Honeymoon Ideas & Answers

Honeymoons You'll Both Love: Cape Town and the Winelands, South Africa

Couples often have different ideas about what makes for a great vacation. But there are a few compromise-free honeymoon spots that you'll both enjoy—let's call these the intersection of relaxing and action-packed. Afterward you may differ on the "best" part of the trip, but you'll both be smiling like crazy in the pictures.

WHY YOU'LL BOTH LOVE IT You get the cool factor of a modern city, plus gorgeous beaches, wine tastings, natural wonders, and "Big Five" safaris within driving distance.

RELAX The city and surrounding area are chock-full of gorgeous public beaches, each a little different&mdash:and only a short distance away&mdash:from the next. For sunbathing, try the palm tree-lined Camps Bay (which also has plenty in the way of fun beach bars). Watch the surfers at Noordhoek Beach, or photograph the hundreds of African penguins that populate Boulders Beach. When you've had your fill of surf and sand, head to V&A Waterfront, a working harbor with excellent shopping (everything from African art to exotic perfumes) and some of the city's best restaurants.

It will require minimal effort to find out why the Cape Town environs are well known for their wine. For an easy day trip, the picturesque Constantia Valley is just minutes from the city and home to eight winemakers, including the oldest in the country, Groot Constantia. The route is easy to drive, or you can opt for a guided tour (read: you'll be able to drink more). If you're up for a longer trip, try the Stellenbosch wine route, which includes more than 100 wine farms (we like Lanzerac Hotel & Spa, where you can stay the night in a posh room and round out your experience with a grape-seed body polish at the spa).

EXPLORE While being a beach bum and drinking wine may be some people's idea of fun, it might not be yours. You're thinking, "Hell-ooo, we're in Africa!" So get yourself over to Cape Point Nature Reserve. Here, about 40 miles south of Cape Town (that would be near the tip of the African continent), you can swim and hike, and also explore the remains of shipwrecks on the beach. Peruse the flora at Kirstenbosch Gardens, a massive (and beautiful) botanical garden that also serves as the entry to Skeleton Gorge and Nursery Ravine, two craggy hiking routes to the summit of Table Mountain, a flat-topped, 3,563-foot-high city landmark. From May to December, consider making the 90-minute drive to Hermanus, a quaint coastal town, to spot the humpback and southern right whales via tours that depart from the harbor.

And really, no trip to Africa is complete without going on a safari. There are several within a few hours' drive of the city, the closest being Fairy Glen reserve at the foot of the Brandwacht Mountains (about an hour away). You'll see elephants, rhinos, lions, and more on the company's daily game drives (or via horseback, if the thought of this doesn't terrify you).

COULD BE INSPIRING Both of you should visit Robben Island, in the bay off Cape Town. A former prison that once held Nelson Mandela, it is now a museum that educates visitors about South Africa's heritage and its struggle for democracy.

See the next honeymoon idea: Puerto Rico

Photos: Courtesy of Cape Town Routes Unlimited

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