When planning their ideal honeymoon, many couples look for a sunny, tropical destination with all inclusive spas, restaurants, and poolside bars.
It may sound like the ideal vacation for some. For others, it seems boring and lacking variety.
If your ideal honeymoon with your partner includes less relaxing on a beach with cocktails in hand and more trailblazing adventures across mountains and valleys, this post is for you!
Having a honeymoon filled with hikes, walks, and nature can be not only fun for couples, but romantic as well. Sunrises, sunsets, majestic waterfalls, snow capped peaks, and picnic lunches are just some of the sweet things you can enjoy on a hiking-filled honeymoon.
Couples who love hiking don’t have to stop exploring during their first married vacation. By doing what you both love together, you’ll make incredible memories that will last a lifetime.
Here are ten terrific honeymoon destinations for hikers across the globe.
1. The American West
The west is the best destination in the United States for hikers, because the opportunities are endless. With the majority of the 61 national parks located in the American west, you’ll find everything from deserts and canyons to mountains and valleys.
You can stroll along the Grand Canyon in Arizona, camp under the stars of Yosemite Valley in California, rent a cozy cabin in the Rockies of Colorado, or swim in the lakes of Oregon. For a relaxing and romantic stay close to hiking spots, try staying in Jackson, Wyoming’s downtown. This old western town is within driving distance to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.
If you plan to visit more than one park, consider buying a National Park Pass. For a one time fee, (usually between $80-$90) you can bypass paying entrance fees and go to as many parks as you like.
2. Costa Rica
With rainforests, tropical beaches, a vibrant culture, and incredible biodiversity, Costa Rica is an amazing destination for couples who enjoy hiking. You’ll get a lot for your dollar here and can enjoy surfing the waves, looking for wildlife, and watching the sky paint a brilliant sunset over the ocean.
Some of the most popular hikes in Costa Rica include Manuel Antonio National Park and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Both offer a range of treks from daytime walks to multi day adventures. For a thrill, hike to the top of one of the many volcanoes in Costa Rica, like Mount Arenal, and then try zip lining through the jungle. These two experiences will be an amazing way to start your married life together!
This region of South America, located in both Chile and Argentina, is home to stunning mountains, plains, glaciers, and lakes. With over 400,000 square miles of land, Patagonia encompasses multiple national parks in both countries, and is filled with adventure.
Try horseback riding or glacier trekking in Los Glaciares, hike to see the famed Torres in Torres del Paine, or enjoy the lakes region of Bariloche. With Patagonia, the possibilities for outdoor expeditions are endless. If you and your partner are up for it, consider doing the multi-day trek of the W trail in Torres del Paine. It’s one of the best hikes in Patagonia.
4. New Zealand
New Zealand’s unique landscapes across both the north and south islands have multiple hiking opportunities. With lush forests, snow capped mountains, beaches, lakes and plains, you can find every hiking trek you’re looking for in New Zealand.
New Zealanders love tramping – it’s their word for long distance walks or adventures. National parks are located on both the North and South Islands, and there are no entrance fees. You can admire the waterfalls of Milford Sound, or climb to the top of Roy’s Peak in Wanaka for 360 degree views on the South Island. On the North Island, learn more about Maori culture in Rotorua or complete the Pouakai Crossing in Taranaki National Park.
Australia’s rugged outback, exquisite wildlife, and abundance of outdoor space makes it an incredible destination for honeymoon hikers or those who enjoy adventure.
You can camp by Uluru, scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef, hike the Blue Mountains, explore Perth and the western lands, or discover the miles of coastline along Australia’s many beaches. Hiking opportunities abound in Australia, and you’ll find no shortage of open space.
When you imagine the most epic hiking destination on earth, usually one place comes to mind – Nepal! With the Himalayan mountain range, tallest peaks in the world, and exciting culture, Nepal has a lot to offer honeymoon couples who want to hike!
Two excellent and popular routes in Nepal are to Annapurna Base Camp or Everest Base Camp. Both are in different regions but provide you with splendid views of the Himalayas and a chance to experience Nepali culture. The prayer flags, temples, and rhododendron trees will guide your path and provide you with plenty of stories to share back home.
Croatia is home to eight national parks, medieval towns, and numerous waterfalls. Their prices are somewhat cheaper compared to the rest of Europe, making this not only a great budget friendly option, but also a perfect spot for hikers.
You can take day trips to Plitvice or Krka National Parks, hike around the towns of Split or Dubrovnik, and picnic along the Adriatic Sea. Longer multi-day hikes include staying in mountain huts as you traverse through Paklenica National Park. There’s also plenty of kayaking and water sports to try.
Croatia is quickly becoming a very popular hiking destination, and it’s easy to see why.
The Swiss Alps are some of the most famous mountains in the world, and the beauty of Switzerland is truly breathtaking. Alpine lakes and glaciers, small villages, stunning gardens, and delicious chocolate will have you swooning!
There are multiple hiking options in Switzerland, including short day hikes, multi-day adventures, or even longer hikes that include backpacking and staying in cabins or huts. Try the Eiger Trail in Interlaken, or explore Zermatt, one of the most famous ski resort areas.
Whether you visit in the cold winter months or the warm summertime, Switzerland’s romantic scenery will not disappoint.
Iceland has had a boom in tourism in the last few years. With its black sand beaches, rainbows, hot springs, volcanoes, and the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights, Iceland is a perfect honeymoon spot for hikers.
You can rent a camper and road trip around the island, or stop at B&B’s along the way. Hikes to various cliffs, mountains, and waterfalls will leave you mesmerized. Check out the Laugavegur multi day trek if you are looking for a rugged backpacking experience, or try easier day hikes to Thorsmork valley, Skaftafell National Park, or head up to the summit of Mount Esja.
Whether you want to brave Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, see Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, or explore the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, Africa’s landscape is thriving and becoming more visited day by day. As a hiking couple, you can make the most out of some of the most remote areas in the world.
For incredible views, try Mount Kenya in Kenya, or The Drakensberg in South Africa. Learn about the varied climates on the continent by visiting the sand dunes in Namibia, the jungles of Uganda, and seeing the incredible wildlife along the Sahara. Africa is a special place that many are beginning to discover, so make the most of your time there to hike and enjoy it.
Regardless of where your hiking boots wander, having a honeymoon that includes the great outdoors will be unforgettable.
Happy trails, honeymooners!
Jennifer Fitzpatrick and her husband Dylan spent three weeks on their honeymoon hiking through National Parks in the American west. They loved it so much that three years later, they took sabbaticals from work to travel and hike around the world for six months. Follow their adventures on Instagram @jefinner589 & @nomadicfitzpatrick and on their website www.thenomadicfitzpatricks.com.