A babymoon offers the chance to relax, reset and relish your final few moments of uninterrupted romance (at least for a few months). And while we understand the pull (and necessity) of a sleepy seaside escape to a secluded cove and hammock-heavy town, we don’t think babymoons should always have to start and end with a beach. Of course, if that’s what you’re after, we know just the places. But if, like us, you see a babymoon as the chance to finally take the holiday you said you always would, or go somewhere that, with a baby in tow, just doesn’t seem as appealing, we’ve got you covered. Take advantage of that second trimester sweet spot that bids farewell to morning sickness, yet isn’t quite ready to welcome a gigantic belly, and treat the world as your oyster. Our alternative babymoon ideas include everything from a road trip down the USA’s East Coast to a long weekend tucked away in an Oslo oasis; babymoons never sounded so sweet.
Alternative babymoon ideas have to factor in certain requirements. Flight times can’t be too long, healthcare has to be high quality and relaxation needs to be second nature. Marrakech ticks them all. Spend your days wandering down ochre alleys, past colourful spice stalls and the ancient artistry of Bahia Palace and the Dar Si Said. Pop your head into the city’s labyrinthine souqs to restock your pantry and feel the frenetic pulse of the old city reverberate as acrobats, musicians and slapstick troupes emerge with the setting sun. It is in your riad and the time-forgotten hamlets of the Ourika Valley, however, where you’ll feel most at home. Offering masterclasses in mindfulness and tranquility, you’ll be spoilt for choice between essential oil massages in zellige-tiled riads, mint tea pitstops with local Berbers and romantic dinners in the Agafay Desert, which are always accompanied with epic desert sunsets and starry skies.
We reckon that if your second trimester falls slap bang in the middle of winter you should embrace it wholeheartedly – just as they do in Oslo. Hailed ‘The Queen of Nordic Cool’ by National Geographic, Oslo knows a thing or two about making the most out of its fleeting midwinter sunlight. Although the sub-zero months of December and January are best avoided, we believe a long weekend in the cocoon of your boutique Tjuvholmen bolt hole is sure to hit all the right notes. With a scrumptious Scandinavian breakfast of rye bread, ham and hard cheese under your belt, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running (or walk at a leisurely pace) around the city’s myriad museums (such as the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art and National Museum for Art); pause along the harbour promenade, which stretches all the way to the Opera House and Sørengaat; and shop to your heart’s content in the City’s boho district of Grünerløkka. And, if you’re in need of a few hours of relaxation, your hotel’s spa will be more than happy to oblige.
Before life is taken up with feeding times and nappies, we recommend taking a leaf out of James Taylor’s book and saving a little room for Carolina when canvassing babymoon ideas. Home to the charming coastal cities of Charleston, Wilmington and Savannah (although technically in Georgia), North and South Carolina are perfect if your idea of a babymoon involves top-down convertible cruising and a generous helping of Southern soul food. While seafood may be off the menu, a lunch at Boxcar Betty’s and evening at Rodney Scott’s BBQ for ‘Whole Hog Pork Plates’ and ‘Tater Trucks’ will have you forgetting it is even a Southern staple. Hit up the historic hotspots of Fort Moultrie and Middleton Place (an old plantation), enjoy a stroll along a deserted Outer Banks beach (which shouldn’t be too hard to find) and embrace the old-world charms of the states’ stoop-lovin’ and sweet-tea drinkin’ locals.
Image by Faustine Poidevin
If you’re after the best of both worlds – before life inevitably gets turned upside down by your bundle of joy – look no further than Cape Town. Combining handsome coastlines like Cape Point with a historic and thriving metropolis just a few miles inland, Cape Town is the ultimate sensory smorgasbord. From Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and Table Mountain, which can be easily scaled on its cable car, to Robben Island and Boulders Beach, where you can have the pinch-me moment of swimming alongside inquisitive African penguin colonies, you’d be forgiven for not wanting to leave. But if you do, we recommend cruising across the coast along the Western Cape’s iconic garden trail. Free from any Zika and Malaria concerns, you’ll have the chance to stop on route in the region’s illustrious wine region (don’t worry, they are well known for their chocolate too) and spot the Big Five on an exhilarating game drive through Shamwari Game Reserve. Epic, we know.
If your dream babymoon ideas all point to rest and relaxation, you may as well do it in style along the Amalfi Coast. A big bucket-list contender, it’s not hard to see how the craggy peninsula has become such a crowd pleaser. From the steep cliffs that rise above its sapphire seas to the maze of pastel houses that tumble down them, Praiano, Positano and the umpteen other glamorous seaside towns that wind round its Blue Highway practically scream – or seductively whisper – peace and tranquility. Take a private boat around the postcard-worthy island of Capri or venture to Ischia, Capri’s quieter sister, for a less-trodden landscape of lazy beaches fringed by enchanting chestnut forests. Spend your days sinking into sunbeds along the calm waters of Fiordo di Furore, take a guided rowboat tour to the straight-out-of-a-fantasy-novel Emerald Grotto and reach new heights up Ravello, the region’s resident hilltop town.
Header Image by Lucy Laucht