Our Experts are back for another week of travel sleuthing, as they look at your most pressing travel questions and come up with an array of tempting solutions and ideas.
Have you got a travel itch that you just can’t scratch? Then email us with your questions, and we’ll put them to the Experts right here on the STA Travel Blog.
This week’s question comes courtesy of Blog reader Kirsty, who’s getting married (congratulations Kirsty!), and is stuck for honeymoon ideas…
I am trying to plan a honeymoon for next March/April for two weeks but we both love to travel and don’t want to do the usual package honeymoon. However, at the moment we only have a small budget. What suggestions do you have for an adventure on a budget? Kirsty
Ooh, great question, Kirsty. Experts – show us what you got.
Claire Whittington from STA Travel Brighton suggests…
Firstly, congratulations on your wedding, Kirsty! For a honeymoon with a difference, why not book some cheap flights over to Morocco for our 4-day Marrakech Mini Stay.
You get picked up from the airport and taken to your Riad in the heart of the Medina (old town) for 3 nights. You can choose from several day trips to do on your 2nd and 3rd day. Fancy a bit of history? Visit the Saadian Tombs and Bahia Palace.
If shopping’s your thing, don’t miss the Marrakech Souks and Jemaa El Fna Tour, where your guide will help you navigate the maze that is the Moroccan souks. Then all you have to chose what to buy! Shoes, lamps, scarves, spices, tea sets, wood carvings, small animals – it’s all here!
If getting back to nature is what you’re after, take the Ouzoud Waterfall or Ourika Valley trip, which will take you out of the city and into the dramatic Atlas mountains.
If you’re up for something a bit different, take the half day camel trek through the Palm groves which also includes tea at a local village. I hope you like mint tea as EVERYONE will offer it to you so if you don’t, get drinking it now!
After this, hop on a bus to stay at Ryad Mogador in Essaouira on the coast. This is far enough away from the package holidays you want to avoid, but still gives you some time to relax at this plush hotel with buffet breakfast, outdoor pool, gym, sauna and spa (you have to have a little treat on your honeymoon!).
I highly recommend eating at the fish market in the Medina. All the stalls have the day’s catch on ice, and when you find a stall that looks good they grab an old school tea tray and pile high with fresh seafood – brilliant!
Also, take the walk along the coast to the “Sand Castle”, an old castle which has been taken over by sand over time – it looks like something out of a fairy tale, and will give you some fantastic pictures.
If you want a bit of action, Essaouira is the activity capital of Morocco with horse riding, kite surfing, wind surfing and quad biking on offer.
After a few days on the coast I would head back to Marrakech for a couple of nights and visit a hammam for one final “it’s our honeymoon” treat! Hammams are traditional steam rooms where you can have gommage, a scrub made from black beldi soap made from olives and eucalyptus leaves.
The traditional hammams segregate men and women but there are loads of new luxury ones which offer amazing private hammams for couples. My fiancé and I went to one, where we were steamed, scrubbed, showered and massaged within an inch of our lives (they even massaged my little toes!) We got back to the UK relaxed and glowing, exactly what you want after your wedding, and all for about £50 each!
Sarah Jones at STA Travel Covent Garden reckons…
For an adventure like no other – which a honeymoon is a good excuse for – why not go to the ends of the earth, literally.
Patagonia, the southern-most tip of South America, is recognised as one of the most pristine and stunning wilderness spots on the planet. Overwhelming glaciers and ice fields, crystal lakes and gaping skies combine to make up a truly unforgettable place.
Fortunately, due to the vast quantity of activities available, Patagonia is good to visit at any time of year. Being in the Southern Hemisphere, seasons are the reverse to ours, so March/April will be the end of Patagonia’s summer/beginning of Autumn.
One of the best action-packed trips of the region is the 15-day End of the Earth tour. It’s £1,749pp, so it may seem slightly above budget, but when you consider just what’s included, I think it’s justified…
After a day of exploring the vibrant Argentinian capital, you’ll fly down to the Provence of Santa Cruz where you’ll begin your Patagonian adventure.
You’ll hike within the stunning Glacier National Park with its majestic granite pinnacles that sour out of the land and drive through the mountain peaks to the Moreno Glacier with its 60m wall of ice.
The Torres del Paine National Park is another gem to be explored. You’ll spend 2 nights here, camping in this wonderland. The park is also home to an array of exotic wildlife – pink flamingos, Patagonian horses and flocks of condors. Pretty wild!
A huge bonus of this trip is that you have an experienced, friendly guide throughout, plus all of your accommodation, hotels and 2 nights camping, meals and domestic flights are included, so you won’t have to factor in huge amounts of spending money.
Patagonia is one of the most magical places on earth and would be the honeymoon of all honeymoons.