Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

Honeymoon Ideas That Are Truly Special

by Billie Cohen | December 1, 2022

Daydreaming about a honeymoon is exciting, but the actual planning of it can be stressful: Expectations are high, yet—thanks to that other big event you’re organizing—the amount of time, patience, and bandwidth you have for planning are low. To make things easier, we’ve combed through our readers’ trip reviews to find honeymoon ideas worldwide to inspire you. These honeymoons were easy to plan, magical, and delivered the VIP treatment that all honeymooners deserve. Enjoy these ideas for inspiration, whether you’re a newlywed or a longtime married couple. Who says you can’t go on a honeymoon every year?

If you’re not sure what you’re looking for or who the right WOW Lister is for your needs, reach out to us at Ask Wendy for a personalized trip recommendation.

Egypt—temples, tombs, and city sights

Temple of Horus in Edfu, Egypt.

Temple of Horus in Edfu, Egypt.

“We haven’t even unpacked our bags from our Honeymoon tour of Egypt and we are already planning to return for another one! Arlene, Jim, and everyone on the ground in Egypt did a spectacular job making us feel cared for, and the trip went off without a hitch, even in these uncertain times. Our Egyptologists (Reham and Bassem) were so knowledgeable and on top of their game that we would often have temples to ourselves, avoiding all other crowds. Our only regret is that we didn’t extend our trip for another extra week. If you’re considering taking this tour to Egypt, just book it. You will not regret it. (And don’t forget to add a hot-air balloon ride over Luxor. I promise it will be magical!)” —Rebecca Switzer

Read reviews of Jim, and then contact him to maximize your experience of Egypt. You’ll be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

France—D-Day stories, family wineries, Seine cruise…

Etretat in Normandy. Photo by Fernando Grilli

“We had a wonderful honeymoon with Philip’s team. We had a great itinerary that helped us check many things off our bucket list and even add a few new things to it. In Normandy, we stayed at a perfectly located hotel, Villa Lara, which is owned and managed by a family. The rooms were comfortable, large, and had all the bells and whistles you could want. From Bayeux, we took a D-Day tour with a guide who had interviewed veterans of WW2, as well as people living in the area, and amassed a collection of stories that make the sites come alive and give you a more intimate connection to the events. Another guide, Giselle, who hails from Brazil but came to France as a college student at the Sorbonne and has a doctorate in history, made Mont St Michel so interesting. We learned about the medical texts that were amassed there during the time of the abbey and how this knowledge was lost in the French Revolution when much was burned and destroyed. We saw the tides and Giselle shared stories of how she has twice had to call for helicopters to rescue people.

From Normandy, we arrived in Beaune in Burgundy. Here we stayed at the Hotel Le Cep. The hotel upgraded us to an executive room with a large balcony. The room was large and comfortable, albeit a bit dated, and could use a new mattress but exuded that old-world charm. The location was perfect. In Beaune we met Brendan, a Brit who has been living in France for over 30 years. He started as a barge captain and has since become an expert on the wines of France. He has personal relationships with numerous wineries large and small. We saw the famous vineyards of Romanée-Conti and visited other vineyards and wineries. We mostly had tastings with smaller family houses that do not export to the U.S. We sat with family members tasting 5-15 different wines at each house. Each afternoon we were treated to a picnic consisting of local charcuterie and wine in a beautiful spot. At Domaine Daniel Séguinot et Filles, we sat at the table with the family and the bottlers who came in their special truck to bottle last year’s wine. Daniel is quite the character who kept bringing different wines, from premier cru to village appellation and different vintages. In between our wine tasting adventures, Brendan took us to historical places and UNESCO sites. We even visited a Roman bridge from over 2,000 years ago. We then moved north to Chablis and stayed at Chateau Vault De Lugny, a family-run hotel with a one-starred Michelin restaurant on site. Breakfast is basic and offers no hot dishes. This hotel is isolated and would require a car to get to town. We opted to bring in sandwiches for our second night, as we didn’t want to eat from the same prix-fixe menu twice. The grounds were beautiful and the room large. We would not recommend this hotel to anyone with trouble walking, as even entering the bathroom required climbing stairs. From this location, we continued with Brendan and visited other family wineries and learned about the northern wines of Burgundy. We left feeling knowledgeable and with a better understanding of wine in general. Mostly we left with a huge appreciation of the families who have inherited and continue this vocation steeped in history, hard work, and a bit of the magic that the land gives to each vineyard, depending on where they are located.

We then had a driver take us to Paris to finish our honeymoon. We had planned this portion ourselves but were surprised with a WOW Moment: We were picked up and driven to a lovely afternoon cruise of the Seine, dining on a 3-course meal with a wine pairing from Alain Ducasse. It was a wonderful treat as we dined on gourmet food and wonderful wine, and cruised past some of Paris’ iconic sites.

There were some communication gaps in the planning process and a few hiccups on the ground, but Phillip did a great job combining our interests in history, culture, art, wine, and food.” —JoEllen Schuleman

Read reviews of Philip, and then contact him to maximize your experience of France. You’ll be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Australia and New Zealand—a cruise with private adventures and a WOW Moment

View of the Hauraki Gulf sea, taken from the Owhanake Coastal Track on Waiheke Island, New Zealand on a cloudy day. With hills and trees.

The Owhanake Coastal Track on Waiheke Island, New Zealand. Photo: Shutterstock

“At every stop on our honeymoon cruise in Australia and New Zealand, Stuart arranged for terrific local guides to meet us at the port, whisk us away on a private adventure, and deliver us back to the ship in time to move on to our next destination. Highlights included a day hiking in the Blue Mountains with locals who have lived there their entire lives and a day on Waiheke Island visiting three vineyards, all different in style. Thank you also to Wendy for a gorgeous WOW Moment: We had no idea what was happening until our driver delivered us to the Rose Bay Seaplane site for our flight over Sydney and the surrounding beaches. Tom and I were the only two passengers, so Tom sat in the co-pilot seat, enabling him to take fantastic photos of the beautiful city below us. Wendy, we have been fans of your WOW List for many years, using your trusted advisors all over the globe. You are providing a wonderful service to those of us who travel often and like to travel well.” —Susan Ketchum

Read reviews of Stuart, and then contact him to maximize your experience of Australia. You’ll be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Sri Lanka and the Maldives—for “relaxation, adventure, culture, food, and luxury”

Beach views from Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives

Beach views from Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives. Photo: Gili Lankanfushi

Miguel did an amazing job planning our honeymoon to Sri Lanka and the Maldives. We provided him with a rough idea of what we were looking for— a combination of relaxation, adventure, culture, food, and luxury—and he put together an outstanding trip. Not having to think about the itinerary, timing, schedule, etc., is a luxury in itself! We simply were told when to show up and where and then went along for the ride! Miguel and his team were also extremely helpful in arranging our accommodation in the Maldives, even negotiating an upgrade to half-board. And Sri Lanka, for those who are considering it, is a special country that blew us away. It is amazing how so much history, culture, and diverse scenery fit into one tiny island. The people and food (food!!) were also a delight. We traveled the end of September through the first week of October, which was considered ‘shoulder season.’ We had AMAZING weather that was not too hot/humid and only experienced a spot shower or two. The crowds were light, so we never felt like cattle call through the sites. I cannot recommend visiting this nation enough… especially before more catch on to its charm!” —Shelley Devinny

Read more reviews of Miguel, and then contact him to maximize your experience of Sri Lanka. You’ll be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Portugal—where even 19 days will leave you wanting more

Lisbon, Portugal skyline with Sao Jorge Castle

Lisbon is getting even closer, thanks to new direct flights. Photo: Shutterstock

“Wendy calls it ‘The WOW List’ for a reason. Gonçalo crafted the trip of a lifetime for my new husband and me. We worked with him while deep in wedding planning, and he was extremely patient and responsive with us throughout the entire process, making our 19-day Portugal honeymoon the light at the end of the tunnel. I spoke with Gonçalo over the phone to kick things off, describing our interests and the cities we were wanting to visit. He was super kind and honest, letting us know what would be closed or perhaps unsafe to reach during the winter holiday (we traveled in the low season of December/January), but providing comparable options in other regions. We received the most well-thought-out and organized itinerary from him. It was the perfect balance of must-sees, off-the-beaten-path suggestions, and open days to relax and explore.

Over the course of the trip, we stayed at four properties, three of which were booked through Gonçalo (one was through my job, as I work at a hotel company) and, boy, were we treated like royalty. The properties were not only gorgeous and in prime locations, but we were upgraded to suites at each of them because they knew it was our honeymoon. We were also left various treats in our room on multiple occasions at each of the properties. To this day, we’re still talking about it! It was very important to us to be able to experience Portugal’s wine regions, as Portuguese wines are our favorite to drink at home. Gonçalo arranged for three private tastings and tours for us, including a very special morning at Taylors in Porto. To explore Lisbon and Porto, Gonçalo arranged for private tour guides to show us around in style. For the sheer length of our trip and all that we did and indulged in, we felt that the prices were incredibly reasonable. Now we’re aching to go back — we experienced a sampling of the country via this tour, from Vidago all the way in the north, to most of the Algarve region in the south and Lisbon, Porto, Fatima, Sintra, and Coimbra in between. We will absolutely be consulting Gonçalo and his team again for years to come. Portugal is a very, very special place, and we have Gonçalo to thank for showing us the best of it. Forever grateful.” —Danielle Berman

Read more reviews of Gonçalo, and then contact him for to maximize your experience in Portugal. You’ll be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Tuscany and Florence—because all honeymooners should get to sleep in a medieval tower

Chiesa di San Biagio standing in a green landscape of Montepulciano Italy Tuscany

Chiesa di San Biagio, Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy. Photo: Shutterstock

“With all the details we had to consider for the wedding, I didn’t want to feel overwhelmed by also researching and planning a big trip. Wendy Perrin’s WOW List made it easy to find a travel expert for Italy, and then it was simply a matter of describing my dream trip and hitting the submit button. Maria then emailed me to set up a phone call so we could discuss in more detail what we wanted to accomplish. Trying delicious food and wine were at the top of our list, but we also wanted to see the top landmarks and achieve a nice balance of art, culture, architecture and history. The itinerary she sent back was perfect and took all the stress out of the equation. Maria also provided location guides for both Rome and Florence, with suggestions for sightseeing, shopping and restaurants during our leisure time. When we walked into our hotel room in Florence, in a 13th-century medieval tower, we jumped up and down because it was so awesome. The hotel even surprised us with a bottle of champagne on ice and snacks. Our favorite experiences of the trip included a lunch at a small family-owned vineyard and a cooking class in a private olive grove. Without the help of Maria and her team, we wouldn’t have access to special experiences like these. Everything in our itinerary went according to plan, and we never had to worry about a thing. We are so happy we splurged, and are already dreaming of our next trip to Italy.” —Megan Sullivan

Read more reviews of Maria, and then contact her to maximize your experience of Italy. You’ll be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Tropical Asia—for an adventure “perfect in concept, orchestration, imagination, and detail”

Sunrise at Angkor Wat Cambodia

Sunrise at Angkor Wat. Photo: Shutterstock

Sandy planned a honeymoon trip for me and my bride to Cambodia, Laos, the southern islands of Thailand, and Bangkok. The experience he crafted was perfect: perfect in concept, orchestration, imagination and detail. I say this as a veteran traveler—I speak French and Spanish, have worked and lived in Paris, and have traveled throughout Europe, South and Central America, and to Hong Kong. Sandy’s work was the best I’ve had yet, and his in-country guides are thoughtful, dedicated folk who add their own magical touches to the experience. It is clear that he is very close to them and their families and cares a great deal about them. It is also very clear that he worked closely with them to make our experience into the adventure we’d hoped for. I thought it might be helpful to describe a few of his guides that met us along our journey. Kheleur, our guide to Angkor Wat and Cambodia—welcoming, gentle, accommodating and masterful in his plans, and a subject matter expert in the temples. We loved how he created seamless transitions between touring and our wild events (for example, candle-lit dinners on rural tropical estates, sunset cocktails on the water about Angkor Thom) as much as we loved the archeological tours, evening cruises and dinners themselves. The boat tour and the villa dinner merit special praise—he made them appear as if magically created. The midday respite to allow for physical training (and swimming and napping) was brilliant. Ek and Paan, our guides in Luang Prabang and the Laos countryside—warm, kind, absurdly welcoming. We were treated as family—I felt unworthy! They gave us love and generosity. Ek sparkles with goodwill and joie-de-vivre. He also seems to know every single person in town. When we threw a wrench into the plans he had made for us (we changed a lunch site and some afternoon touring) he cheerfully accommodated—and facilitated—our wishes as if it were nothing at all. We loved Pablo, our guide in Thailand and Bangkok. Enthusiastic, a careful listener, an eager and engaged teacher of Thai culture and history, a gentleman whose goodwill and blithe spirit are as radiant as his smile. I am sure he has brought hundreds to the same five temples, has taken the same longboat cruise every week for years, and could apply for permanent citizenship at the flower market. You would be unable to tell—at each stop of the white van, he would genuinely brighten as he shared our discovery of each new scene. Truly, the journey Sandy crafted for us was educational, exciting, restorative. Cannot recommend highly enough.” —Charlie Mize

Read more reviews of Sandy, and then contact him to maximize your experience of Southeast Asia. You’ll be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Costa Rica—for “an authentic and adventurous trip”

Monteverde Costa Rica

Monteverde, Costa Rica. Photo: Shutterstock

“When we approached Irene in order to plan our trip to Costa Rica, she asked us in great detail about our lives, hobbies, and passions. We wanted an authentic and adventurous trip where we could immerse ourselves in the local culture and experience the stunning nature and wildlife. We began our trip by going to Irene’s mother’s house on the way to the Arenal volcano region. She was so welcoming and taught us how to make homemade tortillas and prepared an amazing Costa Rican lunch filled with Gallo pintos, chicken, yucca, etc. In the Arenal region, Irene arranged for a beautiful hotel at the base of the volcano amongst the natural hot springs. It was an authentic Tico experience—Pura Vida all the way. We went ziplining, white water rafting, rappelling, and on a hanging bridge and wildlife tour. All in three days. It was amazing!!! We then headed to Costa Rica’s Pacific side and to Nosara, a vibrant local beach village without major resorts or attractions but with everything we wanted. We surfed every day and stayed in an open-air hotel right on the beach, with a different menu each day and amazing staff. We also got to see thousands of sea turtles arriving to lay their eggs, which only happens once or twice a year, for a few days! Irene ensured we got the perfect honeymoon and that it was entirely hassle-free. We now are hoping to make this trip at least every two years and would not dream of doing so without her.” —John Allen Mixon

Read more reviews of Irene, and then contact her to maximize your experience of Costa Rica. You’ll be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

South Africa and Mauritius—for a two-week safari-beach combo

Elephants, Singita Kruger, South Africa

An elephant family at Singita Kruger, Kruger National Park.

“My wife and I used Julian to plan our honeymoon to South Africa. We went away for two full weeks, and Julian provided thoughtful recommendations that met all our needs, from city exploration to adventure to relaxation. Our trip started in Cape Town, where we stayed at the gorgeous Cape Grace, then we headed to Kruger National Park where we stayed four nights on safari at Arathusa and Tintswalo—beautiful game reserves with excellent service and incredible sights. Then we stayed one night in Johannesburg at the African Rock Hotel, a gorgeous boutique hotel. Finally, we finished in Mauritius on the most beautiful beach at the One & Only. From start to finish, every single detail was accounted for, and all our transfers were seamless. We didn’t have to worry about a thing.” —William Giordano

Read more reviews of Julian, and then contact him to maximize your experience of South Africa. You’ll be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Bali—for gorgeous scenery, snorkeling, cooking classes…

ubud bali

Ubud, Bali. Photo: Yoan Carle/Flickr

“My husband and I just returned from the most fabulous honeymoon in Bali. Diane arranged the perfect trip—which had us stay in three different parts of the island to enjoy all the activities we were interested in. Both her planning and hotel suggestions were fabulous. From snorkeling to cooking classes, we enjoyed so much on this gorgeous island. We had a wonderful guide who enlightened and took great care of us. The Ubud Village Resort and Hotel Tugu are two of the most incredible places I have ever stayed and I would recommend both Diane and those gorgeous properties to anyone.” —Amy Rosoff

Read more reviews of Diane, and then contact her to maximize your experience of Bali. You’ll be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico—for a beautiful beach all-inclusive

aerial view of green coastline and ocean of Puerto Vallarta Mexico with hotels

Puerto Vallarta. Photo: Hotel Mousai

Zach and his team, did an amazing job helping us plan our honeymoon to Mexico. They provided us many options to choose from in different areas of Mexico, with great tips on places to go and stay, and things to do in each place. It was through their vigilance that we found our eventual resort, Hotel Mousai. This particular resort was not even on our radar until they brought it to our attention. But it completely blew us away with how amazingly beautiful it was, especially with its views of the coast surrounding the Puerto Vallarta area. They arranged for our stay, as well as our transportation to and from the airport, including transportation to and from the maritime terminal. Overall, we had a great experience on our trip, in large part because of Zach’s excellent service.” —Patrick Kirkendall

Read more reviews of Zach, and then contact him to maximize your experience of Mexico. You’ll be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Fiji—where the splurge is worth it

aerial view of Savasi Island Fiji

Savasi Island is a 52-acre private island in Fiji with only seven villas. Photo: Savasi Island

“My parents have booked a handful of trips from Wendy Perrin’s WOW List before (two of which I was a part of). They suggested I go for it—splurge for the honeymoon to get a truly amazing experience. By a week into working on this trip with Lynette, the planning experience had already exceeded my expectations. I thought, This must be why my parents love The WOW List so much and will talk about it every chance they get: the ease of setting up a trip with an experienced professional, the trust and confidence that the trip will be spectacular, and the utmost level of customer service with the planning phase.

We discovered later that in addition to doing the planning, Lynette had also been working behind the scenes during the trip to make sure everything was going smoothly, checking in with the resorts that she had booked us in to make sure we arrived well and were cared for. Her staff was friendly and professional and the experiences were what we had been hoping for. Thanks for such a great trip!!” —Robbie Cross

Read more reviews of Lynette, and then contact her to maximize your experience of Fiji. You’ll be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

 

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