Honeymoons come in all shapes and sizes — a beach vacation, a safari, a ski trip — and are based more on the couple’s joint personality than on tradition. This list is just a snapshot of the world’s hottest honeymoon destinations, from sunny beaches to snow capped mountains and even fairy-tale theme parks.
1. French Polynesia
Few places on the globe inspire more awe than this group of 118 islands, which include, most famously, the emerald-carpeted outposts of The Islands of Tahiti and Bora Bora. Spend your honeymoon planted in one of this French territory’s legendary overwater love nests, or puddle jump between otherworldly diving sites and to-die-for atolls. Wherever you wander, you’ll have heavenly views of the infinite sea.
Go ahead, try to honeymoon here and not fall in love. Its 20 regions offer an embarrassment of romantic riches, from the simple pleasures of al fresco dining on a piazza in Florence to the rich history of the floating city of Venice—not to mention the ruins of Rome, the jaw-dropping cliffs of the Amalfi Coast, and the vineyards of Tuscany.
You need a big reason to travel all the way to this Indian Ocean archipelago; getting here is not easy. So there’s no better time than post wedding, when the two of you have the ultimate excuse to snorkel above the Technicolor reefs, lounge in an over-lagoon bungalow, and try to find the spot where the blue sky meets the horizon. Or maybe just the spot where Kate and Wills retreated after their big day!
4. South Africa
It’s not just about safari-going anymore. Yes, you can see the Big Five in Kruger National Park, but you can also taste extraordinary sauvignon blancs in Franschhoek, dine on Cape Dutch cuisine in Cape Town, even bungee jump or shark-cage dive where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. Diversity: South Africa has it to spare. The only problem is how much to squeeze into a 10-day honeymoon.
Oh, France, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways: your City of Light, your effortless chic, your sumptuous hotels, your coastal charm. There are so many iterations of this European country—one of the most visited by Americans, and certainly by honeymooners—we would never dare pick a favorite. Whether you want to visit the place where real Champagne comes from or dance on a table at Nikki Beach in Saint-Tropez or just stroll the Marais in Paris, France promises something new to discover with every visit. Vive la France!
The country is almost as famous for its blow-your-mind beaches as it is for its creation of the Olympics—and democracy. In Santorini, tumbledown whitewashed villas set off the sapphire sea. Art lovers make the pilgrimage to the hilly island of Hydra, where poets and avant-garde painters have long retreated for inspiration. On Crete, endless swaths of sand give way to unreal turquoise, teal, and green waters. Why choose? Hire a boat (or hop on a cruise) and tick off as many islands from your bucket list as possible.