Your inspirational guide to the holiday of a lifetime

ARTICLE BY : Abha Shah


Your honeymoon will be a holiday like no other, full of firsts and pinch-me moments. But deciding where on Earth to go can be tough. That’s why we’ve put together this guide full of inspiration and ideas to make your escape as unique as you are.

From exploring ancient civilisations to catching zzz’s under the Northern Lights, there’s something for every kind of couple – and every kind of honeymoon.

Machu Picchu: The Lost City of the Incas, built in 1450, is one of the world’s greatest wonders - and mysteries. Experience it best by hiking the 26-mile Inca Trail. Visit in October for the finest weather. Couples honeymooning over Valentine’s, beware - the trail closes every February for repairs. 

Mayan Ruins: Want a Cancun break? Take a day off from the beach to visit Mayan ruins dotted along the Yucata´n coast. Chichen Itza is one of the biggest, and most popular.

So you’ve dreamed of lying on a golden beach for months. And we wouldn’t complain about that daydream, why not kick it up a gear by visiting some of the world’s most striking coastlines? Thanks to its volcanoes, you can find black beaches in Hawaii, while the Bahamas is famed for pink sands, made from surf-battered coral and seashells. Closer to home, you’ll find the jaw- dropping Bengali Sea Cave in the Algarve. Just don’t forget the SPF!

P&O Oriana: If the closest you’ve ever come to considering a cruise is watching Titanic (without the ending, obvs), now’s the time to get on board. Gourmet restaurants, luxe spas and a sparkling new destination to explore every few days - bliss! P&O offers the ultimate in nautical luxury on its adults-only Oriana cruise ship.Coral Princess: A cruise doesn’t have to mean the Caribbean. Explore frozen Alaska with Princess Cruises. The voyage will get you up close with glaciers, brown bears and stunning national parks, all from the comfort (and warmth) of a luxury ship. Where do we sign up?

Petra, Jordan: Remember those pinch-me moments we talked about? Jordan is full of those. For centuries it’s been the crossroads of the Middle East so naturally, there are some spectacular sights for adventurous newlyweds to discover.
The approach to Petra Treasury alone is something to tell the grandkids; accessed through a narrow gorge whose walls soar 200m, the facade is carved straight into the rock face. Breathtakingly magnificent.

If you want to protect the world as well as explore it, an eco-minded honeymoon could be the perfect option for you. Eco Lux Hotels offer some of the world’s greenest luxury resorts in destinations as far-flung as Sri Lanka and as close to home as The Savoy in London’s West End.

With bijou camping, luxe facilities and the world’s biggest acts, festivals are perfect for hedonistic newlyweds. Coachella, the US’ slickest offering, is split over two weekends with a line-up as diverse as Beyonce, Bastille and New Order.
Electro dance more your bag? Head to Tomorrowland in Belgium for a memorable music fix.

The Golden Triangle is the perfect introduction to India. Start in Delhi and see the Red Fort before heading to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal. Then it’s on to the Royal pink city of Jaipur for palaces and shopping.
There’s plenty of ways to get from A to B,but we love the sound of the Palace on Wheels the most. The luxury train, decked in opulent Rajasthani style, is the most quirkily luxurious way to travel to the sights.

Cappadocia in central Turkey has to be seen to be believed. The UNESCO World Heritage site is an otherworldly maze of fairy chimneys, caves and ancient nooks – and the best way to see it all is from the basket of a hot air balloon. There are dozens of operators offering airborne adventures with sunrise flights by far the most popular. There’s nothing quite like sailing silently and smoothly into sun-woken skies as the landscape magically unfurls below.
Prefer somewhere further afield? Other ballooning hot spots include Burma, Cambodia, Morocco... the list endless. And many companies offer private flights made for two with personalised service, and strawberries and champagne. Love is in the air!

Maui, Hawaii: Maui is all about nature; parks, waterfalls, a volanco (yes, really!) and 30 miles of beautiful beaches. It’s one of 8 islands so if you want to visit the others, just hop aboard an internal flight. But, really, once you arrive why would you ever want to leave? Stay at Maui’s Four Seasons resort, among the most luxurious in the state.
• www.FourSeasons.com/Maui

Phang-nga, Thailand: Phang Nga, one of Thailand’s southern provinces, sits on the shores of the Andaman Sea and Phang Nga Bay. From here, you can reach James Bond Island in Phang Nga National Park, itself a playground of paradisiacal bliss.

Krabi, Thailand: Some of the secret of Krabi’s beauty lies in the 100+ islands freckled along its coast. There are some beautiful archipelagos to explore, including the Phi Phi islands where The Beach was filmed. Sand jump pics obligatory.

Sri Lanka is often referred to as the ‘Teardrop of India’ but anyone who’s been knows it’s a tear of sheer joy. For there is plenty to enjoy; resplendent palm-fringed beaches, fragrant spice gardens, lush tea plantations, wild tangles of jungle - and that’s just for starters.
Travel over winter, when heat and humidity is more forgiving.Book your perfect tailor-made honeymoon at:

• www.TheUltimateTravelCompany.co.uk

Langkawi, Malaysia
You Jane, he Tarzan, you honeymoon jungle. Bedroom role-play aside, Langkawi is the ultimate tropical paradise. Among 99 islands, Rebak Island is the exclusive home of a luxury Taj Hotels resort. From here, you can visit jungle critters in their natural habitat, board a sunset cruise or spoon on a private beach, just the two of you.


Grey whales visit the coast of Baja California in Mexico to mate and give birth between January and April every year. You can jump on a tour boat and see these majestic creatures from afar, or you could get within touching distance from the seat of a sea kayak. We know which one we’d rather do.


Travel to the beautiful lakes for views straight out of a fairytale. From the southern tip of the Chilean Andes, to the vast open spaces of Canada and Italian mountain-framed vistas, the world is full of honeymoon-worthy lakeside destinations.
Even the most indoorsy types will find it tough to refuse such breathtaking panoramas, especially when viewed in comfort through the windows of luxe resorts. Located within Torres del Paine National Park, Explora Patagonia offers all-inclusive packages amid the mirror-like waters of Pehoe Lake.
Closer to home, Italy’s lakes are well served by chalets and hotels.

Sultanhamet: Don’t let the crowds put you off visiting one of Istanbul’s highlights. Known as the ‘Blue Mosque’ it was built in the 17th Century and is still an active mosque, so it’s advisable to plan your visit outside worship times unless, of course, you plan to pray.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque: Considered the main site of worship for Abu Dhabians, this is a structure of truly epic proportions, covering more than 30 acres and welcoming up to 40,000 worshippers for Eid prayers. Honeymooning in Dubai? Get here in as little as 60 min by taxi.

Jama Masjid: The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built this vast mosque in Delhi in the mid 1600s. It’s a marble and red-sandstone oasis amid the chaos of Old Delhi and Chor Bazaar. Certainly worth a visit as part of any Indian honeymoon voyage.

It’s possibly the closest thing we have to magic. Witnessing the dancing colours of the Aurora Borealis under an inky black sky is among life’s Big Ticks. So why not do it with your new partner-in-crime in tow? First, the science bit: the northern lights appear when solar wind particles collide with air molecules in the Earth’s atmosphere, transferring their energy into light.

Now, the luxe bit: there are plenty of cosy hideaways in the Arctic circle from which to witness nature’s greatest lightshow. Best known is the IceHotel Sweden (see below) but design geeks will also adore Sweden’s Tree Hotels which include the MirrorCube, camouflaged against the trees of its woodland setting.
• www.Treehotel.se/en

Ice Hotel, Sweden: Located in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden, 200km north of the Arctic Circle, this is the original IceHotel. Made of ice from the river Torne, each year the hotel and art piece is reincarnated in a brand new design. It’s the coolest place you’ll ever rest your head, we’d put money on it!
• www.IceHotel.com

Transylvania: At Prince Charles’ private Transylvanian retreat, you can visit local craftsmen, feast on authentic dishes and see the countryside aboard a horse- drawn sleigh. Dracula-hunting at your own peril. 
• zalan.TransylvanianCastle.com

The Antarctic: Explore new horizons with Kuoni’s Antarctica and Patagonia cruise. The ship’s captain and 17-strong expedition team will plan your route to the southern-most reaches of the planet.

Rajmahal Palace: Home to the Maharaja of Jaipur, this exquisite royal palace is a world of design delights. Inside it’s pink shell, you’ll find sublime interiors, from the restaurants and spa to the suites. To call it India’s most beautiful hotel is no exaggeration.

Taj Lake Palace (pictured bottom right): Built for Maharana Jagat Singh II, Taj’s Lake Palace in Udaipur is one of the most romantic hotels we’ve ever seen. From the moment you enter, you’ll be treated like royalty; expect a shower of rose petals on arrival and candlelit dinners for two.

Umaid Bhawan (pictured above left): Perched high above the desert capital of Jodhpur sprawls the majestic Umaid Bhawan Palace. All 22 rooms and 42 suites overlook the gardens and beyond, the city of Jodhpur. The palace is still the residence of Jodhpur’s royal family, so who knows who you might bump into at the Trophy Bar!

Love a bottle of vino? Then you May enjoy the idea of a wine-tasting honeymoon, Where you can tour vineyards around  the world. Hot spot include (of course) Champagne in France, California's Napa Valley and South Africa's Garden Route.
Quaffing a glass in one of the most beautiful places on Eearth? We'll toast to that.

There's a romance to rail that’s unmatchable with other modes of transport; watching the scenery flash past as you dine on four-course gourmet dinners, curling up in luxury cabins and pulling into a new landscape every few days. It’s a slow burn that lets you relish every moment.

With a rail honeymoon the journey really is as important, and enjoyable, as the destination. The Orient Express (www.Belmond.com) offers journeys from Paris to Istanbul over three nights. For awe-inspiring scenes, try The Rocky Mountaineer (www.RockyMountaineer.com) which offers four routes through British Columbia, Alberta, and Washington state or cut a trail through Alpine snow on the Rhaetian Railway (www.Rhb.ch).

Ice safari: Iceland’s population is just under half a million but if you counted the Arctic foxes, puffins, reindeer, whales and seals (plus the very odd polar bear) who also live on the island, those numbers would shoot right up. Say Hallo´! to non-human locals on an ice safari honeymoon in Iceland.

Only in Africa: With more than four million wild game, including zebras, elephants, giraffes and antelopes, unleash your wild side and watch magnificent beasts on a quintessential African safari. Find out more at:

The Maldives: Fall head over heels into a world of mesmerising blue. Vivanta By Taj – Coral Reef, Maldives has exotic ocean views and dramatic sunsets, best viewed from the deck of a private water villa.

Bora Bora: Powder-soft beaches, crystal-clear lagoons, and champagne on tap. Yes, such paradise exists at the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora. It’s a honeymoon daydream come true.

If you’ve always wanted to explore the continental US but never had the time, your honeymoon is gives you the perfect excuse to road-trip across this fascinating country. 

Drive from Vegas to L.A, Fear and Loathing-style, or slow the pace on a coastal trip from Miami to Key West. The south-west is littered with bonkers (but brilliant) roadside attractions as well as abandoned gold-rush towns. The archetypal road-trip? Route 66, of course. Buckle up!

Simply uttering ‘Hawaii’ evokes so many mental images. Perfect beaches, swaying palm trees and... volcanoes?
Yep, there are three active volcanoes in the US state; in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park you’ll find Maunaloa and Kilauea, which has been continuously erupting since 1983. But if you don’t fancy being in the path of molten lava, you can still claim to have conquered a volcano by hiking up Diamond Head, a volcanic crater in Honolulu.

Other visit-worthy active volcanoes include Mount Etna in Sicily, Bali’s Mount Batur and Whakaari (White Island) in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.

Off the shores of Grand Cayman in the Caribbean, you can find a mermaid. Well, a mermaid statue to be precise, 9 feet tall and 600lbs, created by sculptor Simon Morris. She’s Amphitrite, the wife of Poseidon in Greek mythology. Join the hundred of divers who visit her every year by enrolling in one of the the island’s dive schools.

The Great Barrier Reef: Visible from space, the Great Barrier Reef is one of mankind's greatest natural treasures. See nature’s incredible beauty up close by bedding down at One & Only’s Hayman Island resort, which sits in the centre of Australia’s greatest natural wonder. Check into the Beach Villas for a unique view point.


St Barth's: Hunting for your very own treasure island? Then head to St. Barth’s, home of Le Sereno, a luxe beach hotel on the north- east of the island. With 36 suites, three spacious four-room villas and a waterfront treatment suite in its spa, this resort is one of the jewels of the Caribbean.

Snow, yoga and wilderness; seems an unlikely combination, but at Huzur Vadisi Yoga Retreats, it’s a reality. Expect a luxury yoga retreat set in the spellbinding snowy forests of Norway.

Prefer somewhere a little more... traditional? Oberoi Hotel’s Wildflower Hall resort in Shimla offers exclusive massage, yoga and Ayurvedic treatments at bespoke locations around the hotel and grounds. Experience luxury on a deeper level.

A tent, a bottle of champagne and the stars. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that create epic memories. If camping’s not your thing, there are plenty of glamping sites from California to Calcutta that blend the splendour of the outdoors with luxe hotel living. Find them and many more at:
• www.Glamping.com

Tags : Honeymoon  India  Jordan  Beaches  Northern Lights 
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