10 best international honeymoon destinations for 2017

New York is an apt choice for couples who love buzzing cities.
Image courtesy: ©Alija/Getty Images

Once the fun and revelry of the wedding conclude, it’s time to set the foundation stone of the ‘and they lived happily ever after….’ phase of life with a memorable honeymoon. Whether it’s watching the magical Northern Lights, enjoying a walk through the land of Lawrence of Arabia, dancing in the Swiss Alps to a Bollywood song like in Yash Chopra movies or taking a warm dip in thermal springs in a surreal countryside, it’s time to firm up the plan. Check out our list of offbeat and popular places that are perfect for an overseas honeymoon.

New York City, USA

If you want to keep up with the tempo of the excitement that summed up your wedding, then head to New York City. It’ll make you lovebirds fall in love with its vibrant energy. Right from its awe-inspiring skyline – the city has over 6,000 high-rises – including Manhattan’s Empire State Building and sprawling Central Park, NYC has everything going for it. Among the must-dos here are not just a climb up the Statue of Liberty, catching a show at the Broadway theatre or the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but just strolling down hand-in-hand, sitting in one of the innumerable sidewalk eateries and just soaking in the magical sights and sounds of NYC.

Lake District, UK

 

Walkers on a circuit of Buttermere, the Lake District.
Walkers on a circuit of Buttermere in the Lake District.
Image courtesy: ©Will Jack Jones/Lonely Planet

If serenity is what you’re looking for after all those fun-filled wedding rituals (that are most likely to leave you tired), then Lake District is a great choice. Offering breathtaking vistas, quiet locales; it is easy to be captivated by the charm of the place that inspired William Wordsworth to write poems like Daffodils. Besides boat rides that glide through its tranquil lakes, there’s also the option of climbing – of course, you can even drive up – the highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike, and enjoy majestic views of the well-combed, magical countryside.

Paris, France

Couple in front of Eiffel Tower.
Paris is one of the most romantic cities in the world for honeymooners.
Image courtesy: ©Blend Images - Dave & Les Jacobs/Getty Images

Audrey Hepburn once said, ‘Paris is always a good idea’. And it sure is. The City of Lights that has long been synonymous with romance, holds special charm for honeymooners. You will never have enough of its enticing 19th century cityscape that opens up to gorgeous boulevards at every turn and, of course, the experience of the historic River Seine that is never complete without a leisurely stroll along its banks and of course, a bateaux mouche. For newlyweds, hiring a vintage car for a trip around the city centre and visit to Ponts des Arts or the Lovers’ Bridge where you kiss and make a wish, even if the old tradition of hanging locks to seal your love has been discontinued, is a must. While fashionistas are sure to have a ball at the city’s high-fashion stores, culture seekers can take their pick from the number of museums and galleries that dot the city. Another must-do: a show at Moulin Rouge or Folies Bergere.

Switzerland

Brienz town on Lake Brienz by Interlaken, Switzerland, with snow covered Alps mountains in background
Brienz town on Lake Brienz by Interlaken
Image courtesy: ©Boris Stroujko/Shutterstock

Immortalized by innumerable Hindi films, Switzerland’s stunning vistas are a perfect ode to love. Its picture-postcard countryside with the prettiest of lakes and villages nestled against the backdrop of the Alps is what makes it truly a lovers’ paradise. Besides getting enveloped by the charms of Zurich, Geneva and Locarno, it’s a treat walking through its old villages that offer some stunning architectural landmarks. Do include the beautiful Jungfrau region that boasts of snow-capped peaks of three prime mountains: Jungfrau, Monch and the Eiger, and not to forget the Rhine Falls, Europe’s largest waterfall. A river cruise down the Rhine spotting castles and romantic Swiss pastures along the way is a great experience to share with your beloved.

Machu Pichu, Peru

Machi Picchu
Machu Picchu is an unusual choice for honeymooners.
Image courtesy: ©Brandon Rosenblum/Getty Images

This is a perfect place for those who prefer the road less travelled. On the top of the itinerary here is, of course, the 15th century Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains. No one can fail to be awed by the majestic dry-stone walls that juxtapose huge blocks without the use of mortar. However, Machu Pichu is not just about this ancient monument, there’s a lot more to have you hooked. Like the charming old capital Cusco with its quaint cobblestone streets dotted with museums, markets and cafes. You could round off your experience with heady baths in the steamy thermal pools, biking and horse riding in the areas around, and yes, even whitewater rafting.

Tuscany, Italy

View of Florence after sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence, Italy
Florence at sunset.
Image courtesy: ©Sorin Colac/Shutterstock

If you and your partner love the fine arts, then Tuscany is where you should be heading for it is considered to be among the finest repositories of art. You could start with Florence, often referred to as a city in a museum or museum in a city, and then visit the historic cities of Siena and Pisa, famous for its iconic leaning tower. Don’t forget to partake of its gorgeous sun-drenched, vine-lined countryside that offers lovely walks. The two of you would enjoy cycling down its rugged, yet picturesque, hills too. For foodies, the dining experience here is special and romantic, perfect to raise a toast with your lover.

Lapland, Finland

Spectacular aurora borealis (northern lights) over a track through winter landscape in Finnish Lapland.
Northern Lights in the Finnish Lapland.
Image courtesy: ©Sara Winter/Shutterstock

If the idea of an unusual honeymoon, in a place that offers nature’s most spectacular light show through a range of specially-built spaces like glass igloos or luxury suites, sounds like your cup of tea, then Lapland (the place on many a bucket list), is a great choice. Among the most popular destinations of this winter wonderland where 24-hour sunlight in the summer replaces the dark winter days, is the Santa Claus Village where you can have a date with the portly hero of Christmas every day of the year. You could also check out the Ranua Wildlife Park besides the various ski resorts that’ll add a memorable slice to your first outing together.

Morocco

Ait Ben-Haddou clay casbah in Morocco
Ait Benhaddou clay casbah in Morocco.
Image courtesy: ©Patricia Hofmeester/500px

Morocco offers a world full of exotic adventures. So if you lovebirds would enjoy vacationing against an unusual backdrop of the awe-inspiring Sahara Desert, quaint old palaces and mosques in the land where Lawrence of Arabia was filmed, then it’s a good idea to book your tickets right away. Apart from the UNESCO Aït Benhaddou palace, don’t forget to make the Dar Si Said that now houses the Marrakech Museum of Moroccan Arts, the Koutoubia Mosque and the Saadian tombs, part of the itinerary. The cherry on the cake is Marrakech that offers a journey back in time as you walk past its maze-like streets surrounded by 12th-century fortress walls and ramparts.

Queenstown, New Zealand

Kawarau Bridge near Queenstown. Commercial Bungy Jumping was born here in 1988 and every year tens of thousands make the 43 meter jump.
Queenstown is famous for adventure sports.
Image courtesy: ©Nicram Sabod/Shutterstock

If you want a holiday that offers a heady mix of romance-laden quiet moments laced with a variety of exciting activities then Queenstown is perfect. Tucked away on the shores of the South Island’s Lake Wakatipu in New Zealand, the pulsating energy of this little town is sure to have you hooked from the word go. Other than long leisurely walks or biking trips, do visit the vineyards and historic mining towns. Adrenaline-filled activities like bungee jumping off Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge and jet-boating on the Shotover and Dart rivers, that also offer white water rafting and skydiving are guaranteed to give you an experience of a lifetime.

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town from Lions Head.
Cape Town offers a range of experiences for honeymooners.
Image courtesy: ©Denis Roschlau/500px

South Africa’s most popular city promises to be the go-to place where you can have the time of your life with your newlywed better half. You’ll agree with this from the moment you land in the picturesque port city that nestles on a peninsula beneath the imposing Table Mountain. Among the experiences to cherish here is the cable car ride to the mountain’s flat top that offers stunning views of the city, historic wine estates and its picturesque harbour. Besides a visit to Robben Island that’s been converted into a living museum, you could also explore interesting walk options with a voice map that will take you both through the beautiful forests and glades of the vicinity.

AUTHOR'S BIO: Life's come full circle for Purnima, who started out as a travel journalist. And now, after more than 20 years in mainstream journalism, she is once again packing her bags and putting on her travelling boots to pursue her first love.

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