By Rebecca Lee
Roses are red, violets are blue….we all know how it goes. But what happens if you end up saying “I do” before or after Valentine’s Day? When and where will you tie the knot? Who should you invite to witness those all important nuptials and just how much are you looking to spend?
So many of us can get caught up in the hustle and bustle in the run up to the big day that we often don’t have the time to plan what’s going to happen after we’ve said those very important vows. Let’s face it we all deserve a romantic break to begin marital bliss once we’ve put a ring on it!
No idea where to go to feel the love? Here are the top five most ‘rose mantic’(see what we did there!) honeymoon destinations for 2014, according to online travel agency BudgetAir.ie
Thailand is Asia’s primary travel destination and offers a host of stunning places to visit. It’s estimated around sixteen million travellers visit this beautiful holiday hotspot each year to experience its pretty islands, Buddhist temples, shopping markets and authentic street food. Spend time with a loved one in luxurious hotels and spas and indulge in a spot of swimming in crystal clear waters for some ultimate post wedding relaxation.
Top Thailand honeymoon attractions:
Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn)
The impressive 19th century silhouette of Wat Arun’s towering spires is one of the most recognised in Southeast Asia.
The Grand Palace & Wat Prakeaw
The 18th century Grand Palace and Wat Prakaew command respect from all who have walked in their sacred grounds.
The Floating Market
The pioneer of all floating markets, Damnoen Saduak continues to offer an authentic foodie experience despite its increasingly touristy atmosphere.
Chinatown is a colourful, exotic and pleasingly chaotic area, packed with market stalls and probably the highest concentration of gold shops in the city.
Khao San Road
If Bangkok is a city where East greets West, then Khao San Road is the scene of their collision: sleek clubs playing sophisticated sounds, eclectic market stalls, converted VW cocktail bars, and foods tamed to suit the Western palate.
2. San Francisco
Arguably one of the most beautiful spots in the US to visit, San Francisco has everything for newlyweds who want an action packed break. The shopping, the food, the weather and the Northern Californian way of life hold immense romantic appeal for those who visit.
Top San Francisco honeymoon attractions:
The Golden Gate Bridge
In fairness, how could you miss it! The most famous bridge in the world manages to impress even the most experienced travellers with its stunning 1.7-mile span. It’s estimated that around 120,000 automobiles drive across it every day!
Alcatraz is a MUST! The notorious former prison is located on an island of the same name in the middle of San Francisco Bay. Though several tried, no inmate ever made a successful escape from “The Rock.” The prison was closed in the 1960’s and stories about Alcatraz are legendary.
3. Johannesburg & South Africa
Third on our lover’s list, South Africa is a diverse and incredibly beautiful country. For deserts, picturesque gardens and stunning coastlines South Africa has it all! It’s estimated this huge country is the size of France and Spain combined. SA truly is a great spot for newlyweds with a sense of adventure and a craving for sunshine.
Top 5 Johannesburg and South Africa honeymoon attractions:
The Apartheid Museum
Johannesburg’s top must-see attraction chronicles one of humanity’s most shameful chapters in vivid detail. Great museums make you think and provoke discussion – in this regard, the Apartheid Museum is most successful.
Nelson Mandela National Museum
Nelson Mandela’s former house in Soweto is now one of the most popular and worthwhile points of interest in South Africa.
Discover the joys of South Africa’s award-winning wines and cuisine along any of the beautiful Cape wine routes, taking you through green valleys and historic towns.
The Garden Route
Known as South Africa’s Eden, the famous Garden Route traverses an area rich in natural beauty and charm, attracting adventure-seekers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Kruger National Park
This world-renowned park of nearly 2 million hectares features 16 ecosystems. Spot the Big Five on a 4×4 game drive or walking safari with your loved one.
4. Jakarta & Indonesia
Perhaps one of the more unusual honeymoon destinations, the Indonesian archipelago spreads over 5200km between the Asian mainland and Australia and comprises of seventeen thousand islands! Visit for its ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity, fascinating customs and lifestyles! Couples heading here on Honeymoon can be assured of a good conversation starter post ceremony! While there why not indulge in a spot of shopping in the glamorous malls, see colonial-era relics, upscale neighbourhoods and slums spread beneath a soaring skyline.
Top 5 honeymoon attractions in Jakarta and Indonesia:
Relax and unwind from the hectic of travels at Lake Toba, swim in the largest volcanic lake in the world on lazy afternoons and have a long massage after then followed by a good meal to end the day.
Go there with your open heart and mind despite and catch a get the glimpse of real beauty. Experience idyllic beaches, misty treks across volcanoes, and laidback coasts. At night you can even set out for a party or two to celebrate tying the knot along the Kuta night clubs!
Located 40 km northwest of Yogyakarta on Java, the Borobudur is the one of the most famous Buddhist temples in the world, built over 75 years in the 8th and 9th centuries.
Lombok’s most popular tourist destination, the Gili Islands are an archipelago of three small islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. The islands are very relaxed and laid-back, with countless little beachside cafes still playing reggae and no cars or motorbikes to disturb the peace.
5. Cancún, Mexico
Last but not least if you’re looking for some serious romantic fun why not visit Cancún.
Cancún is the ultimate city for a post wedding celebration with your precious love! Top that off with an amazing beach, five star hotels and the most eccentric dinners and drinks and culture!
Top 5 Cancún honeymoon attractions:
The Temptation Resort
The title says it all really! This resort has simply everything to keep couples amused! During the day at this adult-only Cancun resort, a broad array of sports such as beach volleyball; beach soccer; water polo; ping pong, and water basketball will keep you busy. In case you are feeling more adventurous, you can use the Hobie Cat, windsurf, scuba diving lessons, and diving activities.
Temptation also has Sensual Fitness with the most intense, fun and sexy workout ever – learn exotic moves, lap dance, floor work, belly dance, walking with confidence, pole dance and choreographed routines (so you’ll have something to tell the grandkids!)
Wannabe divers and snorkelers must – yes, must – head to Cozumel. The Santa Rosa Wall is Cozumel’s most famous dive – you’ll only see one-third of the wall’s amazing sights with one tank. Snorkelers and novice divers should head to the Colombia shallows for great visibility and some of the area’s most spectacular coral formations.
Ruins and natural park admissions are inexpensive. Be sure not to miss the achingly beautiful Tulum Ruins (admission the equivalent of about US$5), which preside on a cliff over a rugged coastline and turquoise waters.
Take a ferry to Isla Mujeres off the coast of Cancún. Check out the sea turtle farm, Isla Mujeres Tortugranja, which serves to protect this endangered species’ breeding grounds and guard the eggs and hatchlings.
Browse the artisan market at Puerto Morelos, a quiet little beach town halfway between Cancún and Playa del Carmen. You’ll find hammocks, fine jewellery, pottery and clothing at much better prices than you’ll see in Playa del Carmen and Cancún.
As featured on TNT24.ie