Considering what we’ve all been through in the past few years, it feels more important than ever to celebrate joyous milestones. So we’ve collected these unforgettable wedding-anniversary trips enjoyed by your fellow travelers. They all used The WOW List to find the right trip planner who could deliver the maximized experience and VIP treatment that people who are celebrating a special anniversary deserve. Here’s how to get your own WOW trip.
Croatia, Italy, Slovenia & Switzerland: “Luisa and Claudia took my idea of following in some of the footsteps of our original honeymoon and built it into an equally memorable highlight in our lives together.”
“Lisa and I have had a lot of wonderful adventures in our more than 50 years together, but for our 50th wedding anniversary trip to Italy, Croatia, Slovenia and Switzerland, the extraordinary planning of Claudia and Luisa took our travel experience to a whole new level. It’s true that Europe was already getting overrun with tourists during our six-week trip, but we rarely felt it because time after time Claudia and Luisa arranged guides and outings that took us away from the crowds and to hidden corners we never would have found on our own.
There are too many highlights to include all of them, but some of our most memorable moments were a gastronomic walking tour of Bologna with Giacomo, a guided E-bike ride along the Appian Way in Rome with Gioia, who spontaneously added in a visit to the multi-layered Church of San Clemente when we expressed interest in it, a guided cable car ride and walk to the top of Anacapri with Melania, and two hikes in the Dolomites with Paola, who revised her plans to reflect our own capacities for strenuous walking (there’s a theme here: nearly all our best guides were women). And that’s just Italy.
In Croatia and Slovenia, we enjoyed a guided walk up Mt. Srd above Dubrovnik, where two women from Piknik Dubrovnik had set up an extraordinary sunset picnic dinner just for us, two guided trips (one by E-bike, the other walking) in the backcountry of the islands of Korcula and Hvar that both included amazing private lunches far from the madding crowds, and an extraordinary tour by the charismatic Mario Bartulovic of his family’s winery and steep-sided vineyard on one of our only rainy days. We nearly cancelled but are so thankful that we didn’t. We also had a food shopping and cooking session with the charming Tatjana Ciciliani at her home in Trojir, near Split.
And the discovery of the trip, for us, was Slovenia, where we dined at the famous Hisa Franko (a 3 1/2-hour, 18-course tasting menu from chef Ana Ros), with a stay at tiny Chalets Nebesa, which is not to be missed if you are anywhere in the area. Four-room Nebesa (reserve far in advance!) is owned and run by Ana’s charming mother, father, sister and brother-in-law, and enjoys an extraordinary view in the Julian Alps over Kobarid, where there are still trenches from the devastating fighting along a front of World War I.
I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that, with only one or two exceptions, every guide was sensational, just about every accommodation was terrific, and nearly all the reserved dinners were a delight. And that’s not to mention our WOW Moment from Wendy of a lunch and wine tasting at the extraordinary BIBICh Winery, on a day when we traveled from Split to Zadar, right after visiting Krka National Park.
Luisa and Claudia took my idea of following in some of the footsteps of our original honeymoon trip to Europe (10 months on $6,000 in 1973-74 to Italy, Yugoslavia, Austria, Greece, Switzerland and France) and built it into an equally memorable highlight in our lives together. We spent our actual anniversary at a pension in the car-free Fex Valley in the Engadin that was one of the top places we stayed on our honeymoon. Our trip lived up to everything I had been dreaming about since we first thought of the idea more than two years in advance.” —Tom Redburn
Norway: “We were serenaded by a musician playing a Norwegian Hardanger fiddle…”
“We traveled from Oslo to Nesseby, which is past the Arctic Circle near the Russian border, spending 3 nights each in 7 venues. Torunn tailored the trip to our preferences, which lean toward a bit of adventure and agri-tourism. In the north we stayed at a 2-room lodge run by a Sami fisherman and spent a morning crab fishing on his boat and an afternoon on an archaeological walk with his wife. He was an excellent cook and served foods he and his wife had caught, shot, or foraged from the landscape. He served the crab we caught in 3 different preparations, each of which was excellent.
The next day we toured the area with a Sami reindeer herder. We also spent time on a small island well out in the Atlantic where we kayaked along the seashore to a lighthouse; foraged in Trondheim with a professional forager picking plants for our lunch; visited a dairy near Oslo producing a unique cheese product and advocating a more humane way to treat dairy cattle; and spent 3 nights at a farm with a gourmet chef specializing in dishes featuring fruit and vegetables from the farm. We received very personal treatment from the hosts at our smaller venues and each of them indicated how much they valued their relationship with Torunn.
Our wedding anniversary occurred during the trip and Torunn arranged a WOW Moment for us that was great fun. We were in Aurland at a farm set in a stunningly beautiful valley with steep mountainsides and many waterfalls. We were serenaded by a musician playing a Norwegian Hardanger fiddle, a type of double-strung violin. The venue was a small shelter with a magnificent view, and we toasted ourselves and the trip with homemade pear Kombucha made by the chef. We thoroughly enjoyed it.” –George Stephens
French Polynesia: “The Brando can only be described as sublime perfection…”
“We traveled to Tahiti, visiting three different islands. I had held off on faraway, remote beach destinations for decades under the notion of the value for your money and the ease of travel of Mexico and the Caribbean. But given this trip was meant to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary, I threw caution to the winds and went all in.
Getting to Tahiti is not the hard part. The adventure starts as soon as you begin booking your inter-island air travel, boat transfers, a sundry of activities, and actually coordinate all of the above to achieve a relaxing visit to the islands. We did not have to worry about any of this with Kleon at the helm. He asked important questions about our likes and dislikes and then crafted an itinerary which slowly evolved into a spectacular journey with three ever-better chapters in a jaw-dropping beautiful region.
Our first stop was Vahine Island Resort and Spa. With nine acres and only a handful of rooms, this small island stop helped us relax, reset and realize what truly is Tahitian beauty and calm. No noise other than the wind, the waves, and the coconut trees. No thinking about meal choices with simple, but elegant prix fixe dinner menus. No people (there were a few other couples which we visited with over meals and activities), but a private tranquil island where my wife and I watched the sunset on the dock with baby blacktip reef sharks swimming underneath, cracked open fresh coconuts when thirsty, and went paddle boarding in the large bay between Vahine and Tahaa…all alone. The privacy, intimacy, and peace on this island with such a limited number of guests began to open my eyes to why we made the long journey to this beach.
We traveled to Bora Bora next. A water taxi with an impromptu stop to see over a hundred blacktip reef sharks in pristinely clear water was an unexpected highlight during our ride to the airport. No airport security made the trip even better. Upon arrival to Bora Bora, another boat awaited to transfer us to the St. Regis. While significantly more tourists visit this island, the number of hotels and additional guests did not diminish the striking beauty of Mount Otemanu. We enjoyed our over-the-water bungalow immensely, in particular, leaping off the deck into the refreshing turquoise lagoon water. We chose to refresh our diving skills and were incredibly fortunate to have two massive reef mantas swim two feet over our heads while we gazed upward from 40 feet below on the white sand bottom.
Immensely relaxed, in beach mode and thrilled with our first two hotel stays, we topped off our travel with our final nights at the Brando in Tetiaroa. Lunch at your private pool, scuba diving outside amongst a mountain of colorful coral, cocktails at sunset at the bar above the treeline…simply ask and your wish is their command. Getting to the hotel is equally spectacular using a singular private charter which whisked us to and from paradise without a worry and with ease. And for my wife who seems to attract mosquito bites wherever we may be, the hotel has an answer for that as well. Their island scientists eradicated the pest from the island without the use of any chemicals, allowing for outdoor enjoyment unlike any other experience where you may encounter the often annoying bugs. The experience at the Brando can only be described as sublime perfection, where any of your needs or desires instantly come to fruition.
Tahiti is burned into our memories with its unforgettably blue waters, tranquil relaxing days, vivid and abundant sea life and unique island vibes. Now home, we daydream daily of when we will return.” —Michael Ruma
Southern Africa: “Cakes and celebrations at each safari camp for our anniversary…”
“Our 30th wedding anniversary was coming up, and I landed on an African safari as the perfect way to celebrate. We’ve just returned from this spectacular trip: Four days in Cape Town visiting Table Mountain, Boulders Beach, the Cape of Good Hope, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and of course the Winelands, along with a fantastic lunch at Glen Carlou; two nights at Victoria Falls in the lovely Old Drift Lodge; and six nights in Botswana: two at Savute, two at Camp Moremi, and two at Shinde. All the accommodations were outstanding, and the transport between camps was flawless.
At each stop we were made to feel so special, with an incredible “sundowner” experience at Old Drift, along with cakes and celebrations at each safari camp for our anniversary. It was clear that Julian and team had taken exceptional effort to ensure all the camps were aware of our special event, which was a wonderful surprise that we really appreciated.
This complicated trip was made so easy! While I often plan trips myself, I can highly recommend arranging a trip like this through an expert. Julian’s services took all the stress out and we were left with nothing but fantastic fun and great memories.” —Nancy Megehee
French Polynesia: “A perfect day on a beautiful boat with snorkeling, swimming with sharks, spinner dolphins…”
“It was a trip of a lifetime, and Kleon made it happen for us! We went to Taha’a and Bora Bora and had the most relaxing and enjoyable time together because he managed all the details, which allowed us to just focus on each other.
Kleon set up the most romantic, private dinner on the beach, with live Polynesian music. The table was set with linen, flowers, a bottle of champagne chilling, all surrounded by tiki torches. It was picture-perfect.
Kleon’s relationships with French Polynesian locals gave us a unique opportunity to meet many extraordinary people: the family-owned vanilla plantation, the operation of a pearl farm, etc. He also arranged a boat tour around one of the islands. The captain and his first mate were so personable, and we thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them. It was fun listening to them talk about their backgrounds and their knowledge of the area and ocean life. It was a perfect day on a beautiful boat with snorkeling, swimming with sharks, seeing a huge, beautiful manta ray, spinner dolphins who gave us quite a show, and enjoying coconut water and snacks. Kleon shared that it was our anniversary, and the captain surprised us with real wine glasses and a bottle of chilled wine for a truly special day!” —Kimberly Redmon
Italy: “All of our dinner reservations included the best tables and the best views…”
“My husband and I had a fabulous trip to the Cinque Terre, Italy, for our 25th anniversary.
I had an initial meeting over Zoom with Anna to discuss the purpose of our trip and our style of travel, things we enjoy, etc. and then Anna basically took it from there. She came up with a suggested itinerary which we then discussed and finalized together. I had no idea what to expect and we were WOWED from the moment we arrived. All of our transfers included first-class transportation services, each of our hotels provided a complimentary upgrade along with a welcome gift, and all of our dinner reservations included the best tables and the best views.
We especially loved our two boat days: One included a tour of Portofino and lunch at a restaurant overlooking the cove of San Fruttuoso, and another included a trip to Portovenere and lunch onboard in a beautiful bay. Anna’s advice was spot-on and we felt as though we were in excellent hands. We had the perfect balance of activities and down time and never felt overscheduled.” —Kim Brown
Italy: “Jennifer helped select a beautiful hotel and a room with a stunning view of the Mediterranean…”
“We planned our trip to Italy to coincide with a friend’s wedding in Ravello and our own 25th wedding anniversary. Jennifer made sure the transfer from Rome’s airport to our hotel in Capri was seamless. Given that this required planning a 2-hour car ride, 45-min ferry, and a taxi up to Anacapri, this was welcome expertise coming off of our long flight from the US!
In Capri, Jennifer helped select a beautiful hotel and a room with a stunning view of the Mediterranean. Even the porter helping with our luggage shared that it was one of his favorite rooms. For dining, Jennifer chose options that met our desire for terrific Caprese food, wonderful service, and exquisite views. For the most part, we just stuck to sitting out in the sun and going off to dinners in the evening. On one of the days, though, Jennifer chartered us a boat to explore the Amalfi Coast. Our captain and his crew were a perfect fit. We had a fantastic day on the water swimming, sunning, and posing for classic Amalfi photographs.
We left Capri to make our way to Ravello for the wedding. Jennifer made all of the arrangements, including a stop in the city of Amalfi itself for our favorite meal of the entire trip. We arrived for the wedding well rested, adjusted to the time zone, and ready to party.” —Stephan Roche
Portugal: “They secured one of the few very best rooms with the best view at our resort on the Algarve…”
“Goncalo and his team planned a Portugal trip to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. They secured one of the few very best rooms with the best view at our resort on the Algarve, which we could not have obtained ourselves. Very few rooms at the very large hotel had ocean views, so this was a big deal (we even had two balconies facing the ocean). All of their recommendations as to where to stay were great and took into account our preferences, which we discussed in a planning call. They planned great activities, like a lovely large private sailboat from Sintra back to Lisbon, a visit to an observatory (at night of course), and a private cruise along the cliffs of the Algarve. We would not have known about the lovely hotel converted from a farming village in the Alentejo if we hadn’t used a Portugal expert, and we wouldn’t have known which towns to visit. We loved the itinerary they planned and will use them again if we return to Portugal!” —Rita Solomon
France: “We visited wineries, explored several old and charming towns, ate in 3-Michelin-star restaurants as well as fantastic low key cafes…”
“My wife and I took a long awaited celebration of our 25th anniversary and our 50th birthdays to Provence, France April 15-23. Philip planned a terrific trip which wound up being one of the best weeks of our entire lives! He listened very carefully to our list of wants and desires and the result was a perfectly paced yet action-packed week. We visited wineries, explored several old and charming towns, ate in 3-Michelin-star restaurants as well as fantastic low key cafes, shopped and took a hike in the footsteps of Van Gogh. We have fallen in love with Provence and will definitely be going back. I am looking forward to seeing Philip’s plan for our next trip there!”—Brian Baltes
Belize: “While my husband played golf, she arranged a tour for me of the Mayan ruins at Xunantunich…”
“Patricia is my new best friend. We told her that our trip to Belize was to celebrate our wedding anniversary. She listened to our wants and needs and more than delivered. She suggested that we split our January trip between inland and the coast and set us up with activities that satisfied both of our desires, since they were not necessarily the same.
My husband wanted to play golf, and Patricia made the arrangements for him. She satisfied our interest in culture and history with the Garifuna Cultural immersion. Additionally, while my husband played golf, she arranged a tour for me of the Mayan ruins at Xunantunich and a day at the San Antonio Women’s Co-op to learn about the ancient Mayan life. Patricia joined me for my tour of Xunantunich, and my husband was jealous that he didn’t get to meet her in person.
On the coast we both wanted water sports. She arranged two wonderful boat/snorkel adventures for us, and one included a barbecue of freshly caught fish. Yes, my husband had the opportunity to reel in one fish while we were on the boat. I cannot say enough good things about how we were treated by Patricia, our guides, the staff of the hotels that she recommended, and the activities that she arranged.” —Bonnie Warton
Peru: “We thought we would be having a simple picnic lunch…”
“Our favorite experience in Peru was on the afternoon of our 10th wedding anniversary. We thought we would be having a simple picnic lunch, but when we arrived at our picnic, we were amazed to see a canopy tent popped up in a field that overlooked the Andes. The table was tastefully decorated with linens, lace, fresh flowers, and local decor pieces. Wow! A three-man cooking team prepared a lovely four-course meal in a separate tent while we sipped wine. There was even a portable toilet in a third small tent! Nothing was overlooked. In fact, during our ten-day trip arranged by Marisol, no detail was left unturned, from our beautiful accommodations to our awesome local guide to the snacks in our vehicle. We had an incredible trip.” —Erica Stanforth
Australia: “Stuart must have told everyone that we were celebrating an anniversary…”
“Stuart planned the perfect trip for our 30th wedding anniversary: We spent three weeks in Australia, taking multiple in-country flights and visiting Melbourne, Tasmania, Kangaroo Island, Uluru, the Daintree Rainforest, and Sydney. We wanted luxury lodges and unique experiences, and our expectations were exceeded.
Stuart must have told everyone that we were celebrating an anniversary because, at each location, we received not only cards and good wishes but sometimes cakes or champagne or chocolates. But this is what blew us away: In Tasmania, at Saffire Freciynet, we tasted several excellent local gins one evening and commented to the staff on how much we liked them, and when we reached Sydney at the end of the trip, there was a gift of three bottles of gin and a lovely note from Stuart. That is one of the above-and-beyond gestures that made this trip extraordinary.” —Robin and Josh Madden
Disney World: “Everyone knew it was our anniversary!”
“While we take fairly involved adventure vacations (safaris, a dog-sledding expedition, and scuba diving, rafting and trekking trips), none have involved the degree of planning that our recent Disney trip did! Disney World can be overwhelming: To maximize your time there, you need to carefully plan out your schedule for each day and manage restaurant reservations, show times, and Fast Passes.
Michelle’s advice was invaluable in this regard. She took into consideration that this was an adults-only vacation and made great suggestions such as visiting a practically empty and childless Magic Kingdom with an After Dark ticket. She managed to fit in a coveted reservation for Be Our Guest, and her recommendations for the Epcot Food & Wine Festival helped us navigate that fun event. Michelle’s hard work enabled us to have a wonderful anniversary trip—and everyone knew it was our anniversary because Michelle told them!” —Barbara Sheridan
Spain: “Pablo was able to secure reservations at three Michelin-star restaurants…”
“I used Pablo to arrange a celebration trip to Spain—Barcelona, San Sebastian, and Madrid—for my son and his wife for their 2nd wedding anniversary. One of their interests was to try different exclusive restaurants and wineries, and Pablo was able to secure reservations at three Michelin-star restaurants. He arranged tours of boutique-style wineries, including a special wine-tour bike ride in Barcelona. Since my son is a guitar enthusiast, Pablo arranged for a Spanish guitar lesson and also got him into a special Flamenco show. Pablo had the ability to secure unique, private, and culturally enriching activities, allowing my son and daughter-in-law to experience Spanish cuisine and culture in a way that I am sure would not have been possible otherwise.” —Jeffrey Bernfield
France: “I wanted to…present her with the diamond ring she never got when we first got together 10 years ago”
“I wanted to make the most of a short trip to Paris to celebrate my wife’s birthday and to present her with the diamond ring she never got when we first got together 10 years ago. Jennifer made a variety of suggestions, and we decided I would surprise my wife with the ring in a renewal proposal aboard a private yacht. I had originally requested a Venetian boat, but at the last minute it had mechanical problems, rendering it unavailable. Jennifer quickly replaced it with Sophia Loren’s private yacht and assured me that the furnishings and seating would be altered to make it more intimate and romantic. The result was spot-on, resulting in the highlight of our trip.” —William Harwayne
Italy: “Our favorite day of the trip, and arguably in our lives, was…”
“My husband and I rarely use a travel agent because we love to do the research and plan every detail of our vacations. However, this trip to Capri and the Amalfi Coast was for our 10-year wedding anniversary, so we wanted the ultimate luxury experience without having to worry about anything. Andrea really listened to what we wanted and tailored the trip accordingly. And there wasn’t a minute of it that went by that my husband and I didn’t think, ‘This was worth every penny and more.’ From the knowledgeable drivers to awesome tour guides and boat captains, it was beyond perfect. Our favorite day of the trip, and arguably in our lives, was when our boat captain picked us up in Capri, toured us around the island, let us swim in the grottos, and eventually dropped us off for the rest of our stay in Positano. The views were stunning, but the captain really made our experience so special. Andrea has the connections with all of the right people, which makes the entire experience unlike any other.” —Meredith Still
France: “We had our 50th anniversary dinner in the two-Michelin-star restaurant…”
“My husband and I asked Philip to help us plan a week in Provence to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. We stayed in the countryside in beautiful old hotels and especially loved the Baumanière in Les Baux. I originally thought it would be too fancy for us, but Philip persuaded me that it would be perfect, and it was. We had our 50th anniversary dinner in the two-Michelin-star restaurant there, complete with a chocolate anniversary ‘card.’ We particularly loved our canoe trip to the Pont du Gard and the private tour of the top level of the aqueduct—a perk not available to the general public. One whole day was devoted to a tour of the Luberon, including the towns of Lacoste, Menerbes, Gordes and Roussillon. It was a wonderful trip, perfectly planned and executed, and a memorable celebration for us.” —Barbara Rabin
Indonesia: “Diane lined up affordable luxury with a fascinating itinerary…”
“Our trip to Bali was perfect for celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. Diane lined up affordable luxury with a fascinating itinerary. We took in many diverse sites in the Ubud area from our base at the Komaneka Resort at Bisma, and the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa upgraded us to a lagoon-access suite, which was very relaxing. Diane lined up the perfect English-speaking private guide and driver, and she also introduced us to Nadya, a clothing designer whose home we got to visit. Our trip was a great balance of guided travel and looking around on our own. We felt truly fortunate that we could make use of Diane’s excellent insight. She is a gem. Thank you!” —Charles Barber and Carolyn Roth
Hawaii: “She even managed to snag us an upgrade to a suite…”
“We used Dani’s help to put together our trip to Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii. It was a great trip packed with hiking, a sunrise visit to the top of Mt. Haleakalā and a subsequent bike ride down, surfing lessons in Lahaina, and a helicopter tour of the Big Island, including the active volcano. Dani was in constant contact with us throughout, which was greatly appreciated, as we had questions about various things while we were there. We had mentioned this trip was a celebration of our wedding anniversary, and at both of our hotels there was chilled champagne and sweet treats, courtesy of Dani. She even managed to snag us an upgrade to a suite at the Four Seasons Hualalai, which was a pleasant surprise.” —Joseph McBrine
Caribbean Cruise: “We were a family of 10 traveling for my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary…”
“We were a family of 10 traveling for my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary. We had first-time cruisers and seasoned cruisers, and we wanted an itinerary that would enable us to spend time together as well as enjoy personal time. For our specific needs, Tom suggested Celebrity Cruises, and we selected an itinerary in the ‘ABC islands’ with several days at sea. Everyone was very happy. Both the sea days and the days in port offered everyone enough sightseeing, shopping, and relaxation options to keep as busy (or not) as we wanted. Some of us went to the beach, while others went to town and sightseeing. We all met for cocktails in the Martini Bar before our family dinner each night. It was a fun and successful cruise for everyone, and my parents especially appreciated the special touches that Tom provided—including champagne, flowers, and a delicious chocolate cake in their cabin.” —Lorraine Victor
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