The idea of a “honeymoon” can be traced back several centuries, and there are many theories as to exactly how the concept evolved. One says it comes from the Old English word “hony moone”, and it was meant to refer to the period couples experience right after getting married, when everything is blissful. The word was first recorded in 1542 by English writer Samual Johnson.

Honeymoons as we known them today didn’t really exist until the mid 19th century. After the industrial revolution, people were freed from their traditional farming jobs, which gave them the freedom to take “nuptial journeys”. Couples would often go to visit family and friends who weren’t able to make it to the wedding, or to cities that were popular, such as Niagara Falls or New York City. By the time the 20th century rolled around, these “honeymoons” were quite commonplace.

Nowadays honeymoons are a huge part of getting married, and couples spend months planning for their big trip. It is often the first big trip for a couple, and it’s meant to be memorable. And while some couples might have a good idea in their minds of where they would like to travel for their honeymoon be it to a distant far away land, or a place just an hour away, here are some suggestions for some more unique destinations that you might not have even considered putting on the shortlist yet.

St. Lucia

About: it is located in the Eastern Caribbean Sea and is part of the Lesser Antilles.

It is a volcanic island, that is much more mountainous than other islands in the Caribbean. It has a tropical climate, and a dry season that runs from December to May, and a wet season that runs from June to November. Average daytime temperature is 29 degrees, and that really does not fluctuate too much due to the islands proximity to the equator.

Language: English and Saint Lucian Creole French

Unique Attractions: a drive in volcano, a sulphur springs, botanical gardens, twin peak mountains, rainforest, a historic military base, and of course, beautiful beaches.

St. Lucia is a great destination if you are looking for sun and sand, but also some culture. It is kind of two islands in one, with Rodney Bay sitting on the Northern Part of the island; it has many modern amenities, and sits in a beautiful bay. Soufriere sits in the south, and is amidst old plantations, hidden beaches and the always beautiful Pitons. There are tons of activities to do if you want to stay active and have some adventures on your trip. There is ziplining, rainforest biking, volcanic exploration, parasailing and so much more. For more info about St. Lucia, check out stlucianow.ca.

Vietnam

About: located in Southeast Asia, it is the 13the most populous country in the world. It is bordered by China, Laos and Cambodia. It is made up of highlands, lowlands and forests. The climate varies greatly depending on where you are, but the winter tends to extend from November to April, with the wet season in the remaining months.

Language: Vietnamese, French, English

Unique Attractions: Ha Long Bay, the Imperial Citadel, Cu Chi Tunnels, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam is a beautiful place to go for a honeymoon, as even though there are big, busy cities bustling full of people, there are also secluded resorts that are perfect for getting away from it all. Vietnam is full of history and culture. Ha Long Bay is a world heritage site, and with its breathtaking beauty, it’s easy to see why. Muine Beach is a great sandy destination, which also has sand dunes for exploring, wind and kite surfing. There are also bustling seaports, cities accessed primarily by rivers, and hillside resorts. There really is something for every couple. Adventure, luxury…you name it, you’ll likely find it here. Check out vietnamtourism.com for more info.

Peru

About: located in South America, and bordered by Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile. The land ranges from mountainous to rainforest. The climate in Peru ranges from warm to Mediterranean to cool.

Language: Spanish, Quechua, Aymara

Unique attractions: Machu Picchu, rainforest, hiking, floating islands, sand boarding, surfing.

All you might know about Peru is that it’s home to Machu Picchu, the ruins of a site of an ancient civilization, and while that is definitely worth the trek, there are a ton of other places to check out, making Peru a cultural, historical and adventurous place to visit on your honeymoon. Peru’s capital Lima, is a UNESCO world heritage site. When you are planning your trip to Peru and plan to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, make sure to take into account that you’ll need to spend time acclimatizing to the high altitude. Peru will bring you a honeymoon filled with amazing sights, unforgettable culture and tons of activities you can do together as a couple. For more information about travelling to Peru, check out visitperu.com

Iceland

About: Located between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans. It’s capital and largest city is Reykjavik. The area is volcanically and geologically active. The landscape seems other worldly, and is made up of sand and lava fields, mountains and glaciers. Most people live along the coastline, as much of Iceland’s interior is not really habitable. The temperature, because of the warm Gulf Stream, is higher than it is in other places in the world with similar latitude.

Unique attractions: Blue Lagoon (natural hot springs), Northern lights, whale watching, geysers, lava fields, ice caves and waterfalls.

Language: Icelandic, English, Danish

If your idea of a great honeymoon is all about exploration and adventure as opposed to chilling on a beach, Iceland might just be the place for you. It is a place of exquisite natural beauty, and there is no place quite like it anywhere else in the world; it’s hard not to be blown away. And if you visit in the summertime, you’ll experience the country’s midnight sun. Also, if you are planning on going somewhere in Europe for your honeymoon, Iceland is still a great option, as Icelandic Air offers stopovers at no additional airfare if you stop in Iceland for up to seven days. Why not?

If you want your honeymoon to be out of the ordinary, check it out. Go to visiticeland.com to get some inspiration.

Botswana

About: The country is located in Southern Africa (close to South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe). It is a landlocked country, that covers quite a flat area, with over 70% of it being the Kalahari Desert. The Okavango Delta, one of the largest in the world, lies in the Northwest, with a large saltpan in the North.

Language: Setswana, English

Unique Attractions: some of the most amazing wildlife on Earth, more elephants than any other country: basically wild Africa at it’s best.

It may be pricey, but if a once-in-a-lifetime experience is what you seek, it doesn’t get much better than this. There are private, glamorous accommodations that will see you and your partner enjoying your own private bit of the delta in a romantic camp or lodge. You’ll get to bathe in the moonlight, and sleep under the stars. The best time to view the animals is from June to October, but it can be a great destination year round. Visit botswanatourism.co/bw for more info.

Written By: Megan Pasche