Travel Tuesday: Honeymoon Tips For Intrepid Couples
January can be a bleak month, with many of us experiencing the post-Christmas blues. At this time of year, we can’t help but notice the holiday adverts on the TV, whisking our minds off to high adrenaline snowsports and exotic holidays in the sun. For couples planning their weddings, now might be a good time to take a break from the details of the ceremony and reception, and start thinking about the honeymoon. If you’re the type of couple who would rather see the great migration of the Serengeti than lie next to a pool for days on end, then this post from our guest blogger Sam Hathway is for you…
Adventurous honeymoons for globe-trotting couples
When it comes to planning a honeymoon, couples definitely fall into two camps. Many couples plan their honeymoons last minute, with funds that are left over from an already-stretched wedding budget. By this point stress levels have reached a zenith and all the happy couple will want to do is relax – on a beach or by a pool, in a romantic resort, with the hardest decisions being which sun lounger or cocktail to choose. But for some couples, a honeymoon is an opportunity to experience a new culture, realise a long-held dream to visit a far-flung Wonder of the World, or enjoy an amazing activity-packed holiday. If you fall into the latter category, here are some ideas you may want to consider, to make your honeymoon something you’ll remember forever, looking back on with awe and wonder….
The jungles and beaches of Borneo
Borneo is an amazing far-flung destination, with so many things on offer – from snorkelling in some of the best dive spots in the World to visiting indigenous jungle villages and glamorous beach resorts. Nature lovers should definitely make a trip to Turtle Island in Borneo, located among three islands 40km north of the main island, Sandakan. Famous for both its green turtles and hawksbill turtles, tourists can visit the largest island of Selingan and not only learn all about conservation efforts but also see baby turtles hatch and watch them heading out to sea for the first time, a truly amazing spectacle for newlywed couples to witness. For the best weather, visit Borneo between March and the end of September, so this location is perfect for summer weddings.
Ancient ruins of Machu Picchu, Peru
If hiking and visiting historical sites is your thing, then you should head to the Sacred Valley in Peru, home to the Incan citadel of Machu Picchu. One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu is located at a soaring height of 7,972 feet above sea level and can be reached by train, coach or by hiking the Inca trails. A must-see for visitors to South America, the sheer awe-inspiring scenery and air of mystery and enchantment surrounding Machu Picchu means that it’s on many people’s bucket list and will certainly be a honeymoon to remember. Think about when you’re visiting – to avoid the crowds as well as the rainiest seasons, visit in either November or April.
Go on safari in Africa
For animal lovers looking for a romantic adventure of a lifetime, Africa has got to be top of the list. From Tanzania – with the great migration of the Serengeti, Mount Kilimanjaro and the Spice Islands of Zanzibar – to the Okvango delta in Botswana and the vast game reserve of Kruger Park in South Africa, Africa has it all. Not only will you be able to take in breath-taking scenery and get close to wildlife that you’ve only seen on wildlife documentaries, but you’ll also experience a unique setting for a daring and exciting honeymoon. Secluded accommodation, dining under the stars in the African bush and a hot balloon ride at dawn over the reserve will all ensure your honeymoon is not only an amazing adventure for you both, but also wonderfully romantic and the memory of a lifetime. Deciding where to go on safari will depend on a number of factors – seasons and animal migration patterns vary within each African nation and should all be studied carefully before you book.
Activities galore in New Zealand
This has got to be the ultimate long-haul destination for couples who love the great outdoors. It’s compact enough to travel diverse landscapes over an extended honeymoon – from beautiful alpine forests to soaring mountain passes, from secluded beaches to tranquil lakes and from the clean air of glaciers to areas of rugged volcanic activity. On top of all this sublime scenery, a multitude of activities are on offer – including trekking, rafting, bungee jumping, skydiving, paragliding, gorge swinging, heli-skiing and ice climbing – making New Zealand the adventure capital of the Southern Hemisphere. On the North Island, couples can trek the Tongariro Crossing, enjoy kayaking and hiking on the Coromandel Pensinula, before heading to the geysers and geothermal baths of Rotorua and the luminescent Waitamo Caves. The South Island offers serene, remote beaches as well as rainforest on the West Coast, trekking on the Routeburn and Milford tracks as well as hell hiking and ice climbing on Fox Glacier in Westland Tai Poutini National Park. Don’t worry if you need to chill out, there’s nothing more Zen than practicing yoga overlooking Lake Wakatipu. For the best weather, time your booking for the summer months of December through to March.
See the Northern Lights in Iceland
Less than 3 hours flight time from the UK, the ‘land of fire and ice’ offers an amazing playground for adventurous couples. Not only does Iceland offer breathtaking scenery in an other-wordly landscape created by incredible geothermal and volcanic activity, but it also offers an amazing range of activities for the intrepid traveller. Hike across two continents at Reykjanes, one of the few places in the world you can traverse the rift between the Eurasian and the North American tectonic plates; bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters of the Blue Lagoon; go whale watching from Husavik; see inside a magma chamber at Thrihnukagigur Volcano and try lava caving at Mariuhellar Caves. As you can see, in Iceland thrill seekers are truly spoilt for choice, however the number one attraction takes place above the landscape, where at the right time of year visitors can witness a truly celestial event: the Northern Lights. The best time to visit is during the Icelandic summer, between June and August, when you can experience 24 hours of daylight. However, if you’re hoping to be enchanted by the Northern Lights, it’s best to time your visit between September and March.
On a final note, for those headed to sunnier climes, no matter how action-packed your honeymoon may be, there will be some downtime, so don’t forget those luxury items – a glamorous hat, an elegant cover up and some glam Seafolly swimwear. Good luck with the planning – I hope these ideas will inspire you and help you plan the honeymoon of your dreams!
About the author…
Sam Hathway is a blogger based in the south of England. A Mum, Wife, Daughter, Sister and Best Friend, Sam loves all things lifestyle – from weddings, fashion and the Holy Grails of beauty to travel and party planning. She is the first port of call for many friends planning their weddings, a task she’s more than happy to help with!