Aphrodite's Rock, Cyprus Photo source: Flickr, photographer: *loanna*
Strolling hand in hand across vast expanses of sand, gazing out into the sparkling seas - or into each other’s eyes, of course; having a candlelit dinner on a secluded beach; there’s nowhere more romantic than one of the beautiful islands of Europe for your honeymoon.
Where better to start than the island of Cyprus, legendary birthplace of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love? Begin your married life on the white sandy shores of the Mediterranean Sea, in one of the many luxury resorts and hotels scattered around the beautiful coastline of Cyprus. Swim out to Aphrodite’s Rock, where the goddess was said to have emerged from the sea, or visit the grotto on the wild Akamas Peninsula where she used to bathe.
The Greek islands are also perfect honeymoon destinations and while each and every one has its own unique charm and appeal, one of the most romantic isles has to be Santorini in the Cyclades archipelago, a lovers’ dream with dramatic volcanic scenery and white-washed houses perched precariously on the rugged cliff tops. Santorini is a picture postcard island where you can embark on your new life in breathtaking surroundings.
The islands of Capri, Sicily and Sardinia in the Mediterranean country of Italy provide a stunning backdrop for a romantic honeymoon - and with Italian considered by many as the language of love, what could be more suitable? Discover the enchanting island of Capri, which can be reached from the Italian mainland city of Naples in under an hour, with its elegant bathing resorts, secluded coves and dramatic coastline, or combine the delights of a relaxing beach holiday with explorations of the centuries-old history, culture and traditions of Sicily, Italy’s largest island. The exclusive island of Sardinia is also made for lovers, with its beautifully romantic Costa Smeralda, or Emerald Coast, so- called for the dazzling colour of the sea.
Spend your romantic evenings in one of many beautiful restaurants or cafes, Malta Photo: MTA
The Mediterranean island of Malta is also a well-deserved favourite with newlyweds, offering spectacularly sunny beaches and countryside. Malta and its sister island of Gozo are well-known for the high quality of their spa resorts, where you can enjoy some serious pampering as you both get to know one another better. But there’s more than sun and sand – explore the crusaders’ fort and ancient historical sites, or revel at one of the many village festivals or musical events.
The islands off Spain and Portugal, on the Iberian Peninsula, are also very popular honeymoon destinations. Visit the Balearic Islands of Mallorca or Minorca and discover the most unspoilt and beautiful parts of the island, with secluded coves, dramatic cliffs and crystal-clear turquoise waters; or head down to the coast of Morocco to sample the Spanish Canary Islands, with their dramatic volcanic scenery and subtropical forests.
Madeira, a Portuguese island off the coast of Africa, is an exotic and romantic island known for its stunning beaches and abundance of flora and fauna – not for nothing is it known as the island of flowers. The Azores, a wild and remote archipelago of nine volcanic islands almost one thousand miles to the west of Portugal, offer the ultimate honeymoon haven for those wanting complete privacy and relaxation.
Which island will be your honeymoon haven? While each island has its own distinct atmosphere, these European islands are all natural magnets for newlyweds looking for a fabulous honeymoon.