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5

Off the Beaten Path Wedding Ideas

  • DestinationWeddings.com gives us the inside scoop on five resorts off the beaten path (expert advice)
    photo by DestinationWeddings.com
    Sponsored by DestinationWeddings.com

    Searching for the perfect, out-of-the-way location for your destination wedding? We chatted with the experts at DestinationWeddings.com to discover five incredible resorts that you've likely never heard of. From boutique hotels to private islands to luxe villas, put these on your list to explore before you make your final decision.  

     

    Hidden Gem no. 1:  Petit St. Vincent

    When we say hidden, we mean really hidden. Why not say 'I do' on the private island of Petit St. Vincent?  This tiny Grenadine Island is home to lush rolling hills and white sand beaches. Think seclusion and serenity, a perfectly suited paradise for taking vows.  

     

    Hidden Gem no. 2: El Dorado Maroma

      

    Go for intimacy and relaxation by choosing El Dorado Maroma to host your big day. This boutique hotel in Riviera Maya, Mexico is surrounded by secluded beaches and awe-inspiring views.

     

    Hidden Gem no. 3: Curtain Bluff in Antigua

    Sit in the lap of luxury at Antigua's Curtain Bluff Resort.  The setting is pure magic with private pools overlooking the ocean and the finest of simple pleasures. Depending on the number of guests attending, you may even opt to rent out the entire resort! 

     

    Hidden Gem no. 4: Azul Villa Carolla

    The Azul Villa Carola is a well-kept secret just waiting to be discovered.  Located next to the Azul Beach Boutique Hotel on a stretch of pristine, white-sand beach, you'll enjoy the privacy of a luxe villa vacation, with the service of a five star resort and in-house butler. If you're jetsetting with just a few close friends to bear witness, up to twelve guests can spread out in this 10,700 square foot haven with an idyllic master bedroom and dozens of fabulous amenities. 

     

    Hidden Gem no. 5: Sugar Ridge in Antigua

    If breathtaking views paired with the charm of a boutique hotel sound right up your alley, Antigua's Sugar Ridge is a must-see!  This stylish and romantic setting features an Aveda Concept Spa and special perks for brides, grooms, and honeymooners.  

    Learn more about booking a destination wedding at one of these hand-picked venues over at DestinationWeddings.com.

     

    1
  • DestinationWeddings.com gives us the inside scoop on five resorts off the beaten path (expert advice)
    photo by DestinationWeddings.com
    Sponsored by DestinationWeddings.com

    Searching for the perfect, out-of-the-way location for your destination wedding? We chatted with the experts at DestinationWeddings.com to discover five incredible resorts that you've likely never heard of. From boutique hotels to private islands to luxe villas, put these on your list to explore before you make your final decision.  

     

    Hidden Gem no. 1:  Petit St. Vincent

    When we say hidden, we mean really hidden. Why not say 'I do' on the private island of Petit St. Vincent?  This tiny Grenadine Island is home to lush rolling hills and white sand beaches. Think seclusion and serenity, a perfectly suited paradise for taking vows.  

     

    Hidden Gem no. 2: El Dorado Maroma

      

    Go for intimacy and relaxation by choosing El Dorado Maroma to host your big day. This boutique hotel in Riviera Maya, Mexico is surrounded by secluded beaches and awe-inspiring views.

     

    Hidden Gem no. 3: Curtain Bluff in Antigua

    Sit in the lap of luxury at Antigua's Curtain Bluff Resort.  The setting is pure magic with private pools overlooking the ocean and the finest of simple pleasures. Depending on the number of guests attending, you may even opt to rent out the entire resort! 

     

    Hidden Gem no. 4: Azul Villa Carolla

    The Azul Villa Carola is a well-kept secret just waiting to be discovered.  Located next to the Azul Beach Boutique Hotel on a stretch of pristine, white-sand beach, you'll enjoy the privacy of a luxe villa vacation, with the service of a five star resort and in-house butler. If you're jetsetting with just a few close friends to bear witness, up to twelve guests can spread out in this 10,700 square foot haven with an idyllic master bedroom and dozens of fabulous amenities. 

     

    Hidden Gem no. 5: Sugar Ridge in Antigua

    If breathtaking views paired with the charm of a boutique hotel sound right up your alley, Antigua's Sugar Ridge is a must-see!  This stylish and romantic setting features an Aveda Concept Spa and special perks for brides, grooms, and honeymooners.  

    Learn more about booking a destination wedding at one of these hand-picked venues over at DestinationWeddings.com.

     

    0
  • DestinationWeddings.com gives us the inside scoop on five resorts off the beaten path (expert advice)
    photo by DestinationWeddings.com
    Sponsored by DestinationWeddings.com

    Searching for the perfect, out-of-the-way location for your destination wedding? We chatted with the experts at DestinationWeddings.com to discover five incredible resorts that you've likely never heard of. From boutique hotels to private islands to luxe villas, put these on your list to explore before you make your final decision.  

     

    Hidden Gem no. 1:  Petit St. Vincent

    When we say hidden, we mean really hidden. Why not say 'I do' on the private island of Petit St. Vincent?  This tiny Grenadine Island is home to lush rolling hills and white sand beaches. Think seclusion and serenity, a perfectly suited paradise for taking vows.  

     

    Hidden Gem no. 2: El Dorado Maroma

      

    Go for intimacy and relaxation by choosing El Dorado Maroma to host your big day. This boutique hotel in Riviera Maya, Mexico is surrounded by secluded beaches and awe-inspiring views.

     

    Hidden Gem no. 3: Curtain Bluff in Antigua

    Sit in the lap of luxury at Antigua's Curtain Bluff Resort.  The setting is pure magic with private pools overlooking the ocean and the finest of simple pleasures. Depending on the number of guests attending, you may even opt to rent out the entire resort! 

     

    Hidden Gem no. 4: Azul Villa Carolla

    The Azul Villa Carola is a well-kept secret just waiting to be discovered.  Located next to the Azul Beach Boutique Hotel on a stretch of pristine, white-sand beach, you'll enjoy the privacy of a luxe villa vacation, with the service of a five star resort and in-house butler. If you're jetsetting with just a few close friends to bear witness, up to twelve guests can spread out in this 10,700 square foot haven with an idyllic master bedroom and dozens of fabulous amenities. 

     

    Hidden Gem no. 5: Sugar Ridge in Antigua

    If breathtaking views paired with the charm of a boutique hotel sound right up your alley, Antigua's Sugar Ridge is a must-see!  This stylish and romantic setting features an Aveda Concept Spa and special perks for brides, grooms, and honeymooners.  

    Learn more about booking a destination wedding at one of these hand-picked venues over at DestinationWeddings.com.

     

    0
  • If you’re looking for something more adventurous than a Caribbean cruise or a trip to Hawaii or Mexico, consider one of these exotic honeymoon destinations that take the concept of “exotic” to a new level. Naturally, you’ll have to do your homework to find the perfect fit for you and your new spouse, and careful planning is crucial. Still, couples rave about these out-of-the-way places, and a honeymoon at any one of the following ten locations will provide memories to last a lifetime.

    EXOTIC HONEYMOON COUNTDOWN:

    1. Belize. From sunset cruises to caving, rappelling, kayaking and exploring Mayan ruins, you’ll find plenty to do in this Central American exotic honeymoon, which CNN dubbed an “up-and-coming” destination for newlyweds. Belize is also a haven for birders, eco-travelers and snorkelers, with both jungle and beachside accommodations available. Book an all-inclusive package on the shore of the Caribbean, or add an excursion into the rainforest to get a feel for the diversity of wildlife. 

    2. Patagonia. What could be more exotic than a honeymoon at the bottom of the world? You’ll be based at the tip of South America, and can trek out to see penguins, glaciers, lakes and the beautiful Andes Mountains. This is about as far as you can get from lounging on the beach, so get ready for serious hiking and rustic accommodations. (If you don’t want to rough it, there is a nice selection of upscale properties, spas and golf resorts as well.) To round out your honeymoon, take a trip to Buenos Aires or book a cruise around Antarctica.

    3. Kenya. Looking at wildlife doesn’t get any more exciting than this exotic honeymoon spot! If you choose to take a safari, you can still get lodging at deluxe resorts along the way. Even the smallest accommodations often have “honeymoon tents” to make the experience romantic and private. Take day trips into local game reserves, mingle with the natives or venture to Mombasa for a day at the beach. For a spectacle you’ll never forget, see the wildebeest migration in the Masai Mara in October, when upwards of two million animals are present in the grasslands.

    4. Seychelles. Located off the eastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean are the magnificent Seychelles Islands, a tropical paradise that is a perfect exotic honeymoon destination. The beaches here have been called the most beautiful in the world, and the Seychelles are never as crowded as other island destinations can be. Hike through the forest, take a helicopter tour, try surfing, or explore nature. Mahe Island is the most populated and boasts several luxury resorts, many with private villas and spa services.

    5. India. Imagine taking an elephant-back or Jeep safari into the jungle, seeing ancient temples and other historic wonders, wandering through forest reserves teeming with wildlife, or relaxing on the country’s beautiful beaches. For an unforgettable exotic honeymoon, travel by rail, taking a one-week trip on the luxurious Palace on Wheels, which highlights the history and cultural heritage of Rajasthan. There are plenty of other luxury resorts throughout the country, too, as well as lower-priced properties and even accommodations for backpackers.

    6. Thailand. Nestled in the heart of Southeast Asia, Thailand is fast becoming a popular destination for exotic honeymooners. It offers an abundance of luxury hotels with top-notch spa services, lovely beaches and plenty to do, from snorkeling to boating to touring the jungle. Make sure Bangkok and Phuket are on your itinerary, and don’t miss the Grand Palace complex with its Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Plan to spend an afternoon at Safari World in Bangkok, a 150-acre marine park with live shows and a wide variety of animals.

    7. Bora Bora. On the South Pacific island of Bora Bora, five-star accommodations range from luxury hotels to resorts featuring over-water bungalows with glass floors. If such high-end lodgings exceed your budget, you can find mid-priced properties and even campsites on the island. The area’s most beautiful feature is the storied azure Bora Bora lagoon, where you can jet ski, snorkel, scuba, windsurf, swim or tour aboard a glass-bottomed boat. Explore the Lagoonarium, or take an Aqua Safari to get close to the tropical fish and other marine life.

    8. Mauritius. Off the coast of Africa, the island of Mauritius boasts pristine lagoons and coral reefs, beautiful beaches, breathtaking nature reserves and diverse cultures. The French influence is strong, with French colonial architecture dominating in the capital of Port Louis. There’s no language barrier, however, as most residents speak English in addition to French. Don’t miss a tour of the mountain in Domaine les Pailles, the museum at Mahebourg or a walk to the falls in Black River Gorges National Park. There is a good selection of upscale lodgings, so plan to be pampered.

    9. Zanzibar. An exotic honeymoon on the Indian Ocean will give you access to other exotic spots, such as Tanzania's Spice Islands, Pemba Island (a scuba diver's haven); or Mafia Island, with its coral reef and marine park. Options include a safari where you’ll be flown to different stops, then set out on your own or with a guide to see the wildlife. Don’t miss historical Stone Town, recently named a World Heritage Site. For an added treat, visit Tanzania’s Gombe National Park where Dr. Jane Goodall centered her efforts to protect chimpanzees.

    10. Egypt. If you think that all you’ll see in Egypt is pyramids and mummies, think again. You can take a hot air balloon ride over Luxor, snorkel in the Red Sea (reputed to be one of the best diving spots), take a sunset cruise on the Nile or simply enjoy an exotic beach vacation at a luxury resort. Don’t overlook the pyramids, or the wonderful museums full of antiquities. Travel by camel through the desert and stop at the ancient quarry at Aswan to see where granite monuments have been carved for the last 5,000 years.

     

    1
  • When you are seeking a honeymoon destination, Portugal may not be the first place that comes to mind. You may be surprised to know, however, that Portugal offers a wonderful mix of beaches, historical sites, golf courses, parks, adventure, and – for those who want them – luxurious accommodations. From the beautiful Choupana Hills Resort and Spa, located on the island of Madeira, to the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz in Lisbon, you are sure to find lodging to suit the most discriminating taste.


     


    Portugal Honeymoon: Lodging

     


    For a change of pace, consider staying in one of the government-run pousadas, which are accommodations intended to highlight the architecture, history, culture, and cuisine of the country. You can choose to lodge in castles, monasteries, convents, palaces, fortresses, or ancient estates, each providing a unique look at the region in which it is located. Be sure to ask about packages that entitle you to special rates at one or more pousadas.


     


    If you decide to base your Portugal honeymoon in Lisbon, there is no shortage of things to see and do. Several magnificent museums (the Museum of Ancient Art, the National Carriage Museum, Gulbenkian Museum, and the Museum of Decorative Tiles, to name a few) are located throughout the city. Don’t miss the incredible Jeronimos Monastery, a World Heritage Site built in 1502 and housing the body of explorer Vasco da Gama, and St. George’s Castle, the city’s most popular tourist destination. To get a great overview of Lisbon, take a tour on Tram 28, a popular way to see the city. And plan to visit Lisbon’s excellent restaurants, which serve up fabulous seafood and often stunning views. If offbeat films are your thing, take in the Indie Lisboa, Lisbon’s international independent film festival that draws independent filmmakers from around the world. It takes place each April.


     


    Portugal honeymoon: Things to do!

     


    There is much for honeymooning couples to do in the nearby town of Sintra. A day trip to Sintra will provide you with the opportunity to take a romantic ride in a horse-drawn carriage, stroll the gardens at the National Palace, or take a boat ride down the palace’s canal lined with decorative tiles. On the second and fourth Sundays of the month, the Fair of São Pedro takes place in Sintra, and you can wander through the market and shop for unique products.


     


    If sightseeing in the city isn’t really your thing, and you’d rather experience beaches and all the sporting opportunities they offer, consider a specific seaside destination. Although there are almost 600 miles of coastline in Portugal, the southern beaches of Algarve are among the most popular. In addition to stunning beaches, Algarve has luxury resorts, small fishing villages, excellent golf courses, and a variety of cafes and restaurants.


     


    Activities to choose from in Algarve include hang gliding, rock climbing, hot air balloon rides, caving, zip lining, trekking, Jeep touring, mountain biking, sailing, surfing, fishing, and cruising along the coastline. There are also casinos located in Algarve, so plan a visit and try your luck. In August, the Silves Medieval Fair is the perfect place to bask in the Moorish history of the area. Dress up like a knight or lady and have fun!


     


    If you really want to get away from it all, consider a visit to the Berlengas Reserve, an hour’s journey by boat from the fishing village of Peniche. The underwater reserve contains beautiful barrier reefs and caves for divers to explore, as well as a few shipwrecks. Surfing and windsurfing are also popular in this area, and birders will appreciate the large variety of seabirds to be found on the islands.


     


    Even farther afield are the Azores, islands located about two hours (by air) from Lisbon. There are nine islands in the archipelago, and they provide a perfect spot for whale watching, swimming with dolphins, Jeep tours, hiking, fishing, boating, diving, golfing, or just relaxing on the beach (although sandy beaches are less prevalent than rocky ones due to the volcanic origin of the islands). If you are in the Azores in October, don’t miss the Angra do Heroismo International Jazz Festival. Jazz artists come from all over the world to take part in the three-day festival, one of the country’s top events.


     


    Food and wine lovers should consider the options for wine and culinary tours of Portugal, which are varied and perfect for a honeymoon. Day excursions, weekend tours, and ten-day luxury honeymoon packages are available and will allow you to sample the regions’ wines and cuisine. Boa viagem!


     

    0
  • DestinationWeddings.com gives us the inside scoop on five resorts off the beaten path (expert advice)
    photo by DestinationWeddings.com
    Sponsored by DestinationWeddings.com

    Searching for the perfect, out-of-the-way location for your destination wedding? We chatted with the experts at DestinationWeddings.com to discover five incredible resorts that you've likely never heard of. From boutique hotels to private islands to luxe villas, put these on your list to explore before you make your final decision.  

     

    Hidden Gem no. 1:  Petit St. Vincent

    When we say hidden, we mean really hidden. Why not say 'I do' on the private island of Petit St. Vincent?  This tiny Grenadine Island is home to lush rolling hills and white sand beaches. Think seclusion and serenity, a perfectly suited paradise for taking vows.  

     

    Hidden Gem no. 2: El Dorado Maroma

      

    Go for intimacy and relaxation by choosing El Dorado Maroma to host your big day. This boutique hotel in Riviera Maya, Mexico is surrounded by secluded beaches and awe-inspiring views.

     

    Hidden Gem no. 3: Curtain Bluff in Antigua

    Sit in the lap of luxury at Antigua's Curtain Bluff Resort.  The setting is pure magic with private pools overlooking the ocean and the finest of simple pleasures. Depending on the number of guests attending, you may even opt to rent out the entire resort! 

     

    Hidden Gem no. 4: Azul Villa Carolla

    The Azul Villa Carola is a well-kept secret just waiting to be discovered.  Located next to the Azul Beach Boutique Hotel on a stretch of pristine, white-sand beach, you'll enjoy the privacy of a luxe villa vacation, with the service of a five star resort and in-house butler. If you're jetsetting with just a few close friends to bear witness, up to twelve guests can spread out in this 10,700 square foot haven with an idyllic master bedroom and dozens of fabulous amenities. 

     

    Hidden Gem no. 5: Sugar Ridge in Antigua

    If breathtaking views paired with the charm of a boutique hotel sound right up your alley, Antigua's Sugar Ridge is a must-see!  This stylish and romantic setting features an Aveda Concept Spa and special perks for brides, grooms, and honeymooners.  

    Learn more about booking a destination wedding at one of these hand-picked venues over at DestinationWeddings.com.

     

    1
  • DestinationWeddings.com gives us the inside scoop on five resorts off the beaten path (expert advice)
    photo by DestinationWeddings.com
    Sponsored by DestinationWeddings.com

    Searching for the perfect, out-of-the-way location for your destination wedding? We chatted with the experts at DestinationWeddings.com to discover five incredible resorts that you've likely never heard of. From boutique hotels to private islands to luxe villas, put these on your list to explore before you make your final decision.  

     

    Hidden Gem no. 1:  Petit St. Vincent

    When we say hidden, we mean really hidden. Why not say 'I do' on the private island of Petit St. Vincent?  This tiny Grenadine Island is home to lush rolling hills and white sand beaches. Think seclusion and serenity, a perfectly suited paradise for taking vows.  

     

    Hidden Gem no. 2: El Dorado Maroma

      

    Go for intimacy and relaxation by choosing El Dorado Maroma to host your big day. This boutique hotel in Riviera Maya, Mexico is surrounded by secluded beaches and awe-inspiring views.

     

    Hidden Gem no. 3: Curtain Bluff in Antigua

    Sit in the lap of luxury at Antigua's Curtain Bluff Resort.  The setting is pure magic with private pools overlooking the ocean and the finest of simple pleasures. Depending on the number of guests attending, you may even opt to rent out the entire resort! 

     

    Hidden Gem no. 4: Azul Villa Carolla

    The Azul Villa Carola is a well-kept secret just waiting to be discovered.  Located next to the Azul Beach Boutique Hotel on a stretch of pristine, white-sand beach, you'll enjoy the privacy of a luxe villa vacation, with the service of a five star resort and in-house butler. If you're jetsetting with just a few close friends to bear witness, up to twelve guests can spread out in this 10,700 square foot haven with an idyllic master bedroom and dozens of fabulous amenities. 

     

    Hidden Gem no. 5: Sugar Ridge in Antigua

    If breathtaking views paired with the charm of a boutique hotel sound right up your alley, Antigua's Sugar Ridge is a must-see!  This stylish and romantic setting features an Aveda Concept Spa and special perks for brides, grooms, and honeymooners.  

    Learn more about booking a destination wedding at one of these hand-picked venues over at DestinationWeddings.com.

     

    0
  • DestinationWeddings.com gives us the inside scoop on five resorts off the beaten path (expert advice)
    photo by DestinationWeddings.com
    Sponsored by DestinationWeddings.com

    Searching for the perfect, out-of-the-way location for your destination wedding? We chatted with the experts at DestinationWeddings.com to discover five incredible resorts that you've likely never heard of. From boutique hotels to private islands to luxe villas, put these on your list to explore before you make your final decision.  

     

    Hidden Gem no. 1:  Petit St. Vincent

    When we say hidden, we mean really hidden. Why not say 'I do' on the private island of Petit St. Vincent?  This tiny Grenadine Island is home to lush rolling hills and white sand beaches. Think seclusion and serenity, a perfectly suited paradise for taking vows.  

     

    Hidden Gem no. 2: El Dorado Maroma

      

    Go for intimacy and relaxation by choosing El Dorado Maroma to host your big day. This boutique hotel in Riviera Maya, Mexico is surrounded by secluded beaches and awe-inspiring views.

     

    Hidden Gem no. 3: Curtain Bluff in Antigua

    Sit in the lap of luxury at Antigua's Curtain Bluff Resort.  The setting is pure magic with private pools overlooking the ocean and the finest of simple pleasures. Depending on the number of guests attending, you may even opt to rent out the entire resort! 

     

    Hidden Gem no. 4: Azul Villa Carolla

    The Azul Villa Carola is a well-kept secret just waiting to be discovered.  Located next to the Azul Beach Boutique Hotel on a stretch of pristine, white-sand beach, you'll enjoy the privacy of a luxe villa vacation, with the service of a five star resort and in-house butler. If you're jetsetting with just a few close friends to bear witness, up to twelve guests can spread out in this 10,700 square foot haven with an idyllic master bedroom and dozens of fabulous amenities. 

     

    Hidden Gem no. 5: Sugar Ridge in Antigua

    If breathtaking views paired with the charm of a boutique hotel sound right up your alley, Antigua's Sugar Ridge is a must-see!  This stylish and romantic setting features an Aveda Concept Spa and special perks for brides, grooms, and honeymooners.  

    Learn more about booking a destination wedding at one of these hand-picked venues over at DestinationWeddings.com.

     

    0
  • If you’re looking for something more adventurous than a Caribbean cruise or a trip to Hawaii or Mexico, consider one of these exotic honeymoon destinations that take the concept of “exotic” to a new level. Naturally, you’ll have to do your homework to find the perfect fit for you and your new spouse, and careful planning is crucial. Still, couples rave about these out-of-the-way places, and a honeymoon at any one of the following ten locations will provide memories to last a lifetime.

    EXOTIC HONEYMOON COUNTDOWN:

    1. Belize. From sunset cruises to caving, rappelling, kayaking and exploring Mayan ruins, you’ll find plenty to do in this Central American exotic honeymoon, which CNN dubbed an “up-and-coming” destination for newlyweds. Belize is also a haven for birders, eco-travelers and snorkelers, with both jungle and beachside accommodations available. Book an all-inclusive package on the shore of the Caribbean, or add an excursion into the rainforest to get a feel for the diversity of wildlife. 

    2. Patagonia. What could be more exotic than a honeymoon at the bottom of the world? You’ll be based at the tip of South America, and can trek out to see penguins, glaciers, lakes and the beautiful Andes Mountains. This is about as far as you can get from lounging on the beach, so get ready for serious hiking and rustic accommodations. (If you don’t want to rough it, there is a nice selection of upscale properties, spas and golf resorts as well.) To round out your honeymoon, take a trip to Buenos Aires or book a cruise around Antarctica.

    3. Kenya. Looking at wildlife doesn’t get any more exciting than this exotic honeymoon spot! If you choose to take a safari, you can still get lodging at deluxe resorts along the way. Even the smallest accommodations often have “honeymoon tents” to make the experience romantic and private. Take day trips into local game reserves, mingle with the natives or venture to Mombasa for a day at the beach. For a spectacle you’ll never forget, see the wildebeest migration in the Masai Mara in October, when upwards of two million animals are present in the grasslands.

    4. Seychelles. Located off the eastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean are the magnificent Seychelles Islands, a tropical paradise that is a perfect exotic honeymoon destination. The beaches here have been called the most beautiful in the world, and the Seychelles are never as crowded as other island destinations can be. Hike through the forest, take a helicopter tour, try surfing, or explore nature. Mahe Island is the most populated and boasts several luxury resorts, many with private villas and spa services.

    5. India. Imagine taking an elephant-back or Jeep safari into the jungle, seeing ancient temples and other historic wonders, wandering through forest reserves teeming with wildlife, or relaxing on the country’s beautiful beaches. For an unforgettable exotic honeymoon, travel by rail, taking a one-week trip on the luxurious Palace on Wheels, which highlights the history and cultural heritage of Rajasthan. There are plenty of other luxury resorts throughout the country, too, as well as lower-priced properties and even accommodations for backpackers.

    6. Thailand. Nestled in the heart of Southeast Asia, Thailand is fast becoming a popular destination for exotic honeymooners. It offers an abundance of luxury hotels with top-notch spa services, lovely beaches and plenty to do, from snorkeling to boating to touring the jungle. Make sure Bangkok and Phuket are on your itinerary, and don’t miss the Grand Palace complex with its Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Plan to spend an afternoon at Safari World in Bangkok, a 150-acre marine park with live shows and a wide variety of animals.

    7. Bora Bora. On the South Pacific island of Bora Bora, five-star accommodations range from luxury hotels to resorts featuring over-water bungalows with glass floors. If such high-end lodgings exceed your budget, you can find mid-priced properties and even campsites on the island. The area’s most beautiful feature is the storied azure Bora Bora lagoon, where you can jet ski, snorkel, scuba, windsurf, swim or tour aboard a glass-bottomed boat. Explore the Lagoonarium, or take an Aqua Safari to get close to the tropical fish and other marine life.

    8. Mauritius. Off the coast of Africa, the island of Mauritius boasts pristine lagoons and coral reefs, beautiful beaches, breathtaking nature reserves and diverse cultures. The French influence is strong, with French colonial architecture dominating in the capital of Port Louis. There’s no language barrier, however, as most residents speak English in addition to French. Don’t miss a tour of the mountain in Domaine les Pailles, the museum at Mahebourg or a walk to the falls in Black River Gorges National Park. There is a good selection of upscale lodgings, so plan to be pampered.

    9. Zanzibar. An exotic honeymoon on the Indian Ocean will give you access to other exotic spots, such as Tanzania's Spice Islands, Pemba Island (a scuba diver's haven); or Mafia Island, with its coral reef and marine park. Options include a safari where you’ll be flown to different stops, then set out on your own or with a guide to see the wildlife. Don’t miss historical Stone Town, recently named a World Heritage Site. For an added treat, visit Tanzania’s Gombe National Park where Dr. Jane Goodall centered her efforts to protect chimpanzees.

    10. Egypt. If you think that all you’ll see in Egypt is pyramids and mummies, think again. You can take a hot air balloon ride over Luxor, snorkel in the Red Sea (reputed to be one of the best diving spots), take a sunset cruise on the Nile or simply enjoy an exotic beach vacation at a luxury resort. Don’t overlook the pyramids, or the wonderful museums full of antiquities. Travel by camel through the desert and stop at the ancient quarry at Aswan to see where granite monuments have been carved for the last 5,000 years.

     

    1
  • When you are seeking a honeymoon destination, Portugal may not be the first place that comes to mind. You may be surprised to know, however, that Portugal offers a wonderful mix of beaches, historical sites, golf courses, parks, adventure, and – for those who want them – luxurious accommodations. From the beautiful Choupana Hills Resort and Spa, located on the island of Madeira, to the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz in Lisbon, you are sure to find lodging to suit the most discriminating taste.


     


    Portugal Honeymoon: Lodging

     


    For a change of pace, consider staying in one of the government-run pousadas, which are accommodations intended to highlight the architecture, history, culture, and cuisine of the country. You can choose to lodge in castles, monasteries, convents, palaces, fortresses, or ancient estates, each providing a unique look at the region in which it is located. Be sure to ask about packages that entitle you to special rates at one or more pousadas.


     


    If you decide to base your Portugal honeymoon in Lisbon, there is no shortage of things to see and do. Several magnificent museums (the Museum of Ancient Art, the National Carriage Museum, Gulbenkian Museum, and the Museum of Decorative Tiles, to name a few) are located throughout the city. Don’t miss the incredible Jeronimos Monastery, a World Heritage Site built in 1502 and housing the body of explorer Vasco da Gama, and St. George’s Castle, the city’s most popular tourist destination. To get a great overview of Lisbon, take a tour on Tram 28, a popular way to see the city. And plan to visit Lisbon’s excellent restaurants, which serve up fabulous seafood and often stunning views. If offbeat films are your thing, take in the Indie Lisboa, Lisbon’s international independent film festival that draws independent filmmakers from around the world. It takes place each April.


     


    Portugal honeymoon: Things to do!

     


    There is much for honeymooning couples to do in the nearby town of Sintra. A day trip to Sintra will provide you with the opportunity to take a romantic ride in a horse-drawn carriage, stroll the gardens at the National Palace, or take a boat ride down the palace’s canal lined with decorative tiles. On the second and fourth Sundays of the month, the Fair of São Pedro takes place in Sintra, and you can wander through the market and shop for unique products.


     


    If sightseeing in the city isn’t really your thing, and you’d rather experience beaches and all the sporting opportunities they offer, consider a specific seaside destination. Although there are almost 600 miles of coastline in Portugal, the southern beaches of Algarve are among the most popular. In addition to stunning beaches, Algarve has luxury resorts, small fishing villages, excellent golf courses, and a variety of cafes and restaurants.


     


    Activities to choose from in Algarve include hang gliding, rock climbing, hot air balloon rides, caving, zip lining, trekking, Jeep touring, mountain biking, sailing, surfing, fishing, and cruising along the coastline. There are also casinos located in Algarve, so plan a visit and try your luck. In August, the Silves Medieval Fair is the perfect place to bask in the Moorish history of the area. Dress up like a knight or lady and have fun!


     


    If you really want to get away from it all, consider a visit to the Berlengas Reserve, an hour’s journey by boat from the fishing village of Peniche. The underwater reserve contains beautiful barrier reefs and caves for divers to explore, as well as a few shipwrecks. Surfing and windsurfing are also popular in this area, and birders will appreciate the large variety of seabirds to be found on the islands.


     


    Even farther afield are the Azores, islands located about two hours (by air) from Lisbon. There are nine islands in the archipelago, and they provide a perfect spot for whale watching, swimming with dolphins, Jeep tours, hiking, fishing, boating, diving, golfing, or just relaxing on the beach (although sandy beaches are less prevalent than rocky ones due to the volcanic origin of the islands). If you are in the Azores in October, don’t miss the Angra do Heroismo International Jazz Festival. Jazz artists come from all over the world to take part in the three-day festival, one of the country’s top events.


     


    Food and wine lovers should consider the options for wine and culinary tours of Portugal, which are varied and perfect for a honeymoon. Day excursions, weekend tours, and ten-day luxury honeymoon packages are available and will allow you to sample the regions’ wines and cuisine. Boa viagem!


     

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