Europe is the Ideal Honeymoon Destination
Europe is full of fun, romance, adventure, mystery, and sensory experiences. Trying new foods you can’t pronounce, getting lost in the Tuscan foothills, smelling the croissants every morning as you stroll hand-in-hand down the Rue de Rivoli, riding a train for the first time…Europe doesn’t even have to try to be romantic!
Romantic adventures aside, a European honeymoon is also a practical choice. Odds are, you’re planning to devote more time and money to your honeymoon than you will to other travel for the next couple of years. This is one of the most special vacations you will ever take, and you really want to make the most of it. Europe is the perfect choice! But in order to get the most out of this thing, you’re going to have to narrow down a destination. Depending on your personality, interests, and the time of year you’ll be visiting, there are countless possibilities. The following are just a few of my top picks guaranteed to provide the perfect post-nuptial romantic escape.
Did you really think Paris wouldn’t be at the top of my list? Look, I don’t want to tell you what you already know—the Eiffel Tower, the museums, the cathedrals, the food are all amazing. The thing that makes Paris so romantic isn’t exactly something that can be put into words. It is a feeling you get when you’re there. It is the aura of the City of Light that actually illuminates you. It’s the neighborhoods, the stone streets, and the smells. It’s the river-side picnics after wandering through market stalls. It’s the gardens and the children racing their boats in the lake. It’s the melodic cadence of the French language and the strums of street musicians. It’s les pâtisseries, charcuteries, boulangeries, fromageries, bouchons, bistros, and cafés. Paris is nothing short of enchanting and it is a pity to believe otherwise.
Provence & the French Riviera
Moving south, there are two regions that j’adore for honeymooners. Provence is one of the most gracious areas of France beyond the countryside. It is not a single place, but a wonderland of villages and towns each with their own charm, personality, and appeal. Base yourself in Aix-en-Provence (or Avignon if you prefer a bigger town), but hop on the bus or rent a car and go exploring. Hike in the hills, get lost in Van Gogh’s artistic inpirations, visit the markets in 5 or 6 villes and compare them all. Allow a local guide to escort you through the Rhône wine country so you can swirl, sip, and savor to your heart’s content. Take a train or hire a car and head east until all you can see is blue. You’ve reached the Côte d’Azur. Again, each little seaside town offers something special. Base yourself in Nice if you must (I prefer Villefranche-sur-Mer), but explore St. Tropez, Cap Ferrat, Cannes, Èze, and the tiny coastal havens in-between. Stop in at Les Voiles Saint-Raphael and order whatever’s on the chalkboard (that’s what came fresh from the market and the sea). Linger in this seaside spot over your rosé and people watch like a boss.
If the sea and the city are not quite the experience you’re after, consider Switzerland as the ultimate respite. Enjoy the crisp air and still snowy mountains in the summer, or ski the Alps in the winter. Reserve a suite with a balcony—it doesn’t matter which direction it faces, the view will be magnificent. Visit the spa, sample cheeses and chocolates, and shop your heart out in town. You must explore the other towns (Bern is fantastic) and do something on a mountain (non-skiers should try tubing) so that you can say you did…then enjoy the aprés-ski at an Alpine bar.
The Italian Lakes
Directly south of Switzerland, east of the French Riviera, and west of oft-frequented Venice hide the stunningly beautiful Italian Lakes. If you plan to honeymoon in the summer, there are few European hideaways more perfectly simple and romantic than the lakes district. Opt for a George Clooney sighting in Lake Como (stay in Varenna or, more luxuriously, Bellagio)—it is more charming than Lake Maggiore. You won’t have a lot to do here, but for those who don’t wish to be busy, it is just right.
*As a side note, a couple of nights at Lake Como can easily combine with romantic Venice or the gorgeous and peaceful Cinque Terre. I’d be happy to organize the perfect itinerary for you.
If you need more action and sightseeing, Barcelona should be at the top of your list! Architecture fiends will find Barcelona to be a playlist of Gaudi’s greatest hits. A guided tapas crawl and market visit are ready satisfaction for your foodie cravings. Need a day to relax? Why not hit the beach? Barcelona is a big city playground, but its people definitely know how to unwind after showing you a good time.
Other Noteworthy Honeymoon Destinations:
Amsterdam – Offers just enough excitement, natural beauty, and quirkiness to inspire romance for newlyweds wanting something a little different.
Greek Isles – If you want to be surrounded by beauty, and you’re honeymooning in May, June, or September—you should definitely consider island-hopping between Sardinia, Mykonos, and Corfu. Don’t bother in July or August—the crowds will be unbearable. For the best Greek food experience, be sure to visit Crete as well.
Tuscany – Easily one of the most scenic places in the world, Tuscany has the perfect mix of adventure, activity, and lazy days. Hole up in a hillside villa, but make a little time for day trips to Florence, Siena, and vineyards galore. (For more on Tuscany, read this.)
I hope you found some inspiration for your European honeymoon! I would love to visit with you about putting together the perfect vacation to any of these or other European locations, so please reach out when you’re ready to start planning!