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10 Alternative & non-cliche dream honeymoon ideas

by Gizelle Lau
From Romantic Travel
May 12, 2009

Wedding season approaches and with it, a slew of brides and grooms looking for last minute honeymoon ideas, destinations, good prices and places to book their trips - including me.  

As a travel writer for, there's no way I could just settle for an all-inclusive package to Aruba and I refused to fall into the typical honeymoon destination traps.  With my spreadsheet blank and ready to plan an itinerary, I came up with some great ideas for a non-typical honeymoon destination - and here they are!

Hidden treasures, exotic destinations, little known deserted islands, alternatives to the typical honeymoon destination, hideouts in fortified cities and destinations brimming with culture and life is what you'll find on this list.  Forget Maui, Tahiti or Venice.  More on honeymoons from  Honeymoon in the Countryside at these Top 10 Wine Regions of the World or Forget Bora Bora, Have a Real Honeymoon in Tikehau.

10 Non-Typical Dream Honeymoon Destinations

Whether you're looking for your dream honeymoon destination or your dream trip, check out's Trip Builder where you can submit your trip request - a one-week getaway to Paris or a three-month cruise around the world - and connect with over 104,000 travel agents and operators worldwide who are ready to offer you competitive prices for your trip!  Go to for more.

MarrakechRetreat to mysterious Marrakech
If you're looking for an exotic and mysterious location, then Marrakech is your oyster.  The Marrakech Medina is the old city where you'll find endless winding narrow streets, souks or shops selling all kinds of goods, ancient mosques and more.  The Djemaa El-Fna is the largest and busiest night market & square in the world, full of snake charmers, music, mischievous monkeys, acrobats, and street food.  On the other hand, Gueliz is Marrakech's new district where modern shopping and restaurants are found.  Go to for more on Marrakech.  

Hideout on a deserted island in the Bahamas
If you're looking for truly deserted islands - and no, Tahiti doesn't count - then look to the Bahamas.  Sure, you've heard of Nassau and Paradise Island - but what about Long Island?  Eleuthera?   Exumas?  You don't want to miss out on the world's best-kept secret for hidden island getaways and truly secluded beaches.  Don't believe me?  Click to discover Long Island: the "Real" Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

Discover lush paradise in Kauai

Forget Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Maui or Big Island.  Known as the Garden Island of Hawaii, Kauai's landscape alone is worth the visit.  Lush tropical greenery, waterfalls at every turn, secret swimming holes, mountains that reach the heavens, the most stunning coastline in the world, sandy beaches perfect for surfers and small town friendliness are just a taste of what can be found in Kauai.  Go to for more on Kauai.  Read on 10 Surfing Tips for Beginners from Kauai.

Take in the Austrian countryside
If you're thinking of driving through southern France, then consider Austria as a less typical honeymoon adventure.  Indeed, the hills are alive here and there's something picturesque, charming, and untouched about so much of Austria's countryside that can't be said of France.  Visit quaint towns like Hallstatt, set amid snow-capped mountains (see our Photo Slideshow of Hallstatt, Austria for some unforgettable views) or discover music and classical culture in Salzburg. 

Elephant Ride in Chiang MaiExploring South East Asia by train
For couples that need more excitement on a honeymoon than sun and sand, this option is a perfect mix of adventure, romance and discovery all at once.  From elephant rides in the jungle in Chiang Mai to boat rides past massive limestone edifices in Ha Long Bay to beachside in Langkawi, there's so much to explore that you'll need more than a couple of weeks.  From street food to tropical fruits, floating markets, ancient temples and ruins from times of conflict, the history and stark contrast in culture in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand are truly magnificent to experience.  Go to for the best guides on train travel worldwide.

Get passionate in Buenos Aires, Argentina
When it comes to passion - the kind of passion you should have on your honeymoon - Buenos Aires is the place that comes to mind.   Sensual tangos and riveting salsas are only part of the landscape in Buenos Aires where you can wander along pedestrian-only streets, enjoy the true meaning of nightlife or go for a short jaunt to Tigre for a boat ride down the Lujan River.  Visit for more on Buenos Aires.  

Escape to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
It's in Puerto Vallarta that Mexico comes alive.  Rated as one of the world's best places for a romantic escape, Puerto Vallarta is also happily free from the hordes of American teenagers looking for a party.  A place for a real Mexican getaway, life, culture, art and food come together in perfect unity.  Saunter down the Malecon, visit the city's many art galleries, catch a bullfight or take a tour to the birthplace of Tequila.  You'll also be happy to know that Puerto Vallarta has no reported cases of swine flu (updated April 8, 2009).  Bars, clubs, restaurants and movie theatres are re-opening and major cruise lines will be sailing to Mexico again in mid-June.  Go to for more on Puerto Vallarta.  Discover 10 Ways to Explore Puerto Vallarta: Where Mexico Comes to Life.

Castle hoppingCastle and B+B hopping in the UK

Hop around in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland and go back in time to the days of Henry the VIII.  The original destination for countryside guesthouses and bed and breakfasts, this kind of honeymoon is great for couples looking for a peaceful countryside pace, traditional English-style breakfasts, and all the tea and scones you could consume.  Visit the hundreds of castles, abbeys, and historical sites from Northumberland and Cumbria in England to Pembrokeshire in Wales or Edinburgh in Scotland.  Go to for more on B&B's in the UK.

Stay in above-water cabanas on Turtle Island, Fiji
Discover Turtle Island in Fiji for the meaning of secluded and exclusive paradise unparalleled, even next to Bora Bora.  With accommodations for only 14 couples at any given time, the aim of Turtle Island Resort is to give couples an experience of a liftime.  For the ultimate in luxury, romance, and relaxation, Turtle Island is a true once-in-a-lifetime getaway.  Go to for more.

Go beachside in San Sebastian, Spain
La Playa de la Concha is known as one of the best beaches in Spain and Europe, situated in the heart of San Sebastian's bustling city. You can step off of your surfboard to stroll down historic cobble-stoned streets towards historic churches.  It's a great spot for surfers, Europeans on vacation and food-lovers who flock to dine at Mugaritz and Arzak, two of the top restaurants in the world.  Be sure to make time to visit nearby Bilbao for a day at the Guggenheim Museum.  Go to for more on San Sebastian.

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Gizelle Lau icon

Gizelle Lau

Gizelle Lau is a freelance writer & photographer in Toronto, Canada with a passion for food and travel. 

Located: Toronto Canada
Likes: cities, culture, food/wine, paths-less-travelled, photography, wildlife

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