The Top 2016 Honeymoon Destinations

You said “I do”. Now it’s time for the fun part – packing your bags and jetting off to an exotic locale to begin your new life together.

south-africa

Image courtesy Garonga Safari Camp.

There's a lot of factors that play into deciding where to honeymoon, like sunny locale or adventurous trek through the Amazon? Where you end up is a blissful journey to finding what suits both of your personalities as travellers and your ideal getaway for arguably one of the most romantic trips of your life (no pressure). So with that in mind, we scouted out the top exotic and luxury locales for honeymoon destinations in 2016: a mix of classic favourites with a modern twist and treks just far enough off the beaten path to feel like you're carving out a whole new place for just the two of you. And isn't that the point, anyway?

1. Destination: Kruger, South Africa

It doesn't take much searching to find the romance and beauty in wild animals, majestic sunsets (and sunrises) and a mountainous backdrop, which makes South Africa the ideal retreat to seek both adventure and serenity. When planning your visit to Kruger National Park to behold wildlife and the general awe-inducing landscape, keep in mind that the dry winter season (from May to October) is widely considered the best time to spot animals and embark on walking safaris. For luxurious comfort at its finest during your stay, make your watering hole the Garonga Safari Camp located in the Makalali Conservancy, just outside of the national park. The resort features 12 luxury tents and various safari drives that are sure to suit whatever style of African adventure you've been dreaming of.

victoria-tourism

Image courtesy Victoria Tourism.

2. Destination: Victoria, British Columbia

Located on Vancouver Island on Canada's Pacific Coast, Victoria is arguably one of Canada's most serenely beautiful hotspots (just ask the locals, many of whom are domestic expats who retreated to this lush island). One non-negotiable fact is that Victoria boasts the mildest climate in the country, which makes it green and vibrant and perfect to visit year-round. Whether it's road-tripping to the nearby beaches -- the coast is dotted with sandy coves along China Beach -- or hitting up the host of local craft breweries (second fun fact: Victoria is also B.C.'s craft beer capital), you will no doubt fall for this quaint city. If you can, plan for a honeymoon in spring, when tulips, daffodils and hyacinths are in full, glorious bloom at the famed Butchart Gardens.

costa-rica

Image courtesy Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens.

3. Destination: Alajuela, Costa Rica

Eco-tourism has seen a well-founded boom in Costa Rica, where adventure-seekers, yogis and Whole Foods-shoppers converge on one breathtaking tropical destination. Situated in the Central Valley just 20 kilometres west of the capital, San Jose, this historically rich city has no shortage of activities, from hiking to waterfalls and caves to mountain biking the picturesque terrain. Or take a short day trip to Sabanilla, the country's famous coffee-growing region. Or plant yourself on a luxe eco-resort for indulgent relaxation as the all-around natural beauty moves in on you: Navara Hotel, Spa & Gardens faces Costa Rica's Arenal Volcano and offers unparalleled views of the surrounding emerald jungle.

bora-bora

Image courtesy Four Seasons Bora Bora.

4. Destination: Bora Bora

If this majestic tropical island wasn't on your radar before as a top honeymoon hotspot, Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux's romantic escape post-surprise wedding sure helped seal its fate as a go-to for couples. Make like the A-list newlyweds and stay at the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora in the French Polynesian isle. Spend your days lounging on the pristine beaches while soaking up the sun and views of the South Pacific, including Mount Otemanu. Or head to the spa to indulge in decadent body treatments infused with local ingredients of monoi and vanilla. Order up a Tahitian cocktail and toast to your new life under the orange-lit sky at sunset.

maldives

Image courtesy Baros Maldives.

5. Destination: Maldives

Any point in this sweeping archipelago is safe bet to stumble across a transfixing island paradise. The pristine islands housed on the Indian Ocean -- southwest of India and Sri Lanka -- are known for their coveted trifecta of tropical gems: blue lagoons, majestic beaches and stretches of reefs. For indulgent honeymooners, unwind at Baros Maldives Resort, where you can picnic on a sandbank on the Indian Ocean, dive with reef sharks or be cocooned in a pineapple and papaya cream anti-aging wrap at the resort spa. This is what it's like to fall for a well-pampered traveller.

norway

A breathtaking glimpse of life in Senja, Norway. Image courtesy of nordnorge.com.

6. Destination: Northern Norway

Adventurous couples, head north in this Scandinavian nation for unspoiled views of Norway's fjords. The outdoorsy possibilities are endless, with glacier hiking, local safari trips (where you're sure to spot reindeer) and skiing as great local experiences. Take a five-day cruise along the majestic North Sea on the Hurtigruten (which holds up to 800 passengers for relative privacy), and sails through the Arctic Circle, eventually winding up in the picturesque city of Bergen. On your journey, pass through historic seaside towns known for their colourful ports, as well as Trondenes, where you'll also find 1,100-year-old relics from Norse Vikings. Or cuddle up in the renowned winter wonderland Snow Hotel in Kirkenes.

The rolling hills of Lazio's breathtaking countryside.

The rolling hills of Lazio's breathtaking countryside.

7. Destination: Lazio, Italy

On principle, we could never say no to visiting Rome, with its perfect blend of new world-coolness with ancient city charms (and pasta!) that make it one of Italy's -- and the world's -- must-visit hotspots. But there's something so fittingly romantic about eschewing the hordes of tourists clambering for a spot on the Spanish Steps and sipping a glass of wine surrounded by the vast Italian countryside.

Enter: Lazio. Top hotels in the nearby Rome are already offering quaint trips to the region to experience Lazio's rustic charms. Five-star Portrait Roma hotel will whisk away you and your significant other to the region by a romantic hot air balloon ride. The one-hour journey offers unparalleled view of the Tyrrhenian Sea and Tolfa Mountains. Imagine toasting your new life together with Prosecco and spaghetti carbonara -- a typical local dish -- as the sun sets on Lazio's rolling hills.

Tulum

The white sand beaches and crystal blue waters of Tulum, Mexico.

8. Destination: Tulum, Mexico

Every year, Mexico rounds out the top five destinations for honeymooners from around the globe -- unsurprising, with it's endless stretches of coastline, glistening beaches and breathtaking mountainous backdrop. Boasting the richest views and access to the Riviera Maya, this ancient city can't help but have a classic vibe, in addition to postcard perfect beaches. Tour the ruins of this former Mayan fortress, including the cliff-top Castillo, which faces out against stunning turquoise waters. Snorkel along the Great Maya Reef or fold into sun salutations during early morning yoga on the beach -- there's no doubt you'll fall in love here (again).