Honeymoon plans on hold? Why not recommend a minimoon. Natalie Marsh rounds up five of the best.
1. Soak up the sun in Skiathos
A minimoon on a serene Greek island sounds swanky enough, but you can make it even more memorable with a host of romantic extras from luxury hotel Elivi Skiathos. “We recently launched new experiences to cater for couples looking for an intimate post-pandemic destination,” says Vivi Nathanailidou, the hotel’s co-owner. For guests seeking to kick off married life in style, the options include a sunset cruise with four-course meal and dinner in a private beach gazebo.
Book it: Rooms start from about £252 per night based on two people sharing.
2. Road trip around Iceland
A minimoon doesn’t mean you have to stay in the same place. From spotting the northern lights to visiting the Blue Lagoon, Iceland is full of adventure, and hiring a car allows you to go at your own pace. Sue McAlinden, general manager of Best Served Scandinavia, says: “The northern lights are visible from the start of September to the end of March, so you can have a full-on autumnal or winter experience.”
Book it: Best Served Scandinavia’s five-day Romantic Iceland & the Northern Lights break starts at £1,235, including flights, four days’ car hire and B&B stays at the Hotel Grimsborgir and Hotel Centrum.
3. Cruise Venice’s canals
Venice oozes romance and couples dream of a gondola ride through its canals. A stay at the Hotel Londra Palace, five minutes from St Mark’s Square, means minimooners don’t have to go far to soak up the city’s charm. “It’s an elegant hotel and offers a wonderful, personalised honeymoon service,” says Heather Green, senior regional destination manager at Citalia.
Book it: Citalia offers four nights’ B&B at the Londra Palace from £945 per person in October, including flights from Gatwick and private transfers.
4. Indulge in French fare
The Small House (La Petite Maison) in the French countryside is one of the properties in the new Villas by Relais & Châteaux portfolio. Set on Le Domaine de Verchant wine estate, the villa is just outside Montpellier and 15 minutes from the beach. “Not only is it a charming private villa in a vineyard, serving the freshest, locally sourced food and wine made on site, it also delivers wellness options in the shape of an outdoor infinity pool overlooking the vines, plus a spa,” says Kalindi Juneja, international director at Relais & Châteaux.
Book it: Nightly rates start at £344.
5. Explore cultural Copenhagen
Why not follow a lazy morning with a stroll through one of Europe’s most charming capitals? The centrally located Villa Copenhagen, which opened last summer, is ideal for couples who want to balance some downtime with getting out and about. “Copenhagen is a cosy capital to explore while enjoying that newlywed high,” says Isabella Moroni, vice-president of leisure sales for Europe at Preferred Hotels & Resorts.
Book it: A night’s B&B at Villa Copenhagen, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, starts at £260 per room.
PICTURE: Magnus Asmundsson