Written by Personal Travel Specialist Sherry Welge
When it comes to romantic landscapes, Italy paints the perfect image for a breathtaking honeymoon.
Civilization began in Greece, so a Greek honeymoon to begin a lifetime together makes perfect sense.
But when you combine the two together? Well, that’s a one-of-a-kind honeymoon that deserves to be personalized to uniquely fit you and your significant other.
Let’s start with Italy, “Bel Paese”.
Imagine waking up above the clouds in a walled medieval village; walking along cobbled streets; and enjoying delicious local cuisine. The undulating rolling green hills of Tuscany with its spectacular vineyards and medieval hilltop villages of Umbria. Countrysides sprinkled with olive trees. Villages with abundant stories and history, such as Siena and Assisi. I remember driving from Todi (in Umbria) to a local market one morning and all we could see was a village seemingly floating on the clouds in the distance. Simply magical! Not to mention, one of the many, many things I love about Italy is the Pistachio Gelato in Florence!
Traveling to these regions in September or October offers unique experiences: hunting for white truffles, then participating in an authentic cooking experience with famous local chefs. But if you’re the couple that would rather opt for a sun-splashed getaway during the summer months, Italy can provide you that, too.
Colorful villages sprinkle Italy’s coastline from Cinque Terre to the Amalfi Coast. When I was in Positano, I woke up early in the morning and pushed open the shutters to my balcony to inhale the sweet fragrance of flowers twisting around the portico. I’d sip my strong Italian coffee and gaze at the sailboats and yachts floating in the Mediterranean Sea.
But perhaps some of the most outstanding experiences lie in the islands of Sardinia, Sicily and Capri. You can float in the sparkling azure water at the Blue Grotto, with sunlight streaming through the cave entrance. A place to peacefully enjoy the remainder of your honeymoon, although that’s not where our trip ends.
From Italy, a flight to Greece is approximately one and a half hours.
Athens will be the beginning of your Greek experience. Visit the Acropolis (the beginning of Greek civilization) and the Plaka (the main bustling shopping area). Of course, you can start your romantic travels with island hopping and avoid Athens as a stayover altogether. Greece has over 227 islands to choose from based on your personal desires and activity types. Talk about a personalized honeymoon!
My favorite Greek islands are Santorini, Mykonos and Crete. They all have different personalities and offer different experiences.
Santorini is a volcanic island. If you arrive by boat, you are in the mouth of the Caldera (the opening of a dormant volcano), with white-washed buildings and deep blue skies as a backdrop. Just an amazing sight to behold. Stay at a beachfront resort with its black sand beaches or in the hills overlooking the Mediterranean Sea dotted with sailboats; either choice is stunning. There are many activities to keep you busy – if you wish. Horseback riding on the beach and galloping through the surf is exhilarating. If you want a bit of history, I personally enjoyed excavations at Akrotiri which is believed to be the lost city of Atlantis. Dining in Fira, Santorini provides amazing views of the Caldera with surrounding white houses scattered throughout the mountainside.
Maybe it’s time for some partying and stylish nightlife? Your next island can be Mykonos, with restaurants and clubs galore. The Chora neighborhood is known as “Little Venice” and overlooks the harbor with its 16th-century windmills high atop a hill. Walking food tours would be a great way to experience the local cuisine, adding more memories to your honeymoon experience. A romantic sunset or catamaran cruise can be arranged ahead of time, based on your schedule. You may wish to visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Delos for fun, sun and snorkeling.
My next favorite island is Crete, a very large island known for its famous olive oil production and wine (and there are many walking foodie tours!). Maybe you’d rather seek out the cave of Zeus or an ATV adventure. Visit Chania’s Old Town with a local guide for the sights and sounds of this Cretan town. Heraklion is the capital of Crete and is great for food, shopping and exploring. And let’s not forget the beautiful beaches! I remember having lunch overlooking the harbor with flowering vines covering the ceiling above our heads….and seafood, so much seafood!
So many choices and island personalities await you, honeymooners!
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