May 22, 2012, 08:34 AM
Honeymoon beach resort
I have found this site incredibly useful so far in planing my honeymoon, but I am struggling to finish the last piece of the puzzle. In a nutshell I am looking for a beach (resort) to spend the final week of our honeymoon - I have browsed the other threads and comments, but I was wondering if someone has time to give me some recommendations specific to our trip? Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated, the holiday is just round the corner! Here are the details:
16th June fly into Pisa, one night booked there, celebrate Luminara of San Ranieri.
17th - 23rd villa booked near Bagni di Lucca, relax!
23rd - 25th hotel booked in Florence, Calcio Storico festival
25th- 27th hotel booked near Sienna
27th - 4th July, nothing booked (fly out of Pisa)
We are looking for somewhere slightly luxorious, but not toooo expensive - it is our honeymoon, but we are away for quite a long time and will be staying in nice/expensive places in the cities. Ideally we would like somewhere beautiful, with a sandy beach, old authentic Italian town feel, and, of course, great food €100 a day maybe? W have used the Alistair Sawday´s website for recommendations in the past and like that sort of feel.
Normally we would shy away from this type of place, preferring more authentic experiences, but because it is our honeymoon we are happy to either choose a hotel with its own beach or pay for private beaches on the day. We also have a hire car, so somewhere with interesting day trips nearby is a good call.
I think we have planned really well so far, but I just cant find an authoritative voice on a truly beautiful, unique and authentic place to stay on the coast. We have looked at Cinque Terra, Monterosso looked like an option to stay at because it has a sandy beach, but we don't want to be surrounded by so many tourists the whole time. Please help me finish this puzzle!
May 29, 2012, 06:52 PM
for honeymoon: Elba and Maremma are both great choices
Very glad you're finding our site useful in planning your trip - and congrats on your upcoming wedding and romantic honeymoon!
I agree that you've already got everything planned really well! I'd recommend you get your tickets for the Calcio Storico match (we're working on a blog post precisely on the event to be published in the next day or so ) and here is the link we're going to share about buying tickets ahead of time.
Since you'll have a car and this is special trip I'd suggest to head to Elba Island. You'll definitely find lots of very nice beach resorts - and the beaches & water are definitely gorgeous!!
I like the part of the island that Hotel Ilio is at: more rugged and maybe with a little less space around so you can feel a bit more secluded even if there will be lots of people around.
Just saw there is both a "longer stay" offer as well as a honeymoon one which might be appealing
Here you can see more offerings on accommodation in Elba.
Elba is not a large island and with the car you can explore a different corner each day. Each side has a different type of beach - from pebbly to sandy, from secluded where you need to go down lots of steps to get to the beach to flat and open areas with lots of tourists. June-July is high season but it will be so for the entire coast line (it is when everyone heads to the sea for refreshment).... but Elba, its beaches and special atmosphere can make the crowds disappear. There are also lots of outdoors things you can do - from water sports to some hiking and biking (although this requires good physical condition as there are some climbs throughout the island).
Take a look at Elba - you could also break up that last part and do both Elba and the Maremma area of Tuscany. Lots of sandy beaches here too and resorts, many of the family kind so you'll find a wide range of choices too. Here are some ideas for lodgings in Maremma.
Cinque Terre is a great option too - but space there is definitely very limited so you feel like the crowds are more oppressive. I don't generally recommend it in high season - April-May and Sept-Oct are definitely better months (also less hot!).
If you need any more ideas, let me know!!
May 30, 2012, 12:09 AM
Re: Honeymoon beach resort
Thank you Lourdes! Great information. We are going to Elba for certain now. I have contacted the hotel in the area you like to see if they have any rooms with sea views.
We prefer to stay in old towns if possible, converted farm houses and that style of thing, as opposed to modern purpose-built resorts. Do you know of any areas on Elba which combine the old town and the beach? We would like somewhere relaxing during the day, but somewhere we can walk to different restaurants and bars in the evening. Maybe this is a lot to ask!?! So we were thinking about staying relatively near Portoferraio.
Look forward to your post on Calcio Storico - I checked out the website today and I was about to book, just one question: is it worth getting the most expensive tickets?
Also, we are now planning to stop for one night on the way from Sienna to Elba, and spend a night in an agroturismo - somewhere really rural, in the middle of nowhere, with food and wine we will remember for the rest of our lives! Open to recommendations.
Lots of questions I know, but you answered the last lot so well that you encouraged me! I will be be sure to give feedback on all the places we visit.
Looking forward to it
May 30, 2012, 05:15 PM
Elba and more...
Portoferraio might be a very good choice but I personally didn't spend too much time in it so don't know how "old" the main part of town feels. We did visit Capoliveri and although it is atop a hill, there are incredible views of the sea. The beaches nearby were more "pebbly" than sand though. I think most of the main towns are old.... Ilio is in Sant'Andrea so there are a few other restaurants there as well as in Marciana (old town - we left from here to hike up to Monte Capanna, spectacular views!).
Marina del Campo felt "newer" but I think Elba is just very well taken care of. Rio nell'Elba felt less touristy that other towns. We stayed in a residence near San Piero in Campo (http://www.lecaviere.it/) and really liked its laidback air but needed the car to go everywhere.
A recommendation for one night between Siena and Elba.... mmm, you could try Casolare di Libbiano - middle of the countryside with dinner there or Agriturismo Cesani.
As for Calcio Storico - it does get quite exciting and I think it is good to have good seats