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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
For most couples, the wedding ceremony, reception, and honeymoon create three of the biggest pieces of the matrimonial pie. When calculating your honeymoon budget, you'll be planning on much more than a hotel room and rental car. When you approach your honeymoon budget, consider the following factors:
Before the Honeymoon
Your honeymoon destination will play an important role regarding the costs associated with newlywed bliss. If you're traveling out of the country, passport fees can run you into the hundreds. Expediting the process will cost you an extra $60 per each passport. If you use a travel agent to book your honeymoon, make room for their fees. Many couples book online to save on the cost of travel arrangements. If you own a pet, make an allowance for kennel fees if you don’t have a sitter. Childcare will also cost, even if a relative has graciously stepped up to the plate to help. Additional fees include new clothes for your trip, guidebooks, maps, and travelers' cheque fees.
Most couples on a honeymoon choose to fly the friendly skies to their destination. Calculate the amount that two round-trip airline tickets will cost. Will you rent a car during your stay? Booking online with a website (like Travelocity) will help save you money. They will often ask if you'd like to purchase extra insurance for your rental car. It's suggested to comply. Also, don’t let a glitch in rules and regulations ruin your honeymoon. Research your destination's policy on international driver's licenses – you may need to pay for one. Other honeymoon transportation costs include train tickets, gas, tolls, and taxi fare.
Once again, booking your hotel accommodations online will save a great deal of money. In some cases, the flight and hotel are offered as a package deal for a real money-saving treat. Jot down the amount that a package room deal for the honeymoon suite or any other lodging selection will cost for the number of days you are planning on celebrating the aftermath of your wedding. Don't forget to include anticipated tipping of the valet and bellhop. For cruise passengers, don’t forget to add in the cost of tipping staff, port charges, and tours of local sights.
What honeymoon is complete if you don’t plan on sampling local eats about town? For the number of days during your stay, estimate the costs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Don’t forget to make allowances for nights out (alcoholic beverages) and snacks. Include a bit of cash for tipping staff when eating out.
Activities and Entertainment
A honeymoon should be full of relaxation, cuddling, and fun. Activities and entertainment help elevate your overall experience. Wherever you wind up for your honeymoon, I bet you'll venture outside of your hotel room at least a couple of times. Local attractions are a draw for honeymooning couples who love taking photos of themselves floating on Venice waters or visiting the State Hermitage Museum in Russia. However, these sightseeing adventures come with a price. Set aside money in your budget for:Tours Admission fees to local attractions Activity charges (like golfing, snorkeling, and scuba diving) Equipment rental (like surfboard, skis, and mopeds) Gambling, when applicable Nightlife (drinks, comedy clubs, and cover charges)0
Packing for your honeymoon is one of the most exciting parts of wedding planning! If you haven't already, look over your destination information and scan your itinerary to get an idea of just what you'll need to bring along. Be sure to take the climate of your destination into account, as well as the types of activities you'll be enjoying.
To keep things organized, it may be a good idea to pack a separate suitcase for you and your fiancé. If you plan to fly, be sure to check airline restrictions for baggage requirements and pack accordingly. Wheeled luggage will be your best option for easy transport and be sure to stow a change of clothes in your carryon, just in case anything gets lost.
Your must-have travel documents and paperwork should be with you at all times. Tickets, confirmations, and reservation numbers should be kept in one place, traveler's checks in another, and only the credit cards you need in another. Also bring along copies of your insurance policies, medical information, and any medications you'll need while you're gone.
Alter this list according to your destination, but these are the basics for a typical honeymoon:
A pair of jeans.
A couple pairs of shorts.
A light sundress.
A cocktail dress.
3 or 4 casual shirts.
2-piece and one-piece bathing suit with cover-up.
Socks and undergarments.
Sandals or tennis shoes.
Accessories and jewelry.
Your hotel will probably supply shampoo and soap, but remember to pack a cosmetics bag with all the other essentials:
Razors, shaving cream;
Brushes, combs, and hair accessories.
There will be other things you'll need to pack for your honeymoon, depending on your destination. Many things can be bought when you arrive, but it will typically cost you more to buy beach supplies at the beach or hiking supplies in the mountains so it's best to get them beforehand.
Avoid over packing. You'll want to pick up a few souvenirs to remember your honeymoon and you'll need enough space to bring them ba1
Sometime during your wedding planning, it's important that you sneak out and do some shopping for the honeymoon. While you may have already made a list, it's easy to forget important things while you're stressing over the wedding details. Below, you will find some important things you definitely shouldn't forget while shopping.
Shopping for Honeymoon: Apparel
Depending upon where your honeymoon will take place, you may want to pick up an extra outfit or two. Consider purchasing a beautiful dress or skirt suit for an elegant night out and don't forget the shoes and handbag. You may also want to select a comfortable outfit if you will be sight-seeing, hiking or outdoor activities on your honeymoon. Speaking of apparel, surprise your soon-to-be hubby with a sexy negligee which you can model just for him. If you really want to light his flame, add some high heels to match!
Shopping for Honeymoon: Necessities
Along with the clothing, there are other necessities which you will need for your honeymoon. Purchase travel-sized supplies such as shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, bath soap and deodorant. You should probably also pick up extra items such as:
- Disposable razor blades.
- Toothpaste and toothbrushes.
- Dental floss.
- Hair products and brush.
- A small sewing kit for emergencies.
You may want to pick up a small and durable plastic bag to store shampoo and other items which have the potential to leak. Don't forget batteries for your digital camera or camcorder, a few handy snacks for the trip and a power converter if needed. If you will be scuba diving, snorkeling or something similar, you may also need an underwater camera!
Shopping for Honeymoon: Comfort
Depending upon where you're going, there are several things you may need to pickup to ensure your comfort as well as your groom's. For instance:
- Sun block.
- Insect repellant.
- Comfortable walking shoes.
- A sun hat.
- A travel pillow.
- Sun glasses
While you can probably obtain some of these items at your hotel gift shop or after you've reached your destination, chances are you will get it cheaper before you leave. You may also have to deal with your favorite products being unavailable in your honeymoon destination. By using this handy ‘shopping for honeymoon' guide, you can save yourself time and money while you're on your honeymoon.0
Your honeymoon is the icing on the cake - you've spent months planning, had a gorgeous wedding and finally it's time to relax and enjoy yourselves. San Francisco is a colorful and exciting place to spend some special time with your handsome new groom. Good news for you - there are many different ways to enjoy your San Francisco honeymoon.
Your San Francisco Honeymoon: What to Pack
San Francisco is typically sunny with mild weather - in all months. The summer months are warm and pleasant with temperatures in the 70's while the winter months bring temperatures between the 40's and 60's. No matter what time of year your San Francisco honeymoon is, bring a wide range of clothing; pants and a light jacket incase you feel chilly and warm clothing for walks on the beach.
Don't forget a dressy outfit or two for dinners and outings. A camera is a must and since there are so many different things to do in this city, some extra cash for spending and cabs is a good idea.
San Francisco Honeymoon: Where to Stay
When your honeymoon takes place in San Francisco, you have many different options for lodging. If you want to take advantage of the vacation and pamper yourself while you're on honeymoon, the Edward II is perfect. The Lion's Head junior suites offer a separate sitting room, a 2 person Jacuzzi, in-room massages, manicures and pedicures and much more. For this beautiful option, you're looking at about $179 a night.
To shave off the expenses of a San Francisco honeymoon, try finding a weekly rental cottage or room. These units are usually furnished and the only thing you will need to provide is the food. You can find one in San Francisco for around $800 to $1000 a week!
What to Do in SF!
If you really love the idea of having a range of different activities, the San Francisco honeymoon is perfect for you! From visiting the timeless Haight-Ashbury corner and putting flowers in your hair to riding the trolleys or enjoying a day at a relaxing spa, there are so many options. Visit Ghirardelli square and the ice cream parlor to spend some time together enjoying the most delicious sundaes and ice cream in the world.
If pampered is what you want, visit In-Symmetry on 26th street to enjoy hot stone massages, facials and much more! Book a tour so you can see the highlights of the area and learn a bit as well. Before you leave, you have to get a view of the Golden Gate Bridge - make sure you bring your camera for this event!
A honeymoon destination in San Francisco is sure to create some lasting and beautiful memories for you and your brand new spouse - so enjoy!0
After the wedding, it’s finally time to relax! With a Niagara Falls honeymoon destination, you and your groom are able to get away from it all, spend some great quality time together and enjoy being husband and wife. With breathtaking views and plenty of things to do, this is a great honeymoon destination for any couple!
Niagara Falls Honeymoon Packages
One of the best things you can do if you plan on honeymooning in Niagara Falls is purchase an all-inclusive package. Because this is such a popular place to spend a honeymoon, major hotels have created packages for couples that are romantic and complete. It’s also a great way to save money on your honeymoon. For instance, some hotels include the room price, meals, champagne and strawberries, shuttle passes and attraction discounts or coupons.
If you’re just about budgeted out after the wedding, this is a great way to see one of the most beautiful sights in the world and save money. Check on honeymoon packages with features that suit you and your husband best.
What to Pack
If your Niagara Falls honeymoon will be in the middle of summer, you will need light clothing such as shorts and t-shirts. Bring a few dresses or skirts to enjoy dinners out with your new husband. You may also want to bring a light jacket incase you feel a chill. Niagara Falls honeymoons in spring or fall will require a jacket, longer pants and probably a few sweaters.
Clothing that you can layer is a good idea in these seasons as the temperature varies. In winter, a thick coat, gloves, hat and scarf are all must-haves. Be sure to bring a camera to capture the beauty of the falls – whether you’re on the American or Canadian side!
Things to Do
Because Niagara Falls is such a tourist attraction, there are many different things to do. Check out the strange records and displays at Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum or try your luck at the Casino Niagara. A favorite among tourists and honeymooners alike is the Maid of the Mist boat ride – which takes all day and costs less than $20 at most times. The IMAX Theater will provide you and your hubby with some exciting entertainment and fun – while the butterfly conservatory will inspire wonder and enchantment!
Be sure to bring your birth certificate and identification with you so nothing will get in the way of you and your sweetheart enjoying the perfect honeymoon destination in Niagara Falls!0
You take your hobby seriously. Your spouse shares your obsession. Lolling on the beach sounds boring, and you can’t imagine what could keep you busy for a week on a traditional cruise. Well, take heart: There are honeymoon options out there to fit both your personality and your passion, so you can both spend your time doing what you love best. Here are just a few of the possibilities:
Following a spring wedding, what could be more fun for fans than a honeymoon full of baseball games? You could pick a location where spring training is in progress and hang out for a week, attending games, seeing the sights, and enjoying the weather. Or take the first steps toward a lifetime goal of attending a game in every Major League stadium. Granted, this can lead to a hectic schedule and a lot of traveling, but start with one area of the country and add more stadiums on future trips. Be sure to bring your camera to document your experience, and budget some extra cash for souvenirs (and peanuts and Cracker Jack!).
If riding the rails is a source of fascination for both you and your partner, consider a journey by train. The possibilities are almost endless, and you can enjoy luxurious surroundings almost anywhere in the world. Consider Rovos Rail in Africa, where you can book a luxury suite aboard the train; a Romance by Rail vacation on VIA Rail Canada, where the staff will even serve you breakfast in bed; the elegant Palace on Wheels train through Rajasthan, India; or take Amtrak’s Coast Starlight line from Los Angeles to Seattle for spectacular scenery. You can also take a series of shorter train rides, stopping off between routes to sightsee and wine and dine.
You’ve watched all those poker tournaments on TV and even joined in some hot games yourself. Now you and your partner can combine poker and traveling for an exciting honeymoon adventure you won’t soon forget. Poker cruises are all the rage right now, and most feature poker seminars, poker lessons, tournaments, and a separate poker room where you can play until dawn. Check out the World Poker Showdown for cruises and affordable poker in the Caribbean, or Card Player Cruises, which schedules poker cruises from Alaska to Southeast Asia. If you get tired of playing cards, disembark when the ship is docked and act like regular tourists!
If you’re not content to stop dancing after your first dance as man and wife, keep on dancing through the honeymoon! Options include programs such as Ballroom Vermont, where you stay at a lovely hotel and take ballroom dancing classes every day in foxtrot, waltz, swing, rumba, tango, and cha-cha. You can also get private lessons. Dance Camp Las Vegas is another possibility, where you’ll spend a week at a Vegas hotel and enjoy intensive dance instruction, plus a show with dance professionals and competitions. If you’d like to dance while afloat, investigate dance cruises, some of which have a particular focus such as swing or line dancing.
Surely you’ve heard of geocaching by now, and you may even be hard-core fans, so pack up your GPS system – and extra batteries – and head out for a geocaching honeymoon. You can pick one general location to geocache (San Francisco, for example) or try your treasure-hunting skills at several spots around the world. You can even geocache from a port where your cruise ship docks. Need details? See www.geocaching.com for instructions, clues, and upcoming worldwide geocaching events. For some heavy-duty caching, plan to attend GeoWoodstock, the once-a-year gathering that has become the world’s largest geocaching event. (This event is usually held in May, and the venue changes from year to year.)
We all like to eat, but what could be more romantic than a culinary honeymoon where you do the cooking? Contact a major cooking school in the United States or abroad, then sign up for a cooking class. For example, the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City offers three- to five-day classes in everything from pastry making to ethnic cuisine, and you can spend your time off seeing the city. Or book a reservation at a culinary resort such as the Inn at Essex in Vermont, home to the New England Culinary Institute. Luxury cooking vacations are also available, so you can learn to create the cuisines of Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, or Thailand by traveling there and sampling each city’s culture along with its food.
In most parts of the world, food and wine go naturally together, but if you are a connoisseur specifically interested in wine, there are plenty of honeymoon options available. Check online for a list of fabulous wine cruises around the world that include wine education, private winemaker dinners, wine tasting, and visits to top-rated portside wineries. Or plan your own trip to one of the world’s best-known wine regions: Napa and Sonoma, California (be sure to take a ride on the Napa Wine Train); Tuscany, Italy (time your visit around one of the local festivals); the Marlborough region of New Zealand (known especially for its Sauvignon Blanc); France (you can use Paris as your home base); Argentina (see the Mendoza Province wine country); or South Africa (plan to stop in Stellenbosch, Paarl, or Constantia).
If we don’t have to convince you that birding is a fabulous way to spend your time, then a birding honeymoon is for you. You can do it practically anywhere, so it’s easy to combine a birding trip with sightseeing and exploring the local cultural attractions. You can get an all-inclusive package to a foreign destination or sign on with a stateside birding tour group and add some more North American species to your life list. WINGS Birding Tours offers worldwide trips plus specialized excursions like the Birds and Music tour to Austria, the Birds and Shakespeare Festival tour to Oregon, the Birds and Art tour to Provence, and the Birds and Medieval Monasteries tour of Romania. Accommodations are not likely to be luxurious, but they’ll be comfortable and you’ll have a blast.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