If you’re lucky enough to be in the process of planning your wedding, then we know just how much attention tends to be paid to the finer details. Does the best man’s speech need censoring? Will your brash, opinionated (dr)uncle be okay sitting next to Great Aunt Gertrude? How close to the big day can you get before practicing your first dance?
With all the little things causing so much stress in the build up, the afters can often be overlooked, particularly the honeymoon. It’s sadly sometimes a case of ‘anywhere will do, let’s just get through the wedding in one piece’. But this should be a special, unique, once-in-a-lifetime trip; your first as an official, married couple. So if you’re looking for inspiration, then read on; our 5 IDEAL destinations for your honeymoon.
MARRIAGE, THEN MACHU PICCHU
If you’re planning a Peruvian honeymoon then Machu Picchu is probably high on your list of places to visit. Indeed, if you’re worried about post wedding blues, the altitude and natural wonder of this part of Peru will have you high again. If the snap happiness of your big day hasn’t given you photo fatigue, then the ancient citadel nestled within stunning peaks is an amazing opportunity for selfies, Instagram and the rest. While love is of course life’s greatest mystery, the history and intrigue surrounding Machu Picchu’s origins and former role in Inca life is also fascinating. From Peru, you can also get to the Galapagos Islands, via Quitor, in Ecuador, in less than half a day.
A PAIR OF LOVEBIRDS IN PARIS
There’s a certain amount of cliche in a Parisien honeymoon. For every snatched kiss at the top of the Tower, another is interrupted with an uninvited selfie stick. For each waft of your partner’s Chanel, as you walk hand-in-hand along the Seine, an accompanying punctuation of the river’s own scent. Hell, even the Pont des Arts, Paris’ famous ‘love lock’ bridge, has started to collapse under the expectation of all those happily-ever-afters.
But, when done right and with open arms, Paris can be the most romantic place on Earth. Allow yourself to be swept up in the passion of the place; indulge, imbibe, feast and fall in love with the city all over again. Just remember to appreciate your partner too.
HAND IN HAND IN HANOI
When you initially lock eyes on the Vietnamese Capital of Hanoi, it probably won’t be love at first sight. There’s engines revving, motorbikes honking, a miasma of competing, compelling odours and a sense of barely organised chaos which permeates the air even more thoroughly. But open your eyes and mind just a little and you’ll start to notice that love and romance is everywhere.
Newlyweds have wedding photos snapped on Old Quarter corners as potential partners pass by, courting gently and playfully. Couples cuddle up on their scooters as they sashay through the streets. First dates are played out in public, with one of the city’s thousands of coffee shops as the theatre. And white haired husband and wife stroll hand-in-hand and at snail’s pace, around the central Hoan Kiem Lake, observing new romance and reminiscing about their glory days. Beyond and beneath the superficial, Hanoi is a city that proves love runs deep.
The archipelago’s reputation as an island (or rather, collection of them) paradise is no hyperbole – if you’re into white sands, clear blue seas and island hopping galore, this is the place. Situated just off the coast of Tanzania, Zanzibar has it all; the aforementioned white sand beaches and turquoise waters, as well as lush tropical forests with indigenous wildlife and the opportunity both to party and lay back, whichever your heart dictates. This exotic escape will steal that heart so completely that there’s a serious risk of wanting to stay here forever.
Indeed, what better way to affect honeymoon affection than the smell of scents of tropical flowers and the warm tropical breeze passing over you as you canoodle in a hammock together strung between two palm trees. Nungwi Village is probably the best beach on the island for that romantic walk, and Nakupenda offers the chance to frolic with snorkels and sealife when you’ve had enough of rolling around with your partner. Bliss.
SRI LANKAN LOVE AFFAIR
It could be the perfect litmus-test of the likelihood of long-lasting love. Look at a map of Sri Lanka and what do you see? If it’s a heart, it’s happily ever after. See a tear? It’s over in a year. We saw a pear, so maybe we’re just hungry. But, the point remains. Sri Lanka is an island with romance at its core.
There’s enough diversity of landscape and activities to keep the holiday passion alive past the 7-day-itch; enough breathtaking scenery to divert your gaze away from the face you’ll be staring at for the next 50 years; enough historical intrigue to make you think about the past as well as your future together; and enough fantastic food to mean breakfast in bed is not a euphemism, but a genuine feast.