There’s a good reason why 1.4 million newlyweds head to far-flung destinations every year. The world is covered with beautiful places known to incite romance, from tropical islands and vibrant cities to exotic beach towns and rolling countryside. Naturally, not all destinations are created equal, read on for our list of the most incredible places newlyweds travel to time and time again. Now pop the champers, get cozy and celebrate your marriage in one of these stunning locations.
The mother of all honeymoon destinations, with breathtaking vistas, gorgeous azure waters and beautiful beaches, the Greek Islands are one of the most photogenic places in the world. The honeymoon hot spot seduces couples who spend their days exploring the islands by chartered yacht or choosing one island in particular to fully immerse in its culture. Out of all the islands in the Aegean Sea, the volcanic Santorini is the most popular for love-struck couples. It’s visually commanding with white-washed houses, pink and red beaches, multicolored, dramatic cliffs and its ever-famous, captivating sunsets. Honeymooners can discover ancient ruins, stroll cobblestone streets and hike, snorkel and swim in the famous caldera, or volcanic crater.
Where to stay in Santorini
It’s no surprise that Bora Bora may be top of your wishlist. James Michener, author of Tales of the South Pacific, described Bora Bora as the most beautiful island in the world and famed explorer James Cook called it the “the pearl of the Pacific.” Completely removed from civilization in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the unspoiled, Polynesian paradise is the dream destination for honeymooners thanks to its famous blue lagoons with calm, crystal-clear waters, decadent, over-water bungalows, swaying palms and, well… not much else. This kind of beauty is so rare, couples spend a fortune to honeymoon here (and every penny spent is well worth the vacation). The romance factor is unparalleled; the temperature is perfect year-round, the vast, blue skies are unobstructed and there’s no better place for utter privacy – and don’t get us started on the stargazing!
Turks & Caicos
The Caribbean is chock-full of wonderful islands that all flaunt individual personalities, though they share one thing in common: beautiful beaches in sun-drenched, tropical paradise. One of the most dazzling island chains is Turks & Caicos, a destination that’s become the great escape for snowbirds and a growing ex-pat community (a true testament to the island’s spellbinding qualities). Most honeymooners make Grace Bay their Caribbean playground. The pristine 12-mile beach is a national marine reserve, so the entire strip of sand is government protected. You won’t find roaring jet skis and a massive amount of booze cruises; just peace and quiet with rich colors of ocean, sand and sky. With 365 miles of reef, Turks & Caicos is also considered a superior snorkeling and diving destination in the Caribbean.
Where to stay in Turks & Caicos
Cape town – Africa’s southernmost city – is drop-dead gorgeous. This historic city exudes beauty in breathtaking landscapes, offering a wealth of romantic attractions and activities that warrant an extended honeymoon adventure. The iconic Table Mountain serves as a commanding, natural backdrop from virtually any stand point and offers incredible hiking to boot; the gorgeous beaches – one that is even home to marvelous penguins – offer romantic sunsets; the tranquil waterfront is the perfect spot for top-notch dining; and the enchanting, world-famous vineyards are a short drive away. Cape Town also serves as a base for thrilling and unforgettable safaris just outside the city limits, perfect for exploring the animal kingdom. Where to stay in Cape Town
Paris didn’t invent the honeymoon (the first recorded description dates back to the 5th century) but “the city of love” has mastered the art of it. There’s so much romance in the air, you’d be tempted to bottle it up and save it as a keepsake. It’s virtually impossible not to feel any passion in the glamorous, historic and extraordinary city. From the iconic, awe-inspiring Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral to charming streets with bustling cafes and beautiful architecture, Paris inspires intimate moments. It also happens to be one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, captivating honeymooners with fine dining, designer shopping, world-class museums and exciting nightlife.
Where to stay in Paris
It doesn’t take much for Maui to seduce. With a sublime coastline, alluring marine life, dynamic dining and tons of soul, the Hawaiian island effortlessly amps up the romance factor. The island’s way of life and natural beauty is so magnificent and infectious that numerous celebrities have bought homes here, like Clint Eastwood, Woody Harrelson, Oprah Winfrey and Mick Fleetwood. Honeymooners experience award-winning restaurants (like Mama’s Fish House), incredible beaches (like Kapalua Bay, pictured right), quaint villages (like Paia) and scenic hikes. A trip to Maui isn’t complete without driving the iconic Hana Highway, voted one of the best road trips in the world. It snakes along the coast revealing mesmerizing, tropical seascapes and a number of waterfall pools along the highway.
Where to stay in Maui
Brimming with centuries-old temples, terrific beaches and incredible cuisine, Bali is a magnet for honeymooners seeking an exotic escape. Thanks to its ancient rituals and rich Hindu culture, the island is a place of soul searching, luring couples who seek a hedonistic escape with plenty of adventures, from quaint villages to lush rainforests. The locals are considered some of the friendliest on the planet, and the way of life is all about happiness. While most visitors make a beeline to Seminyak and Jimbaran Bay beach towns, many also carve out time for Ubud, considered the heart, soul and cultural pulse of Bali. The small village in the foothills feels magical, and has long been a stomping ground for artists, writers and healers.
Where to stay in Bali