8 historic spots for honeymooners

8 historic spots for honeymooners

From mysterious stones to opulent palaces, our planet is bursting with ancient and romantic wonders

History is about much more than stuffy books and tweed-clad librarians. Whether it be natural or man-made, the world is full of remarkable things to go out and see - any of which could help make the history buff's honeymoon even more memorable.

1. Stonehenge, England

Nestled in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside these ceremonial stones would seem out of place if it weren't for their fame. A World Heritage Site since 1986, Stonehenge began as a simple earthwork enclosure, with the memorable circle being fully formed in 2,500 BC. Historians now believe it to be a temple of great significance, where people of the late Neolithic period marked the passing of time, seasons, life and death. Mystery surrounds the placing of the stones however, and whether the site may have been a place for Druid worship.

Fancy getting even closer to this magnificent monument? Then book an hour to stand inside the stones. This special access is outside normal opening times (9:30am-4pm, now until 17 December) and must be pre-booked and paid for in advance. As visiting the inner stones is very popular you must first complete an application form.

Normal entry is £8 for adults and £4.80 per child.

2. Petra, Jordan

This rose red city, carved into a sheer rock face more than 2,000 years ago, has to be seen in person to get the full impact. The Treasury or 'Al-Khazneh' is the most famous part of Petra, but by no means is it the only part that takes the breath away. The valley's natural beauty is overwhelming, with hundreds of elaborate tombs and carvings peppered throughout the 100 sq km site.

It can take up to three days to fully explore the Nabataean city and entry is 50JD (£44) for a day, 55JD (£48) for two and 60JD (£52) for three. Visitors on a day trip to both Jordan and this iconic city will pay 90JD pp (£79).

3. Machu Picchu, Peru

Offering inexplicable temples and palaces amid hundreds of terraces - set against a vast backdrop of jungle-clad mountains - Machu Picchu is truly awe-inspiring. This is unsurprising though, as most archaeologists believe the impressive citadel was built for the Incan emperor Pachacuti around 1450. Situated atop a mountain ridge in the Sacred Valley, it is 2,430m above sea level and the only way to get there is by train or by following the infamous four-day trek along the Inca Trail. Entry starts at 128PEN (£28) and tickets should be booked well in advance as Machu Picchu has a daily load limit of 2,500 people.

4. Colosseum, Rome

One of the most famous historical landmarks in Europe, the Colosseum needs little introduction. Used for ancient spectator sports - such as gladiator fights and hunts - the vast amphitheatre was completed in 82AD and is the largest of its kind in the world. This complex architectural wonder is the heart of Rome and evokes the rich past of the city's people. Visitors can access two tiers of the monument and entry is €18pp (£15). Top tip: take plenty of sun cream and water.

5. Taj Mahal, India

With its vast mausoleums patterned with exquisite design and intricate detail, many would be forgiven for thinking the Taj Mahal is a modern work of art. The truth however, is that the build was completed in 1653. It fuses together architectural styles from Persia, India, and Islam to make it a one-of-a-kind wonder. But the real highlight? The colossal outer dome: which is a staggering 44.4m high.

The site is open from sunrise to sunset every day except Fridays. Tickets are available at the gates for 750 rupees pp (£7.40).

6. Parthenon, Greece

The Parthenon is the epitome of the Greek civilisation and its success, forming the centrepiece of the Acropolis of Athens - an ancient citadel. The temple was built entirely of marble during BC 447-438 and upon completion, was dedicated to the virgin goddess Athena. This crucial piece of Athenian architecture had a dual role: to house a statue of Athena and to act as a treasury.

In the winter, the Acropolis is open from 8:30am-3pm and entry is €12pp (£10).

7. Easter Island, Chile

The volcanic Easter Island, or Rapa Nui as its known to its inhabitants, is four hours off the coast of mainland Chile, having been discovered by a group of island-hoppers around 1,000AD. These settlers were the ones who carved the monumental statues (moais) which the island is now so celebrated for. Today, nearly 400 of the incredible moais can still be seen standing in various locations across the island - some tilting rather precariously.

Want to explore more? Why not head to Robinson Crusoe Island, closer to the Chilean mainland. The island takes its name from the classic novel, which was based on the real-life travels of an 18th century Scotsman.

8. Chichen Itza, Mexico

A must-see when visiting the Yucatan Peninsula, the 11th century village that is Chichen Itza is one of the best-preserved Mayan sites in the world. In 2007, the ruins were even voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. But it is El Castillo, the 79ft high pyramid in the centre of the village, which really steals the show. Its jaw-dropping size and geometric shape is only surpassed by its confounding astronomical design: the four staircases face the cardinal points - north, south, east and west.

Visit during the winter and summer equinoxes, at sunrise, and witness the sun casting a shadow on the north side of the structure, making a snake shape slither down the steps. Entry is 234 Mexican Pesos pp (£11).

Images Copyright English Heritage

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