Top Honeymoon Destinations for 2020 According To Canada's Best Wedding Photographers
You've officially tied the knot and now it's time to unwind. Whether you're newlyweds that want to explore a once-in-a-lifetime destination, experience the food and architecture of a bucket list city, or simply veg out on one of the world's most beautiful beaches, you deserve the trip of a lifetime.
Who better to recommend a stunning, romantic location than the people who have dedicated their lives to documenting love stories: wedding photographers! Here are the top Honeymoon Destinations for 2020 as recommended by the Canada’s best fine art wedding photographers.
1. New Zealand
With some of the world’s most magnificent scenery, hiking trails and a friendly population, New Zealand is the ideal honeymoon location for any adventurous couple. Film Photographer Will Reid (formerly When He Found Her) recommends New Zealand for anyone wanting to take an extended honeymoon. His recommendations? “I would suggest to try to do both the North and South Islands and to make stops at: Crystal Cove, Wellington, Queenstown, Lake Taupo, Mount Cook National Park, and of course: Milford Sound.”
WHERE TO STAY
LUXE: you can’t beat a view like the one you’ll find at this airbnb.
BUDGET: this secluded getaway has views, rustic vibes and an outdoor bathtub. we say, “yes!”
2. Banff, Alberta
We wouldn't be a Canadian wedding blog without pointing you toward a gem on our own soil! Wedding photographer Lisa Catherine selects Banff as the perfect locale to foster a truly bonding honeymoon experience. Here’s what she had to say about this west coast beauty:
“Nestled among the mountains, Banff is home to glaciers, stunningly clear lakes, alpine meadows, mineral hot springs, and more. If hiking, biking, canoeing, horseback riding, skiing, and a variety of other outdoor sports aren't for you, then shopping and going for a fine meal within the resort town, taking a dip in the hot springs, or just simply packing a wine and cheese picnic with front row seats to some of the finest views Canada has to offer is sure to create lasting memories for your honeymoon.”
“Pack a picnic lunch and take a stroll along one of many scenic trails Banff National Park and area has to offer. A few favourite spots include Johnston Canyon, Moraine Lake, Lake Louise, and Lake Minnewanka.”
3. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is the perfect starting point for a relaxing, food-filled European vacation. “Any foodie would be thrilled to honeymoon in Portugal”, explains wedding photographer Caileigh Langford. “It’s home to some of the best seafood in the world, has more gorgeous tile walls than your colourful soul can dream of, and close to the most stunning beaches. What more could you want for a romantic adventure with your new hubby?”
Take a day trip to Sintra & Cascais. Caileigh mentions this as a highlight of her trip: “No trip to Lisbon is complete without visiting the Pena Palace in Sintra. This colourful castle breaks from the norm of every other European castle you’ve visited before. Stop in Cascais on your way back to Lisbon for a relaxing afternoon at the beach and incredible ice cream at Santini.”
Visit the Jerónimos Monastery. A great rain-or-shine activity - just arrive early or book your tickets in advance to avoid lineups!
Three words: Time Out Market. The ultimate foodie experience in Lisbon. Worth at least one visit - there’s something for everyone and every craving.
4. Bali, Indonesia
Arguably the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation after the chaos of wedding planning, Bali is one of the dreamiest honeymoon locations one can think of. A popular destination with Australian travellers has made Bali a must-see destination. With Hip Aussie style restaurants and hotels, paired with the natural wonders of this volcanic island. International wedding photographer Whitney Heard selects her must-do activities while in Bali:
Rice Terraces in Ubud
Temples - Don’t miss Pura Taman Saraswati!
Waterfalls - Sekumpul Waterfall is one among hundreds of beautiful Bali Waterfalls.
Private Bali Massage
5. Provence, France
Photographer Jessica Rose says, “My dream is to one day have a second home in southern France, but for now, visiting once or twice a year will have to suffice! For a honeymoon destination, it's impossible for me to choose one city, and since France is a smaller country I think it’s best experienced half city, half exploring the countryside!” She recommends beginning your European journey in Paris. “A picture perfect day would be beginning with a café & croissant in the morning with the locals, then strolling the streets to visit Musée d’Orsay, the museum to hold the largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world.” Once heading to Provence - we recommend flying into Avignon or taking the train, then renting a car to get the most out of the beautiful sights along the way - you will be delighted with endless opportunities for wine tasting and cosy bed & breakfasts”
MUST SEE STOPS
Aix-en-Provence is the perfect stop for art and food if you’d like to get back into the city. Bastide creates amazing perfumes and is located right downtown.
Gordes is another small and incredible town that is worth spending a day visiting. Built in the cliffside, it’s a view not to be missed!
WHERE TO STAY
JESSICA’S RECOMMENDATION: “I’d suggest Les Oliviers du Taulisson for a couple of nights to stay with the sweetest family in the quiet rolling hills.”
6. Oahu, Hawaii
Saskatchewan-based photographer Mason Neufeld loves to gush over honeymoon plans with her couples. She writes of her clients, Kathy & Darko, “This pair took the opportunity in their transitioning stage of life to take off after their vows and backpack around the world. They kicked it off touring around Oahu in a VW bus from Surfer Van Hawaii, paddle and long boarding their hearts out and snacking on fish tacos at every possible chance. Their currently cruising around Chile!”
From Mason: “The Hawaiian Islands have so much to offer. My top must do’s would definitely include surfing, snorkelling / scuba diving, and hiking to a waterfall or two. Oahu offers the perfect balance between relaxation and adventure!”
7. Tofino, BC
If staying in the great north is in the cards for you, but you still dream of a relaxing beach adventure, you’re still in luck. Photographer Kayla Yestal believes Canada is an underrated honeymoon location; she explains, “I think that when most couples are planning their honeymoon, they immediately jump to an international destination instead of considering an option within their own country or continent. Tofino boasts breathtaking views, a trendy food and drink scene, and world-class beaches that should make it a serious contender for any getaway! For couples who love to stay active while away from home with activities like hiking or surfing, this could be the perfect choice for you!”
From Kayla: “By far one of my favourite experiences in Tofino was taking a whale watching tour with a local carbon neutral tour agency, Ocean Outfitters. It is absolutely surreal and humbling to be on such a small boat surrounded by nothing but open ocean. Being able to witness wildlife in their natural habitat while simultaneously being educated on each species made for an unforgettable life experience!
Is it even fair to write an entire country as a top honeymoon destination? We’ll make an exception for Greece, and photographer Justine Milton agrees! “There are many reasons why Greece is my favourite place, but a large part of that decision is the food. I always find it hard to get enough vegetables when travelling but in Greece there is no shortage of tasty vegetables! The breakfasts at every hotel are another thing, they are always homemade amazing spreads of anything you could want and its the best way to start a long day of sightseeing!
Now most people when they think of Greece they think of Mykonos or Santornini, but I’m here to tell you those are my two least favourite places (keep in mind all of Greece is my favourite so the least is still not that bad!) Now, they are low on the list because, they are far more expensive than any other place in Greece I’ve been. And Alan (my husband) and I are not the busy touristy type, we don’t like to be around crowds much, we are more lets do what the locals do and hang out where they hang out kind of people. All that being said they are still worth visiting”, says Justine.
Beaches of Oia. Justine suggests, “Go see Oia at sunrise, its the only time it will feel peaceful and serene! After sunrise in Oia head down to Amoudi Bay for some of the best seafood you’ll ever eat! It’s so quaint down there!”
See the spectacular beauty of Meteora. “We drove from Athens: tip- take the toll roads, just pay for them its not the worth extra 2 hours to not take the toll roads!- Its an easy drive and you can stop at many of the towns along the way for food. Rather than stopping on the side of the highway at Autogrille or something similar, venture into some of the towns and find a small restaurant, we had some of the best experiences eating at random not researched little places in who knows where. You only need a couple days in Meteora, theres lots of monasteries perched atop these giant jagged rock structures. On our way up we spent the night in Arachova and it is the most quaint little mountain town.”, writes Justine.
Explore the island of Corfu. Take a rental car around the island to check out every beach you can find. You will have endless opportunities for delicious grilled seafood at every one!
9. Cusco, Peru
Potentially the most adventurous on this list, Cusco, Peru boasts opportunities for incredible hikes, food and cultural experiences unlike any other. After a two-week adventure in Peru, photographer Caileigh Langford has the inside scoop. She explains, “July is peak dry season in Peru, making summer the best time to trek the Andes. We did a 4 day Inca Trail trek through G Adventures and would highly recommend going with them. The trek is not for anyone afraid of heights or climbing stairs for 6-10 hours, but it’s hands down one of the best experiences of my life. After any trek look into spending the day at a spa to give your body some rest. Just don’t forget to give yourself time to acclimatize to the altitude when you first arrive before heading out on any wild adventures.”
Take a day trip to Salineras de Maras. One of the most Instagrammable spots in the country (after Machu Picchu, of course).
Hike Rainbow Mountain. At a higher altitude than Machu Picchu, this climb is not for the weak, but will result in unforgettable views from the top that make it all worth it.
Try eating Alpaca or Guinea Pig! “When in Rome”, right?