Honeymoons for adventurers
The Peak 2 Peak Gondola links Whistler Mountain's Roundhouse Lodge with Blackcomb Mountain's Rendezvous Restaurant. (Richard Sowersby/BBC)
If you are looking for an action-packed honeymoon that shoots your adrenaline levels through the roof (or into shark-infested waters), here are our top picks for budget and splurge-worthy daredevil honeymoons, all over the world.
Europe high budget: St Moritz, Switzerland
Located close to the Italian border and known for stunning mountain and glacier views from the 3,000m-high Diavolezza (which translates to “she-devil”), St Moritz is the December-to-April spot for the swankiest of ski bunnies (Kate and Wills have been spotted schussing down the charming Alpine slopes). After gliding down the majestic peaks all day, the celebratory après ski scene will call for a toast. Be sure to taste the regional glühwein (warmed red wine with schnapps, berries and spices) — and pronounce it gloo-vine to sound like a local. You may want to avoid the British schools’ half-term in February, when families with children crowd the ski chalets. But, whenever you opt to go, stay for at least a long weekend. The Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl is beloved for its panoramic views — and its restaurant is popular for wedding proposals. Hey, it is never too soon to renew your vows.
Europe low budget: Lagos, Portugal
If you have ever wanted to parasail above the Atlantic or horseback-ride under cork oak trees, then you will love Lagos, in the sunny Algarve region of Portugal. While it is becoming increasingly popular for honeymooners, it is still surprisingly affordable — even compared to neighbouring Spain. Drive 45 minutes to Carrapateira on Portugal’s west coast for a surfer’s paraíso, where you can relax in the cliff-top hotels like Mareta View, a boutique B&B. You will need a full week to get the full feel of Lagos and water sports are best enjoyed from June to September.
Americas high budget: Maui, Hawaii
On day one of your Maui honeymoon, get up early to tour the Haleakala Crater at sunrise, then speed-bike down the volcano. (Dress in layers — it is freezing first thing in the morning — and do not forget your camera; your wedding album will have nothing on these photo opportunities.) Use the rest of that day to drive the Road to Hana, and spend a night or two at the Travaasa Hana honeymoon heaven, formerly the Hotel Hana-Maui, where you can start your days with yoga. From there, you can scuba dive around the Molokini Crater, surf in the Kihei section of Maui, or bliss out at the famed luxury golf resorts of Lahaina or Wailea. Summers on Maui are very hot, but you will still feel a breeze. You will need two weeks if you want to check off all of your bucket-list adventures and enjoy some rest and relaxation.
Americas low budget: Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
Skiing and riding in July? Yes, really — and on a glacier at that. Summer glacier runs are best suited for intermediate or advanced athletes, but you do not need to be an Olympic-level skier or snowboarder to feel welcome during Whistler’s winters. In fact, the Whistler Blackcomb Snow School prides itself on offering lessons for all levels and Le Chamois hotel keeps its common outdoor hot tub open 365 days a year. While you are in British Columbia — stay at least a week — schedule some time in striking Vancouver, a two-hour drive away. If you visit in the summer, stay at the Loden Hotel and stop by Stanley Park, which is full of waterfront paths and trails, and an aquarium and nature centre.
Caribbean high budget: Great Exuma, Bahamas
The Sandals Emerald Bay resort, once a Four Seasons, is a main reason why the Bahamas are a honeymoon favourite — especially for scuba-certified couples who appreciate how unusual it is that two dives a day are included in the price. Windsurfing, kayaking and sailing are included, (and the Sandals no-tipping policy does not hurt either). Off their grounds, you will not want to miss snorkelling or cave-diving at Thunderball Grotto. From July to September the average air temperature is steamy and the sea water is at its warmest. One week in Great Exuma is enough to experience the island at its Bahamian best.