The Best Honeymoon Destinations of 2016-17

With the help of reader votes and expert recommendations, U.S. News identified the top honeymoon spots.

U.S. News & World Report

The Best Honeymoon Destinations of 2016-17

A happy couple relaxing in a hammock.
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Start your marriage off right in these 20 romantic spots.

Planning a wedding can be a stressful venture. But planning your honeymoon shouldn't be as taxing of an experience. To help you and your spouse-to-be find the perfect postnuptial getaway, U.S. News analyzed user votes and expert opinions, and considered the accommodation options and overall romance factor in a variety of locales to determine the best honeymoon destinations. Though there are quite a few beach retreats, there are also magnificent metropolises to appease city slickers, as well as exotic hot spots for adventure-loving couples. Whatever travel experience you're looking for, these post-wedding getaways are sure to leave lasting memories.
Spain, Madrid, View of Cibeles Square at night
Credit

(Getty Images)

20. Madrid

Newlyweds looking to add some culture to their honeymoon should dive head first into Madrid. Spain's largest city is a thriving metropolis, with a diverse set of attractions and activities that seamlessly integrate romance and Spanish culture. Stroll through the labyrinth of gardens that comprise Retiro Park, get acquainted with the greats at the Prado Museum and party your hearts out in Puerta del Sol.
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Start your marriage off right in these 20 romantic spots.

Planning a wedding can be a stressful venture. But planning your honeymoon shouldn't be as taxing of an experience. To help you and your spouse-to-be find the perfect postnuptial getaway, U.S. News analyzed user votes and expert opinions, and considered the accommodation options and overall romance factor in a variety of locales to determine the best honeymoon destinations. Though there are quite a few beach retreats, there are also magnificent metropolises to appease city slickers, as well as exotic hot spots for adventure-loving couples. Whatever travel experience you're looking for, these post-wedding getaways are sure to leave lasting memories.

20. Madrid

Newlyweds looking to add some culture to their honeymoon should dive head first into Madrid. Spain's largest city is a thriving metropolis, with a diverse set of attractions and activities that seamlessly integrate romance and Spanish culture. Stroll through the labyrinth of gardens that comprise Retiro Park, get acquainted with the greats at the Prado Museum and party your hearts out in Puerta del Sol.

19. Costa Rica

Adventure-seeking couples shouldn't think twice about a honeymoon in Costa Rica. That's because this Central American locale boasts multiple national parks, wildlife refuges, biological reserves and plenty of other designated areas for its animal and plant population. Expect settings of all kinds, including beaches, rainforests, volcanoes and hot springs. What's more, the island's motto – pura vida, or the simple life – will leave you feeling refreshed long after the honeymoon ends.

18. St. Martin – St. Maarten

Though St. Martin – St. Maarten boasts plenty of gorgeous beaches and bays (some of which are clothing-optional), the dual-governed island offers more than an idyllic tropical island. Its confluence of French, Dutch and Caribbean influences blend to create a unique destination for couples. In addition, there's plenty of adventure to be had hiking at Pic du Paradis, playing the slots at Casino Royale or shopping for souvenirs on Front Street.

17. St. Vincent & The Grenadines

This honeymoon haven is the perfect backdrop for a post-wedding getaway that's all about relaxation. The area is made up of 32 different islands, each boasting postcard-worthy shorelines, including Saltwhistle Bay Beach, Macaroni Beach and Mustique. After you and your better half have marveled at the Grenadines' stunning scenery above the surface, take the plunge below sea level with a snorkeling or scuba diving excursion. Travelers are particularly impressed with the coral reefs on the tiny island of Canouan.

16. Turks & Caicos

Honeymooners with a zest for the finer things in life will likely meet their match in Turks & Caicos. This Caribbean retreat is all about luxury, with its multitude of top-notch oceanfront resorts. Aside from its opulent digs, the island is popular for its snorkeling and scuba diving on Smith's Reef. When you and your sweetheart grow tired of relaxing on the tranquil white-sand beaches of Taylor Bay, discover the area's magnificent coral reefs and wrecks.

15. Martinique

If all you and your new spouse want to do is bask in the natural beauty around you, visit Martinique. This Caribbean island has it all – stunning beaches, tropical rainforests, picture-perfect mountains and world-class resorts. And of all the places to pick up a bouquet of flowers for your significant other, it's here: The island boasts 100 different species of orchids.

14. Seychelles

Those wanting to get as far away from reality as possible after the big day should pack their bags for Seychelles. This archipelago is composed of 115 islands, all of which are located in the Indian Ocean off the eastern coast of Africa. Though the journey may be long, the trip will be worth it once you arrive to find turquoise-colored waters bordered by crowd-free, white-sand beaches and giant boulders. To avoid burning through your honeymoon budget, plan to visit just one island to cut down on transportation costs.

13. Crete

Twosomes looking for a vacation with versatile landscapes, attractions and cultures should consider Crete. Along with impressive shorelines, including the pink sands of Elafonisi Beach and the palm tree-laden Vai Beach, honeymooners can traverse the terrain of a national park, explore a former palace and get acquainted with Crete's fascinating history at the island's multiple museums. What's more, the island's Mediterranean dishes are said to be a cut above the rest, according to recent travelers.

12. Paris

Paris is often the retreat of choice for lovers, recently married or not, so it comes as no surprise that the City of Light ranks high with honeymooners. Its allure is renowned and undeniably enticing, with romantic possibilities at every corner. The flickering lights of the Eiffel Tower at night, the calm banks of the Seine and a stroll along the pathways of the Tuileries make for long-lasting memories.

11. Kauai

Couples looking to do more than relax along the beach during their honeymoon should consider Kauai. This Hawaiian island is home to renowned natural attractions worth extensive exploration, including the scenic Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon and Koke'e State Park, otherwise known as the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific." And don't worry, there are plenty of superb shorelines, spas and golf courses available for post-hiking rest and relaxation.

10. Venice, Italy

Venice has been a no-brainer for newlyweds for decades. Its one-of-a-kind canals filled with singing gondoliers captivate visitors of all kinds, especially those traveling hand in hand. Add in the mix the city's charming car-free streets, incredible cuisine and remarkable architecture and you have one of the world's best honeymoon spots. But keep in mind, because of the city's immense popularity, travel deals of any kind are few and far between.

9. Florence, Italy

Florence is the stuff of European dreams. Cobblestone streets and picturesque plazas lead to charming trattorias, inspiring duomos and world-class art galleries in this small yet highly trafficked city. But no matter how many visitors you encounter during your stay, romance is never in short supply. Explore the Boboli Gardens, stroll along the picture-perfect Ponte Vecchio at sunset or hike to Piazzale Michelangelo for breathtaking panoramic views. What's more, the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside (and its vineyards) are a short drive away.

8. British Virgin Islands

Those wanting a tropical honeymoon experience without a long-haul flight will find comfort in BVI's accessibility. Though there is still a high price to pay, honeymooners will more than likely find the island's pristine, white sands, glistening turquoise waters and lavish accommodations well worth the cost. Though opportunities for serious rest and relaxation abound, consider adding some adventure to your itinerary, such as scuba diving or hiking in Sage Mountain National Park. The best part? There are more than 60 islands and cays to choose from, offering plenty of room for peace, quiet and privacy.

7. Bali

This popular vacation retreat in Indonesia enchants visitors in more ways than one. There are beaches, yes, and some spectacular hotels (think bamboo villas in jungles and rooms perched on the edge of seaside bluffs), but Bali also offers couples a variety of unique attractions that aren't typically found in your average hot spot. It boasts numerous oceanfront temples, awe-inspiring rice terraces and picturesque volcanic peaks. Plus, Bali is home to the popular Elephant Safari Park, where travelers can get up close to elephants and even take elephant rides.

6. Fiji

Couples can't get any more secluded than Fiji. Not only is it located 1,700 miles off the coast of New Zealand, but the country is made up of 333 islands, making it easier than ever for twosomes to find a place of their own. Luxurious accommodations are abundant (including overwater bungalows) and with its quintessential island scenery (think crystal-clear blue waters and lush vegetation), relaxation is a given. Devote some time to soaking up the sun along pristine shorelines, and consider giving snorkeling or scuba diving a try on Taveuni, Fiji's third-largest island.

5. Maui

There's a reason why honeymooners choose to vacation in Maui year after year. The island's scenery is stunning, its attractions are diverse and the hospitality industry is booming with spectacular properties practically made for newlyweds. Check out stunning beaches, cruise along the coastal Road to Hana and catch a sunrise above the clouds at Haleakala National Park during your visit.

4. Maldives

Newlyweds wanting to get off the grid should head to the Maldives. Located between the Arabian and Laccadive seas, roughly 500 miles southwest of Sri Lanka, this chain of islands is just about as remote as you can get. Though far-flung, the Maldives boasts world-class resorts, including private overwater bungalows, not to mention plenty of secluded beaches.

3. Tahiti

This French Polynesian island offers miles of relaxing shoreline, along with a bounty of romantic hideaways both along and atop the ocean. But there's more to this island than its many beaches. World-class gardens, sky-high waterfalls and the peaks of Mo'orea, Tahiti's sister island, dazzle explorers of all kinds. When you need to refuel after a day outdoors, indulge in the island's top-notch French cuisine.

2. Santorini

Lovers are continually in awe of Greece's most popular island. And with one look at Santorini's scenic landscapes, it's easy to see why. Perched high atop the Aegean Sea, Santorini – and its idyllic white-washed architecture – rest along craggy cliffs big and small, affording incredible ocean views at every turn. Apart from the vistas, luxurious seaside accommodations and cozy cafes tender plenty of romantic moments. Santorini's beaches offer additional respite, and the island's thriving wine scene is merely the cherry on top of the post-wedding cake.

1. Bora Bora

Luxury reaches its full potential in Bora Bora. This far-flung honeymoon hot spot is popular for its plethora of private overwater bungalows that offer couples their own little slice of French Polynesian paradise. Plus, snorkeling and adventure excursions, including adrenaline-fueled 4x4 excursions, abound. The only caveat: This unforgettable vacation comes attached to a high price tag.
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