There’s something deeply romantic about a European honeymoon tour. In fact, generations of Hollywood starlets and political figures have started their married lives with a jaunt across the pond.
However, with so many choices, it can be hard to pick the right place for your romantic getaway. From humble seaside villages to chic cities that never sleep, these destinations will take your breath away and inspire your post-wedding wanderlust.
Keep reading to discover your ultimate European honeymoon destination!
While Paris may be known as “The City of Love”, Provence is the most romantic region in France. The picturesque landscapes, gorgeous beaches, and quaint, rural towns have attracted couples to the area for years. Picture fields of lavender stretching over rolling hills covered in vineyards and olive groves. Or imagine colorful seaside villages with tiny fishing boats lining the shores.
The best way to explore the region is by car so you can stop at all the charming towns and farm-fresh restaurants. We also recommend visiting during July if you want to see the lavender fields in all of their glory. For couples who are fans of fresh seafood, we recommend visiting the harbor and rocky inlets of Cassis. However, you cannot miss the incredible views of the turquoise waters from Eze or Gordes (it’s one of the most beautiful villages in France).
Few European honeymoon destinations boast landscapes as dramatic and contrasting as Iceland. The Icelandic capital city makes a great jumping-off point for exploring the region’s rugged natural beauty. Hike through lava fields, across black sand beaches, and through valleys surrounded by glaciers. Try your hand at lake fishing in Iceland’s largest lake or take a thrilling boat tour through a glacial lagoon.
And, if you want to relax, there is no better place than the mineral-rich waters of the Blue Lagoon. The waters are a stark blue-white color and you can’t see to the bottom due to the soft silt. Once you return to Reykavik, join a food tour and try the Humarsúpa (a creamy lobster soup) or the succulent lamb steak.
Located along the banks of the Danube River, Budapest is a romantic city that is steeped in history and less expensive than other European honeymoon destinations. During the winter months, the sun sets early, but the city comes alive with glowing lights and traditional Christmas markets. Here you can stay warm with a mug of mulled wine as you browse the wares and soak in the atmosphere.
Take a romantic cruise along the river to experience the city’s stunning architecture from a vantage point few enjoy. If you start to catch a chill, visit one of the many outdoor thermal baths (Széchenyi Thermal Bath is our favorite). Budapest is also home to a bar scene unlike any other. Situated within abandoned buildings that have been transformed into social spaces, “ruin bars” are a unique part of Budapest’s nightlife. Check out Szimpla Kert!
Lake Como, Italy
Situated in Northern Italy and surrounded by the impressive Italian Alps, Lake Como is a sophisticated honeymoon destination known for its timeless elegance. It’s the kind of place where Hollywood stars stage extravagant weddings and billionaires take a respite during the summer months.
The lake is surrounded by charming villages that have their own character and can be reached by boat. You can explore the cobblestone streets while peaking into shop windows or enjoy lakeside dining during a lazy afternoon. The villas have a decidedly “old money” feel and you could get lost in the gardens for hours. There are also several excellent hikes in the surrounding hills that offer panoramic views and the chance to see historic churches.
This Greek island is one of the most sought-after honeymoon destinations in the world and with good reason. Picture white-washed buildings with the occasional blue dome built into cliffs covered in bougainvillea. From your cliffside balcony, you can experience incredible views of the surrounding blue sea and golden sunsets.
The accommodations are luxurious and there are a variety of “unique stays” that offer private plunge pools and honeymoon suites with jacuzzis or private butler service. Keep in mind that Santorini is especially busy during peak season (June to September). However, you can always take a boat to one of the nearby islands. Located about 15 minutes from Oia, Thirassia is a more peaceful island and the perfect day trip.
Famed for its romantic gondola rides and series of interconnected canals, Venice is one of the most intriguing cities in the world. It seems to float above the aquamarine water that surrounds and cuts through it. No cars are allowed on the tiny streets and boat taxis offer transportation from place to place.
Fans of art history will enjoy viewing the intricate mosaics at the Basilica di San Marco and the incredible collection of 14th to 18th-century art in the Gallerie dell’Accademia. If you are planning a February honeymoon, you simply must attend the Venice Carnival. You will be able to experience masquerade balls, water parades, theater performances, and people dressed in elaborate costumes.
Majorca (Mallorca), Spain
This Balearic Island offers the perfect combination of historic sites, beautiful beaches, culinary delights, and romantic resorts. Palma, the capital city, is home to many boutique resorts that make you feel like Majorca is your home not just your honeymoon destination.
If you plan your trip around one of the festivals, you can experience Majorca’s vibrant culture in a way few do. Festa de Sant Joan (the Feast of Saint John) is one of the most exciting festivals. A night filled with merriment, fireworks, and wild bonfires marks the beginning of summer on June 23rd. There is also an active art and artisan community that keeps long-held traditions alive.
If you want to see the Northern Lights, a romantic getaway to Tromsø is the best choice. Often called “The Gateway to the Arctic”, this northern city experiences polar nights from November until January. This is when the sun never fully rises, creating the perfect conditions for seeing the Northern Lights.
There are lots of other fun winter activities, including dog sledding, skiing, and snowshoeing. We recommend visiting in mid-February or March so that there’s enough light to enjoy adventure activities, but you still have a good chance of seeing the aurora borealis. You can also learn about reindeer husbandry or live like a local in a well-appointed apartment in the city.
In recent years, Lisbon has been making a name for itself as a hip honeymoon destination for young couples. The cobblestone streets lined by buildings featuring white-washed walls and terracotta tiled roofs give this coastal city an old-world, romantic feel. The fresh seafood is incredible and the sunsets cast a soft, pink glow across the city.
If you are a foodie, you must visit the Mercado da Ribeira, a historic covered market where many of the city’s chefs buy their raw ingredients. Must-try dishes include Polvo a lagareiro (octopus served with olive oil and garlic) and Ameijoas a bulhao pato (clams cooked in a lemon and white wine sauce). Lisbon is an excellent city for exploring on foot so you can eat/walk on repeat.
Located in the Adriatic Sea, Hvar is an up-and-coming wine region with over 2,000 years of winemaking history. In addition, the beaches are gorgeous and the lavender fields release a soft aroma under the sun. The best way to explore this island is by car so you can stop at several different vineyards.
Our favorite vineyards are Luviji (a quaint, family-run vineyard with a nice selection of bottles) and Carić Winery (great food). The wineries on Hvar use an indigenous grape called the Bogdanuša that produces a fresh, crisp, and delectable wine. The best time to visit is during the summer months when the weather is warm, but you won’t run into the crowds found in Dubrovnik.
Prague, Czech Republic
Another great winter honeymoon destination is Prague. The fairy-tale-like Old Town is filled with tiny cobblestone streets and imposing Gothic architecture. You truly feel transported to Medieval times when you cross the Charles Bridge in the evening fog or explore the ancient cathedrals.
However, the cheery Christmas markets add a dose of warmth to the city’s mysterious atmosphere and the café culture is on another level. When you get cold, just pop into a café and order a hot chocolate or an expertly brewed coffee. Prague also offers many carefully curated museums and galleries that are perfect to visit on a chilly afternoon.
Fans of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, a time travel romance set in the Scottish Highlands, know that Edinburgh and the nearby countryside are super romantic. While you probably won’t be lying out on the beaches, you can visit a cozy tavern or admire the historic buildings along the Royal Mile.
Edinburgh also has a great culinary scene with 5 Michelin-starred restaurants. In fact, we’d say that Edinburgh has the best restaurants in the UK, including several eateries that expertly combine Scottish cuisine with modern elements. We recommend booking a table at Aizle or The Kitchin. If you like whiskey, The Scottish Malt Whiskey Society is the perfect place to take a whiskey tasting tour.
If you are looking for beautiful beaches and a romantic honeymoon destination in Greece that’s less busy than Santorini, Naxos is the best bet. Situated in the Aegean Sea, Naxos is one of the larger Greek islands in the area. Featuring golden sand and bright, turquoise waters, our favorite beach is Agios Prokopios. The waters are calm and it feels like you’re in a swimming pool. Here you can rent sunbeds, try windsurfing, or take a long walk while you take in the natural beauty.
Chora, the main town on Naxos, has an exciting waterfront that’s great for shopping and grabbing a bite to eat. Although Naxos isn’t home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the island offers many impressive historical spots. For example, the Portara is all that’s left of the ancient Temple of Apollo and it’s quite impressive. Also, make sure you try the local cheese – it’s amazing!
Cinque Terre, Italy
No list of the best European honeymoon destinations would be complete without Cinque Terre. Nestled along the rocky inlets of the Italian Riviera, Cinque Terre is actually a string of 5 coastal towns – Riomaggiore, Corniglia, Monterosso al Mare, Manarola, and Vernazza. Each town is perched on the cliffs overlooking the sea and has its own distinct character.
Our favorite town is Vernazza. It is home to a natural harbor filled with fishing boats and rows of colorful houses climbing into the hills. While 5 different destinations might feel like a lot on your honeymoon itinerary, they are close together and can be reached by train or by hiking through the lemon and olive groves. Whether you visit for a couple of days or spend your entire honeymoon here, Cinque Terre is the perfect honeymoon destination.
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
For adventurous couples, there is no better honeymoon destination than the Plitvice Lakes. Featuring 16 crystal-clear lakes and numerous waterfalls flowing through lush greenery, this national park is one of the gems of Croatia. While the lakes are not open for swimming, there are plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting, boating, and amazing hiking.
The nearby Mrežnica River is an excellent spot for swimming and having a picnic while taking in the beautiful views. If you’re looking for an authentic experience, you can stay at a sobe, a type of local B&B. For couples visiting during peak season, we recommend checking out the upper lakes because they will have fewer people.
The Azores, Portugal
Situated in the Atlantic Ocean, the Azores are spread over 9 islands and ideal for a relaxing honeymoon. This destination offers the perfect combination of adventure and relaxation with a bit of high-end luxury. Take a hike up a volcano, snorkel in the blue waters, go whale watching, or even try paragliding.
There is also an abundance of hot springs and thermal pools located around Sao Miguel. Our favorite hot springs is Poça da Dona Beija, which is a collection of 5 pools tucked away in the lush jungle. Featuring mild weather year-round, the Azores is an excellent honeymoon destination for couples seeking a tropical destination during the chilly winter months.
While Paris and the iconic Eiffel Tower are the most popular destinations for honeymooners, Corsica is a place where you can truly be in love. You will feel captivated by the crystal-clear waters, sandy beaches, and charming villages tucked away in the countryside. Situated in the glistening Mediterranean Sea, Corsica is the perfect place to enjoy white sand beaches.
Rondinara Beach is located in a bay that’s shaped like a clamshell and is the best choice for swimming. On the other hand, Palombaggia Beach is often considered the most beautiful beach in Europe due to its soft, white sand and super clear water. One of the best ways to reach popular spots along the coast or between the hills is by bicycle. However, the hiking trails are also incredible (the Cascades de Purcaraccia Hiking Trail is challenging, but the views are so rewarding).
This stunning region in Central Italy is simply one of the most romantic honeymoon destinations in the world. Indulge in a bottle of excellent Italian wine, stroll along the cobbled streets of ancient Florence or Siena, admire Renaissance-era architecture, or take a long drive.
The Tuscan way of life is laidback and you can feel how much life revolves around the seasons. The best time to visit is during autumn. This is when the hills turn a warm golden hue dotted with bright reds, yellows, and oranges from the grape vines. Autumn is also grape and olive harvesting season when the vineyards and olive groves buzz with activity. There are also numerous wine and food festivals during this time of year. Must-try dishes include Pappardelle al Cinghiale (a wide pasta topped with wild boar ragù) and Ribollita (a hearty soup made with seasonal ingredients).
If you want to stay in a city, but you’re still craving a European beach honeymoon, Barcelona is the perfect spot. This vibrant city is one of the most visited destinations in the world. Gaudí’s spiraling, modernist architecture will draw you in, but it’s the tapas culinary scene that will keep you coming back for more. Find a seat at a bar on the sidewalk and order Gambas al Ajillo (shrimp simmered in olive oil and garlic), Croquetas (creamy croquettes filled with mushrooms, ham, and cheese), and Patatas Bravas (fried potatoes served with a spicy tomato sauce).
The nightlife is incredible and the clubs are frequently visited by world-famous DJs and performers. If the Barcelona beaches are too crowded (or the party vibe is too strong), head to Sa Tuna Beach, which is a protected cove covered in white sand and lined by traditional white-washed houses.
This is the best affordable beach honeymoon destination in Europe. As the largest Greek island, Crete offers a variety of activities and historical sites against a backdrop of relaxed, natural beauty. One of the most awe-inspiring places on the island is Balos Lagoon. It has the kind of bright, turquoise water and white sand that looks like something out of a tour brochure.
The Old Town area of Chania is perfect for enjoying a romantic stroll by the waterfront, while the romantic restaurants of quaint Loutro can only be reached by boat. There are plenty of low and mid-range accommodation options, ranging from guesthouses to resorts with sweeping views. Keep in mind that timing is everything so it’s best to visit during the shoulder season if you want to find the perfect hotel at a great price. The shoulder season usually falls between March and early June as well as September to mid-November.
While Dublin may not have sundrenched beaches or all-inclusive resorts, its lively, welcoming character makes it one of the best European honeymoon destinations. Dublin is the kind of place where being pretentious doesn’t fly and you won’t leave a pub without making friends at the bar.
In fact, Dublin’s pub scene is one of the main draws. Be sure to visit the bars at Temple Street, including the iconic Temple Bar Pub. If you get outside the city area, the lush Irish countryside and rugged coastline will amaze you. One of the best day trips is a visit to the windswept Cliffs of Moher; however, you can also take a Game of Thrones tour to visit famous filming sites.
This postcard-worthy alpine village is a popular day trip from Salzburg, but it’s also a charming honeymoon getaway. Churches, pristine shopfronts with flower boxes, and homes that look like gingerbread houses climb the towering mountains and reflect in the lake’s calm waters.
Take a romantic boat ride on Hallstatt Lake during the summer months or admire the golden and red foliage in autumn. In December and January, the village becomes a winter wonderland and will leave you in awe of the pure, white snow. If you venture away from the cozy B&Bs and into the forest, you will see frozen streams and mountains capped by glistening snow.
For adventure-loving couples, there is no better honeymoon destination than Interlaken. A simple search on Instagram yields images of bungee jumping and paragliding against a stunning backdrop of lakes, alpine meadows, and snowcapped peaks. Canyoning, canoeing, river rafting, and skydiving are other popular activities in the area.
There is also an extensive network of hiking trails that bring visitors up close and personal with the dense forest scenery. After a day of adrenaline-pumping excitement, relax by the turquoise waters of Lake Brienze and indulge in a decadent cheese fondue.
Gran Canaria, Spain
This is our number-one choice for a romantic getaway in the Canary Islands. Gran Canaria is one of the most developed of the Canary Islands, but it still retains its natural beauty. The beachfront resorts in Playa del Inglés and Maspalomas offer excellent all-inclusive honeymoon options. If you want to lay out on the beach with a cocktail in hand, Playa del Inglés is the best choice.
However, Maspalomas is home to 400 hectares of Sahara-like sand dunes and glassy lagoons lined by palms. It’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area simply because it’s so unusual. We also recommend visiting the natural saltwater swimming pools at Roque Prieto, which are located directly next to the ocean. In terms of food, the local seafood is a must-try as is the Queso de Flor (a cheese made with goat’s milk and aromatic thistle flower).
How could we make a list of the most romantic destinations in Europe and not include Paris? Choose a boutique hotel with amazing views of the Eiffel Tower and enjoy a private dinner on your terrace. Have a picnic in the public park next to the Eiffel Tower or visit the tower’s 3 levels (make sure you buy your tickets in advance).
For wine lovers, we recommend taking a day trip to the Champagne region where you can sample some truly delicious vintages. Or, you can browse the shops after visiting the world-famous galleries of the Louvre or Musée d’Orsay. You’ll feel like Audrey Hepburn as you explore the boutiques of the fashionable Marais neighborhood or sit in a street-side café in the Saint Germain area. However, in order to have the ultimate Paris honeymoon experience, you have to be ready to splurge.