The Best Honeymoon Destinations for Adventurous Couples
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Couples that love the outdoors and adventure probably want a honeymoon escape that promises more than a swim-up bar and pickleball. Whether your passion is downhill skiing and hiking or surfing and paddling, these adventure honeymoon destinations will deliver the ultimate adrenaline fix, with just the right amount of comforts and indulgences.
Whistler, British Columbia
This mountain sports mecca two hours north of Vancouver is a year-round playground with glassy, glacier-fed lakes, towering snow-capped peaks, and ancient old-growth forests.
When to Go: Home to the largest destination ski resort in North America, Whistler is a bucket list winter escape. Summer and fall are prime times to hike and mountain bike and bear viewing is best in April and May and September and October.
Where to Stay: Situated lakeside and just a short walk to the Creeskide Gondola Lift at Whistler Blackcomb ski resort, Nita Lake Lodge has 77 suites and a serious spa where you can soothe sore muscles after a big day on the trails or the slopes.
Guides to Book: British Columbia is the birthplace of heliskiing and Whistler Heli-Skiing has a tenure spanning 432,000 acres, including 173 glaciers and 475 runs.
Refuel: Feast on a half-dozen varieties of Pacific Northwest oysters, caviar, and other local, sustainable seafood at Wild Blue Restaurant + Bar.
Down Day: Learn about Whistler's indigenous First Nation peoples at the impressively curated Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre.
Closed off to tourism until 1974, the Buddhist kingdom is one of the rare places that still feels undiscovered. Hiking fanatics can now trek the Trans-Bhutan Trail. The historic 250-mile pilgrimage route reopened in March 2022 after decades of restoration and takes in 400 historic and cultural sites.
When: The weather is dry and sunny between September and December. The rhododendron forests are in full bloom from March through May. For couples traveling this far, they'll certainly want to optimize timing for honeymoon weather.
Where to Stay: An all-suite adventure base overlooking Bhutan's Phobjikha Valley, Gangtey Lodge is surrounded by trekking trails that wind through blue pine forests. At day's end, reward your efforts with steaming momos (dumplings) and a soak in a traditional hot-stone bath.
Guides to Book: Guides of Bhutan leads four to five-night camping treks on a section of the Trans-Bhutan Trail in the remote Tang Valley in the district of Bumthang. Guests overnight in comfy Nordic tipi-style tents and can opt to hike or mountain bike.
Refuel: Pair microbrews like a red rice ale with traditional Bhutanese dishes such as ema datshi, a chili-spiked twist on fondue, at Namgay Artisanal Brewery in Paro.
Down Day: Visit Buddha Dordenma, a nearly 170-foot bronze statue set atop a hill in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan.DominicaDominica is a dream vacation if you love the Caribbean sun and sea but crave more action than lounging on the beach. Aptly nicknamed, "the Nature Island," its rugged landscape is a patchwork of tropical forests, towering mountains, bubbling hot springs, and hidden waterfalls.
When to Go: Dominica is a great destination year-round, but the driest season is February through April.
Where to Stay: Perched on a secluded clifftop overlooking the sea, Secret Bay has eight, treehouse-like villas, some with private plunge pools and oversized soaking tubs with jungle views. A watersports hut is stocked with toys including kayaks, snorkeling gear, and paddleboards, and couples can relax adventure-weary muscles with a massage in the tree-top spa.
Guides to Book: Extreme Dominica leads canyoning excursions to a remote waterfall. Learn how to rappel on a training wall before hiking through the rainforest to descend into a deep gorge and dipping into the water below.
Refuel: Old Stone Grill and Bar, a locally loved dinner spot in Roseau's French Quarter, is known for its jerk shrimp, pork ribs, and expertly mixed cocktails.
Down Day: Bwa Denn, a new cultural hub at Secret Bay, showcases over 100 works from contemporary Caribbean and Latin American artists, plus has a mini theater for film screenings and an on-site brewery.
Home to Peahi (Jaws) one of the biggest waves in the world, Ho'okipa, a world-renowned windsurf spot, and watersports pioneers like Pete Cabrinha and Dave Kalama, Maui is a paradise for ocean enthusiasts. And the island's lush interiors are crisscrossed with spectacular hikes.
When: Winter brings big surf and migrating humpback whales. Summer surf is more mellow and ideal for beginners. The tradewinds blow year-round and are most consistent April through October.
Where to Stay: Malu Manu, a romantic log cabin set at 4,250 feet has unbeatable bi-coastal sunset views. If you prefer to be closer to the water, Ka'anapali Beach Hotel is fresh off a renovation and has one of the island's top restaurants, plus a knowledgeable ocean activities team that can school you in the art of outrigger canoe paddling.
Guides to Book: Maui True North offers both group and private surf and kite surf lessons for novices and offers packages geared to experienced riders who want to advance their skills.
Refuel: Marlow showcases ingredients sourced from upcountry farmers and ranchers and specializes in Neapolitan-style pizzas cooked in a kiawe wood-burning oven. (restaurantmarlow.com) You can also get your order served to you at neighboring craft brewery Mahalo Aleworks.
Down Day: For up-close tail-slapping action during whale season, book a trip with Ultimate Whale Watch. Small rafting vessels hold just 18 passengers, and a portion of each ticket sale goes back to whale research.
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is the ultimate urban adventure base. The trails of Table Mountain National Park are in the city's backyard. The coast is lined with surf spots. And safaris (marine and land) are a short day trip away.
When to Go: Surf conditions are best June through August. Whale-watching season is in July. The crisp, cool days of late April to early June are ideal for hiking.
Where to Stay: Ten-room Noah House has a prime location in the trendy neighborhood of Tamboerskloof set against the backdrop of Table Mountain. Beachfront Tintswalo Atlantic is one of the few hotels located within Table Mountain National Park and is home to one of the city's hottest restaurants.
Guides to Book: Escape + Explore's expert local guides range from marine biologists and champion surfers to ultrarunners and cultural gurus. Adventure options are only limited to your imagination. They take guests on surf safaris, abseiling off Table Mountain, snorkeling with seals, and more.
Refuel: Take in Table Mountain views while sampling creative tapas, like pork penang belly with coconut and peanut curry, at the Pot Luck Club.
Down Day: Take the ferry from the V&A Waterfront to Robben Island. Many South African freedom fighters, most notably Nelson Mandela, were imprisoned here. Guides, most former inmates, providing profoundly moving stories about South Africa's apartheid past.
Bohinj and Lake Bled, Slovenia
Lesser known than the French or Swiss Alps, the Julian Alps in Slovenia offers just as many thrills but at a fraction of the cost and with fewer crowds. Triglav National Park and the surrounding emerald and sapphire-hued lakes of Bled and Bohinj provide dramatic backdrops for outdoor lovers.
When: In winter, you can ski the slopes around the town of Bled. Summer provides non-stop action in the form of hiking, rafting, cycling, climbing, camping, and paddling.
Where to Stay: Ribno Alpine Resort in Bled offers a variety of accommodation options. A traditional hotel has 61 cozy, chalet-inspired rooms. The neighboring glamping village features treehouses with private wooden hot tubs secluded in a pine forest. And a cycling-focused glamping village has 17 cabins, each with its own bike shed, plus an on-site bike technician and mountain and e-bike rentals.
Guides to Book: No matter what your thrill level, 3 Glav Adventures can match it with a roster or trips such as paragliding above Lake Bohinj and white water rafting the River Soča to climbing alpine limestone rocks and kayaking the Sava River.
Refuel: Located 10 minutes from Lake Bled, Vila Podvin specializes in the forgotten foods of Slovenia with a menu of dishes like white risotto with Adriatic prawns and dandelion soup with pumpkin oil.
Down Day: Take a Pletna boat, a canopied, gondola-like rowboat, to Bled Castle. Dating to 1004, the castle was restored to include a museum, a tower gallery that hosts monthly exhibitions and a wine cellar where guests can bottle their own wine.