The honeymoon is a time-honored tradition. It’s a chance to set off on your first adventure as husband and wife—both literally and figuratively. Many times it’s all about the journey, but in this case the destination does matter. Can't decide where to go? Let your travel personality be your guide. Whether you're a social butterfly who loves a lavish party or a thrill-seeker who thrives on adrenaline-pumping action, your slice of post-wedding paradise awaits.
Laid back: Lanai, Hawaii
Lanai is a low-key honeymoon haven. “This small island off the coast of Maui has all the pictorial splendor and none of the crowds,” says Deborah Barth, travel advisor at Brownell, a Virtuoso agency. Rent a Jeep and explore at your own pace; head to Polihua Beach for seclusion and turtle-spotting; swim with spinner dolphins in Hulopoe Bay; or simply relax on the powder-soft sand with a fruity cocktail. And don’t leave without watching the sunset from Shipwreck Beach.
Leave your passport at home—you don’t have to venture outside of the continental United States to be exhilarated by the vast beauty of the great outdoors. Rocky mountains, glaciers, and extensive trails makes Montana prime for exploration. Fly-fishing, cattle drives, horseback riding—you name it, Big Sky Country has it. “Check out a dude ranch or go for a scenic hike," Barth recommends. "It’s all about getting in touch with the natural surroundings.”
Foodie: Barcelona, Spain
True gourmands crave more than great meals; they want to sample authentic flavors all day long. And in Barcelona, you can! “From a.m. to p.m., it’s completely acceptable—and even encouraged—to snack away,” says Barth. Savor fresh pastries for breakfast and jamón Iberico sandwiches for lunch. Of course, you’ll need something to tide you over until dinner (Spaniards don’t eat until 9 p.m. or later). Spend the afternoon indulging in tapas and sangria, and the evening feasting on seafood paella.
Daredevil: New Zealand
Looking for an exhilarating expedition? “Even the most fearless adrenaline junkies will find activities to get their hearts racing in New Zealand,” says Barth. Daredevils can test their limits with bungee jumping, cliff diving, heli-hiking, and trekking along the crater of an active volcano. Prefer aquatic adventure? Consider whitewater rafting. “You can also swim with whales, the size of a school bus, year round,” she adds.
With thousands of years’ worth of history, stunning topography, and fascinating sights, Athens is an eden for the erudite couple. Study ancient architecture at the Parthenon; discover antiquities and artifacts at the National Archaeological Museum; learn about the birth of Western philosophy and democracy; and then reflect on your newfound knowledge as your take in the panoramic views from Lycabettus Hill, the highest peak in Athens.
Paris may be home to many of the best museums in the world, but France’s extensive cultural offerings aren’t limited to its capital. Barth suggests visiting smaller artist colonies like St. Paul de Vence. These Provençal villages have inspired painters, authors, and playwrights for centuries. (Vincent Van Gogh painted his famous Starry Night in Saint-Remy-de-Provence.) Honeymooners will also appreciate the intimate boutique hotels and heavenly vistas.
Romantic: South Africa
When it comes to romance, a safari in South Africa is in a league of its own. “You can’t help but bond over the shared experience of seeing giraffes, leopards, and lions in their natural habitat," Barth says. Between excursions, enjoy unparalleled privacy in your villa—that is, unless a curious elephant decides to peek in. Wind down from such an incredible day with dinner and a few glasses of Stellenbosch wine under the stars.
Party animal: Saint-Tropez, France
“There’s nothing quite like the see-and-be-seen scene in Saint-Tropez,” says Barth. This hedonistic hotspot has long been a playground for international jet-setters, celebs, and party-loving glitterati. The merriment starts at brunch and continues well into the wee hours of the morning. If you can’t resist the allure of mega yachts, swanky clubs, and bottles upon bottles of bubbly, Saint-Tropez is for you. And did we mention there are clothing-optional beaches? Ooh la la.