Planning your dream international honeymoon: sun escapes

A honeymoon: that special time when you and your partner get to celebrate your marriage and relax after a busy time planning the best wedding ever.

Planning a wedding can be an incredibly stressful time when you consider all the arrangements that need to be made and the various family dynamics that need to be considered. Planning your honeymoon needn’t be as stressful which is why we are sharing some destination inspiration to help you plan your dream international sun honeymoon.

In next week’s story we will share some top snow destinations.

Sun escapes

For sun escapes you can travel a short few hours to Mauritius or take a longer trip to the Caribbean. Think: beautiful beaches, tasty and fresh seafood, clear waters filled with exotic marine life, and lots of time to enjoy each other’s company.

Mauritius

Located 2 000km off the east coast of Africa, and a four-hour flight from Johannesburg, lies the island paradise of Mauritius. To reach paradise, Cape Town and Durban travellers will fly for a little longer.

Mauritius is popular with South Africans because of its rich natural attractions and how close it is to us. It is located just over the tropic of Capricorn and enjoys a tropical climate during summer and a sub-tropical climate in winter.

The island has a rich sugar cane history. Honeymooners can visit the Sugar Museum and Factory to learn about this history, and sample local products such as jams, rums, sugar, and honey.

La Rhumerie de Chamarel is a rum distillery in the south west of the island. A tour of the facility will show honeymooners how rum is made, and allow you to taste the various rums and flavoured jams. The restaurant at the distillery is the perfect place to stop for an authentic Mauritian meal and, among other treats, enjoy a dessert made with the distillery’s rum.

Chamarel 7-Coloured Earth is another great attraction. Its claim to fame is that the earth in this area features seven naturally-appearing colours. Learn about the area’s history, see this natural wonder, and visit giant tortoises. Couple this with a visit to Tamarind Falls – the highest waterfall on the island – for a day well-spent. There are two lookout points, the best being after a short climb.

Views from the adults-only pool at La Plantation d’Albion

Make the honeymoon hassle-free by staying at one of Club Med’s two all-inclusive villages on the island. Both the newly-refurbished 4-trident La Pointe aux Canonniers and the 5-trident La Plantation d’Albion offer a range of water and land activities, and private adults-only zen pools. In addition to the infinity pool, La Pointe aux Canonniers also features a zen bar, and calm beach all for adults-only.

La Plantation d’Albion also offers private, luxury villas for the ultimate luxury sun escape. Staying in the villa means you can enjoy your own private pool and catering services (at an extra cost). You can also enjoy the resort restaurants at no extra cost. How does a private in-villa dinner for just the two of you sound?

Both resorts have a top-quality spa where you and your partner can enjoy various spa relaxation packages. One to try for couples is the 2-day package in which you and your partner will have a duo treatment room to yourselves and therapists will administer four treatments for each of you including a skin scrub, and relaxing leg ritual.

Turkey

In just under 10 hours you can reach the Eurasian nation of Turkey. Temperatures in the Turkish regions vary each season. The coastal regions enjoy Mediterranean temperatures of hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters; the inland regions see dry, hot summers and cold, snowy winters.

As Turkey straddles two continents, honeymooners can enjoy a trip on the Marmaray metro which will allow you to cross two continents underground.

Turkey is home to 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the must-see sites of Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia. Among other things to do here, honeymooners can explore the rock sites of Cappadocia which are naturally occurring ridges and valleys sculpted by erosion. The Göreme Open-Air museum features rock-cut churches and monasteries in the soft Cappadocia stone.

Between the Taurus mountains and the Mediterranean is Club Med Palmiye, Turkey

The Basilica Cistern of Istanbul, the largest surviving cistern in Istanbul, is filled with fascinating history: built by Emperor Justinian I in the 6th century, the cistern was designed to store fresh water for the palace and has stood all of these years. Honeymooners can explore the cistern and you may even see some fish floating around in the waters.

Anyone who enjoys Turkish Delights can vouch for the culinary appeal of Turkey. But, this sweet treat is not the only type of food from Turkey that will delight you. While Turkish Delights can be quite polarising (you either love them or hate them) other Turkish cuisine can be less so. There are sweet and savoury delights for various palettes: think deliciously seasoned kebabs, wonderfully baked simit (a circular bread covered in sesame seeds), Turkish ice cream, Turkish coffee, and so much more waiting to be enjoyed.

There are four Club Med resorts in Turkey; three of which are 4-trident resorts. Choose from the vibrant and fun-loving atmosphere of Club Med Kemer or the more tranquil surroundings and atmosphere of Club Med Palmiye and Palmiye Hotel. Bodrum Palmiye is great for sailing, windsurfing and excursions to UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Dominican Republic

Known for its beaches and mountain scenery, this Caribbean country oozes sun honeymoon appeal. From South Africa it will take quite some time to get there – over 20 hours travel including a stop or two – but this Caribbean paradise is worth the trouble.  Although it can get windy, Punta Cana enjoys a mainly tropical climate meaning it is generally balmy throughout the seasons.

In Punta Cana you will find one of the Caribbean’s longest stretches of white sandy beach; exploring and enjoying this stretch of land meeting sea is an attraction all on its own. Imagine yourselves catching some sun, walking hand-in-hand as the soft sands run between your toes, and listening to the sounds of the sea as the waves crash against the water’s surface. Imagine having these and many more moments enjoying each other’s company in beautiful, natural, Caribbean surroundings.

Golfers will enjoy the selection of golf courses where you can work on improving your handicap. The Corales Golf Course in Punta Cana is an 18-hole wonder designed by golf course architect Tom Fazio. It features a number of oceanfront holes set against cliffs to the Caribbean Sea: it is both scenic and well-designed.

Swimming in the Caribbean Sea in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Exploring the Caribbean Sea by scuba diving Punta Cana allows you to explore the longest coral reef in the Dominican Republic, swim through the popular Astron shipwreck (a ship that split in two after hitting a reef), and see some beautiful, colourful Caribbean fish.

Club Med Punta Cana offers both 4-trident and 5-trident accommodation: the village is a 4-trident resort with a luxury space. The 5-trident luxury space includes concierge services, daily turn down service, priority booking at the speciality restaurant and the spa, a furnished patio, and more.

The exclusive Creative Playground, designed by Cirque Du Soleil, allows all Club Med Punta Cana guests the opportunity to learn acrobatics in a space designed by leaders in the field.

Your honeymoon is special because the two of you get to spend quality time together…alone. Some people choose to go on honeymoon directly after the wedding and some choose to go at a later stage. Whenever you choose to go on honeymoon, do it with Club Med for a hassle-free and romantic time.