Popular honeymoon destinations can mean so much more when you take the time and learn more about the location. Unusual information and unique sites to see while visiting can lead to experiences you never knew about, but can’t wait to try. Here are some exciting facts for some very trendy honeymoon destinations that will help you avoid planning your trip around the tourist attractions listed in your hotel lobby.
Greece – Corfu
Greece is full of islands, but you can skip Santorini for more affordable places like Corfu (Kerkyra) in the Ionian Sea group of islands, where you can book a cruise with meals, free-flowing ouzo, wine, or juice punches. It’s also known as the Grand Lady of the Ionian. Did you know there’s over 115 pebbly beaches for sunbathers? Its history is rich, starting all the way back in 1300 BC, and is one of the only islands never conquered by the Turks. It has over 37 churches and is considered the cradle of science and culture. Check out the stunning Achilleion (Achillion) Palace built in the 1890s by the Empress Elizabeth of Austria and her fascinating, but tragic story.
Don’t forget to visit the Old Fortress, a natural promontory offering rocks of protection for the residents of the 5th century AD, later converted into a fortress by the Byzantines in the 8th century AD. Then there’s the Monument of Menecrates constructed in the 6th century, the tower of Nerantchicha, Temple of Artemis. How many species of herbs and flowers are on the island? Believe it or not, there’s about 6,000, including 55 wild orchids, and over 4,000 olives trees (3% of the world’s olive oil)! It’s also to a very rare Balkan Green lizard. Queen Elizabeth’s consort hubby, Prince Philip, was born on the island of Corfu in Greece, on June 10, 1921.
France – Paris
Ah Paris! Imagine a walk along the Seine and then a romantic dinner cruise. The Eiffel Tower with its fantastic views are extraordinary, but don’t take pictures of it at night, as an obscure law pronounces its lighting as a work of art, and thus copyrighted. Bring or buy a padlock to the Ponts des Arts (lover’s bridge), kiss, make a wish, and hang your lock on its railings to celebrate your love. One of Paris’ most famous landmarks, Notre Dame Cathedral, was almost demolished in the 19th century, but thanks to Victor Hugo and his book The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the building was saved. Be sure to look for the one unusual gargoyle with a face of angry woman wearing a hat.
The Louvre, L’Arc de Triomphe, Catacombs (re-homed remains of 6-million Parisians), over 170-miles of tunnels, and much more should be on your bucket list. Looking for something unusual thing to see? The Museum of Eroticism (Musée de l’érotisme) was closed in 2016, but they do have “escape rooms” with some pretty cool themes and there’s always treasure hunts while discovering famous sites! Perchance you might be interested in a balloon ride above the city, romantic carriage ride, or a helicopter flight around Paris? Be sure to walk in to the Shakespeare and Company bookstore that once frequented by Voltaire and Verlaine.
Just an hour ride by train’s the Loire Valley with its fairy tale medieval towns, famous vineyards, champagne tasting, organic wines, and amazing must-see castles, such as the Château d’Ussé (inspiration for “Sleeping Beauty”). Also, a short train ride from Paris is the Palace of Versailles where you can spend the day touring where royalty enjoyed life until the French Revolution. Look for the queen’s hamlet, a quaint (by royal standards) cottage and garden where Marie Antoinette pretended to live as a commoner. And of course, if visiting all the Disney parks is on your bucket list, Disneyland Paris is filled with unique and classic attractions.
Hawaii – Kuai, Maui
If this is your first to the Hawaiian islands, you might consider island-hopping. Try to go during the off-seasons so you can save a small fortune at some great luxury resorts.
Kauai’s known as the Garden-Isle and the Island of Discover, which is well named, but did you know it’s also the oldest of the Hawaiian islands and over 6 million years old? You can visit many locations using a helicopter tour, and some can even land near the 400 foot Manawaiopuna Falls (a filming location for Jurassic Park!). Other fun trivia is that the official color is purple, and the official flower is Mokihana (a green berry), so seek them out.
Kauai grows more taro than any other island and it’s a common first food for Hawaiian babies, so make sure to enjoy it with your luau. Drive your rental car or book a helicopter to see Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Many areas are only accessible by motor or sailboats (swimming, picnicking, snorkeling, etc.) or a helicopter. Take a trip to the Fern Grotto where boat operators can teach you all about local legends and entertain you with Hawaiian songs and hula. For the more adventurous, you can take a bumpy jeep ride to Hanamaulu where there’s mountain tubing down twisty waterways where you’d have a picnic by a natural swimming hole or go kayaking along a jungle river by the Hau’pu Mountains, then hike through a rainforest. There’s also great poke and luaus (book in advance) to tantalize your taste buds.
Maui’s known as the Valley Isle, as it sits between two mountains. It’s considered one of America’s best romantic getaways and it’s no wonder, as it offers so much for couples. It’s official flower is the loke lani (a pink cottage rose) and the island’s official color is pink. Go up a mountain to visit is Haleakala National Park (“House of the Sun”) to find amazing views, especially if you’re lucky enough to be there in time for a cloudless morning sunrise (bring warm clothes), and then take a hike into the crater. By the way, it’s not an extinct volcano and is expected to erupt in the next 200 years (last one was in 1790). The Road to Hana is amazing with so many stops along the way (grab a tour map for the drive), make stops to buy honor-system fruits or banana bread along the way (bring small bills), walk Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach, go hiking, get your picnic supplies at PaÊ»ia, and visit the Pools of ‘Ohe’o, Seven Sacred Pools, (sometimes closed for safety during wet weather). On another day visit the Nakalele Blow Hole (extreme danger, stay back!), rent some snorkel equipment for your stay, and try swimming with the very protected sea turtles, but don’t touch unless you enjoy fines or jailtime and give them a lot of space to come up, as they’re air breathers.
There are places to learn the hula, pick a pineapple at one of the farms, sleep in a yurt (like the ones Central Asian nomads use) at the Luana Resort Spa or enjoy their spa services. You can even milk a goat at the Surfing Goat Dairy or take a class on husking a coconut at Whaler’s Village, and so much more. Try dining on fish tacos while sipping on Maui grown coffee, snack on inexpensive Spam Musubi, do enjoy some shave ice, coconut candy, and try the loco moco as a satisfying meal or the Manapua buns (not vegan).