07:28 Monday 07 January 2013

The Honeymoon starts here

When you start to think about your honeymoon destination spare a thought for our medieval forefathers and mothers. Not for them a two week dream vacation on a tropical island.

In their case, the ‘honeymoon’ was a lunar month during which time the happy couple was encouraged to knock back a daily ration of mead (beer made of fermented honey and water) which symbolised the sweetness of the new union and was thought to give a massive boost to fertility.

Well let’s face it, after all the stress of planning the wedding and making it through the big day without major mishaps, newly-weds today might just be looking forward to rather more in the way of a break. And what could be nicer than spending some quality time together before you have to pack up and return to reality.

Depending on which travel company you consult, the top ten honeymoon destinations will vary.

Beach holidays in celebrity sighting hot-spots such as the Caribbean always figure and now, partly because of it being the honeymoon hideaway of choice for Kate and Wills, The Seychelles is the number one, hyper-fashionable romantic destination.

If you fancy something a little wilder and yearn for the great outdoors, then one of the game reserves in South Africa is the place to go. Two centre honeymoons are becoming increasingly popular. Whether it’s a week in the Masai Mara watching the amazing wildlife followed by a week chilling out by the ocean on the white sands of Zanzibar or four buzzing nights in New York City and then six lazy days on a palm-fringed beach in The Grenadines, the holiday of a lifetime can now come at two for the price of one.

Apres ski takes on a whole new meaning when it’s part of your honeymoon. Snuggling up in a luxury chalet with your new spouse after a day spent whizzing down the slopes is a great way to start married life. For culture vultures, European cities such as Paris or Rome offer nightlife as well as sightseeing opportunities.

There are castles for hire and tents to rent; horses to ride and boats to sail. If your home is already well-equipped with toasters, pillow cases and towel bales then consider asking for donations from your wedding guests towards your honeymoon instead. It is, after all, going to be the holiday of a lifetime.

Have you thought about this?

We live in a beautiful country; what you want may be right here in the UK saving you the aggro of airport delays and the expense of the long haul trip.

Take the train, beat the strain. Eurostar to Paris or Bruges, both wonderful cities, is a great option that is closer to home and kinder on the wallet.

Living dangerously is all very well when you're a free spirit; what you don't want is a holiday disaster on your honeymoon. Make sure any extreme sports or thrill-seeker activities are properly supervised.

It's not a cheap option but cities don't come much more romantic than Venice. Catch a public water bus (vaporetto) if you want to see the canals without going overboard paying for your own private gondola.

Cruise to the far north of Norway and hope to see nature's most spectacular aerial display. There's no guarantee that the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) will be visible while you're there but I'm sure you can think of something to keep you occupied while you're waiting...

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