Explore the world – the price is right

Explore the world – the price is right

Explore the world – the price is right!

Fabulous low-cost honeymoons throughout the year

Weddings can be costly, so if you’ve spent most of your budget on your special day, then don’t worry, you can still have the honeymoon of your dreams at a price to suit your pocket. Momondo.co.uk, a free, independent travel search site that compares global prices on flights, hotels and car hire, has listed its favourite budget honeymoon destinations for 2017 that will break in your new suitcase without breaking your piggy bank!

Whatever time of year you are planning to take your honeymoon, they’ve recommended a choice of the best budget destinations that offer either culture, activity or simply sunny beaches for every month of the year. These destinations can offer you the best bang for your buck, leaving you with more spending money for those little extras that help to make your honeymoon extra special.

 

JANUARY

Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia is an idyllic getaway during wintertime, when all the buildings wear a pristine snowy glow. After you’ve visited Sofia’s iconic gold-domed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, strap on some ice skates at Ariana Lake. Each year the lake in Borisova Garden freezes and becomes a giant ice rink, accessible throughout the winter months and early spring. Surrounded by mountains, escape the city for a day to ride some snowy slopes. In a 30-minute drive, Vitosha Mountain is yours to conquer. January offers good skiing conditions – stay warm after a day on the snow at one of the many mineral spas in region.

Stay for a steal

Stay within your budget at 3* Best Western Lozenetz Hotel from just £47 per room, per nigh

FEBRUARY

San Antonio, Texas, USA

Visitors to Texas usually head to Dallas, but we recommend San Antonio instead, the home of the 1836 Battle of the Alamo. The battle for independence from Mexico remains one of the city’s main attractions, so book a Battlefield Tour. Catch a rowdy rodeo or visit the Natural Bridge Caverns – two miles of underground tunnels. Stroll through the parks and landmarks of Hemisfair, including the Tower of Americas observation tower or the outdoor Market Square. Mariachi performances or Hispanic festivals bring to life foods and clothes stores that remind you how close you are to the Mexican border. No matter the season, San Antonio’s River Walk, lined with restaurant terraces and oozing with southern charm, comes alive in the warm evenings even throughout winter.

Stay for a steal

Save the dollars with a stay at 3* Best Western Sunset Suites – Riverwalk from just £83 per room, per night.

 

MARCH

Valparaíso, Chile

Go long-haul on a short-haul budget to Chile and step aboard the Artilleria funicular railway to take in the amazing view of the colonial UNESCO World Heritage city of Valparaíso. In Cerro Artillería, shops have everything you need for souvenirs like alpaca wool products and aquarelles. The hilly residential areas like Cerro Bellavista with its Museo a Cielo Abierto (an open air museum of murals) or Cierros Alegre and Concepcion with their painted houses are the perfect places to get a hint of the chaotic ambiance of the city. With temperatures around 23°C, the seaside is tempting. Head to Viña del Mar for sandy beaches and beachside bars. The season is perfect for wine harvest festivals, so wine-lovers should head along the Valparaíso-Santiago Route 68, also known as the Casablanca Valley wine route, for a taste of the refined white wines of Casablanca Valley.

Stay for a steal

Low on cost, but high on comfort, 3* Hotel Da Vinci Valparaíso’s rates start from £92 per room, per night.

APRIL

Braga, Portugal

Plan ahead if coming to Braga during Semana Santa (the week before Easter) – hotels get booked up, but the festivities are well worth spending a little extra budget. Just outside of the city at Tenões, join the pilgrims zig-zagging up the hill to the baroque-style church Bom Jesus do Monte (Good Jesus of the mount). Take the funicular home – it links the sanctuary and the city of Braga and dates back to 1882. Braga has all the charm of old-town Portugal with the perks of a youthful university city. The 12th century Sé de Braga (Cathedral of Braga) is the country’s oldest cathedral – the Cathedral’s towers overlook the narrow streets, which are lined with restaurants and bars. Scattered throughout old town, peek into one of the many chapels, the Capela dos Coimbras (Chapel of the Coimbras) to see a typical azulejo fresco.

Stay for a steal

We recommended 3* Albergaria da Sé, with room rates from £54 per room, per night.

MAY

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

Beach, sun, and Spanish cuisine – what more could you ask for? Work up an appetite with a seaside stroll along Paseo de las Canteras that hugs the beach by the same name. Bathing is high on the agenda in Las Palmas, especially at low tide when the reef, known as La Barra, transforms Las Canteras into snorkeler’s paradise. Take the Avenida Maritima that leads to the fishing village San Cristóbal, which is said to have the best seafood eateries in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Enjoy the pedestrianised streets like Triana and Pérez Gáldos for shopping, or head to Vegueta, the oldest quarter, for an afternoon refreshment.

Stay for a steal

Find great value for money at 3* Hotel Apartamento Bajamar from just £51per room, per night.

 

JUNE

Yerevan, Armenia

Give in to the minibus chaos to criss-cross your way through the city – for 100 Dram, and a loudly shouted “stop!” you’ll be dropped off at Yerevan’s prized monuments. The pedestrian Northern Avenue takes you from the opera to the fountains at Republic Square. Imposing Soviet era buildings by day, elegant backdrop to a light and water show at night, the Republic Square is inevitably a must-see. Enjoy the long summer nights in the pink city (nicknamed after the pinkish stones of the buildings) at the café terraces, while snacking on lamehjun (Armenian-style pizza). Rebuilt to hide the scars of wars and natural disasters, most of Yerevan’s current attire is only a century old. Yerevan’s oldest heritage lies along the outskirts of the city where the Hrazdan River and deep gorge create a natural border.

Stay for a steal

Take the economical choice and stay at 3* My Hotel Yerevan with room rates from £61 per room, per night.

JULY

Belfast, Northern Ireland

As you wander around Belfast by foot or in a Black Taxi, you’ll discover the colourful history of Belfast, along with its unique culture – you won’t be able to miss the peace lines (walls between Protestant and Catholic neighbourhoods) and commemorative murals. You’ll also see many reminders of Belfast’s shipbuilding history – don’t miss the Titanic Belfast, tribute to the launching of the Titanic in 1912, and the Titanic Memorial on the grounds by City Hall. In the July sun, grab a famous Belfast Bap (round bread sandwich) from St George’s Market and join the office workers on their lunch break sprawled across the grass. End the day with a chilled pint at Kelly’s Cellars, the oldest traditional pub in Belfast, complete with live Irish traditional music.

Stay for a steal

Bag a bargain at 3* Ibis Belfast Queens Quarter with rates starting at £62 per room, per night.

AUGUST

Lviv, Ukraine

Wrapped in the warm breeze of a Ukrainian summer, explore the streets of Lviv as they lead you to the heart of the city. It’s here at Rynok Square that you’ll find people cooling off by the four fountains adorned with figures of Greek and Roman mythology. Only a few steps away, the wings of the Chapel of the Boim Family shelter coffee shop terraces – make sure to go to Світ кави (Coffee World) for its varieties of coffee and cosy interior. Folklore and legends hide around each street – the Lviv Opera is said to have cost its architect his life when he was so ashamed that the structure sunk by half a metre on inauguration day. Carried by the sounds of street performances, float through the city centre and up to Lviv Castle hill for a view over the city’s rooftops.

Stay for a steal

For a comfortable stay that won’t cost the earth, choose 3* George Hotel Lviv. Rates start from £21 per room, per night.

 

SEPTEMBER

Pristina, Kosovo

Kosovo and its capital, Pristina, are free from tourism, rich in tradition and are focused on writing their history as a recognized state. Grab a macchiato (a good cup of coffee) at the bookshop Dit’ e Nat’ before going to the neighbourhood north of the city centre, lined with mosques and the old clock tower, remnant of the Ottoman Empire rule. In front of the Palace of Youth and Sports, the “Newborn” typographic sculpture unveiled after Kosovo’s independence from Serbia in 2008 is painted each year in representation of current events. From Grand Hotel Prishtina’s rooftop bar, 13 Rooftop, catch a view over the city’s National Library – once housing refugees of the Yogoslav wars and serving as control centre for the Serbian Army. The style of the structure of domes and metal, a blend of Byzantine and Islamic architecture, is arguably an attempt to reconcile Serbians and Albanians by injecting style references from both cultures.

Stay for a steal

For excellent budget accommodation, 4* Hotel Denis rates are from £30 per night.

OCTOBER

Panama City, Panama

First thing to do when you arrive in Panama City is hop on a boat through the famous canal, floating under the Bridge of Americas, built as part of the Pan-American Highway connecting the North and South Americas. On land, meander through the UNESCO World Heritage Site ruins of Old Town Panama, victim of total destruction in 1671 to “save” the city from a pirate attack. You can still see the city’s foundations and cathedral tower, but a scale model of the city at the Visitor’s Centre gives you the full picture. Panama’s riches lie in its biodiversity – a cable car ride through the jungle of nearby Gamboa or a visit to the colourful Biomuseo place Panama’s spectacular nature in centre stage. October is the beginning of the rainy season, so seize any chance you get to enjoy the rays of sun on Panama City’s postcard perfect beaches.

Stay for a steal

You don’t have to pay a fortune to stay at 3* Montreal Hotel Panama City – rates start from £47 per room, per night.

NOVEMBER

Kalamata, Greece

Start your visit to Kalamata via the shores of the Mediterranean. Sea kayak along the cliffs and by rock formations, taking breaks to dip into the warm waters of the Messinian gulf. In-between beach breaks, visit Kalamata’s historical centre, wandering through the gardens leading up to Kalamata Castle on the hill dominating the city. To make the most of the last warm nights of autumn, join the crowds on Latropoulou pedestrian street for a late night snack – the lalagia, sweet fried dough strips will do just the trick! Olive-lovers rejoice – Kalamata, as its name suggests, is home to the Kalamata olive harvested form endless fields of olive trees that cover this area of the Peloponnese peninsula. So be sure to shop for local olive products to bring home.

Stay for a steal

Keep to your budget by staying at the 2* Galaxy Hotel Kalamata. Rates start from £43 per room, per night.

DECEMBER

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Hosts of the Winter Olympics in 1984, Sarajevo knows how to do winter. If snow has started falling in December, skiiers can catch the slopes on Mount Jahorina and rent equipment at an affordable price, so skiing couples looking for a bargain need look no further! On sunny winter days, sit at a terrace in Baščaršija, Sarajevo’s historical Ottoman city centre. Reminders of the Siege of Sarajevo in 1992 are inevitable as you visit the city – learn about the recent war by visiting the Sarajevo Tunnel Museum, it was built around the tunnel that was a vital artery in supplying occupied Sarajevo with food and medical care. Adventurous couples can hike through Bosnia’s natural landscape to Lukomir, a remote village on the Bjelasnica Mountain. Stone houses roofed in wooden tile are homes to a small community specialising in sheep-herding, wool sock kitting, and wood carving. During the summer months, sustainable tours are offered with Green Visions to spend time with local families.

Stay for a steal

For an affordable hotel, the 3*Telal Hotel Sarajevo offers rates starting at £58 per room, per night

 

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