Ditch the Other Newlyweds: Most Underrated Honeymoon Destinations


Kruger National Park is a highly underrated honeymoon spot. (Credit: Shutterstock.com)

By Matt Meltzer

Planning a honeymoon is full of pitfalls. That’s why we warned you about these mistakes you might be making. It’s also a major responsibility that, if done wrong, can start your marriage out on a less-than-perfect note.

But how do you keep it from going wrong? Well to start, by choosing the right location. Sure, there are plenty of places around the world where you’ll have a can’t-miss romantic time – like Hawaii or Florida or Vegas (no, seriously, Vegas) – but the problem is, everyone else knows that! And the next thing you know, you’re trying to avoid other newlyweds eager to regale you with tales about their new-aged wedding ceremony while you’re standing in line at the all-you-can-eat resort buffet.

To help you avoid said newlyweds – and score major points with your new special life companion – we’ve compiled this list of the world’s eight most underrated honeymoon destinations.

More: America’s 20 Most Popular National Parks, Ranked

Antalya, Turkey


Credit: Flickr/Alex Kulikov

While a honeymoon on the Mediterranean is about as original an idea as a bridal party walking the aisle in “cool” sunglasses, this small city on the turquoise coast is often overlooked by honeymooners. It’s got all the deep-blue waters, cliffs, and beaches of its better-known neighbors, but also has waterfalls careening off the edge of the city, one of the best-preserved and un-touristy old cities in Europe at Kaleici, and entire stretches of coastline that are undeveloped. Also, you and your new life partner can stroll some (or all, if your idea of romance involves leg cramps) of the 320-mile Lycian Way, checking out ancient ruins along the way. Possibly the best part of Antalya, though: a five-star hotel will run you about $120 a night.

Kerala, India


Credit: Shutterstock.com

Though it somehow just missed our list of the world’s best canal cities, the place known as “God’s own country,” boasts some of the most serene, fascinating canal cruises in the world. Multi-day boat trips (some on houseboats that would rival any U.S. luxury hotel) take you through backwaters where you’ll see Indian life at its most raw. Or if you wanna get off the water, India’s best beaches are also in Kerala, and many of them are as remote as those you’d find in the South Pacific. There’s also the nearby Western Ghats, a mountain range with sweeping views and bright green tea plantations. Be sure to hit Eravikulam National Park, a 37-square-mile swath that sits entirely above the tree line.

Related: Holy Matrimony! The Top Honeymoon Destinations Pinned on Pinterest

Phi Phi Island, Thailand


Credit: Flickr/Kullez

When you threw out hypothetical ideas for honeymoons and said, “Why don’t we just get a little hut on a beach and spend a whole week… discussing Russian literature,” this is exactly the place you had in mind. An only-accessible-by-ferry island with few hotels that’s best experienced by staying in one of the private beach huts that stretch along Ko Phi Phi Don.

If you get tired of “chatting about Tolstoy,” the nearby town is full of crazy spicy seafood restaurants, while the other island that makes up Phi Phi – Ko Phi Phi Leh – is only a short boat ride away. You can also hike the massive emerald cliffs or tour them on a private boat.

Mendoza, Argentina


Credit: Shutterstock.com

Listen to John Digweed. Like not just his music, but his travel advice: this is his most underrated party destination in the world. It’s also a fantastic place to honeymoon. In fact, even with the flight, it may prove to be a cheaper wine country honeymoon than Napa. According to anyone who’s ever studied abroad in Argentina, you can get a full steak dinner, some of the world’s best wine, and probably a tango lesson for less than a bowl of soup at Ad Hoc.

Vlorë, Albania


Credit: Flickr/godo godaj

The fall of communism introduced the West to a lot of great things. Like Eastern European underwear models. Also, the natural beauty of the eastern parts of the Adriatic Sea. Croatia and Montenegro get a lot of hype, but this coastal town in the “Albanian Riviera” is just as beautiful and not nearly as crowded. And, kinda like Croatia 10 years ago, you can stay in great hotels for cheap: four-star properties can run you as little as $60 a night.

Related: Newly Wedded Bliss! 50 Romantic Honeymoon Destinations in the U.S.

Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada


Credit: Flickr/Peter C in Toronto Canada

Quite simply, this might be the most scenic lake in North America. And while a honeymoon in the nearby resort town of Banff is nothing groundbreaking, making the most of the experience by taking the train there, is. Via Rail Canada has trains that leave from both Toronto and Vancouver, the latter route taking you through the Canadian Rockies, where you’ll see the mountains from your own private sleeper car. Once there, you can spend your days canoeing through the lake, hiking the mountains, or just sitting by the lake and remarking, “Helluva view, eh?”

Biarritz, France


Credit: Shutterstock.com

While summering in the South of France might be your dream honeymoon, it also means you’ll be around, well, the kind of people who summer in the South of France. And if eating dinner next to Paris Hilton isn’t your idea of a romantic vacation, try the Basque Coast and tiny Biarritz. Not only does it offer the best beaches in the northern part of the country, it’s also France’s best surf spot. The small village is full of Basque restaurants – featuring a cuisine you won’t find much throughout France – but still boasts all the French delicacies you’ve come to expect.

Kruger National Park, South Africa


Credit: Shutterstock.com

The concept of an African safari sounds like a great honeymoon. The problem is, well, Africa is a HUGE continent, and some parts you just might not want to visit. And while there’s great wildlife to be seen continent-wide, nothing is more honeymoon-friendly than this 7,500-square-mile South African national park, where you can spend your days riding alongside elephants and giraffes, and your nights sipping cocktails and staring out over the savannah from your private deck at the Singita Boulders Lodge.

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