So your wedding is booked, venue sorted, save the dates have gone out, all there is left to decide is where to go on honeymoon.
Now there are no hard and fast rules as to where newlyweds should go, it’s entirely up to you and your budget. Some chose to spend it relaxing, soaking up the sun and doing nothing. Others prefer to spend it sightseeing, taking in the local culture (depends where you've gone) mixed in with a bit of relaxation. Then you have those adventurous thrill seekers who love nothing more than exploring, being spontaneous, and doing various activities on land, water or sky!
I've picked my favourite top 10 destinations (in no particular order). It’s a mixed bag of places I've been myself vs. my bucket list faves that I'll be posting over the next week or so! I've included images (courtesy of Google and my trusty iphone) as well as links to articles on line that can provide more info and where to stay. Enjoy :)
I've some how managed to make this my regular trip 3 years running! First time was for a hen party and I've not looked back since! Each time I go, I see something totally different that I missed before. It's a beautiful city with lots of culture, history and good food. Guaranteed sunshine if you go in August, but I've been in February and enjoyed 20 degree heat. As it's more of a city break, I would recommend doing a Tuk Tuk tour, that way you get to see more of the stunning city without wearing out your feet! Nightlife is great and no one goes out before midnight! We usually find ourselves by the harbour watching the sunrise just before we head back home to get some shut eye and do it all again!
We visited A LOT of sights in the 4 days we were there. If history, architecture and striking views are your thing, I suggest checking these places out:
* Ajuda Palace (Palácio d'Ajuda)
* Mosteiro de Jerónimos
* Jardins de Belém
* Torre de Belém (Belém tower)
* Mercado de algés
* Cascais waterfront promenade
I'm a bit of a foodie, so when my friend suggest we go to the indoor market for food, I was totally convinced! My experience of indoor markets are fruit and veg stalls, smelly fish and butchers shouting out the latest deals on meat...........total opposite at this market! Well it was evening, so the food stalls had shut, but this food court was impressive! Rows of tables and high benches, a plethora of different types of delicious food to chose from (dirt cheap too!), a bar and live music. It was a great atmosphere ! I highly recommend visiting the indoor market (see link below).
Rooftop bars, for views, food etc ( Recommended by friends that are yet to take me there!)
* Sky bar
* Rio Maravilha
* Rooftop bar
* Memmo Alfama Terrace
Where to stay - As I stop at my friends family apartment when i visit, I've not had to think about accommodation, but I have been told that the below are the best places to lay your head for the duration of your trip.
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Known for it's scuba diving and over water bungalows, Bora Bora is a popular luxury resort destination for many. The French Polynesia islands are home to 118 islands and atolls; including Bora Bora, Tahiti, Moorea and Papeete.
Tahiti and the capital of Bora Bora, Papeete are home to vibrant markets, culture rich museums and fantastic beaches.
When to go - November and April offer fine weather with temperatures ranging between 20- 30 degrees.
How to get there - As there's currently no airlines flying directly to Bora Bora from the UK you have to fly to Tahiti first. From there you can catch a flight using Air Tahiti. These run up to five times a day, and take 50 minutes. Expect to be travelling for some time, so I suggest that if you do plan on visiting this little gem in the Pacific Ocean, go for at least 10 days. That way you will still have 8 days to relax despite losing 2 days to travelling there and back.
Where to stay - With plenty options you can either stay at a resort, hotels or overwater bungalows.
While the best overwater bungalows are at the 4 and 5 star resorts, there are also some budget friendly overwater bungalows. To enjoy the true Bora Bora over water bungalow experience, you will want to stay in one of these. Be expected to spend a little bit more, but no doubt it will be worth every penny.
If being suspended over water isn't your thing then check out The Maitai Bora Bora. This hotel offers simple 'block' style of accommodation.The hotel has it's own small white sand beach, but it doesn't have a pool, gym, spa, or decadent sun-lounges to relax on. A well priced hotel for those on a budget.
The Conrad, the Four Seasons Resort and the St Regis Resort all offer world class luxury with dramatic views. Alternatively you can rent out a house or apartment. Make sure you check out the location thoroughly before booking, as most of them are not in the best locations for getting around Bora Bora.
AirBnB now advertises quite a few options for home-stays in Bora Bora. Before booking, make sure you check its location, and that the host offers help to get you around if it is located on a motu (little island). Otherwise you may find yourself stranded!