Because why pick one location for your trip-of-a-lifetime when you can pick multiple?
Far from the traditional long weekend in Southend-on-Sea, when it comes to postnuptial getaways, today’s newlyweds are going bigger, better and more adventurous than ever before. With ABTA reporting a huge surge in the ‘multi-destination’ honeymoon trend, whereby new couples are increasingly embarking on longer travels in multiple countries at a time, it seems that ‘the big day’ might have just made way for ‘the big trip’.
It’s time to cast the bouquet aside, grab your passports, and escape into the sunset together! Browse the multiple-destination honeymoon picks of the team at dealchecker.co.uk below...
Planning a spring honeymoon? Head to Italy!
Length: Approx. 1 – 1.5 weeks
Cost: Budget Friendly (£1,000-£3,000 for two)
Colourful, chaotic and irresistibly charismatic, Naples is on the rise as one of Italy’s most popular cities for short breaks. Home to the country’s best pizza and gelato outlets, if the way to the heart is through the stomach, Naples has it sussed. Marvelling at the breathtakingly beautiful Cappella Sansevero and Palazzo Reale di Capodimonte is a must for every cultured couple, as is a night at one of Naples’ operas. Locals will tell you that there is no better place for love to bloom than along the seafront stroll from Santa Lucia to Mergellina, which passes through the padlock pledges of lovers on the Lungomare. A song by Neapolitan artist Salvatore di Giacomo states that this stretch of coastline is so romantic, that even the fish make love by moonlight. Suffice to say, many of these amorous fish find themselves served up in oceanfront restaurants along the way… As the sun sets, heat things up by slipping on your dancing shoes and trying out the Neapolitan ‘Tarantella’, a local dance brimming over with passion.
The Amalfi Coast
Italy’s Amalfi Coast is known the world over for its rugged scenery, patchwork hillside towns and sparkling oceans, so it unsurprisingly makes for an idyllic honeymoon getaway. From Naples, the best way to explore is to hire a car and drive along the coast, stopping at Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius along the way of course. From here, the vibrant, clifftop town of Sorrento is only a short distance away, and is a truly seductive destination for a seafront meal and night’s stopover. After Sorrento, the coastline snakes through the gorgeously Italian town of Positano with its multi-coloured houses, and finally reaches the buzzing city of Salerno.
From Salerno, trains to Rome are regular and far easier than driving, so hop aboard and sink into some true Rome-ance. After you’ve spent a day or two taking in the sights of the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and Vatican City, and strolled arm-in-arm through Piazza Navona, head to Trastevere after dark to see it all again, atmospherically lit and full of chattering locals.
Upgrade your trip…
Can’t get enough of the Italian flavour? Why not add to your trip with a few nights in the decadently glamorous Lake Como? This celeb-studded resort is easily accessed via a train from Milan (flights from Rome to Milan are frequent), and is dripping with spectacular scenery, panoramic hiking trails and luxurious hotels.
Planning a summer honeymoon? Jet to Portugal
Length: approx. 1 – 1.5 weeks
Cost: Budget Friendly
With its untamed scenery, dazzlingly blue waters and quaint fishing villages, the Portuguese island of Madeira is an oft-overlooked ocean paradise. Spend your days soaking up rays, soaking in the sea, or taking a leisurely stroll through the shady streets of Funchal. After dark, local seafood restaurants and oceanfront bars throw open their doors. If you’re craving adventure, the island’s Levadas (irrigation channels) provide meandering rambling routes through the hilly landscapes, and the UNESCO protected Laurisilva Forest offers miles of lush foliage and mountainous paths to get lost along together.
If you’re looking for a honeymoon packed full of culture, rich flavours and boundless fun, Lisbon is your stop. With its characterful hills, rickety trams and world-class seafood restaurants around every corner, the Portuguese capital is packed full of cute little backstreets and romantic, candlelit dinner opportunities. The Alfama old town is undeniably the most ruggedly good-looking of the city’s neighbourhoods, and much of its charms can be experienced by hopping on board the number 28 tram and heading uphill. The towering Torre de Belem exudes the effortless beauty that characterises Lisbon, but the city’s true personality can be found in its smallest pleasures – the creamy filling of a Pastel de Nata, the faint strains of a traditional Fado song, and the mysteriously alluring sight of the skyline at sunset.
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If you’ve a few extra nights that need filling, book a flight from Lisbon and head over to another of Portugal’s Atlantic island destinations – The Azores. A craggy archipelago, this cluster of emerald shores is an outdoorsy couple’s dream. From hiking the verdant hills to whale watching, surfing and scuba diving to horse trekking, it’s all here, and then some. The Azores does allow for a bit of chill out time too – sink into natural hot springs, or treat yourselves to a plate of traditional Portuguese tapas in one of Sao Miguel’s copious local eateries.
Planning an autumnal honeymoon? Go Nordic
Length: Approx. 2 – 2.5 weeks
Cost: Budget Friendly
Based in the elegant city of Stockholm, a honeymoon starting in Sweden’s beautiful southern half will have you in the mood for love in no time at all. The city’s wondrously historic old town, Gamla Stan, is by far the best place for romance to blossom, surrounded by some of the most fairytale architecture in Scandinavia. A tradition almost as old as Gamla Stan itself, Fika, the Swedish equivalent of afternoon tea is a great way to shut out the Autumn chill and cosy up together. A slice of history comes in the form of Skansen, Stockholm’s living museum which is also home to a herd of reindeer and sleuth of brown bears. It is little known that Stockholm is actually an archipelago of over 3,000 islands, and although visiting them all may be a stretch for just one honeymoon, hopping across to a few of the nearer ones is a piece of (Fika) cake.
Venturing beyond Stockholm is simple, what with Sweden’s super efficient public transport links to help you on your way. Within easy reach of the city are Sigtuna (Sweden’s official first ever town), the picture-postcard Vasteras on the shores of Lake Malaren and the buzzing university town of Uppsala to name but a few.
After a short flight from Stockholm, you’ll discover Norway’s capital Oslo, and its own unique Nordic flavour. If you’re even slightly interested in Scandinavia’s Viking ancestry, this is the place to indulge yourself, with the Viking Ship Museum and unmistakably Norse-looking locals. The imposing Royal Palace, Munch Museum and Opera House are all highlights of the city, but nothing beats a leisurely boat cruise around Oslo’s ridiculously picturesque fjords and islets for romance. Except perhaps a sunset stroll along the Akerselva River, or table for two at the celebrated Hos Thea Norwegian restaurant perhaps.
Effortlessly chic and mysteriously enchanting, Iceland is one of the must-visit destinations for 2017, and honeymoon travellers are no exception. The easiest way to explore the country’s highlights in a short time period is to fly into Reykjavik (very easily done from Oslo), and use it as a base. The city of Reykjavik itself is well worth getting to know, as compact as it is. Hallgrimskirkja Church and Perlan observatory are ideal platforms if you want a birds-eye view of the skyline, and the country’s past truly comes alive in the Viking Settlement Museum. In the evenings, (which begin at about 3pm in Autumnal Reykjavik), head to Laugavegur Street to find the trendiest restaurants and hippest bars, or book a table at the harbourside seafood restaurant Hofnin – the upper floor affords beautiful views across the bay as the sun sets.
Just outside the city lie all manner of natural wonders, from whale watching cruises that depart the harbour daily, to discovering the geysers and waterfalls of the Golden Circle. Arguably most famous however, is the endlessly inviting and completely otherworldly Blue Lagoon Spa – a honeymooner’s idea of heaven. If all that wasn’t enough, you might even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the northern lights winding their way across the sky – what could be more romantic a setting than that?
Upgrade your trip…
To extend your Nordic experience, why not add a few days into your Norway itinerary and jump on a cruise along the length of the country’s fjords? Cruises typically take between 5 to 7 days, and navigate the glimmering waters of the North Atlantic through Norway’s most beautiful islets, coastlines and secret coves.
Planning a winter honeymoon? Think Alpine
Length: approx. 1.5 – 2 weeks
Cost: Budget Friendly
With its compact city streets and Alpine valley setting, Innsbruck is a real winter wonderland for any honeymooning couple. The city’s old town, or Aldstadt, is by far its most picturesque feature and also home to the beautifully historic ‘Golden Roof’ building, Imperial Palace and teetering clock tower. Experiencing the city from a new perspective is as simple and taking the funicular railway up to a panoramic viewing platform, and gazing across its hotchpotch of rooftops. If the chill is getting in, wander along the river as the sun goes down, and warm up together with a mug of steaming ‘Gluhwein’ in the Aldstadt.
Trains from Innsbruck to Zurich run on an almost daily basis, and are a great way to gawp at some pretty mountain scenery along the way. Far from its reputation as a business-minded, financially driven city, Zurich’s winding backstreets and hidden treasures are just as romantic as Switzerland’s Italian neighbours. Take a walk around Lake Zurich, soak up some culture in the National Museum, marvel at the beautiful Grossmunster church or keep things sweet by poking around the chocolate shops of Bahnhofstrasse. Restaurant Adlisberg is just crying out to be an atmospheric dinner spot, set within a secluded clearing in the city’s lush forest.
Zurich is also only a short train ride away from some of Switzerland’s most enchantingly traditional towns, including effortlessly cute Appenzell and lively St Gallen. If you were feeling particularly adventurous, you could even ride the train over the border into Germany and catch a glimpse of the magical Neuschwanstein Castle.
From Zurich, regular flights will take you to Slovenia’s largely undiscovered capital Ljubljana. This vibrant city is teetering on the edge of popularity, as its enchanting local architecture, buzzing markets and al fresco dining culture become known to more and more eager visitors. Spending a few nights here is a great way to round off a honeymoon, exploring the city’s hilltop castle, crossing its network of ‘dragon bridges’ and dining along the river (weather permitting of course). From Ljubljana, a short bus ride is all it takes to visit Slovenia’s most famous attraction – the fairytale setting of Lake Bled and its castle. If rowing out to the tiny island and hearing the church bell pealing isn’t the way to end a romantic getaway with your one-and-only, we don’t know what is.
Upgrade your trip…
If you have a few days to spare and are eager for more Alpine adventures, why not take the train from Innsbruck to the small, upscale ski resort of St Anton and hit the slopes?
For more travel inspiration and to bag yourself a honeymoon bargain, visit dealchecker.co.uk today.