You want to give the bride-to-be a hen do she’ll remember forever but sometimes organising a last night (or weekend) of freedom can be stressful for the bridesmaids. Treat the bride to a weekend in the sun with one of these top destinations where sunshine, bikinis and cocktails are guaranteed.
The Godfather of all party towns, Ibiza has been a beacon for anyone looking for a good time since the late 1980s. When it comes to hen do destinations, Ibiza has everything to offer. Although world renowned for its club scene, there’s much more to Ibiza than house music and dance parties. Make the most of the sunny days by chartering your own boat for the day and taking a cruise out into the crystal clear Mediterranean water. Drop anchor in one of the many picturesque coves and treat the hen to some R&R on deck with cocktails and plenty of sunshine for a pre-wedding tan.
For hens that prefer shopping to sailing there are markets five days a week including the chilled out night market in Las Dalias, San Carlos which is home to over 160 stalls selling jewellery, clothes, local crafts and much more. Originally founded by hippies in the 1960s, this market retains its bohemian vibe and there’s always something to see here including live music and fiestas.
Hens who fancy themselves as Ariel from the Little Mermaid can explore under the water with a scuba diving lesson. After training and a practise dip in the pool, you will then be set free under the sea and explore the abundance of Mediterranean sea life.
Dubrovnik is the ideal destination for any bride who likes to mix sunshine and sangria with culture and sightseeing. The ancient port of Dubrovnik is known as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ due to the picturesque Old Town which sits on the crystal blue waters of the Adriatic Sea. Dubrovnik Old Town is a walled city full of cafes, boutiques, restaurants and bars which fill every nook and cranny of the marble streets and baroque buildings. Summer temperatures rarely dip below 20⁰C and regularly climb to the early 30s, even as later as September and October you can expect temperatures in the mid-20s.
If the weather heats up too much you can take a trip to Lokrum Island, a lush national park which is just a short ferry ride away from the Old Town. There’s something for everyone on Lokrum including botanical gardens, medieval ruins, volleyball and even a nudist beach if you’re looking for an all over tan! There are no shops or cafes on the island and only one bar so it really is a chance to get away from it all, but remember to take food and drinks with you for your day out at the beach.
You might get to do a little celeb spotting in Dubrovnik, as Tom Cruise, Owen Wilson and Beyonce and Jay-Z have all been spotted in the historic city. Book the girls in for a meal at Gil’s a chic water-front restaurant in the Old Town which serves fresh local food and is a favourite spot with visiting celebrities.
Marrakech is the bustling capital of Morocco and is the ideal place for the hen party to immerse itself for the weekend. One of the main reasons to visit is the fabulous weather, as Marrakech is located in North Africa, you are pretty much guaranteed scorching weather all year round with summer temperatures nudging 40⁰C. Contrary to popular belief, it is perfectly acceptable to wear bikinis in Marrakech on terraces and by the pool, so throw on your favourite two piece and relax with a poolside cocktail.
In the day, you can take in the multitude of markets which make Marrakech famous. The souks, as they are known, sell everything you ever wanted (or didn’t want) to buy from textiles and leather to soaps and spices, kaftans and cowboy boots to bags and jewellery. If it all seems too overwhelming then book yourselves on a guided tour to see the best the souks have to offer. Make sure you take a space suitcase to stash your purchases. To prepare for the big day, take the bride to be to one of the many hammans which are traditional bathhouses where you can be steamed and exfoliated to perfection. Try the Royal Mansour to experience the epitome of luxury in stunning surroundings with treatments including Chanel makeovers, a perfect treat for the girls.
Sarah Stewart is a lifestyle blogger and works for South Beach Swim, a fresh new swimwear brand with a debut collection which is guaranteed to make an impact by the pool.