Whether you can’t take much time off work, have a bigger trip planned for later down the line or just fancy a shorter break, more and more people are opting for a ‘mini-moon’ rather than a grand, far-flung honeymoon. A mini-moon is usually less than a week in duration and involves staying closer to home (perfect if you’re not keen on long flights). They can be just as romantic as an exotic honeymoon, though – try these easy-to-reach destinations for a post-wedding trip to remember.
The Greek isle of Santorini has romance written all over it. Whitewashed villages and blue-domed churches cling to the vertiginous cliffs, with panoramic views of the caldera and front-row seats for some of the best sunsets you’ll ever see. Explore the narrow alleys that thread through the towns of Oia and Fira, then settle down for a dinner of fresh fish and stuffed vine leaves.
Where to stay: Grace Santorini features all-white rooms carved out of the cliff, daily champagne breakfasts, and an Instagram-worthy infinity pool.
If you want history and culture but still fancy a few beach days, head for Malta. Its capital city, Valletta, is a UNESCO-listed jumble of balconied townhouses, grand palaces and churches, while further inland you’ve got the ancient capital of Medina and a sprinkling of Megalithic temples and tombs. If you fancy slowing the pace down a notch, take a boat over to nearby Gozo for lovely sandy beaches or Comino, where you can swim and snorkel in the famous Blue Lagoon.
Where to stay: Set right next to Valletta’s old town walls, The Phoenicia is the grande dame of Malta hotels. It’s just undergone a big renovation, so you can expect plush bedrooms and suites, an infinity pool overlooking the harbour, and (from October 2016), a brand-new spa.
Impressive mountain vistas, chocolate-box villages and teeny sandy coves – Majorca’s west coast is seriously scenic. Outdoorsy types can hike up into the Tramuntana Mountains; if you prefer things a little more laid-back, settle down on a sea-view terrace with a pitcher of sangria.
Where to stay: Belmond La Residencia sits in the heart of the pretty village of Deia, with views across the honey-hued houses to the valley and the sea beyond. Make sure you take a complimentary shuttle down to Cala Deia at least once – this rocky cove has two ramshackle tavernas serving fantastic fish dishes.
If a city break is more your bag, Venice is ideal – you can stroll hand-in-hand beside pretty canals, admire priceless frescoes and artworks, and quaff endless Bellinis. Three days is sufficient for seeing the main sights, with plenty of time left for lagoon-view dinners and serenaded gondola rides.
Where to stay: Velvets, silks, chandeliers – the rooms at the Hotel Westin Europa Regina are suitable opulent. Upgrade to a Grand Canal view and you’ll be able to look across to Punta della Dogana and the beautiful Church of Santa Maria della Salute.