Honeymoons can be cheesy. Like fondu, cheese sticks or pizza. Go to the usual places (Hawaii, Paris, ect) and it starts to feel less like you’re on a special vacation with your spouse and more like you’re in some kind of honeymoon factory. Boring. Dull. And not unique. Forget that. Do you want the same pictures as half your friends, family or office? You spent all that time making sure you had a special day, so double down and make your post-wedding revelry just as cool. The world is full of amazing places to jaunt off to once you’ve tied the knot. No need to trod down the same road as everyone else. Here are 9 off the beaten path honeymoon destinations that you’ll be sure to never forget.
1—Aeolian Islands, Italy
You’ll have to be brave but a trip out to this volcanic archipelago just off the northern coast of Sicily is arguably the most exotic location in the Mediterranean. Each of the 7 islands here have their own draw that’ll make the both of you feel as in you’re in another world—from exclusive and upscale Panarea, bustling Lipari (where most of the tourists stay), tranquil Salina (home to a lovely dessert wine), car-free Alicudi, the mud baths of Vulcano and the unmistakable conical volcano of Stromboli. Spend a week or two boating around and then hold each other tight as florescent volcanic explosions set the starry, night sky on fire.
2—Pamalican Island, Philippines
The only thing this teeny island is home to is…seclusion. And plenty of it since it has just one resort, it’s five accompanying stars, pristine, white sandy beaches and seven square miles of coral reef. Actually, once you and your man arrive, it’ll also be home to some romance.
You know, its easier to get a tan standing around a lot of ice than it is lying on a beach. Other things are better in the extreme cold—dog sled rides, snowmobile excursions, touring fjords, chilling in a sauna, cross country skiing, looking at the Northern Lights and, last but not least, eating.
4—Kruger National Park, South Africa
There’s something primal about seeing animals in their natural environment that may just speak through you and your husband in the beds of any one of the luxe lodges around here.
5—Ambergris Caye, Belize
Balance. That’s what has made your relationship work out so well and also what makes this tropical island a natural honeymoon spot for the both of you. Be adventurous by visiting ancient Mayan ruins, scuba diving along the world’s second largest coral reef, hike through jungle past widing waterfalls and limestone caves. Zip line. And then spend a few days drinking on some stupidly beautiful white sandy beach before you go back home.
6—Khan Khentii, Mongolia
Its risky, but if you two survive Mongolia, then you’ll already have gotten through the most difficult few weeks of your marriage. Actually, just spend the money on the luxe accommodations and english speaking guides and you may just fall in love all over again touring the sweeping hills of birch forests and storybook grasslands traversed by rivers. Besides, no one else at work will say they’re going to Mongolia on their honeymoon.
7—Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Most of your friends are counting on you to become dull and boring once you tie the knot. Prove them wrong in the most scantily clad way possible.
We’re willing to bet money that this charming, colonial beach town in Colombia will move on over to the “regular” honeymoon before Sofia Vergara is christened the new Charo. Its a quick jaunt from most places in the US and there you’ll find high end yet affordable ways to be all mush gushy lovey on each other. Eat and drink to your hearts content along beach front restaurants, while away on gorgeous beaches, make out in romantic carriage rides down cobblestone streets or just get away from it all—an hour boat ride away is Rosario Island, a sleepy island surrounded by warm turquoise waters. And if you get bored, remember that the Colombian people invented Salsa.
9—Punta del Este, Uruguay
Not all honeymoons are about drooling, sugary sweet love on each other. Some couples like to party it up. They may do so here, where the jet set of Buenos Aires and Montevideo and Europe come to park their yachts and brag about hanging out in some obscure South American town that no one’s ever heard of before. Chill on the gorgeous beaches during the day and then get your bar or dance club on till the sun rises and then do it all again.
The secret’s out on Croatia (see: Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen’s current vacation there), meaning it has become a popular honeymoon destination, but its cuspy. As in, go now before it turns in to the Amafi Coast or Greece or something totally expected. Island hop from the ancient town of Trogir to Brac and then Hvar, which is known for its wines. Or just chill on any one of their spectacular beaches.
Matt Bell is a New York based travel and style writer who contributes regularly to Esquire.com and Essential Homme Magazine. He has also written for Out.com, Next Magazine, American Spa Magazine and was the Senior Editor for Genre Magazine.
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