Gay honeymoon destinations
10 of the best gay honeymoon destinations on Earth
We’ve selected some of the world’s best gay honeymoon destinations for this most memorable of celebrations
Arguably one of the best honeymoon destinations in Europe, the compact Greek island of Santorini is the ultimate romantic escape. Luxurious hotels and unforgettable sunset views make this the perfect place to relax and spend some quality time with your significant other. While the views are the islands’ major draw - dramatic panoramas, aquamarine waters and picturesque white stone buildings - there’s plenty more to discover. Active honeymooners can embark on one of the island’s hiking trails (Fira to Oia is a classic), visit ancient ruins, or embark on a winery tour. Alternatively, take a catamaran cruise to explore the caldera and its unique landscape, or head to Palea and Nea Kameni to take a dip in the natural hot springs, which are known for their therapeutic properties. After dark, feast on delicious locally-sourced produce, before catching a classic movie at Santorini’s open-air cinema.
Renowned as one of the most gay-friendly destinations in Asia, Thailand has long been a haven for LGBTQ+ people. And with a tantalising combination of buzzy cities, and idyllic powder-white beaches and warm turquoise water, there’s really something for everyone. Thai cuisine is a major draw in this sensory country, with countless opportunities for feasting - why not try a Thai cooking class? - while more divine experiences can be found in the many Buddhist temples and religious sites scattered throughout this special nation. Enjoy a hedonistic 48 hours of shopping and cocktails in the country’s capital, before heading to the picture-perfect islands for incredible snorkelling and scuba diving opportunities, private boat tours and kayaking. Relax with a Thai massage before dressing for a candlelit dinner for two on the beach - bliss.
Home to one of the most established LGBTQ+ communities on the continent, South Africa was the first country in the world to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. The ‘rainbow nation’ was also the fifth country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage and remains the only country in Africa to do so. As well as being welcoming to LGBTQ+ visitors, Cape Town is also a must-see destination for travellers of all stripes. Enjoy a cable-car ride to the top of the majestic Table Mountain, before watching the penguins waddling around (and sunbathing on) Boulders Beach. Head inland to sample some of the world’s most delectable wines at Stellenbosch vineyards, before heading into the wild for an unforgettable safari experience spotting wildlife. Gaze at incredible starry skies with a glass of something chilled, before retiring in your luxury lodge.
This tiny, remote collection of over 1,000 islands in the Indian Ocean is extremely close to paradise. Top-class luxury resorts situated on sublime white-sand beaches surrounded by turquoise lagoons make this an idyllic destination for your honeymoon. Expect some of the best beaches on earth, plus world-class diving and snorkelling opportunities: think schools of brightly-coloured tropical fish, turtles, manta rays and coral walls. Relaxation and opulence are the order of the day here, with different resorts continually surpassing each other in terms of stellar services, such as spa facilities, personal butlers and private pools, meaning you’ll leave feeling refreshed, revitalised and thoroughly pampered. Enjoy freshly-caught fish on a candle-lit table for two, before watching a romantic movie under the stars. While LGBTQ+ rights in the Maldives aren’t as progressive as some destinations, we’ve visited many of the islands and you can join Ben in a Live Chat right now to ask us any questions you have about honeymooning in the Maldives.
It’s almost impossible to settle on a single destination in Italy, one of the world’s most romantic countries. While Venice and Rome both pack a serious punch when it comes to la romanza, we like the Amalfi Coast. This UNESCO-listed landscape stretches 30 miles along the craggy coastline and consists of picturesque small towns hemmed in by high mountains where you can soak up dreamy cliffside vistas and eat some of the best seafood on earth. Hire an open-top car and cruise along the Amalfi Drive from Sorrento to Amalfi, one of the most scenic car rides in Europe. Ogle mountainside pastel-coloured houses at Positano, before exploring the fashion boutiques and chic restaurants hidden down steep alleyways. Take a boat trip to the Emerald Grotto, before diving into the clear blue Tyrrhenian Sea. Visit ethereal churches, before yacht-watching with a limoncello. Simply put - you’ll never get bored of this playground for the rich and famous.
For the ultimate tropical island retreat, Hawaii is hard to beat. This diminutive US state is home to outstanding beaches, an appreciation and respect for the natural world, and a delightfully laid-back lifestyle. Life here is largely lived outdoors and once you arrive, you’ll understand why. Packed with incredible sandy beaches, ranging from wide expanses to secluded coves, Hawaii is a fantastic place for water babies and a magnet for marine life. Go snorkelling with manta rays and sea turtles along the 1,200 miles of coral reefs that fringe the islands, before trying your hand at surfing, a cultural activity that dates back to ancient times. Admire more than 2,000 species of tropical plants and flowers at Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, hike along volcanic ridges and black volcanic fields at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, or spot waterfalls, soaring cliffs and hidden wonders only accessible via a boat trip along the Nā Pali Coast. Take a helicopter ride for the ultimate birds-eye view of these magical islands before sipping a mai tai and watching some of the world’s best sunsets. And, as the first US state to consider legalising same-sex marriage back in 1993, this island paradise is sure to offer you a warm welcome.
USA road trip
A road trip across the vast United States of America has long been a bucket-list favourite for many - and for good reason. This immense country has it all: glittering cities, magnificent wilderness and wonderful coastline. With some expert planning, you can sample it all. San Francisco to Los Angeles on Highway 1 links two of the country's most dynamic cities and takes in the spectacular vistas and wild shoreline characteristic of this part of the California coastline. Keep driving north of SF to explore Sonoma County and Napa Valley, some of the country’s premier winemaking regions, while the Redwood State National Park is home to some of the world’s tallest trees. On the east coast, head north to the much revered gay town of Provincetown, before passing through Boston to feast on lobster and heading out of town to discover Vermont’s wonderfully verdant wilderness. Elsewhere, a trip through the deep south with its rich and complicated history, vibrant culture and warm weather, is another unforgettable experience.
The Caribbean’s popularity with honeymooners is both well-established and well-deserved. This glorious collection of islands possesses a supremely laid-back approach to beach life, food and culture. Incredibly diverse, the islands of the Caribbean each have their own appeal, whether that’s the pristine white beaches and bar shacks of Anguilla (named as one of Lonely Planet’s top 10 countries in 2022, as part of their annual Best in Travel round-up), world-class diving in Bermuda, or the verdant interior of Grenada with its waterfalls, hiking trails and wildlife, there’s always somewhere new to discover. To take in more than one destination throughout your trip, consider a cruise to enable you to experience a series of adventures for memories to last a lifetime. While LGBTQ+ rights in the Caribbean aren’t as progressive as some destinations, Hugh and Ben can offer first-hand advice and direct you to the most welcoming spots in this wonderful part of the world.
If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, New Zealand is one of the best places on earth for getting up close and personal with nature at its wildest. Home to incredible forests, mountains, beaches and lakes, it’s a wilderness playground. Consider tackling one of the epic “Great Walks”, swim with wild dolphins, go skiing, caving or ziplining. Adrenalin seekers may want to seal their wedding vows with a skydiving or bungee jump experience - well, the views are spectacular. It’s also a place for exceptional food and drink - book in advance for a table at Auckland’s acclaimed The Grove restaurant - with 10 major wine regions producing some of the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. And in February this year, New Zealand outlawed so-called “conversion therapy”, making it even safer for LGBTQ+ residents and visitors to live their lives safely and freely.
This idyllic collection of islands in the middle of the South Pacific is the stuff honeymoon dreams are made of. Lush green peaks, white fringed beaches and a peaceful way of life - Bora Bora is the ideal destination for romance with your beau. The clearest of aquamarine waters are perfect for diving and snorkelling, while lagoon tours, hiking, jet-skiing and parasailing are also available. Those looking for a birds-eye view of this special part of the world can also enjoy a helicopter ride for an incredible perspective. When it comes to your accommodation, overwater bungalows are synonymous with this part of the world and hearing the water lap beneath you as you lay in bed is wonderfully relaxing. While much of the day is likely spent lazing poolside with a cocktail in your hand, when the sun sets, a star-gazing cruise on a balmy night with your significant other is a wonderfully romantic way to spend an evening.