Rest and relaxation may be a priority for every couple after the hullabaloo of a typical wedding ceremony, but we recognise that modern day newly-weds aren’t content with sitting on the beach for days-on-end, sipping piña coladas. I have compiled a list of the best multi-destination honeymoon ideas – enough to satisfy any couple’s wanderlust and need for adventure – and I certainly haven’t forgotten the much deserved rest and relaxation.
California and Tahiti
The iconic Golden Gate Bridge will act as the backdrop for your first honeymoon photos. The cosmopolitan and cultural hub of San Francisco is your gateway to explore the ranches and vineyards of Napa Valley, and the geological and glacial wonders of Yosemite National Park. Wine tasting and dips in glacial lakes will be capped off by stays in the most luxurious spa hotels California has to offer.
Afterwards, road trip down the famed Pacific Coast Highway for spectacular views of cliffs, rivers and bridges on your way to Big Sur, where the luxurious cliff-side cabins at the Post Ranch Inn hang precariously high over the crashing waves of the ocean.
Continue your multi-destination honeymoon with a flight into the centre of the Pacific where the island paradises of Tahiti await. Experience pure indulgence at Le Taha’a private island and spa, where you’ll find complete privacy and isolation amongst white sandy shores and tropical lagoon waters. Spa treatments and romantic meals will be nestled between snorkelling and diving adventures.
Finally, break up the long journey home with a stop in Los Angeles for a little bit of city chic, sampling the world’s most luxurious shopping, dining and nightlife.
Ladakh and Maldives
Begin your multi-destination honeymoon with an escape into the virtually untouched valleys and villages of Ladakh, India. Flying into the capital city of Leh, you will get your first taste of the calm serenity created by the crisp mountain air in a city 3,500m up in the sky. Explore the ancient monasteries and Buddhist temples built high up into the surrounding mountains of Leh, before trekking through the sprawling landscapes of the Indus Valley. The panoramic views will reveal unique landscapes carved by glaciers and ancient rivers.
Nights in restored traditional village houses offer luxury without compromising authenticity. However, I recommend camping underneath the stars where clear skies, high altitude and remote location combine to create ideal stargazing conditions.
From high up in the skies to right about sea level, it’s time for rest and relaxation on the idyllic islands of the Maldives. Strip-off those hiking boots and step onto the soft white-sands of Cocoa Island, a private island resort located just a short speedboat ride from Malé International airport. Your luxurious suite opens up to a private deck hovering over the azure waters of a calming lagoon. The small resort has exclusive access to the entire island, and a commitment to peace and tranquillity means there will be nothing preventing the newly-wed couple from basking in each other’s company.
Rome and Morocco
Stroll hand-in-hand down the Spanish steps surrounded by art, statues and monumental architecture, for a quick taste of the romance and charm Rome has to offer.
But this is your once-in-a-lifetime multi-destination honeymoon, and we want to bring that taste to a full-out banquet, with a private after-hours tour of the Vatican museum and its magnificent Sistine chapel ceiling. Take your time contemplating one of the art world’s true wonders and appreciate it in a way few will ever get the chance to.
From art and architecture, it’s time to experience the chic and luxurious Rome. 5-star hotels, designer boutiques, high-end fine dining and stylish sidewalk cafes are all on display for newly-wed couples to discover.
After living the Dolce Vita in Rome, it’s time for an exotic adventure in Morocco. On this whirlwind experience, hit up the hustle and bustle of Marrakech, delving deep into its labyrinth of souks and alleyways with a private guide, before heading up the Atlas Mountains to cool off and take in the expansive views.
Of course, no trip to Morocco would be complete without exploring the dunes of the Sahara by camel back, with a bonfire feast and desert camp out under the stars.
Seychelles and South Africa
Follow-up your big day by landing directly into paradise. The islands of Seychelles, combined with the small selection of utterly stunning hotels, really does verge on near perfection. These are the desert islands of your dreams. Think waters glistening under the equatorial sun, sweeping white bays, swaying palms and sunsets melting into the horizon.
For true exclusivity, stay in the luxurious North Island resort. Only a handful of guests occupy a private 500-acre island, creating a sanctuary of seclusion and tranquillity. So much so in fact that you may not see another guest.
Then, take a quick flight over Madagascar to land in South Africa for the second part of your multi-destination honeymoon. Stunning landscapes and majestic wildlife make for the perfect luxury honeymoon destination and the ultimate romantic escape.
Take bush drives to track lions, elephants and perhaps the odd leopard. Or, for a day you won’t forget, go on a walking bush tour. There’ll be nothing between you and the king of beasts except a well-armed guide.
Back at your luxury camp it’s time to relax. For a touch of romance, head to the amazing spa for a couple’s massage to help unwind, before indulging in some seriously good food at a romantic candlelit dinner.
Ecuador and Galapagos
Volcanoes, jungles, sand, city and sea, celebrate your happy union by sampling a little bit of everything in Ecuador.
Begin in the magical city of Quito, nestled in a valley surrounded by majestic mountain ranges. Explore the museums and stunning cathedrals that populate the UNESCO listed old town, before heading to ‘La Marsical’ for bars, restaurants and cafes in the vibrant new town.
From Quito, options are abound. Conquer the towering Cotopaxi volcano for an unparalleled view of the sunrise, stay in a breath-taking cloud forest lodge surrounded by hundreds of orchid species, or head further east and journey deep into the Amazon Rainforest for river cruises with anacondas and piranhas.
Next, board a plane from Quito and head from the coast of Mainland Ecuador to the wildlife sanctuary of the Galapagos Islands.
The only way to experience the Galapagos on your multi-destination honeymoon is to charter a private catamaran and crew, and sail for days. Explore the far-off islands and dive sites for close encounters with sharks, sea turtles, sea lions and penguins. A trek through the islands will reveal the spirited Blue Footed Booby, ready to put on an elaborate and captivating mating dance in your honour. Back onboard, enjoy a sumptuous meal before lying out of the bow for a beautiful sunset surrounded by the cool ocean breeze while sipping Champagne.
Guest post by Tom Marchant of Black Tomato
Images from Black Tomato