I promised a recap of our honeymoon in Europe… and here it is!
Overall, the trip was perfect. It was definitely a luxurious vacation, which was exactly what we wanted – give star accommodations, paparazzi-frequented restaurants, business class flights, bubbly every day, all day… what dreams are made of. I contacted an Accommodation Centre on http://jindabyneaccommodationcentre.com.au/ to get some advice on where to go. You only get one honeymoon!
And it was romantic! Even though it was six months after our wedding, I was grinning from ear-to-ear all over again, completely smitten with my gorgeous, fun-loving husband who was the fairy-tale gentleman.
So, the majority of the trip was a Mediterranean cruise, so we saw a lot of different places. (I love cruising, by the way, so if you have questions about that, get in touch!)
In order to make things simple, I’m going to through each city we visited and mention some highlights, and share a few of my favourite snaps.
I’ve wanted to see Venice my entire life. I’ve had lots of friends go, and some really liked it, but more often than not people were indifferent about it – they kinda shrugged and said “it’s just okay, but neat to see at least once”.
Well, we loved it. Maybe it was because I hadn’t been in Italy in a decade (I cannot believe it’s been that long!), but I was so excited and adored every single minute of it. Our little boutique hotel was right off the Grand Canal on the cutest tiny side-street, walking distance to everything – we would highly recommend it. It was My Other Half’s first time in Italy, so we ate all the good Italian things like gelato, pasta, pizza and lots of wine. We shopped and walked around a lot, and splurged on dinner at L’Alcova Resaurant, which right on the Grand Canal and is apparently frequented by celebrities and therefore paparazzi. We didn’t catch any celebs but it was the most romantic, intimate meal and the food was delicious.
My favourite Venetian thing was the super-popular cocktail called spritz, which is prosecco and Aperol with fruit. It was so refreshing. I was also hugely pumped that my Italian came back me so easily (I studied it in university) and was able to communicate and understand most conversations.
Can we eat like this every day @jasondhanrahan? #jjhoneymoon #venice A photo posted by The Domestic Blonde (@kentjulia) on
Venice, Italy #jjhoneymoon A photo posted by The Domestic Blonde (@kentjulia) on
One of the best decisions we made was renting a car and making a mini trip to Verona because My Other Half had heard so many good things about it. We couldn’t believe how simple it was to get there from Venice – it’s just over an hour on one big highway. It was beautiful, and completely different from Venice. And it’s the (fictional) home of Romeo and Juliet! We saw the balcony, which was pretty cute.
We also visited the Verona Arena which is smaller version of the Colosseum in Rome and is now used as an outdoor opera house. The Saint Anastasia church was pretty amazing too, and the biggest in Verona. Of course, we had to have pizza and spritz at one of the many sidewalk restaurants. The food was just incredible all over Italy. I even had Italian coffee!
Verona, Italy #jjhoneymoon A photo posted by The Domestic Blonde (@kentjulia) on
I wish this was breakfast today #jjhoneymoon #verona A photo posted by The Domestic Blonde (@kentjulia) on
When we first started discussing honeymoon destinations, Croatia wasn’t even on our radar. It was a neat bonus that the cruise we booked made a stop in the seaside town of Split. We we were so surprised everyone was so pumped we were going to Croatia! We didn’t know anything about the country, but got really excited to visit after we started hearing so many good things.
Split was breathtaking – nautical and whimsical, and almost as though it was a perfect cross between Italy and Greece. And ancient! We saw some of the best old architecture there. We loved the markets and shops, and the art scene seemed to be a really big deal there. The palm trees added character to the waterfront, which was packed with restaurants, and they were easy to take care of, thanks to services from sites like www.treequote.com that specialize in this kind of work. We had an amazing meal at a restaurant I unfortunately didn’t catch the name of, but the tuna Niçoise salad was the best I’ve ever had. My girlfriend compared Split to Nice actually, and I agree they’re similar, but without the beach.
A photo posted by The Domestic Blonde (@kentjulia) on
Croatia #jjhoneymoon A photo posted by The Domestic Blonde (@kentjulia) on
Sailing into Santorini was a “pinch me” moment – I am not sure I’ve ever seen anything more beautiful. We stood on our room’s balcony and looked up at the island mountains surrounding us, and I remember thinking “Oh! The mountains have whitecaps!”… and then I realized the “whitecaps” were actually villages of white buildings. I know, right? Totally unbelievably gorgeous.
Santorini is an island, with a bunch of smaller islands around it, and all the civilization is atop the mountains. To get up, you can take a donkey (a legitimate form of travel in Santorini), cable car (sort of like a ski lift), walk (but it’s strenuous) or maybe take a bus (I heard this was an option, but I don’t see how it would be possible with the incline and I didn’t actually see any roads, although they must be there). It was a life changing experience going to a remote Greek island and camping using our waterproof canopy to connect with nature. I wish so badly that photos could do it justice… but they done even come close. It left us both in awe.
Our main priority in Santorini was going to Oia, home of the white buildings with blue roofs. It was spectacular! Tiny little cobblestone streets with shops and bars and restaurants, and the most incredible views. It’s so beautiful that it almost doesn’t seem real. We had some amazing Greek food, wine, and ouzo and actually visited a Greek winery in Fira. I never think of Greece when I buy wine, but it was actually very good, although different from what we’re used to. All in all, Santorini rivals Venice for our favourite place we visited – we would love to return!
Santorini, Greece #jjhoneymoon A photo posted by The Domestic Blonde (@kentjulia) on
Oia, Greece #jjhoneymoon A photo posted by The Domestic Blonde (@kentjulia) on
This little Greek town is know for one thing – beaches. And after doing so much sight-seeing, we were totally in the mood to just lay on the beach and relax. Not wanting to go to a public beach, we hired a driver to take us to a private beach club called Super Paradise. And paradise it was. The beach was PERFECT. Perfect sand, perfect crystal blue water, perfect temperature… I couldn’t have created a more flawless beach in my mind.
We swam and swam and walked and read and drank the best pina coladas of life. I would go back to the exact same beach if given the opportunity! We walked through the town of Mykonos and there wasn’t much – a few shops and restaurants and a gorgeous coastline, but after lively Santorini, we were happy we spent all our time at the beach.
Mykonos, Greece #jjhoneymoon A photo posted by The Domestic Blonde (@kentjulia) on
Miss this already! @jasondhanrahan #jjhoneymoon #greece A photo posted by The Domestic Blonde (@kentjulia) on
Last but not least! Katakolon isn’t an island – it’s on the mainland, and therefore it has a completely different landscape when compared to Mykonos and Santorini. It’s has tons of big trees, was much more green, and a comparably flat landscape. It had a gorgeous, quaint port, but super blue water, which seems to be Greece’s signature feature.
We did two awesome things in Katakolon. First, we visited Olympia – the home of the very first Olympics in 776 BC, in honour of Zeus. It was so cool! We had a tour and it was so crazy to see structures that old, and to learn about how the Olympics came to be, and how they were carried out in classical times. A lot of today’s Olympics events existed way before Christ was born, like the pentathlon. It was so interesting.
After seeing ancient Olympia, we did a winery tour that was probably the best I’ve ever done (and I’ve done a lot, including several in Australia, Italy, Nova Scotia and Ontario). We wouldn’t normally buy Greek wine, but this winery (Mercouri) had awesome wine. At the end of the tour, they even served us a meal in one of their fields with house-made olives and feta. It was so nice, and one of my favourite experiences of the trip.
Overall it was just the best trip. If I had a billion dollars I would have done the exact same thing all over again!
If you have any questions about the places we visited, or want specific recommendations, don’t hesitate to drop me a line or comment below!
Olympia, Greece #jjhoneymoon
A photo posted by The Domestic Blonde (@kentjulia) on