Don't get us wrong: Fiji, Paris, and Hawaii are all lovely places worthy of visiting, but when it comes to your honeymoon, there are countless under-the-radar destinations that are equally beautiful (and less crowded). Instead of traipsing through tourist-filled streets and overpopulated destinations, head to secluded resorts and little-known paradises for a peaceful escape with your S.O.
Need a few ideas? Get away from the daily grind at a lakeside surrounded by the Guatemalan highlands. Take in all that the Adriatic Sea has to offer on an island resort near Montenegro. Visit a beautiful, unexpected hideaway in East Africa. If you want to stop your Instagram followers dead in their tracks—and have an unforgettable time with your one-and-only in a staggeringly beautiful place—then consider these seven unexpected honeymoon locations. They won't disappoint.
Whether you're seeking a quiet, soulful soak beneath the Northern Lights, a challenging trek across an ancient glacier, or a day of fly-fishing in icy rivers, Selfoss, Iceland, is the adventurer's ultimate honeymoon destination. Less than an hour's drive from the hustle and bustle of Reykjavík, set against a backdrop of majestic mountainous lava fields, ultra-modern ION Luxury Adventure Hotel boasts captivating contemporary architecture and an indoor/outdoor natural spa—with easy access to all the attractions of "the land of fire and ice."
Where to Stay: ION Luxury Adventure Hotel
Nouméa, New Caledonia
Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji tend to get all the attention when it comes to honeymoon-worthy nations in the South Pacific Ocean, but have you heard of New Caledonia? This special collection of islands is an overseas territory of France, and it's different from other South Pacific destinations. With a distinct indigenous culture, a French Riviera–style atmosphere, and luxury boutiques—as well as top-notch surfing—it's an exotic little piece of France.
Where to Stay: Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Spa & Golf Resort
Lake Atitlán, Guatemala
Be it Cabo or Puerto Vallarta, you probably know a handful of people who've gotten married or honeymooned in Mexico, but Lake Atitlán, Guatemala, gets our vote for best Central American 'mooners destination. A lake in the Guatemalan highlands surrounded by blue mountains, misty volcanoes, and Mayan villages, Lago de Atitlán is staggeringly beautiful, remote, and the deepest lake in Central America. The locals call it "el ombligo de mundo"—the belly-button of the world. Old Mayan trails and nature reserves offer challenging hikes, and adrenaline buffs can jump from high rock faces into the deep blue water.
Where to Stay: Laguna Lodge
Armação dos Búzios, Brazil
With the 2014 World Cup and the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics behind us, Rio de Janeiro has had a very big moment in the sun in the past few years—and the tourists are flocking. But just a two-hour drive northeast of the city's bright lights and busy streets lies an oasis of calm: Armação dos Búzios, Brazil. With rocky hills and stunning beaches, the little beach town offers the coastal atmosphere and cultural flair of Rio—without all the hustle and bustle. Designed by celebrated Brazilian architect Octavio Raja Gabaglia, Insólito Boutique Hotel is also a major draw for locals and guests alike with eclectic antique/modern design elements and a happening beach lounge.
Where to Stay: Insólito Boutique Hotel
Sveti Stefan, Montenegro
Croatia seems to be the place to be on the Adriatic Sea (and it's remarkable), but we're raising the ballot for newer neighboring nation Montenegro. The coastal country offers breathtaking coastal views, boating, and history. Recently opened after a six-year renovation, the Aman Sveti Stefan resort is set on a three-acre island, with luxurious suites, spas, and dining in repurposed 15th-century cottages.
Where to Stay: Aman Sveti Stefan
The Indonesian island of Lombok doesn't receive as much fanfare as nearby honeymoon hot spot Bali, but it should. The island shares its cultural heritage, temperature, delicious cuisine, and exotic scenery with Bali, but it's unmolested by price surges, villa developments, and tawdry souvenir shops. With lush, color-saturated surroundings, calm white suites, ocean views, and a glittering infinity pool, Lombok Lodge seems as reinvigorating as restful honeymoon destinations come.
Where to Stay: Lombok Lodge
Lamu Town, Kenya
Cast into the Indian Ocean off the north coast of Kenya, Lamu Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a Swahili culture and style, and a rich cultural mix of East African, Arab, and Indian influences. With boat excursions, safaris, fishing, water sports, and scenic flights, there's plenty to do—if soaking on the mesmerizing seashores doesn't appeal to you. With luxurious, modern comforts and traditional Swahili-style design, boutique beach hotel The Majlis is a little hideaway tucked into this lush East African paradise.
Where to Stay: The Majlis Resort
This post was originally published on September 30, 2014, and has since been updated.