Hi everyone, we're getting married in October 2011 and want to go somewhere a bit unique, but have a lot of random criteria. Here are the criteria:
1. A new country for the both of us (this is really hard - we both travel a lot and have generally gone to different places)
2. Not beach-focused.
3. Somewhere in Europe/Asia/Africa (the wedding is in Italy and we'll either be living in Turkmenistan or China at the time, so don't want to go in the opposite direction - ie, South America).
4. Somewhat active. Not necessarily hiking up mountains, but we want there to be cities/villages or just something to do. I love him, but I don't want to stare into his eyes for 2 weeks - seems like a waste of vacation time.
So far we've considered India, Nepal, Bhutan, Cyprus (although I've been to Turkey a lot and he's been to Greece a few times, so this may not really work), Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia or Montenegro.
Has anybody been to any of these places? Not necessarily for a honeymoon, but just been there and know if it'd be interesting and what the weather is like in October?
I have traveled a lot, as well, and have been all over Western Europe. I get the impression that the "usual" places like Paris or Rome are already on the Been There Done That list.
You mentioned Cyprus. I have a friend, a Swedish woman, who just got back from two weeks in an all-inclusive in Cyprus. She had a total blast. She was there with her husband and 8-year old son. They were busy and active every day, but had plenty of time for the pool. They also went to the beach, but you said you are not interested in the beach.
Have you been to Barcelona? That is one of my fav cities in Europe. I love the Gaudí architecture.
I currently live in Cyprus so I can tell you some of my opinions. October weather is really nice. Its warm during the day but cool at night, which allows for many activities.
There are a lot of historical places on the south side of the island. Aphrodite's said birthplace, and her baths are near Paphos. There's the Hala Sultan Tekke an old Arabic castle. Famagusta is the Ghost City where the Greek Cypriots left back in 74. These are the few I've been to but the list goes on pretty far.
Since the borders have been opened to the Turkish side you can also do that. I have heard it leaves quite an impression, but I haven't been there. The island has a lot of history, and the story of the war is very interesting and you can physically see the effects all over the island even in downtown Nicosia (the capital city).
As far as hiking I think there are a few spots in Cyprus but Im not 100% sure. I think you mentioned two weeks? You should have enough time to see most of the big sites and maybe even stare into your FH eyes for a bit.
If you have any questions I can find out if you'd like. Hope it helped.
Just to respond to everyone (I do appreciate the replies)... my fiance's father grew up in Bologna, so he went to Italy and Europe all throughout his childhood. He also had a Spanish girlfriend he was really serious about so we've both been to Spain individually (although Barcelona is definitely my favorite city there), so it wouldn't be special to us as a couple.
We thought of sailing to Croatia, but we've both been there already. It was on my bar trip after law school for me, so my memories are more of drunken times with friends. I figure we can do that again later, but for our honeymoon I want it to be something we are both experiencing for the first time together.
Cappadocia - I LOVE that place and am definitely taking FH some day!! Had a bit of an "encounter" with one of the local men there a couple years ago though, so that wouldn't work either :-)
Cyprus is sounding very good: not too far from Italy, good weather, stuff to do and new for both of us. I'll even be able to practice my rusty Turkish on that side of the island.
Thanks for the replies!
If anyone else has any ideas, keep 'em coming! We both love to travel and have quite a bit of time, so at this point we're gathering ideas so we can start to narrow down based on weather, cost, etc. We'll go off my list, I just didn't want to list EVERY place we've considered.
If you are looking for a less obvious destination: did you consider Ukraine? I actually met my fiancee there :)
Lviv and Odessa are beautifull cities, the people are friendly and the landscapes are breathtaking. It's extremely cheap, which means you can pamper yourself without going bankrupt. I'm talking spa's, fancy restaurants and trips with a private guide. The only thing which might be a drawback is to actually ENTER the country... Just like in Russia, you need visas, invation letters, bank extracts etc.