There are honeymoon destinations that will never go out of style. You know, the classics: Paris, the Amalfi Coast, Hawaii. And while we can’t deny those are all über romantic getaways with well deserved reputations as newlywed magnets, the truth is, they can feel—how can we put this lightly—slightly predictable?
Finding an under-the-radar honeymoon destination doesn’t come without its risks, though. What if that secluded island in the middle of nowhere has no functioning plumbing? What if the owner of that villa you rented in a little-known European village doesn’t speak any English? There’s a reason why people keep going back to the same places over and over again—they’re low maintenance and rarely tend to disappoint.
But still, what’s a honeymoon without a little adventure? For those looking for something a little different for that once-in-a-lifetime trip, we reached out to the experts at the Local Foreigner, a team of travel connoisseurs who specialized in out-of-the-box curated trips, for their advice. Below, Local Foreigner founder Brooke Lavery and travel coordinator Jordy Lievers-Eaton share 10 unique honeymoon trips that include everything from heli-skiing in New Zealand, a relaxing getaway in underrated Corsica, and paragliding in Oman. No one will ever accuse you of being basic again.
Ski in Northern Japan and Spend Some Private Island Time in the Philippines
Pack your skis and head to Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island. In between days of carving that incredible light champagne powder on Mount Niseko, warm up with steaming cups of tea (or sake) and bowls of shoyu ramen, and hunker down under fluffy white comforters at a sleek, chic ryokan. After a quick stopover in Tokyo for a jolt of urban energy (and a sushi feast), finish out the trip by chartering to Pangulasian, a private island in the archipelago Palawan, to work on your tan while paddling past limestone cliffs and into hidden lagoons in your private outrigger canoe.
Private Boat Charter Through the Islands of Indonesia
With its impossibly vivid colors and ethereal landscape, Indonesia is a perfect getaway-from-it-all honeymoon destination. Take seclusion a step further by chartering a former spice ship turned luxury yacht, fitted with a single cabin draped in breezy white linen and staffed by a seven-person crew. Sail between the islands of the UNESCO World Heritage Komodo National Park, where the eponymous dragons amble between the tangled roots of mangrove trees in a prehistoric landscape straight out of Jurassic Park.
Unwind Like a Brazilian in Trancoso
A line of vibrant restored fishermen’s houses in Crayola colors borders a grassy quadrado at Uxua, a passion project hotel from the former creative director at Diesel that raises bohemian aesthetics to a superlative standard. Open the door of your bungalow onto the town square and you’re immediately immersed into the village life of Trancoso, where wild horses may be grazing leisurely in your front yard near locals playing a game of checkers that has lasted for years. A seven-minute stroll from the center of town lands you on an endless stretch of golden sand beach; crack open a fresh coconut and stay a while.
Enjoy History, Culture, and Adrenaline in Egypt and Oman
When it comes to once-in-a-lifetime adventures, it’s hard to beat the glamorous allure of the Middle East. Begin in Cairo—the capital of Egypt nicknamed “The City of a Thousand Minarets”—by visiting the labyrinthine marketplaces and the epic Pyramids of Giza. Then, trade in frenetic urban energy for low-key luxury, jetting through Dubai and onto Oman, where you’ll arrive with panache at the fabulous oasis of Zighy Bay via paraglider, arcing gracefully out across the ocean before you land on the white sand beach in front of the resort.
Spot Wildlife in Mozambique and Zimbabwe
Beneath the waves off the southeast coast of Africa, whale sharks, manta rays, and humpbacks rove teal waters and pristine reefs, making Mozambique one of the world’s most unique dive destinations. Lie low in a beachy eco-resort and spend your days unplugged from the outside world, before shelving your scuba gear to head to Singita Pamushana in southern Zimbabwe’s Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve. Wooden viewing platforms float among the baobab trees and offer views over the sandstone outcroppings, where Black Rhino and packs of wild dogs roam past rock art sites dating back thousands of years.
Sail the Turkish Riviera
The southwest coast of Turkey is known as the “Turquoise Coast,” and you would be hard-pressed to find a more dramatically romantic setting—after all, Mark Antony chose this stretch of coastline as a wedding gift for his bride, Cleopatra. Sailing from the charming stone fishing village of Alacati, south to the lively resort coves of Bodrum aboard a private gulet (a traditional Turkish schooner), you’ll pass two sites of the seven Great Wonders of the Ancient World. Cap off your trip with a day or two in Cappadocia, spending the night in a suite carved into a hillside before waking up to a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the fairy chimneys.
Relax on the Pastoral Paradise in Corsica
Hidden in the Mediterranean between the buzzing scenes in the South of France and Sardinia, dreamy Corsica is a rugged respite, where the soundtrack is more birdsong than bassline. Hole up in a bucolic stone shepherd’s cottage at Domaine de Murtoli, furnished with impeccable Provençal antiques and boasting a country kitchen, complete with hanging burnished copper pots. Head to dinner in the grotto dining room lit entirely by candles, or pick your own vegetables from the property’s farm and put the kitchen to good use, going days without seeing another soul.
Float through French Wine Country on a Private Barge
Okay, so maybe when you think of romance, the word “barge” isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, but picture this: A restored and retrofitted private wide-bottomed boat with the interior of a contemporary French country house, gliding leisurely through the canals of Champagne or Burgundy. Stop for wine tastings, ride bikes through the vineyards, or just post up in the hot tub on the bow with a glass of local bubbles and watch the idyll of the countryside float by.
Heli-ski in New Zealand and Relax on the Beach in Fiji
Summer brides and grooms in the northern hemisphere can get the best of all seasons by jetting down to wintery New Zealand and settling in at Minaret Station, a remote and cozy oasis tucked in among the epic alpine ridgelines west of Lake Wanaka. Lift off via helicopter for days skiing epic, uncharted slopes. Then trade pine trees for palm trees by flying north to Fiji, where you’ll finish your trip thawing out on perfect white sand beaches under thatched palapas as the breeze rustles the fronds overhead—can you taste the rum punch yet?
Go Off the Beaten Track in Sri Lanka
Adventure and exploration are two classic tenets of a honeymoon for good reason: nothing cements a bond like discovering something together. Under-the-radar Sri Lanka is the perfect place for intrepid newlyweds, who can spend days tracking jaguars from a tented eco-camp in Yala National Park, hiking through lush tea plantations in the highlands, and surfing some of the best waves in Asia. Just remember to take time to relax with a cup of Lapsang Souchong or English Breakfast, as this tiny country is the world’s second-largest exporter of tea.
For more information on bespoke honeymoon itineraries, contact The Local Foreigner.