Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe that 2011 is already upon us….in fact it’s only the obscene amount of chocolate, cheese and wine I’ve consumed over the last two weeks that’s really bringing it home to me. We saw in the New Year in Paris, where we stayed in this wonderful apartment in beautiful Montmartre – not a bad way to kick off the year, really.
To start the year off, I thought I’d share with you a few of my favourite choices for honeymoons in 2011 – I’ve purposely tried to stay away from the more traditional destinations (the Maldives, Mauritius, Italy, Thailand, Bali….), and of course this list is by no means exhaustive.
Encompassing gorgeous beaches and islands, lush countryside and vibrant cities, it’s no surprise that Brazil is one of the hottest destinations right now – and conveniently, it’s the easiest country in South America to reach from the UK. Though there’s plenty to see here, it’s also great combined with Argentina (think tango in Buenos Aires and delicious wines in Mendoza), and don’t forget to head up to the undeniably impressive Iguazu Falls.
If you’ve already been to Thailand and are looking for something similar, but decidedly different, then Vietnam makes a great choice. Don’t underestimate it’s size – you’ll want a good couple of weeks (at least) to explore the whole length of the country, or you could perhaps combine the history of Hanoi with the dramatic beauty of Halong Bay and atmospheric Hoi An, before heading to the laid-back beaches of Phu Quoc Island in the south.
One of the biggest reasons for visiting this Central American beauty is its amazing wildlife – the biological diversity of the country is truly outstanding, and there are few places where you can guarantee seeing as much as you can here. In addition, you’ve got an incredible range of landscapes, from volcanoes and cloud forests, to idyllic beaches and national parks. Parts of the country can feel a little like an American playground, but with a bit of research you’ll have no trouble finding somewhere perfect. If you’re looking for a package honeymoon then this is also a great choice – check out companies like Thomson and First Choice.
Long a favourite with backpackers and adventure junkies, New Zealand is well worth considering if you’re not put off by the long flight, or if you have a bit more time to spare to make the most of it. The outstanding scenery is what you come to New Zealand for – mountains and glaciers, fjords and forests, vineyards and islands….all complemented by some really fantastic, small places to stay. For more inspiration, check out Olivia’s real honeymoon.
Europe is awash with beautiful beaches, and while you could go to the Cote d’Azur, the Amalfi Coast or the Greek Islands, you’d be silly to ignore what’s right on our doorstep, even if the weather is utterly unpredictable. The eco-hotel The Scarlet got everybody talking last year, and quite rightly too – if its sea-view rooms, log-fired hot tubs and acclaimed restaurant don’t tempt you then I’m not sure what will – and proved that staying at home has really never been cooler.