I’ve got honeymoon destinations on the mind – I’m planning one! Having the opportunity to go on a honeymoon was half the reason I got married. I’M JOKING, PEOPLE.
In all seriousness, choosing the right honeymoon destination can be a difficult task because there are so many factors at play, such as the type of holiday you’re after, time limitations and the real clincher: money – or lack thereof. Honeymoon planning is probably the time when you start regretting spending all of that money on satin seat covers and personalised napkins.
Here are suggested honeymoon destinations for every couple.
For the adventure-seekers: Myanmar
For years, Myanmar’s shaky political situation held off tourists from arriving in their hordes. However, travellers have now cottoned on to the ethereal charm of this enigmatic South-East Asian nation, and there has been an influx of visitors since tourism sanctions were lifted. The glint of golden pagodas colour the skyline and ancient temples dot the unspoilt landscape, and a pervasive tranquillity born out of devout Buddhist ideals underpins the country. Experience your first hot-air balloon ride as newlyweds over the magical stupas of Bagan.
For the island-dwellers: Saint Lucia
One of the islands of the Caribbean, Saint Lucia has a reputation for romance, rejuvenation and being more remote than other more accessible Caribbean islands, which sounds like the jackpot combination for a honeymoon destination. There are plenty of secluded beach side luxury resorts and spas to choose from, and you can even have a mud bath inside the bowl of an extinct volcano at Sulphur Springs, which is described as the ‘world’s only drive-in volcano’.
For the curious creatives: Naoshima Island
Naoshima Island, off the coast of Japan, is a little bit off the beaten track, but it is well worth the effort to get to this sleepy island famous for its contemporary art scene. Art museums housed in incredible buildings and quirky installations fill the tiny island, and there is even an art house project which takes empty spaces in the town and turns them into works of art. Some exhibits are particularly impressive and need to be experienced in person, such as the sci-fi-esque Walter De Maria room installation at the Chichu Museum, ALL of James Turrell’s installations and, of course, Yayoi Kusama’s dotted pumpkins. Splurge and stay at the Bennese House.
For the culture fiends: San Sebastián
What better place for cultured couples to visit than one of Europe’s Capitals of Culture for 2016 – San Sebastián (the other Capital of Culture being Wroclaw in Poland). A gastronomic oasis in Basque country with more Michelin Stars than you can count, you’ll happily graze on tapas and drink txakoli (white wine) all day and night at the numerous pintxo bars in the gothic historic Old Town. Between feasts, take a day trip out to Bilbao to visit the world-class contemporary art museum, the Guggenheim.
For the nature warriors: Patagonia
Patagonia lies in the southern region of South America and crosses both Argentina and Chile. The region is vast and showcases the ultimate in romantic wilderness and epic terrain from the jagged mountain peaks of Fitz Roy, to the breathtaking Perito Moreno glacier and the striking beauty of the Torres del Paine National Park. You’ll be wooed by the landscape without even realising.
For the luxury lovers: Bora Bora
Famous even before William and Kate honeymooned there, Bora Bora takes the proverbial cake in luxury honeymooning. Bora Bora has emerged as the ‘star’ of French Polynesia and is immortalised in pictures of thatch-roof bungalows perched over crystal-clear turquoise waters. It’s a love affair that you won’t want to end.
For the time-constrained: Bali
Just because you don’t have a lot of time doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a loved-up break. Depending on where you are in Australia, you can be in Bali in approximately 6 hours, which means you don’t have to waste precious annual leave days in transit. Take your pick of luxury resorts and get ready for some pampering in honeymoon heaven. If you do have more time up your sleeve, make your way to the Gili Islands if you’re after a more secluded affair.
For the budget-conscious: Tasmania
There’s no rule that says you can’t choose a honeymoon destination that’s in your own backyard and when you have a landscape as diverse as Australia’s, there are plenty of options to consider depending on what you are seeking. The island of Tassie has been stepping up as of late, no longer satisfied to linger in the shadows, and it has shown the rest of Australia that it has plenty to offer on the culinary and cultural scene. If that isn’t enough, come for the stunning scenery and the abundance of unspoilt national parks: rent a car and get exploring.