The dream combination of a beautiful summer wedding and a blissfully tropical honeymoon can sometimes be hard to achieve. Typically when the sun is shining in the UK, on the other side of the world those picture-perfect destinations are getting the much needed tropical downpour that keeps them looking lush and, well, tropical. A rising number of newly-weds marrying in summer choose to delay the ‘big trip’ to a far-flung destination for when their schedules (and the weather) allow. They are instead opting for a ‘mini-moon’; a bite size trip that marks the occasion and provides well-earned respite in the wake of wedding planning. There’s an ever-expanding network of short haul flights connecting up central European hubs to the continent’s quieter nooks and crannies. So, I’ve selected my favourite destinations to disappear to for a short post-wedding European mini-moon.

Basilicata

Lovers of romantic landscapes and Italian cuisine can explore the medieval castles and secret hillside villages of this little known region on a bespoke road trip through the ‘sole’ of Italy’s boot. The best bit? The unspoilt beaches and turquoise waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Castelmezzano, Basilicata, Italy

Castelmezzano, Basilicata, Italy

Andalucía

Andalucía’s enduring charm has to lie in its unpretentious attention to earthy details. The whitewashed villages that cling to the hillsides outside Granada ooze sun-drenched old-world Spanish style and pared-down glamour. A visit to the Moorish Alhambra Palace in the cooler hours of the day is my definitive tip for newly-weds seeking escapism only a short flight away.

Alhambra Palace, Granada

Alhambra Palace, Granada

Turkey

The rich greenery of Turkey’s Cappadocian region probably isn’t what first comes to mind when you think of the Ottoman empire. But with a surreal desert landscape and unique cave-dwellings, this short-haul destination is sure to please anyone looking for a unique European mini-moon with a mild climate as standard.

Iztuzu Beach, Dalyan, Turkey

Iztuzu Beach, Dalyan, Turkey

Morocco

Marrakech may be well known for its cultural cacophony, but I prefer the more leisurely pace of Morocco’s northern wilds. In particular, the powdery-blue tinted and Aragon-scented city of Chefchaouen is a fantastic destination for a sensory and culinary explosion.

Chefchaouen, Morocco

Chefchaouen, Morocco

Croatia

This European mini-moon destination is ideal for the impatient and beach-hungry. The Dalmatian Coast is the short-hop ticket to Adriatic chic. Sojourn on the idyllic islands of Vis and Korcula, exploring untouched craggy coves and excellent wines. Then pair this with a night’s stay in cobbled Venetian-esq Dubrovnik for a measure of cosmopolitan cafe culture.

Korcula, Croatia

Korcula, Croatia

Guest post by Tom Marchant of Black Tomato

Images from…

Castelmezzano (Basilicata, Italy), Alhambra Palace (Granada, Andalucía) and Chefchaouen (Morocco): Unsplash

Iztuzu Beach (Turkey) and Korcula (Croatia): Black Tomato