In earlier times it was not uncommon for brides and their grooms to have rarely, if ever, met before the ceremony, and certainly not to have spent any time alone together. Therefore, the opportunity for the newly wedded couple to spend some private time together, away from family influences and opinions gave them time to get to know and understand each other, and also for them to initiate sexual congress, usually for the first time in their lives. Today, it is not uncommon for couples to have lived together, to have a full household going and to know everything that there is to know about each other before the wedding day. For these couples, a honeymoon is regarded as a necessary holiday after the stresses and rigours of the marriage and the build-up to the big day, but is still must be to a romantic and memorable location, a holiday that the couple will look back on with great fondness for many years to come!
10. South Africa
Think of walking arm-in-arm on deserted sandy beaches, taking a photo safari in the silent veldt or watching tribal dancers spin and whirl under a starry sky as a bonfire blazes nearby, while the savoury smell of exotic foods cooking tempts your appetite. Africa is a wonderful place, with wide open skies and clean pure air. The magnificent wildlife allows us to see back into a more brutal time, when survival was everything and you will leave with a newfound respect for Nature and all her creatures. All those who visit Africa cannot fail to be moved by her, and South Africa is no exception. You can choose between humble self-service cabins high on a mountain and exquisite five-star hotels perched practically on the beach itself, with a range of surroundings, accommodations and services to suit all pockets. South Africa is an excellent honeymoon destination as the wide open spaces and stunningly beautiful scenery will help you and your brand-new spouse to know and understand each other even better.
Known as the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is surprisingly small, covering less than 40 square miles. But the city, situated in a valley in Tuscany, high on the ‘boot’ of Italy, makes up in passion and beauty what it lacks in acreage. Florence has long been a centre of art and culture, boasting Michelangelo’s David and being the birthplace of a veritable Who’s Who of artists and sculptors; Brunelleschi, Donatello, Botticelli and that most famous Florentine of all, Leonardo Da Vinci. This has resulted in the city being packed with priceless and exquisite works of art, intricately rendered sculptures and a joie de vivre that is hard to match anywhere else in the world. Where better to spend your honeymoon than in the heart of Florence, sampling the delicious cuisine, exploring the many wonders of the city and getting to know each other intimately under the benevolent protection of the massive Duomo, still after six hundred years the largest brick dome ever constructed?
Ah, Paris (pronounced Paree!) known everywhere as the romantic capital of the world, and for good reason. The French have a delightfully straightforward approach to love and romance that is far removed from Victorian reserve and prudishness that allows lovers the freedom to express their feelings for each other. Imagine strolling along the tree-lined boulevards, the sweet smell of the chestnut trees after a rain shower and lingering for a kiss on a bridge over the Seine, as you explore the city’s proud treasures and hidden secrets hand-in-hand with your husband or wife. The Louvre is packed full of beautiful paintings and art works, many of which are designed to commemorate the beauty, passion and occasional pain of love. Sample exquisite cuisine, sleep in world-class accommodations and take a complete break from the hustle-bustle of the everyday as you begin the next, most rewarding period of your life.
Exotic Malaysia is a study in contrasts. From hectic and thriving Kuala Lumpur, a gleaming sea of modernity presided over by the world’s tallest towers, the PETRONAS Towers, to tranquil private beaches bounded by warm turquoise seas there is sure to be something that appeals to everyone. You can ride an elephant on a jungle safari, see unique wildlife in its natural habitat and explore lush green hills one day, then be pampered in a five-star spa and shop for top international designer labels the next. You can visit markets in search of new and delicious tastes, study tribal lifestyles at Sarawak or even go to LEGOLAND, the first theme park of its type in Asia – with a side trip to Hello Kitty Town! If you and your new spouse want a romantic holiday destination that will provide you with unforgettable memories, tastes and experiences, you would be hard-pressed to find somewhere better that Malaysia for your honeymoon.
The only known home of the now extinct dodo Mauritius is a picture perfect island paradise, with waving palm trees, soft white sandy beaches, and gentle warm blue seas beneath an azure sky. Mauritius relies on tourism for most of its wealth, and therefore goes the extra mile to attract visitors from all over the world. The people are friendly and warmly welcoming, services and amenities are world-class and the island has a pleasantly warm climate, beautiful surroundings and tropical flora and fauna. Make sure you take in the Botanic Gardens where you can admire immense lily pads and a host of other wonderful plants, before heading off to the Sugar Museum for a taste of something sweet. If all you want from a honeymoon destination is the ability to laze on beach, explore beautiful scenery and perhaps even make love under the stars Mauritius should rank high on your list of potential holiday destinations.
5. New York
Bustling metropolis teeming with yellow cabs, hotdog vendors and businessmen constantly chasing the next big thing, New York is a vibrant and lively city. Arguably the business centre of the world, New York is a great place for tourists and visitors from all over the world. Step into the world made familiar by film and television, strolling in Central Park, as you eat a hotdog ‘with the works’ and see all those familiar city blocks and New York features. It is saying something when the main train station is a tourist attraction in its own right, but in New York this is nothing less than true. Grand Central Station is a wonder of engineering, featuring an inverted Zodiac across its ceiling and many other interesting and quirky features that could go unnoticed by those in search of more traditional highlights, such as the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and even Brooklyn Bridge. While New York may not seem to be a suitable honeymoon destination, at first thought, this bustling city will grow on you and neither of you will ever regret honeymooning here.
4. Tanzania/ Zanzibar
From Mount Kilimanjaro to the exotic spice island of Zanzibar Tanzania offers a rich history of trade alongside warm and friendly people, distinctive tastes and the unique smells of the markets, a relic of Zanzibar’s past as the spice capital of old. In Tanzania you can see the ‘big five’ plus many more example of glorious African wildlife, taking photographs and videos to share the experience with friends and family back home. After your safari you can relax on the thrillingly named Mafia Island, which has recently been awarded protected status so that many more visitors will be able to enjoy the beautiful island and its surrounding coral reefs, which are bursting with marine life of all shapes and sizes. Only the hardy and determined will want to climb Kilimanjaro, a gruelling test of stamina, fitness and lung power that has seen lesser mortals stumble, stricken with altitude sickness and fatigue. However, if you are both up for the challenge and in excellent health you can sign up to be taken up the mountain. The sense of achievement that you will both feel as you stand on the summit watching the sun come up will stay with you both for many years to come.
Bali is an island in Indonesia so beautiful that its inhabitants named it ‘The Island of the Gods’. The island is roughly shaped like a fish, and features terrain that varies from golden sandy beaches, to lush green jungle, to barren and desolate volcanic hillsides. The people and culture are just as varied with a high proportion of Hindus, interspersed with Muslims, Christians and a smattering of Buddhists, all of whom create a welcoming and friendly atmosphere that welcomes visitors and guests from all walks of life. Financially straitened students travelling the world on a small budget and wealthy high-rollers alike are welcomed and feel at home in beautiful Bali. The nightlife on Bali is fantastic and you can party the night away at one of the popular clubs if you desire. Sightsee your way around the island, taking in ancient and venerable temples before booking into a luxurious and pampering spa for a full massage treatment, before unwinding on the beach for long leisurely days.
2. The Netherlands Antilles (Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire)
On a map the Netherlands Antilles look like insignificant specks against the huge might of Venezuela, but those small smudges and lines represent three heart-breakingly beautiful islands nestled in the Caribbean. The islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao are also known as the ABC Islands. The group of islands, being small and almost unnoticed, manage a modestly thriving tourist trade being frequented by those who have discovered their secret. You can laze on the beach, explore the small islands and learn various water-sports as you enjoy exquisite seaside beauty without the surging hordes and crowds that you might otherwise expect in such a location.
Bright sunshine and blue skies seem to always smile on Hawaii, a natural paradise delicately and attractively enhanced by mankind. Explore natural forests, swim in pools at the foot of tumbling graceful waterfalls and marvel at the sheer might and power of the ancient volcanoes that continue to shape this gorgeous archipelago today. Spend long, leisurely days romping in the surf, learning to water-ski and snorkel, followed by feasting on the beach before heading to your beach-side cabin for the night. Enjoy delicious luaus and listen to the lilting native melodies as graceful dancers sway before you. The evenings end with a blazing show as the fire performers deftly manipulate their dangerous props to the oohs and aahs of the crowd.