Planning a honeymoon abroad can be a headache. There are so many decisions to be made, not the least of which is where to go. Whatever your priorities — rest and rejuvenation, sightseeing, adventure — there’s a destination that fits the bill. Here are a few of our favorite (and not your typical) romance-ready spots around the globe.
France: Loire Valley Love-In
Sample Itinerary (Bordeaux, Dordogne and Perigord)
Start in France’s Loire Valley, where you can spend several days oooohing and aahhhhing over the region’s glamorous chateaux, including Chambord and Chenonceau. Move on to Bordeaux; St-Émilion is everything you’d want a wine town to be, with ramparts and medieval streets, and plenty of vin. Finally, savor the culinary specialties of Dordogne and Perigord. Lunch on the sky-high dining terrace of Rocamadour’s Chateau de la Treyne is unforgettable.
Check-in for Romance: Chateau de Noizay, Le Moulin de l’Abbaye, L’Hostellerie de Plaisance
Honeymoon Highlight: A walk through the narrow streets of the village of Brantome followed by a picnic on the banks of the River Dronne.
Word of Mouth: “Driving in the countryside is easy. The roads aren’t as well-marked as ours, but just follow signs toward the city you want to go to.” — Erin74 (more)
Argentina: Two to Tango
Sample Itinerary (Buenos Aires, Iguazú Falls, Mendoza)
Urban-minded night owls won’t miss a beat in Buenos Aires. Whether dancing the night away, bargaining in the open-air markets, or filling up at a local parrilla, you will find ample opportunity to live it up. For a different kind of wild, hop a two-hour plane ride north to Iguazú Falls, where you can lose yourself amid 275 waterfalls surrounded by dense jungles. On your return to Buenos Aires, head west to Mendoza to explore wine routes in the shadows of the towering Andean peaks.
Check-in for Romance: Buenos Aires cE Design Hotel, Mansion Dandi Royal, Sheraton International Iguazú La Posada Carlos Pulenta
Honeymoon Highlight: An early morning visit to Iguazú Falls’ Devil’s Point.
Word of Mouth: “We love Buenos Aires, but being from NYC, a few days in the city is enough for me. There’s so much more to see in Argentina. And don’t skip Iguazú. It was one of the highlights of our first trip!” — owlwoman (more)
Thailand: Far-Flung Beaches
Sample itinerary (Ao Nong, Nang Cape, Koh Lanta)
Ao Nang is a convenient base for exploring the many islands and beaches of the Andaman Coast, including Nang Cape’s four interconnected beaches collectively referred to as Railay Beach. Koh Lanta has beaches and accommodations to please all honeymoon budgets.
Check-in for Romance: Railei Beach Club, The Tubkaak, Costa Lanta
Honeymoon Highlight: Kayaking along Railay Beach surrounded by vertical sandstone cliffs.
Word of Mouth: “You’ll get better value for your money if you stay in Ao Nang. If you are spending only one full day on the beach then it will be easy to access by longtail boat.” — shanek (more)
California: Northern Exposure
Sample itinerary (San Francisco, Napa Valley, the North Coast)
Nothing says calm and casual quite like San Francisco, where a stroll through the Ferry Building Marketplace or across the Golden Gate Bridge will settle jangled newlywed nerves. Sip wine and sample four-star vittles in Napa Valley, and splurge on a spa treatment at Villagio Inn & Spa. Take Highway One north to Bodega Bay and the Sonoma Coast for laid back rest and relaxation.
Honeymoon Highlight: An early-morning balloon ride in Calistoga provides a bird’s-eye view of Napa Valley.
Check-in for Romance: Hotel Monaco, Carneros Inn, The Inn at Occidental
Word of Mouth: “Napa is so overtouristed I wouldn’t spend all my time there. If you do stay in Napa, I suggest Calistoga. Much quieter than St. Helena or Yountville. We stayed at the Foothill House last year and loved it. Cottage Grove Inn is nice, too. But for romance, you can’t beat Mendocino!” — LLindaC (more)
Grenada: A Quick and Quiet Getaway
Sample itinerary (Grenada)
Although it’ll be hard to pull yourself away from Grenada’s best beach, Grand Anse, do spend a day or two exploring the island’s lush scenery and the capital of St. George’s, one of the Caribbean’s prettiest cities. Sailing the small chain of islands north of the neighboring island of Carriacou is a perfect way to top off your visit to the island.
Check-in for Romance: Spice Island Beach Resort, Bel Air Plantation
Honeymoon Highlight: A guided hike along the mountain trails of Grand Étang National Park & Forest Reserve.
Word of Mouth: “Grenada is beautiful and mountainous. It has a fantastic West-Indian culture. Grand Anse beach is two miles long, has beautiful white sand and gorgeous blue water. Definitely a tropical paradise. Food is excellent, service is top notch.” — ejcrowe (more)
Australia: Adrenaline Rush
Sample itinerary (Cairns, Great Barrier Reef)
Diving, whitewater rafting, marlin fishing, kite surfing — if you and your beau like physical challenges, this is your place. Diving and snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters off Lizard Island are a dream; relax for a few days at the island’s luxurious resort. An extended stay means four-wheel drive trips all the way to the top of Cape York Peninsula or the Matilda Highway through the Outback.
Check-in for Romance: Voyages Lizard Island, Voyages Silky Oaks Lodge, Orpheus Island Resort
Honeymoon Highlight: Lock eyes with a six-foot-long potato cod off the coast of Lizard Island in Cod Cove.
Word of Mouth: “We have only been to Lizard Island on a day trip, and the snorkeling was fantastic. If you are more into the snorkeling/diving than the resort experience, have you considered a live aboard cruise?” — SnRSeattle (more)