The wedding is over, the bouquet is tossed and it's off to the honeymoon! Where a couple goes for their honeymoon can be the engine revving that sparks passion in a new marriage, or it can be the first and biggest fight and set the tone for months or years to come. The first two years of marriage can make or break things for couples, and starting off on the wrong foot enduring a bad honeymoon is a bad way to start. For many couples, the honeymoon is their only chance to be together just the two of them, temporarily shedding their workaday lives and worries.
Couples often worry about finding a location that is fun and enjoyable for both and provides the right mix of activities. While one couple may thrive on hustle and bustle, another couple might crave wild and lonely locales, so it's important to look at honeymoon destinations for what they truly offer, and not because everyone else is going there. That being said, there are some honeymoon destinations that may be fine for a short vacation but fall short on the romance factor that is so vital to a truly memorable honeymoon experience. A honeymoon is a chance for a newly-married couple to remember and reignite the spark that led them to choose each other in the first place. Here are 13 Honeymoon Spots That End The Marriage (And 12 That'll Kickstart A Family).
25 Tokyo Is Toky-No
If the goal of the honeymoon is non-stop action, then Tokyo is a great vacation, as per Girl, Unspotted. If a couple is hoping for a slower pace and some space and privacy then Tokyo might not be such a good match. It's a bustling, 24-hour city that is lit up around the clock and never quiet. For many newlyweds, the key to true romance is to slow down and savor that honeymoon time—afterwards, it's back to the real world hustle and noise.
24 Niagara Falls Off The List
Where once Niagara Falls was known as The Honeymoon Capital of the World and was considered an affordable and attainable destination, now much of the charm has been lost or is covered in grime, according to MTV. The falls themselves are as beautiful as ever, despite concerns of pollution, but as an old tourist destination, much of the area has lost its whimsical side. It's worthwhile to visit Niagara Falls, but it's not a romance-inspiring locale the way it was a century ago.
23 Paradise In Koh Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Leonardo DiCaprio's fans may already know Koh Phi Phi from his movie The Beach, but the real-life island is not dangerous and is even more beautiful than the movie portrayed. Koh Phi Phi is part of Thailand but a long way from Bangkok visually, providing breathtakingly beautiful beaches by day and fun parties by night, according to Getting Stamped. Fans of peace and quiet should head for the Long Beach part of the island, and ferries can take honeymooners to other nearby islands for more fun in the sand.
22 Counting Blessings In Cinque Terre, Italy
Gorgeous vistas of Italy's many towns built into the hilly landscape add charm and romance to an already romantic country. There's something for every kind of couple in Cinque Terre, including beaches, hiking, great food and of course vineyards, according to Traveler's Joy. No cars are permitted in the five villages that comprise Cinque Terre, so the feel is different from that of Italy's larger cities. The region has an easy accessibility for tourists, but without the usual tourist traps—a delicately struck balance that is sure to lead to romance.
21 Moscow Miscue
Native Muscovites already complain about the crowds, the dreary apartment blocks and the bitter cold, so finding romance in Moscow could be akin to finding the needle in the haystack, as per Big Time Moscow. There are many beautiful things in Moscow, but couples heading there might be too worried about current US-Russia relations to enjoy Luzhkov Bridge or Naprudnaya Tower. The US officials are advising US citizens to reconsider travel to Russia at this time, and to exercise extreme caution, according to US Department of State.
20 Rio de Janeiro Regrets
Rio de Janeiro is an undeniably beautiful city, but it is also a city of contrasts. One contrast that is uncomfortably obvious almost immediately is the stark income inequality, according to the Huffington Post. Sad and crippling poverty inextricably intermingles with wealth and advantage. The nearby beaches are not only crowded, but polluted with sewage and offal, despite the attention they were given for the Olympics not too long ago. Crime is also on the rise, and couples who don't know to stay in after dark may be risking their safety.
19 The Maldives Mean Romance
The Maldives are stunning and unparalleled in beauty, and there is no bad time of the year to go—every month offers something different but fantastic, as per Brides. While it's true that there are no humble resorts on any of the islands and any trip to The Maldives is a budget-buster, it may very well be worth it. Diving, snorkeling, and crystal-clear water combines with pleasant year-round weather and luxurious resort pampering that will make honeymooners swoon not just for the location, but for each other.
18 Cancún Can't Deliver
Cancún is another tourist hot spot in Mexico that is safe only if tourists stay in the zone. After remains were discovered a few miles from the tourist zone, the State Department issued a travel advisory, as per The Washington Post. The security of Cancún is far tighter than in the surrounding areas, where crime has skyrocketed as the cartels get more and more brutal. Couples who stray from the tightly controlled hotels and resorts may be at risk.
17 Fiji Feels Fine
Although Fiji is replete with luxury resorts, it still feels exotic and never disappoints. In Fiji, the weather's always right, and the resorts gear their activities towards bringing couples closer together. Some of the resorts, like Likuliku Lagoon, are strictly adults only—no kids are allowed, according to The Culture Trip. This makes it easier for couples to focus on the fabulous scenery—and each other. Shuttles take the adventurous from island to island for day trips away from the resort. Fiji is worth saving up for.
16 Fun In Ao Phang Nga Park, Thailand
In 1974, James Bond visited this Thai paradise, but couples can enjoy all of the glamour and heat and none of the danger when they visit the collection of islands that comprises Ao Phang Nga Park, according to Travel Triangle. November to February are the cooler months and are often more comfortable for visitors to get out and play. The islands are part of a national park, so natural habitats make for scenic views in all directions. It's over 12 hours from Bangkok and tangled mangroves line many of the coasts.
15 Machu Picchu Mistake
While the majesty of Machu Picchu is unmatched, the sheer number of people who make the trek has grown exponentially. Concerned with sustainability, Peru has instituted strict rules on how many tourists can visit, and how they can access the site, according to Stuff. Tickets must be obtained months or even farther in advance, tickets are for a specific time period, and visitors must be accompanied by a certified guide. Finding a hotel might be even more difficult, so planning a visit to Machu Picchu is a long-term project.
14 The Stench Of Venice
Every year, more of Venice is submerged. The city is subsiding at the same time that ocean levels are rising. A movable floating barrier called MOSE began construction in 2003, and 15 years later has yet to be completed, according to Wired. Rampant corruption has held up MOSE, which engineers aren't totally sure will work. In addition, there is the possibility during the summer months when canals are stagnant of a bit of a smell. Unless the honeymoon is timed right, it might not be an ideal destination.
13 Too Much Kitsch In Memphis
When a city makes the list of 50 worst cities to live in based on quality of life, chances are it's not such a great place to visit, either. Nearly one-third of all Memphis residents live in poverty, and it has the third highest crime rate, as per USA Today. While Elvis fans flock to Graceland every year, off the beaten path visitors will see a city that is in desperate need of attention. It's hard to get romantic when surrounded by people who are struggling.
12 From Guam To Another
There are so many wonderful South Pacific destinations that there's really no reason to choose Guam over Tahiti, Fiji, Palau, or even Easter Island. Many parts of Guam have absorbed some of the less fine things about the US, including a never-ending stream of fast food joints and chain stores, according to Travel + Leisure. It's not that Guam doesn't have beautiful spots, because it does—it's just that there are so many other places in the South Pacific with lovely beaches that will make a more satisfying honeymoon experience.
11 Dubious Dubai
There are a lot of rules that tourists have to respect when they visit Dubai. Couples might have to show a marriage certificate, women shouldn't go out alone, and public displays of affection are prohibited, as per Smarter Travel. Touristy spots are more relaxed, but outside of those areas, it's important to respect dress code and cover the arms, legs and feet. Dubai is known for luxury, but is also mostly “dry” in terms of beverages and definitely not safe for same-sex couples. During summer, the heat is usually over 100°F.
10 Miss Mykonos In The Summer
Mykonos is undeniably beautiful, but during the summer season everyone goes there—and we do mean everyone. It's incredibly crowded and many beaches are at peak capacity from June until September, as per Santorini Secrets. Rubbing elbows with strangers might not stoke the fires of romance if there's no quiet and no privacy. Conversely, from November to March some of the businesses may be closed, as the tourists are all but gone. There are plenty of other hidden gems along the Greek coast that can provide more secluded honeymoon bliss.
9 Poconos Passed
The Poconos, the mountainous region of Pennsylvania, was once billed as The Honeymoon Capital of the World, but has now faded and is home to dozens of abandoned and crumbling resorts. A few honeymoon hideaways still hang on in this forgotten destination, as per Huffington Post. Those that remain open cite too much competition, the recession that began a decade ago, and deterioration in the environment as reasons why couples stopped coming. Now the scenic mountain views are interspersed with partially demolished buildings.
8 Bad Baja California
While the US State Department advises that tourists are still safe in “tourist areas” in Baja California, caution is advised and they warn against traveling outside of tourist areas, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. While Tijuana, Rosarito Beach and Ensenada are still considered safe, the rest of Baja has experienced a recent spike in crime. It's unfortunate—Baja California has some beautiful beaches, but is also home to rampant poverty. When a couple is always looking over their shoulders, they can't relax enough to enjoy their time together.
7 Cape Cod Can Deliver
A honeymoon doesn't have to mean jetting off to far-flung destinations. Some wonderful gems are right here in the US. Cape Cod, only about an hour from Boston, Massachusetts, is a laid-back yet sophisticated destination that is sure to stoke the fires of romance in even the most reserved couples. Ferry rides, sailboats, walks on the beach and in the picturesque town all combine to make the honeymoon unforgettable, as per Wedding Wire. Couples can be out and active all day or spend some time relaxing at their resort.
6 The Undiscovered Vamizi Island, Mozambique
Unfortunately, many people in the US have a skewed view of Africa, not realizing that there are many undiscovered jewels. Vamizi Island is a private island off the coast of Mozambique that allows access to protected marine habitats, as per And Beyond. Because Vamizi doesn't see the same foot traffic that more well-known destinations do, the ecosystems are thriving, making diving an incredible experience. Couples can watch baby turtles arriving, experience full pampering at the resort, or even meet and work with locals in the community.
5 Seek Out Shetland Islands, Scotland
Located 100 miles off of mainland Scotland, the Shetland Islands aren't just away from the world, they feel to some like a different planet entirely. Not everyone is into a tropical getaway honeymoon, and the Shetland Islands offer something wild and untamed to adventurous couples. The Shetlands—despite their remoteness—have been inhabited for thousands of years, but much of the islands remains unchanged, as per Ireland and Scotland Luxury Tours. The Shetland Islands can provide an unforgettable honeymoon for a couple that is looking for something completely different.
4 Endless Beauty In Zadar, Croatia
The sunset in Zadar—a west-oriented city—is so incredible that Alfred Hitchcock came to film it. Couples will wow friends when they come back with photos from Zadar in Croatia, but they won't care about what their friends think—they'll be too awed by the incredible views. Croatia isn't very big, but offers a dazzling array of romantic activities, according to The Culture Trip. Everything is close, yet distinct from each other as couples hop from city to city. Wonderful beaches, tourist spots and isolation are within arm's reach.
3 Madagascar Mystique
There is nowhere else on Earth like Madagascar, with many species that can't be found anywhere else. The island of Madagascar is large, yet boasts wildly varying terrain and ecosystems—from desert to rainforest within very short distances, as per Bride Magazine. Avenues lined with enormous baobab trees, whale watching off the coast, rainforest expeditions and beach bumming are all possible in a single honeymoon. Newlyweds can get all these activities, plus a Maldives-like dive experience on Nosy Be, off Madagascar's coast.
2 Don't Blink In Dún Na Ri Forest Park, Ireland
Book into Cabra Castle for the honeymoon of a lifetime. Cabra Castle is nestled in the Dún Na Ri Forest Park, a protected national forest with green-shaded walks that have to be seen to be believed, as per Discovering Ireland. Honeymooning in a castle is pretty darn romantic, and walking through a forest that looks like a perfect home for fairies only adds to the charm. The more athletic visitors can play golf on a course that offers epic views of the castle, and fishing and horseback riding are also popular.
1 Relaxed In Reykjavik, Iceland
Iceland is definitely a study in contrasts, and honeymooners will revel in both the fun and unusual atmosphere of Reykjavik as well as the surrounding countryside, according to Brides. Party animals will have no shortage of bars to visit, while those who prefer peace and quiet can quickly escape and find everything they need in the surrounding wild landscape. History buffs will swoon, gourmands will feast and nature lovers can visit an active tectonic rift and dive it. Couples can pair the start of their new lives with lasting memories.
References: Wired, USA Today, Travel + Leisure, Smarter Travel, Huffington Post, Huffington Post, San Diego Union-Tribune, The Washington Post, Getting Stamped, Brides, The Culture Trip, Travel Triangle, The Culture Trip, Bride Magazine, Traveler's Joy