When it comes to honeymoon planning, the options for where to go and what to do are nearly endless. Some couples choose to fill their time away with a plethora of adventurous activities, while others opt to spend the entirety of their trip laying by the pool sipping cocktails. The truth is, as exciting as a wedding is, the planning leading up to the big day can be incredibly stressful. So, it’s no wonder that many couples look forward to relaxing honeymoon destinations. However, relaxing doesn’t have to mean tropical destinations and white sand beaches, as you may find peace and calm in woodland, mountainous, or even city environments. Here are some of the most relaxing vacation destinations you might not have thought of visiting.

Santorini, Greece

A small volcanic island off the southeastern coast of Greece, Santorini is best known for its whitewashed villas with bright blue rooftops. Marrying pristine beaches with historic sites and hiking excursions, even the most restless couples will find themselves getting lost in the culture and charm of this island. Spend your time exploring local boutiques and casually sipping wine in one of Santorini’s stunning vineyards. For accommodations, book a cliffside villa for panoramic views of the crystal blue waters and picturesque sunsets, or opt for a stay at one of the island’s luxury spa resorts.

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Iceland

This unique destination has become increasingly popular among honeymooners and adventure travelers alike due to the range of experiences it offers. Unwind and de-stress under wide-open skies as you travel around Iceland’s infamous Ring Road. When driving around this island nation, you have two options for your accommodations: 1. Rent a car and book your stays at a variety of luxury resorts, modern hotels, and cozy bed and breakfasts for a more conventional experience, or 2. Book a camper van and hit the open road with no plans except to explore the world around you. While the latter option may be more rustic, we can guarantee that there is no better way to relax than to have nowhere to be for a few days or weeks as you simply enjoy the natural beauty of Iceland. This island nation also offers exceptional restaurants and nightlife in its capital of Reykjavik, remarkable natural spas, hiking opportunities across glaciers, and uninterrupted views of the Northern Lights.

The Maldives

Best known for its long stretches of beach, blue lagoons, and extensive reefs, The Maldives is one of the most relaxing honeymoon destinations in the world. This tropical island nation is home to numerous luxury spa resorts and their infamous overwater bungalows. During your stay, you can enjoy a variety of water activities, including snorkeling over reefs, sea kayaking, and boating to uninhabited islands. This tropical nation is sure to help you get away from it all.

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Napa Valley, California

California’s wine country is among the best relaxing vacation spots for honeymooners. You will spend your time surrounded by endless vineyards, and enjoy views of the countryside as you sip world-class local wine and delight in delicious farm-to-table meals. Stay at one of the many luxury hotels or boutique inns among the grapevines. Book a wine tour of some of the area’s world-renowned wineries, ride on horseback through farmland, and feel your stress melt away. As an added benefit, this domestic destination will be much cheaper to travel to, leaving you with a bigger budget to spend on beautiful accommodations and unforgettable experiences.

Riviera Maya, Mexico

Mexico’s Riviera Maya region stretches along the eastern shore of the Yucatan Peninsula and is known for its numerous luxury resorts and coastal towns. Book your honeymoon at one of the many resorts near Playa del Carmen for an all-inclusive stay, including your room, food and beverage, spa treatments, water activities, and day excursions to nearby sightseeing attractions. Reserve accommodation further south near Tulum, an ancient Mayan port city, for yoga retreats and other calming activities.

Ireland

The Emerald Isle is often overlooked when considering relaxing vacation destinations. Yet, when you visit, the easygoing pace of life and good-natured way of the locals is sure to sweep you off your feet. Spend a few days in the capital city of Dublin visiting all the usual tourist hotspots, including the Guinness Factory, Jameson Distillery, and the Book of Kells, before unwinding each night in a local pub with a couple of pints. Then, head out of the city to explore Ireland’s vast countryside of rolling green hills and seaside cliffs. Stay the night, or a few, in one of the country’s many medieval castles and allow yourself to be treated like royalty. Be sure to see some of Ireland’s most famous landmarks, such as the Cliffs of Moher and the Giant’s Causeway, along the way.

Costa Brava, Spain

The coastal region of Catalonia in northeast Spain, Costa Brava, is another stunning vacation spot boasting beautiful beaches and charming seaside villages just an hour or so north of the bustling city of Barcelona. Spend your days lounging on white-sand beaches or exploring local historical sites and your evenings dining on delectable local cuisine, such as seafood paellas and rich red wines. Costa Brava offers the perfect opportunity to blend adventurous activities with lazy days spent basking in the sun, ensuring that you’ll both get what you need from your honeymoon vacation.

Banff

If beach towns aren’t your scene, Banff may be the perfect relaxing destination for you. Nestled among the Canadian Rocky Mountains, this resort town is home to château-style hotels, charming boutiques, and delicious restaurants. Revered for its alpine skiing in the winter, this destination gives you the perfect opportunity to cozy up by the fire with your spouse to keep warm. In the warmer months of spring, summer, and fall, Banff also offers extensive hiking trails, such as those around the crystal blue waters of nearby Lake Louise. Whether you opt for a stay in one of the area’s luxurious hotels, peaceful condos, cozy bed and breakfasts, or a remote backcountry lodge, Banff is the perfect spot for a honeymoon escape at any time of year.

Croatia

This eastern European country rose to prominence after its southern city of Dubrovnik starred in the hit series “Game of Thrones”, but sadly is often overlooked as a destination for romance and relaxation. Traveling to Croatia, you can expect to explore Roman ruins, adventure to wonderous natural beauties, such as the seven towering waterfalls of Krka National Park, and wander through nearly untouched medieval villages. However, if you require a slower pace to relax, you can also charter a sailboat, yacht, or catamaran to drift between the country’s many islands, docking where you’d like for a swim or to lay on the beach. Book your accommodation in one of the many coastal towns, such as Dubrovnik, Hvar, or Split. In addition, Croatia offers a much cheaper alternative to other popular Mediterranean destinations, such as Italy, Greece, and Spain. Whether you’re looking for an adventurous honeymoon destination or you prefer a relaxing beach honeymoon escape, Croatia offers something for every kind of couple.

Cape Town, South Africa

A port city along the southern coast of South Africa is the perfect place to escape into nature and explore the beauties of the surrounding African savannah. Book a safari into nearby Kruger National Park to see the Big Five, which consists of lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffaloes. Your safari can be for the duration of a single day or booked as a multi-day excursion. Plus, many of the wildlife excursions are conducted from all-terrain vehicles rather than on foot, making them accessible, regardless of physical capabilities. Take the cable cars up to the top of Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain to enjoy panoramic views of the South Atlantic Ocean. For your accommodations, relax at one of the many seaside luxury resorts or head deeper into the wilderness at eco-friendly nature camps.

Now that you’ve been familiarized with some of the world’s most relaxing honeymoon destinations, it’s time to make your choice! Whether you imagine a lounging beach vacation or you consider a weekend getaway in wine country, there are endless options to choose from when it comes to your relaxing honeymoon escape!

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