The ideal honeymoon is different for almost everyone. Everyone has different expectations for what it should entail and that’s what makes it particularly difficult to plan from an outsider perspective. In my personal view, the true yet seldom-spoken purpose of a honeymoon is to give the happy couple a chance to get away from fawning parents and the undivided attention of a wedding, dispersing them into an environment that is simultaneously all about them yet not concerned with them at all.
This is the duality which makes a honeymoon so pleasurable in my opinion, and it’s certainly what helped make my own so great. But of course, a honeymoon is only complete in the right setting. Choosing your destination is of the utmost importance to the overall feeling and purpose of your honeymoon, and will be a big part of the memories you forge together. Taking into account my own experiences, I wanted to explore some of the best places on the planet to achieve this honeymoon bliss.
Italy has long been hailed as a suitably romantic destination for newlyweds, and a place to seal your eternal love in the shadow of the colosseum with the ghost of Maximus Decimus Maridius nodding approvingly. Yes, Rome is a great choice, but I’m going to put forward Venice instead. Venice is quite unlike any other place on the planet, a picturesque Italian city that sits on sprawling canals and is mostly traversed by boat.
To keep the romance rolling, a gondola ride through Venice’s main Grand Canal as you sail slowly past intricately designed buildings, floral gardens, and bustling main streets ever so slyly should do the trick.
Many people may disagree on this point, but Kyoto, which was once the capital city of Japan and remains the spiritual capital, is one of the most romantic places on the planet. I don’t mean this in the traditional sense such as Paris or Rome, but primarily in terms of the shared spiritual experience of Kyoto’s strangely melancholic existence in limbo between the Japan of old and the technocratic paradise we know today. There is something beautiful about Kyoto’s spiritual side, with thousands of ancient Buddhist temples, shrines, and gardens adorning the twisting streets. Visiting a temple as a newlywed is a beautiful experience I can’t recommend enough.
There’s also a very modern side to Kyoto, with restaurants, bars, shopping centres and plenty of entertainment to see that your not-so-peaceful side is taken care of adequately. It is the combination of old and new that makes Kyoto such a unique place, and certainly a must-see for the curious.
Latchi represents a more traditional honeymoon destination, with sparse beautiful beaches, sunny weather, and blue seas at every turn. Located on the north-west coat of Cyprus, the Latchi village itself is a bustling yet peaceful harbour which for over a century has been used as a fishing port, connecting the village to the city of Paphos which is just a few miles away.
The town itself is also home to plenty of restaurants and bars, as well as friendly locals who will welcome the joyful sight of a very much in-love couple; who knows, you might even get a few free drinks out of it! For the full Latchi honeymoon experience, look into renting yourself private luxury Cyprus villas with pools. Most of these are located just a few minutes’ walk from the sea, and also offer unparalleled privacy for you to further enjoy this historical and tranquil haven.
Cape Town, South Africa
Having trouble deciding what you want out of a honeymoon? Is your partner being just as indecisive? Yeah, you have a lot of that to look forward too, especially if you married an indecisive chap like I did. Regardless of all that, if you want a little bit of everything in your honeymoon, including beautiful beaches, bustling cities, expansive landscapes, and peaceful retreats, Cape Town should be your top choice.
As the perfect wind down to your nuptials, take the hour and a half journey south to lands’ end. It’s here you’ll find Cape of Good Hope, the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian ocean, and the southernmost point of the African continent. On the way, stop at Boulders Beach and visit the famous friendly colony of African penguins that resides there.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The Netherlands, in particular Amsterdam, is my personal choice for those who are just too burnt out on the whole wedding experience to trek up mountains or endlessly explore Buddhist shrines. In Amsterdam, you are simply encouraged to relax and watch the world unfurl before you; there’s sometimes nothing better than people watching in such a unique place, and taking some time think about your recently transpired eternal vow.
Amsterdam is also the world capital of indulgence, with a chocolate shop on every corner and plenty of other interesting establishments to ensure you spoil yourself as you should. A word of warning from experience; the Dutch capital can get freezing during the winter seasons, so make sure you dress appropriately!