Unique Honeymoon Destinations You'll Brag About for Years

Save this article, then keep these editor-approved locations (plus tips) to yourselves.
ischia italy village and castle in backdrop gorgeous photo of boats and the island's architectural appeal
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Esther Lee - Deputy Editor, The Knot
by
Esther Lee
Esther Lee - Deputy Editor, The Knot
Esther Lee
Deputy Editor
  • Esther is the Deputy Editor of The Knot. She currently leads all content on The Knot Wellness, focusing on financial, relationship, and mental wellbeing.
  • She oversees The Knot's travel vertical (honeymoons, destination weddings, bach parties), as well as overarching features and trends.
  • She proudly serves on the Advisory Council of VOW For Girls, focusing on ending the injustice of child marriage around the world.
Updated May 31, 2023
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Unique honeymoon destinations are hidden gems for a reason. These secret spots often place an underrated emphasis on culture and experiences that couples won't find at standard, run-of-the-mill honeymoon destinations. With over-tourism impacting some of the most popular destinations globally, it's no surprise why newlyweds would want to savor privacy and seclusion in an unusual honeymoon destination.

"A unique destination is ideal when you want to avoid the pressure of 'checking boxes,'" says Kristy Cirrone, Senior Travel Curator at Origin Travel. "We're exposed to a constant stream of social media posts about top destinations… [which] can create an underlying pressure to see and do it all within the destination. Honeymooning somewhere under the radar can be more intimate: you can have a unique shared experience with your spouse, and you aren't subconsciously comparing it to what you've seen on TikTok."

"The world of honeymoon travel is evolving," adds Craig Zapatka, co-founder of travel planning company Elsewhere. "Couples are seeking out more immersive and adventurous experiences… It's all about exploring the world together and creating lasting memories that will strengthen the bond between the newlyweds. These trips are active, engaging and transformative. They empower the couples."

A unique honeymoon destination, says Cirrone, is for "those who don't mind traveling a bit farther for more seclusion." She provides the example of couples who might typically choose to honeymoon in Bali. Instead, those who want to try the unusual route may set their sights on a nearby private island in Indonesia. "Those who seek out unique destinations typically like sharing their own private experiences and are willing to spend the extra time and energy to get there," explains the expert. Explore our list of the world's most unique honeymoon destinations, listed for its romantic features and one-of-a-kind activities.

Ischia, Italy

Ischia is the largest of the Phlegrean Islands and is home to arguably the best beaches in the region. While often eclipsed by nearby Capri and the rest of the Amalfi Coast, the Isola d'Ischia is certainly a unique honeymoon destination for couples who want the crisp and clear waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the luxe Italian experience… without the crowds.

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Things to Do: Explore the beautiful town of Sant'Angelo in the earlier morning hours, followed by a dip in the sea and lunch along the delicious Gulf of Naples. Ischia is home to some of the country's best beaches, including Spiaggia di Citara, where snorkeling is a must. If the temperature dips, visit Poseidon Thermal Park for hot springs and take in the vineyards of the island.

Editor's Tip: Explore shoulder seasons along the Mediterranean to minimize heavy crowds. August is especially challenging as it's when Europeans take their annual vacation, a world that merges with the summer break for Americans.

Where to Stay: Botania Relais & Spa | Book Now | Read Reviews

Atacama & Patagonia Deserts, Chile

The Atacama Desert was first inhabited more than 10,000 years ago but feels just as pristine today. Arguably its more well-known sibling, Chilean Patagonia is home to the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park.

Atacama Chile honeymoon destination
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Things to Do: At Explora Atacama, expert guides are on hand to take you on everything from treks almost 15,000 feet up the Andes mountains to a horseback riding tour along the Salado River. Then relax with a massage for two in the "Turi Puri" room, a restored colonial adobe-straw building.

Editor's Tips: Temperatures tend to drop dramatically from day to night. It's possible for it to go from about 104°F to 48°F. Pack accordingly and get close. (It is your honeymoon, after all.)

Where to Stay: Llao Llao Hotel, Resort & Spa | Book Now | Read Reviews

Mara Naibosho, Kenya

It's hard to believe Naibosho is within driving distance of the world-famous Maasai Mara National Reserve. Like its nearby neighbor, Naibosho is home to a range of wildlife (think lions, leopards, elephants, and more). However, the conservancy feels more private with its tented luxury resorts, traffic limitations, and bespoke itineraries for couples.

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Things to Do: Go for morning and evening game drives with your tour guide—if you research enough, he or she will be a member of the Maasai tribe, famed for its formidable presence throughout Kenya and Tanzania as they've co-existed with wildlife for generations. Conscious travelers and curious couples will thrive in the conservancy: cultural immersion and sustainability efforts are also expected from a Naibosho getaway. End the day with a fireside chat with your guide, dinner in the bush, stargazing, and an evening game drive home.

Editor's Tips: If this is your first safari experience, dress for the occasion and pack lightly as most luxury camps offer laundry service. Plus, most bush flights enforce a one-duffel bag limit.

Where to Stay: Leopard Hill | Book Now | Read Reviews

La Rioja, Spain

Spain's northern wine region combines culture with cuisine—not to mention miles of rolling, green vineyards.

La Rioja Spain honeymoon destination
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Things to Do: Wine museums can be a bit blah ("Oh look, another old photo of people picking grapes"), but the Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture, the brainchild of winemaker Pedro Vivanco and his two sons, is anything but. Check out the corkscrew collection, wine bottles from ancient Rome and original Picassos; then have lunch at the museum's café overlooking the vineyard (VivancoCulturadeVino.es). If just drinking wine isn't enough, treat yourselves to the Wine Maker's Massage at Hotel Marqués de Riscal's famous Caudalíe Vinothérapie Spa, where even the spa's oils are made with grape extract.

Editor's Tip: If you're looking for a true taste of Spain (and cheap eats), head to nearby Logroño, where the town's center has narrow streets full of traditional tapas spots. Be sure to make a pit stop at Bar Soriano for grilled mushrooms topped with local shrimp.

Where to Stay: Hotel Marqués de Riscal, a Luxury Collection Hotel | Book Now | Read Reviews

Antiparos, Greece

The tiny island of Antiparos is just a short ferry ride away from the cosmopolitan island of Paros, but it feels a world away from the buzz of the Naoussa. (It's no wonder Tom Hanks owns a home on the island.) Here, couples will find gorgeous views of the Aegean, as well as the peace and quiet sought among the locals, especially during the high season.

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Things to Do:
Charter a boat for the day and visit nearby Despotiko Island, as well as the Despotiko Ancient Sanctuary. Spend the day swimming in the bay of Livadia Beach. Indulge in wellness treatments with holistic healing practices.

Where to Stay: The Rooster | Book Now | Read Reviews

Sapa, Vietnam

Terraced fields and the forest-like Hoang Lien Son Mountains surround this ethnically diverse town, putting you in the middle of the culture sans the city bustle.

Sapa Vietnam honeymoon destination
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Things to Do: Ask your hotel to arrange for a Jeep to take you from Sapa to the Bac Ha Market on a Sunday morning, when trade is at its peak. It's about a three-hour drive to get there, but the trek is well worth it if you want to mingle with members of local tribes. Also have a car take you to Hoang Lien National Park, where a guide can take you to "Heaven's Gate" or the Silver Waterfall.

Editor's Tip: The market is all about bargaining; you should be able to haggle your way down to about half of the original price.

Where to Stay: Hôtel de la Coupole MGallery | Book Now | Read Reviews

Bijagua de Upala, Costa Rica

Located in a northern mountainous region near Costa Rica's Pacific Coast, Upala is a short distance away from Tenorio National Park and a car ride away from the upscale resort town of Papagayo. Couples will love the biodiversity and access to nature, meaning plenty of sloth and toucan sightings.

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What to Do: Start your mornings with a nature walk or hike to the waterfalls and splendid rainforests of the countryside. Stay in an eco-lodge complete with plunge pools and gastronomic experiences. Enjoy a hearty breakfast while taking in the sounds of the rainforest.

Editor's Tip: If you rent a car, make sure it has a GPS or you download your directions beforehand.

Where to Stay: Origins By Mantis | Book Now | Read Reviews

Bariloche, Argentina

Our hottest months are Argentina's coolest, making this the perfect spot to chill out come July and August.

What to Do: No need to be intimidated here: 60 percent of Cerro Catedral's ski runs are at the intermediate level. If you're a beginner, take the chairlift up Punta Princesa, recommended for all levels. Looking for a challenge? Test your skills at De la Garganta, a ski trail that goes through a canyon (CatedralAltaPatagonia.com). For a more low-key day, get the scoop on local history at the Museo de la Patagonia (Bariloche.com.ar/museo).

Editor's Tip: The exchange rate is favorable for US couples, countering the pricier airfare tickets.

Where to Stay: Charming Luxury Lodge & Private Spa | Book Now | Read Reviews

Prince Edward Island

Go if you're a golfer or nature lover.

Prince Edward Island honeymoon destination
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What to Do: Work on your drive at one of Prince Edward Island's famous courses. Then grab some alone time with a scenic ride on the Points East Coastal Drive. Biking, fishing, hiking, and boating (pretty much anything outdoors or on the water) are also must-dos during your visit.

Editor's Tip: If you're feeling really adventurous, bring a tent and a double sleeping bag and spend a night together cuddled up under the stars at one of the island's campsites.

Where to Stay: Sydney Boutique Inn & Suites | Book Now | Read Reviews

Todos Santos, Mexico

Mexico's much-beloved Pacific coast is home to the luxe and sprouting town of Todos Santos. Located on the Baja California Peninsula peppered against the dry and dramatic Sierra de la Laguna mountains, Todos Santos offers art, surf, and peace for couples who like their environments to be pristine and calm.

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What to Do: Start the day with a morning hike to Punta Lobos. While you can't swim in the water, the views and the experience are memorable.

Editor's Tip: Take in the local culture and history of Todos Santos. There's no place like it in the world, especially for a romantic getaway.

Where to Stay: Paradero | Book Now | Read Reviews

Shelter Island, New York

We almost want to withhold the secret of Shelter Island, arguably the perfect honeymoon spot for laid-back East Coast residents who want a slice of the Hamptons without the crowds.

the pridwin on shelter island peconic river view and beauty of the sunset
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What to Do: Egg and cheese sandwiches with iced coffees are mandatory must-haves from Marie Eiffel Market. After a casual breakfast on the bay, head to town to explore the shops and garage sales. (On Shelter Island, you never know what treasures exist.) Pickleball and tennis lovers will appreciate the island's facilities, especially when staying at the preppy and remodeled Pridwin Hotel. Finally, go for a dip in the Peconic or set sail across the East End.

Editor's Tip: There's only one way into Shelter Island and that's via the car ferry (or a private boat charter). Hop on the ferry from either Sag Harbor on the South Fork or Greenport on the North Fork.

Where to Stay: The Pridwin | Book Now | Read Reviews

Algarve, Portugal

This bustling beach town with royal-blue waters and towering cliffs is loaded with European flair (not to mention: some serious old-world romance).

Algarve Portugal honeymoon destination
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What to do: Charter a yacht to Arte Náutica, an oceanfront restaurant on Armação de Pera beach. Ask for a table out on the terrace, and be sure to try the Mozambique tiger prawns. Or spend a day strolling the Herdade dos Grous (country "estate of the cranes"), 1,465 acres of orange groves, olive trees and vineyards that smell as gorgeous as they look.

Editor's Tip: Count on bringing back some Portuguese crafts, like hand-painted tiles and pottery. You're also likely to get a deal on lace, leather and silver items.

Where to Stay: Number42 | Book Now | Read Reviews

Quebec, Canada

Quebec Canada honeymoon destination
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Feel like you flew to Europe (in less time, for less money) in this French-speaking region known for its powder-packed trails.

Editor's Tip: From December to April, ski at the world-famous Mont-Tremblant. There are 95 runs to keep you busy all week, plus a snowboard park if you're looking to get some air (Tremblant.ca). Feeling lucky? Take the gondola that runs between the Versant Soleil and the Versant Sud to the resort's casino, where you can play the tables, lounge at the bar and catch live shows (CasinosDuQuebec.com).

Carefree, Arizona

Carefree Arizona honeymoon destination
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The name just about says it all: You won't have a care in the world (except maybe your golf score) at this super-secluded spot in the Sonoran Desert.

What to Do: Rock climbing, mountain biking, horseback riding and even guided astronomy tours are all available through The Boulders resort. Of course, you can't leave without trying a few treatments at the on-site Waldorf Astoria spa. Day packages are pricey (starting at $385) but worth it after 18 holes at one of the area's scenic golf courses.

Editor's Tip: The cool city of Scottsdale is about 40 minutes away if you're looking to step out of serenity for a night and hit the bars.

Woodstock, Vermont

Woodstock Vermont honeymoon destination
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This isn't your parents' Woodstock (that actually didn't even take place in Woodstock...or Vermont!). Think more along the lines of a quaint inn, top-rated ski resorts and delicious cuisine (good-bye, wedding diet!).

What to Do: Head to Killington Resort to go skiing, snowboarding, ice climbing, snowshoeing and more between November and April. Rentals are available on the mountain if you don't own your own gear (Killington.com). After a day in the snow, get a hot-stone massage at Woodstock Inn & Resort's spa. You won't need to go far for dinner -- the inn's The Red Rooster restaurant is steps away.

Editor's Tip: If you're flying in, rent a car. The ski resorts are about a half-hour drive from the inn, and there's no shuttle.

Islamorada, Florida

Islamorada Florida honeymoon destination
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You get the feel of the Caribbean without leaving the States, including pale-blue water that teeters at 70 degrees in cooler months and around 80 degrees in summer.

What to do: Exchange flirty glances while getting a couple's massage in an oceanfront tiki hut at the spa at Cheeca Lodge. Then put those muscles to work on the resort's nine-hole golf course designed by golf pro Jack Nicklaus (or get competitive at night on one of the six lit tennis courts). End the evening with a romantic dinner at one of The Beach Café at Morada Bay's ocean-side tables.

Editor's Tip: Crowds are at their peak from mid-December to early April, so make hotel and restaurant reservations at least a month beforehand if you're traveling then.

St. Anton, Austria

St. Anton Austria honeymoon destination
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Not only is St. Anton home to some of the best skiing in the Alps, it's also a party town -- meaning you'll have lots of options for throwing back drinks after skiing.

What to Do: Buy your ski passes right at St. Anton am Arlberg (they take Visa, American Express and MasterCard, so don't waste your euros). This resort is scenic but intense; don't hesitate to sign up for lessons (StAntonamArlberg.com). Afterward, down a few mugs of beer at Platz'l Bar, a chill piano bar. For a wilder night, try Krazy Kanguruh, where loud music and strong shots are standard fare.

Editor's Tip: Fly into Zurich and take the Ski Express Arlberg to St. Anton -- it's half the price of a cab (ArlbergExpress.com).

Uluru, Australia

Uluru Australia honeymoon destination
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This eco-friendly desert destination also known as Ayers Rock (or even just "The Rock") is far from civilization, giving you a real taste of the outback.

What to Do: Chat with other travelers at dinner under the stars, while a chef serves you food from a contemporary Australian menu. Then get ready for a day of touring the desert, either from up high in a helicopter or on the ground with a camel ride. Take a sunrise walk to the nearby Mutitjulu water hole, where a guide will show you cave paintings and share the local history.

Editor's Tip: You'll have to fly into Sydney before taking a separate four-hour flight to Ayers Rock, a good excuse to check out the popular city for a day or two.

Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown New Zealand honeymoon destination
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This destination is an action junkie's dream, with miles of untouched wilderness waiting to be explored.

What to Do: Strengthen your bond -- and scream your heads off -- by bungee-jumping together 43 meters off the Kawarau Bridge (Bungy.co.nz). After your adrenaline rush, take in the scenery on a guided day hike on the Routeburn Track through Ultimate Hikes, a company specializing in natural tours (UltimateHikes.co.nz).

Editor's Tip: New Zealand's winter is our summer, so go between November and April. Avoid the two weeks post-Christmas when families (meaning kids) vacation there.

Tanzania

Tanzania honeymoon destination
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The northern part of this African country is home to more than 25,000 large mammals and the scenic Ngorongoro Crater, a lush stretch of land that stands where a volcano collapsed about two million years ago.

What to Do: After spending a full night partying it up in Arusha (located near the airport, it has a lively bar scene), relax on a flight to Lake Manyara (planned by andBeyond, andBeyond.com) and get ready to whip your camera out to snap shots of Masai giraffes (put it away to soak in the hot springs); then head to Serengeti, Tanzania's oldest game reserve, for a classic safari ride (TanzaniaParks.com). At Ngorongoro Crater, sip local wine on a terrace and keep your eyes peeled for black rhinos.

Editor's Tip: You'll both need to get a tourist visa to enter Tanzania, which comes with a $100 price tag each. You can download an application to mail in at TanzaniaEmbassy-us.org. Expect to wait up to two weeks for them to arrive.

Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong China honeymoon destination
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If you're after culture and plenty of shopping and restaurants, consider Hong Kong.

What to Do: Take the tram to the Victoria Peak and view the city from the Peak Tower. Once you have your scenic shots, head over to a Star Ferry docked in Tsim Sha Tsui for a cruise around the city. For a taste of Old China, check out Tai O fishing village, a community of houses built on stilts.

Editor's Tip: Most places accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express -- so be sure to bring at least one credit card.

Portland, Oregon

Portland Oregon honeymoon destination
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Calling all foodies and nature-lovers! Look no further.

What to Do: Stroll through the Portland Japanese Garden (JapaneseGarden.com) and then cool off with a beer at one of the city's many breweries. Love fresh food? Portland is loaded with farmers markets, so pick up all the fruits and gourmet cheeses you can carry (PortlandFarmersMarket.org). Also get out on the city's running and biking trails.

Editor's Tip: Portland is all about being laid-back, so no sequins required.

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Nantucket Massachusetts honeymoon destination
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This is the perfect honeymoon spot for laid-back prepsters.

What to Do: Take photos together outside Brant Point Lighthouse, the second-oldest lighthouse in the country. Into golf? Tee off at Miacomet Golf Club (MiacometGolf.com). Then spend the afternoon at Nantucket Vineyard tasting local wines. There's also a renowned brewery if you're more of an ale couple (CiscoBrewers.com).

Editor's Tip: Bring sunscreen and any other drugstore buys (like toothpaste); these items usually cost more on the island.

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