Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe that it’s 2012 already – where did 2011 go? It seems like only the other day I was writing the same post for 2011. The new year is always a good time to start thinking about your travels, and so if you’re just freshly engaged (congratulations!) and starting to think about your honeymoon, or still searching for that elusive destination, let The Honeymoon Project give you a few of our favourite destinations for the year ahead.
Forget Berlin – Europe’s hot city du jour is now definitely Istanbul. With a foot in two continents, the city combines the exoticisim of the East with the classical, traditional charms of the West – think amazing architecture, stunning mosques, exquisite food and bazzaars aplenty to get lost in. Best of all, there’s a fabulous array of places to stay (our tip – choose somewhere with a rooftop terrace from which to soak up the minarets that punctuate the city’s skyline) that are perfect for honeymooners. Check out my hotel recommendations here.
It’s easy to be blasé about the USA. Sure, it’s big, and sometimes brash, but it’s also full of surprises and has enough variation within its borders to keep you visiting for years. Whether you want the beaches and volcanoes of Hawaii, the music and food of the Deep South, the buzz of New York or San Fran, or the wide open spaces of the desert, you’re sure to find something that tickles your fancy here. Plus, though the exchange rate has been better in the past, the cost of flights to the USA and the general price of food/petrol/accommodation (aside from in NYC which is a notoriously expensive place to stay) make it a great choice if you want a long-haul honeymoon on a bit of a budget.
This one feels a little like cheating, as I also included it in last year’s hottest destinations list. So why does Vietnam deserve to be included on this year’s list? Aside from its vast natural attractions, vibrant cities, fascinating culture and mouthwatering cuisine, the main reason to head to Vietnam this year is because Vietnam Airlines has just launched its new direct service from the UK – flying both to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. The country is big enough to keep you occupied for months, but also works brilliantly in conjunction with neighbouring Cambodia (particularly to see Angkor Wat) and/or Laos.
The Indian Ocean is awash with destinations fit for that perfect beach honeymoon, but for something really special that combines fabulous accommodation and amazing beaches with lots to see and do, and, of course, utterly delectable food, then look beyond Mauritius and the Maldives to Sri Lanka. With the political situation a lot more stable, this is a great time to head to the island – many people refer to it as “India light”, so if you’ve always been drawn to India but felt a bit daunted by the prospect, this is a great and easy introduction to South Asia.
Dramatic Namibia makes a truly amazing choice for a honeymoon, particularly if you are looking for something a little bit different, and have already been on safari elsewhere in Africa. Though a trip here can be expensive, the scenery – from the tremendous sand dunes of the Sossusvlei and the remote Skeleton Coast to the dramatic canyons of the south and the fascinating wildlife of Etosha National Park – is absolutely phenomenal, and the country is a great choice if you’re looking for a self-drive honeymoon.