The 14 Best Honeymoon Destinations

According to Journy's expert trip designers.

By Journy Team

21 January 2020

The 12 Best Honeymoon Destinations

COVID-19 Response
Journy is committed to helping you travel safely and confidently with our comprehensive planning serice, which includes everything from vetted lodging to private transfers, restaurants to outdoor activities. Plus full flexibility with refundable rates and generous cancellation policies.

The experts at Journy have planned hundreds of custom honeymoon trips that run the gamut from pure relaxation (think overwater bungalows and infinity pools overlooking clear waters of the Pacific Ocean), to adventurous (scuba diving, hiking, kayaking, biking, and paragliding), to some perfect mix of the two. And if there's one thing we've learned over time, it's that there's no one answer to the question...where's the perfect honeymoon destination? That's precisely why every single Journy itinerary is built from scratch with considerations for your tastes, preferences, priorities, budget, and so much more. Because who wants an off-the-shelf itinerary for a trip as special as their honeymoon?

So whether you're looking to cross a bucket list destination off your list or experience a familiar city in a new light, you're in the right place. Continue reading to discover the 14 most popular honeymoon spots, according to real Journy travelers.

READ MORE: Honeymoon Cancelled Due To COVID? Here's How To Upgrade When You Reschedule

1. Cape Town

Best for culture enthusiasts, outdoor adventurers, foodies

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town has an amazing variety of activities for couples of all kinds. Your outdoor enthusiast can hike, surf, dive with sharks, rock climb, kayak, and much more. An amazing food scene and beautiful wine country that is just an hour away make it deal for our food-loving travelers, in addition to people looking to add a little romance and relaxation to their trip. South Africa is rich with history and art that is easily accessible in Cape Town for visitors to learn more about.

Top highlights:

  • Table Mountain National Park
    One of Cape Town’s prized natural wonders, Table Mountain National Park—named for the eponymous 1,080-m mountain (accessible via cable car)—is a haven not only for hikers, but also mountain bikers, paragliders, rock climbers, divers, and anyone interested in exquisite bird watching.
  • Lion’s Head
    Lion’s Head, aka Leeuwen Kop, is one of the most popular hikes in Cape Town. At just over two km, it takes around 40-45 minutes to traverse. For unparalleled views you won’t soon forget, go hiking around dusk to watch the sun go down (but bring a flashlight for your way down!).
  • Cape of Good Hope
    The Cape of Good Hope (aka Cape Point) sits 60 km outside of Cape Town at the southwestern tip of Africa. Travelers can easily spend hours wandering the bays, rolling green hills, and beaches. Don’t forget to take the cable car up to the famous lighthouse.
  • Boulders Beach
    Boulders Beach is one of the most visited beaches in Cape Town...and for good reason. It’s the only place in the world where you can get close to African Penguins in their natural habitat. This colony of penguins settled there in 1982 amid the wind-sheltered, safe beaches. From just two breeding pairs in 1982, the penguin colony is now at roughly 2100 members. Seasons play an important role in terms of how many penguins you see, what they are doing, and what they look like. You can get relatively close to them from the boardwalk and on the sandy beach, but don't get too personal while snapping those photos—they can bite!
  • The Cape Winelands
    For some of the best wine in the world, head 40 km east of Cape Town to the valleys lined with vineyards, historic towns, hamlets, and Dutch farmsteads.
  • Robben Island
    This former political prison is where Nelson Mandela wrote his autobiography, Long Walk To Freedom, while being held. A former inmate personally guides everyone around the prison, where it is both sobering and inspiring to learn first-hand about South Africa’s first black president—especially from people who actually knew him. You'll be able to hear their stories first-hand and sit in the same exact cells where prisoners who fought for their rights were locked away.

Single city or multi-city destination?

It is a great city to pair with a few days in Johannesburg and a once in a lifetime safari in Kruger, which Journy has helped many couples plan in all budget categories.

Pro tip:

Renting a car can make this a great place to visit if you have a sense of adventure and prefer to do more on your own. We can always help plan custom time in the winelands and driving along the Garden Route.

Trade-offs of traveling to Cape Town for your honeymoon:

It is a longer flight, and can be expensive to get to, but once there, Cape Town and the rest of South Africa is a great affordable location to enjoy an array of activities. It is best to Uber or hail a cab at night as some areas are still not totally safe to walk, but it is a very easy city to get around with Uber.

Plan My Cape Town Honeymoon

Best places to stay:

  • POD Camps Bay
    Situated within Camps Bay, the Pod Hotel is perfectly situated for you to enjoy the renowned beaches, cuisine, and nightlife while meeting the beautiful people of the area. The location is perhaps the best you can get in Cape Town, with it being in driving distance of the vibrant and historical city center and the bustling V&A Waterfront.Whether you’re staying within the Deluxe Suite, or the Luxury, Classic and Mountain Rooms, each living arrangement provides all the necessary amnesties, including air conditioning and underfloor heating.
  • Cape Cadogan Boutique Hotel
    Founded in the early 1930s, the Cape Cadogan Boutique Hotel is a true example of historic Victorian architecture, complete with bay windows, stained glass, and vibrantly colored bricks.  
    $300 - $500/night
  • The Glen Boutique Hotel and Spa
    The Glen Boutique Hotel and Spa is perfect for newlywed couples interested in indulging in some well-deserved R&R spa treatments—in fact, they boast one of the finest masseurs in all of South Africa! Additionally, the hotel can customize tours for you, including safaris, Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden tours, Cape Point Tours, and more.
    $200 - $500/night

Read more:

Journy's top recommendations:

COVID-19 Update (9/10/20)
Cape Town is not currently open to Americans, but Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Ghana are, as long as you present a negative PCR test from the past 76 hours. Delta is scheduled to resume direct flights from NY to Ghana on 9/13. Schedule a call to learn how Journy can help you plan the safari honeymoon of your dreams.

2. The Maldives

Best for beach bums and outdoor adventurers

The Maldives

The Maldives is inextricably linked to visions of barefoot honeymoons, nearly-neon blue waters, plentiful reefs, and pearlescent sand beaches. Although this nation of islands in the remote Indian Ocean spans 90,000 square kilometers, less than 300 of that is dry land. Islands abound in 27 fragile atolls that collectively house 1,200 low-lying coral islands. And yet, only 200 of those islands are inhabited, which gives you a sense for the exclusive tranquility you’ll find here. The country is at the forefront of sustainable tourism, with many hotels committing to coral regeneration efforts, hydroponic gardening, and minimal plastic refuse. There’s a vibrant wellness scene here, too, with everything from aerial yoga to Ayurvedic treatments available. But then again, if you wanted to do nothing besides perch yourself in an overwater bungalow for the day, well, that’d be fine too.  

Top highlights

  • Scuba diving to see turtles, eels, mantra rays, and other sea creatures up close
    When it comes to scuba diving, the Maldives—which is home to 5% of the planet’s reefs—is one of the best destinations in the world. The most popular spots are Banana Reef in North Male Atoll, Kurumba, Fullmoon, and Farukolhufushi. We suggest booking a live aboard boat trip to access the most remote reefs beyond those in the vicinity of your resort.
  • Dolphin-watching trip
    Dolphins are everywhere in the Maldives (and very friendly!), but for the best chances of spotting them up close, it’s best to organize an excursion to Meemu Atoll.
  • Water sports
    From water-skiing to jet-skiing, windsurfing to kite surfing, kayaking to paddle-boarding, and even parasailing, the Maldives has it all.

Single city or multi-city destination?

It’s best to stick to one island during your Maldives honeymoon (five days should suffice). From there, if you’re craving adventure, head to Sri Lanka to experience history, safaris, hiking, tea, and much more. It’s only 2-3 hours by plane from the Maldives, and you’ll want to budget 10 days in order to see it properly.

Trade-offs of traveling to the Maldives for your honeymoon:

It is a longer flight, and can be expensive to get to—especially during the peak season of December - March, which is when hotel prices spike. Unfortunately, the off-season (April to October) coincides with monsoon season, so you’ll risk considerable rainfall if you travel during those months.

Plan My Maldives Honeymoon

Best places to stay:

  • Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
    With the creation of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Hilton became the country’s first international hospitality brand in 1997, pioneering the now-signature stilted overwater bungalow architecture. Even more impressive, the resort was the first to build an entirely underwater restaurant, and just last year, it debuted The Muraka, its game-changing ultra-luxe residence that sits partially submerged 18 feet below the Indian Ocean.

    Conrad Hotels & Resorts are part of the Hilton family, which wholly commits to an in-house corporate responsibility program called Travel with Purpose. “It’s a comprehensive effort that includes both environmental sustainability and community investment initiatives,” Roberts explains. “Above all, it’s designed to make a lasting impact on the environment and the lives of people in the communities where we operate.”

Read more:

COVID-19 Update (7/16/20)
The Maldives is open to US tourists, with no quarantine mandates upon arrival at Velana International Airport. Guests must remain on their resort islands and book their entire stay in one establishment.

3. Bora Bora

Best for beach bums and outdoor adventurers

Bora Bora 

Tucked away in the Western corner of French Polynesia (aka Tahiti) is Bora Bora, an island that’s famous for its coconut trees, crystal-clear lagoon, and aqua-centric luxury resorts that occupy their own islands, or motus. At your resort, you’ll be treated to quiet seclusion, unparalleled views, and even room service via an outrigger canoe. Venturing out, you’ll happen upon the main village of Vaitape whose streets are lined with charming local boutiques and restaurants. Lush green mountains dot the landscape, including the two soaring peaks that formed as remnants of an extinct volcano: Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu. The island, one of the most celebrated in the South Pacific, certainly lives up to its hype.

Top highlights:

  • Feeding sharks and stingrays
    If you're interested in getting up close and personal with animals, we recommend Bora Bora, where there are options to feed native blacktip reefs sharks and stingrays in their natural habitats—which is far less frightening than it sounds since the sharks are small and the stingrays, harmless. Plus, the water is shallow (only around knee-deep).
  • Explore the mountainous terrain on four weeks
    If you need a break from the beach, Bora Bora offers customizable 4X4 island treks. In addition to capturing some of the best views from above, you'll come away with interesting cultural and historical tidbits about the island—although it should be noted that the tours can be bumpy, hilly, and depending on rainfall, muddy.
  • Go snorkeling in vibrant coral gardens
    Along the way, you'll spot anemone fish, moray eels, Manta rays, Eagle rays, and other marine life.

Single city or multi-city destination?

If you want to go island hopping, you’re in the right place. Bora Bora is located within close proximity to Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea, Maupiti, Rangiroa, Tikehau, Fakarava, Fiji, the Cook Islands, and Tahiti. In order to visit another resort hotel or the main stretch of the island, you’ll just need to pay $50 round-trip for a boat ride, versus the $500 you’ll dish out for a seaplane ride in the Maldives.

Trade-offs of traveling to Bora Bora  for your honeymoon:

Like the Maldives, Bora Bora is far from the United States, and can be expensive to get to. If you're based on the West Coast, it's a nine-hour flight from Los Angeles to Tahiti, plus an additional hour-long flight to Bora Bora.  

Plan My Bora Bora Honeymoon

4. France

Best for culture enthusiasts, beach bums, foodies, and hopeless romantics

Paris, France

Paris has always been known as the city of love, with the whole ambiance inextricably linked with romance. The palaces, monuments, museums, and houses all exhibit a similar Hausmannian architectural style fitted amongst wide avenues and astutely-designed gardens. Combine that with the French passion for fashion, food, and drinks, and you can’t go wrong. Outside of Paris, the South of France—from Provence to the Côte d’Azure—offers ample opportunities for beach-goers to kick back and relax, making France the ultimate part-culture, part-relaxation honeymoon destination.

Top highlights:

In Paris...

  • Stunning parks and gardens (e.g., Luxembourg Gardens)
    Created in 1612 by Marie de Medici, the widow of King Henry IV of France, the Luxembourg Gardens cover 23 hectares and are known for the well-manicured lawns, tree-lined promenades, flowerbeds, model sailboats, and Medici Fountain.
  • Historic churches (e.g., Sacré-Coeur)
    Built in 1912, the Sacré-Coeur Basilica (Sacred Heart) is a perfect place to watch the sunset and visit the Dome, which is open until 8PM in the summer months from May through September and until 5PM from October through April. You can climb up 300+ steps to the top for an even more spectacular view of Paris or take the funicular (lift) if you're not in the mood to trek.
  • Museums (e.g., Louvre Museum)
    As one of the city’s largest and most popular museums, The Louvre is synonymous with Paris. While there’s enough artwork to keep you busy for weeks, most travelers make a beeline for the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, The Winged Victory, The Egyptian Antiquities, and Napoleon’s rooms.
  • Iconic Sites (e.g., Eiffel Tower and surrounding parks)
    One of the most famous and recognizable structures in the world, the iconic Eiffel Tower sees around six million visitors each year. The view from the top is absolutely stunning, and you can get hassle-free priority tickets online in advance for only $41 (trust us, it’s worth it). Afterwards, spend some time lounging in the grassy area next to the tower with a bottle of wine, a baguette, and some exquisite cheese. The wrought-iron lattice is truly amazing up close.

In the south of France…

  • Notre-Dame d'Espérance
    For an unforgettable view of Cannes, head to the top of this hilltop church. The climb is quite steep so we don't recommend doing this walk in your party shoes. For a special romantic treat, time your visit with the sunset.
  • Île Sainte-Marguerite
    Île Sainte-Marguerite is a quick, 15-minute ferry ride from Cannes and the largest of the Lérins islands. Although only a handful of fishermen live in the port village, there’s seemingly endless amounts of forest land to explore along the well-marked trails.
  • 3.14 Plage
    Situated in the heart of Cannes near La Croisette, 3.14 Plage is a luxurious beach and restaurant at the 3.14 Hotel. Head there to lounge on the comfortable alternative furniture underneath the poppy purple curtains or on one of the secluded deckchairs. Regardless, you’ll be treated to views of the Lérins Islands along with an entirely organic and gluten-free menu that relies on ingredients from the local Côte d’Azur markets.
  • Hilltop town of Èze
    This rocky little village perched on an impossible peak is the jewel in the Riviera crown. The main attraction is the medieval village itself, with small, quintessentially French stone houses and winding lanes (and plenty of galleries and shops), with stunning views of the coast.

Single city or multi-city destination?

If you’d just like to stick around Paris without venturing too far south, day trips to Versailles and Giverny are great options. Otherwise, the South of France is peppered with small towns and larger cities to explore, including Nice, Cannes, Aix-en-Provence, Monaco, Eze, Antibes, and more.

Trade-offs of traveling to France for your honeymoon:

During peak seasons, Paris can get very busy and crowded with tourists, which doesn’t make for the most relaxing experience. And in Southern France, you’ll need to rent a car to get around and explore the small towns—which, depending on the traveler, can be either a pro or a con.

Plan My France Honeymoon

Best places to stay:

In Paris…

  • La Pavillon De La Reine
    This luxurious hotel is known for its traditional elegance, spacious rooms, and excellent walkable location in the Marais—one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in Paris known for its old-meets-new vibe, Jewish shops, falafel shops, stylish boutiques, art galleries, and more.
  • Hotel des Academies Et Des Arts
    Situated squarely in the central St. Germain-Luxembourg neighborhood, Hotel des Academies boasts a modern design, excellent spa, and close proximity (mostly within walking distance) to major attractions (e.g., Luxembourg Gardens, Odéon, La Sorbonne, Notre Dame des Champs, etc).
    $300 - $500/night
  • Hotel Therese
    Hotel Therese is just a stone’s throw away from the Palais Royal and the Tuileries Gardens in the first arrondissements. The design is modern but stylish, and the fact that there’s only 40 rooms gives it a cozy, quaint feel.
    $180 - $300/night

In Cannes…

  • Hotel Martinez
    Recently undergoing almost a 200 million euro renovation, the Hotel Martinez sits directly overlooking the Bay of Cannes, on the edge of Pointe Croisette, where all the action takes place. This classic hotel has a newly updated Art Deco Style, and all the lavishness Cannes has to offer.
  • Five Seas Hotel
    The Five Seas has just thirty rooms and fifteen suites, plus a rooftop pool, restaurant with Michelin-starred chefs at the helm, and a luxurious spa, Cinq Mondes. In classic Cannes style, there’s also a private beach club with three yachts on the property.

In Provence...

  • Domaine De Fontenille (Lauris)
    As a house, the Domaine de Fontenille, in Provence’s Luberon Valley, dates back to the 18th century, and the estate goes all the way back to 1638. The former owners of France’s Comptoir des Cotonniers fashion brand decided their Provençal vineyard was too nice not to share, so they opened their Michelin-starred kitchen and endless grounds to cosmopolitan aesthetes in search of country chic. Enjoy wine tasting on site, truffle hunting down the road, yoga in the vineyards, and jazz concerts on the lawn. Add in acres of ornamental gardens, fountains, and sun terraces and guests will never tire of life. There’s even a donkey sanctuary and a small maze!
    $200 - $500/night
  • Chateau De Fonscolombe (Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade)
    This castle, which dates back to the 1700s (but only became a hotel in 2017), is designed in an Italianate style and is the perfect spot for wine-loving couples. With a winery by the same name, this property produces organic reds, whites, and rosés on premises. There are a total of 50 rooms, with just 13 in the castle building—so book early if you’re craving more character and a stellar view of the garden. Bonus points for the hotel’s library and music room, too.
    $250 - $500/night

Read more:

Journy's top recommendations:

COVID-19 Update (9/10/20)
France is not currently open to Americans, but American Airlines is scheduled to resume service from New York (JFK) to Paris (CDG) in winter 2020.

5. Bali

Best for culture enthusiasts, beach bums, and outdoor adventurers

Bali, Indonesia

Renowned as one of the most beautiful beach destinations, Bali delivers on everything you’d come to expect from it—and then some. While the island in Indonesia is mostly known for its sand, surf, and meditation retreats, there's a wealth of culture to explore. The Uluwatu Temple sits perched on the edge of a cliff surrounded by water on three sides, and the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary will make you feel as if you’ve stepped in The Jungle Book. With countless more hidden treasures, a warm and welcoming community, and world-class resorts, Bali has earned a well-deserved spot on our list of best honeymoon destinations.

Top highlights:

  • Cliffside ocean views at Uluwatu Temple
    There’s nothing quite like watching the sunset from this temple located on a 70-meter cliff with sweeping, pinch-me-this-can’t-be-real views of the Indian Ocean. If you come around 4PM, you’ll even get a good seat for the traditional Kecek Dance, which starts every night at 6PM. Afterwards, if you’re feeling up to it, head to the nearby Rock Bar (which is also situated on a cliff overlooking the ocean) for drinks.
  • Snorkel with Manta Rays by Nusa Penida
    Take a guided snorkeling and diving trip to swim with majestic manta rays—first exploring Crystal Bay and Mangrove (think white sand beaches and pristine ocean) before continuing to Manta Point.
  • Sacred Forest
    The Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal is one of Ubud’s must-see attractions. At this natural forest sanctuary home to long-tailed macaques, you can marvel as the monkeys swing through the canopies, munch on bananas, and even climb on you if you want to feed them yourself! Enjoy a walk through the leafy nutmeg forest for views of ancient temples and moss-covered guardian statues.
  • Batu Bolong Beach
    This surfing beach boasts waves suitable for beginners and a variety of great surf schools to get you up on a board in no time.

Single city or multi-city destination?

While in Bali, we recommend exploring beyond Ubud to Uluwatu, which has the best sunsets, beautiful cliffside views, countless spas and romantic accommodation options, and smaller crowds. Canggu is also an option, as well as day trips to the Gili Islands and Nusa Penida.

Trade-offs of traveling to Bali for your honeymoon:

The biggest consideration with Bali is the flight duration. Depending on where you’re coming from, you can be traveling for as long as 24 hours, with a layover.

Plan My Bali Honeymoon

Best places to stay:

  • Chapung Sebali
    Chapung Sebali is perched up high among the hills, lush wilderness, and rice fields of Ubud—but just a ten-minute drive from the center of town. It’s home to Jungle Fish, an open-air, split-level restaurant with a pool and swim-up bar, as well as a speakeasy bar, the Blind Pig. Their tranquil spa offers is also a main draw for honeymooners.
    $300 - $500/night
  • Viceroy Bali
    For a luxurious villa experience in the heart of the “Valley of the Kings,” look no further than Viceroy Bali. With an open-air porch covered with a thatched roof, stellar views over the palm tree groves, a serene pool, and a spa that offers the best of both Western and local traditional techniques, Viceroy Bali offers everything a couple on their honeymoon could want—and then some.
  • The Amala
    The spacious interiors and Japanese-inspired décor at this property in Seminyak are finely executed, and each villa offers a private pool inside the walls of a personal courtyard. Larger villas ramp up the living space with kitchenettes, while the massive three-bedroom Amala Residence offers a fully equipped kitchen and a more expansive pool, complete with outdoor daybed. Locally sourced Balinese wood and marble contribute to a decidedly eco-friendly experience, and mineral water filtration and solar panels make renewability tangible.
    $180 - $300/night

COVID-19 Update (8/24/20)
The Governor of Bali (Wayan Koster) announced in a press conference that Bali is scheduled to open for international tourism at the end of 2020.

6. Greece

Best for hopeless romantics, foodies, cultural enthusiasts, and beach bums

Santorini, Greece

Although the cities and myths of Greece have been famous for thousands of years, classical culture isn’t the only draw. The Greek people make eating, drinking, and relaxing an art form, and it will surprise you how easy it is to get on their wavelength while on your honeymoon. With over 13,000 km of coast across two thousand islands, there’s a seemingly endless amount of beaches, coves, and nightclubs to discover in the cradle of Western Civilization.

Top highlights:

In Athens...

  • The Acropolis / The Parthenon
    The most famous surviving building of ancient Greece and one of the most famous buildings in the world, the Parthenon is the magnificent temple that crowns the Acropolis. Dedicated to the goddess Athena, it was built in the 5th century BC and remains a masterpiece of architectural harmony.
  • Monastiraki Square
    In the heart of the flea market neighborhood in old Athens, Monastiraki is a former monastery and beautiful square buzzing with people, music, restaurants, and shops, including an antique market bursting with curiosities. Grab a peach at one of the fresh fruit stands and check out TAF (The Arts Foundation) a cool café/bar/art gallery.
  • The Temple of Olympian Zeus
    The Temple of Olympian Zeus is a colossal temple in ruins in the center of Athens, southeast of the Acropolis. Built over centuries and finally completed in the second century AD, it was then the largest temple in all of Greece, though only 15 of its original 104 Corinthian columns are still standing today. It’s especially impressive at night when the floodlights are on.
  • Plaka
    Whether it’s clothing, food, or souvenirs you’re after, the tiny streets of the Plaka make for a great stroll. If you’re looking for better deals, venture into the areas between the Plaka and Syntagma, and between Syntagma and Omonia. You'll find all the spots where locals shop (at non-tourist prices).
  • Erechtheion (Athena & Poseidon’s temple)
    Dedicated to Athena and Poseidon, The Erechtheion is an especially elegant temple on the north side of the Acropolis. Built in the year 420, it was a site of religious rituals and is still home to the famous the famous Caryatids, a half-dozen massive, life-like female statues that guard the southwest corner of the temple.

On the islands...

  • Mykonos Windmills
    The Mykonos Windmills are iconic symbols of this beautiful, little island. Located just South of Mykonos Town along the shore, the windmills were originally built in the 17th Century. There were once as many as 20 windmills, used for refining grain on trade routes between Venice and Asia, though now only seven remain in this cluster (called Kato Mili). They are no longer in use, but are a wonderful place to visit and photograph.
  • Platis Gialos Beach
    Located on the southern side of Mykonos Island (about four km from Mykonos Town), Platys Gialos is a gorgeous beach lined with tons of restaurants, beach cabanas, and luxury hotels. The beach is so well organized for enjoyment that you can often walk straight from your hotel down to the beach and post up at a cabana, never leaving except to swim (yes, you can order food and drinks from nearby restaurants directly to your sunbed). Surrounded by hills, it remains protected from the strong winds, and offers full-scale facilities for water skiing, jet skiing, banana boats, and all kinds of other water activities.
  • Kamari Beach
    The black sand at Santorini’s Kamari beach is leftover from a volcanic eruption from thousands of years ago—and it’s now the setting for one of the trendiest party spots on the island. Lined with restaurants, shops, bars, and cafes, the beachfront is especially lovely on a moonlit night.

Single city or multi-city destination?

From the capital city of Athens to the islands of Santorini, Mykonos, and Crete, Greece is most certainly a multi-city destination.

Trade-offs of traveling to Greece for your honeymoon:

Depending on when you travel, it can be crowded with tourists—and, as a result, on the pricier side. But keep in mind that there are always smaller, more quaint islands (e.g., Naxos, Elafonisos) outside of the most recognizable (e.g., Mykonos) to visit which may offer the experience you’re looking for, even during peak tourist season. Regardless, we always advise travelers to keep tabs on the cruise ship schedules to avoid a flood of tourists on their honeymoon.

Plan My Greece Honeymoon

Best places to stay:

In Athens...

  • New Hotel
    This hip, artsy hotel is just a five-minute stroll from Syntagma Square, an 11-minute walk from the ancient Parthenon, and just three km from the National Archaeological Museum—placing it in the ideal, central location for your honeymoon.
    $300 - $500/night
  • St George Lycabettus
    In an unassuming building with views of the the Saronic Islands, this contemporary hotel is a three-minute walk from the nearest bus station and two km from the iconic Acropolis of Athens. Amenities include a spa, on-site art gallery, and seasonal rooftop pool with a breezy bar, plus a 6th-floor Mediterranean restaurant with views of the Acropolis.

On the islands…

  • Boheme Mykonos
    This adult-only luxury hotel in the heart of Mykonos (right near the windmills) features a stellar spa, outdoor swimming pool, lounge area, and sunbathing deck—all with unique sunset views to the islands of Delos, as well as panoramic views of the Aegean Sea. The on-site restaurant offers locally-sourced Mediterranean fare, with a bar dishing out refreshing cocktails and wines. There’s even a Mykonian garden where regular yoga classes are offered.
  • Aressana Hotel and Spa (Santorini)
    This serene, luxury hotel and spa sits on a cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea. It’s only a six-minute walk from the Archaeological Museum of Thera and an eight-minute walk from the Santorini cable car, which means more time for relaxation on your honeymoon and less time en route from one place to the next. The interior is bright and spacious, with large windows that allow the sunshine to stream through.
    $300 - $500/night

Read more:

Journy's top recommendations:

7. Tulum

Best for beach bums, foodies, and outdoor adventurers

Tulum, Mexico

With its ancient castle perched on a cliff above the white sand beaches and turquoise waters of the Caribbean, Tulum has become the newest must-visit destinations for beach-going honeymooners who also want a dose of culture. The once hippie-beach bum paradise has now become a trendier incarnation of its younger self—although you can still find pockets of authenticity next to beach clubs, yoga studios, and meditation retreats. Beach and nightlife aside, there are also many natural wonders to see, such as the much-famed cenotes (limestone sinkholes connected to underwater rivers and caves).  

Top highlights:

  • Playa Paraiso
    As the name suggests, this beach is about as picturesque as can be, with swaying palms, crystal blue waters, and a glittering white-sand beach. Dotted by cabanas offering lunch, beers, and ice cream at super reasonable prices, you won’t ever want to leave this gorgeous slice of paradise.
  • Grand Cenote
    Gran Cenote is but one part of an underground river system that was exposed by the very meteor that was the demise of the dinosaurs. Snorkel through the caves and overhangs, and dangle from stalactites if the water level is high enough. There isn't an address, but your Journy trip designer can help you get there.
  • Mayan ruins
    The Tulum Ruins are where the Mayans once gathered and held ceremonies. Perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the turquoise blue waters, this site offers some great exploring, incredible photo opportunities, and one of Mexico’s most tranquil beaches right next door.

Single city or multi-city destination?

It depends. Some couples come specifically for the jungle vibe of Tulum and choose to exclusively stay there to enjoy a close proximity to nature while others include day trips to Playa del Carmen or Cancun if their trip is more than a few days long.

Trade-offs of traveling to Tulum for your honeymoon:

Because there isn’t a public transportation system, you have to either rent a car or use a taxi to get around.

Plan My Tulum Honeymoon

Best places to stay:

  • La Valise Tulum
    One of the primary draws of La Valise Tulum is the fact that on one side, you have the jungle—and on the other? The Caribbean. They have one restaurant on premises that serves breakfast and lunch with an emphasis on Mayan-influenced local cuisine, and another (NÜ Tulum) that’s open for dinner and features a dream team of seven Mexico City chefs.
  • Nomade Tulum
    For an authentic Tulum vibe, look no further than Nomade Tulum, a hotel that boasts an “authentic representation and revival of the Mayan culture.” The interior decor is stunning, but you’ll probably be spending most of your time at the restaurant right on the sand, or at one of the daily yoga classes and wellness activities.
    $300 - $500/night
  • Joy Tulum
    This adults-only property offers unique, bungalow-type rooms, an outdoor pool, complimentary bicycles, and tour/ticket options. On-site self-parking is complimentary, making it the perfect option if you choose to rent a car. Because it’s in the city center, there are several restaurants and activities nearby.
    $100 - $180/night

Read more:

COVID-19 Update
Mexico is open for US passport holders.

8. Italy

Best for culture enthusiasts, foodies, hopeless romantics, beach bums, and outdoor adventurers

Cinque Terre, Italy

From the rich history, art, and culture to the slow pace of the Italian lifestyle and energy of its nightlife, it’s nearly impossible to not feel like you’re on vacation here. Whether you’re taking a dip in the crisp Alpine waters of Lake Como, shopping in Rome, wine tasting in Tuscany, or island hopping on the Amalfi coast, you’re guaranteed amazing food, beautiful surroundings, and a taste of la dolce vita on your honeymoon. What’s more, you don’t have to pigeonhole the trip into a single category. You can get all the delicious food, urban city exploration, culture, history, time in the countryside, and even a dose of the beach and amazing hiking/outdoor time.

Top highlights:

  • Spectacular food and wine
    For honeymooners who are interested in food, Italy is arguably one of the best places to visit. From hole-in-the-wall trattorias to truffle hunting, wine tasting to ultra-fine dining at Michelin temples of gastronomy such as Osteria Francescana, Italy’s food culture is internationally celebrated for good reason.
  • Historic art and architecture
    It’s impossible to list the full breadth of Italy’s historic marvels. In Rome alone, there’s the 2,000-year-old Pantheon, the great gladitorial arena of The Colosseum, the lavishly Baroque Trevi Fountain, and the most famous people-watching perch in the whole city, the Spanish Steps.  
  • Quintessentially European beaches
    One of our favorites is Fiordo de Furore, a tiny, 25 m-long hidden beach on the Amalfi Coast that was originally used as a landing stage for commercial crafts. Today, because of a bridge that spans the width of the fiord, it only catches the sun in the early hours of the morning and, as a result, never gets too hot.

Single city or multi-city destination?

If there’s one country that epitomizes a multi-city destination, it’s Italy. Here at Journy, the most popular combo of cities we plan for is Florence, Rome, and Venice—with the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre growing in popularity as well. Tuscany is vast, but the Chianti region and Montepulciano area are the most popular for those looking to experience Italian agriculture. And come summer, Milan and Lake Como spike in popularity.

Trade-offs of traveling to Italy for your honeymoon:

There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about Italy for your honeymoon:

For one, it’s clear the secret is out that Italy is spectacular, which means it’s a fairly touristy destination—at least in the major cities This means that it’s best experienced when planned for well in advance in order to get early access to world-famous attractions like the Vatican, Uffizi, or the Galleria dell’Accademia (to see The David).

Additionally, if you want to experience Tuscany, driving is pretty much necessary. It is possible to get a private driver for a tour, but that can get fairly pricey. If you’re not strategic about the best transportation options (e.g., we encourage travelers to fly from Venice to the Amalfi coast rather than drive), you could spend more time traversing the country than actually enjoying it.

Plan My Italy Honeymoon

Best places to stay:

In Rome...

  • D.O.M. Hotel Rome
    D.O.M hotel is located in the heart of Papal Rome in a 17th century aristocratic palazzo on one of the city’s oldest and most iconic streets (Via Guilia). With just 18 rooms, it exudes a supremely intimate feel, with large stately mirrors and oversized decorative headboards contributing to the Venetian style. The romantic rooftop terrace offers guests spectacular views of the city center, along with an exclusive view of the Tiber River and Giancolo’s verdant green hills. The restaurant on premises, Verve, boasts two acclaimed chefs, Adriano Magnoli and Antonella Mascolo, at the helm.  
  • Relais Orso
    Location-wise, it doesn’t get much better than the Piazza Navona/Pantheon area where Relais Orso is located. What’s more, it’s just an eight-minute walk from Via Condotti and Piazza di Spagna, Rome’s exclusive shopping district. And with a comfortable, modern room design and rooftop garden, the property offers a welcome respite after a long day out and about the city.
    $180 - $300/night

In Florence...

  • Portrait Firenze
    Portrait, which is located in the city center near the Duomo, likes to think of themselves less as a traditional “luxury hotel” and more as a “personal place, an all-suite property, where discerning travelers find the exclusivity they relish.” The atmosphere is lively, the walls are decked in contemporary art, and their on-site osteria, Caffè dell’Oro channels 50s vintage and offers unparalleled views of the Ponte Vecchio—as well as inspired Italian classic dishes, of course.
  • Oltrarno Splendid
    Oltrarno Splendid is tucked away in a quieter area of the city—but still just minutes from the Ponte Vecchio and historic center. The 14 rooms at this boutique bed and breakfast are each individually and eclectically designed with diverse furniture, bespoke pieces of art, original frescoes, and in-room bathtubs.
    $180 - $300/night

In the Amalfi area...

  • Villa Piedimonte (Ravello)
    If there’s one word we’d use to describe Ville Piedimonte, it’s magical. Nestled between the vast blue sea and the lush coast, this hotel is housed in an ancient 12-century residence. It’s contemporary and quiet, has a pool with stunning views of the coast, and gets major bonus points for its free sweet and savory breakfast buffet.
    $300 - $500+/night
  • Art Hotel Villa Fiorella
    As its name suggests, Art Hotel Villa Fiorella is part-contemporary art gallery, part-hotel in the secluded, quiet village of Massa Lubrense—just a few kilometers from Sorrento. It’s tucked away in the olive and lemon trees, and offers sweeping views of the sea.
    $180 - $300/night

Read more:

Journy's top recommendations:

COVID-19 Update (9/10/20)
Italy is not currently open to Americans (only member countries of the EU, countries within the Schengen Zone, the UK, Northern Ireland, and Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican). However, nearby Croatia is (as of 7/1) as long as travelers show proof of accommodation or tourist-based activity and a negative-PCR test. Schedule a call with Journy to learn more.

9. Thailand

Best for culture enthusiasts, foodies, hopeless romantics, beach bums, and outdoor adventurers


Thailand is a land of energy, spirituality, history, stunning natural wonders, and a cuisine celebrated for its focus on fresh, local ingredients. But what ends up winning every honeymooning couple over are the hospitable locals that make this country even more astounding. Explore the golden temples and bustling cities, escape to an island, and marvel at the expansive rice patties. Go to a music festival, or a yoga retreat, or an animal sanctuary. Whatever you decide, this vivacious country will dazzle you with its diversity and beauty.

Top highlights:

  • Wat Pho Temple
    As the largest and oldest wat (temple) in Bangkok, Wat Pho is home to the gigantic reclining Buddha, in addition to countless more statues of the Buddha (more than any other Bangkok temple!).  
  • The Grand Palace
    Next door to the Reclining Buddha, the Grand Palace is part of every visitor’s 'must-see' list. Built in 1782 by King Rama I who established Bangkok as Thailand's new capital, the Grand Palace became the Royal seat of power for 150 years.
  • Wat Chiang Mun Si Phum
    Chiang Mai's oldest temple dates back to 1296 when it was established by the city’s founder, Phaya Mengrai. Keep an eye out for the oldest-known Buddha image in the sanctuary that was cast in 1465.
  • Some of the most famous street food in the world
    Bangkok is home to Jay Fai, the most famous street food chef in the world—with a Michelin star to boot. Outside of her world-famous omelettes, a dish she’s known for is her tom yum soup—a spicy, salty and tart quintessential Thai favorite.
  • Phi Phi Islands
    Perhaps southern Thailand’s most sought after destination, Ko Phi-Phi is a thin stretch of beauty, as imposing cliffs tower over glimmering white sand beaches. The two hour boat ride will give you a glorious view of the Andaman sea while getting you to Ko Phi Phi in time for a full afternoon of exploring. After you take a dip, consider hiking up to Phi Phi’s scenic viewpoint for a bird’s eye view and picture of this unforgettable place.
  • Ethical Elephant Sanctuary
    The first ethical elephant sanctuary in Phuket opened in 2017 as a retirement home for old, sick, injured, or otherwise overworked elephants who have been subjected to abusive practices by trekking companies. Although you cannot ride the elephants here, you can feed them and watch them roam and play.

Single city or multi-city destination?

Thailand is the perfect multi-city (and island!) destination for honeymooners—with Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Samui being the most popular.

Trade-offs of traveling to Thailand for your honeymoon:

The traffic in Bangkok can be particularly difficult to navigate, especially during peak season (November through March). Another consideration is weather, as monsoon season can vary for each city.

Plan My Thailand Honeymoon

Best places to stay:

In Bangkok…

  • 137 Pillars Suites
    This five-star hotel is located in the upscale neighborhood of Sukhumvit-Thonglor, near many of the best bars and restaurants. It’s close to the city’s best shopping, but if you’re hoping to explore beyond the neighborhood, the hotel also offers free shuttles to other shopping hubs. Once you return to the hotel, relax at the on-site spa (with 24-hour fitness, yoga, and meditation studios) or grab a bite at the wellness-oriented fine dining restaurant, Nimitr, whose menu is tailored to your needs (e.g., relaxation, fatigue, jet lag, flexibility, etc).
    $300 - $500/night
  • Avani+ Riverside
    This fairly new, five-star hotel is in the Thon Buri neighborhood, which is a bit further from the city center but incredibly charming with a more “local” feel. With a solid rooftop bar and restaurant, sleek rooms overlooking the river, and stunning skyline views, it's the perfect honeymoon spot.
    $100 - $180/night

In Chiang Mai…

  • 137 Pillars House
    While most are drawn to 137 Pillars House for its proximity to the city center, the true allure resides in its tranquil atmosphere that evokes the Lanna culture. It’s nestled in a jungle-like garden, with home-style wooden houses outfitted with expansive daybeds, signature planters, rattan rocking chairs, high ceilings, en suite dressing rooms, and indoor/outdoor garden showers.  
  • Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel and Spa
    The Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel & Spa is located close to the Night Bazaar and is one of the most popular choices for Journy travelers to Chiang Mai. It’s built in the colonial style (think spotless white exterior and “gingerbread” architecture) and offers travelers a respite from the city with a tranquil pool, stocked library, and Nakara Spa.
    $150 - $300/night

Read more:

COVID-19 Update (9/21/20)
According to Tourism Authority governor Yuthasak Supasorn, Thailand is scheduled to start offering new long-term visas that would allow foreigners to enter the country—with some stipulations. Visitors must abide by the 14-day quarantine and remain in Thailand for a minimum of 90 days.

10. Portugal

Best for culture enthusiasts, foodies, hopeless romantics, beach bums, and outdoor adventurers

Lisbon, Portugal 

As the first global empire, this small and beautiful country on the southwest corner of the Iberian Peninsula has had a huge impact on history, bringing in riches untold which can be seen in its capital city, Lisbon, and along the glamorous Portuguese Riviera. With over 1000 miles of coastline and some of the most sunshine in Europe, it’s easy to see why Portugal is a dream honeymoon destination. From the colorful Pena Palace to hillside villages like Óbidos, Portugal holds many treasures waiting to be discovered. And for all the surfers out there, take note. Peniche boasts the most consistent waves in Europe.

Top highlights:

  • Belem Tower
    The Belem Tower has been standing sentinel to the city at the edge of the Taugus River since 1519. Because of its location and fortified walls, the tower was integral in maritime strategy during the age of discoveries. Today it boasts extraordinary 360° views that are worth the wait for the the narrow stairway.
  • Alfama
    The oldest neighborhood in Lisbon provides a step back in time with its narrow streets and stairways, tiny squares, historic churches, intimate cafes, and whitewashed residences. Surprisingly, you'll also find a stylish modern development by the waterfront, which features restaurants, designer shops, and one of the region’s best clubs, "Lux." Three top sights to see are Saint George’s Castle (Castelo de S. Jorge), the Tile Museum (Museu Nacional do Azulejo), and Sao Vicente de Fora Church.
  • Pena Palace
    Presiding over the hills outside Sintra is Peña Palace, built onto an existing monastery in the 19th century by King Ferdinand II. The building itself has a colorful exterior and was fashioned after German Romantic architecture. The surrounding similarly styled park is a nature lover’s paradise, with exotic and native plants (500 species of trees!) dotting the winding paths and pavilions nestled within. Peña Palace is just one of many beautiful landmarks within Sintra National Park.
  • Douro Valley
    East of Porto is the Douro Valley, one of the most revered viticultural regions on the globe—and the birthplace of Port, the queen of fortified red wines. Equal parts sophistication and wilderness, the Valley is an underrated destination for outdoor adventure, small town exploration, and, of course, major wine tasting.
  • Algarve
    With well over 300 days of annual sunshine, Portugal’s southernmost region doubles as the sunniest corner in Europe. And with the country’s best beaches, characterized by golden cliffs and turquoise waters, the Algarve is unmissable for Mediterranean flair on the Atlantic shore.
  • Cascais
    Another ideal day trip from the capital is the golden sands of Cascais. A train ride from Lisbon’s Cais do Sodré station will transport you there in about 30 minutes for just under €5 round-trip. A few beaches are reachable by foot from the Cascais town center, like Praia da Ribeira or Praia da Rainha, with sand dune beaches like Praia da Cresmina a bit farther out. Rent a bike for a coastal cruise until you locate your preferred sandy stretch.

Single city or multi-city destination?

Portugal is best explored as a multi-city destination to experience the capital of Lisbon in addition to Sintra, Porto, Douro Valley, and the Algarve region.

Trade-offs of traveling to Portugal for your honeymoon:

If you want to experience the different regions of Portugal, you’ll need to rent a car to get around and explore the small towns—which, depending on the traveler, can be either a pro or a con. Another potential trade-off? Weather. If you go during the wintertime, odds are it’ll be quite rainy most of the time.

Plan My Portugal Honeymoon

Best places to stay:

In Lisbon…

  • Fontecruz Lisboa
    This boutique hotel is located in Lisbon’s top shopping district, within walking distance to Rossio Square and the Baixa District. It’s a part of the Marriott family/Autograph Collection, and sports thoughtfully-crafted, traditional Portuguese design elements—plus soundproof windows to drown out any sounds from the city.
    $300 - $500/night
  • Memmo Alfama
    As its name suggests, Memmo Alfama can be found in the heart of the Alfama district, one of Lisbon’s oldest and most historic. Its 42 rooms—all with a sleek, simple design—overlook the river Tagus, as does the terrace wine bar and pool.
    $180 - $300/night

In Porto…

  • Villa Foz Hotel and Spa
    Housed in a palatial building that provides a tranquil respite, yet close enough (~15 minutes) to Porto’s vibrant city center, Villa Foz Hotel and Spa is truly the best of both worlds. Don’t miss the spa, which offers stunning views overlooking the Atlantic, as well as the two excellent on-site restaurants, Vila Foz and Flor de Lis.
    $300 - $500/night

Read more:

Journy's top recommendations:

COVID-19 Update (9/10/20)
Portugal is not currently open to Americans; however, if you're set on a waterfront European destination, consider Croatia, which has been open since 7/1 as long as travelers show proof of accommodation or tourist-based activitiy and a negative PCR test. Schedule a call with Journy to learn more.

11. Japan

Best for culture enthusiasts and foodies


Japan exists at the cutting edge of technology, walking the line between tradition and modernity with tea houses and kimono-clad geishas side-by-side with soaring skyscrapers. It’s a country rife with special experiences for newlyweds, including high-end dining (sushi omakase or kaiseki), a stay unlike any other at a luxury ryokan, or the chance to explore a niche interest, such as sword-making, denim, sake, whisky, etc.

Top highlights:

  • High-end dining
    Sushi omakase, kaiseki, etc.
  • Tsukiji Fish Market
    Although the inner Tsukiji market (along with the infamous tuna auction) closed a few years back and relocated to the new Toyosu Market, Tsukiji is still worth visiting. Grab breakfast or take a stroll through the more than 300 local shops that remain in the Outer Market. In addition to dried seaweed, fruit, vegetables, and fresh sashimi, you'll find sushi knives, kitchen utensils, and other culinary tools.
  • Traditional temples and shrines of Kyoto
    An ancient capital strewn with shrines, temples, and torii gates, Kyoto is the city most envisage when Japan comes to mind. A cultural hub and a tourist hot spot, it's at the heart of the Kansai region and a chance to experience the many traditions of the country. The city is dotted with over 1600 Zen Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines, making it a non-stop sightseeing opportunity.
  • Geishas in the Gion district
    Situated along the Kamogawa river banks, the Gion District is a fascinating mix of old and new Kyoto. Some streets are lit by teahouse lanterns, while tall buildings and fluorescent lights glow a street away. Shirakawa is a popular area of Gion, where you’ll find restaurants and tea shops shrouded by willows that overhang the river. Gion is also Kyoto’s most famous geisha district, and you might catch a glimpse of a beautiful kimono among the crowds.
  • Street food in Osaka
    Tokyo may be the cosmopolitan center of Japan, with Kyoto its cultural, historical sister, but Osaka is where the Japanese go to eat. Historically a merchant city, the Osaka of today bustles with fantastic street food and great nightlife, all while being more laid-back and approachable than its siblings to the east. The foods its best known for? Okonomiyaki (a type of doctored-up, savory pancake) and takoyaki (fried dough balls filled with minced octopus, tempura scraps, pickled ginger, and green onion).

Single city or multi-city destination?

Japan is almost always a multi-city destination. If travelers are spending the standard 10 days in-country, we generally recommend 3-4 nights in Tokyo, 1 night in Hakone, and 3-4 nights in Kyoto (with associated potential day trips).

Trade-offs of traveling to Japan for your honeymoon:

Japan isn’t the most leisurely or relaxing destination for your honeymoon. Planning itself can be a significant amount of work since there are a lot of logistics to consider—not to mention restaurant reservations—which some may not want to think about while planning a wedding. Because there’s so much to see, when you’re on the trip, you won’t be spending your time lazing away at a hotel or relaxing beachside.

Plan My Japan Honeymoon

Best places to stay:

In Tokyo…

  • Andaz Tokyo
    Meet Andaz, a sleek, luxury addition to Hyatt’s boutique brand of hotels. Views from the Rooftop Bar 52 stories up at the top of this soaring skyscraper are unrivaled, and the spacious, modern Japanese decor will make you feel right at home. The property is ideally located near the Imperial Palace and Tokyo Tower.
  • Trunk Hotel
    Nestled on a quiet street, Trunk Hotel is a mere 10-minute walk away from the colorful frenzy of Harajuku and Omotesando (like a youth-driven Fifth Avenue of Tokyo). The lobby bar is abuzz at all hours, with a restaurant featuring an airy chef’s counter facing an open kitchen. Choose terrace seating or gather your own group in the private dining room as you lunch on cheery bento boxes accompanied by fresh juices and a wide selection of low-intervention wines. You’ll also find sake, shochu, and hyperlocally brewed beers, plus honey from the Shibuya Honeybee Project. Trunk essentially borrowed the concept of a boutique hotel and made it better.
    $300 - $500/night
  • Millennium Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza
    This hotel is an upmarket option from the popular mid-range Japanese hotel brand Mitsui Garden. The trendy design touches and central location among Tokyo's best shopping and dining make it a fabulous choice. The buffet breakfast gets high marks from travelers as well.
    $180 - $300/night

In Kyoto…

  • Hotel The Celestine Gion
    Between its amazing service and proximity to Kyoto's highlights, including the historic Gion District, Hotel The Celestine is a solid choice for a midrange stay in Kyoto.
    $180 - $300/night
  • Sowaka
    Traditional accommodations are combined with a newly renovated machiya at this upscale ryokan in the heart of Kyoto's best temples.
  • Cross Hotel Kyoto
    This is one of our most-booked hotels in Kyoto. It's very well-located: directly between Gion District, Nishiki Market, and Pontocho Alley—and right along the river, which is a nice spot to walk. All in all, it's an excellent spot from which to explore Kyoto for your honeymoon.
    $100 - $180/night
  • Kyoto Granbell Hotel
    This is also one of our most booked hotels in Japan. From its amazing location right in historic Gion District to the public bath overlooking a traditional garden, Kyoto Granbell is a fabulous stay for honeymooners looking for a modern property with traditional touches.
    $100 - $180/night

Read more:

Journy's top recommendations:

12. Iceland

Best for outdoor adventurers, foodies, and hopeless romantics


Just south of the Arctic Circle and bursting with active volcanoes, Iceland truly is the land of ice and fire. Given its unique position on the globe, Iceland boasts a variety of dramatic geographic features: glaciers, volcanoes, fjords, geysers, black sand beaches, and lava fields. The capital Reykjavik combines the trendy cool of Scandinavia with the laid-back pace of a small island nation. While it can be on the chilly side (even in the middle of the summer), what better excuse is there to get cozy and snuggle up in a bubble tent under the stars, go glamping, or dip into a geothermal spa? With easy connections to both North America and Europe, it’s now easier than ever for newlyweds to discover what makes Iceland so special.

Top highlights:

  • Blue Lagoon
    Embrace the natural beauty of Iceland’s geothermal landscape while indulging in the ultimate spa treatment. The price of admission includes full access to the blue-white waters, a Silica skin-purifying mud mask, saunas, and steam rooms. Enjoy a perfect back massage under the Waterfall, a man-made falls designed specifically for tension relief. The swim-up Lagoon bar serves up delicious cocktails you can enjoy without leaving the water. When you’re fully soothed and steamed, dine at the stunning Lava restaurant, carved directly into the black volcanic rock, which overlooks the lagoon.
  • Kerid Crater
    Kerid Crater, and the lake that fills it, is one of the major sights along the Golden Circle. Not far from Selfoss, Kerid Crater is remarkably beautiful—it’s mirror-like lake, surrounding pine forest, and dramatic vistas make this a must-visit for hikers with some of the best photo ops in Iceland.
  • Gullfoss Falls
    Located about 1.5 hours from Reykjavik on the Golden Circle road, the Gullfoss Waterfall is a spectacular sight. The Hvítá River drops about 100 feet and falls into deep crevice, creating thick mist.
  • Secret Lagoon (Spa and Natural Hot Springs)
    Set in the village of Fludir in the so-called Golden Circle, the Secret Lagoon is a spa and natural hot spring where the water stays at a constant temperature of 38-40°C (100-104°F) all year long. The setting is striking: a series of natural pools with steam floating off the top and a mini geyser that erupts every five minutes. The spa offers modern facilities next to the hot springs complete with showers, a bar, and an eating area.
  • Thingvellir National Park
    Thingvellir National Park is a monument to the area where the people of Iceland historically convened for general assembly (“Althing”) from 930 to 1798, thus earning it the nickname, “Parliamentary Plains.” Remnants of stone and turf booths from the Althing remain. Located 49 km east of Reykjavik, Thingvellir National Park is an active volcanic site, with a major rift characterizing the dramatic and beautiful landscape of the park.

Single city or multi-city destination?

There are two primary ways to see Iceland: Reykjavik-based or Ring Road.

  1. Reykjavik-based:
    When you base yourself in the city, you can experience an in-depth exploration of the history, museums, and food scene while doing all activities pertaining to the natural wonders (e.g. Golden Circle, South Coast, Snaefellsnes Peninsula) as a day trip.
  2. Ring Road:
    With this approach, you’ll drive the perimeter of the country, which is an all-or-nothing experience since it’s a loop with no efficient way to cut across the middle. This method of seeing the country is particularly suited for outdoor adventurers, but keep in mind that our resident Iceland expert doesn’t recommend fewer than 10 days with this route. Otherwise, you’ll be driving too many hours of the day for it to feel like the vacation you deserve after all that wedding planning!

Trade-offs of traveling to Iceland for your honeymoon:

Some of Iceland’s cozy highlights are also drawbacks: the cold is real, and something to be considered and prepared for no matter how warm you expect a given month to be. Additionally, depending on the time of year, the deep winter months can make for dangerous travel conditions, especially when traveling Ring Road.

Plan My Iceland Honeymoon

Best places to stay:

  • CenterHotel Arnarhvoll
    CenterHotel Arnarhvoll boasts some of the best views in Reykjavik—especially from their rooftop SKY Restaurant & Bar, which overlooks the mountains reflecting in Faxaflói Bay (the house cocktails are even named after mountain peaks!). What’s more, they have a hot tub on-site, along with a sauna and relaxation area for a dose of post-wedding R&R.
    $300 - $500/night
  • Sand Hotel by Keahotels
    Location-wise, it doesn’t get much better than Sand Hotel by Keahotels, which is situated within walking distance from a slew of shops, cafes, restaurants, and attractions—from Reykjavik City Hall to the National Gallery of Iceland and Hlemmur Food Hall. It’s nestled between three historic buildings housing the Sandholt Bakery, Gudsteinn Eyjólfsson haberdashery, and the birth location of the Nobel writer Halldor Laxness. The 78 well-decorated rooms are comfortable and modern.
    $180 - $300/night

Journy's top recommendations:

13. Spain

Best for beach bums, foodies, hopeless romantics, and culture enthusiasts


It is amidst stunning cities and ravishing countryside that the Spanish people live their lives with seemingly one goal in mind: to enjoy life to the fullest. Eating, drinking, and resting are a way of life—as is music, dancing, and soccer (or should we say football). Comprised of several kingdoms united after the Christian Reconquista, the various regions all have their own unique culture and languages, but the joy and slow pace of life is palpable throughout. While the larger cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville are major draws for their architecture, museums, and history, there’s a seemingly endless amount of smaller towns, villages, and beaches with a mashup of Moorish and Spanish culture that are worthy of your time in España. So grab a sangria, take a siesta, eat to your heart’s delight, and let yourself unwind with your spouse on the Iberian Peninsula.

Top highlights:

  • Gaudí architecture in Barcelona
    From the world-famous Sagrada Familia, to Park Güell and Casa Milà, evidence of Antoni Gaudí’s genius and creativity is ubiquitous in Barcelona.
  • Flamenco in Seville
    Swirling skirts, clicking castanets, rousing rhythms: flamenco encapsulates the drama and verve of Seville. This southern Spanish city is frequently called the birthplace of flamenco. In 2006, the Museo del Baile Flamenco opened to celebrate flamenco's origins.
  • The Alhambra in Granada
    The Alhambra has to be seen to be believed, a UNESCO World Heritage that is one part palace and one part fortress. The embodiment of Moorish culture, its presence is grand, moving, and historic. Taking its name from the Arabic Red Castle, it was converted to a fortress-palace complex during the 13th and 14th centuries.
  • Prado Museum in Madrid
    Arguable the most famous art museum in Spain (not to mention one of the richest collections of 16th-19th century European art in the world), the Museo del Prado contains works by some of the most well-known and sought-after artists of the era such as El Greco, Goya, Titian, Ruben, Hieronymus Bosch, and Velázquez.
  • Most Michelin stars per capita in San Sebastián
    The Spanish autonomous community located just southwest of France, aka Basque country, is known globally as a culinary mecca. The roughly Delaware-sized area is not only blessed with a diverse geographical landscape—which gifts the locals with high-quality fresh fish from the sea and delicious meats and produce from the inland valleys—but it's also home to some of the best chefs in the world. The coastal city of San Sebastián is particularly esteemed and has one of the highest numbers of Michelin stars per square meter. If there were a couple of choices to pick from, Mugaritz and Restaurante Arzak should be at the top (your Journy trip designer can help snag those reservations for you).

Single city or multi-city destination?

Definitely multi-city, including Barcelona, Seville, San Sebastián, Madrid, and Granada. (Your Journy trip designer can help sort out how much time to spend in each city and generally how to structure the trip to make the most of your time.)

Trade-offs of traveling to Spain for your honeymoon:

The Spanish are known to be laid-back with a "no pasa nada" attitude, so it’s important to keep in mind that life generally moves at a slower pace—which, depending on the traveler, can be a positive or a negative.

Plan My Spain Honeymoon

Best places to stay:

In Madrid…

  • Hotel Unico Madrid
    Located in the trendy neighborhood of “Milla de Oro” (Golden Mile) within the Salamanca neighborhood, Hotel Unico Madrid is within walking distance of many of Madrid’s top attractions. And although you wouldn’t know it from the outside, they have a secret garden within the walls of the property where you can enjoy an exclusive Sunday brunch served under a glass pergola. Renowned chef Ramón Freixa (two Michelin stars and three Respon stars) is at the helm of the hotel’s signature restaurant.
    $300 - $500/night
  • Hotel Urban
    Hotel Urban sits at the heart of Madrid’s “Golden Triangle” formed by the Prado Museum, Thyssen-Bornemisza, and Fundación Reina Sofia. It’s housed in an avant-garde building designed in Art Deco style, with 96 rooms and suites—along with an outdoor swimming pool, solarium, and gym. Their restaurant, CEBO, which was recently awarded a Michelin star, offers a selection of contemporary Mediterranean dishes—including a can’t-miss shared seafood menu.
    $180 - $300/night

In Barcelona…

  • Barcelona Edition
    Ideally situated within close proximity to the Gothic Quarter, Las Ramblas, and the Barcelona Cathedral, Barcelona Edition is a luxurious hideaway from the energy of the city. The 100 rooms are spacious, with the walk-in rainforest showers a definite plus. If you choose to stay at the hotel to dine, you won’t be disappointed, as the property is home to a dazzling rooftop bar, bespoke cocktail bar, supper club, and signature restaurant, Cabaret.
  • Hotel Pulitzer
    Hotel Pulitzer sits on the border of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter and L’Eixample—which means prime access to Las Ramblas, Paseo de Gracia, and several examples of Gaudí’s architecture. Natural light floods the rooms, which are designed in a cozy European, avant-garde style.
    $100 - $180/night

In San Sebastián…

  • Villa Birdie
    Villa Birdie is housed in the former home of the consul of Austria—a neo-Basque, restored historical villa that opened its doors in 2017. With only five rooms–each named after a figure in Basque mythology—you can expect a cozy, intimate, quiet feel for your honeymoon.
    $180 - $300

Read more:

Journy's top recommendations:

COVID-19 Update (9/10/20)
Spain is not currently open to Americans; however, if you're set on a waterfront European destination, consider Croatia, which has been open since 7/1 as long as travelers show proof of accommodation or tourist-based activitiy and a negative PCR test. Schedule a call with Journy to learn more.

14. Hawaii

Best for beach bums, outdoor adventurers, and hopeless romantics


If you’ve ever dreamed of escaping to an ecological paradise of dramatic natural beauty without sacrificing the amenities, Hawaii is the place for you. From Honolulu (with Waikiki, Diamond Head, Pearl Harbor, and Iolani Palace at the heart of the city) to the state capital of O’ahu (a balance of bustling city life and quiet, remote beaches and resorts with world-class surfing), you truly can’t go wrong. Plus, Hawaiian food is having a vibrant resurgence, which means traditional dishes like lomi lomi salmon and kalua (slow-roasted pig) are a must-try.

Top highlights:

  • Waikīkī Beach
    Honolulu's most famous beach is the perfect spot to rent an umbrella and laze away the day. If you’re up for it, you can even try your hand at surfing. The easy waves make for ideal beginner conditions.
  • Diamond Head Crater
    O'ahu is the island of rewarding workouts. Trek up a couple hundred steps, and chances are you’ll be treated to a stunning vista at the top. Diamond Head is no exception, offering an expansive view of the white sand shores, turquoise ocean, Honolulu skyline, and mountains beyond.
  • Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
    Arguably the best spot to swim and snorkel on the island, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve boasts shimmering coral reefs, a world of underwater flora, and stark white sands. The Preserve is about 10 miles east of Waikiki, just off the main coastal road.  
  • Manoa Falls Trail
    Prepare yourself for breathtaking views of the Manoa Falls on this scenic hike past one of Hawaii's most famous waterfalls—which was featured in scenes from Lost and Jurassic Park.
  • Pearl Harbor
    Pearl Harbor consistently ranks among Hawaii’s top three tourist attractions, with about 4,000 visitors flocking to the historical center daily. With two world-class museums, several outdoor exhibits, the official USS Arizona Memorial Tour, a Pearl Harbor Virtual Reality Center, and more, it’s the perfect way to learn about one of the most critical moments in US history that served as the catalyst for our entry into World War II.

Single city or multi-city destination?

Considering the fact that Hawaii is primarily a relaxation destination, Journy recommends that travelers staying for around eight days or fewer choose only one island as their base, with a day-trip island hop. However, if you'll be there for up to two weeks, we do suggest visiting more than one island.

Trade-offs of traveling to Hawaii for your honeymoon:

During peak season (June through August, when you have to contend with locals on summer break, and December through February), hotel prices skyrocket. It's also worth considering that Hawaii can be a long flight for east coasters, so a stopover in California may be the way to go.

Plan My Hawaii Honeymoon

Best places to stay:

  • Espacio
    There is no more luxurious way to stay in Waikiki than at the brand new Espacio Hotel. With only nine suites (one per floor), this hotel sits right on Waikiki Beach. Every suite has 2-3 bedrooms, its own outdoor jacuzzi, butler service, and so much more. If you are looking for the fully tailored, high-end luxury resort (that feels more like a tropical getaway) in Waikiki, there is no greater way to do it.  
  • The Modern
    Located on the bay in Waikiki, the Modern Hotel is perfect for those looking to be right in the middle of all the action, while still staying at a smaller, hipper type of boutique compared to all the big old school resorts in the area. This is undeniably the “cool hotel in town” and perfect for honeymooners.
    $180 - $300/night

Read more:

COVID-19 Update (9/21/20)
Hawaii governor David Ige announced that the Aloha State will allow out-of-state travelers to enter without a 14-day quarantine starting 10/15—IF they test negative for COVID-19 no more than 72 hours prior to their arrival via a valid Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT). Just in time to escape the mainland winter for warmer weather!

Another top relaxation/adventure spot that didn't make it on the list but still gets an honorable mention? Costa Rica. (Think crystal clear water, a mix of private island resorts and inclusive resorts, horseback riding, and plunge pools—everything you need for the ultimate romantic getaway.)