This article contains affiliate links.
All of the products and brands mentioned in this article are selected by our writers and editors based on first-hand experience or customer feedback. We offer properties from a specially selected list of trusted operators that meet a standard that our readers have come to expect. This article contains links that are ads. When you click on a link and buy a product, we generate income. The income generated will help us support the content of this website and continue to invest in our award-winning journalism.
Covid-19 has devastated the wedding and honeymoon plans of thousands in 2020. There were tears, tantrums, and tiaras – and those were just the travel agents. But with Pfizer and AstraZeneca now on the guest list and restrictions eased, happy couples are starting to reorganize wedding parties. And after all the agony of endless shifts, comes the glorious prospect of vacation satisfaction. You can really only spend so much on buttonholes and canapés. So it’s no wonder that most brides and grooms want to upgrade their first vacation after tying them up.
If you’re planning your honeymoon, you know that starting May 17, the UK government approved quarantine-free holidays in 12 countries and overseas territories – and top of the newlyweds’ wish list among a dozen options are Portugal and Iceland. Grant Shapps, the transport minister, has hinted that this is a gradual easing and that more travel destinations are likely to be added in the coming weeks, with smart money shifting from amber to Caribbean islands like Barbados, Seychelles and European honeypots.
Distant but long-awaited honeymoon destinations in Asia and Africa may take a little longer to go green, but since they offer such extraordinary and exotic experiences, it’s definitely worth the wait. Here is our pick of the best. . .
Main Photo: Amalfi (Getty Images)
Enjoyment on the Amalfi Coast
Nowhere is the Amalfi Coast of Italy more romantic. It’s an intoxicating mix of glamor and rustic simplicity. Open sports cars pull past pastel-colored villages clinging to steep cliffs, black-clad Nonnas underwear in alleys with a view of slim superyachts in a sparkling Tyrrhenian Sea. The air smells of jasmine, everything is wrapped in roses and even the simplest tomato sauce tastes amazing. It’s la dolce vita in glorious technicolor.
Accommodation in Le Sirenuse in Positano, Amalfi’s finest beach resort, is effortlessly chic, proudly authentic, and offers unforgettable views over the city’s magical cathedral. Designer Travel offers packages ranging from £ 2,499 per person to £ 2,999 per person including luggage and transfers for a seven-day all-inclusive stay in a junior suite with direct flights from Heathrow. The prices are based on two parts. Call 0808 256 2352 for more information or use this form to request a call back.
Take a tour of Japan
Tokyo and Kyoto: two cities that arose from the same letters, but each with completely different worlds. In the Japanese capital, you’ll be dazzled by the blade runner skyscrapers of Shibuya district and disoriented by the neon-light contrails that you can see from the 634-meter-high Skytree observation deck. Kyoto, on the other hand, is as serene as the birthplace of the green tea ceremony should be, and is home to more than 2,000 temples, including the golden Kinkaku-ji Temple. The transfer between the two cities is also an adventure: a high-speed train covers the 365 km route in just 150 minutes.
Where to sleep Wendy Wu has a 17 day tour with stops in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nagano – where you will see snow monkeys. Prices range from approximately £ 6,740 per person to £ 7,500 with a £ 150 discount for Times subscribers. Private tours are available on request.
Beach life in Portugal
Comporta is home to one of the laziest beach scenes in Europe. One hour south of Lisbon, this stretch of the west coast is an exciting band of white sand and thundering surf that unfolds over wild and windswept 60 km, surrounded by kelly green rice fields and fairytale cork forests. It’s still temptingly undiscovered, so you’ll share the waves with more storks and flamingos than other tourists. This is the definition of barefoot life: picnics in the dunes, sunsets from bleached boardwalks, and fish eating under the stars in the fireplace.
Accommodation Sublime Comporta is a boutique hideaway back to nature with sleek cabanas that are completely in tune with the relaxed luxury of the region. Designer Travel offers packages ranging from £ 729 per person to £ 1,249 per person, including luggage and transfers, for a three night stay in a cabana room. Direct flights from Luton or Manchester are included and prices are based on two people. Call 0808 256 2352 for more information or use this form to request a call back.
Luxury safari in Kenya
Nowhere comes Kenya for pure spectacle. It embodies the enigmatic rawness of Africa and the continent’s ability to switch from decadence to drama in the blink of an eye. Thus, the lush beauty of the vast freshwater Naivasha Lake, dotted with pink flamingos, is just a short drive from the heat and dust of the Masai Mara Game Reserve. Its glorious grasslands are the stage for the world’s greatest show, the annual migration of majestic wildebeest and graceful gazelles, with ominous predators such as cheetahs, lions and hyenas that are never far away.
Where to sleep Try a seven-day fully escorted safari with Exodus. Accommodation is a mix of lodge, tented camp and hotel. Prices range from £ 2,849 per person to £ 3,649 per person with a £ 100 discount for Times subscribers – private tours are available upon request. Call 0808 256 2352 for more information or use this form to request a call back.
Island hopping in the Seychelles
If your fantasy island is lined with boulder-strewn, bone-white beaches and inhabited by clumsy turtles that could have come straight from the set of Jurassic Park, the Seychelles are your 3D jungle dream. The fun-loving Creole culture gives this archipelago so much more personality than its rivals in the Indian Ocean. Island hopping by helicopter adds a VIP frisson to transfers from the Trumpton-like main island of Mahé to shipwrecked resorts floating in the waters of the Indian Ocean.
Accommodation Felicite Island has 652 acres, 160 singing staff, and just one resort. Six Senses Island of Passion, with 30 playful minimalist pool villas. Designer Travel offers packages ranging from £ 5,530 per person to £ 6,385 per person for a seven night stay in a Hideaway Pool Villa. Flights, breakfast and luggage are included and prices are based on two parts. Call 0808 256 2352 for more information or use this form to request a call back.
Join the smart set in Barbados
The Platinum Coast of Barbados is probably the most photographed 17km coastline on earth, but not just because of its cappuccino-colored soft sand and turquoise waters. It’s the most popular Caribbean A-list playground, which means all that glitters is gold here. If you’re looking for high heeled designer glamor with everything, a social scene that could grace a global capital, and poolside people worthy of the cover of Vanity Fair magazine, you’ve come to the right place.
Where to sleep The House adds a contemporary twist to the island’s colonial heritage. Goodies include free massages and a bottomless champagne breakfast. Designer Travel offers packages ranging from £ 2,499 per person to £ 2,999 per person for seven nights in an all-inclusive junior suite with direct flights from Heathrow. The prices are based on an occupancy of two people. Call 0808 256 2352 for more information or use this form to request a call back.
Great isolation in Iceland
Iceland is on everyone’s radar right now, but luckily the focus is on Reykjavik, which makes the Troll Peninsula in the far north wonderfully deserted, wonderfully unspoilt and ideal for the adventurous couple. Hike through pea-green valleys or ride a fat bike on snow-capped mountains. Choose between cozy baths in natural hot springs or surfing in the ice-cold sea. In summer there is the fascinating glow of the midnight sun, in winter the attraction of the northern lights – all year round it is seductive at the end of the world.
Accommodation Deplar Farm is a stylish eco-lodge with a cool house party atmosphere, can-do guides and food under the guidance of the best chef in the country. Designer Travel offers packages ranging from £ 2,489 per person to £ 3,079 per person for a two night stay in an Odin Room with breakfast, dinner, luggage and transfers. Direct flights from Luton are included and the price is based on two people. Call 0808 256 2352 for more information or use this form to request a call back.