The marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton is imminent and there's much guessing going on about the bride's dress and who's been invited, and we at Getaway
wondered where in the world they will honeymoon.
Catriona Rowntree, forever the romantic, heard on the royal grapevine that the newlyweds will be heading to Jordan or the Greek Island of Corfu, and she checked them out in advance.
If Jordan is to be the romantic honeymoon destination, Petra
, should be on the top of the couple's list of places to visit. It's a three-hour drive from Amman, the capital, and has been named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Kate spent more than two years in Jordan as a preschooler, and she may have been to Petra before.
Dermott Brereton was overwhelmed by the ancient city that runs for more than 5km along the Valley of Wadi Musa. It was hand-carved from solid rock around 200 BC. Abandoned in the third century after a series of earthquakes, it was completely forgotten for more than 1200 years. Swiss explorer Johann Burckhardt rediscovered the city in 1812.
Al Khazneh, known as The Treasury, is the most famous building you first come across. It's at the end of a narrow gorge and hewn into a sandstone cliff. Its purpose remains a mystery, but it's fairly certain it wasn't a treasury.
Another site is an enormous room, originally housing tombs for royalty and the very rich. Its acoustics proved to be so good, it became a church. It was dug out of around 4000 cubic metres of rock by hand!
Wadi Rum is another of Jordan's "must sees". Imagine 720 square kilometres of desert with some of the most stunning natural landscape in the world. The rock formation is known as the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, inspiring the title of TE Lawrence's book. He spent much time at Wadi Run, contemplating life, and the location was used in the Oscar-winning film depicting his life: Lawrence of Arabia.
Somewhere different to stay is Jabal Rum Camp. It has electricity, running water, cold drinks and Jordanian cuisine. Guests can climb mountains, ride in jeeps or on camelback and join in dancing with local entertainers. Sipping local coffee in a Bedouin tent chatting about the fascinating history of the area is an option. If the royal couple does go there, they will be treated to an explosion of spring desert flowers, including poppies and black irises.
London bookmakers are also favouring Corfu in the Greek Islands
as a honeymoon destination. Prince William's paternal grandfather, Prince Philip, was born there, so they could be on to something.
Corfu is the second largest of the Greek Islands and Corfu town is UNESCO World Heritage listed. Its narrow streets are closed to cars so it's perfect to explore on foot.
Views from the old fortress are breathtaking and it's easy to see how functional they would have been in protecting the island from enemy ships. Everyone wanted a piece of the action because of the island's position. Smack bang in the middle of the Mediterranean, and if you controlled Corfu, you contained the all-important trade routes.
The Tripa Tavern, translated to "hole in the wall", is known all over Corfu and is a popular spot for a truly Greek meal and maybe a drop or two of ouzo, the local aniseed-flavoured drink of choice. Spiros and his family have been dishing local up delicacies from his little kitchen since 1936. A table on the beach and warm, Mediterranean hospitality is dished up to everyone, even if they aren't royalty!
Just days before the wedding, bookmakers have gone into a spin with the late mail that the royal couple just might be heading to the Great Barrier Reef.
On his recent visit to cyclone-hit Cairns, Prince William hinted that a return visit is a possibility. Lizard Island has been strongly tipped as the place. It's definitely fit for a prince and his bride.
Kate was spotted shopping in London and it's said she purchased clothing just right for a tropical honeymoon. Australia's northern-most island beach resort is the ideal place for a secluded holiday, with 25 beaches of fine, white sand. Snorkelling, deep-sea game fishing and diving are popular recreations, and both Wills and Kate love outdoor activities.
There are 40 luxurious suites and Osprey's Restaurant serves meals fit for a king-and-queen-in-waiting. Maybe a glass of excellent Australian wine as the sun sets and watching for passing whales?
Lizard Island consistently makes the Top 10 Hotels of the World list. It came in second in the 2009 Gold List Awards for Best Australian Resort. US Conde Nast Traveler ranks it eighth on the Top 20 Resorts Oceania category, so the pedigree is there.
Related video: Royal honeymoon on Lizard Island?
Petra, three hours from Amman in Jordan, Corfu in the Ionian Sea, and Lizard Island in the Great Barrier Reef.
Greece and Mediterranean Travel Centre has seven-day Jordan Discovery Tours. They include one night in Wadi Rum, two in Petra, most meals, transfers, a four-wheel drive tour and entrance fees. They start at $1427 per person twin share.
Lizard Island rooms start at $1444 a night. Meals and all beverages are included.
Emirates has flights to Athens and 26 other European destinations via Dubai from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. For an exclusive Getaway viewers' discount, visit www.emirates.com/getaway.
Prices correct at 28.04.2011.
For further information
Ph: 1300 303 777
Greece and Mediterranean Travel Centre
Suite 2, 644 Botany Road
Alexandria, NSW 2015
Ph: (02) 9313 4633 or 1300 661 666
Fax: (02) 9313 4475
Lizard Island Resort
Ph: 1300 863 248
Australians require a passport and a visa.
Electricity: 220V at 50Hz. Continental round pin and UK plugs are used.
Time zone: GMT +2.
Currency: The dinar.
International dialling code: +962.
Australian passport holders do not require a visa to enter Greece.
Electricity: 220V at 50Hz. Two- and three point plugs are used.
Time zone: GMT +3.
Currency: The euro.
International dialling code: +30.
It is recommended travellers to Jordan and Greece see their doctor at least six weeks before departure as there may be specific vaccinations recommended. Other health precautions and preventions may also be recommended. For further information, visit www.smartraveller.gov.au and www.welltogo.com.au.