Top 20 Greatest Honeymoons in the World
How romance looks and feels is different for each couple. Whatever you want from your super-personal, one-in-a-lifetime honeymoon trip, you can find it with A&K
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What constitutes the perfect honeymoon is as individual and as subjective as choosing a dress or deciding who makes the guest list.
Whatever you, as a couple, want from your super-personal, one-in-a-lifetime trip, the ideal is not only achievable, but after the time you’ve had arranging (and rearranging) a wedding in the current global backdrop, you deserve it.
All you need to do is decide what and where is right for you, as together, you celebrate this new phase of your relationship.
For those who want control of their destiny, the road trip is an unequalled travel experience. But, for those who have visions of complete privacy and castaway fantasies, then there’s a dreamy, laid-back island paradise just for you. And, for those with a thirst for adventure, some holidays will raise your heart rate and release those endorphins.
Find your perfect honeymoon with A&K. As a couple, are you…?
If the idea of gazing lazily at a seascape whilst lazing in a hammock, or snorkelling with turtles in azure seas appeals to you, then you might like to consider:
COMO Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos
Devotees of intimate Caribbean retreats should seriously consider the seductively beautiful Parrot Cay. With a low-key ambience and Zen-like tranquillity, it is an absolute delight on a private island bordered by pure, white sand beaches and crystal clear turquoise water.
Jumby Bay Island, Antigua
Reachable only by boat and set on a 300-acre private Caribbean island two miles off the coast of Antigua, Jumby Bay Island is a superb resort – exclusive and serene. Thanks to its setting, Jumby Bay Island is a naturalist's paradise, noted for its lush landscape, stately palm trees and three superb, white sand beaches.
Cobblers Cove, Barbados
Cobblers Cove is a wonderful hotel, which blends the elegance of an English country house with the tropical beauty, charm and character of Barbados. Despite the exotic surroundings, from the palm-shaded entrance through to the coral-sand beach, staying here is like being a guest at an English country-house party.
Take a short helicopter ride from the main island of Madagascar to Nosy Ankao over mountains, baobabs and shipwrecks, and you’ll land at Madagascar’s first five-star hotel, Miavana by Time + Tide. This private island hotel is “very possibly the most exclusive castaway escape ever”, according to Condé Nast Traveller. It’s a place to unwind and relax, to stroll to meet the resident lemurs and nesting sea turtles, and for blue safaris: spotting dolphins and whales and exploring the coral reefs.
Turtle Inn & Coral Caye, Belize
Turtle Inn is a labour of love. Less than a year after filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola acquired this beachside refuge in 2001, a hurricane swept it out to sea. Turning disaster into triumph, the Coppola family led a reclamation project, creating a magnificent 25-cottage seafront resort ranked consistently among the best in Central and South America. Nearly 13 kilometres offshore from Turtle Inn is Coral Caye, a private island idyllic hideaway, also owned by the moviemaker, home to two intimate residences for a castaway experience like no other.
Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives
This award-winning, eco-chic resort in the Maldives’ North Atoll is the self-styled place for Mr and Mrs Crusoes: you’ll even find a copy of the Defoe classic in your overwater villa and have a Man (or Woman) Friday to ably assist you during your stay. The motto at Gili Lankanfushi is ‘no news, no shoes’, so be prepared to pad around in your bare feet and to feel blissfully separate from everyone and everything other than your new spouse.
If you’d like to put food at the heart of your trip, some destinations will appeal to you as true havens for food lovers...
South Africa: Gastronomic tour of the Western Cape
For foodies, there’s a new big hitter on the global food scene. Although largely overlooked by the Michelin guide until recent years, South Africa’s food scene is worth crossing the world for, with the Western Cape and its excellent restaurants increasingly stepping into the spotlight. The Gastronomic tour of the Western Cape is a seven-night suggested itinerary that includes nights at The Silo, Leeu Estates and Tswalu. You’ll sample the cooking of Nicky Gibbs, Luke Dale-Roberts, Kobus van der Merwe and John Norris Rogers, amongst others, drink exceptional wine, see outstanding African art, and much, much more.
Japan: Sushi & Sashimi
The result of Japan’s centuries of deliberate isolation is a uniquely cohesive culture that includes gastronomic traditions. There’s a good reason that UNESCO added Japanese cuisine to its Intangible Cultural Heritage List, where it sits alongside the likes of French and Mexican food. And that Japan’s restaurants feature in the Michelin Guide so frequently. There are more than 220 Michelin-mentioned restaurants in Tokyo alone. During the 11-night suggested itinerary Sushi & Sashimi, you’ll visit Tokyo, Takayama, Kyoto and Osaka, where food is a way of life, to sample each spot’s gastronomic delights.
Italy: Discover Florence and Tuscany’s food & wine
For those seeking a vibrant culinary experience, where better than Italy and the cradle of the Renaissance? Florence and Tuscany’s stunning countryside, culture and history are – for foodies – second only to its food, which is adored worldwide. Tuscany’s regional specialities are famed for their simplicity and use of seasonal produce. Chianti Classico, produced in the hill vineyards between Florence and Siena, is the perfect accompaniment to the region’s distinctive flavours. Enjoy private cookery lessons, guided vineyards tours, and exclusive wine tastings on this seven-night suggested itinerary.
If you’re a thrill-seeking couple looking beyond the rose petal-strewn bed, the perfect honeymoon that combines intensity and romance is just waiting for you.
Tanzania: Climb the Machame Route
For a high-altitude getaway, active couples might like to consider climbing the world’s tallest free-standing mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro. Scaling the 5,895-metre dormant volcano is on many bucket lists, and the great news is that achieving this together requires no technical climbing skill. All that’s needed is a moderate level of fitness, the right attitude and, of course, for the altitude gods to smile upon you. A&K enjoys a 97 per cent summit success rate, thanks to your additional acclimatisation days, during our nine-night Kilimanjaro – The Machame Route itinerary.
Chile/Argentina: Trekking in Patagonia
If you’d like to feel like you’re the only two people on the planet, the Patagonia region of South America is perfect for you. Patagonia, the roughly one-million-square-kilometre area at the southern tip of South America shared by Chile and Argentina, is on many travellers’ wish lists. This remote region, called ‘the uttermost part of the earth’ by an early settler, has come to the attention of many thanks to Bruce Chatwin’s famed In Patagonia and its numerous re-publications since 1977. His description of the ‘rags of silver cloud spinning across the sky, and the sea of grey-green thornscrub lying off in sweeps and rising in terraces and the white dust streaming off the salt pans’ call to those who wish to escape humanity for a while. There’s no better way to go off-grid and enjoy the region’s drama than on a trek such as A&K’s six-night itinerary.
Ever since Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert hopped off the bus and into that Model T in It Happened One Night, the romance of a couple’s road trip has been undeniable. You already have the perfect co-pilot, now all you need is a great driving playlist...
U.S.A.: Cutting-edge California
Road-trip goals don't get any more aspirational than California’s Pacific Coast Highway, perhaps the most iconic and scenic route in America. Spanning some 1,300 kilometres and signposted with some awesome spots such as Big Sur, the Californian section of Route 101 is legendary. A&K’s suggested 13-night itinerary sees you take to the road in a vintage mustang as you travel from San Francisco to Los Angeles, taking in Napa Valley, Big Sur and Santa Barbara (where Jackie and JFK honeymooned – at least partially) en route. California Dreamin’ blaring the whole way, of course.
Italy/Austria: The Dolomites Luxury Self-Drive Tour
Don’t come down from the post-wedding euphoria. Keep your high and visit the vertiginous area where Italy meets Austria on a five-night suggested itinerary. Explore the jagged northern Italian Alpine peaks, sublime views, fascinating history, and delicious cuisine. Journey from Venice to San Cassiano and Milan via the captivating scenery of the UNESCO-listed Dolomites. There’ll be plenty of time for hiking, cable car rides, museum visits and stopping at local restaurants in between.
Some couples want a life-deconstructed experience whilst on honeymoon – to revel in nature – but others want to celebrate the constructed environment, to see Indian monuments to love or ancient wonders that celebrate eternity.
India & Bhutan: Unforgettable Bhutan & the Desert of India
Couples seeking the road-less travelled might like to turn their sights eastwards towards the happiest country on Earth. Bhutan, tucked between China and India at the eastern end of the Himalayan chain, is the most alluring of the Himalayan countries and relatively few other tourists travel there – even in the most normal of pre-pandemic times. Those who do are rewarded, though, with mountain-top monasteries, traditional Buddhist culture and mind-boggling Himalayan scenery. At the place where the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers meet, you’ll visit Punakha Dzong, a 17th-century fortress that is considered to be the most beautiful human-made structure in all Bhutan. Then travel to the Indian cities of Delhi, where famed architect Edwin Lutyens laboured for decades, the Blue City of Jodhpur and the Golden City of Jaisalmer.
It’s hard to summarise Japan, to wrap it up with a tidy bow. Japan isn’t just one thing: it’s far-out fantasy and hyper-realism; it’s cherry blossoms, food, hot-spring onsens, centuries-old tea rooms, bullet trains, torii gates and neon lights. However, one thing is for sure: the romance of travelling in this Far Eastern archipelago is undeniable. We can tailor any honeymoon to your specifications. Still, as a suggestion, our 12-night Classic Japan itinerary spotlights the best of this extraordinary and complex island nation: Tokyo, Hakone, Takayama, Hiroshima, Kyoto and Nara. Built environment highlights include Miyajima and Daitoku-ji, Todaji temples, Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park and the Imperial Palace.
With its unparalleled cultural and archaeological heritage, Egypt has been attracting visitors with its built environment for millennia. It’s a country that is generous with its riches. Our specialist guides – trained Egyptologists – won’t feel a third wheel thanks to their expert knowledge, whether you’re visiting Giza’s monumental pyramids, Luxor’s colossal Valley of the Kings, or the incomparable river Nile. From Aswan, once a colonial hub for the English, to Luxor, the ancient city of Thebes, you can cruise the Nile together in style aboard one of our Sun Boats or, more privately, on our romantic dahabiya.
For couples enthralled by animals and thrilled with the prospect of close encounters with wildlife, then we suggest:
Botswana: Classic Botswana
According to The Telegraph, “Botswana with its mighty lions and diverse terrain offers the best safari experience on the continent”. Abercrombie & Kent was born in East Africa, some 60 years ago, in Kenya to be precise, so we couldn’t possibly play safari favourites. However, for a honeymoon and a more intimate wildlife-viewing experience that is as unobtrusive to the animals as possible, we’re tipping our pith helmets at this southern African country which is serious about protecting its animals. Our 11-night suggested itinerary will take you to Chobe, Moremi and the Okavango Delta.
India: In Search of Tiger
Maybe your spirit animal is the tiger; India is the place for you. It’s home to nearly 3,000 tigers (an estimated 70 per cent of the world’s wild tiger population). A conservation success story, in 2019, the country’s prime minister Narendra Modi called it “now one of the biggest and most secure habitats of the tiger”. Of course, that was pre-pandemic, and the lack of tourism revenue will have affected, so by choosing to spend your honeymoon in search of tiger, you’ll be supporting them too. Our 10-night suggested itinerary takes you to Pench National Park (which is thought to have inspired Kipling’s Jungle Book), Kanha – one of India’s oldest state parks, and the famed Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve. Your chances of seeing tigers? High.
Asia: Borneo Wildlife Adventure
The third-largest island in the world, Borneo has been called the world’s most incredible spot for animal lovers. Madagascar might have something to say about that, but, of course, it depends on which animal you long to see. Famed for its flora and fauna the world over, Borneo and its equatorial rainforests are home to the orangutan. During your honeymoon in Borneo, you could spend time at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Here the soulful brown eyes of humanity’s closest relatives will return your gaze. Afterwards, trace the snaking bends of the Kinabatangan River by boat; swim and snorkel among the fish-filled coral gardens in the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, and explore the magnificent Gomantong Caves.
Yogis & Wellness Wanderers
Honeymoons for the mindful… for those more interested in spending time in down dog than downing daiquiris, we suggest:
The Japanese Art of Wellness
In recent years, wellness travel has evolved towards the transformative, emphasising the ‘we’ in wellness. For a holiday that explores a meaningful two-way dialogue between you as a mindful couple and the destination, we suggest Japan for a positive change-making experience. Explore the concepts of shinrin-yoku, ikigai and wabi-sabi as you have serene spa experiences in Tokyo, onsens in Karuizawa, set sail on the Seto Inland Sea and discover the elixir of youth in Okinawa.
Sri Lanka: Santani
Does your dosha need a little detailing? If any wedding stress left you left unbalanced, head to a heavenly wellness resort in the hills outside of Kandy and find some harmony amongst the tea plants and fruit trees of Santani Resort & Spa in Sri Lanka. 20 contemporary villas slot into the landscape, while the three-tier spa offers up award-winning Ayurvedic treatments. You’ll feel restored and renewed and perhaps ready to explore the rest of this beautiful teardrop island.
If you’d like to enjoy a romantic getaway that treads lightly upon the planet, connects you with nature and your destination, and protects the Earth for your potential future offspring, look no further than the following hotels. Just don’t forget to carbon offset your flights.
Brazil: Comuna do Ibitipoca
According to The Telegraph, “Local people, conservation and sustainability are the tenets behind Ibitipoca”. Nestled in the Atlantic rainforests of Brazil’s Minas Gerais state on what once was thousands of acres of farmland, Comuna do Ibitipoca is an eco-conscious estate that provides an immersive experience for guests while providing locals with employment and engagement. Walk, cycle and horse ride around some 5,000 hectares of previously degraded land, which the dedicated staff is rewilding. Learn about specific rewilding projects, including those that orbit around tapirs, macuco and jacutinga birds, and muriqui primates.
Indonesia: Bawah Reserve
It’s very easy to be green at Bawah Reserve. Located in a pristine, far-flung spot in Indonesia, the Anambas Archipelago, this private-islands retreat is as luxurious as eco-minded. Floating in one of Indonesia’s first marine conservation areas, the resort is spread across six-jungle covered islands, edged by 13 amazingly white beaches and ringed by three azure lagoons. There are 35 suites (over-water, beach-front and garden villas) made from natural or recycled materials. It ticks all the green boxes – zero-waste policy, locally grown food, no pesticides – but the roots spread deeper into marine conservation, forestry conservation, community programmes and education initiatives. Spend your precious honeymoon for a luxury-does-real-good experience.