Honeymoon In Dalmatian Coast
Called "the new Riviera," Croatia's Dalmatian Coast is poised to become the next big thing (in-the-know celebs already flock here in the summer). What's the draw? This gorgeous European collection of islands is a study in extremes: Thick forests and rocky cliffs jut out over pebbly beaches and ancient ruins sit within walking distance of hip nightlife.
Honeymoon In Majorca (aka Mallorca)
The intoxicating beauty of Spain's largest island has been attracting artists and musicians since the late nineteenth century, and recent days have transformed it into a hot spot for luxury resort vacations. Sweeping bays and clear, blue waters stretch out in striking contrast to the jutting cliffs and towering mountains of this Mediterranean locale.Learn More
Honeymoon In Ireland
This richly romantic country offers rolling hills, misty oceanside cliffs, quaint seaside villages, plus grand castles and country manors, making it the perfect resting spot for vacationers.Rain showers are common in Ireland and they keep the rolling hills and meadows swathed in endless kelly green, rendered all the more vibrant next to piercing blue lakes, wildflowers, limestone castles, baahhhing sheep, and the shifting light of moody skies.
Honeymoon In Athens
The city of Athens is one of the oldest in the world, holding onto its status as a cultural center for at least 3,000 years. The remainders of past civilizations still look over this crowded city -- rising up on the hills of the Acropolis, scattered along the walks of the Plaka and well preserved in scores of museums. This cradle of western civilization and historical haven for philosophers (Plato and Aristotle, for example) will give you a vacation that blends a vivid past with an exciting urban present.
Before You Go: Need-to-know info
Language: Greek (Many people speak English as well.)
Flight time: 14.5 hrs from L.A., 9.5 hrs from NYC
Currency: The Euro (EUR)
Getting around: Bus, Metro (subway), taxi, foot, or car (traffic is super congested, so only rent a car for trips outside the city)
When To Go: Athens at its best
Best weather: March to May, and October to November. Summers can get quite hot (73-89?F averages), while winters can be chilly (44-58?F averages).
Best Prices: March to May, and September to October
What To Do
Remarkable ruins: You can find centuries upon centuries of historical remnants just by taking a stroll through this ancient city. Climb up the famed Acropolis for an eyeful of one of the most stunning pieces of ancient architecture you'll ever see, the Parthenon; from here you can also look over the centers of both the ancient and modern city. Just beneath the Acropolis is the Plaka, Athens' oldest district. Take a look around for a glimpse of monuments from essentially every era of the past 3,000 years; then pop into a taverna for a glass of wine and some traditional music.
Party central: The Greek are a carpe diem kind of crowd, living it up every night of the week. (They work this into their schedule with the help of a nice afternoon nap for fortification.) The laid-back Athenians roam the Plaka until late in the evening; eat a leisurely dinner; and then spread out to dance the night away in the city's plethora of bars, lounges, and nightclubs. Join the pack, and you'll find yourself deep in one of Europe's hottest nightlife scenes.
Honeymoon In Madrid
It's midnight on the streets, and an elderly woman passes by with a stroller. Up ahead, laughing crowds slide into chic restaurants for dinner. And it's a Tuesday. Strange? Not in Madrid -- this charming city is up all night, every night. A perfect spot for the cosmopolitan couple, the Spanish capital blends big-city style and energy with laid-back Mediterranean attitude.
Honeymoon In Tuscany
Tuscany, along central Italy's west coast, is Renaissance country -- the lush landscape inspired painters Leonardo and Raphael with its green valleys, rolling hills, vineyards, and olive groves. The art and architecture of the fifteenth century remain in ample evidence, but il dolce far niente -- the sweet art of idleness -- is equally intoxicating.
Before You Go: Need-to-know info
Entry requirement: Passport
Flight time: 10 hours from NYC, 15 hours from LA, 14 hours from Dallas
Getting around: Car, bus, train
Note: Many restaurants may be closed from Christmas through the first week in January and for much of August.
When To Go: Tuscany at its best
Best weather: May, September, and October. July and August are hottest and most humid. Tourism swells from May through September.
Best prices: Winter, early spring, and late autumn.
Festival highlights: The Regata di San Ranieri, featuring boat races and floats on the Arno River, takes place in Pisa in June; the Joust of the Saracen is held the first Sunday in September in Arezzo; and the Corsa del Palio, a heated horse race around the Piazza del Campo in Siena, takes place in the summer.
What To Do
Indulge in Amazing Cuisine: When you come to Tuscany, leave your watch at home. This region inspires contemplation, exploration, and lingering picnics featuring some of Europe's best food and wine. Take advantage of local specialties: olive oil, mushrooms such as porcini and truffles, roasted meats and salami, sheep's milk cheeses such as pecorino and ricotta, and wine (don't miss the wine estates and castles of the Chianti Classico region in central Tuscany).
Where To Go
Arezzo: This city in eastern Tuscany is one of Italy's three major gold jewelry production centers. Here you'll find stunning frescoes (don't miss the collection at the 13th-century church of San Francesco), richly colored stained glass, and Etruscan pottery. Browse antique shops around the Piazza Grande for deals, or visit the open-air antiques fair held the first weekend of every month.
Cortona: Cortona's steep streets, slender alleys, and ancient buildings have an eclectic charm. The medieval hilltop town is best known for its small museums, churches, and fine antique shops. Trek up the garden-lined Via Crucis to the church of Santa Margherita for excellent views.
Lucca: Exploring this city in northern Tuscany is a delight. Scamper between the columns of grand Romanesque churches, mingle with locals at an outdoor market in the Piazza del Mercato, and stroll the wonderful gardens of nearby Villa Reale (Royal Villa), once the home of Napoleon's sister (closed December to February). A music festival is held in the villa's Teatro di Verdura, a theater created with topiaries, during July and August.
Pisa: This town in western Tuscany is known for its leaning tower, but don’t forget to visit the Campo dei Miracoli, which includes a stunning trio: the Battistero (Baptistery), Camposanta (cemetery filled with earth brought from the Holy Land by crusaders), and Duomo (cathedral). The lamp suspended over the cathedral's pulpit is called Galileo's Lamp and is said to have inspired his theories on pendulum motion.
San Gimignano: Originally called the City of the Beautiful Towers, this wonderful medieval town near Siena is noted for its towers -- 14 of the more than 75 spires that once defined its skyline remain. Visit small art galleries, shops, restaurants, and the dreamy 12th-century Romanesque Collegiate church, with walls covered in frescoes and a blue vaulted ceiling speckled with golden stars.
Siena: A must-see on any Tuscan tour, this charming sienna-hued city in central Tuscany is one of Italy's best-preserved medieval towns. Siena was a hotbed of art and learning during the Middle Ages, and its hilly streets, Gothic cathedrals, and stone palaces are perfect for daydreaming. The Piazza del Campo -- a large square with 11 streets snaking into it -- lies at the city's heart.
Volterra: Volterra, perched on a high plateau in western Tuscany, offers stunning vistas of the surrounding countryside and is known for the beautiful statues its craftsmen create from locally mined white alabaster. The Museo Etrusco Guarnacci owns one of the best collections of Etruscan artifacts in Italy, including 600 intricately carved funeral urns.
Honeymoon In Vienna
If you're classical music fans, European history buffs or art and architecture aficionados, a trip to Vienna will be your personal recipe for bliss. The city quite possibly possesses the biggest cache of cultural treats of any city in Europe. It's filled with gorgeous paintings and era-defining architecture from the Gothic, Baroque and Art Nouveau periods. And the city that gave the world Mozart and Beethoven remains a center for soul-stirring musical performances.Learn More
Honeymoon In Florence
Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance and home to many of world's most famous paintings and statues. If you're visiting during a tour of Tuscany, take a few days to explore this bustling city's mind-boggling collection of artistic genius and stunning cathedrals. Learn More
Honeymoon In Barcelona
This isn't your average metropolis. Barcelona, the proud capital of the ancient nation of Catalan, has a quirky blend of timeless elegance and innovative spirit. Vast museums and celebrated structures find their homes among lively markets and outdoor cafes, and experiments in art and fashion are apparent in the laid-back bar and lounge scene, which moves out to the beaches and rooftops in summer months. There's sand, sangria and plenty to do in this super-cultural locale.Learn More