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The alternative honeymoon experience.

Word has it amongst those in the know that many newly married couples are no longer looking to spend their honeymoon lying on an exotic beach. European travel is becoming more popular, and for those who can't afford an expensive cruise or a luxury holiday, a 'minimoon' or short trip close to home can be just as much fun, especially if it entails an element of the unusual. We’ve chosen two alternative honeymoon breaks from suggestions by the Daily Mail.

Don’t stop reading when you see the word ‘camping’. This back-to-nature, romantic experience involves not a tent but a yurt (pictured). A yurt contains a comfortable double bed and hot running water powered by solar energy in a private bathroom. The big advantage is that you can wake up to scenery including olives, vines and fruit trees after spending a quiet night in the wilderness. Visit www.yurtholidayportugal.com for details of a week's stay in a yurt near historic Coimbra for €350 including breakfast.

But if you’re looking for something more regal, how about staying in a castle? Dromoland Castle (www.dromoland.ie) in County Clare has been restored to its former glory, with impressive guest rooms, drawing room and galleries. Parts of the original 1543 building are still standing, giving an historic background to your honeymoon. Friendly staff are on hand to supply champagne and canapes in your room. Pampering extras include spa treatments and horse riding, cycling, tennis and golf are available in the 410 acres of private grounds. The luxury Queen Anne bedroom in the oldest part of the castle, costs from around €220 (£190) per person per night.

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