Music-inspired honeymoon spots

Music-inspired honeymoon spots

Whether it’s rock, jazz, soul or salsa, music has the power to unite. Alexandra Gregg explores the best honeymoon spots for music-loving couples

USA

Where to begin? The States is a musical master that perpetually kick-starts trends from coast-to-coast. Looking back, you've got the groovy origins of Woodstock Festival, the hippy scenes of San Francisco and the NYC rock influences of British supergroup The Beatles - to name a few. But when it comes to jazz, blues and country music, all roads lead to the Deep South. Head to New Orleans, the birthplace of Dixieland, for dozens of music festivals every year - plenty for you and your partner to get stuck into. Visit between 25 April and 4 May for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, where you can pay homage to The Big Easy's jazz roots and also listen to more modern artists, such as Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Christina Aguilera and Robin Thicke.

For a bit of country flavour, get on down to the world-famous Nashville. The live entertainment platform that is the Grand Ole Opry poses a great destination for taking your partner on a musical date night. After the concert, grab a bite to eat in the Opry Backstage Grill, just off McGavock Pike.

Work your way over to Memphis where you'll find one of the country's most famous homes - second only to the White House. Yes, you guessed it: we're talking Elvis' Graceland<embed: http://www.elvis.com/graceland/>. Here you can follow in the footsteps of the 'King of Rock 'n' Roll', gazing in awe at a vast collection of gold and platinum records, as well as other great memorabilia from his early career.

Andalusia, Spain

Do you and your partner want to turn up the heat? Then the noisy, sweat-soaked aggression that comes with flamenco dance - and music - is not to be missed. It is a seductive art form, a form of Spanish folk that stirs passion in even the most relaxed of couples. In 2010, UNESCO even declared it to be one of the 'Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity'.

Head to the village of Comares, towering more than 700m above sea level, to witness the musical genre in its purest form. Every year, on the penultimate Saturday of July, it holds a 'Fiesta of verdiales'. In a nutshell, the men strum their guitars and play violins while the women, dressed in colourful costume, dance around them. For an equally traditional experience, try the Moorish town of Vejer de la Frontera. For two weeks from 10-24 August, it offers a vibrant festival, where the sun-soaked streets are buzzing and brought to life by music on every corner. The big draw? Tourism is minimal here and the locals are exceptionally friendly.

Havana, Cuba

If your heart beats to the tempo of Caribbean rhythms, whisk your partner away to the vibrant Havana. With sultry salsas and lustful Latin notes, this Cuban capital is the country's lifeblood when it comes to music. And as for live performances, it doesn't disappoint.

Get your pulses racing at the city's most famous club: La Zorra y el Cuervo (The Vixen and the Crow). Entry is just 10CUCs (£6) and in return you'll receive flawless live entertainment every night and two free drinks. You'll enter via a quintessentially British red telephone box before descending into a smoky, packed room where the smooth sounds of jazz and salsa will wash over you. Prepare to get all fired-up on the cramped yet enticing dance floor. Or, if the deafening sound of beating conga drums and raunchy rumbas is more your scene, try Callejón de Hamel. This brightly-coloured outdoor Afro-Cuban art project offers music in the streets every Friday, a chance for you and your loved one to let-loose in the muggy Caribbean heat. Plus point? You don't have to pay a penny.

The Gambia, Africa

For a more hands-on musical experience, give The Gambia a go. Here, both of you can learn the roots of traditional African music and even get lessons in using a djembe drum. Combine that with a warm climate, laid-back environment and bountiful beaches and you're onto a romantic musical winner…

The djembe is West Africa's most popular instrument and is used at most events - whether they be ceremonial, ritual or social. It serves as a device for announcing, warning or gathering members of a village or tribe, and is the perfect tool for helping you and your loved one bond as you learn a new skill together. And once you've mastered the djembe, you'll be spoilt for choice: the dundun drum, kora (a 21-string harp-like instrument), and balafon (a wooden idiophone) are next on the agenda. The real highlight though, will be when you can join in with a group drumming session. There's nothing quite like getting pulled into the gentle tinking of the drums and their hypnotic rhythm.

Image courtesy of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

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