A honeymoon doesn't have to be a boring trip to a touristy seaside resort where sipping cocktails on a tropical beach is the main attraction. We certainly don't think so: I and Bartosz married in 2016 and headed right afterwards to the Dolomites for some awesome mountain adventures.
In Europe, there are lots of beautiful places close to nature where you can let your hair down and experience great outdoor adventures at the same time.
But which places are the best for an adventurous honeymoon? Which places combine perfectly romance with adrenaline? What are the most beautiful mountain resorts?
We asked fellow travel bloggers for their recommendations on the top honeymoon destinations in Europe so that you can find the ideal option that matches your needs, and also experience fantastic adventures during your first trip as husband and wife.
This post intends to help all adventure-seeking couples who are planning their honeymoon in Europe because there’s more to a newlywed trip than just a resort getaway.
Oh, and don't forget to get the insurance that would get you covered so that you could let your hair down and enjoy all your escapades.
Table of contents
1. Northern Spain
Campbell & Alya - Stingy Nomads
Northern Spain is a perfect place for an adventurous honeymoon: breathtaking coastal scenery, long sandy beaches, some of the best surf spots in Europe, delicious food and great wine.
The Basque Country and Cantabria are the best regions for both food and adventure activities. San Sebastian is probably the best place to be based for an adventurous honeymoon couple. Paragliding from one of the city’s hills with landing on the beach is a great way to start the holiday and the best way to appreciate the beauty of San Sebastian. At night time visiting local bars and trying delicious pinchos is a perfect way to end the day.
Water sports like surfing, kitesurfing, kayaking and paddle boarding are the most popular activities on the coast from big cities like San Sebastian to small towns like Getaria or there are many surf schools, board rental places and surf hostels/hotels.
Hiking is another popular activity in the area; long-distance walks like the Camino del Norte, easy day-hikes along the coast or more challenging treks in the mountains. Cycling along the coast is another great option for active couples, on the way you can stop for a swim on a beach, enjoy lunch at a small town or stop for a cup of coffee at one of the look-out points.
The best time to visit Northern Spain is summer, May to September when the weather is nice and warm. If you want to escape crowds April and October might be a good option though the weather these months is unpredictable you might get some rain.
The closes airports from which it is easy to get to San Sebastian are Bilbao or Biarritz. The latter one is in France but is closer to San Sebastian than Bilbao airport.
2. Epirus, Greece
Elena - Passion for Hospitality
Greece is surely one of the best honeymoon destinations in Europe. So, which place is the most suitable for adventurous couples?
The picturesque city of Ioannina is one of the most beautiful cities in Greece. This charismatic city is the capital of Epirus region and those who are lucky enough to have visited this part of Greece are left spellbound by its natural beauty and diverse history.
Ioannina lies on the shores of Lake Pamvotis which is set right in the heart of this spectacular town and is commonly referred to as the Switzerland of Greece. In the centre of the lake lies a small island, the Island of Ioannina which offers visitors an array of experiences, from religious to historical as well as gastronomical. The island can be reached by a small ferry and is a short 10-minute ride from the mainland of Ioannina. Here, in one of the few local tavernas, you can enjoy fresh delicacies like frog’s legs and pasta with crayfish.
Adventurous couples will find plenty of activities in this part of Greece, from biking tours around the lake and beyond as well as venturing off to areas such as Tzoumerka, home to the Vikos Gorge, one of the deepest gorges in the world, and the most spectacular according to the Guinness Book of Records.
If you are a fan of rafting, then you can opt for river rafting on the Voidomatis River, a wonderful experience for the nature lovers. Tzoumerka is also known for several wonderful hiking routes, stunning landscape and impressive waterfalls. The villages of Zagorochoria offer another wonderful escape. This lesser-known part of Greece will surely awe-spire you.
3. Alta, Norway
Jenn and Ed - Coleman Concierge
If you're an adventurous couple looking for a spectacular honeymoon, you have to consider Alta, Norway. It's one of the best winter honeymoon destinations in Europe.
Sure summers are nice north of the Arctic Circle with 24-hours of daylight, but winters in Alta are magical. Reaching Alta is easy with regular regional flights from Oslo. Once you deplane, prepare for an adventure.
The sun never rises in the arctic winter, but that doesn't mean it's always dark. A golden twilight kisses the freshly fallen snow beneath cotton candy skies. You can experience so much during those fleeting hours of light from dogsledding to crossing the tundra for a homestay with native Sami reindeer herders.
The beauty doesn't end when night falls. A new host of lights fills your eyes and imagination. You must stay at Sorrisniva, the most northern ice hotel in the world. The walls glow with thousands of lights, and the rooms feature themed ice sculptures from local artists.
The most spectacular light show, however, happens outside. You're so far north that the Northern Lights are visible every clear night. However, a couple of times a month, there is a particularly intense solar storm and resulting Aurora Borealis. Alta Norway in winter is a land of light, shadow, mystery, and extraordinary beauty. Besides, what honeymooners wouldn't appreciate extra long nights in an ice-crystal palace?
Mayuri - To Some Place New
The Principality of Liechtenstein is one of the best honeymoon places in Europe for those seeking soft adventure and romantic getaways. A country or a microstate, whatever you like to call it, is only 25 kilometres long, and Liechtenstein can be explored in one day.
It is filled with royalty, medieval castles, and a beautiful landscape that is hard to beat. Liechtenstein is a paradise for nature lovers - there are lots of outdoorsy activities to choose from - hiking, skiing to slow living.
Most popular hiking trail aka the Liechtenstein Trail can be done in a weekend, where you can explore the entire country. If you are a walking couple, this can take only 5 days with tons of great scenery to boot.
A four-hour hiking (or biking) adventure, called the 3 Country Tour starts and ends in Vaduz, bringing you delightful views of the Rhine Valley, mountains of Eschen and the late-medieval old town of Feldkirch (Austria).
In Triesenberg, there are two-hour, half-day and full-day hikes into this mountainous, lushly forested corner of Liechtenstein.
For downhill skiing and snowboarding lovers, head to the pretty resort town of Malbun.
Our tip: go on a bicycle tour/ride across the capital city and nearby areas, with your loved one.
The capital of Liechtenstein is Vaduz, and it is home to many art galleries, including the second-largest private art collection in Europe (that belongs to the Prince of Liechtenstein) and wineries. You can also opt to explore the wine cellar of the Prince himself. Isn't it uber-cool? And wine tasting is romantic in the countryside surrounded by castles and lush greenery.
With a high GDP per capita, Liechtenstein is also one of the richest countries in the world - making it retail heaven. It is perfect for those couples who wish to indulge in shopping!
Liechtenstein is surrounded by Austria and Switzerland, and one can see a lot of Swiss influence in the country. As Liechtenstein has no airport, getting to Switzerland or Austria is handy to reach Liechtenstein internationally. There are hotels in Vaduz and in the nearby Schaan province to stay for the weekend or longer.
5. Nazaré, Portugal
De Wet & Jin - Museum Of Wander
Halfway between Lisbon and Porto is a magical place where the Atlantic ocean meets the sandy beaches, red-tiled roofs and azulejo covered buildings of central Portugal in the most spectacular way.
The name of this place is Nazaré, and it makes a perfect honeymoon destination for adventurous couples who are looking for something more than just egg tarts and Instagram shots in front of a church covered in tiles.
The long and wild Praia do Norte, or North Beach, is home to the largest wave in the world. These waves are monsters, up to 10 stories high, and are the wet dream of all surfers and sea lovers alike. The power of these waves slamming into the land is incredible.
When the swell is not in you can go horseback riding on the beach, or perhaps take a surf lesson or two to get you prepared for when the big barrels come rolling in.
Nazaré is cool without trying. Family-run restaurants cooking up the freshest seafood (do try the barnacles and beer), quirky little cafes and bars, bakeries and ice cream shops line the promenade. They will keep your bellies full and your hearts warm.
Big wave season runs between October and March, but there is still decent surf in the other months. Nazaré can be reached by car or bus from either Lisbon or Porto in a few hours.
6. Lapland, Finland
Katalin - Our Life Our Travel
If you're looking for winter honeymoon ideas, look no more!
Finnish Lapland is a perfect destination for couples who seek winter beauty and exciting outdoor adventures. Although Lapland offers numerous hiking options in summer, the best time to visit it is during winter.
And what makes it so special? It’s a paradise for outdoor lovers. Besides downhill skiing and snowboarding that you can do in countless other countries, so let’s talk about unique activities.
The first example, winter hiking and snowshoeing are the best options to explore the wilderness during their trip. You need the latter one to reach the most spectacular viewpoints as the snow depth exceeds 100 centimetres for several months.
Other fun things to do are snowmobile driving and ice swimming in an ice hole. Not to mention you can meet with huskies, visit reindeer farms and try traditional sled rides as well. And last but not least, the Northern Lights often dance over the winter sky so you and your partner have an amazing opportunity to hunt for them. Make sure you spend at least a night in one of these miraculous glass igloos in Lapland.
The easiest way to reach Lapland is by flying to Rovaniemi via Helsinki or London. It has been our hometown for several years, so we highly recommend it. Other options are, for example, Ivalo, Kittilä or Sodankylä.
The best snow conditions are between January and March, but if you are lucky, you will see snow as early as October and it lasts till May in the most northern part of the country.
7. Black Forest, Germany
Hannah - Hannah's Happy Adventures
Thinking about a honeymoon in Germany? There's a place just right for you!
After spending a year living next to the mountainous region of Black Forest in Germany, I would like to tell you why it’s not only the perfect honeymoon destination but also one of the most beautiful off-the-beaten-path destinations in Europe.
I believe spending your time in nature is always a winner and if you combine it with sports, it gets even better!
The Black Forest is one of the best hiking destinations in Germany. For hiking day trips in the summer, you can visit Feldberg. This mountain is easily hiked in a day and there is a cable car available if you don’t feel like walking up or down.
Schauinsland is another great option. This mountain takes a full day to hike up, so you would need to take the cable car down afterwards. Alternatively, you can take a multi-day hike through the mountains.
The Westweg route covers over 250km worth of trails throughout the black forest. I highly recommend hiking part of this route on your trip. You’ll be greeted with stunning views.
If you are visiting in winter it doesn’t mean hiking is out of the window! From Feldberg, you can hire snowshoes to take a hike in the snow – guided or unguided.
There are also other adventurous activities available such as skiing and alpine coasters. In winter Feldberg becomes a ski resort with downhill and cross country skiing available.
There are many other places to visit in the Black Forest’s region Baden-Wurttemberg, but I recommend visiting the Hasenhorn coaster in Todtnau. Here you will take a small chairlift up the mountain, and the alpine coaster down. It’s an adrenaline rush that’s for sure! Close to here you’ll also find the Todtnau waterfalls for some chill time afterwards.
The most convenient way to visit the Black Forest is to travel by car. However, public transport is fast and efficient and so renting a car isn't obligatory. I recommend staying either in the Black Forest or in Freiburg – the closest city.
8. Innsbruck, Austria
Izzy - The Gap Decaders
Innsbruck in Austria is a fantastic option for an adventure honeymoon in Europe!
In summer, the opportunities for hiking, downhill mountain biking, paragliding, white water rafting and even bungee jumping are everywhere. The high mountain pastures are lush, the water crystal clear and the skies above this beautiful city, a clear blue.
Cable cars run from several places, transporting you above green pines and grass-covered piste, thousands of meters into the high Alps. Take a mountain bike with you and try out some of the fast downhill trails which are known as some of the best in Europe!
Head up the Inn river to the famous Imster Schlucht for spectacular scenery, thundering rapids and the rafting experience of a lifetime; this one’s not for the faint-hearted though!
Test your hiking abilities with a summit tour of the Wankspitze. The three-hour, 1000m ascent will take you up to the top of this iconic mountain at 2151m. The achievement will feel amazing; at the top, you’ll have what are widely recognised at the best views of the Tirol from anywhere in Austria.
Exhausted after a day of extreme sports and hiking, the pretty and historic Altstadt (Innsbruck Old Town) is ideal for a hot chocolate and apple strudel or beer, to people watch or admire the architecture. Visit the Imperial Palace and look out for the Golden Roof whilst taking a stroll through the charming squares and narrow streets of Innsbruck
9. Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
Wendy - The Nomadic Vegan
Swiss Alps might be one of the best honeymoon ideas for all couples who love high mountains.
The idyllic village of Lauterbrunnen in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland offers spectacular mountain vistas as well as plenty of outdoor activities. Nearby are the iconic trio of mountains known as Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger; their names translate as "the Virgin, the Monk and the Ogre".
The village, with its whitewashed church and mountain chalets with flower pots in the windows, is beautiful on its own. But the real attraction is the surrounding mountains and valley.
Lauterbrunnen Valley, filled with green grass and wildflowers, has been dubbed the "valley of 72 waterfalls". Two of the most famous of these falls are Staubbach Fall and Trümmelbachfälle. Staubbach Fall is a long, slender waterfall that drops from nearly 300 meters high and is visible from the village itself. Trümmelbachfälle, on the other hand, is located three kilometres outside the village and is unique in that it runs underground! It's accessed through a system of tunnels, galleries and elevators.
Opportunities for hiking and mountain biking are endless, and paragliding is popular as well. Lauterbrunnen has even become a mecca for wingsuit flying - a form of base jumping that's considered to be the most dangerous sport in the world. Try it at your own risk!
Presumably, this dangerous sport is where the popular AirTime Café got its name. Conveniently located near the train station, it offers a mix of Swiss and international dishes, including vegan options, which can be hard to find in Switzerland.
10. Pelion Peninsula, Greece
Oksana and Max - Drink Tea & Travel
The Pelion Peninsula is a great honeymoon destination for couples looking to explore the undiscovered side of Greece. It has stunning beaches, amazing food, and lots of outdoor activities.
The coast of Pelion Greece is known for its crystal clear waters, white-sand beaches, and sun-bleached cliffs. It has lots of great beaches to discover but our favourites were Agios Ioannis, Chorefto, Potistika, and Demouchari. The latter was where scenes from Mamma Mia were filmed.
The other fun thing to do in the Pelion Peninsula is to take a boat trip to see the sea caves at Thetis. This unspoiled beach feels like a world away from anything else. Here you can spend the day with your partner away from the crowds, and go for a swim and snorkel. Another way to get out on the water is via kayak. You’ll be able to find many kayak rental places around the peninsula.
Back on the land, don’t miss the opportunity to go hiking. Especially around Mount Pelion in the northern part of the peninsula. It's a stunning seaside peak which reaches 1,624 metres (5,328 ft). There are also biking trails available if you're into mountain biking.
In the area of Mount Pelion you’ll discover rock caves, quiet streams, and even waterfalls where you can take a dip and cool off after a hot day amongst the dense, lush forests.
Pelion Peninsula is a great destination for hikers - there are lots of cobblestone trails and paths that connect the beautiful Greek villages.
A honeymoon to the Pelion Peninsula offers the opportunity to get off the beaten track and to spend quality time with your significant other in a beautiful outdoor setting.
11. Madeira, Portugal
Elisa - World in Paris
Madeira, Portugal, is a great honeymoon destination for adventurous couples. Madeira is an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean comprising 4 islands off the northwest coast of Africa. Its location, more or less in front of Morocco in Africa, explains Madeira’s mild temperatures all year round: the weather is always good in Madeira!
Madeira has great activities for adventurous couples. Being a volcanic island there are many cool hikes around Madeira. Pico Ruivo (1.861m) is the highest mountain and it is surrounded by crests and calderas creating wonderful landscapes.
Madeira is also known for its levadas - the irrigation channels specific to the island. The levadas originated out of the necessity of bringing large amounts of water from the west and northwest of the island to the southeast, which is drier but also better for agriculture and living. Madeira has 2,170 km of levadas which are also a network of nice walking paths through the beautiful countryside. Some of these levadas imply crossing long tunnels through the mountains, sometimes flooded with water so a headtorch and rain boots might be a good idea.
The list of other adventure activities on the island includes canyoning, jeep safaris, whale & dolphin watching (from April to October) so couples looking for adventurous things to do in Madeira during their honeymoon will be spoilt for choice.
12. Split, Croatia
Monika - Frank About Croatia
If you're thinking about a honeymoon in Croatia, the best option would definitely be Split.
Split is one of the most famous places to visit in Croatia, with a rich history and remarkable architecture, it sure is one of the most beautiful cities on the Adriatic coast, especially in the spring and summertime.
Unforgettable sunsets by the sea or a climb on the famous Marjan Hill - Split offers both, romance and adventure, so it's a perfect option for a couple who want an active honeymoon.
Relax on the beautiful Bacvice beach and play Picigin with the locals, afterwards make sure to drink a coffee on the most famous promenade of Croatia - Splitska Riva! Explore the majestic Diocletian's Palace, climb the Bell Tower or rub the toe of the Gregory of Nin statue, and don't forget to make a wish!
When you`ve had enough of the mainstream tourist stuff, you might want to go on adventurous day trips in the area of Split. There are many options to choose from: Krka National Park, Plitvice National Parks (where you can also take a swim!), rock climbing on the Marjan Hill - you name it!
Marjan is the climbing area located conveniently in the centre of Split. There are 40 metres high south-facing cliffs. It counts 77 mostly vertical routes, with difficulty level from 4c to 8a. There is also a zip line over the Cetina River where you have a choice of eight lines, each of different length, height, and speed. At the fastest wire, you can catch a speed of up to 65 km per hour.
If you look for even more adrenaline rush, skydiving might be just the thing for you. The plane takes off from a small sport airport in Sinj, 40 km east from Split. The tour includes a panoramic flight and a tandem jump. The freefall lasts for about 30 seconds, and the parachute flight lasts a bit less than 10 minutes.
If you're into water sports you will like to try kayaking. You can choose between morning and sunset tours. Both tours take you paddling around the Marjan Hill with organized swimming, snorkelling, and cliff jumping activities.
Two most popular island hopping tours include the Hvar 5 Islands & Blue Cave Tour and the full-day catamaran tour to Hvar and Pakleni Islands.
Fancy a sailing trip? No problem! A Scottish couple organizes day and sunset sails onboard their 42-foot sailing boat Nera for up to six persons. The 7 hours trip includes drinks and lunch.
13. Svalbard, Norway
One of the best adventure honeymoon destinations for adrenaline-seeking couples is Svalbard, an archipelago of islands at the top of the world belonging to Norway.
Svalbard is an epic honeymoon destination for those that love activities from northern lights hunting to visiting abandoned Soviet mining towns to going polar bear spotting on the back of a boat. The activities available for travellers to Svalbard are aplenty and if you visit during the right time of year, you have an opportunity to see animals varying from walruses to polar bears to narwhals.
To see polar bears in Svalbard, you will need to venture there from late spring until the end of summer, but it can be fairly challenging during the summer months due to sea ice melting. While most people flock to Svalbard during the summer months when there are 24-hours of daylight, the destination is trying to promote winter tourism and the northern lights in an effort to create sustainable tourism in one of the most endangered places in the world in regards to climate change.
For honeymooners, there are so many amazing Svalbard hotels you can stay in when there - from repurposed mining dorms to accommodation atop a glacier, you can easily have a memorable trip to Svalbard. This is definitely one of the best places in the world for a honeymoon for venturesome newlyweds.
14. São Miguel, Portugal
Clemens - Travellers Archive
São Miguel is the largest island in the Azores. It perfect destination for outdoorsy travellers - it offers village life, pristine nature untouched by mass tourism and exciting outdoor adventures.
First of all, São Miguel has a beautiful city: Ponta Delgada. It has a lovely old town with narrow streets, but also many cafes, restaurants and a great harbour promenade where you can take romantic walks. Ponta Delgada is a fantastic place to stay for couples looking for quiet yet romantic getaways in Europe.
São Miguel is famous for the most beautiful hikes in Europe. Volcanoes, crater lakes, lush exotic vegetation, ruins - the island has it all! São Miguel is also known as “the green island”.
Fire lagoon is one of the most beautiful places in the Azores. This breathtaking crater lake is located in the Água de Pau Massif stratovolcano in the centre of the island. Hiking there is an absolute must!
The Lagoa do Congro is another crater lake that is worth a visit. Volcanic craters with lakes, gentle hills and green cones dominate the west of the island. Various hiking routes start from here, but they do not run all the way around the lake, the hikes lead through lush vegetation.
Also, a visit to the thermal bath in Poça da Dona Beija should not be missed. Are you a surfer? Then São Miguel is the perfect island for you anyway. You will find perfect waves for beginners and professionals alike. No matter what adventure you are looking for, the island is just perfect for adrenaline seekers.
15. Southern Iceland
Jenna - I Know The Pilot
Iceland is an adventurers paradise. A destination like no other - quirky cities, a breathtaking landscape, unique wildlife and vibrant culture, there is good reason Iceland has experienced a surge in tourism over the last few years.
Perfect for adventurers, as the landscape is the main attraction - visit waterfalls, black beaches, plane wrecks; hike glaciers, beautiful trails and stand atop mountains; dive between continents and explore ice caves.
Southern Iceland is the more popular and most easily accessible region, with hundreds of activities within a few hours of the capital Reykjavik, making it an ideal base to explore this fantastic region. Reykjavik, with it's winding streets full of colourful buildings, interesting locals and great bars is a must-visit, and only minutes away from a world of adventure. There are several wildlife cruises that depart from the harbour there.
The famous 'Golden Circle' is a three-hour drive, starting in Reykjavik, that takes in three of the most famous landmarks in the area, including Thingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall. There are several other gems to discover along the way, including craters, glaciers and geothermal baths.
Heading down the South coast, towards the quaint town of Vik, there are multiple waterfalls to visit, trails to hike, glaciers and even a plane wreck to explore. At the end of the road, you will be rewarded with the famous 'diamond beach'; a black sand beach dotted with small, glittering icebergs. Seals can often be spotted swimming amongst the floating ice!
Iceland is the perfect destination for an adventurous honeymoon, in an idyllic setting. Visit during summer to take advantage of most outdoor activities, or during the colder months to take advantage of the stunning Northern Lights.