(Editor’s note: Dispatches does not receive a fee for these honeymoon recommendations.)
May and June are traditionally popular months to tie the knot. And the best way to start a happy ever after married life is the honeymoon. Nearly as much thought is given to a romantic destination as is to the wedding itself.
So, the question is, “Where to go?” The choice is endless from exotic islands to locations a bit closer to home, i.e. Europe.
Italy and Spain are ideal and we have compiled a list of the best locations including some resorts and hotels that have special honeymoon offers.
Romance, honeymoon and Italy frequently combine to bring one destination to mind: Venice. But, we are looking at honeymoons in the summer months here. So by all means, choose Venice if you must, but be warned! There are a few unpleasant things to consider that may make your very special holiday less than
First is the heat.
Venice gets very hot in the summer, and overcrowded with tourists. What little breeze may come in may, if you are unlucky, smell very bad. Rotting garbage, overflowing sewers and algae in the canals can certainly cause a problem. Add to this sky-high prices and your budget may be exhausted before you are even a few days into your honeymoon.
There are much more pleasant locations in Italy that will tick the boxes. Everybody will have their preferences, but certainly honeymooners will want sunshine, warm but not sweltering weather, water, be it the sea or a large lake, great food and lovely accommodation without breaking the bank.
Milan and Lake Como
Let’s start with a special honeymoon package (8 nights) that includes Milan and Lake Como.
If you fancy to start your honeymoon with a bit of sightseeing, art, architecture and shopping, Milan is an ideal destination. From there you make your way 90 kilometers north to idyllic Lake Como in Lombardy, where you find a large expanse of water, the scent of flowers, lemon and orange trees and no sewage. You’ll also find lovely promenades and excursions on the water plus a hotel that ticks all the boxes.
It may not be gondolas that cross the lake and opera singing gondolieri, but Como has plenty of romance without heat and tourist crowds.
This trip is available from 1 April to 24 October. For quotes, choice of hotel and itinerary.
Italy’s Amalfi coast is a 25-mile stretch of coastline that extends from the Gulf of Naples to the Gulf of Sorrento. In between are countless towns and villages, one more enticing than the next.
The star among them is no doubt Positano. The same company that offers the Lake Como package also has one for the Amalfi Coast and Capri. (No honeymoon in the south of Italy without at least a day trip to
This is for enterprising honeymooners who want to do a bit more than just lazing on a beach (you can do that too, Positano features the longest beach of the Amalfi Coast) because this includes a day trip to Pompeii.
For itinerary and price quotes, fill out this form.
Tuscany, Borgo Pignano, Volterra
This destination lies in the heart of Tuscany and I can recommend from personal experience. Not because I spent my honeymoon there, but when I visited to enjoy truffle hunting, my fellow guests were a couple who did and freely shared their experiences with me.
The hotel Borgo Piganano is a luxury country hotel, set l in its own vineyard, orchards,woods and farms. What it lacks in rivers or beaches it makes up with an ample swimming pool and spa. The nearest town is Volterra, and you can walk or ride there on a bicycle provided by the hotel.
Historically interesting is nearby San Gimignano, where my new found friends actually got married. They didn’t even have to travel for their honeymoon.
Here is the link to more information about the hotel and to make price enquiries.
Everybody speaks English and the nearest airports are Milan or Florence.
Spain is an equally lovely country for a honeymoon, with many destinations on the mainland, as well as on the islands, to choose from. Beautiful weather, sea, beaches and fabulous food will leave you with lifelong happy memories.
We will skip the big cities such as Barcelona and Madrid because sightseeing all day long is not really what a honeymoon is about. Instead we will suggest some of the really great and romantic locations in Spain.
Mallorca, Andalusia, Cadiz, Sevilla and Nerja.
Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands, with a great variety of landscapes, from flats to mountains, sheltered harbors and no less than 262 beaches. Sunshine practically year round, even at the height of summer, a breeze from the Mediterranean makes it pleasant and fresh. Sure, the island is a tourist hotspot. But, believe it or not, there are still a few quieter locations, the further north on the island you go.
My favorites for romantic places on Mallorca are Alcudia and Puerto Polenca. Luckily, there are also some very reasonable honeymoon packages available.
If you want to relive a great romantic story, head for Valldemosa on Mallorca and the Cartuja, where composer Chopin and writer George Sand spent 12 days of (unmarried) passion and creativity in the winter of 1838/9, creating the first ever “Love Island.” Sand even claimed they put Mallorca on the map.
Don’t be put off because this love affair did not end well. Of course, it doesn’t mean yours won’t: You might not want to stay at their refuge, but the Hotel Sa Vall in Valledemosa, a former stately manor house, is as luxurious as it is romantic.
Exploring the open air swimming pool, extensive gardens and tramuntana mountains make a nice occupation to spend the day before it’s time for dinner and the famous wines of the island.
The south of Spain is mostly comprised of Andalusia, considered by many as the essential Spain and rightly so. From Malaga to Cadiz you find the famous Costa del Sol there with the hotspots Marbella and Puerto Banus, white villages in the background that tumble done the mountainside to golden beaches, resorts and the sea with a view of Africa and Gibraltar in the foreground.
Not to forget the historical cities of Granada and Seville, full of Moorish and Christian architecture,
flowers and trees.
A symphony of art, culture and flamenco, paellas, tapas and of course, wines and spirits. My favorite place in the area is Nerja, aka as the balcony of Europe and because of the town’s proximity to the awesome caves of Neja.
There are honeymoon offers too … just take a look here.
If you feel that the Mediterranean is too tame for you and you prefer the somewhat rougher landscape and wilder beaches of the Atlantic, head for beautiful Cadiz at the other end of Spain and plan for a day trip to Jerez for the horses and for the many bodegas to taste sherry. I tell you, once to enter one of these, the fumes that emanate for the huge, wooden barrels alone are enough to make you
Have you made your choice yet?
Read more about getting married here in Dispatches’ archives.
Inka Piegsa-Quischotte is an international attorney-turned-travel and lifestyle writer based in Spain. She has contributed to BBC/Travel, several in-flight magazines, TripSavvy (Spain) and TravelAwaits among many other publications.