By Lucy Stickling
They say a marriage is built on happy memories, so why not get started building happy recollections on your honeymoon? Exploring new forms of cuisine, witnessing novel cultural traditions and mixing with the local people are all wonderful experiences you’ll both look back on fondly for years to come.
But of course, after the stress of having planned a wedding in the first place, you’ll want to engage in some serious relaxation, too! Luckily, Health and Fitness Travel has conjured up a unique “Discover/Recover honeymoon” concept, which features two-part holidays: first, discovering new cultures, then relaxing in opulent settings and reviving with luxurious spa treatments, relaxation therapies, and healthy cuisine. You can also enhance your well-being with fitness classes and outdoor sports, from yoga and beach boxing, to tennis and scuba-diving.
This option is ideal for active newlyweds who want to make a statement that their married life will be one in which eye-opening experiences are constantly shared, and health and wellness will always take priority. We’ve selected five of what we feel are the best exotic honeymoon destinations with an emphasis on culture, health and wellness, all of which will help you construct memories that will last a lifetime.
Bask in the glow of a picture perfect sunset when you discover the beautiful island of Bali. From jungle trekking and volcano hiking to guided village cycling and temple tours, there is no end of exciting ways to explore the island and its ancient culture together.
When you’ve finished exploring, you’ll recover in one of the five luxury wellness retreats of your choice, including the Maya Ubud and COMO Shambala, both of which are up for a Seven Star Award, on your healthy honeymoon. Indulge in therapeutic spa treatments and re-energise as you enjoy holistic activities such as yoga, Pilates and meditation alongside a whole range of other exciting fitness classes and activities. With its striking coastlines, lush greenery and picturesque landscapes Bali is the perfect destination to create memories that will last a lifetime.
2. Exploring Nature in Costa Rica
Are you both a bit outdoorsy? Begin your married life together exploring the stunning tropical rainforests and unspoilt coastlines of Costa Rica. From guided tours of the city of San Jose and a visit to an authentic coffee plantation, to white water rafting and zip-lining through a volcanic national park, you will love the adventures you share together on this exciting journey through nature.
Before heading home and back to reality, recover at a choice of wellness retreats where you can relax in total luxury, unwinding with indulgent spa treatments, or enjoying a refreshing surf together in the Pacific Ocean. However you choose to explore, you are sure to find an adventurous activity that excites both of you on this luxury honeymoon.
The stunning Caribbean island of St Lucia is a very popular honeymoon destination. If you come here, you’ll see why! Not only is the weather perfect, with the sun almost guaranteed to shine, but the island is packed with natural beauty. Discover the island on a catamaran boat tour and get up close to the iconic Piton Mountains, or take a dip in a refreshing natural waterfall pool, before tasting award winning rums or creating your own unique chocolate bar at the Hotel Chocolat resort. To burn off the calories, enjoy some off-road cycling on jungle trails or tour the beautiful coastline and tranquil waters by kayak.
After all that excitement, recover on a luxury spa honeymoon at the Body Holiday Resort, (currently a nominee for the Seven Star Luxury Award) where you can both relax and unwind. Indulge in therapeutic spa treatments that sound good enough to eat, like the Lucian Lime & Ginger Scrub, or take part in holistic group classes, including yoga and Pilates.
4. Dramatic and Vibrant Philippines
Boasting jaw-droppingly beautiful landscapes, fascinating historic towns and miles of unspoilt, sandy beaches, this is the perfect destination for newlyweds looking to discover something new together. Experience the vibrant, eclectic city of Manila on a guided city tour, or discover the hidden valley and swim in the stunning natural pools. Dance the night away and experience Filipino culture first-hand at a traditional fiesta before fully relaxing in a tropical paradise surrounded by mango trees.
After your cultural excursions, get into the mood for romance with dozens of spa treatments on offer at your luxury hotel, including exotic massages and detox wraps, which will make you both even more attractive to each other!
5. Be Charmed by Morocco
What could be more romantic than discovering the diverse culture of an exotic country? Ideal for adventure- loving newlyweds, you’ll marvel at snake charmers on and sip tea with merchants on a guided tour of Marrakech; explore the Atlas Mountains on a mountain bike tour, or learn traditional cooking methods on a course in Moroccan cuisine.
Once you’ve both sampled the country’s rich culture, relax and unwind at a luxurious wellness retreat for a healthy honeymoon that has it all. Choose from a range of holistic spa treatments, including the traditional famous Moroccan Hammam, where your skin will be steamed and scrubbed back into its healthiest state. Not only will you return home with incredible memories, but the energy to tackle that wedding thank-you list, too.
All images: Health and Fitness Travel
To book: Honeymoon packages are on offer from Health and Fitness Travel, starting from £1,620pp. Prices include a Discover Recover programme, return flights and transfers. Health and Fitness Travel is a UK based global luxury wellness travel company that has originated in 2010. For further info, call +44 0203 397 8891.