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On The Honeymoon Trail


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GoaIn a world so vast how do you pick a place to spend a special time of your life—your honeymoon? Keep two factors in mind before making your choice: the weather conditions of the location and secondly, whether you want to opt for the cool climes of the hills, or enjoy a lively, wind-swept feel beside the sea and sunshine or an adventurous trek through jungles. Other factors such as budget, hotel choices, the number of days etc may depend entirely on your individual preferences.

Today, the choices are plenty. According to travel agencies, honeymooners prefer traditionally popular destinations like the sun-kissed beaches of charming Goa, scenic Shimla-Kulumanali, the evergreen romantic Srinagar and the backwaters of Kerala. While, foreign destinations, which figure as hot favourites, are Bali, Langkawi in Kuala Lumpur, Hongkong, Switzerland and the Greek islands.

“Goa remains one of the most popular destinations for honeymooners because of the beach. Three-day packages are available for just Rs 7000 during the monsoon, while in December, it can go up to Rs 15,000 with special dinners as added attractions thrown in,” says an agent at travelmasti.com.

One cardinal feature in a honeymoon is the couple’s desire to shut out the world. Honeymooners want to spend time getting to know each other and there are enough getaways around today which cater to a couple in love. 

The two-year-old travel company, Footprint Leisure Pvt Ltd  offer romantic getaway packages, for example. Footprint CEO, Akila Srikanth says honeymooners typically like to spend time on islands and beaches. Riverside places in Goa, less frequented beaches in Bali, Mauritius, Andamans, Sri Lanka and others are seen as quiet and romantic. 

Price is not so much a factor as honeymooners like to sample destinations off-the-beaten track. Karbi in the western coast of Thailand is one such place, says Akila. Babu Natrajan, tour executive of Akshaya India Tours and Travels Pvt Ltd, who has handled many honeymoon packages recommends the six-night seven day package to Ladakh for Rs 29,000 for an off-the beaten track experience involving treks across amazing rugged landscapes.

Quite often, travel agencies work with hotels to offer special treatment for the honeymooners like a welcome drink, room decorations with special bouquets, chocolate fountains and special meals. Some offer sightseeing trips, boat cruises, honeymoon cake with Goan wine in Goa, candlelight dinners or trips to smaller towns for dinner.

Four day honeymoon packages costing around Rs 29-30,000 for a couple in a three star hotel also involve sight-seeing tours. In Simla, it might be visits to Kufri or the Jakhoo temple or safaris to Corbett national park in Nainital or a ride on a glass bottomed boat in Jolly Buoy island in Andamans to soak in the beauty of sea corals.

Basheer Ahmed, head of Chennai Metro Travels Pvt Ltd points out that his company offers transit stops at shopping destinations like Dubai and Singapore for honeymooners. “I organised a trip to Switzerland with a two night transit in Dubai in a five star for a honeymoon couple recently,” he says. Clubbing two countries together in a package also works economically and is fun for the couples.

Foreign trips are however more expensive and for any of the South-East Asian countries like Mauritius, Kuala Lumpur, Phuket in Thailand, Bali etc it can cost anywhere from Rs 1 lakh-4 lakh. These foreign packages also come loaded with specials like spa treatments and short cruises.

Top honeymoon destinations: Packages for honeymoon couples by travel agencies

Munnar-Thekkady in Kerala: Great place to visit between September and March when the weather gets really cool. Flights to Madurai, Kochi and Thiruvanthapuram are available and so are trains to Kottayam and Kochi etc. But, the nearest to Munnar is Theni (60 km), a place you can reach by train. A four-night-five day package in a medium three-star hotel will cost about Rs 27,000.Cheaper packages for Rs 18,000-20,000 are also available with sightseeing, and airport transfers thrown in

Shimla-Manali: A good time to snuggle with your love here would be between March-June. But, September-November is a good time to get adventurous and do trekking, climbing and river-rafting. New Delhi is the focal point from where you can reach Shimla either by train, road or air. Travel agency packages include transport to Shimla – a six night seven day stay package would cost around Rs 29,000 for a couple in a three star hotel including sightseeing and transfers. Currently, Hotel Silverine on Mall road is offering a special package for two nights at just Rs 7000! A complimentary cake, dinner and one sightseeing spot thrown in!

Goa: The ultimate honeymoon haven, the pearl of the East, is best to visit between September to February to sample moonlit walks on the beach and tuck into sea-food in the shacks on the beach. Goa can be accessed from most of the major cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi either by flight or train. Regular overnight coaches and buses also exist from Mumbai. A four day three night package can cost anything as low as Rs 8,000 to as high as Rs 50,000, if you want five star treatment. The medium fare for a couple could be worked out at Rs 29,000.

Srinagar, Gulmarg and Pahalgam:This evergreen romantic honeymooner’s stop continues to attract couples. A three night four day stay in this city with trips to Gulmarg and Pahalgam will come up to Rs 23,000 without taking into account airfare from and to New Delhi or Mumbai. Houseboats are still favoured and so are pony rides to Pahalgam and treks to Gulmarg.

Leh-Ladakh: Starkly rugged landscapes punctuated with monasteries might just be the right soul–stirring experience. A six days and seven night package can be had for Rs 29,000.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands: Best season to travel to this island is between October-May. Flight to Port Blair from Chennai is fastest; it’s just a two hour journey. There’s a flight from Kolkatta as well. A four nights and five days deal will cost you in the range of Rs 36,000 for five star to Rs 26,000 for a three star. This package includes meals and local sightseeing to the Cellular Jail, islands, harbour cruise, fisheries museum etc

Coorg in Karnataka: It might be well to start your marriage in the green wooded slopes, quaint villages, and rustic charm of Coorg. This off-the beaten track mountainous district has secluded cottages at the Orange Country and home stays which make the experience unique. Comes as cheap as Rs 10,000 for a three night four day stay.

None of these packages include air-fare

For more info mail: info@travelmasti.com; metrotravels@hotmail.com; and akila.srikanth@footprintholidays.com

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