Romance is overrated, or at least your adventure loving significant other and you might think so, if what gets your heart racing is jumping out of a plane to skydive rather than holding hands under a lilac sunset sky in Santorini. And who’s to say you can’t have one without the other?
For couples who bond over their common lust for life-changing experiences, the kind that thrust them far out of their comfort zones, there’s no reason to go on a clichéd honeymoon. While planning my own honeymoon, I knew that I, sure as hell, wasn’t going to be happy with three weeks of drinking wine and sunset spotting over a private overwater villa in the Maldives or Seychelles. Three days, maybe (though I guarantee I’d start looking for hikes as soon as I’d get there because there’s only so much romance I’m capable of), but three weeks of essentially the same daily routine? That wasn’t our idea of what’s supposed to be a one-of- a-kind trip and we picked New Zealand for the perfect mix of adventure, romance, and relaxation.
If just romantic islands and wine tastings are not your idea of fun, then plan your honeymoon to one of these adventure honeymoon destinations to swing, bungee jump, hike, jet boat, kayak, paraglide, and dive into an exciting new life adventure with your spouse.
For many nature-lovers, New Zealand is the most beautiful country they have ever traveled to (either that or Iceland, but more on Iceland later). Surely, it’s not easy to get to and it takes quite a bit of time and money to fly there, but if you love active adventures, then there’s no better place to experience them with your partner.
Traversing the length of the country from the North Island to the South Island, New Zealand is chock-full of jaw-dropping sights and heart-stopping (for a split second only) thrills. And it’s THE most tourist-friendly country I’ve been to- everything is easy in New Zealand even if you’re not from around.
Whether it’s looking up in stupefied astonishment at the starlit ceiling of the Waitomo Glowworm Caves as you go black water rafting, watching seals sunbathe as you kayak through Abel Tasman National Park, jumping off a cliff to paraglide or skydive in Queenstown or learning how to dance with the indigenous Maori, the country does not run out of experiences that truly amaze you, regardless of how well-traveled you may be.
It’s a great country to hire a campervan, take a long road trip, and chance upon gorgeous unknown spots that you may well have all to yourself. And there’s plenty of opportunities for romance as well with wine tours and tastings, beautiful beaches, and cute B&Bs sprinkled in remote, middle-of- nowhere locations.
While adventures like skydiving, bungee jumping, paragliding, kayaking, diving, skiing, and hiking, among other things are available all over the country, Queenstown on the South Island is the adventure hotspot of the country and is referred to as the Adventure Capital of the World. Here you’ll find every kind of gravity-defying adventure as well as things like jet boating plus it
becomes a top ski spot in winter. Another must-visit spot is the Glacier Country, where you can go to the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier to glacier-hike, ice climb, or combine your hike with a helicopter flight.
In my opinion, Nepal is one of the most underrated adventure honeymoon destinations in the world and that is a shame because it’s also one of the most affordable places you can travel to. Coupled with the fact that Nepal tourism could really use a boost right now, a Nepal honeymoon is sure to bring you some good travel karma.
Nepal has a rich, vibrant culture that is full of fascinating traditions and customs and the friendly Nepalese are eager to share this with you. The country is also home to some breathtaking Himalayan landscapes, gorgeous hiking trails, delicious food, hidden villages, and spiritual retreats. Plus, since Nepal sees plenty of tourists who come in search of its epic multi-day treks
and other adventures, there are plenty of Nepal tour packages on offer, with something for every budget.
Most adventurers spend a few days in the Kathmandu Valley exploring villages like Bodhanath, Bhaktapur, and Patan, and then head to Pokhara, where the bustling lakeside town serves as the base for short treks and the starting point for high-altitude treks like the Annapurna Circuit, Annapurna Base Camp, and Everest Base Camp. This is also a great country to go paragliding,
rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, and mountain biking.
Nepal should be your go-to choice if you’re looking for an adventure destination on a budget. Coupled with seriously low accommodation costs mountain villages with options like guesthouses and homestays, and low transport and food costs, plus very reasonable costs for adventure activities, Nepal is ideal for hardcore adventurers.
What can I say about Iceland that hasn’t been said before?! Iceland is rightly having its moment under the sun, and yes, I bet someone you know is going to Iceland and I bet that is also true of someone they know. Until I went to Iceland, New Zealand was the most beautiful country that I’d ever seen but someone I met described it to me like this: Iceland is New Zealand on steroids,
and while I don’t particularly love the wording of that statement, I do sort of agree.
Iceland is packed with awe-inspiring experiences and gorgeous otherworldly sights in a landscape that seems surreal. I know I am using a lot of these big words but somehow they’re all inadequate to describe the wild magnificence of nature in Iceland. It’s like Mother Nature really decided to let her hair down and go all out here on this tiny little island close to the Arctic Circle,
showing off her creativity to 330,000 Icelanders.
Again, these days, it costs an arm and a leg to spend a ten-day vacation in Iceland but if you’re after a taste of its spectacular nature and thrilling adventures, then it can be done, especially if you’re okay not spending money like you would on a regular honeymoon. Yes, that means not drinking out or going to a bar each night and not going to fancy restaurants everyday, and living
in basic accommodation.
If that sounds like your thing, then consider getting a campervan and driving around Iceland in summer. Imagine driving up to a beautiful waterfall and staying there for the night, cooking your own food and waking up to dreamy views. Imagine finding a natural hot spring and having to share it only with your significant other. Sounds like bliss right?
In Iceland, you can swim between tectonic plates, go hiking in the otherworldly highlands, hike or ice-climb on a glacier, go horse riding on the beautiful Icelandic horses, and explore lava tube caves. Then of course, you can also go volcano hiking and kayaking around fjords and take scenic flights, if you can afford them.
Georgia is one of those countries in the Caucasus that has somehow slipped under the world’s tourist radar. That is not to say that there isn’t any tourism in Georgia. Tourism is flourishing in Georgia and has gone a long way in growing the economy of this former Soviet nation, but these tourists are mainly from around the Middle East and most don’t venture further than the capital
While Tbilisi is great, the rest of Georgia is still quite untapped and there’s good potential for adventure tourism, thanks to its location in the mighty Caucasus mountains. Mountain lovers head to the Kazbegi region and also to the high-altitude mountain villages of Upper Svaneti to see remote, unspoilt, and spectacular parts of the country. Georgia is also emerging as an affordable ski destination and if you’re planning a ski-honeymoon, consider a ski trip to the Gudauri area that is also close to Kazbegi. You can also go paragliding here and the views over the mountains are nothing short of breathtaking.
For summer hiking, plan a trip to the remote Upper Svaneti region where several multiday hikes begin and take you through beautiful valleys, wild mountain trails, and old Svan villages comprising ancient towers that were once home to the locals. Here you’ll find nature at its finest and culture at its most authentic self. Living, transport, food, and activities costs are very low in
Georgia and the people are some of the friendliest you’ll ever meet. Apart from trekking and hiking (both short trips and multi-day hikes), you can also go horse riding, climbing, rafting, paragliding, and kayaking in the incredible landscapes of the country.
If you associate Indonesia with the island paradise of Bali and picture yourself lazing around on a beach sipping on a cocktail and think that is all there is to do, I’ve got news for you- Indonesia is home to some incredible natural landscapes and some once-in- a-lifetime adventures, all at an affordable price tag.
It’s nice to know that Indonesia offers varied experiences, so it’s not just all about adventures- there’s plenty of romance and relaxation in the form of health and wellness retreats, spa experiences, and a plethora of authentic cultural immersion, if you’re keen. Not to mention, the cuisine is bursting with myriad flavors and a total delight if you’re up for culinary adventures.
Bali is no stranger to attention, thanks to its gorgeous beaches, but if you’re both active adventurers, you’ll be pleased to know that you can go surfing, diving, snorkeling, rock climbing, paragliding, and parasailing in Bali. With low prices, it is also a great place to stay longer on your honeymoon and learn how to surf, dive, or rock climb.
As you move inland, you can also go hiking, and do things like rafting, ziplining, and bungee jumping, and all of this is way more affordable here than a lot of other places. Trekking in Indonesia takes you to foggy volcano summits, along lush green rice-terraces, vibrant but authentic villages, and rafting on wild jungle rivers.
In your downtime, you’ll explore cacao plantations and spice gardens, and ancient temples, go island hopping, and enjoy yoga retreats on the beach and under starlit skies. Indonesia is a great choice for active adventurers and wellness lovers.
Over to you: Are you an adventure lover and what other adventure honeymoon destination
would you add to this list?