Move over Mauritius – keep your honeymoon travelling time to a minimum and head for the vineyard-carpeted island of Sicily.
With its hilltops dotted with medieval villages and coastlines fringed by white sandy beaches and translucent seas, it sounds pretty ideal, doesn’t it?
For the ultimate romantic escape, retreat to a bolthole for two and while away lazy days on secluded beaches, feasting on delicious seafood and dishes with glossy aubergines and sun-ripened tomatoes. Yum!
But where to stay? Villa specialist Wish Sicily tells us its top honeymoon villas for 2016:
The island villa
Bless with simple rustic charm and breathtaking sea views, Ulivo di Pollara is a white-washed Aeolian villa on the hideaway island of Salina. Greener than the other Aeolian Islands, Salina’s hillsides are swathed in woodland, vineyards and caper bushes and its towns and villages are sleepy but atmospheric.
The villa is surrounded by large shady terraces that look directly out across the sea to the neighbouring islands of Alicudi and Filicudi, with a shaded bisuolo – a traditional outdoor covered seating area – overlooked by an ancient olive tree. Wander down to the gorgeous bay of Pollara and swim across to the beach used in the 1994 film Il Postino. A week at Ulivo di Pollara starts at just £846 with www.wishsicily.com
The seafront villa
Check in to Casa Blu in south east Sicily and while other holidaymakers and honeymooners flock to the nearby beach resort of Fontana Bianche, you can take dips in the translucent sea right in front of the villa. Casa Blu is a dazzling white cube of a villa, with a terrace designed for outdoor living and a fabulous master bedroom with gleaming en suite bathroom.
Spend romantic evenings strolling through the winding streets and alleyways of the island of Ortygia, the historic centre of nearby Syracuse. A week at Casa Blu starts at £1,163 with www.wishsicily.com
The designer villa
Book a suite at the fabulous Hortus Suites in the heart of Modica, where honeymoon treats include antique Sicilian linen, a bedroom fireplace and in the Acqua site, a large lava stone bathtub alongside the circular bed. A wine cellar is housed in the ancient underground water cistern, a plunge pool sits in the shade of the fig trees and there is a spa with a Turkish bath and stone massage bed.
GEt the best views from the steps of the lofty San Giorgio cathedral and make tracks for the Antica Dolceria Bonajuto for a taste of the purest, darkest chocolate at the Antica Dolceria Bonajuto. Prices start at £138 (sleep two) per day with www.wishsicily.com.
Wish Sicily offers the largest specialist collection of properties on Sicily, with over 170 villas and apartments throughout the island. All properties are visited and checked by Wish Sicily and bookings are made directly with property owners, with the security of a Wish Sicily lowest price guarantee. For further information from Wish Sicily, head to www.wishsicily.com or call 0207 19373002!