If you and your betrothed are not the type to yearn for a cookie-cutter honeymoon - perhaps the shimmering shores of the Caribbean, or maybe the rousingly romantic rue's of Paris are not calling your name - may we take the liberty of serving up some delightfully alternative honeymoon destinations - or 'unhoneymoons' as we like to call them. These destinations serve up generous helpings of romance, with a side order of adventure and a whole lot of love.
Not your Average Honeymoon Safari: Zambia and Zimbabwe
Thinking about taking a path-less-travelled for your safari honeymoon? We recommend taking a trip to Zambia or Zimbabwe. The appeal of these neighbouring landlocked countries is in the lack of crowds that flock to them which means you can expect secluded safaris, remote romantic dinners served under the stars in secret locations and small luxury camps where the staff know you before you arrive and can cater for your every need. Spend your days enjoying leisurely lunches on the Zambezi river - complete with champagne, a private chef and the sounds of honking hippos - venturing into the wilderness on immersive walking safaris and getting back to nature while fly camping. Or, seeing as this is an unhoneymoon, and you are looking for something that breaks the mould - you could join local community projects that bring fresh water to areas that really need it, helping to support surrounding schools and villages. Leaving a legacy in your first few weeks as husband and wife? Now, thats the way to start a marriage.
Middle East Musings: Fez and Chefchaoun
If stealing away to the sands of the middle-east for mysterious Arabian nights didn't make your shortlist when knee-deep in honeymoon-pondering, here's why it should do. Morocco's captivating cities, magnificent mountain ranges and golden deserts beckon for a perfect unhoneymoon - all wrapped up in the warmth of Moroccan hospitality. In the north of the country, delve into the city of Fez - where you can relax in cleansing Hammams and learn to bind your own memory book to take home - before venturing to the blue city of Chefchaoun to wander the colourful streets, dine in organic restaurants and hike deep into the mountains to seek out hidden waterfalls. Culture, history and adventure - Morocco makes a truly sizzling alternative honeymoon destination that we can bet no one else will have thought of.
Jurassic Beauty and a Not-So-Typical Beach Flop: Sao Tome and Principe
While the silvery shores of the Maldives are a heavenly honeymoon spot, there are some great offbeat alternatives for an unhoneymoon on the beach such as the islands of Sao Tome and Principe. Floating in the Gulf of Guinea, this two-island nation is home to extraordinary landscapes that are rich in flora and fauna. Stay in a luxury lodge and forget the real world ever existed as you spend your days swimming, kayaking and snorkelling in bath-warm waters; hiking through dense jungles; visiting cacao plantations; and strolling through forgotten villages that are now coming back to life. Come evening, flop onto and lounger and order a cocktail to toast your rather fabulous (if we do say so) unhoneymoon.
Newlywed Adventures in Iceland
Don't be fooled into thinking that Europe lacks honeymoon magic. Not only is it bursting with romantic romps but - if you turn your attention to Iceland - year-round adventure whether you are planning for a mini or extended-moon. We are talking hiking, RIB rides, Super Jeep tours - and that's before we even mention the incredible geological wonders that await here. There are plenty of simple guesthouses to cosy up in together, but seeing as it's your honeymoon, why not go all out and opt for a stay in an authentic Icelandic Farm house complete with traditional turf houses and your own private geothermically heated basalt pool - perfect for those searching for an unconventional way to see in the first few days of married life.
We think Romania is brilliant at the best of times, but for unhoneymooners it is close to perfection. This is a destination that is overflowing with authentic and memorable experiences from lunching with a local gipsy family, to visiting artisans and craftsmen to learn about traditional food, glass painting and the use of plants for medicinal purposes. After you've had your fix of culture, there is glorious nature to discover: hike Piatra Craiuli, go bird-watching in the Danube Delta area, and even set off on bear-watching and truffle-hunting outings. After a day of delights, retire to a charming guesthouse where you can dine on delicious Hungarian specialities and appreciate a way of life long-since forgotten. Time to explore, learn and stand still for long enough to appreciate all that you have - who could ask for more when planning a honeymoon?