What are the best honeymoon destinations?

The never ending quest for best honeymoon ideas …

Although tourism as an industry is not as old as many other activities, it seems people are on the hunt for best destinations for honeymoon for ever. I have seen dozens of lists, from Top fives to Top hundreds and none of them is perfect. It is clear the newlyweds in general look for the same elements of the perfect honeymoon. These are obviously: fun, romance, night life, amazing scenery, excursions varying from long trekkings to city shoppings, relaxation, romantic walks on the beaches, spectacular sunsets, … Even in the most cheap honeymoons some kind of luxury is expected. And of course everything still depends on the right company.

So when I compiled my list, I decided to make it much more open than somebody might expect. Look at it as you would look at the list of possibilities, ideas which can inspire your ideal trip – no matter if it is right after the wedding or for one of the anniversaries. There is no particular order, so you will not see a winner, although I will mark few interesting trends. If you find something interesting, or think you I should add something to te list, the comment section is already waiting for you. You can also share this post with people which may be interested

Let’s start!

1. If you are adventurous, Kenya could be the best spot for your honeymoon. You’ll enjoy in wilderness  with nature parks and safaris (I love photo safaris) and you can push yourself to climb the Kilimanjaro.

river-horse

This is certainly a trip to remember! But Africa, probably the most neglected continent on those kind of lists has definitely much more to offer. It’s the second biggest continent and thanks to unstable political situation in several countries definitely first though of newlyweds, but there is still plenty of GREAT and safe opportunities to make a dream honeymoon for everybody who wants to add a bit of excitement to the leisure and romance. You’ll find many precious gems on the list, some on the North, some on the South and some somewhere in between. Let’s st start with the 1001 Nights feel in Marrakesh, Morocco with colorful bazars, there is Livingstone, Zambia, South Africa (safari, diving with sharks), and Madagascar with its unique fauna.

Be different – think Africa!

2. Greece with beautiful see, sunny beaches and option of exploring the remains of ancient culture is always among the top destinations. You don’t need to get married to visit Greece (sound like a great slogan, huh?) and Mediterranean Sea offers much much more.

isalnd of santorini

Italy and France are another popular countries with famous beaches, lots of sun and great food, which is not only of great taste but it is a top competitor for healthiest diet as well (with Japanese the only serious contender at the moment). There are also Malta and Cyprus as two of the biggest island in this area. But the real gem in my opinion hides in the West coast of Adriatic Sea with Croatia and Monte Negro as two tourist destinations still waiting to be explored by spoiled honeymooners. Remember Croatia with its beautiful coast (I will always remember the commentary of my friend who returned from his first visit in France – he said he’ll never trade a square meter of Adriatic coast for the whole Azure coast) has much more than Dubrovnik to offer. It has hundreds of islands and if you don’t aim at hotels with five stars, you can find astonishing pieces of land in different areas.

By the way, according to the latest trends in 2014 Croatia is going to become the most popular destination for honeymoon very soon.

Just do your homework and ask around first!

3. What about Hawaii? There is no list of best destinations for freshly weds without this archipelago at right at the top, with Maui being named as the dream vacation spot. But next photo is from Kauai:

picture-of-kauai

If you are after volcanoes, spectacular beaches, snorkeling, hiking, sunbathing, surfing, … you’ll got everything and more in Hawaii. It’s probably the most popular honeymoon destination in last century, but in recent time other parts of the Pacific Ocean (think about Cook Islands, Fiji or Tahiti) are coming closer and closer. Believe it or not, the surprising winner in latest years is – New Zealand, what makes it THE MOST POPULAR honeymoon destination right now.

4.  If honeymoon is all about romance, a romantic city is certainly a must to consider.

paris-moulin-rouge

Paris is of course still number one and even if you don’t care for luxury (Anybody for a room in Shangri-la hotel with a terrace with private view on Eiffel tower?), you can still enoy in numerous day trips, exploring wine and culture, sightseeing, well, Joie de vivre, … Europe has many other beautiful romantic cities in the list: Budapest, Brugge, Prague Venice, Vienna, … Well, there are spectacular cities in other continents as well. What about a honeymoon in Buenos Aires or Istanbul or Rio de Janeiro?

5. Mexico with many lovely places, Mayan ruins, friendly people and, this can be very important, affordable prices is another popular spot for freshly wed couples. Citizens of USA are by no surprise the most numerous tourists in this beautiful country which traditionally served as popular getaway for outlaws in times of Wild West and is now becoming romantic getaway for visitors of very varying profiles.

mexican-ruins

Yes, Cancun, Playa del Carmen and San Miguel de Allende are high end vacation spots, but there is plenty more to explore. And Costa Rica and Belize are pretty close contenders …

6.  Do you know Maldives are called the most romantic spot in the world? It’s a perfect mix a couple in love may be looking to – different place, with different scenery different people, different food, but still with the best a mere mortal can imagine. This lovely piece of paradise in Indian Ocean is not the only spot in the neighborhood to consider. Bali and Thailand as great places for honeymooners too!

photo-bali

Prepare to be enchanted!

7. Talking about honeymoon destination spots, we can’t skip Caribbean area with Bahamas, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and a jewell  most of you probably never heard of – Curacao, country which became independent only in 2010. If you are after sandy beaches, crytal clear sea, astonishing waterfalls, national parks, rafting, snorkeling and other aquatic joys of life, Caribbean Sea has all you can imagine and more.

visit-jamaica

Did you know Jamaica is becoming one of the most popular destinations for eco tourists?

8. What about the USA? This is the most influential tourist market  in the world and honeymooning is no exception. There  are many spectacular high end resorts in this country. Everybody probably already knows about Colorado with Aspen, Utah with Sundance, or Pebble Beach California, but on the top of the list you’ll find less known places with breath taking price tags.

horse-shoe-bend

Huge nature parks with astonishing scenery and wild nature are definitely among best spots to visit in North America. Just look at Horseshoe Bend in Arizona above?

9. If you love nature, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, Costa Rica are eco oriented too. If you main goal is not to be pampered round o’clock, next photo can probably trigger few interesting ideas:

galapagos-penguins

Penguins from Galapagos are without doubt an experience to remember!

10. Well, it seems, we actually made a kind of Top ten honeymoon destinations after all! I would like to end the list with resorts for people who don’t really care about sunbathing, beaches and sea. Some honeymooners prefer mountains and this is great, because our world is big and beautiful. What about Alps in Europe with romantic cabins right under the snowy clad hills? Long walks in fresh air and romantic sunsets with long nights at the fireplaces, under the blanket?

picture-of-mountains

This scene from Austria rings some bells for all the fans of Sound of Music movie, right? Did you know there is also something as weird as Chocolate train driving in Switzerland? If you love trains and mountains, you have plenty of opportunity to find both in Asia with East Orient Express and there are similar romantic railways just about everywhere in the world.

But this will have to wait for another occasion …

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Best destination weddings

Top destination wedding locations for couples from USA

June is the month when the vacations start. It is also the most popular month for weddings. Destination weddings became very popular in last years and it seems appropriate to check some of the top holiday resorts where you can kill two birds with one stone – metaphorically speaking, of course, many of these spots are known by their protection of the nature – having a memorable (not necessary loud as Niagara) wedding experience for you and your guests, and spending some time (maybe even a honeymoon?) in exotic location.

What are the best wedding destinations for Americans?

We can make few different groups based on location, but I think the one with the beach and the ocean in major roles is so powerful, we can skip others for now. Maybe on some other occasion?
All used photos are available as Public Domain material.

beach wedding acapulco

Romantic sunset in Acapulco

destination wedding barbados

Sandy beach in Barbados

Destination weddings are not necessary the most expensive option, because many popular destinations are already well prepared and can offer complete packages with ceremony, not just tje wedding venue and catering. They are highly adaptable and can satisfy the most demanding customers and people who are pretty much on the budget. They got hi-tech luxurous and eco-friendly options, but the most important thing is, they can help the newlyweds with experienced wedding planners.

Considering the fact there are less guests in destination weddings than in classic ones, this means significant reduction of stress and much more chance for pleasant first step in matrimony.

bahamas destination wedding

Lovely resort in Bahamas

bermuda destination wedding

Spectacular view in Bermuda

Less guests has good and not so good sides. The fact is, you don’t invite just everybody on destination wedding. It’s actually a great chance to keep things simple ad avoid people you don’t really know or you know them, but you’d rather don’t. Because a destination wedding is in most cases a three day event, you will have plenty of opportunities to hang out with everybody and enjoy the party, not just like many newlyweds experience when the run from table to table, to thank all three hundred invitees for being there in only few hours.

On the other side, some of your friends can’t afford to pay for the trip.Or the can pay, but this will be very painful for their pockets and their laugh at the wedding won’t be so loud as you may wish. Even if you pay for their travel and stay, there is still a chance they can’t afford to spend full three days away from their homes or jobs or whatever they have hundreds miles away from the exotic location of your choice. So be careful – it is very likely some people you care about, can’t be there.

I try to look at this dilemma on the bright side. If somebody can’t attend the party, we can catch up at the after-party!

jamaica destination wedding

Jamaica is known by eco-friendly facilities

bora bora destination wedding

Bora Bora offers very memorable experience

Apart from ceremonial part there will be plenty of other, less formal activities. The places offer some of the best beaches in the world, there will be a lot of sun, sea and free time. When you think about the locations, think about your guest’ preferences as well do the dive? Snorkeling? Windsurf? Or gamble? Exploring new places and cultures, making new friends? Most of wedding planners can arrange activities as short trips or sightseeing. It is up to you, to go through the list of your guests and find out what can be of their best interest.

destination wedding costa rica

Imagine leisure time under the palms of Costa Rica

destination wedding hawaii

There is no top list without Hawaii

Let me make one more point about destination weddings. Many couples today come from very different parts of the country. With a location which is kind of neutral terrain, maybe a place, which means something special to both of them, or a location they would like to visit some day anyway, their first step in the most important journey of their lives.

california destination wedding

California can offer beautiful nature

beach weddings in florida

Florida is known by beach weddings

For the final touch I have chosen two popular locations in Europe. A destination wedding in Greece or in Italy (Dubrovnik, Croatia, would be my choice, but, please, don’t tell that anybody!) can be a beautiful introduction in prologed vacation for guest and of course honeymoon for the happy couple. But remember: there will probably be parents of both and a honeymoon with parents doesn’t count as the real honeymoon.

destination wedding santorini

Santorini, Greece, looks like totally different world

destination weddings in capri italy

Cheers from Capri, Italy!

Last but not least! Before you send the invites, check the legal issues. If you decide to marry in different country (or at least state), you still want to have all the papers in perfect condition. you don’t want to find out after few years your marriage is not valid because you didn’t sign a certain document, don’t you?

Have the best destination wedding ever!

Better early than never

Old year is slowly dying and new year is knocking on the door…

fireworks at yokota japan

This beautiful firework celebrates friendship among two countries, two nations, but we can say it can also symbolize clearing everything old and making space for new things, new events, new friends. New year is one of rare opportunities when almost everybody in the world takes a minute, stop whatever important is he or she doing and maybe even contemplate a bit about the past.

While I am not huge fan of fireworks, I can still enjoy in their majestic beauty on special occasions. And this is actually what life is all about, isn’t it? Series of very special moments with periods of waiting…

Here is to the future, my friends!

Cheers!