The earliest meaning of the term "honeymoon" supposedly stems from an old European custom in which newlyweds would consume great quantities of mead, a brew made from fermented honey and water. At the time, many cultures followed a lunar ("moon") calendar, and during the first lunar month after the wedding, couples were to drink mead, which was also believed to be an aphrodisiac.
In Western civilization, the custom of a newlywed couple going on a holiday originated in Great Britain in the early 19th century. The practice soon spread throughout Europe, and honeymoons in the modern sense became common.
Traditionally, honeymoons started the night of the wedding, with the couple leaving midway through the reception to catch a late train or ship towards sunnier, warmer climates. This has evolved with the invention of air travel.
These days, couples have more flexibility and options. Destinations run the gamut, and romance can be created anywhere (and with any budget), from an exotic beach locale to a Canadian city to a secluded cabin in the mountains.
That being said, here are our top picks for honeymoon destinations around the world. Spanning all corners of the globe, each place offers an extra special start to married life.
Editor’s note: Save these ideas for when it’s safe to travel again, and always follow all COVID-19 restrictions, rules, and safety regulations both at your destination and upon returning home.Maldives
There’s a reason why the Maldives, a nation in the Indian Ocean composed of 1,190 coral islands, ranks high on honeymoon fantasy lists. These picture-perfect islands are a real-life Robinson Crusoe fantasy. After being whisked away by a speedboat or seaplane, you’ll step on a jetty towards a white-sand beach far removed from crowds.
The iconic overwater villas are particularly popular with honeymooners, but the secluded beach villas are wonderfully romantic too, and often come with spacious outdoor bathrooms or private plunge pools. During the day, partake in world-class snorkeling and diving, spa treatments, sunset cruises, and picnics on uninhabited islands. After dinner, expect little to no nightlife — most guests are content to watch the stars and the moon. The resort’s romantic lighting adds to the ambiance; walking paths are low-lit and the only noise is palm trees swaying in the breeze. Typically, guests slip away to their fabulous rooms to enjoy the peace and quiet in newlywed heaven.
Maldives Hotel Pick: Coco Bodu HithiParis
Take away the extraordinary hotels, restaurants, shopping, and art, and Paris would still be arguably the most romantic city in the world. As a couple, you can wander hand-in-hand around the cobblestone streets, steal kisses on bridges, and explore iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Notre Dame Cathedral (although the cathedral remains closed to the public for renovations after the 2019 fire, visitors can still experience the awe-inspiring view of the outside architecture from surrounding squares). But the true magic of Paris lies in experiencing some of its local favorites and lesser-known gems in charming boulevards, cozy cafes, and bustling bistros.