I recently got married and went on my honeymoon and had an amazing time! (Except for lost luggage, but that will be on another post). I’ll tell you about my honeymoon at the end of the post, but I was surprised how many people thought where we went was so out of the ordinary. Many people in the US to go resorts in the Caribbean or in Hawaii for their honeymoon, and while that’s great for some people, but I don’t love staying at beaches for long and I hate the heat, especially in August! So if anyone else is like me and a beach resort isn’t your ideal honeymoon, I gathered some great off-the-beaten-path honeymoons to give you some creative and adventurous ideas! 🙂
7 amazing off-the-beaten-path honeymoons
Hiking and exploring Peru
Peru is a fantastic destination for newlyweds or couples celebrating their anniversary. It is a country full of natural beauty and a long rich history.
Most people know Peru as the home of Machu Picchu, being a dream destination because of its famous Inca Ruins. But while you are in Peru there is a vast diversity to enjoy; indulge yourself in delicious Peruvian food in Lima, enjoy a natural escape in the Amazon rainforest, take a helicopter ride above the Nazca signs and enjoy a relaxing visit to the ocean at Paracas.
Peru has a great bus company called Peru Hop that takes you to the best locations in the country and you can hop on/off at any of the destinations and stay as long as you want. It was really helpful for us as we did not need to drive and worry about planning our route.
The best thing about visiting South America is that you can create your own trip depending your desires and interests. You can stay at the most luxurious all-inclusive hotels or take budget friendly backpacking trip or anywhere in between. Regardless of your budget you will have a time of your life on your honeymoon in Peru.
Relaxing in and exploring Loutro, Crete
The main reason we chose to visit Loutro was after speaking to a Greek friend, and she mentioned that on Crete, most English people stay in the North side of the island, while if you make the effort to explore further South, this is where Greek people like to escape for their holidays.
Loutro is quiet (there are no cars in the village – you have to arrive by boat) so it is perfect for relaxing after the busy months organizing a wedding. The only problem with a relaxing beach holiday, is that I am not very good at relaxing on a beach for long! This meant that we ended up exploring the surrounding area and hiking along the beautiful cliffs to other beaches. Swimming and snorkeling are both fantastic in the clear waters.
My favourite activity was hiking along the Ardinia Gorge. We had to wake up before sunrise, as it is sooo hot to hike in Crete, we wanted to be finished and at the beach by lunchtime. It was such a picturesque mini adventure.
Hiking in the Dolomites
After the Greek part of our honeymoon, we flew over to Italy to spend a week hiking in the Dolomites.
I do not normally book tours, but on this occasion, we found a fairly inexpensive self-guided tour that allowed us to go on fantastic hikes each day, then arrive back to hotels with tasty three course meals and wine. Bag transfers were included, so we’d walk from one hotel, over beautiful mountains while carrying just our day bags. Our luggage would be waiting for us by the time we arrived at the next hotel in the late afternoon or evening.
This might not sound like everyone’s cup of tea, but for us, this was the prefect way to start our married lives together. We were pretty exhausted by the end of each day’s hike, but somehow baths/sauna and fantastic food would revive us. The highlight of the week was climbing up one of the spiky Dolomites called Schlern/Sciliar. We started in the mist, but the clouds lifted just as we reached the summit, to show us some of the most fantastic views I have ever seen. It was all so romantic and awesome.
Submitted by Josy from A Walk and a Lark
Relaxing in the romantic Loire Valley, France
Do you want to go to Paris for your honeymoon but are worried that the crowds will take away from the experience? Solution… The Loire Valley.
I went here on my mini-moon (yes, it’s a thing and I highly encourage it) and I loved that it has the elegance and culture of Paris, but with a provincial feel and slower pace of life. Très romantique. You can easily spend several days in the Loire Valley, touring the different towns and cities and exploring the castles.
While it isn’t nearly as busy as Paris, it remains filled with tourists in the summer, especially in the larger cities of Orléans, Blois and Tours. The trick is to explore some of the lesser-known places in the region. Go canoeing on the river. Bike to vineyards. Take long lunches. Picnic in the parks and stroll through the towns. These activities will allow you to escape the masses and get some quality alone time with your partner. To add to the romance, there are a ton of cute bed and breakfasts. Staying in these immerse you in the culture with delicious food and helpful tips from the local owners.
If I were to change one thing about my visit it would be seeing less castles and exploring more of the surrounding area. I’d recommend visiting Château de Chenonceau and Château de Chambord because they are incredible in terms of architectural feats. But don’t feel like you need to check all the castles off your list – your honeymoon shouldn’t be hectic and the castles will be there for another time.
Seeing the beauty of Oman
Virtually everyone did a double take when I told them I was going to Oman for my honeymoon. Most then had to check a map to see where it was (myself included!). I wasn’t sure when it was first suggested to me, but on doing some research, I was intrigued.
Oman is not what you would expect from a destination in the Middle East, it has a no skyscraper policy and some incredibly diverse landscape. The Arabian desert, white sand beaches and the dramatically haunting Al Hajar mountain range are all within easy reach of the capital, Muscat.
As Oman is still relatively off the radar as a travel destination, it wasn’t overcrowded with tourists, in fact we saw hardly any while exploring Muscat. Go to Muttrah Souq, one of the oldest Arabian marketplaces in the world, see the Sultan’s Palace and gaze at the 8 tonne chandelier in the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. It is refreshing to visit a destination without having seen it in pictures millions of times before, it allows you to be surprised and oh wow, is Oman beautiful.
Don’t go to Oman without leaving Muscat, we used the amazing Zahara Tours to explore. Take a journey to the Al Hajar mountains, stopping to take a dip in a Wadi on your way. Ancient, abandoned villages cling to mountainsides with roses growing up them and the views will just blow you away. Then head to Wahiba Sands and watch the sun set over the dunes before camping under the stars for the night in a traditional Bedouin style tent. On your way back to Muscat stop at one of the pristine beaches, they are virtually deserted and the Gulf of Oman is the perfect swimming temperature.
Oman is a very peaceful country in every sense of the word, take your time to enjoy the landscape, it is a truly beautiful place to be, especially for a honeymoon!
In September 2016, my husband whisked me away on a 9-day honeymoon adventure to Greece. We began on the island of Santorini, which is known for the colorful collection of homes and hotels that adorn its crescent-shaped cliffside.
We stayed at Sophia Luxury Suites in a picturesque cave room with its own indoor pool and a view of the ocean. We were in Imerovigli, which offers the perfect honeymoon location on Santorini because it is quiet but still within a short drive or walk to many activities.
Our favorite island adventures included a wine tasting at Domaine Sigalas, hiking to Oia, and a sunset dinner at the Ammoudi Fish Tavern. Our next stop in Greece was to the island of Mykonos, where we stayed at the Mykonos Blu Grecotel. The view from our room in Mykonos was breathtaking. Every afternoon spent relaxing by our private outdoor pool and walking along Psarou Beach was pure bliss. Mykonos also offered a thriving night life in their City Center complete with some incredible traditional Greek and Italian restaurants.
Our final three days were spent in Athens. While there, we traversed through all the main city streets, admiring the Ancient Greek ruins that have decorated this area for thousands of years. Our favorite activities in Athens included a tour through the Acropolis and a rooftop dinner at The Old Tavern of Psara. Almost any rooftop bar in the city offers an incredible view of the Parthenon at night.
Greece offers a great option for an off-the-beaten-path honeymoon. You can easily spend a week staying in expensive and ornate hotels enjoying cocktails by the beach or exploring the beautiful island terrain and the Ancient Greek ruins. Or, you can enjoy both. Greece appeals to beach lovers and adventure seekers alike.
Relaxing in the Austrian Alps and Bavaria
Now you get to see my own honeymoon! Matt, my new husband, and I spent a week exploring the Austrian Alps and Bavaria. I did a lot of research before picking this spot. We got married in August and I melt in the heat, so I knew I didn’t want a tropical or beach location. So I looked into lakes in the mountains instead!
I looked into places like Switzerland, but after looking at flights and places to stay, Austria was the best choice for us. We stayed in a beautiful chalet in Niederbreitenbach, Austria because it was close to places like Innsbruck and Munich, and it was also more secluded and near Stimmersee and the beautiful lake in Wilder Kaiser.
I loved the locations we visited on our honeymoon because we got to relax in nature and see some gorgeous places off-the-beaten-path, but we also got to explore some bigger cities, too. Plus, it wasn’t too hot!
While we were in Innsbruck, we also got honeymoon photos taken! It was a great way to capture our honeymoon and get to know more about the city from a local.
If you’re looking for off-the-beaten-path honeymoons, these are some great options! And if you want to learn more about my honeymoon, don’t worry, I’ll have plenty of posts coming up soon 🙂