How to plan the perfect second honeymoon

Everything you need to plan the perfect second honeymoon, from choosing the perfect destination to enjoying your time once you get there.  

Where to go

Cecilia Borjeson, in-house luxury accommodation expert from travel search platform, HolidayPirates shares her best recommendations for a honeymoon in Europe:

Kefalonia, Greece

kefalonia for second honeymoon

Perhaps best known as the location of the novel and film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Kefalonia is the largest island in the Ionian Sea and arguably one of the most beautiful.

With rocky coasts and stunning secluded beaches, rather than becoming overpopulated with flashy hotels and clubs, Kefalonia has retained its unique charm, making it the perfect location for a relaxing honeymoon on the beach. Famous for its organic olive oil, should you ever grow tired of exploring Kefalonia’s beaches, then why not sign up for an olive oil tasting session, where you can learn about how to taste the oil and identify the different flavours.

The majority of the bars and restaurants that Kefalonia does have, are located in the main town of Argostoli where you can enjoy excellent food at a great price.

 

Riga, Latvia

Riga, Latvia

The largest city in the Baltic region, Riga is a great location if you are looking for a budget-friendly honeymoon destination. Riga is fairly small meaning that instead of spending money on local transport, you can see all the major sites on foot.

The city is known for its impressive displays of art-nouveau architecture around the city and if this is something of interest, you can explore this further at the Riga Art Nouveau Museum. Be sure to try the local cuisine pelēkie zirņi ar speķi, a stew made from local dried peas, mixed with fried onions and diced speck, a type of smoked bacon made from pork belly.

If you're desperate to feel sand between your toes, located just 12.5 miles from Riga, is Jūrmala beach town, the perfect place to relax. 

 

Solta, Croatia

solta croatia second honeymoon

The island of Solta, is generally one of the more overlooked islands on the Dalmatian Coast, with tourists tending to head for the more well-known locations such as Hvar and Brac. However, don’t let this put you off: Solta is one of the most beautiful islands and is completely unspoiled by tourism, so you and your spouse will have the opportunity to relax and unwind.

The largest city on Solta is Grohote, which contains just a few shops, post office and a pharmacy. If you want to head to the largest beach, then head to Necujam, which is located across the bay from Split and is where many boats anchor up. While there may not be much in the way of tourist attractions, Solta is famous for three things which you should try whilst there: olive oil, honey, and Dobricic wine.

 

Paphos, Cyprus

paphos

If you are looking for a more sightseeing-friendly honeymoon, then you should definitely check out Paphos. The whole city of Paphos is UNESCO-listed, meaning you will never go far without coming across an amazing example of this city’s extraordinary history.

Culture aside, if you're looking to relax on a beach then you will be spoilt for choice, as Paphos has no fewer than 27 beaches and an abundance of great diving spots where you can explore sea caves and shipwrecks! 

 

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana, Slovenia second honeymoon

The beauty of Slovenia is a well-kept secret by those who have spent time exploring its hidden wonders. A great location to base your trip, is Slovenia’s capital and largest city, Ljubljana. With painted houses, cobbled streets and a river running through the centre, which at night becomes the hub of social activity, Ljubljana is one of the prettiest cities you can visit. While there is ample entertainment within the city itself, there are plenty of other great places to visit which can easily be reached from Ljubljana, whether just for the day, or longer.

If you enjoy water sports, or simply want to see the beautiful mountains of Slovenia, then take a trip to Soča Valley, where the turquoise Soča river flows between jaw-dropping mountains and you can enjoy activities such as white water rafting and canoeing. The fairy tale like location of Lake Bled is also well worth a visit. If you are looking to unwind and relax, then this is a great location to base yourself at for a few days whilst enjoying walks around the lake and up to the neighbouring Triglav National Park.

 

How to prepare

If you’re taking your sweetheart, or your new partner, on your second honeymoon then the typical tourist haunts are probably less appealing to you and your partner. Instead, you might prefer to immerse yourself in the culture of your chosen destination, experiencing as much of the local way of life as possible. We asked Ted Mentele, Editor in Didactics at leading language learning app Babbel, to share some insider tips for those who want a slice of local life on their second honeymoon. 

Learn the local lingo

learning the language on a second honeymoon
Photo by Naassom Azevedo

If you want to fully experience a culture, then our best advice is to familiarise yourself with the local lingo. Even if you’re learning from scratch, just knowing a few key phrases will go a long way in helping you to find the authentic restaurants; from the best pizzerias of Naples to the tastiest cantinas throughout Mexico, locate secluded beaches and talk to locals.

Some key phrases to learn include: What are the best sights to see nearby? How much does this cost? Which way is the beach/ museum/ town hall? Can you share any restaurant recommendations?

If you really want to blend in, then work on your pronunciation too, by listening to the language and practicing it as much as possible out loud. Apps are a great way to get you conversational fast, which you could combine with language lessons to get you speaking like a pro in no time.

 

 

Travel like a native

travel like the locals

Instead of relying on crowded transits or overpriced taxis, find out how the locals get around and do the same! It’s guaranteed to be much quicker and, most likely, cheaper than the tourist-friendly alternatives, and you’ll find that you’ll see more when moving around on foot or by bike, too.

Trying local modes of transport, such as the tram or tube, might seem intimidating at first, so don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice using your new language skills.

 

 

Familiarise yourself with local customs

second honeymoon tips

Beyond being respectful of local traditions, research any customs that are specific to the region before you travel. For example in Italy, locals wouldn’t order cappuccinos after 11am and doing so in the afternoon would immediately make it clear to everyone that you’re a tourist.

Similarly, hailing a taxi in the middle of the street like in New York, wouldn’t get you a cab in most European cities. Lastly, don’t be too noisy in Mediterranean countries, especially between 2-5pm, as most people will be taking naps to cope with the worst of the day’s heat.

In Greece, the police even introduce seasonal "quiet hours", with no loud music, construction work or roadworks taking place during the designated quiet time.

 

 

Hide the map!

second honeymoon tourists

Nothing screams "tourist" more than walking through a city holding a map. Relax, look around and enjoy exploring—you’ll be amazed how much you can discover by walking a few streets away from the tourist areas, and how much of the local life you will be able to experience.

By straying off the beaten track you’re more likely to stumble across family-owned shops and restaurants too, meaning you’ll be supporting local businesses.

 

 

 

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