10 romantic honeymoon road trip ideas

A honeymoon doesn't mean lying on a tropical beach for a week unless you want to! For couples who love to be on the move, we've compiled our favourite romantic honeymoon road trip ideas from around the world...
Romantic Honeymoon Road Trip Ideas | The Honeymoon Guide

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When people think of honeymoon destinations, they often think of tropical paradises with white sand beaches and crystal clear azure waters. However, we know that’s not for everyone! Are you both looking for the perfect honeymoon road trip? Then, look no further! We’ve gathered the best romantic honeymoon road trip ideas across the world. If you’re looking to explore unknown places, with incredible scenery, cute pit stops, gorgeous coastal towns and awe-inspiring national parks – these trips are sure to be up with the best adventures of your life together. Don’t forget to check out our Ultimate Honeymoon Playlists to help you with the soundtrack to your honeymoon! Let’s think about packing up a vehicle and taking to the open road with our best honeymoon road trip ideas!

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red car on a los angelse street under the hollywood sign
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California – USA

A destination that needs no introduction, California is a perennial favourite! The Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to San Diego in the USA, where Redwood trees turn into Palm trees, is probably the road trip honeymoon we get asked about most.

San Francisco is the perfect city to start a California honeymoon road trip. There’s so much to see and do in the city, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, fascinating neighbourhoods like The Castro and Haight-Ashbury, and an innovative dining scene. It’s a great jump-off point for visiting the rest of the state.

You could take a hop up to Napa to explore the wine region, and drive to Yosemite National Park for the most beautiful wilderness. Back out on the California coast road, make your first stop in the charming town of Monterey where you can go whale watching. Spend the day driving through Big Sur, which is one of our favourite places in California and the US. The scenery is absolutely stunning, with rugged cliffs and forests overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Hike at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park or visit the lookout over the beach and McWay falls.

Head on to Cambria and San Luis Obispo or further along to Pismo Beach for some sun, sand, surfing and seafood. Pismo Beach is a classic southern California beach town. After that, stop at Santa Barbara. This relaxed town has gorgeous Spanish-style architecture and palm trees lining the streets. Take a vineyard tour, a bike ride or sunset catamaran cruise.

Next up is Los Angeles. We love an LA vibe! From nightlife in West Hollywood, horse riding or hiking the hills to the Hollywood sign and Griffith Observatory, rollercoasters at Universal, popular culture tours, street art tours, food tours to chilling on the beaches of Venice & Santa Monica – you won’t be short of things to do in the City of Angels. Foodies will be in heaven with everything from fine dining to street food to fast food – (hello In-N-Out Burger!).

Head on down to the beaches of Southern Cali at Orange County and sunny San Diego. If you’ve got time, zip over to Palm Springs – the gateway to Joshua Tree National Park. Finish up in Las Vegas in the state of Nevada – Sin City will surprise you. Neon lights, fun hotels and an endless array of things to do (that don’t have to include gambling). It’s also the perfect place to take a trip to the Grand Canyon, too. You won’t regret a helicopter ride with champagne!

Start in: San Francisco (Airport Code: SFO)

End in: Los Angeles (Airport code: LAX), San Diego (Airport Code: SAN) or Las Vegas (Airport Code: LAS)

Best time to visit: April to October

How much time do you need: At least 10 nights.

Vehicle type recommended: Car

Where can you tag on? We love Hawaii or head to Mexico for some relaxing beach time in a luxury all-inclusive resort.

sand dune in namibia
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Namibia

Namibia is one of our favourite destinations for a honeymoon road trip with a difference. This African country, nestled between South Africa to the south and Botswana to the east, is packed full of adventure. Wild coastlines, unique wildlife and ancient desert and otherworldly landscapes are all the ingredients for an unforgettable honeymoon.

Windhoek is the perfect place to start your journey. Take a tour of this fascinating city, home to historical Germanic architecture and learn about the ways of life in the townships. Head south to the Kalahari and meet the indigenous bushmen to learn about their fascinating way of life. Go on to Fish River Canyon (the second largest in the world after the Grand Canyon). After a stop for the night, the Namib – Naukluft National Park (the largest National Park in Africa at nearly 50,000 sq kms). Here you’ll find the Namib desert and Sesriem, the jump-off point to Sossusvlei, the planet’s tallest sand dunes. Marvel at the surreal landscape on Dune 54. Get that famous shot of Deadvlei.

Travel through the desert towards Walvis Bay and Swakopmund with a stop at Solitaire. This remote settlement with abandoned trucks, cars, petrol pumps and cacti is a must-see. Swakopmund has plenty to keep you busy – from whale watching to skydiving to hot-air balloon rides. 

Skeleton Coast is one of the wildest places in the world (named because of the whale skeletons that were found on the beach). You’ll also find shipwrecks and you can marvel at the desert-adapted elephants and other wildlife. Continue on to Damaraland to discover the ancient rock art of Twyfelfontein Heritage Site and the Petrified Forest. 

In the incredible Etosha National Park, huge herds of animals and abundance of birdlife can be found. This is one of the best locations in Africa for safari. Discover lions, elephants, rhinos, zebra and giraffes but also leopard, springbok, gemsbok and blue wildebeest, gathering at the waterholes for an immense spectacle against the white of the salt pans.

Start in & End in: Windhoek (Airport Code: WDH)

Best time to visit: May to October

How much time do you need: At least 10 nights.

Vehicle type recommended: Car

Where can you tag on? As Windhoek has direct flights to Johannesburg in South Africa, you could connect there to Mauritius or Seychelles. These are perfect if you’d like to combine your honeymoon road trip with a tropical beach.

the leaning tower of pisa under blue sky
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Tuscany – Italy

Along with the Amalfi Coast, a Tuscany honeymoon road trip is one of our ultimate Italian honeymoon recommendations! This picturesque region is known for its rolling green hills, olive groves, and vineyards. Plus, there are plenty of charming villages and medieval towns to explore in the Tuscan countryside.

Begin in Florence, home to some of the world’s most famous art and architecture, including the Duomo, Michelangelo’s David, Ponte Vecchio and the renaissance art at the Uffizi Gallery. It’s the perfect place to explore Tuscan cuisine with a cooking class or a street food tour.

The Chianti region is covered in vineyards. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, San Gimignano, is unmissable. Explore the narrow streets, architecture and impressive skyline. Try the local white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, made from grapes grown on the sandstone hillsides of the area. Go truffle hunting and take a motorbike vineyard tour on a Vespa.

Stop in a small village for lunch and wine tasting or visit one of the larger towns like Siena for art, cuisine, museums and the Renaissance town of Montepulciano. Drive through the scenic Val d’Orcia – for the insta-worthy Tuscan landscapes you came for. Head further south to Saturnia for a day of relaxation in the natural hot springs which have therapeutic properties.

Consider leaving the car at Piombino to visit the island of Elba in the Tuscan archipelago. This picturesque island has beautiful beaches, architecture and hikes. Go kayaking in the crystal clear water. When you’re back on the mainland, hop back in your vehicle and head north to Lucca where you can take a scenic bike ride around this beautiful town. Don’t forget Pisa, home to the iconic Leaning Tower, for that infamous insta shot! Florence is only an hour away to complete your loop of beautiful Tuscany.

Start in & End in: Florence (Airport Code: WDH) or Pisa (Airport Code: PSA). Rome (Airport Code: FCO or CIA) is around 3 hour’s drive away.

Best time to visit: May to September

How much time do you need: At least 7 nights.

Vehicle type recommended: Car

Where can you tag on? Discover another part of Italy like the Amalfi Coast or Lake Garda or Como or hop on a short flight to another beautiful European destination like Spain or Greece. You could take a short train ride to Rome for a cruise around the Mediterranean.

cliffs of moher ireland honeymoon road trip
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Wild Atlantic Way – Ireland

From the rustic Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal in the north down to the picturesque town of Kinsale in County Cork in the south, the Wild Atlantic Way on Ireland’s wild western coast is a perfect road trip destination for newlyweds looking for something different to the typical tropical honeymoon. The stunning scenery, relaxed atmosphere, historic houses and classic Irish castles turned castle hotels are ideal for a romantic and cosy Irish honeymoon.

Start in historic Derry, Ireland’s walled city where history looms large and the people are the most welcoming. Cross counties to Donegal and visit Ireland’s most northerly point at Malin Head. Go sea swimming on one of Donegal’s beautiful beaches. The water will be freezing, but you’ll feel refreshed and there is always a cosy pub nearby to warm up with a ‘pint of plain’!

Next up are Sligo and Mayo (consider dropping the car to visit the wild and rugged Achill Island) before you reach the county of Galway. Connemara offers stunning mountain landscapes and serene lakes. The city of Galway is vibrant with lively art and food scenes – perfect to experience “ceol agus craic” (music and fun).

Further south, County Clare is home to one of Ireland’s most famous sites, the unmissable Cliffs of Moher. Detour through the Burren for lunar-like landscapes and wildflowers. Onwards to Kerry via Limerick (stop in Adare en route). Arguably Ireland’s most beautiful county, home to the Dingle Peninsula, Ring of Kerry and Killarney National Park. Rugged coastline, lush green hills, and charming villages – this is the romantic Ireland of your imagination. Be sure to take a drive along Slea Head Drive and detour of the Ring of Kerry to the Skellig Ring for some of the best views in the country, including the famous Skellig Rock. 

Finish up with a drive through wonderful West Cork. This remote part of Europe is full of lively towns and windswept bays. Onwards to Kinsale. This picturesque town with its colourful streets and vibrant dining scene is the perfect place to end your Ireland honeymoon road trip!

Start in: Derry (Airport Code: LDY)

End in: Cork (Airport Code: ORK). Dublin (Airport Code: DUB) is around 2-3 hours away

Best time to visit: May to September

How much time do you need: At least 10 nights

Vehicle type recommended: Car

Where can you tag on? Irish airports Dublin, Cork, Shannon and Belfast are well connected to the rest of Europe with Aer Lingus & Ryanair (and Easyjet from Belfast) so you can fly almost everywhere for a multi-centre European honeymoon.

New Zealand Honeymoon Road Trip
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New Zealand

If you’re planning a honeymoon road trip, few places in the world can compare to the beauty and majesty of New Zealand. With its dramatic landscapes, soaring mountains, pristine beaches and lush vineyards, a tour of North Island and South Island in New Zealand is the perfect honeymoon road trip.

Starting in Auckland, the country’s largest city, newlyweds will find plenty of things to do and see. Hop up to the sub-tropical Bay of Island or take a ferry across the harbour to Waiheke Island for wine tasting in some of the world’s most beautiful vineyards. The beaches of the Coromandel Peninsula are not to be missed for swimming, sunning and sea kayaking.

For those who love nature and adventure, a visit to Rotorua is a must. This geothermal wonderland is home to bubbling mud pools, steaming geysers and thermal springs. Further south you’ll find the volcanic landscapes of Tongariro National Park, where you can hike the spectacular Tongariro Alpine Crossing.    

Meander through the stunning North Island countryside to the capital, Wellington, before taking the journey across the Cook Strait to Blenheim. Explore Abel Tasman National Park before stopping in Kaikoura. The town, on the east coast of the South Island, boasts stunning ocean views and sightings of sperm whales, humpback whales and dolphins. It’s one of the best places in the world for whale watching.

From Kaikoura, it’s on to Christchurch, the gateway of the beautiful alpine scenery of Mount Cook National Park. You won’t want to miss Franz Josef glacier before you finish in Queenstown, known as the “adventure capital of the world.” Here there are activities to please everyone, from mountain bikers and skiers to bungee jumpers and zip liners. Don’t forget a trip to Milford Sound – a highlight of this amazing country.

Start in: Auckland (Airport: AKL)

End in: Queenstown (Airport Code: ZQN) or Christchurch (Airport Code: CHC)

Best time to visit: November to April

How much time do you need: At least 14 nights.

Vehicle type recommended: Campervan or Car

Where can you tag on? New Zealand is a great jump-off to the south Pacific islands like Bora Bora in French Polynesia and Fiji.

Canada honeymoon road trip
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The Rockies – Canada

If you’re looking for an incredibly scenic honeymoon road trip destination, look no further than the Canadian Rockies aka the Rocky Mountain Region of Canada! This awe-inspiring region is home to some of the most incredible scenery on earth. Think snow-capped peaks and rushing rivers to dense forests and peaceful valleys. And don’t forget the wildlife – keep your eyes peeled for moose, elk, and deer wandering through the forest.

Most couples will start in Vancouver, often cited as one of the world’s most liveable cities. This ocean-side city deserves at least a couple of days to explore. Hop over to Vancouver Island for hiking, spas, lakes and cenotes. You might be sorry you don’t have more time on this wonderful island! Cross back over to the mainland to Whistler. Famed for being one of the world’s top ski destinations, during the summer it’s a mecca for outdoor activities including zip-lining, rock climbing, horse riding, ATV tours, to name a few.

Head for Jasper National Park (with a stopover somewhere like Kamloops or Sun Peaks). Jasper is one of the best national parks in Canada and it’s possible to spot moose, elk, deer, bears and coyotes among the sea of pine trees. Take a boat tour on the Maligne Lake – one of Canada’s most photographed spots. The mountains and surrounding forests of this glacial lake with Spirit Island in the middle are spectacular. 

Driving from Jasper, you’ll meander through some of the world’s most beautiful mountain scenery on the famous Icefields Parkway, which connects Jasper and Lake Louise. Soaring Mountain peaks, ice fields and vast sweeping valleys await. A stop (or stay) at Lake Louise is a must and don’t miss the nearby stunning Moraine Lake. Banff is Canada’s oldest national park. The buzzy resort town Banff is a wonderful place to base yourself. Take a gondola ride over Sulphur Mountain and dip into the natural hot springs to end your epic Canada honeymoon road trip.

Start in: Vancouver (Airport: YVR)

End in: Calgary (Airport Code: YYC)

Best time to visit: May to September

How much time do you need: At least 10 nights.

Vehicle type recommended: Campervan or Car

Where can you tag on? You can take a cruise around Alaska or connect to Hawaii or many destinations in the Caribbean like Barbados & Mexico, for example, with Air Canada and Westjet.

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Ring Road – Iceland

A honeymoon road trip along Iceland’s Ring Road is a perfect way to see all this unique country in the North Atlantic where two continents collide!

The best time to take this trip is in the summer when the days are long and the weather is usually mild. Winter is trickier due to extreme weather conditions. However, it is important to note that this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit Iceland in winter which is the best time to see the Northern Lights, we would strongly recommend that you avoid driving because of the cold driving conditions (there are lots of tour operators who can take you to the most popular spots instead).

The 832-mile Ring Road route circles the country, offering plenty of stunning landscapes and attractions to explore. Start in Reykjavik, the cool capital city. Take a few days to explore the Sky Lagoon, the Harpa concert hall and a myriad of dining and nightlife. The famous Blue Lagoon is actually close to the Keflavík International Airport, about an hour outside of the city, so it’s convenient to do that on arrival or departure.

Next top is the Golden Circle and the geothermal area of Geysir, home to one of the most famous geysers in the world. Explore Thingvellir National Park and snorkel or dive between two tectonic plates! See the stunning Gullfoss waterfall. South Iceland has many gems, Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls, the black sand beaches at Vík, Dyrholaey promontory, glacier walks at Vatnajökull National Park, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon with its floating icebergs and Diamond Beach.

As you meander along the Ring Road, you’ll come to the Lake Mývatn area. Explore the tiny fishing villages, including Húsavík, a brilliant spot for whale watching. The Krafla volcano and Hverfell crater are not to be missed. Discover incredible waterfalls like Goðafoss and one of Europe’s most powerful, Dettifoss. 

Finish up back on the west coast, on the Snæfellsnes peninsula exploring Black Lava Pearl Beach. Hike Djúpalónssandur beach to Dritvík cove before heading back to Reykjavik.

Start & End in: Reykjavik (Airport Code: KEF)

Best time to visit: May to September

How much time do you need: At least 10 nights.

Vehicle type recommended: Car

Where can you tag on? Iceland Air flies to multiple North American and European cities.

Honeymoon Road Trip Route 66 road sign
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Route 66 – USA

America’s legendary Route 66 is the most iconic on this list. This historic American route stretches from Chicago to Los Angeles and offers a glimpse into the ‘real’ America, with plenty of exciting destinations and activities along the way!

Start your journey in Chicago, where you can explore the vibrant city’s world-famous architecture, fascinating history and culture. Be sure to check out Millennium Park, Navy Pier, and the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower). Next, head west to Springfield, Illinois, home of Abraham Lincoln. History buffs will enjoy visiting Lincoln’s home and presidential museum, as well as the impressive state capitol building. From Springfield, Route 66 passes through St. Louis and Tulsa before arriving in Amarillo, Texas. In Amarillo, be sure to check out the Cadillac Ranch – a row of 10 classic Cadillacs buried in a field up to their roofs in graffiti.

From Amarillo, continue on to Albuquerque, New Mexico. This vibrant city is home to a variety of cultural attractions, including the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Petroglyph National Monument, and Bandelier National Monument.

Next stop is Santa Fe, New Mexico. This enchanting city is one of the oldest in the United States, and is home to a variety of art galleries, museums, and restaurants. Don’t miss the Santa Fe Plaza or the Loretto Chapel’s miraculous spiral staircase.

From Santa Fe it’s just a short drive to the Grand Canyon – one of America’s most iconic natural landmarks. Be sure to take time to explore this stunning national park; options include hiking trails, boat trips on the Colorado River, and helicopter tours. Take a detour via Las Vegas – the city is packed with things to do and fun luxury hotels.

Finally, end your journey in Los Angeles – one of the most exciting cities in America. Stay in Hollywood or by the beach in Venice or Santa Monica to make the most of this fantastic city.

Start in: Chicago (Airport Code: ORD)

End in: Los Angeles (Airport Code: LAX)

Best time to visit: April to October

How much time do you need: At least 10 nights.

Vehicle type recommended: Car

Where can you tag on? Tag on Hawaii or head to Mexico for some relaxing beach time in a luxury all-inclusive resort.

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The Bruce Highway – Australia

A honeymoon road trip along Australia’s east coast through the states of Queensland and New South Wales is one of our favourite honeymoons for fun with a capital F!

Start your journey in Cairns or Port Douglas, where you can explore the incredible Great Barrier Reef and other highlights like Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest. Travel south to Mission Beach and do a skydive. Onwards to Airlie Beach and the Whitsunday Islands (leave the car and take an overnight sailing trip to the magical Whitehaven Beach).

Make your way to K’gari aka Fraser Island, where you can go on 4WD adventures and explore the rainforest, beached shipwrecks next to shark-infested waters, swim in the sky blue Lake McKenzie and the emerald green Lake Wabby. Back on the mainland, head for the Sunshine Coast, with some of Australia’s best beaches. We love the town of Noosa, a perfect spot to relax for a couple of days. Next up is Brisbane. This sunny city is full of cute neighbourhoods, galleries, museums, parks and great restaurants. Further south is the famed Gold Coast and Surfer’s Paradise. This high rise town is ideal if you want to have fun at some theme parks.

Crossing into NSW, you’ll come to Byron Bay. There is so much to do here that you’re spoiled for choice in this renowned Australian holiday town. Surfing, whale watching, skydiving and safaris to see kangaroos and koala bears. The drive from Byron Bay to Sydney is 8 hours, so you will need to stop. Consider Coffs Harbour, Nambucca Heads or Port Macquarie. 

Last, but certainly not least, is iconic Sydney, one of the world’s most fun cities. Explore the surfing beaches, museums, culinary and shopping scenes. Insta-worthy shots at iconic sights like the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge are a must. Take a day trip to the Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley. An exciting ending to this honeymoon road trip of a lifetime!

Start in: Cairns (Airport code: CNS)

End in: Sydney (Airport Code: SYD)

Best time to visit: April to May and September to December

How much time do you need: At least 14 nights.

Vehicle type recommended: Car or Campervan

Where can you tag on? Sydney is a big airport hub, so if you have time you can fly to many other destinations. For example, in South Pacific islands like Fiji or if you are travelling from Europe, you can stop in Dubai, Singapore or Bali.

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The Garden Route – South Africa

One of the most popular honeymoon road trips in the world is South Africa’s magnificent Garden Route. The magic is in the diversity of experiences and wonderful South African hospitality on offer in the Rainbow Nation.  

Starting in Cape Town, you can explore the city’s highlights, including Table Mountain and hike Lions’ Head. Take a day trip to see the penguins at Boulders Beach and the Cape of Good Hope. The dining scene is incredible, with so many fantastic places to eat and unique things to try. Stay at the famous V&A waterfront or the beautiful Camps Bay. Visit the townships and learn about Nelson Mandela and the struggle for racial justice on a trip to Robben Island.

Head down the coast to Hermanus for one of the world’s best whale-watching destinations (seasonal from June to November). The next stop is the Cape Winelands region to sample the best of South African wine. We love the Wine Tram in the pretty town of Franschhoek or consider one of South Africa’s oldest towns, Stellenbosch. After a couple of days of wine tasting, keep heading east for an ostrich farm visit in Oudtshoorn.

Back out on the coast, there are wonderful seaside towns with expansive beaches along the way. Mossel Bay, Wilderness, Knysna and one of our favourites, Plettenberg Bay. The nearby Tsitsikamma National Park is perfect for adrenaline junkies with diving, snorkelling, river adventures, whale watching, kayaking, paddle boarding and tubing. Do the highest bungee jump in the world from Bloukrans Bridge.

Although you can fly to Kruger National Park, a convenient option is to finish up in one of the incredible luxury private game reserves in the Eastern Cape. We’d recommend at least 2-3 nights for a wonderful safari experience seeing the Big-5. ​​Expect lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, monkeys, tortoise and antelope. We love Amakhala Bukela Lodge and Shamwari Eagles Crag. A South Africa honeymoon will be an unforgettable experience!

Start in: Cape Town (Airport code: CPT)

End in: Port Elizabeth (Airport Code: PLZ)

Best time to visit: September to May

How much time do you need: At least 10 nights.

Vehicle type recommended: Car

Where can you tag on? Johannesburg has direct flights to Mauritius and Seychelles – perfect if you’d like to combine your honeymoon road trip with a tropical beach.

We hope these ideas have helped you on your way to planning the perfect honeymoon road trip itinerary. Let us know what’s on your wish list in the comments!

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Happy Planning x

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Hello!

Welcome to The Honeymoon Guide and huge congratulations on your engagement / upcoming wedding! We hope you are as excited to be planning your honeymoon as we are for you. Use our little corner of the web to start planning with the best honeymoon destinations, where the weather is good for a honeymoon with our month by month honeymoon calendar and our top advice to help you choose the best honeymoon to suit you. Explore the blogs and sign up for our mailing below for all the goodies!

Happy Planning!

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