That’s a wrap! Your leftover wedding cake has been packed away, your dress has been sent to the cleaners—and the last thing you want to do is start planning a honeymoon from scratch. As anyone who has been through this before can attest, figuring out a post-wedding getaway can sometimes feel as stressful as putting together the wedding itself. Thankfully, we sat down with Annabelle Moehlmann, the brains (and beauty) behind the dreamy design and travel Instagram account, Land of Belle, for some expert advice.
Whether you want to roam through the African bush on safari or soak up the sun on the Amalfi Coast, Annabelle gives us the inside scoop on seven of her favorite honeymoon destinations as well as where to stay, shop, and eat for an adventure you won’t soon forget.
Provence and Cote D’Azur
The destination: For a quintessential summer honeymoon, look no further than the South of France. Combine the romantic hilltop towns of Provence with the coastal glamour of the Cote D’Azur (in that order!).
Don’t miss: A day of wine tasting in Châteauneuf-Da-Pape; The iconic lavender fields at L’Abbaye Senanque (mid-June through late July); Lunch at La Guérite on Isle Saint-Marguerite; dinner at La Colombe d’Or in Saint Paul de Vence
Design finds: Antiquing in L’ Isle sur la Sorgue (there’s a huge market that takes over the town every Sunday); the boutique at Club 55 (best beachwear around, particularly swim trunks for men and pareos)
Word of wisdom: Rent a car to explore the region, but don’t try to see it all or you will feel overwhelmed. Pick three of four places that stand out to you and then spend time relaxing and discovering the local highlights. Feeling rushed, after all, is antithetical to the charms of French culture.
Thailand and Siem Reap
The destination: While other countries in Asia may pique more interest by way of culture and style, Thailand is your best bet for a luxe, relaxing honeymoon. Pair an overview of the country with a visit to Cambodia’s Siem Reap to see the awe-striking temples of Angkor Wat.
Don’t miss: The temple of Angkor Wat at sunrise; a boat ride on Tonle Sap Lake to Mechreay Floating Village; dinner at Bo.Lan in Bangkok; playing with baby elephants in Chiang Rai
Word of wisdom: While you can basically plan your trip anytime of year, November through March is ideal for weather in order to avoid extreme heat and the rainy season.
Southern Africa: South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique
The Destination: If a safari sounds alluring but you’re not sure if you can take two weeks of game-viewing and romantic meals that conjure up images of dates on ABC’s The Bachelor, mix it up with a trip to Southern Africa. Combine a few nights in vibrant Cape Town, an exploration of the romantic Winelands, a taste of safari, a stint in the desert, and some beachside relaxation—if there’s time.
Don’t miss: Hiking Table Mountain or the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve in Cape Town; wine tasting at Delaire Graff Estate; a candlelit dinner overlooking the Kalahari Desert; sundowners in the bush; a sunset sail in Mozambique
Word of wisdom: The seasons in South Africa are reversed from ours, so aim to visit some time between October and April for warm, sunny weather.
Paris and Morocco
The destination: Calling all Francophiles! Combine two of the most stylish cities in the world—Paris for its romantic allure and Marrakech for its exotic flair—with an adventure in the mountains and desert for an easy honeymoon with no shortage of wonderful art, design, shopping, hotels and restaurants.
Design finds: In Marrakech: Great estate prints at the bookshop of Jardin Majorelle, everything in the shop at El Fenn, and Moroccan jackets at La Main de Fatima in the Souk. In Paris: the home shop at Dior, Leclaireur, Buly 1803, and Galerie du Passage in Paris.
Don’t miss: In Marrakech, spend an afternoon at Beldi Country Club, have lunches at Café des Epices and Grand Café de la Poste, squeeze in a day of shopping at the Souk, and a hike in the Atlas Mountains. In Paris, stroll the romantic Musée Rodin, shop on Rue de Seine, have a leisurely lunch at Café de Flore, take a walk through the Tuileries or Jardin du Luxembourg, spend an afternoon in Montmartre, have dinner at Petrelle, and finish off with drinks at Bar Hemingway in Paris.
Word of wisdom: Bring an extra suitcase for your new purchases, and don’t plan out every day—explore on a whim!
East Africa: Tanzania and Kenya
The destination: East Africa plays host to vast, dreamlike plains and offers the most luxurious safari lodges and camps on all of the continent. If you think you may only go on safari once and want to do it right, this is the move. Give yourself two weeks and explore the different regions of the countries.
Don’t miss: Breakfast with giraffes at Giraffe Manor; a stay at at least one or two tented camps; a half-day exploration of the Ngorongoro Crater (many people debate whether to skip this, which is a big mistake); wine tasting with the incredible sommelier at the Singita lodges; lunch at Sabora Tented Camp.
Design finds: The shop at Legendary Lodge in Arusha: stop to pick up some beautiful carved book ends along the way, you won’t regret having them at home. Homewares from the gorgeous Singita gift shops.
Word of wisdom: Some people will tell you to pack workout clothes and that no one dresses nicely on safari, but I totally disagree! Immerse yourself in the old-fashioned elegance of safari style with neutral layers in white, khaki, and green (Gap has great casual pieces). And don’t be afraid to wear a long dress or skirt on a game drive. Dressing the part will make the trip all the more romantic, and who doesn’t want to feel pretty on their honeymoon?
Venice, Rome, and Amalfi Coast
The destination: Nothing says honeymoon quite like Italy, and why not combine the the most romantic areas of the country for a trip steeped in glamour and style?
Don’t miss: A gondola ride in Venice at night (yes it’s cheesy, but inarguably romantic); lunch at Locanda Cipriani on Torcello; drinks in the garden of Hotel de Russie and a meal at Al Moro in Rome; lunch at La Conca Del Sogno on Nerano; a visit to Villa San Michele in Ana Capri; lunch at Da Adolfo in Positano; lunch at La Fontelina, sunset drinks at JK Place and dinner at Aurora on Capri.
Word of wisdom: The order in which you visit destinations in Italy can really affect how you experience them. Start your trip in Venice (four nights) before heading south to Rome (three nights) and then ending on the Amalfi Coast (a week at least!).
Chilean Patagonia, the Atacama Dessert, and José Ignacio
The destination: Incorporate otherworldly adventure and beach chic in South America for this perfect yin and yang honeymoon.
Design finds: Santas Negras and Sentido in José Ignacio.
Don’t miss: Hiking Paso de Agostini in Torres del Paine; the flamingos and stargazing in the Atacama desert; horseback riding at Estancia Vik, lunch at La Huella, and dinner at Marismo in José Ignacio
Word of wisdom: Again, here the seasons are reversed so plan to travel November through February for preferable hiking conditions and a good scene at the beach.