Whether it’s beach and cocktails or glacier hiking, we’ve got the perfect honeymoon picks for you. Words: Tom Harrod
After your big day, your honeymoon is a wonderful opportunity to revel in your newlywed glory and also to take some important ‘us’ time after all the – let’s face it, at times – stressful planning and preparation that’s involved. So, what makes for a good honeymoon spot? Well, that depends entirely on who you and your partner are: your shared passions and ideals of paradise. This differs from couple to couple, so we’ve collated a range of romantic destinations to inspire you – each offering their own pockets of post-wedding bliss.
For a week of real escapism and luxury, consider the Caribbean and Jamaica, in particular. Lounge on white sand beaches, sip cool rum cocktails and bathe in pure turquoise waters. If you’re on the west side of the island, be sure to visit the YS Falls Cascades, an inland hub of waterfalls where you can float downriver on tubes or, if you’re seeking thrills, zip-line through the canopy!
2. The French Riviera
Sticking with beaches, there’s a reason so many recommend the French Riviera. It’s close to home, the weather is perfect and region aches with class and charm. You’ll feel like a Hollywood A-Lister strolling through Cannes and the glamourous yachts of Monte Carlo. Top it all off by treating yourself and your partner to some fine Mediterranean dining in the fabulous towns of Saint Tropez and Antibes.
3. Cape Town
South Africa’s Cape Town, on the other hand, offers a fantastic parallel of a coastal location. It’s the hub for those who want to experience nature at its grandest. Feeling brave? Don your scuba gear for a shark cage dive. For an absorbing big game safari tour you should stay at the lodges based at the National Parks of Kruger, Mashatu or Chobe, all of which are short flights away.
Casting our attention up towards Northern Africa, Marrakech in Morocco has a glorious atmosphere among the minarets. Browse and barter in the lively souq marketplaces before heading to one of the city’s many lavish spas to unwind with a soothing massage. You’ll be at a great base for an intimate guided camel trek into the majestic desert too, offering spectacular sights and unforgettable memories.
On the polar opposite side of the scale lies the rugged beauty of Iceland. Lava caves, glacier hikes, volcanoes… Reykjavik is your gateway to some of the most stunning natural sights imaginable with cycling, jeep or horse riding treks into the gorgeous wilderness. No trip is complete without a snuggle under the native phenomenon that is the aurora borealis – the Northern Lights.
Europe is blessed with dozens of romantic cities (Paris, anyone?), and Florence is up there with the big-hitters. You’ll fall in love all over again as you explore the delightful streets full of Renaissance architecture including the famous Duomo Cathedral of Santa Maria dei Fiore and gaze into the hypnotic sunsets as dusk hits the Arno river. Siena and Pisa are short trips away too, and equally as alluring. In fact, the entire region of Tuscany is nothing short of bewitching, with its lush Chianti vineyards and countless hilltop villages.
7. The Dalmatia Coastline
Across the Adriatic from Italy sits Croatia’s enchanting Dalmatia coastline, which is fast gaining an impressive reputation among honeymooners. A total of 79 small islands are dotted along this stretch – Hvar being an adorable highlight – and the waterfalls within national parks of Krka and Plitvice offer beautiful lakes for swimming. The undisputed jewel in Dalmatia’s crown, however, is Dubrovnik, a ancient walled city that has been used as a filming location of late for the fictional setting of King’s Landing for Game of Thrones.
If a laid-back weekend city-break is more your thing, then look no further than Bruges. This ‘fairytale’ city is quaint personified, with wonder waiting around every street corner. Its canals might not be of Venetian grandness, but make for an equally idyllic setting. Being the home of both chocolate and beer, the famous Markt plaza, under the watchful eye of the medieval Belfort, makes for superb dining.
But what about something closer to home, we hear you cry? How about hopping over to Ireland? It’s impossible not to get lured into love on the Emerald Isle. Rent a classic car, kiss the Blarney Stone, and do a spot of whale-watching before retiring back to your cottage to taste some quality whiskeys together, in front of a roaring fire.
Where do you suggest to the couple that have been everywhere? Myanmar. Just north of Thailand, you should avoid the crowds for your own spot of tranquility. Stay in teak bungalows on the beach in Ngapali and celebrate in style with a hot air balloon ride over the untouched, ancient temples of Bagan. Prepare to have your mind blown.
Of course, ultimately it doesn’t matter where you go on your honeymoon, but rather, who you have alongside you that counts!