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Weddings > Top Ten Honeymoon Destinations

TOP TEN HONEYMOON DESTINATIONS
By Archana Nathwani, Travel Counsellor (August 2006)

Venice. Romantic Italy comes in at number 9 in the Top Ten Honeymoon Destinations.Some people know where they want to go honeymoon even before they knew who they were going to marry. If you're still in the deliberating stage, our top ten honeymoon hotspots could well be the first step to your idea of paradise! The Travel Counsellors top ten honeymoon destinations are in descending order: Mauritius, Seychelles, Barbados, Jamaica, Maldives, Thailand, Antigua, Italy, Saint Lucia and Dubai. Here, Archana Nathwani, Redhotcurry.com's Travel Counsellor explains why...



Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations
1. Mauritius
2. Barbados
3. Maldives
4. Antigua
5. St Lucia
6. Seychelles
7. Jamaica
8. Thailand
9. Italy
10. Dubai

1. MAURITIUS HONEYMOON

It is no wonder that Mauritius is our number one honeymoon destination. If it's sandy white beaches, crystal clear seas and some of the most romantic and exclusive retreats in the world you are looking for then look no further!

Located in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius features thickly wooded mountain peaks above sugar cane plains and all this on an island that is sheltered by barriers of coral reefs forming natural, crystal clear lagoons. A unique feature of the landscape is the extinct volcanoes scattered around the island. The history of the island and its cultural variety blend to form a glorious mixture of the Indian, Chinese and Creole religions and cuisine.

The varied landscape, deluxe hotels such as the famous Le Saint Geran and Le Touessrok combined with the watersports facilities along its stunning beaches make Mauritius an ideal location for a magical honeymoon.

2. BARBADOS HONEYMOON

If you're looking for a Caribbean island with plenty of amenities, watersports and nightlife then Barbados is a good choice. Sometimes described as the 'Little England' of the Caribbean, Barbados has taken some English customs, such as cricket and horse races, and made them all its own. The Bajan people live life to the full and are renowned for their warmth and hospitality, making for an all-round carnival atmosphere.

The island's famous west coast has white sandy beaches and warm turquoise water as well as hotels offering the last word in luxury. South of the capital, Bridgetown, the coast boasts foaming surf and beaches lined with palm trees; making it a favourite with windsurfers and beachlovers alike. If you want a honeymoon on a sandy beach where there's plenty to do in the evening Barbados could be for you.

3. Maldives Honeymoon

The Maldives are a group of tiny coral islands located in the Indian Ocean, due west from the southern tip of India. There are over one thousand of the islands in total, all surrounded by fine white sand beaches and beautiful crystal blue seas. It is no surprise then that this stunning destination is a favourite with honeymooners.

But it's also a good choice for couples if one or both of you wants to be a bit more active too - the shallow waters make it one of the top dive locations for both beginners or experts and tuition is available too. Temperatures average around 85 degrees year round, making this peaceful paradise a wonderful honeymoon haven.

4. ANTIGUA HONEYMOON

Life on the Caribbean is famously slow, but on the island of Antigua time almost seems to go backwards. The island has 365 beaches - one for each day of the year. Part of the Leeward Islands, Antigua has some of the best watersports in the Caribbean along with fabulous reefs and wrecks for diving and snorkelling.

Neighbouring Barbuda is an even quieter, single village island which is undeveloped and likely to remain that way due to its frigate bird population. The birds prefer the northwest lagoon, leaving the rest of the island's white and pink sand beaches to those lucky enough to visit.

Barbuda can be reached from Antigua by a 20 minute flight or a three hour boat trip. Antigua and Barbuda have among the driest climates in the whole Caribbean region, making them a popular choice for honeymooners who want (almost) guaranteed sunshine.

5. ST LUCIA HONEYMOON

An archetypal island paradise famed for its natural beauty, St Lucia offers much more than just a beach holiday.

The island features dramatic natural scenery, including the twin volcanic peaks of the Pitons in the southwest. A must see for visitors is the entrance to the La Soufriere volcano with its bubbling sulphur hot springs, which are rich in minerals. Bananas are big business on the island and as well as its luxuriant rainforest St. Lucia features an abundance of banana plantations.

The main beach areas are on the northwest coast about 20 minutes drive from the capital, Castries. Here the beaches are relaxed, there is fun nightlife and the harbours and villages have a laid back West Indian atmosphere.

What's more there are lots of secluded coves and beaches - making it perfect for lovestruck honeymooners!

6. SEYCHELLES HONEYMOON

The lush tropical islands of The Seychelles are idyllic with their glorious white sand beaches and sparkling blue waters. Rich vegetation includes coconuts, mangoes and bananas and the islands are a natural habitat for a range of wildlife such as giant tortoises, turtles and rare birds and plants. The spectacular tropical fish make snorkelling and scuba-diving popular activities. The best way to get a true feel of the Seychelles is to island-hop, from Mahe, the main island boasting a coastline of 68 beaches and coves to the tiny island of Curieuse, only one square mile in area.

The numerous uncrowded islands make this a perfect setting for those seeking a natural environment with peace and tranquillity. If you're looking for that unspoilt tropical paradise thousands of miles from anywhere, the Seychelles is a perfect choice. Aside from palm-fringed beaches and superb snorkelling and diving, there's also plenty of forested wilderness filled with an abundance of wildlife.

7. JAMAICA HONEYMOON

The laid back pace on the Caribbean's third largest island makes it an ideal place for honeymooners looking to unwind after all the stresses and excitement of their big day.

The island features picture postcard powder soft beaches, blue waters, lush green mountains and beautiful waterfalls. If you do have the energy to move from your sun lounger then there is excellent snorkelling and scuba diving. More adventurous couples could even try taking a raft trip down the Rio Grande or climbing the famous Dunns River Falls. And if you're really getting into the reggae vibe you could even pay a visit to Nine Mile - Bob Marley's childhood home, and also his last resting place.

All inclusive holidays are a popular option on Jamaica with some fantastic couples-only resorts ideal for newly-weds .Or you could even opt for your own secluded villa with private beach!

8. THAILAND HONEYMOON

The popularity of dual centre honeymoons which combine a busy city itinerary with a relaxing beach stay goes some way to explain why Thailand features among our top ten honeymoon destinations.

Many honeymoon couples opt for a busy three or four nights in bustling Bangkok before getting away from it all with a relaxing stay on one of the country's many idyllic beach resorts.

In Bangkok there is a wealth of sightseeing to experience; which might include standing at the feet of a giant golden Buddhist statue, a visit to a glittering temple and of course visiting the unique experience which is the notorious nightlife strip - and tourist attraction - that is Patpong.

Thailand's coastline and islands are hard to beat with glorious sun-soaked, white sandy beaches lapped by crystal clear warm waters. The beaches are ideal for swimming and snorkelling and many of the deluxe hotels also offer a good selection of watersports.

Couples looking for nightlife to accompany their beachlife might like to try Phuket and Pattaya, while for a quieter holiday the islands of Koh Samui and Phi Phi might be worth considering.

9. ITALIAN HONEYMOON

What could be more romantic than gliding down the canals of Venice with your loved one in a gondola? Well, when it comes to romance Italy offers plenty of other options for newly-weds.

The tiny city state of Florence has an awesome reputation for its art, scholarship and architecture. The old city, which is compact enough to be walked around, is a treasure trove of culture and has an intimate atmosphere all its own.

Or why not combine a city break to bustling Rome with a break on the Italian coast or in its beautiful countryside? It is said of Romans that: "They speak with their fingers, sing with their lips, make love with their eyes and rejoice with glasses and forks." After a hard day's sightseeing why not take yourselves off to a small Italian restaurant and enjoy a cosy candlelit dinner for two.

But newly weds might choose to skip the city completely and head straight for the beach. Italy offers some of Europe's best, including the spectacular Lazio, Argentario and Cilento. Or how about a break in its beautiful countryside visiting ancient hilltop towns and tasting the wonderful regional cuisine.

Whichever option you choose, Italy promises an unforgettable honeymoon.

10. DUBAI HONEYMOON

Dubai is one of our most popular holiday destinations and it is not difficult to see why. Along with year round sunshine, soft sandy beaches and tax free shopping the destination features what are without doubt some of the world's most exclusive hotels.

If money is no object you might fancy a stay at the Burj Al Arab - the world's tallest all suite hotel. Designed to resemble a billowing sail the hotel soars to a height of 321 metres and dominates the Dubai coastline. Guests can benefit from a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce, a private reception desk on every floor and a brigade of highly trained butlers who provide round-the-clock attention.

A popular choice is the five star Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Built to look like a breaking wave, it has its own private beach and is situated next to the Wild Wadi Water Park.

Or why not opt for the more relaxed atmosphere of the Ritz-Carlton Dubai, located on the white sandy beaches of Jumeirah. It features a wonderful swimming pool where a sensor detects you swimming by and sets off the sound of beautiful bird song.

But there's more to Dubai than just fabulous hotels. One of its highlights is the Gold Souks, where gold glistens in the windows of endless rows of shops. Shopping here is a must - the duty free status of the city means there are plenty of bargains to be found.

And the more adventurous might fancy a trip on a dune buggy - where a driver whizzes you up and down mountainous sand dunes at breakneck speed.

A stay in Dubai combined with a holiday in Mauritius or the Maldives is proving to be one of our most popular honeymoon choices.

 

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