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Moments Together – Mix & Match Itineraries for Couples

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Moments Together – Mix & Match Itineraries for Couples

Written by
Sarah O'Neill
December 2016

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Opposites attract, but combining your different interests on holiday can be difficult. These Mix & Match Itineraries for 3 destinations inspire you to embrace your diversity as a couple.

Opposites attract, the saying goes. We only have to reach for the TV remote, and already the differences become apparent. When it comes to how we spend our free time, when we relax, and what we enjoy doing, our own idea of paradise is often very different from our partner’s. In an ideal world, our differences would combine to complement each other – I love singing, my partner enjoys playing the guitar; I love hiking, my partner enjoys nature photography; I love cooking, my partner enjoys doing the dishes...

Unfortunately, the world is often far from ideal. More often than not, our pleasures and interests aren’t quite as complimentary as we would like, which presents an extra challenge when choosing the ideal holiday for two.

Variety is the Spice of Life

It can be easier to combine diverse interests than might you think. Rather than the great compromise, choosing the perfect romantic holiday for two could be the great opportunity to add variety, that spice of life, to your travel itinerary.

For moments together we’ve compiled a Mix & Match Itinerary for 3 destinations which lets you pick and choose activities to meet both your interests, so that each of you can enjoy your own slice of paradise.

  1. Cape Town
  2. Crete
  3. Causeway Coast

1. Cape Town, South Africa

Perfect For:
The city sightseer – the culture craver – the nature lover – the adventurer – the wine connoisseur

Picture yourself sipping Cape wine on a sun-soaked veranda overlooking the vineyards, or snuggling up against the backdrop of a breathtakingly romantic sunset atop Table Mountain, one of the New7Wonders of Nature.

A 12-hour flight away and with only 1 or 2 hours’ time difference from London, the Mother City awaits you for an amorous, African adventure.

Our Mix & Match Itinerary

In the City

There’s so much to see, that Cape Town City Tours offer not one, but four hop-on, hop-off buses for the city sightseer. Ride the red or the blue bus to the V&A Waterfront, where you can stroll hand in hand through the beautiful, airy shopping arcades with unique local and artisan creations. The history and culture enthusiast can visit Nobel Square, with four sculptures of South Africa’s Nobel Peace Prize laureates, before heading to the Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island. Tours depart from here to the infamous island prison, where prominent political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela, were incarcerated during the Apartheid.

Foodies can enjoy some of the world’s best seafood for lunch along the waterfront, whilst culture cravers fill the afternoon with a township walking tour or a guided walk through the Bo-Kaap neighbourhood. Township tours offer a cultural insight into the warmth, strength and sense of community among the people living in these economically deprived remnants of the Apartheid regime, whilst Bo-Kaap is the Mother City’s most vibrant neighbourhood, with multi-coloured façades and the unique spicy delights of Cape Malay cuisine, the perfect evening meal for foodies.

Check the cable car timetable and relight the spark for romantic souls with an evening ride up to the spectacular views atop Table Mountain. The last cable car returns at sunset. A beautifully romantic close to a diverse day for two.

Out & About

Nature lovers and those seeking action and adventure will find both in Table Mountain National Park. Hikers will enjoy scaling Table Mountain via Skeleton Gorge from Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. In the botanical gardens, botanists will enjoy the plant collections, whilst art enthusiasts will appreciate the African sculptures. The hike up to the mountain is perfect for adventure seekers with ladders and rock scrambling up to a gorgeous, multi-coloured lake which will satiate the aesthetic appetite of every amateur photographer.

Explore the summit, a paradise for nature lovers with stunning views and the biologically diverse Fynbos scrubland. Take a simple hike along the eastern flank to the highest peak, Maclear’s Beacon, and then indulge yourself with a ride back down on the cable car. If you have a city tour ticket, you can take the blue bus out to Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden and catch the red bus back to the city from the cable car station.

Further Afield

Only an hour’s drive from the city, wine connoisseurs enjoy some of South Africa’s finest wines right on their doorstep. Take a day trip out to Stellenbosch or Franschhoek for a fabulous wine-tasting tour amid the sun-soaked, sloping vineyards.

From Stellenbosch, it’s just over an hour’s drive along the coast to Hermanus, where wildlife watchers can enjoy the spectacle of southern right whales bursting out of the water in an explosion of spray between August and November.

Out of the whale-watching season, nature lovers will find smaller, waddling delights at Stony Point, between Hermanus and Stellenbosch, or Boulders Beach on the Cape Peninsula, where you can get up close and personal with a colony of African penguins.

2. Georgioupolis, Crete, Greece

Perfect For:
The sun worshipper – the beach lover - the amateur archaeologist – the environmentalist – the foodie

The largest of the Greek islands, gorgeous Crete has all the intimacy of an isle, coupled with the far-reaching history of Greece and a drastically diverse landscape. From high rugged mountains with coarse scrubland down to lush, river gorges and miles of golden sandy beaches, you are sure to find activities here you both will love.

Our Mix & Match Itinerary

In Town

The intimate fishing village of Georgioupolis on the north coast is a perfect retreat for beach lovers and those in search of rest and relaxation. Feel the fine, sun-soaked sand beneath your skin on the longest sandy beach on the island, and let your cares wash away with the lapping of the waves. The environmentally conscious will be delighted that the local Corissia Hotels use renewable energy sources, biological waste water treatment, and lots of locally grown, plastic-free produce.

You will find the island’s second-city, Chania, only about half an hour’s drive from Georgioupolis, and also readily accessible by bus. Day-dreamers can let their thoughts wander with their feet, strolling hand in hand through the labyrinth of alleyways, alongside medieval walls and boutique, artisan shops, to arrive at the picture-perfect Venetian harbour. History lovers will be delighted at the Nautical Museum and the historical Venetian shipyards with a seaworthy replica of a Minoan ship. Foodies and historians alike can relax in the Lounge Caffé of Chania Yacht Club, where the exquisitely restored interior of a Venetian shipyard is combined with traditional honey-sweetened tea to appeal to both your interests.

Animal lovers are guaranteed to see the timid Cretan wild goat in Chania City Park. If flora and fauna hold more appeal for one of you than for the other, then why not stop off at the traditional O Kipos coffee house. This awaits lovers of food and culture right in the park with a selection of Oriental cakes, typical Greek spoon sweets and coffee traditionally served in copper pots.

Out & About

There’s a wide range of daytrips and activities to suit all tastes from Georgioupolis. A trip to the mountain village of Argyroupolis offers foodies the chance to savour locally grown avocados served in all manner of inventive ways and locally bred fresh spring water trout in the tavernas along the roadside. Those in search of unusual gifts will be delighted at natural cosmetics made from avocado oil and a range of unique products made from home-grown carob pods. Amateur archaeologists will adore discovering lesser known archaeological sites, such as the Cemetery of Ancient Lappa with the fascinating remains of ancient tombs.

An excursion to the south of Rethymno will reward beach lovers, adventurers and amateur archaeologists alike. Stop by the Late Minoan Cemetery of Armeni for a fascinating insight into one of the most beautiful archaeological sites on the island. Continue south to Preveli, where a short hike takes you down to the beach. Here, sun worshippers can lounge between the warm salt seawater and the refreshing sweet water of the river. Those with more energy and a sense of adventure can clamber and scramble their way up the palm-lined river gorge, all the way to a beautiful Ottoman bridge.

The stunning vistas from the winding roads will enthral amateur photographers on any of these day trips.

Further Afield

Nature lovers will adore driving up through the White Mountains, traversing Crete’s Orange Valley and arriving at the Botanical Park & Gardens of Crete. Culture lovers and foodies won’t be disappointed if they choose to go here on a Monday evening. The restaurant serves seasonal Cretan dishes made almost exclusively from produce grown in the park. A mostly vegetarian buffet dinner is then followed by a night of traditional Cretan music and dance performed by local villagers.

The Palace of Knossos is a mecca for history enthusiasts, and only about an hour and a half’s drive from Georgioupolis. Drive there early to avoid the midday heat, and so that the shopaholic between you can enjoy perusing the many local shops on Odos Daidalou street in Heraklion on the return journey. If the amateur archaeologist hasn’t had enough history for one day, they can pay a visit to the Archaeological Museum, on Freedom Square, just off the same shopping street. This holds the largest collection of Minoan art worldwide.

Culture lovers will enjoy perusing Heraklion’s more traditional market street, Odos 1821, with a selection of typical Cretan souvenirs. Enjoy traditional Cretan fare at a Rakadika in the narrow Odós Marinelli Street. Here, foodies can try the country’s signature alcoholic drink, Raki.

Visit the Corissia Travel Guide website for detailed itineraries of all these trips.

3. The Causeway Coast, Northern Ireland

Perfect For:
The nature lover – the historian – the musician – the beer & whiskey connoisseur – the adventurer

Wild and windswept beauty awaits you along the rugged coast of Northern Ireland. Vistas to astound you, cliff-side walks to make you hold each other tight, and roaring firesides with toe-tapping tunes and golden glasses of whiskey. Wildly romantic moments together in Northern Ireland.

Our Mix & Match Itinerary

In the City

The Causeway Coastal Route stretches from the capital, Belfast, to the country’s second-city, Derry/Londonderry. You can start your road trip in either, but Belfast is more easily accessible by plane and by ferry.

Start your day together in the capital by combining the romantic soul and the history enthusiast between you at Titanic Belfast, where a state-of-the-art exhibition centre commemorates the birthplace and the personal stories of the world’s most fateful cruise liner. Afterwards, shopaholics will love the new Victoria Square shopping arcade at the city centre, offering panoramic views of the city from its glass observation platform.

Cultural enthusiasts interested in Belfast’s recent, troubled past should spend an afternoon on a guided tour of the Belfast Murals, where modern artists will admire this poignant and politically charged artistic commentary on the city’s recent history. Foodies and beer lovers will enjoy an evening spent in the Brewbot, named one of the best beer destinations in Britain and serving tasting platters of local craft beers.

Out & About

From Belfast, head north on a spectacular journey along the Causeway Coastal Route. A stop at Carrickfergus Castle, one of the best preserved medieval structures in Ireland, will enthral history enthusiasts. A few miles further north will take you to Islandmagee, where the adventurous can test their head for heights along the reconstructed Gobbins Path, a dramatic coastal path, with bridges taking you across crashing breakers and along sheer cliff faces.

Nature lovers and amateur photographers will be enchanted by the scenic vistas of rolling, glacier-gouged valleys as you continue northward into the Glens of Antrim, especially if you make a stopover at Glenariff Forest Park, where you can hike through a fantasy landscape of waterfall walks. Musicians and culture lovers should plan to spend an evening in Cushendall or Ballycastle, where you will find traditional Irish music sessions on most nights of the week. Ask locally for current dates and venues.

Nature lovers and wildlife watchers should take the ferry the next day from Ballycastle to the Bird Sanctuary on Rathlin Island, where you can watch puffins nesting in the cliff face between May and late July. While you’re on the island, be sure to try the local organic kelp from the UK’s first kelp farm. For lunch, foodies can enjoy healthy lobster and locally sourced seafood on the island, or take the ferry back to Ballycastle, to sample the fabulous fish & chips at Morton’s. This is amongst the best fish & chips on the north coast made with fresh, locally caught cod and seafood. On a sunny day, there’s also delicious ice cream to be had at Mullins, just a stone’s throw from the chippy.

Further Afield

Swinging across the open waves, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge offers another head-turning challenge for the adventurous just a short drive north-west of Ballycastle. The unmissable natural wonder that lends its name to this entire coastal route, the Giant’s Causeway, is a unique monument of nature that will appeal to geologists, photographers, rock clamberers and lovers of myth and legend. Whiskey lovers should be sure to stop by for a tour and tasting in Bushmills Distillery, the oldest licensed distillery in the world. The Bushmills Inn just down the road has cosy, roaring fires on a wet day and live traditional music and entertainment on Wednesdays (May - Sept) and Saturdays.

Golfers should stop in Portrush to play at the Royal Portrush Golf Club, with one of the most challenging links courses in the world and host of the Open championship and the Irish open. Surfers will prefer to head to the town’s East Strand, with perfect waves for beginners, and offering courses for first-timers. At low tide, the adventurous can even explore the caves in the white chalky cliffs.

A secret tip for fans of the HBO series Game of Thrones are Murlough Bay along the Torr Head Scenic Route just south of Ballycastle, Ballintoy Harbour between Carrick-a-Rede and the Causeway, and once you’ve reached Portrush, you can take an inland jaunt towards Ballymoney to visit the Dark Hedges, all of which were film locations for the series.

From Ballymoney, it’s only about an hour’s drive on the motorway back to Belfast, but if time allows, continue back up to Coleraine, where you can cross the River Bann and re-join the Causeway Coastal Route all the way round to the walled city of Derry/Londonderry.

We hope that you’ve each found something to inspire you in our Mix & Match Itineraries and wish you treasured moments together that offer you both your own slice of paradise.

Written by Sarah O'Neill

A passionate traveller, linguist and writer, Sarah has visited over 20 countries around the globe. She loves immersing herself in new cultures, learning the language, and getting to know the local people.

Would you like to be an author at Moments of Inspiration?
Do you have an original idea for a guest blog post or interest to write regularly as an author for us? Send us your article or simply contact us at:

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