Honeymooning in Europe: 5 Destinations to Consider

vienna austria

Vienna, Austria

Whatever your yearnings — for the best travel experience, start with a list of what you want and expect for this trip. It can be intimidating when searching for the perfect honeymoon destination, but use resources like The Knot to help narrow your choices down. If you are searching for exotic, quaint, historic, romantic, or adventurous, Europe has it all.

Culture and Refinement – Vienna, Austria

Vienna is the perfect destination for newlyweds who seek a getaway into the romantic ambiance of Austria. This country exudes culture and history that will appease any visitor. For the music lovers, visit the famed Viennese Opera House (Wiener Staatsoper) where couples can attend a performance or find events that will cater to their love of music. For the history buffs, discover and tour Hofburg Palace, which once housed Austria’s and most powerful rulers. Vienna is also ultra-modern. With safe, pedestrian-friendly streets, a booming nightlife, and delicious, aromatic coffee houses, Vienna is for everyone. Not matter what time of day, Vienna showcases delectable restaurants that fuses Italian, German, Balkan, and Hungarian traditions. Don’t forget to taste Vienna’s sumptuous cakes. None can resist this tempting array of confection!

venice italy

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy- Romance like no other

Neighboring Austria, along its southern border, lays the captivating beauty of the city built on water – Venice. A European honeymoon cannot be complete without being guided down the canals of Venice, in a gondola. Couples can listen to the sound of a single oar lapping gently through the water and bask in the history of this amazing city. Couples can visit the famed Piazza San Marco (Saint Mark’s Square). Located here are two towers on opposite ends of the square, St. Mark’s Campanile, the famous bell tower, and St Mark’s Torre Dell’Orologio, the clock tower. Both towers showcase Venice’s wealth and grandeur. After a tiring day of touring, shopping, and sightseeing, couples can feast on rich, mouthwatering dishes that are heavy on spices and sauces.

croatia

Croatia

 Croatia – Juxtaposed between Central Europe and the Mediterranean

A secreted gem, Croatia has shimmering beaches that line the coast of this country on the Adriatic Sea. Also known as Dubrovnik, this beautiful country, hosts a stunning combination of glamour and ritz on the one hand, and quaint, remote fishing villages on the other. Stop by Pula Amphitheater, the only remaining Roman amphitheater architecturally well-preserved. During the summer, this is the venue for many performances including the Film Festival and concerts. Another place to explore is the water-logged sea cave, Blue Grotto. Here couples can appreciate the natural beauty of the Adriatic Sea, but also see the cave basked in a dazzling blue light illuminated from sunlight that comes through the cave’s ceiling. Dubrovnik beckons honeymoon couples to enjoy its old world charm – cobbled streets, monasteries, markets and pizzerias.

germany bavarian alps

Germany’s Bavarian Alps

Germany’s Bavarian Alps

Couples who enjoy adventure and with a passion for mountains, the Bavarian Alps offer a smorgasbord of outdoor activities. This European country will allow couples to paraglide, trek, hike, canoe, snow-board, or ski. After a long adventurous day, relax at one of the health spas and resorts that dot the slopes along the charming villages. Enjoy a brew from the world famous Bavarian beers at one of the amazing beer halls. For a more low-keyed adventure, couples can tour the area and take in the stunning views this mountainous landscape has to offer. This winter-land honeymoon is for anyone willing to take adventure to new heights with the variety of numerous outdoor activities available.

Say “Cheers” in Champagne, France

The wine-trail through this north-east region of France leads to the bubbly wine we all know as champagne. Couples can eat at famed and Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Parc for a romantic night out or tour the vineyards on an off-road adventure. Explore a chalk cave, deep underneath the ground, to discover the sparkling secrets of this wine we drink when we celebrate. This beautiful part of France is more than just “champagne country,” it hosts many entertainments to hold honeymooners captive.

champagne france

Champagne, France

A honeymoon destination to Europe is for everyone. Here’s to Europe!

About the Author:

McKayla “Kayla” Kimm works in the bridal industry and enjoys writing articles that are helpful to brides. She uses both her experience and knowledge to provide her clients with the best wedding and honeymoon destinations.

Advertisements

Off-Season Deals to Greece

Rhodes, Greece - The Secret Sweet Spot

Rhodes, Greece – The Secret Sweet Spot

We really want to share some of our travel learnings with you this week. Why? Because, after our amazing trip to St. Barths during their low season, we realized the savings you can find when you just go when most of the tourists have fled. And, the best part, aside from the savings, is that you have more of the beaches to yourself!

To that end, Zicasso’s got new and completely customizable 13-day vacation to the the Greek Islands, visiting Santorini, Crete, Rhodes, and Athens this September & October 2012.

This trip starts at just $1,665* per person, offering exceptional value as well as numerous custom options for unique experiences.  Though many consider September and October a harbinger of autumn, Greece’s 80 degree temperatures extend way into October, continuing to provide the ultimate weather for swimming, sunbathing, and sailing in the Mediterranean. Greece is calm and beautiful, without the strikes of prior years or the normal crowds so we say, take advantage of an opportunity and extend your summer at off-season value.

Santorini

The Classic Santorini View

Sample of unique experiences to add on:

·  Discover Crete on horseback, galloping along the countryside and coast of the Cretan Sea. (Rides are tailored to individual experience level);

·   Learn traditional Cretan cooking at boutique hotel Avli, known for its outstanding restaurant;

·  Sail on a catamaran boat to visit Santorini’s active volcano, followed by swimming in the hot springs and watching the sunset from the boat;

·  Take a cooking course at an award-winning Santorini restaurant and learn about the unique local products of the island.

·   Visit any of Santorini’s 12 local volcanic wineries and taste Vinsanto, their famous dessert wine.

So, if you’re like me and often feel like flyin’ by the seat of your pants, but want something sexy and chic, here are your last minute deals to Greece!

Mediterranean, Crystal Serenity: Cruising With Nobu

Nobu, we love you. As Dena DiOrio says, “What do sushi, elephants, a great value, and donkeys have in common?” That would be Master Chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa, our favorite Democrat debate champ, James Carville, and Republican politico, Mary Matalin. Every now and again, we love jaunting around on a cruise ship and calling into port. We’ll admit, some cruise lines are for fanny-pack wearing fogies, but this is one luxury cruise experience worth sailing, perfect for sophisticated, politically-savvy, food loving, honeymooners.

Nobu is proud to announce that he’s joining Crystal Serenity’s July 28 Mediterranean cruise “Byzantine Accolades,” exclusively creating menus for Crystal Cruises guests. Personally preparing seven Omakase (chef’s choice) dinners at Silk Road, the shipboard restaurant that has featured his cuisine since 2003, these Omakase dinners are completely free to guests (onshore, they have a value of over $90 per person at Nobu’s 25 restaurants worldwide)! Additionally, the famed restaurateur will be signing cookbooks and giving onboard cooking demonstrations.

Crystal Serenity GeirangerA great excuse to properly learn how to stir it in style, both in the kitchen (and the stateroom), we think it’s an ideal and romantic cruise for honeymooners and couples.

Spicing it up even more, and we’re not just talking togarashi, one of Washington’s most popular political couples, James Carville and Mary Matalin, will also be onboard for a special debate discussing the topics of the day. Because really, what’s a proper Jaunt without good food, an exotic atmosphere, and a lively political debate?

The 12-day “Byzantine Accolades” itinerary visits Venice, San Marino, Corfu, Rhodes, Bodrum, Istanbul, Mykonos, and Athens.

Cruise fares for this sailing start at $6,055 per person, double occupancy, not including port, security, and handling charges of $405 per person. The per diem breaks down to about $538.50/person/night.

To view the itinerary, onboard programming, and Crystal Adventures excursions:

http://www.crystalcruises.com/cruise_itinerary.aspx?CID=9316

See you in Turkey, turkeys!

http://www.crystalcruises.com

Greece: Get Decadent

Oia, Santorini

With a deep-rooted passion for obscure international adventure, Victoria Yanakos is always looking for her next travel destination. Currently vacationing in Bolivia, Victoria has been kind enough to jot down her insider picks from Greece. When she’s not traversing the planet for Jaunt, she resides in New York City where she covers fashion and cosmetics for RR Donnelley.

It’s next to impossible to maintain a moderate attitude when faced with a trip to Greece.
By Victoria Yanakos

Whether it’s clubbing all night in Athens or eating fish in the islands until you have to lie your head on the table (which serves a double purpose as you are now closer to your ouzo glass), being in Greece is one of the most decadent and necessary travel experiences in the world.

For first time visitors or long time enthusiasts, a logical and ideal place to start your Greek sojourn is in Athens, entrenched in thousands of years of history, the majestic city hums with the splendor of philosophy and ancient culture. Now a rushing metropolis, when deciding where to lay your hat, I say, bypass the opulent (if not a bit austere) Hotel Grande Bretagne and opt for something more original.

ATHENS HOTELS

OCHRE AND BROWN
Located in the hip district of Psirri (Ψυρρή), is a boutique hotel packed with amenities and personal service. Each of the ten rooms swirl with an undercurrent of urban decadence and boast in-room massages, custom ordered bed linens, and direct dial phone numbers.
Price: 210 € and up
Ochre and Brown
7 Leokoriou st. Psiri,
105 54, Athens, Greece
+30 210 33 12 940, +30 210 33 12 950
+30 210 33 12 942
info@oandbhotel.com
http://www.oandbhotel.com


PERISCOPE HOTEL
In Athens’ fashionable Kolonaki (Κολονάκι) district, this four-star hotel is surrounded by some of Athens’ best boutiques. Holding true to its name, it also offers a periscope on the rooftop for guests to survey the whole of Athens.

Price: 144€ to 180€
Periscope Hotel
22 Charitos Street
10675 Athens, Greece
http://www.periscope.athenshotels.it

When dining in Athens (or anywhere else in Greece), you have an array of venues from which to choose. Just keep in step with the local feasting culture: fast, loud, and excessive.

Etiquette is as follows:
1. Reaching across the table, over your neighbor’s plate and mid-air forkful of spanakopita? Perfectly fine.
2. Say ‘papara’ and you have the green light to dip your bread into any unguarded dish on the table. Take caution, this word used in any other context means ‘testicles.’
3. Feel free to turn your used wine glass into an ashtray. Smoking is actually a course (or three) in any Greek meal.
4. If you have room for “seconds,” you’re not really trying.

Start with a plethora of μεζεδάκια (mezed-Α-kia) or small plates to sample the various traditional Greek dishes like moussaka and tsarmasalata, a dip made from caviar (and our EIC’s personal favorite). Add a generous portion of ouzo and a finale of baklava.

ATHENS RESTAURANTS
As for where to satisfy your culinary curiosity, we suggest:

Αγία Μαρίνα (Agia Marina) – a small beach between Varkiza and Lagonissi hosting a variety of seaside fish restaurants.

Mπιφτεκούπολη (phonetically it is Biftekoupoli and literally translates to mean “Burger City”)
A strip of tavernas in the neighboring town of Glifada, which specializes in meat – biftekia.

Roughly thirty minutes from city center, any cab driver will know both areas by name. Finally, check out the Acropolis and catch a concert at the Herodion Theater at the base. A good night out in Greece is always in order.

ATHENS NIGHTSPOTS
The district of Psirri and the area near Syntagma Square (in the center of the city) offer a great local selection of hip clubs and bars.

My personal favorite?

BOOZE COOPERATIVA
On Kolokotroni Street – an epically long-central table, handmade chandelier, and oh so unambiguous name.
Booze Cooperativa
57 Kolokotroni street
Athens, Greece
P +302103240944
boozecooperativa@otenet.gr
http://www.boozecooperativa.com/

ISLAND
Best in summer, Island overlooks the Aegean Sea. More high maintenance than in Psirri, but with breathtaking views and pulsing energy it’s worth the drama of getting in.
Island Club
Located at the 27th km of Athens
Sounio Av., 16672
Varkiza , Greece
P +30 220 8925000
F +30 210 895050
Email sales@island-central.gr
http://www.island-central.gr/island_place_eng.html

When leaving Athens to retreat to any number of Greece’s tastefully chic and rustic islands, I recommend stops in Santorini and Milos. Both islands are easily accessible by plane or ferry from the mainland.

SANTORINI
Formed by a massive volcanic explosion, it’s arguably the most iconic and dramatically beautiful island in the Cyclades, if not one of the most visited. With sharp jagged cliffs overlooking the perfectly clear blue waters, Santorini is a haven for honeymooners and vacation connoisseurs alike. It is also home to hundreds of small intimate hotels perfect for a romantic getaway or relaxing retreat from daily life.

SANTORINI HOTELS
ARCHouses
Awe-inspiring views of the sea and a quaint spot to rest your sun-drenched and weary head
Price: low season (April to June and October, closed November and December) 95 € to 180 €
High season (June to September): 116€ to 195€
ARCHouses Hotel
Malteza Sqare Imerovigli
Santorini 847 00 Greece
P: +30 22860 23258
F: + 30 22860 28862
Winter Contact, Athens:
P: + 30 210 801 2904
http://www.santorini.gr-santorini.com/hotels/archouses-hotel/

HOMERIC POEMS
Views and an infinity pool on its lower level bring you one step closer to the magnificent surroundings
Price low season: 240€ and up, High season: 285€ and up
Homeric Poems
Firostefani, Santorini
84 700 Greece
P (April – November): +30 22860 24661 –2 –3
P (November – March): +30 22860 25025
http://www.homericpoems.gr/

While Santorini is not widely revered for its beaches, there is still a great deal to experience while on the island. The two most populated areas:

THIRA – take your time combing the winding cobble stone streets of this town, perusing the various shops and novelty stands
OIA – check out a gallery or two here. In the evening Oia tends to be more subdued. A wonderful choice if you are looking for a more tranquil dining atmosphere.

Renting a car or moped is a great way to get between the two towns and explore the outskirts of the island. 99% of the cars available will be manual, so if you’re rusty on your shifting skills, go for the moped. As it turns out, explaining how you wrecked the rental car is infinitely more difficult in Greek.
One gem along the beach:

KATINA’S RESTAURANT – This small outdoor taverna is literally steps away from the water and hosts a menu of the freshest local catch and various Greek specialties. They don’t have a website, but if you follow the sunset down the hill to the base of the Amoudi Harbor, you’ll find this seaside treasure easily enough.

MILOS
Via ferry from Santorini (with a connection in Sifnos) or direct flight from Athens, Milos should also be a stop on your Greek getaway. Off the beaten path for foreign tourists in the Cyclades, Milos has a quiet charm that sings along with the pristine surroundings. Distinctly less “touristy” – and by non-touristy we mean fewer Midwest fanny packs but more men in hot pant bathing suits – once arriving to port, it’s a good idea to rent a car or moped as the best beaches are spread out across the island.

In contrast to Santorini, Milos has a great number of spectacular beaches for you to explore. Two on the top of my list are Tsigrado and Paliochori.

Surrounded by dramatic rock formations and waters of rare clarity, these beaches rival some of the best in the world. One note about Tsigrado: for the less adventurous traveler this beach is most easily accessible by boat. If you’re up for the challenge, you can also reach the beach by descending the steep hill careening up from the water’s east bank. Depending on the time of year, this hill varies in its degree of severity. But don’t worry, there’s a rope (from the 1960s but it’s still good).

Another gem specific to Milos is:

SARAKINIKO
Also commonly known – in our apartment – as the single most captivating stretch of land on the planet. This “moon beach” was formed by layers of white volcanic rock, which, in addition to its complete lack of vegetation really give you the feeling of being on the moon. The smooth curves of the lunar landscape underfoot are great for sunbathing or cliff-diving into the blue sea below.

After a day of beach hopping, there’s dinner:

MILOS RESTAURANTS

ARAGOSTA – in the port, one of the few trendy spots on the islands. Slightly less grassroots, but the food and atmosphere are wonderful.
Aragosta Restaurant
Adamas – Milos Island – Cyclades- Greece
Tel & Fax: +30 22870 22292
http://www.aragosta.gr

ERGINA – if you’re craving something more authentic, and in tune with the islanders, check out Ergina in Tripiti. Tucked away on a secluded hill, this taverna (named after the owner) has a great selection of family recipes and local flavor and her husband will walk you through the dishes in English, Italian, French, Greek, or other. Ask the locals for directions to Tripti – the restaurant is on the sea side going up the steep hill.

MILOS HOTELS

HALARA STUDIOS – located in Plaka, the charming capital of Milos, these studios, although basic, offer spectacular views and attentive service. Be wary of the throngs of hotel advertisers in the port when you arrive. Accommodations in this part of the island will be loud and overpriced for what you get. Instead, rent a car and head to Plaka for a more genuine and enjoyable stay.

Management: Mary Mathioudaki – Xydous
Plaka 84800, Milos island
Cyclades – Greece
Μilos Tel.: (+30) 22870 22092
Athens Τel. & Fax: (+30) 210 9917 823
Mobile: (+30) 6944 375 777
E-mail: fonimilo@ath.forthnet.gr
http://www.milos-island.gr/rooms-apartments/halara/index.html

Now how’s that for handing our readers a hot Greek getaway? With the power to sweep you off your feet or submerge you into her blue waters, we say Greece is one country that promises to satisfy your sweet life cravings.

Additional travel resources:
Olympic Airlines http://www.olympicairlines.com/
Aegean Air http://www.aegeanair.com/aegeanen/home/index.asp

Milos Travel Agency
+30 22870 24024

Riva Travel
Ask for Nikos Chronis
http://www.rivatravel.gr

Amoudi Villas
Santorini, Greece. Oia
Tel.: +30 22210 60056 / Fax: +30 22210 60057
Reservations: 1-800-359-4827
E-mail: ecorama@otenet.gr
http://www.greekhotel.com/cyclades/santorin/oia/amoudi/home.htm