9 Alternative Honeymoon Ideas for the Non-Beach Lover

Published 02 February 2017

Angela Griffin

Angela Griffin

Beach honeymoon not your cup of tea? Looking for a little more excitement? This was the very dilemma that I faced when planning my own honeymoon. While googling ‘honeymoon ideas’ brought up endless photos of identikit paradise beaches, which for me held limited appeal,  I wanted something different – some adventure, a new culture, and scenery to die for. So if, like me, you’re using your honeymoon as the perfect excuse for another far-flung holiday, then read on, as I let you in on my favourite non-beach honeymoon destinations:

Safari-goers spot a leopard

Safari in Tanzania

There are thousands of safari options across Africa, but for me Tanzania stands out from the crowd, both for its excellent game viewing and also for its close proximity to the picture-perfect beaches of Zanzibar, ensuring you don’t miss out on at least a few days chilling by the sea if you wish to. Spend around four days on safari in the Ngorongoro Crater looking for lions, leopards and elephants, then hotfoot it over to the neighbouring Serengeti National Park for some of the best wildlife watching in the world.

Look for the Big Five on safari with Round the World Experts’ tailor-made East Africa Discovery holiday.

Patagonian landscapes

Spread across southern Chile and Argentina, Patagonia is South America’s final frontier; beyond here there’s nothing but the ice and snow of Antarctica. The world-beating scenery is the main attraction – try hiking to the towers of the Torres del Paine in the national park of the same name or climb the icy ridges of the Perito Moreno Glacier. Wildlife lovers too can spot plenty of animals, including Magellanic penguins, humpback whales, and the black and white Commerson’s dolphin. For extra romance, stay in a cosy Swiss-style chalet on the edge of one of Bariloche’s lakes, and spend your evenings snuggled up by the fire sipping hot chocolate. Bliss.

For further inspiration, take a look at Round the World Experts’ tailor-made Chile holiday ideas.

Boat cruising the Galapagos Islands

Cruising the Galapagos Islands

The ultimate wildlife destination has to be the Galapagos Islands, made famous by Charles Darwin’s ground-breaking Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection. Where else on the planet can you see so many uniquely-adapted species in such a small area? Fly in from Quito in Ecuador, join a cruise ship and spot Galapagos penguins, bottlenose dolphins, bright orange Sally Lightfoot crabs and marine iguanas to name just a few. To add a touch of honeymoon sparkle, choose a smaller, more intimate vessel or even a yacht for your cruise; splash out on the deluxe suite or book a cabin with its own deck for evenings under the stars.

Follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin with Round the World Experts’ tailor-made Galapagos Land & Sea – Central Islands holiday.

Rainforest lodge, Costa Rica

Staying in a rainforest

What could be better than falling asleep to a cacophony of chirping crickets, then waking the next morning in the midst of steamy jungle to the sound of parrots squawking? Well, stay in an Amazon rainforest lodge and this dream becomes a reality. One great place to try this is Puerto Maldonado in Peru, where you take a motorised canoe deep into the forest to your lodge, then spend your days cruising the oxbow lakes looking for capybara and camping out at clay licks waiting for macaws – peace, quiet and nature all at once.

Stay in the Amazon rainforest with Round the World Experts’ tailor-made In the Shadow of Machu Picchu holiday.

Road tripping in a convertible

Road tripping across America

Hire a car, wind down the windows and feel the wind in your hair as you cruise the US highways. Yes, that’s right, self-driving is a fabulous way to see the sights at your own pace, and the USA is a great (and easy) place to try it. Choose from an almost infinite number of routes – try driving the east coast from Florida to Boston via New York and Philadelphia, travel California’s rugged Big Sur, or for the ultimate, once-in-a-lifetime road trip, drive Route 66 across the country from Chicago to Santa Monica.

Drive Route 66 with Round the World Experts’ tailor-made Coast to Coast itinerary.

Couple hiking a mountain

Climb a mountain

It may not sound like the most relaxing thing to do on your honeymoon, but climbing a mountain gives you a great sense of achievement, not to mention fantastic views. Plus, you’ll wear off all the Champagne and wedding cake calories while you’re at it. And, what’s more, when you’re struggling with heavy legs or dwindling energy, having your partner by your side is excellent motivation to push on to the summit. Perhaps choose Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, or really push the boat out and summit Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. Then you could add a safari on the end too. Just saying.

Climb to the top of Mount Kinabalu with Round the World Experts’ tailor-made Best of Borneo itinerary.

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Quebec City

Stay somewhere unique

For an extra romantic break, consider staying somewhere unusual. I’m talking palaces, castles, mansions and safari tents people! And don’t think you’ll be roughing it – some of these are simply stunning. For palaces, India is the place to go; try the Gajner Palace Hotel in Rajasthan. For a fairy-tale castle try a stay in Quebec City’s Fairmont Le Château Frontenac; although perhaps not technically a castle, it certainly feels like one. Alternatively, sip wine in the late evening sun in an antebellum mansion in Savannah, or stay in a luxury tented safari lodge – there are plenty to choose from across Africa and many offer honeymoon bonuses such as Champagne sundowners and private dinners under the stars, with only the sound of roaring lions for company.

Stay at the Gajner Palace Hotel on Round the World Experts’ tailor-made Royal Rajasthan holiday.

Stay at the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac on Round the World Experts’ tailor-made East Coast Wonders itinerary.

Polar bear, Arctic Canada

Spot Polar bears, Arctic Canada

What can be more romantic that surrounding yourself with pure white landscapes and spending your days searching for beluga whales, Polar bears and Arctic foxes? Well head to Churchill in northern Canada and you can do just that. Set sail on a wildlife-watching cruise on Hudson Bay and look for Polar bears on the tundra, then wrap up warm and spend those snowy nights hunting the aurora borealis. Where do I sign up?

For the chance to spot polar bears, sign up for Round the World Experts’ Arctic Adventure holiday.

Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Tour the temples of India’s Golden Triangle

After shortlisting all of the above options and far more besides, my husband and I ended up honeymooning in India. Torn between the fabled Golden Triangle and trekking in the Himalayas, we went for the less energetic (but no less spectacular) option and spent a couple of weeks touring the temples and palaces of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, including the magnificent Taj Mahal, gorging ourselves on aromatic curries and staying in some wonderfully ornate palaces along the way. But in the end we just couldn’t resist a bit of mountain, and tacked a few days in the Himalayan foothills in Shimla on the end. You can read more about our trip here.

Chat to your Expert about our tailor-made holidays to India.

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