Your Get-A-Way to Cortina d’Ampezzo

Imagine hitting the slopes and having one of the world’s most beautiful backdrops, The Italian Dolomites. I invite you to experience Cortina d’Ampezzo., surrounded by the most stunning scenery in the world. The Dolomite mountains are majestic, with some serious jaw dropping cliffs and peaks rising up from beautiful valley.


Located a couple hours’ drive from Venice, Cortina ( as the locals call it) is a several hours drive from Venice and a true paradise for ski enthusiasts. Powerful, sleek, and majestic, these gorgeous mountains have been named a World Heritage site.
The 1956 Winter Olympics put this area on the maps and in the living room homes around the world. Film buffs will recognize a genra of films shot at this location, from war and romantic movies to Italian comedies. The Pink Panther was filmed here in 1962 and you can channel your inner James Bond as Roger Moore hurtled down the slopes on skis while being chased by the bad guys on spike wheeled motorbikes. Brilliant.
Fashionistas will love Cortina, as it on the cutting edge of fashion and trends. You can check out next season’s fashion’s by walking along Corso Italia, the pedestrian street and the place to shop. Choose from the most exclusive brands from around the world, antique shops, art galleries, a true shopper’s paradise.
Skiing can work up quite the appetite and skiers will not be disappointed by the fine offerings of restaurants while on the slope. Once off the slope there are several high-end restaurants for the discerning tastes of the gourmands.
As a border territory, the food in influenced by both the Veneto and Tyrolean regions.

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For more information regarding luxury getaways to The Dolomite Mountains, contact Nancy Barkley at Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways.

Photo credit: Cortina d’Ampezzo website.

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I INVITE YOU TO INDULGE IN THE DOLCE VITA LIFESTYLE.

After spending 3 days in Lake Como, located in the foothills of the Italian Alps, I quickly learned why JFK said “It is the most beautiful lake of the world” Forming an upside-down Y, Lake Como is an hour’s drive … Continue reading

How I spent my 25th Wedding Anniversary.

Lying back in a wooden rowboat together and entering the magical Blue Grotto in Capri Italy.

 

Romantic sunset gondola ride on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy.

 

Wine pairing at a family run winery in Sicily.

 

 

Exploring Montenegro with its twisting byways, Byzantine architecture, and pitched mountains plummeting straight into the Adriatic Sea.

 

Walking the medieval walls that surround Dubrovnik and then exploring what lies within the white old city.

 

Visiting Split Croatia with its bustling harbor lined with cafes and Diocletians’ Palace in the center of town.

 

Strolling through the streets of Rovinj, Croatia where hints of Italy are everywhere, in the signs, in the language, in the cuisine, thanks to having spent more than 500 years under Venetian rule. Romantic, quaint, and captivating, it’s Istria’s most beloved town.

 

Trip of a lifetime, you bet!  Memories that will last forever, indeed!  Can you experience this?  Absolutely, call Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways today!  215-793-4808

www.honeymoonsandgetaways.com

 

How to set your own trend for your Destination Wedding!

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Tell your own story:

Customize everything you can. You’ll be able to set your own trend for your destination wedding and reflect your unique personality. Continue reading

Love, Italian Style!

  1. Learn from the celebrities. Many engaged couples want to emulate the lavish celebrity weddings held overseas in some of the world’s most romantic locales. These types of celebrations are not necessarily out-of-reach of the average couple—ask local tourism boards or suppliers to recommend wedding and reception venues. You might be surprised what’s available.

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  1. Italy reigns. No surprise, Italy continues to be at the top of the list of wedding locales, with its culture, stunning landscapes and rich history—not to mention the excellent cuisine and wines. Venues range from luxury villas to medieval castles, renaissance palaces to ancient monasteries. One of the most desired locations is Chianti, in the Tuscany region, known for its stunning rolling countryside, vineyards, medieval villages and Renaissance churches.
  2. Take over an entire property. More couples are choosing to buy out an intimate venue for a weekend for the exclusive use of the wedding party and guests. During a buyout, all hotel amenities (including restaurants, lounges, spa, etc.) are open only to the wedding party and guests, assuring an exceptional, unique, unforgettable and private celebration.

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  1. Eloping is still an option. Perhaps surprisingly, more brides and grooms are choosing to run away secretly to get married. But make no mistake, this is no hurried affair, it is a sophisticated event — just one without invitations and guest lists. Today’s elegant elopements often include elaborate photo shoots in gorgeous locations and stunning wedding gowns.
  2. Fuse cultures and religions. The trend toward interfaith or multi-cultural weddings shows no signs of slowing down. You can help your clients combine and personalize the ceremony with different traditions, foods, dance, music and attire. They can recite vows in multiple languages, before officiants of differing religions. Such joint ceremonies can honor both religious and ethnic traditions.

Nancy Barkley/Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways/215-793-4808

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La Corte dei Papi, the perfect venue for your intimate and authentic wedding in Tuscany

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Cortona in Tuscany, Italy is perhaps best known as the setting for the book and movie “Under the Tuscan Sun” Cortona is among Tuscany’s loveliest destinations offering astonishing landscapes and romantic backdrops.

Couples seeking to get married at an intimate and elegant country house rich of flowers and perfumes, La Corte dei Papi is the perfect choice. If looking for exclusivity you may reserve the entire estate for your guests.
And because your wedding will last more than one day, the hardest choice you will have to make is choosing from all the amazing activities available to your guests. On site cooking classes? Walking or cycling the countryside? Or personalized private tours to Pienza, famous for its cheese, Montepulciano and Montalcino, known all over the world for its wines Nobile and Brunello.
You can visit Siena and San Gimignano, true historic and landscape treasures on the foot of Chianti.

Or perhaps your guests will just want to stay in their rooms? Why? This XVIII century country house was completely restored with luxury and wellness in mind. The spa suites offer a private spa for 2 people with a Turkish bath provided with 4 multi-sensory showers.

Couples choosing to marry at La Corte dei Papi will receive attention to every detail, superior professionalism and discretion from the staff. You will have a chef preparing each recipe with quality and elegant presentation for an ultimate dining experience. La Corte dei Papi is the absolute perfect location for your destination wedding which guests will be talking about for years to come.

Nancy Barkley, Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways, 215-793-4808

 

Your perfect destination is calling you. Half Moon Bay, Jamaica!

Visualize yourself getting married in the jewel of the Caribbean, where royalty and dignitaries choose to stay, truly one of the most legendary destinations, Half Moon Bay, Jamaica.  Having just returned from this magnificent resort, I can confirm that getting married at Half Moon Bay will be a dream come true.

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Half Moon Bay offers brides and grooms breathtaking backdrops to choose from.  Oleander Terrace offers the music of the Sea and prime beachfront location.   Sunrise Beach, a spectacular half mile curve of beach sheltered

by the offshore reef offers a quintessential toes-in-the-sand ceremony experience, especially at dusk when the constantly shifting hues of the sky and sea add a memorable backdrop. Or perhaps the elegant Sugar Mill Restaurant overlooking Half Moon’s beautiful golf course.

Your guests will be treated luxuriously in 5 star accommodations on private estate of 400 acres all fronted by two miles of private beach.  The hardest choice they will have to make is what fine dining restaurant to choose from and will they either enjoy the 18 hole championship golf course, Equestrian Centre, thirteen tennis courts, and a variety of water sports including a private Dolphin Lagoon or spend the day at the spa?

Words do not do justice on how beautiful Half Moon Bay is, so you will need to experience it for yourself and I promise you will have the perfect destination wedding.

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Nancy Barkley/Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways/215-793-4808

Nevis, the new, hottest destination for couples seeking elegance and romance!


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Why Nevis?

Nevis offers near perfect weather, luxurious indoor and outdoor space and stunning ocean views.   Couples can choose from picturesque churches, historic plantations, soft, sandy beaches or beautiful tropical gardens.  Nevis is truly one of the world’s premier Caribbean wedding destinations.

Who Nevis?

Nevis is for the couple looking for privacy and exclusivity. Nevis is a unique, elegant, romantic location for a destination wedding, honeymoon or Anniversary trip.  If it is Romance Related, that is who it is for.

When Nevis?  

Perfect time Nevis , December to early April.

What Nevis?

Top Romantic Activities on Nevis

  • Sunset Cruise

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  • Nevis Peak Hike
  • Botanical Gardens on Nevis

  • Private dining in the Mill at Montpelier Plantation & Beach

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  • Private picnic at Lovers Beach
  • Funky Monkey off-Road Adventure in a 4×4 wheeler, with picnic
  • Exploring Nevis out by bike

Where Nevis?

Top places to get married on Nevis

  • The 18th lawn of the Four Seasons Golf Course- A tropical setting just beyond the 18th hole between the green and the sea

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  • Botanical Garden of Nevis- the natural beauty of the one-of-a-kind Garden will make your dream wedding come true
  • Avenue of the Palms at Nisbet Plantation – This iconic venue among an avenue of coconut palms with a backdrop of the ocean.

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  • Thomas Anglican Church
  • Cottle Church- Ruins of an Anglican Church built in 1824 by John Thomas Cottle

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  • Various stunning beaches on Nevis

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  • Nelson Wedding Site – British Admiral Horatio Nelson married Fanny Nisbet on this site in 1787.

Your wedding day is one of the best days of your life, choose Nevis ……unspoiled, unpretentious, and unforgettable.

Nancy Barkley/Lifestyle Specialist Honeymoons and Destination Weddings/ Certified Nevis Romance Specialist

Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways / 877-793-4908

 

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My Jordan Journey!

My Jordan Journey.



For those of you who are ready to explore a destination unlike any other in the world, I welcome you to Jordan.  I have been home just 2 weeks and still cannot stop telling people about this extraordinary country that exceeded every one of my expectations during my visit.

Jordan is a country located on the east bank of the River Jordan. Almost half of Jordan is covered by the Arabian Desert. It is a country covering an area of 35,637 square miles, comparable to the size of Indiana.    Jordan offers a diverse terrain and landscape  usually found only in larger countries.

Our host, the Jordan Tourism Board, met us at the airport.  While they were processing our Visas, we easily checked in with friends and families at home thanks to the WIFI at the Amman airport.  Once outside, we  were escorted to our lavish tour bus, equipped comfortable seating, WIFI,  and TV channels at our fingertips.

On our first full day we visited Jerash, located about 45 kilometers from Amman, and considered to be one of the largest and most well-preserved sites of Roman architecture in the world outside Italy.

Their state of preservation is absolutely remarkable.

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Wine making in Jordan?  Yes indeed!  And that is where we went that evening,  In Amman, the place to go is The Winemaker, a boutique wine tasting venue  that carries the international award-winning St. George wines.  The winemaker himself is Oscar Zumot, who pioneered the modern era of winemaking in Jordan.   Our wonderful evening of wine tasting was paired with a delicious Jordanian dinner.

Next day we headed south to the Eastern Banks of The River Jordan, known as Bethany-Beyond –the -Jordan.   The baptism of Jesus, by John the Baptist, most likely took place on the Jordanian side of the Jordan River.   Pope Francis visited Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan in May 24, 2014 .  “The place where we are meeting commemorates Jesus’ baptism,” the pope told an assembly at the Church of the Baptism of Jesus (of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem). “Coming here to the Jordan to be baptized by John, Jesus showed his humility and his participation in our human condition.”

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We then drove a short distance to Mt. Nebo.   After 40 years leading the Israelites in the desert, Moses stood on the summit of Mount Nebo and viewed the Promised Land of Canaan — after having been told by God “you shall not cross over there”.

We were very fortunate to have a clear day, and saw the panoramic view seen by Moses  : The Dead Sea, the Jordan River valley, Jericho, Bethlehem and the distant hills of Jerusalem.

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We then continued south to the “Lost City” of Petra.  Literally carved straight into  red, white, pink, and sandstone cliff faces, the prehistoric Jordanian city of Petra was “lost” to the Western world for hundreds of years.

Located amongst rugged desert canyons and mountains in what is now the southwestern corner of Jordan , Petra was once a flourishing trading center and the capital of the Nabataean empire between 400 B.C. and A.D. 106.

The city sat empty and in near ruin for centuries. Not until the early 1800s did a European traveler disguise himself in Bedouin costume and penetrate the mysterious locale.

In 1985, the Petra Archaeological Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, and in 2007 it was named one of the new seven wonders of the world.

Words can not describe this amazing “rose red city” , so I hope my pictures help.

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The following day we went to Wadi Rum, a protected area covering 720 square kilometers of dramatic desert wilderness in the south of Jordan.   Our scheduled 2 hour jeep tour was cut a little short because of upcoming sand storm, but so much fun none the less as we waited for it to pass in tent.  While inside we were served delicious tea and explained and demonstrated the different scarf garments by extremely hospitable Bedouins.   After a traditional Jordanian lunch, camel ride time, where Lawrence of Arabia once frequented.

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Wadi Rum attracts more and more adventure seekers, offering some of the finest rock climbing in the world and is a spectacular place for desert trekking and safaris (camels, horses and vehicles)

Last day, getting down and dirty in the Dead Sea.

  • Dead Sea is neither dead nor a sea. It’s actually a lake sandwiched between Israel and Jordan.
  • The Dead Sea’s salinity averages between 33.7 to 35 per cent — nearly ten times higher than the norm, making it one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world.
  • The lowest point on dry land, located 423 metres below sea level.
  • The sea’s main source of water comes from the Jordan River and receives very little rainfall.
  • The water’s saltiness makes it denser than the human body allowing everyone to float no matter what your body type.
  • It’s said that the salty waters and mineral-mud work wonders for people with skin conditions or sore joints.
  • Aristotle, the Queen of Sheba, King Solomon and Cleopatra were all familiar with the healing properties of Dead Sea water and mud. King Herod & King David both used the Dead Sea as a spa and retreat 

After I floated in the Dead Sea for 15 minutes it was time to test the famous Dead Sea mud.  The staff at the Mövenpick Dead Sea Resort & Resort caked on layers of the thick mud and told me to wait 20 minutes before rinsing off and the offering me plush towels.

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I was sad to leave, and I would  love to go back as there are many things to still explore.  Who would like to join me?

Nancy Barkley   Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways   877-793-4808

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Greece Honeymoon

There is a reason Greece tops Lonely Planet 2014 Best of Europe Top 10 List.  This country, which resembles a huge post card, is one of the most romantic places in the world to honeymoon.

I would like to share a glimpse of my recent trip to Athens this past May.

Athens, a contemporary city, combines the present and the past in a unique way. Modern restaurants with famous chefs, lovely nightlife and various cultural events run every day and still the Athenian past is obvious in every corner.  The history of the Acropolis of Athens is long, when democracy, science, philosophy and art flourished leading to its creation. The Acropolis and the Parthenon in particular, is the most characteristic monument of the ancient Greek civilization.

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Santorini is one of the most sought after destinations in the world, and I had the opportunity to experience 5 star hotel accommodations while staying at Mystique.    Mystique is a stylish property built on Oia’s most famous cliffs offering amazing views of the Aegean Caldera.

The rooms, which are built in a cave offer seclusion, tranquility and spectacular bathrooms that directly look out to the sea affording jaw dropping views.  If you do choose to connect to the world and not hibernate, the complimentary WI-FI works great.

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The Asian Spa at the Resort offers both unique and memorable spa services that can be experienced in their spa, or in  your room.

 

The Santorini Wine Adventure allows you to discover the most distinct wineries and traditional cellars in Santorini through a unique wine tasting journey.   During the 4 hour tour of the Santorini country side you will visit the most distinct wineries on the islands where winemaking dates back more than 4, 0000 years.  The volcanic land gives special features to the wines. And you will experience an adventure of flavors winding through traditional villages and dramatic landscapes with hillsides covered in vines.

I hiked the 12 km from Oia to Fira, along the brow of the Caldera and met a lot of friendly travelers from all over the world making the same hike.

 

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There is no better way to discover the volcano, hot springs of Thirissia island then by way of catamaran.  We explored the craters of one of the most important volcanoes in the whole world and Thirissia island while the chefs on the catamaran prepared us a gourmet lunch.

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I spent an extremely educational afternoon at Akrotiri ,  one of the most important prehistoric settlements of the Aegean. The first habitation at the site dates from the Late Neolithic times (at least the 4th millennium B.C.). The large extent of the settlement (ca. 20 hectares), the elaborate drainage system, the sophisticated multi-storied buildings with the magnificent wall-paintings, furniture and vessels, show its great development and prosperity.

 

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I then departed for Mykonos, a 3 ½ hour journey by speedboat and was transferred to The Rochari Hotel,  located in a very convenient location just a few minutes’ walk to the town center and the old port of Mykonos. My terrace offered a stunning view of Mykonos and the Aegean Sea.

Mykonos is  famous for its giant whitewashed windmills and chapels scattered along the countryside, divine sandy beaches, unique Cycladic architectural style, wild, cosmopolitan nightlife, endless entertainment opportunities, yummy local delicacies and countless gastronomic restaurants

 

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Mykonos is also an island jetsetters frequent for the unbelievable upscale shopping and nonstop partying .

 

However, when you do wish to relax, visit Psarou beach which is guarded by locals and VIP visitors where crazy partying is frowned upon! It is actually an attractive -not too small, not too big- beach with clear waters, umbrellas and sun beds and a place for boats and private yachts to anchor. Psarou beach has a restaurant, a traditional taverns, a cafe-bar, and even a sushi bar for the most demanding! For those who are more active, Mykonos offers a variety of water sports. From snorkeling to water ski and from tubes rides to parachute each one of you can find something interesting!

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Greece was truly one of my most fulfilling and memorable travel experiences ever!