honeymoon destinations

Five Honeymoon Destinations for Beach Lovers

Ah, the honeymoon!

After the rush of wedding preparations, this is the time for you and hubby to spend some serious one-on-one time together. And for a lot of people, the beach is their number one choice for a honeymoon location. And we can’t argue with that! Here are five of the most fabulous beaches around the world to help you with your honeymoon planning:

The Maldives

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What it offers: More than 1,000 coral islands scattered across the Indian Ocean. Each is so tiny you can have your very own private island resort. Gives a castaway feel to your honeymoon, where it’s just you and him away from the rest of the world.

What to do: Snorkeling and diving to see the marine life and coral gardens. Or go windsurfing, night fishing, or just lay on the palm-fringed white beaches, soak in the sun, and breathe in the fresh ocean air.

Where to stay: The Conrad Maldives, a resort set on two private islands where they also have an out-of-this world underwater restaurant. Marvel at the 180° views of the deep sea while sipping on a glass of wine. Then take some real time-out and indulge in a luxurious one-day spa relaxation program.

Bora-Bora

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What it offers: This island in the French Polynesia is teeming with lush tropical slopes and valleys of wild flora. Surrounded by closely spaced coral islets called motu, from the air it has the appearance of an emerald set in a sea of turquoise, encircled by a necklace of pearls.

What to do: Watch local divers feed sharks and rays in chest-deep waters, saddle up for a horseback ride along the beach, rent a 4×4 for an island tour, go parasailing and jetskiing, and then together feast on lobster, crab, roast pig, fresh fruit, and champagne in your own private motu picnic.

Where to stay: The Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort offers views of Mount Otemanu piercing the sky above the crystal blue lagoon. Choose from an over-water bungalow, a beach bungalow, or a garden pool suite. Relax in their huge freshwater pool with a jacuzzi in the center, and then see the old classics and the most recent releases in their 40-person capacity movie theater.

Great Barrier Reef

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What it offers: One of Australia’s greatest natural resources, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef, comprising of more than 3,000 individual reef systems. It is also one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, even larger than the Great Wall of China and the only living thing on earth visible from outer space.

What to do: Go diving and see some seriously gorgeous marine life or go white-water rafting, or horseback riding through native Australian forests, or bungy jumping at the Cairns Bungy Tower. But if you want to grasp the sheer magnitude of the Reef, view it from above! Let your feet leave the sand beaches and take to air with a hot air balloon, a private plane, or a helicopter.

Where to stay: Peppers Coral Coast Resort overlooks the majestic Whitsunday Passage, and a short walk will bring you to Arlie Beach, a charming seaside village. Go on the Yellow Sub tour where you can explore the inner islands on the Great Barrier Reef and sub and snorkel till your heart’s content. Or do the Eco Jet Safari, a guided Jet Ski adventure tour, where your playground is the beautiful and unspoiled Northern Whitsunday area.

Vanuatu

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What it offers: Located in the South Pacific Ocean, this island nation has many fascinating surprises. The friendly people are a delight to be with, as there are no hawkers who go after tourists, and no pressure to buy.

What to do: Witness cultural ceremonies and traditional dances on the island of Malekula and visit the world’s most accessible active volcano on Tanna island. Go diving and see the shipwrecked Star of Russia, a grand old ship from the same people who built the Titanic. The cave, river, canyon, and waterfall tour is also worth a try but is not for the faint of heart—but it’s all right since you’ll have your sweetheart right beside you.

Where to stay: Iririki Island Resort, one of Vanuatu’s oldest and most famous resorts. It has been completely renovated and there is now a modern water sports centre—for catamaran sailing, kayaking, and snorkeling. They also have a seaplane available if you want to go sightseeing around the capital city, Port Vila.

Seychelles

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What if offers: An archipelago lying in the Western Indian Ocean, 114 granite islands surround the main island Mahé. Your delicious dilemma will be asking which island to visit. But there’s no need to choose because the most popular activity here is island-hopping.

What to do: Be amazed at the rows and rows of coco de mer—the legendary tree of “the forbidden fruit”—swaying along the powdery shores. Hop on board a luxury catamaran or a custom-built yacht to stop by at the islands for some lounging around, snorkeling, and fishing. If sailing is a bit too laid-back for you, island-hopping by plane is also an option.

Where to stay: The Desroches Island Resort is 230km southwest of Mahé and is a coral island surrounded by white sand beaches and dense vegetation. Take advantage of the complimentary bicycle service to circle the island and pass by the many secluded beaches. Interact with an ancient tortoise colony in their Tortoise Sanctuary, and finally dine on some authentic Creole cuisine at the Restaurant or make private dining arrangements in your villa or anywhere on the island.

{First image via Conrad Maldives; second image via Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort; third image from Great Barrier Reef Now; fourth image via Iririki Island Resort; fifth image via Desroches Island Resort}

Top 5 Australian Honeymoon Hotspots

Your honeymoon is your first holiday as husband and wife, and should definitely be one of the most enjoyable times in your lives. And here we picked out the best five Australian honeymoon destinations especially for you. Enjoy planning, and have fun!

1. Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa, Western Australia

Overlooking the red cliffs and clear blue waters of Cable Beach and just minutes away from Broome, Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa is a tropical oasis with perfect sunny temperatures and lavish facilities. Go hiking at the Windjana and Geike Gorges, see the amazing horizontal waterfall at Talbot Bay, examine fossils of dinosaur footprints at the beach, or ride a camel along the shore with your sweetheart. For a truly private and romantic getaway, the Villas are the ideal choice with their enclosed courtyard and plunge pool with full butler service. Have a round of cocktails at the Sunset Bar and Grill and dine on freshly caught Western Australian seafood. And just before bedtime, get into total relaxation mode with a couple’s foot spa or body massage at the Chahoya Spa.

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2. Balinese Retreat, Victoria

Just 45 minutes from Melbourne and hidden in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges is Balinese Retreat, a boutique resort that caters exclusively to one couple per stay. It has all the elements of a five-star Asian resort, including a private dining pavilion, lagoon, waterfall, a luxurious opium bed, and authentic Balinese and Thai furniture and artwork. Take your sweet time with your hubby and get a five-hour exotic day spa package complete with a hot lunch of Japanese fare. Drop by the Yarra Valley wineries just a short distance away and get back to a sumptuous Thai banquet dinner prepared by your own personal chef. With all the attention paid to the smallest details, a night at the Balinese Retreat makes for a memorable fantasy escape to Asia.

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3. Orpheus Island Beach Resort, Queensland

Flee from the cares of the mainland to your own private island at Orpheus Island Beach Resort, a national park in itself that can only be accessed by a seaplane from Townsville. Allowing only a limited number of guests at any one time (40, to be exact), this resort is dedicated to seclusion and tranquility. Meander through the rainforests or explore the Great Barrier Reef on a full-day excursion and experience the most diverse marine life in some of the finest dive sites in the world. Or go on a fishing expedition where you can have your freshly caught fish grilled over an open fire while you take in the unspoiled surroundings with an ice-cold beer or chilled wine. Hold hands, wind down, and catch the last languid sea breezes of the day as you marvel at that rare tropical island magic that is Orpheus Island.

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4. Wilderness Challenge Safari, Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia

If you and your honey are more the adventurous types and your idea of the perfect honeymoon is playing in the great outdoors, the Wilderness Challenge Safari was made just for you. With five World Heritage areas within its borders, Northern Australia is an awe-inspiring land full of mystery and wild beauty. Choose from adrenaline-pumping packages such as the five-day Cape York fly and drive safari or the 14-day Kakadu and Gulf camping safari. Or choose the Private Collection, a safari suited especially to your specific wishes. So get into those shorts, strap on your hiking boots, and get ready for some safari bliss, Outback style.

5. Silky Oaks Lodge and Healing Waters Spa, Queensland

Enjoy the view from the treetops or be lulled by the soothing sounds of the river at Silky Oaks Lodge, where they offer 50 Treehouses and Riverhouses with wide verandahs, elegant interiors, and all the comforts of a modern-day lodge. Located in the Daintree National Park and overlooking the Mossman River, it feels like being cocooned in a completely isolated haven, and yet Port Douglas is a convenient 20 minutes away. Take a nature walk through the park grounds and adjoining rainforests, go canoeing on the river, buckle up for a scenic helicopter ride, or go on a bird watching cruise. Back at the lodge, play a game of tennis with your man, and then indulge in the Romance Ritual at the Healing Waters Spa, where you get a body polish, bath soak, facial, and massage.

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{First image via Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa; second image via Balinese Retreat; third image via Orpheus Island Beach Resort; fifth image via Silky Oaks Lodge}

Top 10 Unusual Honeymoon Destinations

Honey, honey, quite contrary – where would you like to go?

Oh, the dilemma of searching for that perfect honeymoon destination! There are so many things to consider when asking this question. To help you out, we’ve picked 10 unusual places that will surely cater to all types of couples – from those who want to just laze around at the beach all day, to those eager for a trek in the mountains or a shopping spree at a spice market.

1. Islamorada, Florida – A chain of islands surrounded by the cool, blue waters of the Florida Keys, and known as the Sport Fishing Capital of the World.

Your itinerary: Dive head-first into adventure with some world-class fishing, then go snorkeling or diving to witness the unbelievably diverse tropical marine life. Feast on fresh, succulent seafood at a dockside fish house, and take it slow with a couple’s massage amid the salty ocean air and scent of tropical fruits. Enjoy the warm island evening with beachfront cocktails and a live band.

When to go: Your best bet is May to June and mid-November to mid-December, since these are the tail ends of the hurricane season. There will be some rain, but you’ll find the weather milder and the rates lower.

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2. Quebec, Canada – Reminiscent of a French coastal province, the vibe in this east-central Canadian region is as romantic as any in Europe. Magnifique!

Your itinerary: In summer or fall, explore the cobblestone streets and fortified walls of Quebec City or take a whale-watching cruise along the breathtaking Saguenay Fjord. In winter, ski the slopes of Mont-Tremblant or have a drink at the ice bar of the Hotel De Glace. Don’t forget to sample the local wines and cheeses, and the innovative cuisine featuring venison, quail, and caribou.

When to go: February weekends are busy with the big winter Carnaval. From March to April, rates are lower and the summer weather is pleasantly warm. Autumn is simply grand from October to November, and will give you the best bargain rates.

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3. Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Touted as The Shopping Capital of the Middle East, this ever-expanding global city also boasts the most modern architectural structures in the world.

Your itinerary: Choose from more than 200 luxury brands at the Mall of the Emirates or walk around in the intoxicating air of the Deira Covered Souk with its lively bustle of spice shops and textile stalls. Next, head to downtown Dubai to marvel at the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world). Although hotel dining standards are excellent, you can also get cheap and delicious street food outside of the hotel setting.

When to go: October to May is peak season, with hotels filling up for the Dubai Shopping Festival in February and the Dubai World Cup in March. From mid-May to mid-October, the summer heat is a little less bearable and therefore the rates are lower. Also consider if you would like to go during Ramadan, when most restaurants don’t open until nighttime and bars and clubs are closed the whole time.

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4. Uluru, Australia – listed as a World Heritage Site and also known as The Ayers Rock, nothing prepares you for this colossal wonder until you see it yourself.

Your itinerary: You must catch both sunrise and sunset during your trip, for both offer starkly different yet stunning views of the rock. Hop on a camel, a Harley, or into a helicopter to explore the spectacle from different points. At night, take your pick at the barbecue buffet with kangaroo, emu, or crocodile at the Sounds of Silence Restaurant. Top it all off with an evening tour of the southern sky with a resident star talker.

When to go: Summer is the busiest time of the year (Dec, Jan, Feb), so it’s best to go either in spring or autumn. Also, the weather is cooler and less humid.

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5. Sapa, Vietnam – One of the most beautiful regions of North Vietnam, the unspoiled forests of this mountain town is home to several ethnic tribes.

Your itinerary: If you both are truly adventurous, scale the peaks of Fansipan Mountain, or “The Roof of Indochina,” an area 3,413 above sea level. Or take a more leisurely trek in the woods and see this area’s amazing collection of wildflowers found nowhere else in Vietnam. Then, walk among the clouds along the majestic rice terraces and cascading waterfalls. Get your grub at the nearby food market (try the charcoal-grilled sweet potatoes and corn on the cob).

When to go: From November to April, the winter weather is cool and dry. Summer is from May to October when it is hot and humid with heavy rains. For lower rates, book around Christmas or Tet (Lunar New Year) in February.

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6. Carate, Costa Rica – Covered in lush, pristine rainforests, this secluded town is where Pre-Columbian peoples once lived.

Your itinerary: Go orca-watching in the early morning hours. If it’s egg-laying season, see the turtles deposit their eggs on the beach, and then, take a hike inside the jungle. Watch squirrel monkeys and sloths moving in the treetops, tapirs walking by, and a host of colorful birds flying overhead. You may even be able to spot a jaguar or two. Experience dining on organic food grown in the area and eat only the freshest fruit, right as you pluck it off the tree.

When to go: The rainy season is between May and November, and is a good time to get the best hotel deals in an already affordable country. It will rain more often, of course, but it usually starts in the afternoon and stops by nightfall.

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7. Queenstown, New Zealand – This alpine and lake resort town overlooks the sparkling waters of Lake Wakatipu and has the snowcapped Remarkables Range as a majestic backdrop.

Your itinerary: There are so many adrenaline-pumping activities to do here – from bungee jumping to skydiving, skiing, and jet-boarding, among just a few. After you get your blood going, relax and dine al fresco in the summer or in front of a roaring fireplace in winter. Take a romantic evening stroll along the streets fronting the lake or ride the Skyline Gondola to get one of the best views of the town from atop Bob’s Peak.

When to go: A party town during peak season, it is best to consider staying just out-of-town for some restful sleep. April, May, and November are relatively calm months and are great for low rates.

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8. Hong Kong, China – Has arguably one of the finest city skylines in the world, which is fantastic by day, but really comes alive at night.

Your itinerary: Take the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) train, just a stone’s throw away from the airport, to Hong Kong Island. Travel up to The Peak and be inspired by the city skyline, Victoria Harbour, Kowloon, and surrounding hillsides. Then, visit the Giant Buddha at the Po Lin Monastery. Don’t miss the Symphony of Lights aboard an evening ferry with more than 40 Hong Kong skyscrapers in a dazzling multimedia display.

When to go: In summer, from June to August, rates drop but the weather is hot and humid. In winter, from December to mid-January, the rates are at their lowest and it is comfortably cool all around.

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9. La Rioja, Spain – One of Spain’s most famous wine-producing regions, and a very fertile area as well because of the seven major rivers that run through it.

Your itinerary: Wake up right before the crack of dawn and take in the beautiful scenery in a hot air balloon as the sun rises. Go horseback-riding and then play a round of golf at Navarrete. You may also go canoeing and simply choose from the many rivers that flow through the area. Get locally handcrafted souvenirs, such as patchwork quilts, painted silks, or ceramic trinkets. End your evening with native exotic fare: tripe, pigs’ trotters, and snails.

When to go: Early fall, around September, is grape harvest time and perfect for wine buffs. This is also the off-peak season, so take advantage as the weather worsens in winter and it can be hot and crowded throughout summer.

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10. Algarve, Portugal – This small region in Southern Portugal has the best of both worlds – fine sandy beaches and countryside charm.

Your itinerary: Drive up to the top of Foia Mountain, and see spectacular panoramic views of the town below on a clear day. Go shopping among the many tourist shops and markets at Portimao, and then take a break at the shaded squares and just watch the people passing by. Life is slow here, and everyone takes their own sweet time. After that, you can run to the beach for a day of swimming and relaxing together.

When to go: Peak season is from June to September, with tourists usually flocking during holidays and weekends. November to March is essentially winter and is good for low rates and avoiding crowds of holidaymakers.

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{First image via Unusual Villa Rentals; second image via Geolocations; third image via Visual Travel Guide; fourth image via One Square Foot of Real Estate; fifth image via Topas Ecolodge; sixth image via Go Visit Costa Rica; seventh image via Queenstown New Zealand; eight image via HKHSBC on deviantART; ninth image via Skyscraper City; tenth image via Pictures Depot}

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“I’m Marcela, an Aussie expat living in Hong Kong. This space is where I share my love for weddings and bits and pieces from my family’s life and adventures. I love celebrating weddings, motherhood, family, travel and life’s simple joys.”