Far from madding crowd

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 June, 2012, 12:00am


After the exhausting rush of couturiers, caterers and table plans comes the honeymoon, and the chance to unwind from the stresses of the months leading up to a wedding.

The honeymoon is a great excuse to splurge on a holiday. White sandy beaches, aqua seas and luxury accommodation set a quintessential scene for the newlyweds, but a more adventurous destination can offer a superlative bank of memories and a catalogue of dinner party tales.

Graham Elsom, managing director of Concorde Travel in Hong Kong, says there is more interest in sports or activity-focused trips than the grand tour holidays popular in the past.

'People like to go trekking to exotic locations like Bhutan or Nepal, or to see the gorillas in Rwanda, or hiking and pony trekking in Peru,' he says.

A new trend in African safaris is to ditch the four-wheel drive and go on foot to get closer to the wildlife, though, after first-hand experience, Elsom says it was 'too adventurous' for him and advises that only the very intrepid try it.

Concorde Travel tailors trips to 'off-the-wall' destinations, such as Greenland. 'The destination is already adventurous, but the iceberg carving at Ilulissat has to be seen to be believed,' Elsom says. 'This is almost certainly the place where the iceberg that sank the Titanic came from.'

Secondary destinations are a good choice, Elsom says. 'In the old days you could stroll through the Taj Mahal. These days you are pushed through by security guards who insist you keep moving,' he says. 'India is full of fantastic places to visit, but they are simply not as well known as the icons.'

Elsom suggests hiring a car and driver to get off the beaten track. 'Get some ideas together and then approach us to pull the trip together and recommend the best places.'

David Fraser, managing director for Greater China at Flight Centre, agrees that an African safari is hard to beat for adventure and romance.

'There is something incredibly romantic in a honeymoon at the safari, from the idyllic destinations to the overall experience you get being so close to nature ... to watch the animals in action, the predator chasing its prey.'

New Zealand offers outdoor adventures with a physical challenge, 'especially if you like hiking, snorkelling, kayaking, cycling or spelunking [pot holing]', Fraser says. 'And the scenery is breathtaking.'

Adventure travel is plentiful in Asia. Indochina offers jungle trekking, rock climbing and hot air balloon rides over ancient landmarks, such as Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Bagan in Myanmar.

Before you book, do your research Fraser says. Seek advice from a reputable travel agent and ask plenty of questions.

Local guides with insider information can be valuable, too. Some destinations are easy to explore solo but others can be more meaningful discovered with a guide, who can give an insight into things you might otherwise miss, Fraser says.