Post # 1
Hi everyone! I’m a long-time lurker and hoping to bounce some honeymoon ideas off of the hive. You ladies seem to be a well-travelled bunch.
Some context: My fiancé and I are based out of New York. We’re planning our wedding in late August and our honeymoon around the Labor Day weekend next year, and have 12 days to spare (including travel to and from). We love art, history, and culture, and appreciate gorgeous natural scenery as well – especially the water. We prefer not to go to a big city – or, at least, not spend most of our time in a big city. We aren’t thinking about having a baby for a couple of years, but are concerned about exposure to Zika, and would prefer not to visit places that are on the CDC’s watch list.
All things considered, we’ve homed in on Greece (Athens, Santorini, and Milos) and French Polynesia (Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora). Neither of us has been to the South Pacific, although we did visit Oahu briefly last year on our way to Korea. I have never been to Greece, but fiancé has and thought Santorini was breathtaking. We’re taking another trip in May to Rome, Naples, and the Amalfi Coast.
My concern is, will either Greece or French Polynesia feel too similar to the places we’ve visited or are going to visit in the near future? Do you have other ideas for unique, unforgettable honeymoon destinations? Many thanks!
Post # 2
I recommend Tahiti every time. It’s relaxing, beautiful, and the perfect place to unwind.
I guess it depends what you want to do on your honeymoon. You said not spend a lot of time in a big city, okay… but does that translate to sitting on an island, on a beach, in the hot sun, swimming in the ocean, drinking pretty drinks? If so, then I can’t recommend Tahiti enough. We did 11 days on Moorea in an over water bungalow, and dream every day of going back.
I haven’t been to Greece in August/September but I think there was just another thread that said August was a nightmare with loads of people. September started thinning out some but still lots and lots of people. I think – someone with experience will tell us!
Post # 3
We’re honeymooning in Greece beginning around Labour Day wknd! My fiancé had never been, and I have. In my opinion, it’s the perfect mix of relaxation and beach time, history, culture, and great food. You may feel it’s somewhat similar To Italy, given that it is still in Europe… However I’ve been to both Italy and Greece and found them to be quite different in overall feel and culture. Santorini is truly breathtaking, and a dream honeymoon destination. Good luck-feel free to PM if you have any questions about Greece! Xxx Happy Planning!
Post # 4
Northern Croatia would give you a mix of stunning hill towns and small charming seaside towns, loaded with history, a strong food culture, local wine & gourmet food producers, art, etc. And much less crowded than Greece. Weather is wonderful in early September.
This part of Croatia is called Istria (or Istrian peninsula). Some of the nice towns are Novigrad, motovun, Groznjan “village of artists”, Rovinj and more. In this region some Italian and Slovenian towns are easily accessible too, such as Trieste, Kopoer, Piran. A bit of a drive, but could easily be included if desired is Plitvice Lakes national park in Croatia.
Accessible airports for flying into are Venice or Trieste, Italy. Pula, Croatia. From NY I think you can fly non stop to Venice, then ferry to Piran or Rovinj which takes about 3 hours. This region is incredibly affordable compared to some more western or Northern European destinations. It is also less crowded than the Dalmatian coast further south in Croatia. The big cruise ships do not go to Istria, which makes a big difference. The area is soooooooo honeymoon-y to me.
Another thought is Portugal.
Nothing wrong with Greece either.
With only 12 days including travel time I would zero in on destinations that are not that difficult or time consuming to reach.
Post # 5
Greece is unlike any other place we’ve visited. Santorini was beautiful, but verrrry crowded- we also went in September. Definitely romantic and a great honeymoon spot! It is nothing like Positano, or the Amalfi coast, so I don’t think you will find them too similar. Greece can be really affordable, too. You can splurge on a really posh hotel or find something super cheap depending on what you are looking for.
Post # 6
Thank you so much, ladies, for your insights!
@MsPlucky: I think I’m just trying to avoid a big, noisy, polluted city, aka, the usual suspects: New York, London, Paris, Dubai, Tokyo, etc. To me, the idea of lounging in an overwater bungalow sounds equally appealing as exploring a jungle or sight-seeing ancient ruins. So perhaps my ideal honeymoon is one that combines the three.
@busybee86: How exciting! Congratulations to you and your fiancé. That’s a good point you make; while Greece and Italy are on the same continent and the former strongly influenced the latter, they *are* different countries.
@Wildflowerz: Thanks for the pro tip about Istria. The Plitvice Lakes are definitely on my bucket list. I had thought about combining Venice with Istria at some point, although my fiancé is less keen on Croatia for our honeymoon. Perhaps a future trip! You also raise a good point about travel time.
@MrsChatham: Thanks for letting me know about Santorini. It sounds like you had a fantastic time! Gosh, and here I thought September was the shoulder season and would be *less* crowded.
I think we’ll go with Greece. Like busybee86 said, it seems like a great combination of fun in the sun and also learning about history, art, and architecture. We may save French Polynesia for our anniversary when we’ll have more vacation days and are able to take a longer trip that merits the long flight – not to mention, have more money to burn! Thank you again, everyone.
Post # 7
Sounds like a great decision! Have a blast planning!
Post # 8
Greece is wonderful but I would avoid Santorini in the summer – it is horrendous. Milos, Ios, Naxos are all beautiful, Mykonos too – I would highly recommend but honestly, we had the worst time in Santorini (June) and would definitely not recommend. Everywhere else in Greece tht we went was wonderful – people super friendly, great value, delicious food, amazing scenery. Santorini was incredibly crowded, expensive, (did I mention busy) and we really felt treated like just another number whereas everywhere else the hospitality was incredible.
Post # 9
French Polynesia is unlike any other place in the world (except maybe Fiji or Maldives). It’s definitely not the same as Hawaii and is even better in my opinion. I frequently say it’s the “best place in the world” 🙂 We started planning our next trip the day we got back from our honeymoon in Bora Bora. I can’t wait to check out Taha’a the next time we go in addition to a 2nd stay in BB. The blue water, over water bungalows, and snorkeling were just unmatched. Plus it was all so romantic. Our travel agent did an amazing job w/the trip too.
While Santorini is also incredibly beautiful, the other islands have their own charm and give you more of a sense of the Greek culture. It seems like you could never get sick of going there b/c there are so many options. We are going to Athens/Milos/Santorini next year and chose this combination b/c we knew each place would be so different than the others.