According to a 2014 study conducted by Facebook, the world's most popular honeymoon destinations include Las Vegas, Hawaii, and Mexico. And while it's easy to see why these destinations were top picks for some post-wedding R&R, when it comes to honeymoon vacations, frolicking on the beach or lounging poolside at a casino won't win you any points for originality. For couples looking to experience something unique, here are five romantic yet unusual honeymoon destinations.
1. A heart-shaped island in Australia
Nothing is more romantic than a private tropical island, except for maybe a private tropical island that's formed in the shape of a heart! Makepeace Island is located in the Noosa River along Australia's Sunshine Coast. The island is small—just 25 acres—and its Balinese-style resort can accommodate no more than 22 guests, helping to add to the "castaway on a deserted island" vibe. Popular island activities include taking a dip in the resort's lagoon pool or enjoying a private riverboat ride at sunset.
2. A cozy, secluded cabin in the Arctic
When most people think "honeymoon," they think "beach," but perhaps they should be thinking "snowy cabin in the Arctic wilderness" instead. After all, snuggling under fur-lined blankets next to a wood-burning stove while the Northern Lights glow against the snowy hillside can definitely have its appeal. In the northern regions of Sweden and Finland, there are several luxury winter cabin resorts to choose from, many of which include private wood-fired saunas. During the day, you can go dogsledding or snowmobiling or simply enjoy the secluded winter silence as you sip hot chocolate and watch for herds of wild reindeer.
3. A cave hotel in Turkey
In the region of Turkey called Cappadocia lie 100 square miles of underground cave villages, tunnels, secret passageways, and ancient temples. Surrounded by a "moonscape" of unique natural sandstone rock formations, the entire region looks as if it were transported from the pages of a fairy tale. The hundreds of cave towns that make up the underground city of Derinkuyu were built by early Indo-Europeans in the 8th century. At one point, the underground cave city is thought to have housed up to 20,000 people (it's that big). Now, several of the caves have been refurbished into hotels with primitive stone-walled interiors that resemble the inside of a medieval castle.
While a cave may not scream romance, the authentic Turkish baths and sunset terrace views certainty do. You can explore the area via a private hot-air balloon tour or hike through "Love Valley," which was named for the phallic-shaped rock formations that cluster along the valley's hiking trails.
4. A hot spring in Iceland
As far as unusual honeymoon destinations go, Iceland tops the list. Iceland is known for its natural geothermic springs, as well as its waterfalls, geysers, glaciers, black sand beaches, and miles of untouched wilderness. Adventurous couples who love the outdoors will love Iceland. You can book a tour or simply rent a jeep and go exploring on your own, but be sure to make time to soak in one of Iceland's famous turquoise-blue hot springs. After all, there's something amorous and exciting about kissing in a warm, mist-covered lagoon at the edge of a glacier.
5. A tent in the Namib Desert in Africa
At the Wolwedans Dunes Camp in the Namib Desert in Namibia, Africa, you can sleep under the stars high above the desert plains for a vintage "glamping" experience reminiscent of a bygone era. Beds are located on open-air, stilted platforms, which means guests are treated to a brilliant view of the desert sunrise and surrounding orange-colored sand dunes. The nature reserve where the camp is located is home to zebras, giraffes, and baboons, which you can see up close while horseback riding or on a walking safari.