Your Dreams your Choice: The ‘Real Honeymoon Destinations’

I want to share my thoughts on the ‘perfect’ honeymoon destination. I have been in the wedding industry for nearly 5 years now and am so enthusiastically passionate about my job and everything weddings that I wanted to explore this notion of the ‘Perfect Honeymoon’ and what makes them so. Having never had the pleasure of being to the Maldives or the Seychelles, I wanted to know why these paradise-like rocks rank so highly atop so many couples lists for their dream getaway and where these TOP 10 Honeymoon Destination surveys come from in the first place!

I have come to the conclusion that a large part of it (apart from the obvious beauty of these incredible locations) is familiarity – the usual suspects crop up time and time again and I don’t know about you guys but in a world where nothing is more than a day away and a wedding industry that is constantly hunting for the next ‘big thing’, should we not set to explore other corners of this 3rd rock from the sun? Although I’m sure the Seychelles would provide me with a goddess like tan, more serenity and piñacoladas than I dare to imagine and a fabulous looking young man in a coconut thong wafting a palm frond over me to keep me from becoming too enthusiastically crisp…I just can’t believe there isn’t more out there that the adventurous side to me is aching to explore! After all, dreams are subjective, right?

Below are my TOP 10 Honeymoon Destinations (in no particular order – it’s just TOO hard to choose!) that are personal to me – most of which I have never visited, but all of which capture my mind, soul and adventurous spirit enough to want to go to with that one special person I just can’t live without.

INDIA

Ok, so potentially not the most romantic of honeymoon destinations if you consider the hustle and bustle, the pollution and the poverty – but if you’ve been on the London underground or visited parts of Liverpool maybe this won’t seem so crazy after all!

Something about India just seems to enchant me and I think it has a lot more to offer the imagination than the Taj Mahal. Get down to the nitty gritty culture and experiencing real India is where I want to be! The Ganges, Diwali, the Tea Plantations of Munnar Hills, the Culture – and of course, I plan on getting myself invited to an Indian wedding!

 

Photo: A bride feeding a groom during an elaborate weddingPhoto: Mist between green hillsPhoto: A man on a seat atop an elephantPhoto: People crowding the walkways of the Taj Mahal

MADAGASCAR

Don’t judge me for wanting to go here solely based on the film – you know you all want to go! In truth, this little piece of rock that has spent the last 10,000 years and more drifting further from it’s former host just excites me beyond belief and I really really really want a pet lemur called Maurice. With an ecosystem that is found no where else on Earth and pristine beaches from tip to toe, this unusual little island features very highly on my wedding bucket list.

 

 

PERU

Now, Peru I have visited before and I can say it is just a mind blowing place. It is why it is on my TOP 10 list as it is a country where you can pretty much see any type of landscape without ever leaving. You can star gaze in Cusco before leaving to see the lost city of the Incas, you could navigate lake Titicaca and visit the floating islands of uros (you have to see them to believe them!) you can go to the Amazon and swim with pink river dolphins, you can fly over the mysterious lines of Nazca and then sandboard in the desert before returning home to your private oasis. Fancy walking up a volcano before relaxing in the hot springs – no problem! Apart from that, you can visit a desert vineyard and sample their wines and pisco, you can pet a llama whilst eating a guinea pig and one of the 200+ varieties of potato or scale the Andes at 4,000ft. If you’re not too tired you can white water raft or visit the pristine beaches of the North in Mancora. Maldives who?!

 

 

JAPAN

This might seem like an odd one but Japan has been a must for me since I was about 8 years old. I literally have no idea why but perhaps it’s something to do with the complete cultural reverse that it offers us in comparison to our own little Blighty. The language barrier would be too high to climb and I don’t much care for the delicacy of live baby octopus with chopsticks but seeing the lights of Tokyo, the bamboo forests of Arishiyama, the serenity and culture of Osaka and the snow monkies of Honshu are definitely an experience like no other. Although I don’t fancy the prices – £7 for a loaf of bread? Pass the octopus…

 

 

KENYA

Notorious for it’s sensational wildlife and famed on many a series of Planet Earth and Big Cat Diary, Kenya has more than just Luxury Tents to offer newlyweds. If it’s adventure and authenticity you’re looking for, forget that plush camp with the jacuzzi bath tub and get back to basics to meet some of Kenya’s ‘real people’. Argued to be some of the friendliest people you’re likely to meet on your holidays, ditch the hotel for a homestay and experience Kenya the Kenyan way! Don’t forget the mandatory visit to one of Kenya’s fantastic game reserves and meet the Maasai Mara.

 

 

COLOMBIA

Don’t let horror stories fool you, Colombia is frequently voted the favourite stop of the South American traveller and worth it’s weight in gold when it comes to natural beauty. Too often overlooked as a ‘drug infested’  and corrupt smudge to the north of this buzzing continent, Colombia not only has it’s share of the Amazon to delight any nature lover but also it’s people are full of passion and excitement for all those who want to share in their culture. If you want a beach like no other then you don’t need to isolate yourselves in the middle of the Pacific – rather head north and find one of these undiscovered gems to whittle away those precious hours of newlywed bliss or head to Cartegena to soak up the culture as well as the sunshine. Don’t forget to bring some heels to party the night away and try the breakfast of choice in Bogota to cure any hangover – bread, cheese and hot chocolate….it never did Shakira any harm!

 

 

THE GALAPAGOS

Another South American feature on this post but this has got to be one of the most incredible places on our little planet and one of the most famous and important in recent scientific history. People who have visited have vowed never to snorkel or scuba dive anywhere else in the world – it just wouldn’t be the same. From sealions to turtles and stingrays to sharks you will not only see it all but swim with it all too! (Provided you don’t get eaten). Book your flight straight into Ecuador and spend a few magical days in it’s Capital Quito and the surrounding areas of Otavalo to visit the largest outdoor markets on the continent before jet setting off to these little unpretentious diamonds of our planet. Top Tip: Book everything when you arrive to avoid hefty ‘middle man’ fees and save literally £1,000’s!

 

 

MONGOLIA

Apart from the fact that you could say ‘I’ve actually been to outer Mongolia’ there is a mystical and sedate charm about Mongolia that intrigues me! It’s so not a destination anyone would ever go in life – sounds like the perfect reason to go to me! Ride Mongolian ponies in search of nomadic reindeer herders, wander the vast Gobi desert atop a camel or soak up the culture in the Buddhist monasteries and imperial palaces. I won’t be overlooking this forgotten little gem – will you?

 

 

CAMBODIA

The lost city of Angkor Wat – one of the wonders of the world and should be on everyone’s cultural bucket list! Hire a bike and cycle up to the largest temple of Angkor or simply amble at your leisure amidst this most incredible of places (ladies, apparently it gets humid so you might want to bring a hat or some reinforced hairbands!) Suffering from motion sickness would not stop me jumping on a little boat and sailing up through the country to different towns – far better than a bus and I’m sure you’d probably get a better tan! On the way, the capital city of Phnom Penh is apparently worth a stop and there are temples & markets aplenty! Those pristine beaches feature here too and to the south of the country you can do all of the sun soaking needed for a restful honeymoon. Plus you can ride elephants = Win!

 

 

NORWAY

A European country! Not all of my choices are dramatically exotic but Norway definitely features in perhaps the more ‘abstract’ column. I hear my inner fairies asking why I would want to plonk all of my swarthy 5ft 4″ plumpness into a land of ethereal arians…well I might see a polar bear for a start! Reindeer and husky rides are also on the cards and a wealth of history and insight into the vikings is sure to tantalise the historian within! Whale watching at the fjords is definitely a huge bonus as well as the stunning forests of Kongsvinger. And what about a hot spring or five as a luxurious alternative to a sandy beach? I’ll probably bring a packet of quavers though and skip the lambs head for dinner – tah!

 

 

Well that’s it for my TOP 10 Honeymoon Destinations and I fully expect some couples to think I’m on some sort of fabulous narcotic! For me though, your honeymoon is an opportunity to experience something incredible and an adventure to kick start the mother of all adventures! Be creative, be fearless and most of all be YOU!

Happy Weddings Everyone!

Hannah x

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