski joints packed with locals and tourists alike. As award-winning travel and food writer (and LR Magazine contributor) Larry Olmsted writes: “Once known for T-bone steaks, burgers and chili, Jackson now has one of the most vibrant culinary scenes in skiing and it just keeps getting better.”
At the end of a long day of skiing, your slopeside one bedroom honeymoon suite has everything you need to turn cold into cozy. As soon as you take off your boots, you’ll feel the heated floors start to warm up the soles of your feet. The fun has only just begun: the ensuite bathroom features a Zuma Airbath to surround you with warm air bubbles while you close your eyes and relive the day’s successes. For true outdoorsmen and -women, the shared heated pool or whirlpool spa, each with mountain views, are sure to tickle your fancy. Finally, curl up on the couch under a warm blanket in front of one of the three fireplaces in your suite. One sits under a TV, while the other two surround cozy spots, perfect for sharing the not-so-distant memories of your recent wedding.
Snorkeling in Belize
Does it get any more romantic than a private, over-the-water home floating in the sea? We find it hard to believe. Casa Ventanas is the jewel of the Cayo Espanto collection – a small, secluded island of six vacation homes, all with one or two bedrooms, making each of them perfect for couples. Ventanas’ back dock, set with two wooden chaises longues, offers the sweetest sunset view of all. Isolated 150 feet out from shore, the pinkish hue of the evening sky reflects perfectly off the calm, open water here.
Back inside your quaint Belizean bungalow, wood surrounds you from the floors to the furniture to the ceilings. You’re also surrounded by, predictably, water. Not only can you enjoy an aquatic view out each door and window, but just feet from your bed you’ll be drawn to a window to the marine world at your feet – a glass underwater observation panel that allows you to see directly beneath you and watch the sea creatures do their thing.
If you ever get around to leaving your private Caribbean paradise and its snorkel-friendly waters, you won’t have to go far to seek out adventure. Snorkeling gear is provided at your Casa, and excursions can be arranged with boat pickup right to your villa. With the second longest barrier reef in the world, snorkeling in Belize is a must. Hol Chan, sporting more than 100 species of fish, and Shark Ray Alley, where you’ll team up with Nurse Sharks and Southern Sting Rays, are your destinations for the day. The three-hour morning trip or two and a half-hour afternoon trip will cost you a mere $325 USD plus tax for two people. Make friends with the marine life so that later, when you return to your villa, you can wave to them through the glass panel below!
Mountain Climbing in Queenstown
For the climbers’ couple, this New Zealand excursion is a no-brainer. While the South Island’s peaks don’t exactly reach Himalayas-heights, they are as rugged and steep. The conditions here are demanding; challenging weather leads to heavily glaciated mountains and steep alpine faces, but experienced climbers will appreciate the challenge. What better way to kick off a marriage than to overcome something truly challenging together?
Adventure Consultants leads guided ascents of six mountains. Mt Tasman is a classic New Zealand peak, the country’s second highest mountain, and considered by many to be its most beautiful. Mt Aspiring offers a wide range of difficulty in its climbs. Mt Cook is technically challenging, long and varied, and at more than 2500m, New Zealand’s highest mountain. Mt Tutoko is remote and surrounded by lush rainforest. Following a sharp ridge that looks like a dragon’s tail, Mitre Peak is an iconic mountain. Finally, Mt Brewster is a 4-day true alpine-style climb.
The beauty of New Zealand is, well, its beauty. And the good news is that adventurous honeymooners don’t have to sacrifice anything in the way of lush landscapes and stunning views in order to get their fill of thrill. After your climb, accommodations in Queenstown are perfect for winding down your stay and finally relaxing. The only struggle will be deciding between staying lakeside and facing the mountains, secluded and facing the mountains, or slap bang in the middle of the mountains (with a hot tub). It’s a tough choice, believe us.
White Shark Dive in Cape Town
Cape Town is one of our favorite travel destinations. Between the breathtaking views, picturesque beaches, and near-perfect weather, there’s not a lot that can go wrong with a trip here. Still, we like to tempt fate by getting up close and personal with the sharks. No, but seriously, great white shark diving is absolutely safe, and a brilliant choice for a honeymoon when you’ve just married the only person in the world more thrill-seeking than you.
White Shark Diving Company will take care of all your shark-swimming related urges. If you’re looking for a one-day, adrenaline-pumping date with the great whites, you can try cage diving, where you’re literally placed in a cage and dropped into the shark-infested ocean. If you visit during breaching season (June-August), you’ll get to see the giant creatures propel their entire bodies through the water just like they do in the movies.
For accommodations, you’ll definitely need something ultra-relaxing after your day underwater. And nothing says romance like a beachfront villa with a hot tub. Of course, if you and yours prefer a pool in the mountains or a private balcony with city views, your wish is granted. One thing that all luxury homes in South Africa have in common is the privacy you need and the splendor you deserve on your special trip.