Win a €200 Peter Mark Gift Card in our competition
During May we have the second of three €200 Peter Mark Gift Cards to give away, Get clicking to get winning!
If you want to keep the party going, why not take a city break honeymoon in one of the party capitals of the world? Many of the cities below are not just great party cities but also have history, culture and lots of old buildings to look at too. But you’ll have plenty of time for that when you’re middle aged and taking pictures of old bricks is your latest hobby. Now though, keep the party going.
Lima is the capital of Peru and a bustling city that is one of the largest in South America; and one of the liveliest. It’s a city of contrasts with gritty shanty towns made of tin and scraps of wood, side by side with ultra modern high rise glass fronted office buildings and hotels overlooking the beach and sea.
You’ll be able to party the night away in the Miraflores and Barranco area renowned for the party scene, then relax by day on one of the many beautiful beaches. You’ll need that time to relax too as most of the clubs and bars operate way into the night. Spend the night-time knocking back the Pisco sour which is the national drink made with grape brandy, but be warned, like an ageing heavyweight boxer, it might go down easily but packs a big punch.
I guess in a city that has long winter nights, the nightlife would be something special. It’s certainly gaining a reputation as one of the hottest places in the world to party, no pun intended. A recent article in the Washington Post dubbed Reykjavik “the King of Clubs” and that might be something to do with the quantity and quality of the local beer and schnapps. There’s a multitude of bars, clubs and live venues and they stay open long into the dark winter nights and you can party all the way through the endless summer days. The next day you can recover in one of the many natural thermal pools and spas and chill out in the city’s remarkable café culture.
The only thing hotter than Iceland’s thermal pools is its hopping party scene.
Everybody loves a Friday night out, the after work meet up with friends that could last a couple of hours or until the wee hours. In Belgrade they like it so much that every night seems to be Friday Night. With the number of clubs out there they take their partying very seriously. So much so that even when the NATO airstrikes were happening in the 1990s the locals just kept on partying in outdoor concerts in the city streets. While the conflict is long over, the clubbing scene certainly isn’t. Belgrade clubs are better organised than many more developed clubbing scenes with clubs dedicated to all genres. Many clubs pump out the latest hits but you’ll also find ones that specialise in R&B, alternative, jazz and even Pop but most are techno house.
If you like to take your partying a little further you can even party on one of the club boats floating on the Danube.
As one rather delicate partygoer said the morning after: “We had the best night we’ll never remember”.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is a cosmopolitan city that, while in the heart of South America, has a distinctly European feel, but just below the surface is the Latin American passion which inspires the steamy Tango Argentina is created and gifted to the world. It has a vibrant nightlife throughout the night with clubs not opening until 2am and the coolest people only arriving at 4am. If you’re looking for something a little high brow you could head to the classy wine bars of the Recoleta district and sample some of the big flavoured reds and fruity white wines, washed down with a big red steak. If your preference is for something a little more edgy, seek out the secret bars that are scattered over Buenos Aires but the main concentration is in the Palermo district. If you’re not a member, you’ll have to get the secret passwords that will unlock a secret speakeasy and a hipster’s paradise with cool decor, cool customers and even cooler bar staff, who’ll mix you any cocktail you’d like and many you’ve never heard of. As with many of the coolest bars around the world, some of the secret bars are overcrowded, not such a well kept secret then, but they are definitely worth a visit and you’ll be partying with a mix of the local glitterati and a select few tourists. Chat to your concierge about the latest secret bars as the older ones are likely to be the least secret and most crowded.
Prague, Czech Republic
As a party city Prague really has it all with no end of bustling bars and crazy clubs to explore from underground cave bars to rooftop terraced beer gardens. If you’re looking for some sophisticated cocktails and wine bars, you will find them in Prague, but the main drink is beer which flows in copious amounts and is very cheap. Beer gardens during the summer are rowdy and raucous affairs with long tables and flowing beer and definitely worth a visit. At night time the clubbing scene is huge with some of the biggest clubs in Europe with top international DJs pumping out the best dance beats until the sun rises and later. If your feet and ears need a rest for a night, there are no end of underground cave bars and dive bars to explore. These bars are more grungy with many small rooms to investigate, each with its own style and feel but all filled with the young and the beautiful until the early hours.
Tel Aviv, Israel
While Israel might not be seen as a place of fun and partying, Tel Aviv is one hell of a place to party. With a bright young population and heathy nightlife it was called “The Manhattan of the Middle East” by the Huffington Post. It is much more laid back than the busy bustling New York though, and strict rules don’t seem to apply here so you are free to just go with the flow or create your own flow and watch as others follow you. For a city in a country known for its strict religious views Tel Aviv is a surprisingly liberal city with a large LGBT community. Follow the crowds to the clubs and bars along the port where every night there’s a party in converted warehouses that host hopping dance clubs and plush restaurants. Alternatively, head to Lilienblum street where a plethora of cool, laid back bars make for the perfect pub crawl while mixing with locals and tourists and sip cocktails to an eclectic soundtrack. It might do you well to pace yourself though as there is no closing time here and bars will serve until the last customer goes home.
They say you go to Jerusalem to pray and Tel Aviv to play!
Istanbul sits, somewhat uncomfortably at times, on the cultural and geographical divide between Europe and Asia. In recent years, Istanbul has exploded as a premier party city with the clubs rocking until dawn and beyond. In fact, you can keep the party going in Istanbul 24 hours a day if you want. While it’s predominantly Muslim there are more bars than there are mosques in Istanbul so there’s no shortage of choice. Older locals prefer to sip Taki in a Turkish tavern but the younger people head to the discos, clubs and rooftop venues where you can sample pumping indie music, raucous rock bars, trendy wine and cheese bars and smoky basement jazz clubs. You’ll find something for every taste and budget. The rooftop bars and swanky clubs in Nisantasi are a bit more expensive and you’ll sip and tip in equal proportion while mixing with the local celebs, but in Istiklal Caddesi you’ll find hip bars that are overflowing most nights with cheap beer, thirsty customers and live gypsy bands. You’ll probably be mixing with the students here as opposed to the celebs on the rooftop bars but all the better for it!
If you still want to keep the party going head to one of the many nightclubs such as Babylon, Karga Bar and Re-Fresh where you’ll dance the night away to the latest House and Techno DJs, many of them in the open air during the summer. Istanbul plays and parties hard, so be prepared.
New Orleans, USA
I don’t think there’s a city in America that has more character than New Orleans with its heady mix of French, African and American cultures reflected in its spicy cuisine and equally spicy night life. Nightlife is probably a misnomer when talking about the party scene in New Orleans as some would say the nightlife starts around three o’clock in the afternoon. The French Quarter is where most parties start but there’s more to New Orleans than a leisurely pub crawl along Bourbon Street, pleasant and all as that may be. If you’re a music lover you’ll love New Orleans and Frenchmen Street is probably the best place to see and hear live music with everything from jazz and blues to reggae and most things in between. As New Orleans claims to be the birthplace of Jazz you’ll not be surprised to find many jazz bands in bars, clubs and even traipsing down the streets. Of course for full on partying it’s hard to beat Bourbon Street with its endless bars, DJs, burlesque clubs and live jazz on the streets. Not as popular with the locals as Frenchmen Street you’ll find an unending stream of tourists from the four corners of the world to party with and dance until the wee hours of the morning. New Orleans is certainly a thriving, pumping, party city and we haven’t even mentioned Mardi Gras yet where the pleasure levels are given a turbo boost.
Koh Phangan, Thailand
What better way to keep the party going than an all-night beach party, and in Thailand they have the mother and father of all beach parties: The Full Moon Party. In Koh Phangan, every month around the full moon, revellers turn up to party until sunrise to a backtrack of R&B, drum and bass, house, dance and reggae music in the many clubs along the Haad Rin beach. The Full Moon Parties are legendary and have grown from the mid ‘80s when it was just a few hippies smoking weed to the tunes of a few acoustic guitars. Now it’s a world renowned event that attracts anything from 5,000-30,000 revellers, mainly tourists, who come to party with buckets of alcohol, all night dancing and a fair smattering of drugs. In place of the acousitc guitars you now have bars pumping music though their sound systems onto the beach.
It seems the Full Moon Party phenomenon might be reaching its peak as a combination of the size of the gatherings, and the local military Junta cracking down on the debauchery, means its days may be numbered; so if you’re heading to Thailand for your honeymoon, you should try it out before it’s becomes extinct.
No airport security or baggage allowance, no long haul flights or jet lag, no sea-sickness or hours on the road. You’ve heard of the staycation, now we have a ‘HOMEymoon’
As we pass through Dublin airport on our way to warmer climes in search of the perfect honeymoon, we are often passing thousands of tourists who are coming here to sample the charms of the Irish welcome, and more increasingly the wonders of the Wild Atlantic Way. So why not base your honeymoon in Ireland? It doesn’t sound as exotic as the Maldives or the Seychelles when you’re chatting in the hair salon, but you’ll be experiencing what hundreds of thousands of tourists are seeking each year when they holiday in Ireland. When you think of what you’ll be saving on airfares you’ll be able to treat yourself and upgrade your experience too.
From Donegal in the north to Cork in the South and everything in between the Wild Atlantic way is a truly magical, mystical and magnificent destination which is attracting visitors not only from the traditional markets of the US, the UK and Europe but also the far-east, as far as Japan and China.
The Wild Atlantic Way is a continuous track along the west coast from Donegal in the north to Cork in the south, taking in some of the most breathtaking scenery along the way.
Starting in Donegal you can begin at Malin Head the most northerly point in Ireland where you’ll bear witness to the years of crashing sea that has carved out cliffs and stunning rock formations all of which are swarming with wildlife and seabirds. Head to Fanad Head and see the beautiful isolated lighthouse which has been the subject of many paintings and stunning photographs. From there you can see Tory Island and after a short boat trip you can immerse yourself in the music, and Celtic folklore the Island is steeped in. Perhaps the best part of the Donegal leg is the Sliabh Liag Cliffs which remain unspoilt and maintain the ruggedness and isolation where you can experience its raw wilderness and natural beauty without the need for an interpretive centre. Rising Majestically from the Atlantic the cliffs reach over 600m. Take a while to breath in the fresh Atlantic air and appreciate nature at its most powerful and majestic but also it’s most tender and beautiful in the flora and fauna that thrive in this unspoiled corner of our green land. Take a boat trip below these cliffs where you could spot some seals, dolphins or the occasional whale or head the other way and take one of the hiking trails which lead up to higher cliffs where the view is truly breathtaking. Treat yourself to a stay in the Splendid Solis Lough Eske or Harveys Point in Donegal before you venture on to the next leg.
Take a while to breathe in the fresh Atlantic air and appreciate nature at its most powerful
Sligo & Mayo
Head South from Donegal along the Wild Atlantic Way to experience Sligo and Mayo. Sligo, the home of WB Yeats is now more popular with surfers than scholars with huge waves being experienced in Strandhill and Enniscrone and the legendary Big Prowlers at Mullaghmore. This small fishing village is a popular tourist destination with the sandy beach stretching as far as the eye can see. Another great beach is at Rosse’s Point with stunning views of Sligo Bay. Further south is Westport, a charming town with wonderful pubs and restaurants where traditional Irish music and traditional Irish Craic abound. Loved by foodies, historians and hen and stag parties alike, it’s a town with something to offer everyone.
For a stunning scenic drive head from Westport to Louisburgh and on the coastal route to Leenane through the magical Delphi Valley. Each turn in the road brings a view more dramatic and beautiful than the last. Take one of the many right turns and head down one of the narrow roads that will bring you to a stunning beach. Take time out to ease your weary bones in the Knockranny House Hotel in Westport or The Mount Falcon Estate to reinvigorate yourself for the next part of your trip.
Heading further south you’ll hit Connemara with its wild coastline, soft bogs, mystical lakes and rugged Twelve Bens mountain range. Connemara is perfect for the outdoors types with long and short walking treks crossing through unspoilt countryside, along the ocean, through the tranquil bogs. If you’re a little more energetic try rock climbing, scuba diving, sailing, mountain climbing, swimming in the sea, or the most popular coasteering which is a walk, swim, trek and rock climbing combined.
Each turn in the road brings a view more dramatic and beautiful than the last.
At Leenane at the bottom of the Delphi Range, you’ll find Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only fjord which provides the perfect environment for the world famous Killary Harbour mussels. Take a trip through Lough Inagh valley one of the most scenic drive in Ireland and take time out to sit by the lake and watch the changing light as the wind chases the clouds across the mountains. Head from Clifden out towards Ballyconneely and the beautiful unspoilt deserted beaches there, then continue to the wonderful fishing village of Roundstone, stopping off at Dogs Bay and Gurteen Beach on the way. In Roundstone you’ll find one of Ireland’s most picturesque villages and a busy little harbour where fishermen unload their daily catch of lobster crab and mackerel. There are numerous bars and restaurants where you can relax and enjoy the fresh fish with your favourite tipple. The Lodge at Ashford Castle, Lough Inagh Lodge, or Ballynahinch Castle would all make excellent retreats for the lucky honeymooner while in Connemara.
Before you go further south to experience the wonders of Clare, Kerry and Cork coastline spend some time in the city of the tribes if you’re in the party mood. Galway city is a hive of activity and a strong cultural centre where there seems to be a festival around every corner. The Galway Arts Festival and the Galway Race Week are the best of them but every weekend seems to be a festival in Galway. A young vibrant population makes it one of the friendliest cities in Ireland and one that makes you want to venture out at night to watch the city life unfold and join in the merriment. A truly eclectic city Galway has a mix of pubs and restaurants to suit all tastes, including its own Michelin star restaurant. A vibrant music scene ensures a night out in Galway is always pleasant, never dull and certainly memorable. If you’re able for more, you have the whole southern half of the Wild Atlantic Way to explore finishing in the second capital Cork.
The Wild Atlantic Way is perfect for an active honeymoon with not only beautiful scenery and great craic but some of Ireland’s finest hotels and spa resorts along the route to soothe away any weary bones from all the exertions.
After the hassle and stress of years of planning the perfect wedding then the worry about the day itself, what better way to unwind than two weeks of lounging under a clear blue sky, with crystal blue sea gently caressing a white sandy beach. Here are three top beaches for you dream honeymoon.
St Lucia has been attracting honeymooners for years with its chalky white beaches and lush rain forests to explore. While not your typical Caribbean Island, it offers the dream palm fringed beaches and crystal clear water. The West of the Island faces the Caribbean and the waters are calmer than the Atlantic waves hitting the east coast. Perhaps the most popular beach is Reduit due to the glorious sunsets and the proximity of bars and restaurants but while it’s popular it might not be the quite romantic hideaway you’re looking for. More secluded beaches can be found on the west coast near Marigot Bay. Many of these can only be reached by boats and therefore less crowded It’s more than just a beach holiday so if you tire of sipping cocktails in your hammock, there’s plenty to explore and enjoy on St Lucia.
The Seychelles are high on every honeymooners list of destinations and it’s no wonder as it has some of the most photographed beaches in the world. Made up of 155 islands in the Indian ocean the choice of beaches are endless. One such beach is the secluded Anse Source d’Argent where the pink sandy beach is protected by a reef providing clear safe water for lazing in. Feel free to tour many of the other beaches and islands and experience the food with roots in both English and French cuisine but it truly unique. As a collection of islands you won’t be surprised to hear the fish is popular on most menus so for those who love a taste of the sea you’ll be well catered for here.
You don’t have to travel long haul to find the perfect honeymoon beach and European beaches can mix it with the best of them and none more so than in Italy. There are plenty of beautiful beaches to chose from but some of the nicest beaches are in Chia on the island of Sardinia. Saunter through the Juniper forests and wend your way to fine white powdery sand and wonderfully clear Mediterranean waters and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d arrived in the Caribbean rather than the Mediterranean. Here lagoons and secluded coves abound but there are also facilities you’ll need with bars hotels and restaurants nearby. Flamingos are not an uncommon sight along these lagoons and dolphins too are often spotted in the bay.
When you first start planning your honeymoon you’ve probably pictured white beaches palm trees and crystal blue waters and we all do. But sometimes the long flights, precious time lost either travelling or jet lag can seem like too much trouble. We often neglect the wonderful world’s best honeymoon locations right on our doorstep in the UK. Here are three different locations which offer a savvy couple a honeymoon to remember.
London is a cosmopolitan city and a true melting pot of cultures from all around the world where around 230 languages are spoken. Steeped in History there are no end of attractions for you to explore from Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace to mention but a few. If Shopping is your bag, you’ll be spoilt for choice from top brands on Carnaby Street, Oxford Street, Bond Street to the quirky markets in Camden Town or the Old Spitalfields market. No Trip to London would be complete without taking in a show the West End with all the top musicals and plays showing year round. Museums and art galleries abound with the Tate Modern and the National Gallery top of the list. Getting around is easy too with the London Underground which has undergone much renovation over the last few years. Take an open top tour bus when you first arrive to get your bearings as most of the top attractions are in a small area. In a city as diverse as London there is no end of pubs restaurants and night clubs for a happy couple to explore and enjoy.
Scotland offers the honeymooner something different to the traditional beach honeymoon. True you won’t need to pack too much sunscreen or bikinis on your Scottish honeymoon, but you’ll be guaranteed fun with the Scottish welcome and sense of humour and a fondness for partying. I wonder are they related to us? Whether you head for the highlands and long quiet walks in the hills followed by toasty dinner and drinks by an open fire, or you’re drawn to the ancient streets of Edinburgh or the steely glow of Glasgow you’ll be guaranteed a warm welcome and a good time. While it’s not a traditional beach holiday, there are stunning beaches, rolling hills and majestic mountains along with some wonderful wildlife to enjoy. It might not be exotic but you should put Scotland on your Honeymoon short list. The seclusion is the perfect antidote to the stress of planning a wedding and the partying involved with the big day.
A short hop on a ferry will find you in the beautiful area of north wales. For those used to the hassle of airport travel, you’ll find the ease of access and pace of life on board a ferry a true revelation. Drive up to the docks park your car and walk a couple of hundred yards and you’re on board. Alternatively drive on board with as much luggage as you like. When you arrive in Wales head straight out of Holyhead to find some beautiful seaside towns and villages. Llandudno and Colony bay are real old world seaside towns where a walk on the prom and afternoon tea are a must. Conwy nearby is a beautiful town with an historic Castle and the smallest house in Britain. With Snowdonia National park at the centre and numerous coastal walks and miles upon miles of beaches, North Wales is a nature lovers paradise.
If you want to keep the party going after your wedding why not plan your honeymoon around a festival. Here are a few of the best festivals to take in but check out festivals around your wedding and you’re sure to find one that might help make up your mind where to honeymoon.
Holi Festival of Colours
The Holi festival of colours in India is particularly beautiful festival and one that will provide some great snaps for your Facebook honeymoon page. The festival celebrates the victory of good over evil, where everyone throws coloured powder or water balloons as their friends and family. Splashing coloured water over total strangers is even allowed and accepted in great spirits, but be prepared to get splattered yourself. Children and teenagers line up at strategic vantage points, armed with buckets of coloured water and little water balloons, waiting to attack unassuming passers-by. Celebrated in India and Nepal the festival date varies every year, like our Easter, but it’s normally around March.
One of the greatest festivals in the world is the New Orleans Mardi Gras. Often looked upon as bit of debauchery, it’s actually pretty family friendly, during the day at least with, children and families watching the parades. It’s really all about music, parades, picnics, floats and excitement. It’s one big holiday in New Orleans and locals call it the Greatest Free Show on earth. The parade is the main event and the floats are mind blowing with thousands of dollars spent on them. If you’re in New Orleans for the Mardi Gras you certainly won’t be bored as a trip to New Orleans at any time of year is a full on experience but during Mardi Gras it just get’s wilder.
What better festival to celebrate than our own patron saint but no offence to our parade, the best one is in New York. The city that never sleeps is ideal for those night birds who want to keep their wedding party going on long into their honeymoon at any time of the year. But if you’re getting married around March 17th, why not head to New York for your honeymoon. It’s the biggest parade in New York and everyone becomes Irish for the day. As genuine Irish honeymooners you’re sure the get the famous New York welcome. You’ll be spoilt for choice for bars to visit and they serve long into the night. The streets around Time Square and Broadway are just buzzing late in to the night and you can soak in the atmosphere which is contagious.
When you think of a US honeymoon, Utah probably isn’t the first destination that comes to mind. New York, sure; who doesn’t like the city that never sleeps. California, with its beautiful climate and beautiful people; what’s not to like. New Orleans, Las Vegas, The Florida Keys, even the wilds of Alaska all spring to mind. Utah? Probably not.
But if you’re looking for a remote hideaway honeymoon that offers perfect relaxation away from the maddening crowds, amidst some of the most beautiful rugged landscapes on earth, but one that also has the opportunity for adventure and exploration, we might have found your ideal destination.
Amangiri is a remote hideaway tucked within the luminous canyons of the American Southwest. Nestled into a protected valley with sweeping views, the resort offers scope for both an adrenaline-fuelled adventure honeymoon and some perfect, peaceful stillness. Derived from the Sanskrit word for ‘peace’, aman, and the Sanskrit word for mountain, giri, Amangiri is tucked in the heart of the Grand Circle.
Hypnotic and dramatic, the outsized landscapes of the American Southwest inspire energetic explorations and serene wonder in equal parts.
There are plenty of ways to explore the ragged, stark beauty of this vast landscape. What better way to start the day than rising with the sun and taking a hot air balloon ride? Watch the sun rise as you sip your morning coffee and listen to the sounds of the desert while the multicoloured balloon fills with hot air. Then climb aboard and float soundlessly up, up and away and watch the stunning Navajo Mountain, the Vermillion Cliffs and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument unravel below you.
by Mick from Best Wedding Photography Dublin
During this Blog I will talk about choosing the right wedding photographer for your wedding. I will share some tips from my personal point of view.
If you do not think that choosing the right wedding photographer is one of the most important things for your wedding day; almost as important as choosing the right partner to marry, do not waste your time reading any further. Photographs are one of the few things that will be here forever to remind you of your special day.
What is your opinion on choosing the right wedding photographer? And what is your experience with wedding photographers?
Best of luck, Mick
With over seven years experience in the Wedding hair & beauty industry, for the The Hair & Beauty Chalet in Carlow, providing wedding hair & make up has been a wonderful part of their work.
They offer the bride the chance to relax in her own home or hotel on the morning of her wedding while they look after the hair & make up creations for the complete bridal party. Prior to the big day they also provide an extensive range of treatments including hair colouring & styling, Skinician facials & massage, He Shi spray tan, NSI gel/acrylic nails, Gelicure 3 week polish and Lashaholic semi permanent lashes. Bridal packages start from €100.
See their website for more information.