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7 alternatives to a beach honeymoon

Honeymoons don't have to include a beach
Honeymoons don't have to include a beach   -   Copyright  Everton Vila / Unsplash
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Your honeymoon should be as unique as you. So why plump for a standard beach holiday when there are so many options out there? From winter wonderlands to sun-soaked jungle safaris, these unusual honeymoon destinations have something for every type of couple.

An adventure honeymoon in Patagonia

For the wild at heart, southern Chile and Argentina have lots to offer. A honeymoon in Patagonia could see you horse-riding in the shadow of jagged mountain peaks, exploring otherworldly landscapes in the World Heritage-listed Los Glaciares National Park or sailing through majestic fjords.

From vast ice fields and soaring blue glaciers to lush green forests and sparkling lakes, this region is packed with spectacular scenery to explore with your new spouse. And if that’s not enough to get your heart pounding, why not try white water rafting or mountain biking?

Eric Carlson / Unsplash
PatagoniaEric Carlson / Unsplash

A cultural honeymoon in Istanbul

The only city in the world to straddle two continents (Europe and Asia), Istanbul is a culture lover’s dream. Lose yourselves in endless winding souks (bazaars) scented with spices; explore the mosaics and minarets of Haga Sophia; or unwind in an opulent Turkish bathhouse. For honeymooners, there are plenty of opportunities to ramp up the romance.

Picking a luxurious hotel is one option (there are plenty to choose from), but you don’t have to splash the cash to charm here. Look out for simple pleasures, like catching a sunset over the Bosphorus strait from Golden Horn Park.

Anna / Unsplash
IstanbulAnna / Unsplash

A historic honeymoon in Egypt

If you’re looking for a honeymoon with history and romance in equal measure, Egypt should be top of your list. Explore the tombs and treasures of the majestic Valley of the Kings by day, and watch these marvels of the ancient world light up as sunset fades into twilight.

Take a camel ride through rolling sand dunes, sip cocktails as you cruise down the gleaming Nile, or fall in love with Cairo’s museums and mosques. Finish up with a trip to the coast to snorkel through clear blue waters.

A winter honeymoon in Northern Finland

Days spent exploring glittering snowy landscapes, and long dark nights to get warm and cosy in: winter honeymoons have a charm all of their own. Take a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finland to sleep under the stars in a glass igloo. If you’re lucky, you might also get to see the Northern Lights dance across the sky.

Other top picks include a visit to Helsinki’s beautiful National Library and a trip aboard an ice-breaker boat.

A foodie honeymoon in Puglia, Italy

Do you take food seriously? Head to Puglia. From ultra-fresh seafood and melt-in-the-mouth pasta to rich red wines and oil from Puglia’s sprawling olive groves, this Italian region is a hotspot for food-lovers, both international and local.

Set in the ‘heel’ of Italy’s boot, it also boasts an enviable location. It’s lapped by clear blue water and ringed by golden sand and rocky cliffs topped with romantic whitewashed buildings. Don’t miss Lecce’s Baroque grandeur and the Itria Valley’s unique trulli (conical stone huts).

An urban honeymoon in Tokyo

If you’re thrilled by exploring bright lights, cutting-edge culture and ancient traditions all at once, head to Tokyo. Japan’s capital has a reputation as a futuristic city, but it also has a deeply romantic side.

While the night away in a tiny, lantern-lit izakaya, try one of the city’s many Michelin-star restaurants, soak in hot springs under the stars, or simply eat your way through the city centre’s street food stalls. If you’re honeymooning in spring, try to catch cherry blossom season, when the city blooms with pale pink petals.

A safari honeymoon in India

Combine a love of nature and each other with a safari honeymoon in one of India’s many national parks. Tigers, elephants and a trip to the Taj Mahal, one of the world’s most famous monuments: what could be better? Other animals you might see include leopards, monkeys and langurs, sloth bears, and a rainbow of bird species (including wild peacocks).

All you have to do once you’re there is sip cocktails under the shade of a secluded banyan tree and listen to the sounds of the forest.

COVID-19 advice

Travel restrictions are currently in place for most countries due to COVID-19. Points of interest and attractions may be closed. Always check websites and government advice before you travel.