Honeymoons through the ages

Having once been a luxury afforded only to a select few couples, honeymoons are now an integral part of modern day wedding celebrations. It’s a chance to jet away in search of your own slice of paradise; be it a secluded palm tree-lined beach in the Caribbean, a glamorous escape to Las Vegas or the peace and tranquillity of a private island resort.

The adventurers of modern day honeymooners are a far cry from those of yesteryear, so just how did this newlywed tradition develop into the extravagant, trip of a lifetime it is today? Our friends at Best at Travel have taken a look at the origins of the honeymoon as well as some of the mind-blowing locations and activities on offer to modern day newlyweds.

Honeymoons: The Early Years

The first evidence of the term ‘honeymoon’ being used in English can be traced back to the mid-1500s, but it wasn’t until the 19th Century that couples began to embrace the concept. Back then honeymoons were primarily reserved for well-to-do couples who would embark on so-called ‘bridal tours’ to visit friends or family who were unable to make the wedding. Rather than being an intimate escape with your new wife or husband, however, these excursions would often involve travelling with other family members.

Some bridal tours extended to the European continent and could last anywhere between a few weeks to several months. After the First World War, however, transport became more affordable and the honeymoon concept gradually became an integral part of the newlywed celebrations.

The British Honeymoon

Up until the 1960s, the majority of honeymoons centred on domestic destinations; be it for a few days by the seaside or at a country retreat in the Lake District. The increasing popularity of honeymoons meant hotels and resorts began to offer cut price deals to newlywed couples, with attractive entertainment offers often thrown into the mix.

The island of Jersey became a particularly popular destination for British honeymooners during the 1950s, even earning the nickname ‘honeymoon island’. Special ballroom dances and live music events were put on by Jersey hotels in order to keep their newlywed residents entertained. For many couples, this honeymoon would represent their first ever trip away from the British mainland, and given the island’s close proximity to France, it was considered quite an exotic location at the time.

Then came the 1960s; and the era of peace, love and broadening one’s horizons coincided with the rising popularity of commercial airlines. Luxurious honeymoons abroad which had once seemed unattainable now became a realistic option for many newlywed couples, with France, Spain and Italy proving popular destinations.

Honeymoons Today

For honeymooning couples today, the world truly is their oyster. Exotic, far-flung destinations are only ever a flight or two away – but which are the world’s top destinations? Whether it’s down to the stunning scenery, hot climate, range of activities or high concentration of celebrities – these locations prove irresistible to honeymooners the world over…

Lemuria, Seychelles
Lemuria, Seychelles

Seychelles

Located some 1,500 miles off the eastern coast of Africa, the Seychelles truly are the quintessential island paradise. Powder-white beaches, crystal clear waters and an overwhelming sense of peace and tranquillity; what better way to start married life?

The sun-kissed island has long been the honeymoon destination of choice for both A-listers and royalty, with the likes of Sir Paul McCartney and Brad Pitt joining Prince William & Kate Middleton on the long list of high profile individuals to have enjoyed this Indian Ocean island paradise.

Where to stay?

The Constance Lemuria resort is ideally located on the northwest coast of the island, where lush jungle-like terrain blends seamlessly with secluded lagoons and pristine beaches. Book into one of the luxurious suites, or opt for one of the eight villas where a qualified ‘Villa Master’ will be on hand to cater to your every demand. You’ll also find an 18-hole championship golf course on your door step, whilst a three-level swimming pool enables you to literally swim from the hotel down to the beachfront. The resort’s restaurants, meanwhile, offer an eclectic mix of local and international cuisine, with a few heavenly cocktails to match.

Honua Kai, Hawaii
Honua Kai, Hawaii

Hawaii

Ah Hawaii, what’s not to love? Made of eight main islands within the sprawling Hawaiian Archipelago, it offers honeymooners the ultimate Pacific escape. Swaying palm trees line its beaches where surfers from around the world come to fulfil their lifelong ambitions of riding the famous Hawaii waves, with majestic volcanos forming the picture-postcard backdrop.

Where to stay?

The Honua Kai Resort & Spa on the island of Maui provides easy access to several idyllic beaches, from where you can wade into the warm waters and discover the spectacular coral reefs and teeming marine life that awaits beneath the surface. The hotel’s rooms, meanwhile, ooze style and comfort and include specially designed deep soaking bathtubs. Alternatively, treat yourself to a spot of pampering in the spa where a range of massages and body treatments await.

Jumeirah Dhevanafushi, Maldives
Jumeirah Dhevanafushi, Maldives

Maldives

Welcome to paradise. Perched in the middle of the Indian Ocean, surrounded by hundreds of small, uninhabited islands, the Maldives is a place like no other. Its turquoise waters are home to breath-taking underwater kingdoms where over 1,200 species of fish and mesmerising coral reefs combine to create one of the world’s top diving destinations. Oh, and its resorts ain’t too shabby either…

Where to stay?

Your stay at the spectacular Jumeirah Dhevanafushi starts with a short seaplane journey from the main island of Malé, from where you will be guided to your deluxe villa – complete with a 24 hour butler. Flanked by tropical jungle terrain and crystal clear ocean waters for as far as the eye can see, you’ll have no option but to plunge into a state of deep relaxation. From private pools to your own wine cellar, the villas offer you the height of luxury amidst gorgeous surroundings.

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast, lunch or dinner courtesy of your very own private chef, indulge in a few spa treatments or wade into the warm ocean waters for a spot of snorkelling. The choice is yours.

The Palm, Dubai
The Palm, Dubai

Dubai

Dubai has developed into one of the world’s leading tourist hubs in recent years and is fast becoming a top honeymoon destination. Its desert climate ensures warm year-round temperatures coupled with well over 300 days of sunshine per annum, so there’s plenty scope for relaxing by the beach or poolside. Above all else, however, Dubai is renowned for its luxurious resorts and state-of-the-art infrastructure.

Where to stay?

The 5 star One&Only The Palm ranks as one of Dubai’s premier resorts, complete with a private beach perched on the iconic Palm Jumeirah – dubbed the ‘eighth wonder of the world’. Outdoor pools and bars populate the lush gardens, whilst elegant suites and low-rise mansion style rooms ensure you remain in full comfort mode throughout your stay.

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Thank you to Best At Travel for sharing this with us. Where are you planning on going for your honeymoon? Let us know in the comments below! To discover some fabulous honeymoons, click here to visit: bestattravel.co.uk