Destinations Cities

5 of the best honeymoon destinations for a romantic getaway to remember

What better way to kick off married life than spending it in one of these amazing places.

By Sarah-Kate Lynch

Why does anyone bother getting married? So they can go on honeymoon, of course! Here are some ideas for the recently coupled.

1 Golden Bay

My husband and I honeymooned in Golden Bay – two hours north of Nelson – in a house we found by putting an ad in the local newspaper.

This year, we celebrated our 25th anniversary by hitting the internet to research bookings and head back there. With stunning scenery, beautiful beaches and little urban development, this area is a hidden gem.

We spent the night of our anniversary at the remote and extraordinary Westhaven Retreat, then enjoyed a few days right on the beach at Adrift in Golden Bay. There's plenty to do down this way – but if you're honeymooning right, you can ignore all of it!

2 Maui

Go tropical with a relaxing rendezvous in Hawaiian paradise.
Go tropical with a relaxing rendezvous in Hawaiian paradise.

The Hawaiian island of Maui remains top choice with honeymooners, according to holiday search engine Expedia. With its colourful sunsets, golden sandy beaches, huge range of accommodation and fabulous cocktails, I can't imagine why!

A sunset cruise is a must when you're winding down after your big day here, as is a swim in the sea on the North Shore.

Most of us can't stretch to the bridal suite at the Four Seasons Resort in upmarket Wailea, but go there anyway for a drink and to watch the ocean – and the rich people. For my money, if you want to stay sexy, avoid the much-lauded day drive on the Hana Highway. Too many corners.

3 Paris

Although it can be pricey, the City of Love is a classic choice for post-wedding getaways.
Although it can be pricey, the City of Love is a classic choice for post-wedding getaways.

Battling for first place with newlyweds is, of course, Paris. The French capital can't help itself – it's romantic by default. Stunning architecture, a patisserie on every corner, the curling river, the Eiffel Tower, the cosy bistros, the fact that every second person is staring adoringly into a lover's eyes ...

Oh, stop it! I'm giving myself goosebumps. Super-helpful on the cuddling front, the only rooms anyone with our exchange rate can afford are tiny.

It's part of the charm. So even if you have your first row trying to navigate the bowels of the Louvre, you'll end up in each other's arms the moment you get back to the hotel – whether you like it or not!

4 Venice

Explore the waterways of Venice and cuddle up with a romantic gondola ride.
Explore the waterways of Venice and cuddle up with a romantic gondola ride.

If I was getting married again and had the money, I would honeymoon in Venice.

A dreamy city made of bridges, with no cars and Italian food? It's a no-brainer if you're not going in the northern winter (too cold) or height of summer (too busy).

Even then, you need only disappear down one winding little alley off the main drag and it's deserted. Getting lost when you're in love is just an excuse to stop for a prosecco.

Hold hands as you browse the delightful Peggy Guggenheim Collection on the Grand Canal or the Fortuny Museum in San Marco. But most romantic of all is taking a gondola ride as the sun goes down or, better still, in the moonlight.

5 Aitutaki

Closer to home is this gorgeous Cook Island – a 45-minute flight from Rarotonga. Here you can find yourself deposited on an uninhabited island with a picnic lunch and snorkelling gear in what someone I know who has done it describes as total "fantasy, pinch-me" material.

Or if you're staying at the divine Pacific Resort, you can dine, feet in the sand, Bedouin-style, on a private beach.

If you're not too exhausted the next day – which you should be! – there's whale watching, fishing, kite- boarding or taking a day trip out into the lagoon to get your passport stamped on One Foot Island.

read more from