Start as you mean to continue: Romantic Honeymoon Ideas

Married or not it's hard not to be jealous of the radiant bubble of loved-up happiness that surrounds newly weds. Onlookers can't help but envy the way they look at each other shamelessly, the hand holding, the door opening, the nuzzling, the public displays of affection... But while it may seem like newly weds are too busy swimming in the pools of each other's eyes to worry about the idyllic beach or spa beside them, choosing the PERFECT honeymoon destination can be a challenge on par with choosing the dress. Luckily the world is full or romantic spots to premiere your marital bliss - never mind the frou frou dress and the bridal march: surely the honeymoon is the real reason to get married!

Let's start with honeymooners classics. Paris is the city of amor with its graceful boulevards and cosy cafes, Venice, its rival to the world's affections with the gondolas and air of mystery, while Sorrento and Positano are sun drenched, bronzed and have a contagious carefree attitude that encourages seaside frolicking and wind-in-your-hair scooter rides for two. Nothing could be more 'right' than honeymooning on Honeymoon Beach, supposedly the most secluded beach in the Seychelles and on a private island resort.

Our 'own private island' is the honeymoon dream of many future bride, and probably grooms too if they're the type to daydream about their wedding. Maui was one of the original island destinations - it was the leis and the drinking out of coconuts that created the impression of being castaways on a desert island together that did it - but today the private island resort is able to offer a much more 'Blue Lagoon' type romance. Turtle Island has an advantage for being the location where 'Blue Lagoon' was filmed, and the resort there is a favourite of privacy lovers like Tom Cruise, but Bora Bora's huts hovering over the water are probably the most famous. This tropical island paradise is so idyllic that American Service men refused to leave the army barracks on Bora Bora at the end of the war and it's fairly certain you won't want your honeymoon here to finish either.
Cousine in the Seychelles sleeps only eight – in luxury - and is also a nature reserve protecting sea turtles who nest here, some of them mate for life; Guana Island is one of the last privately owned islands in the Caribbean and Necker Island, one of the British Virgin Islands, has only luxury room for 28 guests – this is Richard Branson's Caribbean home – so you're sure to find tropical sun, white sand and steamy solitude on all three. For a private island closer to home and more within the budget of most, Scotland's Eilean Shona has one of the nicest beaches in the UK: miles of smooth, pale, footprint-less sands, only four cottages built on it and a ferry service that only lands once a day.

Another way to guarantee ocean rimmed privacy is to rent your own love boat and set sail on an achingly romantic cruise between deserted beaches and quiet coves. Tahiti is the kind of place they set castaway love films, and The Whitsundays has in its group a heart shaped atoll called Heart Reef - almost too perfect for words... Sailing is a nice thing to do with your lover and romance doesn't have to mean mooching over each other all day. Hire a classic car with an open top - preferably in red - and drive aptly named Romantic Road through Bavaria’s picturesque fairy tale castle region or around the lovely-love-story-backdrop Italian lakes: Garda, Iseo and Como. Learn the sultry, physical language of Flamenco together in Andalusia or take your time strolling the Amalfi Coast, the backdrop of small towns climbing the cliffs as the sun sets will keep things amorous, and you can have your things carried on to the next scenic cliff top hotel ahead of you each day.

If the lead up to the wedding has meant you've hardly had a moment alone then a hideaway love nest is in order. Le Pigeonnier in the south of France is a literal lovenest, this unusual 18th Century gite used to be a pigeon barn, before being turned into a light and airy, and very reasonably priced secluded retreat for two. A spiral staircase, exposed beams and bright blue painted shutters add to its unforgettable charm. The Windmill on Santorini has the luxury of a private jacuzzi and massage pool a few hundred metres from a sandy beach, all wrapped in whitewashed windmill shaped charm, with a kitchen garden loaded with figs and veggies and views over Ios, Naxos and Amorgos. And you'll see your in-laws coming from miles off from the roof terrace of La Tour de Calanca, a 15th Century tower with views over the bright blue Corsican coast; it also has its own private beach.
Villa Bournella has almost legendary honeymooner status at the moment; it's designed for lovers: sleek, in wood and stone, and arranged around a sloping infinity pool, it has a sun deck with views over the olive groves and out to sea off Corfu. Of course the bed has a canopy, but the bedroom is also set in a circular tower, and of course the villa has a spa, but it's creatively set under the tower. And the lounge has a home cinema screen, but there's also a giant screen by the pool.

If your intended is a real princess, or the lap you want to be in is the lap of luxury, a castle hotel like Amberley Castle, once belonging to Elizabeth I, with its own portcullis, battlements and moat, or five hundred year old Thornbury Castle, where you can sleep in the boudoir of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, is yet another memorable way to celebrate your nuptials.

But if your intended needs more of a visual prompt, Pink Sands Beach is literally pink and soft, Praslin in the Seychelles is known for both its remoteness and its suggestively shaped double coconuts, and Halong Bay with its tiny beaches and knife like islands has a love poem carved in vast letters into one of its cliffs.

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