● Weather: Avoid hurricanes, rain, extreme heat, and other conditions that might put a damper on your trip.
● Fewer crowds: It can be challenging to make romantic memories when you barely have a moment to yourself. Go when the lines are shorter and throngs of tourists don’t muffle the local vibe.
● Price and availability: Some of the most desirable honeymoon locations are all booked up at least a year in advance for the most popular months. If you go during the “shoulder season,” you can get the best value.
Several agents mentioned the rising trend of couples who choose to honeymoon several weeks or months after their weddings. The time gap gives newlyweds more flexibility to schedule their special trip at the most auspicious time. That’s where a travel agent’s destination-specific expertise is a real boon.
As New York City-based travel agent Ashley Les advises, “Go when something really special is happening. I’ve even had clients who will change their dates for the right event. I say, ‘Hey, I know you’re getting married in September, but if you go in October, you could see this festival.’ You don’t want to travel 2 weeks before the most amazing event and miss a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Another trend that agents report is the increasing prevalence of adventurous honeymoons and itineraries that blend sun-drenched relaxation with more culture- or nature-focused activities. According to Bay Area travel agent Vikram Seshadri, “The common perception is that people want to go on a honeymoon and do nothing, but I don’t think that’s always the case! That’s why I try to throw active trips into the pool as much as beach getaways.”
Ranging from casual to sophisticated, from sizzling to chilly, and from secluded to bustling, these travel agent selections, organized by month, include something to please just about everyone.
January Honeymoon Destinations
Seshadri recommends South Africa for winter honeymoons, particularly January: “It’s summer there with beautiful weather.” If you dream of traveling to a land of safaris and outdoor excursions, “why not do it when the weather is amazing?”
“South Africa offers a breadth of different experiences for a very reasonable price. You can incorporate a safari in the north for 2, 3, or 4 days. Spend some time in Cape Town, then stay in luxury hotels and small bed and breakfasts found along the coastline.” Foodies and wine lovers can dine at Cape Town’s culinary landmarks, like The Test Kitchen, and sample different vintages and varietals in the Winelands close to Cape Town.
For Seshadri, South Africa is one of those more unusual or off-the-beaten path destinations that give couples a chance to bond over something new. “Honeymoons are such a memorable expression of your marriage. I try to always propose something outside the box and exotic, like South Africa.”
Another good month? Visit in December for a similar climate to January.
This year when we polled travel agents about the best honeymoon destinations, Jamaica emerged as one of the top picks. The birthplace of reggae draws newlyweds to its dazzling beaches, mellow ambiance, and spicy jerk cuisine. Jamaica’s resorts know how to go all out and cater to newlyweds with service that will make them feel like VIPs. The agents we surveyed chose January as the most favorable month to visit the Western Caribbean island.
While you’ll find an assortment of famous brand accommodations in Jamaica, Seshadri praises the more intimate boutique properties. In the Ochos Rios region, you can stay at the GoldenEye Resort, once owned by James Bond creator Ian Fleming. Or find serenity in the mountains at Strawberry Hill, set in the cool, rugged landscape near Kingston.
For spectacular ocean views, book at The Caves on the west side of the island by Negril. “It’s so romantic: 14 or 15 rooms along this cliff. You can basically jump and dive down into these watering caves below,” says Seshadri. “These places have a lot more resonance for me and my clients, because it’s all individualized and more personal.”
Another good month? February or April
February Honeymoon Destinations
The Maldives and United Arab Emirates
Les recommends traveling to the Maldives in February in order to make the most of your stopover. “I love combining places,” explains Les. “The way you’re going to get to the Maldives is either through Doha in Qatar or Dubai or Abu Dhabi in Emirates. During the winter months, they’re a lot cooler. Stop there after the 14-hour flight, and then continue to the Maldives.”
Once you get to the Maldives, a tropical island located in the Indian Ocean, “the blue water is like nothing you’ve ever seen before,” says Les. Stay in an overwater bungalow or book a suite at a private-island resort. Soak up the sun on pristine beaches.
Couples that can’t get enough of sea and salt air should consider a multi-day sailing trip on a traditional dhoni boat. “You’ll see dolphins and turtles and stingray and manta ray. You can snorkel, go fishing, eat fresh tuna, and visit small local islands.”
Another good month? Visit in January when the climate is less hot in UAE.
“The prime time to go to the Caribbean is in the dead of our winter. It’s warm, there’s less rain, and it’s not during hurricane season,” says New Jersey-based travel agent Samantha Hartman.
And, according to our recent poll of travel agents, St. Lucia is not only the best honeymoon destination in the Caribbean, but in the world! Nearly 1 in 4 agents picked St. Lucia as their top choice for newlyweds. Why? Answers include the dreamy white- and black-sand beaches, the chocolate plantation in Soufriere, and the variety of luxury properties.
The landscape—complete with volcanic spires, waterfalls, and rainforests—makes St. Lucia stand out from other Caribbean resort islands. “I always like to recommend St. Lucia to people who want to go to Hawaii, but have limited time or don’t like flying,” says Hartman. “St. Lucia is closer [for those not on the West Coast], and it has similar greenery, like the lush, mountainous landscape, to Hawaii.”
Other good months? March, April, and May were the most popular months to visit in our travel agent poll.
March Honeymoon Destinations
Imagine walking along ancient pathways with your beloved while delicate branches covered with blossoms sway gently above. If that sounds like your ideal of romance, then mid-to-late March and early April are the best times to honeymoon in Japan. “That’s when the cherry blossoms are in bloom,” Les notes. “You’ll see the bright pinks and whites all over the country.”
Come for the cherry blossoms; stay for Japan’s incredible gastronomy. “It’s the place where I make the most dining reservations for clients,” says Les. “I mean restaurants that have 12 seats, and the chefs have gone to the seafood markets at 3 o’clock in the morning to pick the freshest fish to make sushi and sashimi for you.” Les mentions Sushi Ichi in Tokyo as an unmissable restaurant for gourmand newlyweds.
Other good months? Visit in April or even May if you plan to travel to the north of Japan, where blossoms open later. As blossom season comes to the close, hanafubuki, of the cascade of falling petals, brings its own romance. Please note that peak blossom times can vary from year to year. Be sure to consult a travel agent.
Are you fantasizing about overwater bungalows and palm trees… while worrying about the cost of a Tahiti honeymoon? That’s why Seshadri advises newlyweds get the best value for their money and book a trip to French Polynesia in March. “It’s less crowded and the prices are lower.”
In March, “French Polynesia is typically a little rainier, but if you don’t like rain, don’t go somewhere tropical,” laughs Seshadri. You could spend your time relaxing in a single location, like honeymoon hotspot Bora Bora. Or you can divide your stay among different islands and atolls, like Mo’orea, for village visits, or Rangiroa, for a more secluded experience.
Another good month? November
April Honeymoon Destinations
An April honeymoon in Mexico allows you to bask in warm (but not scorching) weather, and avoid the pinnacle of spring break crowds in March. However, “there’s never a really bad time to visit Mexico,” says Hartman, with the exceptions of August and September due to rain and hurricanes.
Voted one of the best honeymoon spots in our recent travel agent survey, Mexico attracts newlyweds with short travel times and budget-friendly, all-inclusive packages. Let yourself be pampered at luxury resorts, then dance the night away at Cancun’s lively nightclubs. Adventurous couples can go spelunking or ziplining at Xplor Park. For an entertaining way to discover Mexico’s cultural history, visit eco-archeological park Xcaret where performers recreate centuries-old ceremonies and customs. Make plans to journey inland and see the imposing temple pyramid at Chichen Itza, among other ancient Mayan ruins on the Yucatan Peninsula.
Another good month? February
Spring is a splendid time to travel to South America. You can enjoy the autumnal foliage and the leisurely pace with relatively few tourists. “It’s more of a shoulder season, so there’s not a lot of crowds there. The temperatures are very moderate,” explains Hartman. “If you go to Buenos Aires, you can see the leaves changing in the beautiful parks.”
If you’re thinking about a Paris honeymoon in April—when the city is expensive and packed with tourists—consider Buenos Aires instead. You and your beloved can stroll down the Argentine capital’s majestic avenues, similar to Paris’s grand century boulevards. Take an architecture tour to appreciate the city’s Art Nouveau and Deco marvels.
After wandering around the historic capital, visit the wine region in Mendoza to sample different vintages. “April is the harvest season at the vineyards, so the foliage is pretty and you can learn all about the winemaking process.”
Another good month? “November would be very nice in Buenos Aires,” says Hartman. “That’s their springtime and the Jacaranda trees are in full bloom. They cover a lot of the city so it’s all painted purple while they’re in bloom.”
May Honeymoon Destinations
After a spring wedding, you can keep right on celebrating with a honeymoon to Grand Cayman. In May, this elegant Western Caribbean island is all abuzz with the excitement of Batabano, Cayman Carnival. “It tends to be more of a quieter island, so when something is happening, it’s pretty exciting,” according to Les.
During Batabano, you can watch spectacular parades of colorful costumes, sparkling with sequins and festooned with feathers. Dance in the streets to the music of steel drums. Learn about the island’s traditions and cultural history through fantastic pageantry.
Outside of the festival, you’ll have plenty of time to de-stress on Cayman’s sun-drenched beaches, which Les compares to Thailand’s shores. She also recommends the island’s many memorable aquatic activities. Swim with stingrays, go deep-sea fishing, then dive for the conch that a chef will prepare for your dinner. “You get a lot of adventures on a small island with a quick flight from the East Coast. It’s one of my favorite places in the world.”
Another good month? Visit in January when you can taste the many flavors of the Cayman Cookout. “You can go to cooking demonstrations with some of the best chefs in the world.”
Southern Italy and Greece
Hartman describes May as “the beginning of Southern Europe season,” a lovely but less popular time to visit Mediterranean countries. “While it might be cold up north, it’s warm if you go to the Amalfi Coast or Greek islands. It’s not boiling hot yet, and you’re beating the crowds.”
A sought-after honeymoon destination, the Amalfi Coast can be difficult to book in the high season. “If somebody wanted to go to the Amalfi Coast next summer, as of now it would be difficult to get a reservation. But in May it’s just beginning to open up, so it’s also less expensive.” The charms of quaint, less-visited towns will shine all the brighter in the shoulder season. Hire a driver to take you around, and stop for Limoncello tastings.
In May, Greece benefits from moderate weather in the high 60s or low 70s. See the historic landmarks in Athens without waiting through long lines. If you want to visit the picturesque island of Santorini, “You could get a little more of a taste of the local life at that point, because it’s not as inundated with tourists getting off cruises and a million people everywhere in these tiny towns. You get a little more of a relaxed pace.”
Other good months? Visit in autumn, especially October, after high tourist season.
June Honeymoon Destinations
As hurricane season begins during June in the Caribbean, why not consider Bali as an exotic tropical alternative? According to Washington-based travel agent Connie Riker, “For the single best month to travel to Bali, I would say June. It's not the rainy season, and it is warm, but not smothering hot.”
Though Bali may seem like a far-flung, costly destination, Riker sets the record straight: you can enjoy a “level of luxury at a price that you might not expect.” Bali enables honeymooners to unpack once and visit a wide range of landscapes and attractions, including rainforests, heritage sites, and magnificent beaches.
Bali will satisfy newlyweds with a thirst for stunning arts and architecture. Riker recommends touring puras, or ornate Hindu temples, with a local guide. “You have the opportunity not only to see the temples but also hear how they’ve been used over time and listen to the stories of what it means to the Balinese people. The guide also takes you to some of the most amazing restaurants to experience the local food.” Be sure to visit the international art markets of Ubud and purchase a handmade souvenir to treasure forever.
Other good months to go? April, May, and September
Despite its reputation as an elite party destination, Ibiza harbors a calmer, more contemplative side for newlyweds who want the best of both worlds. “If you’re American, you may think that Ibiza is just for parties, but Europeans know it’s not,” says Washington DC-based travel agent LaDell Carter. Honeymooners can book accommodations at a resort on the peaceful cliffside of Ibiza, then go to the central strip of clubs and palatial concert venues.
Since July is the peak of Ibiza’s jet-set season, Carter suggests that honeymooners arrive the month before. She recommends the Hacienda na Xamena resort for couples who need to decompress after stressful wedding preparations. They even have a yacht to take you into town for your daily meanderings and nighttime revels.
When not dancing in upscale clubs or celebrity-watching from cafés, you can indulge in a shopping spree around Ibiza Town, known for its sea vistas and cobblestone streets. Cuddle up while watching a movie screened under the stars by Cinema Paradiso Ibiza. Charter a private boat to take you to the nearby island of Formentera where you can recline on a quiet beach and explore hidden coves.
Another good month? Visit in September when crowds are starting to disperse.
July Honeymoon Destinations
July is a perfect time for a safari honeymoon because you can witness the wildebeest migration. “This is one of the biggest events in East Africa,” says Les. “The wildebeest migrate from top to bottom, bottom to top. The peak migration happens from July to August—July in Tanzania, specifically the Serengeti in the north.”
As Les explains, the awe-inspiring display of wildebeest draws even more impressive game. “With more prey, you get more predators, including the big cats, and that’s what a lot of people want to see, the lions and the leopards and the cheetahs. And the weather is amazing as well. They’re going to have pretty ideal weather for the most part—and it’s after the rainy season.”
Fair warning, however: a honeymoon in Africa may launch a new travel obsession: “Africa does something to you. When you go there for the first time, it changes you. You get the urge to go back over and over and over!”
Another good months to go? May, just after the mating season, when you’ll see oodles of baby animals.
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
“For the Northern part of Australia, Queensland, where the Great Barrier Reef is, our summer is the best time to go,” explains Seshadri, since it’s actually winter in that typically scorching region. “The Great Barrier Reef can be rainy and super-hot. Going this time of year is drier, cooler, and more manageable. And the water is a little less choppy.”
Seshadri urges nature-loving newlyweds to see the reef while they can, since environmental changes threaten the exuberant biodiversity. “The time to go is now. You can snorkel and dive and even take a seaplane and see the reef from above. There’s an island off the reef that’s shaped like a heart. How romantic is that for your honeymoon?”
The Great Barrier Reef lets you combine natural splendors with ultra-luxury accommodations: “There are some incredible 5-star resorts in the northern part of the reef, like Lizard Island and Qualia a little further south. Sunbathe on white-sand beaches, then mix that up by going to Daintree National Park and spending a couple of nights in the rainforest.”
For a quirky but majestic experience in the heart of the rainforest, Seshadri favors Silky Oaks Lodge: “It feels like you’re staying on top of the trees—a great contrast to being on the water.”
Other good months to go? Visit in June and August because it’s still winter and less hot near the equator in Australia.
August Honeymoon Destinations
Barcelona and Majorca, Spain
Can’t make reservations for the absurdly busy summer season in Italy? You’ll never miss it if you choose to honeymoon in Majorca: “It’s like the Amalfi Coast, except you’re on an island,” says Seshadri. “I’ve sent so many people there. Majorca offers amazing food, lovely beaches, fun nightlife, and gorgeous vistas.
Since Majorca is just a 45-minute flight away from Barcelona, Seshadri proposes spending a few days in the city before moving on to the island. “August on Majorca is going to be busy, but still so romantic. You can stay in one of the fincas, centuries-old mansions or villas, that have been converted into adorable hotels on the cliffs and the beaches.”
In mid- to late summer, Majorca’s climate will be all shimmering sun and beach weather—with ocean breezes to take the edge off the heat. “You want to be on the beaches when it’s super warm because that’s when the water is nicest. I have clients who go every year in August and September and they’ve never had a problem. When the weather is nice, people are just happier in Europe. That lends itself to a great vacation.”
Other good months? August and September
By August, migrating wildebeest cross from Tanzania into Kenya’s Maasai Mara. If you’re planning a honeymoon between July and August, you should follow the herd—literally! “A lot of people decide to combine these destinations,” as Les suggests. “If you went on a 2-week safari, you could spend a week in Tanzania with a week in Kenya for a once-in-a-lifetime itinerary.”
Or honeymooners could visit Kenya exclusively for unforgettable nature experiences, like an elephant just walking up to say hello to you. Travel to Kenya is easier than ever. “Kenya Airways now runs nonstop flights from New York to Nairobi. That’s a gamechanger. I love Kenya Airways. Their food and wine are incredible.”
You’ll spend a lot of time with your safari company, so make sure you consult a travel agent about your options. According to Les, the most reputable companies have “all local drivers, they own most of their camps, and it’s a familiar experience.You’re not being passed from a third party to a fourth party.”
Your choice of safari company can help ensure an authentic, respectful visit when you go to see Maasai villages. “They’ll bring you to the villages. But that’s not a guarantee that you get in.” You’ll have to pass muster with the head of the village. “If you’re accepted, he’ll let you come into their community. Then they come and welcome you and show you the way that they live and the different customs that they have.”
Other good months? Visit in May, because, despite the slightly rainier weather, you can see adorable young wildlife.
September Honeymoon Destinations
Honolulu-based travel agent Keiko Mori can vouch that September is the best month for an intimate trip to the islands of Hawaii. “The summer vacation is over so kids are all back to school. And it’s before the holiday season. There is no crowding and honeymooners get more private time.”
In our recent survey, honeymoon specialists shared many favorite activities for newlyweds in Hawaii, mostly focusing on the island’s varied landscapes. Explore Volcano National Park and attend cultural demonstrations and workshops. Visit Iolani Palace and learn about Hawaii’s royal, pre-statehood history. Hike to the top of Haleakala at dawn, then take an exhilarating mountain bike ride down. Go snorkeling off the coast of Kauai to get up close and personal with underwater life. Take a helicopter tour above the volcanoes to see the glowing and churning lava flows below. And plan for plenty of time to lounge on Hawaii’s colored beaches, with naturally black, orange, red, or even green sand.
Other good months? February, April, and May also received a vote of confidence in our poll of travel agents.
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
“The Galapagos can be a truly magical honeymoon getaway,” says Seshadri, especially in September when the weather is cool and dry. The islands’ wildlife—with many species that can’t be found anywhere else on the planet—famously fascinated and inspired Charles Darwin. But you don’t need to write a treatise on flora and fauna to appreciate their beauty!
After you arrive on the island, head up to the mountain paradise of Quito, where you’ll find “both rainforests and historic architecture.” See wildlife on trips from your home base at one of the islands’ lavish properties. Commune with nature—without sacrificing on comfort—by staying in a luxury tent at the Galapagos Safari Camp. Or book with Pikaia Lodge for an immersive, multi-day experience on land and sea. “They have their own nature conservationists. You spend time on land exploring nature, then go out on their yacht.”
Other good months? Visit between June and November during the drier season.
October Honeymoon Destinations
San Francisco and Napa, California
In the fall, when hurricanes threaten the Caribbean and Central America, U.S. couples looking for a quick-flight honeymoon can enjoy peace of mind in California. Sophisticated San Francisco and bucolic Napa pair together like wine and cheese.
As Hartman recommends, you can fly into San Francisco and spend a few days indulging your palate in the renowned foodie city. Then take a romantic Highway 1 road trip along the coast to appreciate the russet and gold autumn leaves and the beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean.
During harvest season in Napa, you can take the opportunity to discover more about the winemaking process in between wine tastings. Roam around the vineyards and the countryside in all its autumnal glory. Or take a hot air balloon to see the foliage from above.
Other good months? Visit in September which will enable you to enjoy part of the harvest season in Napa.
Reminiscent of Italy in its coastal landscape and Mediterranean cuisine, Croatia is a once-hidden jewel that has been receiving increasingly more interest among honeymooners lately. According to Wisconsin-based travel agent Katie Ciancolo, “it is a big destination for Europeans,” particularly during summer vacations. Autumn honeymooners can benefit from lower prices and fewer tourists.
Ciancolo advises honeymooners to begin their trip with a walking tour around Dubrovnik, before traveling around the country with a private driver. You can shop in open-air markets and visit castles along the coast of Dalmatia. Gourmands and gourmets can observe oyster harvesting in Ston, go truffle hunting in the north, and learn about winemaking in the Pelješac Peninsula. And, if you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, you can tour locations where scenes were filmed for the hit show.
Around the sunny islands of Hvar and Vis, you can partake in many aquatic adventure options: “There’s snorkeling, sea life, kayaking, sailing, and little islands where couples can go and explore.”
Other good months? Visit in June, before the summer rush, and September near the end of the month.
November Honeymoon Destinations
José Ignacio, Uruguay
For a seaside getaway with a frisson of vintage glamour, plan a honeymoon to the seasonal village of José Ignacio. “Between late November and late February, that’s when the town comes alive. It’s where the jet set from Argentina, Brazil, and other parts of South America go to party in winter, which is their summer.”
“It’s like the Hamptons maybe 40 years ago.” The little village combines a casual, beachy vibe with world-class food and service.” Treat yourself to a suite at one of the Vik Hotel resorts around the town. Kick back on the beach during the day, then dine on grilled seafood at Michelin-starred restaurants.
Other good months? January and February
San Diego travel agent Roseann Iovine has been booking trips to New Zealand for over 2 decades and has witnessed its surge in popularity. “New Zealand is quickly reaching the maximum of its visitor numbers. In peak season all of the key areas are completely overcrowded,” Iovine explains. Fortunately, November gives honeymooners a favorable window to visit. “It’s the end of spring with good weather and less crowding.”
Despite its reputation as an expensive destination, the country is surprisingly accessible for young honeymooners on modest budgets. “There are so many different outdoor pursuits that you can enjoy,” says Iovine. She brings up the Station 2 Station Cycle Trail, which involves a scenic bike route around Lake Wakatipu. See the vivid countryside from the ground and the air by “heli-hiking” with a combination helicopter and hiking tour that takes you to the remote Milford Sound fjord.
While road trips are key to seeing more of New Zealand, the country offers unforgettable experiences close to its major cities as well, notes Samantha Hartman. In the Queenstown region, “you have all your adventure sports: skydiving, bungee jumping, skiing if you’re there during the season.” From canoeing to jet skiing, you can take part in watersports on the lake. From Auckland, you can depart on dolphin and whale watching excursions, sail around the Bay of Islands, and tour wineries and vineyards on Waiheke. “It’s great for adventure people and wine lovers, but New Zealand is beautiful enough that, if you want to just relax and look around you, that’s all you have to do.”
Other good months? Visit in September, April, and May to avoid flocks of tourists.
December Honeymoon Destinations
Sweden, Denmark, and Finland
The Danish concept of hygge, roughly translated as coziness, has garnered attention lately for good reason. Quiet, comfy, simple pleasures can be a relief in a culture of fast-paced distractions. Couples looking for a hygge honeymoon won’t be disappointed by a winter trip to Scandinavia.
Les recommends Scandinavian cities, particularly Stockholm and Copenhagen, in December for their festive cheer and delightful Christmas markets. “You’re all bundled up, and you go around shopping for things like moose jerky, wool mittens, elderflower honey, while you’re carrying around a mug around filled with mulled wine.”
The unusual trinkets and products for sale can also save newlyweds some time and stress. “When you’re busy planning a wedding, you don’t have time to Christmas shop! So, you go to the Christmas markets, you get great stuff abroad, and you’re all done. And when you buy someone a gift from abroad it’s more special, maybe something you can’t get anywhere else in the world.”
Traveling to Scandinavia during the winter gives you the chance to see the incandescent wonder of the Northern Lights. “Combine Helsinki with Lapland to see the reindeer” and stay at the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort to be wowed by the lights from the toasty warmth of your own glass igloo.
Other good months? November and January
Winter in this Southeast Asian country rewards savvy honeymooners with the sunny (but not sweltering) weather you crave from an exotic beach destination. As Seshadri attests, “I recently spent time in Thailand from December to early January. It’s a little cooler, whereas their summers are brutal.”
Seshadri proposes an itinerary that takes honeymooners all around the country. “You’re going to want to mix it up with a variety of activities. I think every trip to Thailand should start or end in Bangkok. They have incredible hotels and amazing food. The Skytrain and metro are safe and clean.”
From the capitol, newlyweds can travel to the tropical islands, like Ko Samui and Ko Phi, and kick back on their heavenly beaches. After a week of tranquil sunbathing, “maybe finish up with a cultural trip up north to Chiang Mai. Again, the weather is beautiful there, in the low 80s. That’s where the elephant orphanages are, where they rehabilitate the young ones, beautiful temples, and villages where you can visit with Hmong tribes.”
Another good month? Visit in early January when the weather will still be nice and cool.
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