You will probably look back on your wedding day as the best day of your life. You are sharing the feeling of total love and commitment to one person with all of the important people in your life.
It is also an exhausting day. You are the centre of attention, on your feet all day. You’ve had a mountain of preparation to make the day perfect and please everyone.
It’s time to wind down, relax and enjoy being a couple, looking forward to the rest of your lives together.
We’re talking about the honeymoon, where to go, and what to do.
And there is such a vast choice of destinations, holiday styles, and activities that it can be hard to choose. This post will give a really quick insight into some of the possibilities so that you can research further.
Our top 3 tips:
- Honeymoons should be focused on you two, so perhaps choose somewhere quieter, away from the party vibe.
- Be romantic in your choices.
- Keep an eye on the weather and seasons. Nothing will kill that Caribbean honeymoon feeling like sheltering from a hurricane.
Perhaps the most popular honeymoon destination will be the Maldives, the set of islands in the Indian Ocean that seem to ooze romance. Soft, white sand, blue seas, and the sunset hues of red, orange, and purple make this an irresistible destination allied to the drama of arriving at your island by speedboat or seaplane.
While the image of bungalows on stilts might seem so luxurious that they are beyond the reach of many, there is a vast range of holiday styles to suit most budgets. Party islands, family islands, remote islands, there will likely be something to suit you, whatever your preferred holiday style.
Best time of year to travel: the peak season is from December to April, when the climate is drier and less windy. But the Maldives is an all-year-round destination, and there can be some real benefits to traveling out of the peak season. June, for example, will be hot and humid with heavy downpours, and the cost will be lower. If you want to use the resort’s facilities rather than the beach, this could be an ideal time to travel. The waters will be less clear because of a heavy influx of plankton, but the advantage is that you are much more likely to see manta rays and whale sharks coming to feed on that plankton
Alternative: Further west in the Indian Ocean lies Mauritius, another island with a different feel. Mauritius has more of a mix of cultures, with the local Mauritian blending in with the Caribbean, Dutch, Indian, and Chinese.
Mauritius is becoming increasingly popular, particularly as an alternative to the Caribbean, as it does not have a Hurricane season, so perhaps it is no longer the “cheap” alternative to the Maldives.
Thailand offers a lot of variety to honeymooners, from the craziness of Bangkok to its beautiful beaches to its temples, jungles, and elephant sanctuaries in the centre and North. And in spite of its reputation for being pocket friendly, there are many very luxurious hotels and resorts.
The Land of Smiles has a lot to commend for honeymooners, apart from the long flight times.
Krabi can offer some of the best and quietest beaches, exotic wildlife, hot springs, sea caves, and pristine jungle inland.
Best time to visit: the best time to visit Thailand is generally November through to late March/early April when the temperatures are comfortable, and there is less chance of rain. In the Andaman Sea area, the monsoon season, which should be avoided, is from May to September. It is a little different on the Gulf coast, where the monsoon season runs from October to November, and the July to September period has reasonable weather… and fewer visitors.
We cannot talk about honeymoon destinations without diving deep into the Caribbean. If you are looking for a warm welcome and a laid-back vibe, washed down with rum punch on a beautiful beach, the Caribbean is the place for you.
Each island has a very different cultural background, reflecting its British, French, or Dutch colonial heritage and its own influences throughout the West Indies. Antigua is the island with 365 beaches, and Aruba is the happy island. Cricket is strong in Barbados, Trinidad, and Jamaica. St Lucia is well known for its verdant mountains. And we can’t forget Cuba, still rooted in its past.
Best time to visit: December through April is the peak season in the Caribbean for its weather, but it is also very busy. May and June and Mid November to Mid December can be good months to visit as the weather is good, but there are fewer crowds.
The hurricane season is from July to October, although hurricanes are rare in the southern parts of the Caribbean.
While Europe may not have the exotic beaches of some long-haul destinations, it is quick and easy to reach, making it a very popular destination among honeymooners, particularly those who are short on time.
The Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast, the area from Positano to Capri, remains extremely popular among honeymooners. Imagine driving an open-topped vintage car through small, quiet Italian fishing villages, seemingly untouched for decades, and stopping for a plate of pasta and a glass of wine in a local taverna. Or driving up to a hilltop village and watching the sunset over the Mediterranean. It remains a perfect spot for romance and for spending time together. A romantic alternative to exploring by car is to explore the coast by boat, stopping where you will
Best time to visit: There is not a bad time to visit the Amalfi coast, although of course, in the peak summer months, it is busy (and expensive), which is something to bear in mind if you are planning a quiet honeymoon.
The Alternative: Lake Como sits at the base of the Alps, so it offers honeymooning couples great hiking possibilities as well as meandering through quaint villages or strolling around the lake. There are many luxury hotels and great restaurants for those who wish to be less active. It is an area beloved by celebrities, many of whom have homes here, so it can be expensive and busy, especially in the peak August period. March through October is generally a good time to visit.
Santorini remains at the top of the honeymoon tree, with its iconic white villas and apartments with a blue sky and sea backdrop. Sunsets, magical meals on the beach, and stepping back into centuries of history, it is easy to see why it should be such a choice for those chasing romance.
It’s best to avoid honeymooning during off-peak season (end of October through to the end of February) as much of the island will be closed. Best also to avoid the peak of the summer when it is very busy.
Alternative: Milos is similar to Santorini, with mysterious rock formations from former volcanic activity, picturesque streets, and little fisherman’s villages. This is where the statue of Venus de Milo was found in 1820 (now situated in the Louvre in Paris), so you are almost in the heart of love.
The city break
You may only have a limited period of time available for a honeymoon, or you may want to do something quickly after the wedding and then have a longer honeymoon at a more convenient time. If, for example, your wedding is in December, and you want to honeymoon in Santorini, when much of the Island is closed, you might choose a quick break away immediately after the wedding and then have a proper honeymoon on Santorini in April.
Paris: The city of love is an obvious choice with its fine food and wine. Interestingly, however, the French regard Venice as the City of Love. Capital cities are generally expensive, offering poor value for money, which might be an issue after the wedding expense and if you are saving for a more glamorous honeymoon later in the year.
Berlin has the reputation of being one of the best value capital cities and is a modern city fairly rooted in its history. But you could also consider some of the more “off the beaten track” cities. Ljubljana in Slovenia is becoming increasingly popular. It is a small, walkable city with its romantic castle, and its old Europe feels allied to its eco-green credentials. Slovenians are keen to point out that Slovenia is the only country with the word “love” spelled within it, so perhaps a perfect spot for a short honeymoon.
If the idea of waking up to find a Giraffe poking its head through the window is attractive to you, Africa beckons. It is very hard to beat Africa when it comes to wildlife, and a safari must be on most people’s bucket lists. From the “big 5” of lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo, and rhinos to those giraffes and gorilla trekking, you can expect experiences like no other.
Add to that staying under canvas in luxurious safari camps, and your married life will get off to the most memorable of starts.
Alternative: If wildlife is your thing, Costa Rica, one of the world’s most sustainable and eco-friendly countries, can offer you a fascinating insight into the natural world.
Time for a Cruise?
Cruises used to have a reputation for being the holiday for old people, the “blue rinse brigade,” but that certainly is not the case now, with there being a cruise for every age group and every interest.
You may want to choose one of the smaller ships, with a few hundred passengers, instead of one of the huge ships with several thousand. The smaller ships may have less in terms of onboard entertainment, but if you choose the destinations you will be visiting carefully, onboard entertainment will be less important.
Oceania has the reputation of having the finest cuisine at sea. Explora’s new line aims to be more of a floating wellness hotel. And if you want a gentle waft of the breeze and the past, you could consider Windstar with its four-masted sailing ships.
Cruise destinations can include typical honeymoon destinations such as the Caribbean, the Med, and the Greek Islands. Or you could be adventurous and visit Antarctica and Alaska. You could be sipping sherry in Iberia one night and haggling in a Moroccan souk the next evening.
Your honeymoon will be a special time in your married life, a time for you to focus entirely on each other. No perfect honeymoon spot exists, as we all have different tastes and interests. But there is one honeymoon spot that is perfect for you. You just need to find it and make it special.
We have just looked very quickly at some of the most popular honeymoon destinations to give you a starting point for when you start to look for the honeymoon that is just right for you. There are so many destinations and things to do that just exploring the options available to you may set your imagination roaming and free to fly to…. Where would you go?