Do you want a honeymoon that's off the beaten track or a bit out of the ordinary? Traditional honeymoon locations can be great, but more undiscovered destinations have much to offer, including magnificent scenery, a sense of adventure, and indulgent romance. So today, we share five of our favorite hidden gem honeymoon destinations perfect for couples seeking an exceptionally romantic getaway...
1 - Positano, Italy A honeymoon to Positano is all about relaxing and enjoying authentic Italian coastal cuisine. Located on the Amalfi Coast, the small fishing village of Positano is built on the side of a mountain, boasting colorful buildings spilling down the rocky hillside to the sea below. Writer John Steinbeck referred to Positano as a “dream place”, and it’s easy to see why; amazing scenery (think bright foliage and flowers in bloom), unparalleled beaches (including an inviting rock beach with the warm Mediterranean Sea at its base to enjoy), and minimal tourism (which means more romance for you and your groom).
Positano features two beautiful beaches, Spiaggia Grande and Fornillo. Spiaggia Grandi is a smooth pebbled beach lined with cozy restaurants and cafes, where you can enjoy breathtaking sunsets that are not to be missed. Fornillo beach is more private and less traveled, as it can only be reached by a path that starts at Spiaggia Grande.
2 - Hallstatt, Austria Hallstatt is the quintessential Austrian village, with all of the quaint buildings, mountain views, and gorgeous church steeples that come to mind when you think of Austria. In fact, Hallstatt is Austria’s oldest village, dating back to the 8th century B.C. The village is located in the Salzkammergut Lake Region, nestled between the Dachstein mountain range and Lake Hallstaettersee (which you have to cross by ferry in order to get to the village).
Hallstatt is a great honeymoon location for history and museum lovers. It includes several museums and holds the world’s oldest salt mine. It's also a fantastic option for an adventure honeymoon as there are many hiking trails to explore. Hallstatt features some top-notch luxury hotels, where you can enjoy wonderful food and hospitality on your honeymoon.
3 - Marrakesh, Morocco If you want a truly interesting honeymoon, Marrakech, Morocco is certainly an ideal destination. It’s a city of exotic beauty with an exciting maze of covered market streets. As you explore, you’ll be entertained by a variety of unique street performers like fire jugglers. Don’t forget to visit the lovely Majorelle Gardens and the restored Saadian Tombs.
Marrakech is an especially wonderful destination if you're honeymooning from October through March, as you'll be rewarded with beautiful weather. If traveling in January or February, skiers can also enjoy the Oukaimden ski resort, less than fifty miles outside of Marrakech.
If you do decide to honeymoon in Marrakech, try to reserve a riad, a traditional Moroccan house in the older part of town. These old houses provide an affordable place to stay and the opportunity to connect with the culture of Marrakech. Many riads feature restaurants or pools in the central courtyard, and some have rooftop terraces with gorgeous views of the city.
4 - Queenstown, New Zealand Queenstown really does have it all, particularly if you're looking for an adventurous honeymoon that also includes much-needed R&R. Remember that the lands "down under" operate on the opposite seasonal schedule as the U.S. and Europe, which means that Queenstown is the perfect destination for skiers and snowboarders who hope to honeymoon in June through September.
In and around Queenstown, you can enjoy adventure activities like jet skiing, quad biking, bungee jumping, climbing, river rafting, and paragliding. The area also features some of New Zealand's finest wineries, so you can come down from your adrenaline rush with a relaxing winery tour. If you want a greener honeymoon, you should also look at eco-tour options and natural attractions like hiking tours, horseback tours, and kayak tours in and around Queenstown.
5 - Castle Hopping in Scotland If you both love history and all things medieval, castle hopping in Scotland could be the perfect honeymoon for you. Several UK-based tourism companies offer guided tours, but you can also use the services of these companies to help arrange your own self-driving tour. Castles worth visiting include Edinburgh Castle, Balmoral Castle, Eilean Donan Castle, Floors Castle, Inveraray Castle, and Tantallon Castle. One interesting thing about castle hopping in Scotland is the variety and locations of castles; you'll find castles in the forest, on rocky outcrops, on the coast, in lakes surrounded by water, and in the capital city of Edinburgh.
There are several castles that operate as hotels. These include Ashford Castle, Carr Hall Castle, and Stonefield Castle. While not all castles will allow overnight visitors, there are excellent hotels and bed and breakfast options nearby to most castles. In between castle hopping, you can enjoy the scenic countryside throughout Scotland and its many beautiful lochs (with Loch Ness being the most well-known).
About the Author: Andrew Marino is the CEO of HoneymoonPixie.com, an industry leader in providing honeymoon gift registries for engaged couples. Couples create their free honeymoon registry website and receive honeymoon planning advice and travel tips. Andrew also serves as a contributing Senior Travel Editor.