Ask Joan

Honeymoon ideas, Atlas Mountains, Thailand

 A guide leads trek through the Atlas Mountains. Photograph:  The Image Bank

A guide leads trek through the Atlas Mountains. Photograph: The Image Bank

 

We are tying the knot next April and cannot agree on what to do for our honeymoon. Sounds ominous? I am pushing for an adventure holiday, maybe in the Rocky Mountains or a hiking or skiing holiday in Alaska or the Nordic countries.

My better half would like white sand, clear blue water and five-star restaurants. The last thing she wants is to head away on holidays and have it feel like work. The last thing I want is to lie on a beach for 20 days.
Himself, Dublin

Marriage, like most things in life is a compromise, so let’s look at some ideas that you may both get enjoyment from. The time of the year will have an impact on where you go – the Rocky Mountains, for instance, will be covered in snow and hiking in Alaska doesn’t sound at all romantic.

How about learning to sail in a tropical destination with amazing beaches and fabulous weather? There are Sunsail bases in the Caribbean and the British Virgin Islands that would be perfect for newbie sailors. Spend the first week learning to sail and the second sailing between lovely islands on the crystal clear waters, in one of the world’s best sailing destinations. See sunway.ie/sunsail.

You could combine a cruise with a beach holiday. Star Clippers options include sailing on tall ships through the islands of the Caribbean; crossing the Atlantic, or seven nights in the Grenadines. These cost from €1,500pps, see starclippers.com. Explore the islands of Fiji with bluelagooncruises.com where a week on a small vessel will cost from €2,500 for two. A holiday to Cuba could combine horse-riding, learning to salsa and lots of beach time, see captivatingcuba.com. For riding holidays in Argentina, see zarasplanet.com.


My wife and I intend to visit Morocco in January for two weeks. We would like to spend some time trekking in the Atlas mountains with a guide and also stay in Marrakech. We would appreciate your suggestions in relation to these activities. Could you suggest any further sights or areas to visit, and accommodation?
TOB, Cork


Morocco is a very diverse country stretching to the Sahara desert from the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts. In January, Aer Lingus has a weekly flight to Agadir on the west coast and package holidays are available with sunway.ie. Ryanair has the biggest choice of flights to Morocco from its Brussels Charleroi base – to Agadir, Essaouira, Fez, Marrakesh, Oujda, Rabat and Tangier.

Trekking with a guide is a good idea, contact travel-exploration.com, a Morocco based travel company that can organise the trekking part of your trip.

Responsible Travel, based in the UK, arranges a number of small group trips to Morocco. The highlights tour, over 15 days, includes two days of guided trekking in the Atlas, as well as camping in the desert and visits to Casablanca, Meknes, Fez, Essaouira and Marrakech. There is also a visit to a school supported by the company. The cost would be £1,029pps (about €1,190) including flights from London. See responsibletravel.com.

Look also at what is available from fleewinter.com, which has an extensive Morocco programme including guided trekking. Riads are the traditional accommodation of Morocco. They are small guesthouses, usually run by families and generally built around a courtyard. You can see a selection on riadsmorocco.com. There are many boutique riads around the country, at varying price points.

Could you advise me on the essential pre-travel inoculations required for travel to Singapore and onwards to Phuket, where we will stay in a resort called Khao Lak for a few nights?
JB, Dublin.


As long are as you are not going off the beaten track or volunteering you will just need two inoculations, one for Tetanus and Diphtheria and other for Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Consult your doctor or a specialist travel clinic for fuddrther advice.


Send your travel queries to jscales@irishtimes.com