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Jane Anderson
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Jane Anderson


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Honeymoon Destinations in December

December honeymoons 2019Honeymoon Destinations in December

Where to go on Honeymoon in December 2019

Jane Anderson, Honeymoon expertBy Jane Anderson, Editor of 101 Honeymoons

December is such a romantic month for a wedding but you need to put some thought into where to go on honeymoon. If you want warm sunny weather, your short haul options are severely limited to destinations such as the Canaries, Madeira and Egypt – all within five hours flying time.

If you are prepared to fly long haul, the world is your oyster. The Caribbean and Southern Africa are enjoying fabulous weather in December, and there are other great options from South East Asia and India to the paradise islands of the Maldives.

You might also consider heading north to a snowbound wilderness and a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Also see my tips for the best honeymoons at Christmas.

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Caribbean Honeymoons in December

December is one of the best months of the year to visit the Caribbean – the hurricane season has blown over to be replaced by long sunny days, low humidity and cooling breezes. Typically, you can expect temperatures of 29ºC and an average 8 hours of daily sunshine. And – here’s the real bonus – if you travel before the start of the school holidays you’ll avoid peak season flight and hotel prices.

It’s a mistake to think of the Caribbean as one single destination: there are different types of islands for different types of honeymooner. Do you want a remote hideaway or a buzzing hotel surrounded by hip restaurants? Are you interested in local culture, or just a perfect hotel on a white sand beach?

The Dominican Republic is great value. As a destination it’s much under-rated, with lush rainforest, a vibrant local culture and beautiful beaches. Although it’s known for its all-inclusive hotels (many of which are excellent), the Dominican Republic has some luxury boutique hotels too. I recommend Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana as a great value, high quality all-inclusive option.

Barbados is an exciting place to stay in December, though it’s pricey over Christmas and New Year, when the restaurants are busy and partying is guaranteed. If you want splendid isolation, go for The Atlantis on the quiet east coast. With only 10 rooms and suites, it is one of the island’s oldest hotels, immaculately restored, and one of a great collection of small hotels and resorts in the Caribbean.

Cuba is a great choice if you want a spicy cultural experience combined with relaxing beach time. No is a good time to visit, before the inevitable changes that will follow the relaxing of travel restrictions for US citizens. For a few days of Hemingway-inspired partying in the capital Havana – think mojitos, salsa clubs and cigar factories – stay at the historic Hotel Saratoga, then escape to adults-only Royalton Cayo Santa Maria.

St Lucia is arguably the most beautiful of the larger Caribbean islands. Hidden amongst the forested hills and colonial plantations are some exquisite beachfront hotels including Jade Mountain and its less expensive (but equally beautiful) sister hotel, Anse Chastanet. In the north of the island you’ll find the wonderful East Winds which has just 30 suites and offers superb dining at an all-inclusive price.

Jamaica is another popular honeymoon destination, combining friendly people, a buzzing local culture and numerous beauty spots. If you want to go all-inclusive, head to one of the adults-only Sandals resorts which offer all-inclusive luxury including butler service. For something more intimate, I recommend Jamaica Inn, an elegant boutique hotel dating back to the 1950s where each suite looks out over a secluded beach.

On the small friendly island of Grenada, go all-inclusive at the newly-opened Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort & Spa which is set on a remote beach.

If you really want to get away from it all, I suggest you head out to the sun-bleached British territory of Anguilla – a perfect coral island a short flight from Antigua or ferry ride from St Martin. It has 33 pristine beaches and stunning hotels including Cap Juluca and the Four Seasons.

Steer clear of the Bahamas and Bermuda in December – they will be too cold.

Another great option for a Caribbean honeymoon is a luxury cruise. Avoid the pile-’em-high cheap ships sailing out of Miami and instead book a cabin on a small luxury cruise ship such as the SeaDream Yacht Club or Seabourn, where crew outnumber guests by two to one and all the cabins are suites with a private balcony. Details from The Luxury Cruise Company.

For some old-school romance, you could go cruising with Star Clippers which has a small fleet of traditional sailing ships that are able to visit smaller ports of call that the larger vessels can’t reach.

If you love nature and want a bit of an adventure, Costa Rica offers a great combination of rainforest, national parks, volcanoes, surf beaches and amazing wildlife. This two-week Costa Rica in Style trip includes stays at luxury hotels and lodges including Cano Island and a stylish spa resort at the foot of Arenal volcano. Expect 24ºC temperatures and 7 hours of sunshine.

December Honeymoons in Asia

In the depths of the British winter, much of Asia is experiencing gorgeous weather in December. Perhaps more than anywhere else in the world you have a huge choice of destinations and types of honeymoon. You can crash on a beach for a fortnight, explore vibrant cities, venture out into the countryside – or do a combination of all three.

Bali is popular with honeymooners in December for its fascinating and colourful culture and great value local cuisine. Although this is technically the wet season you can expect 30ºC temperatures and 8 hours of sunshine, with just a few short sharp showers. My top hotel picks include Puri Ganesha, a laid-back luxury hideaway in the north of the island, COMO Shambhala Estate in Ubud, and the great-value Gajah Mina Beach Resort on a surf beach in the south-west. See more honeymoon hotels in Bali.

For couples that like a taste of adventure, how about Vietnam. From the buzzing streets of Saigon (31ºC) to a lazy river cruise on the Mekong, you’ll be staggered by the richness of the culture, the quality of the food and the beauty of the landscape. This Vietnam in Style private tour includes Hanoi, a cruise in beautiful Halong Bay, Hoi An, Saigon and some luxurious relaxation in Con Dao.

If you love this part of the world but are looking for something different – and less touristy – consider the Philippines – a vast archipelago of natural wonders and cultural surprises. You’ll want to experience some island hopping, laze on white sand beaches, do some diving or snorkelling, trek through rice terraces or up a volcano, maybe swim with turtles and dolphins … the list goes on. Here’s a selection of honeymoon ideas.

India is a truly magical destination for a honeymoon. You could combine spectacular hotels such as Oberoi UdaiVilas on the banks of Lake Pichola and Leela Goa on a perfect white sand beach. It’s high season in Goa: 33ºC and 10 hours of daily sun.

Africa and the Indian Ocean

There are few honeymoon destinations more beguiling than The Maldives where each hotel occupies its own private island set amidst turquoise lagoons and deep blue seas. It really is more beautiful than any photograph can convey.

December marks the start of the dry season in the Maldives (it runs until April) with 30ºC temperatures and 8 hours of daily sun. You’ll find everything from overwater villas to underwater spas to tempt you here.

My favourite islands in the Maldives include the luxury Huvafen Fushi and the great-value Meeru Island.

Going all-inclusive in the Maldives makes a lot of sense, and one of the most popular all-inclusive hotels is the four-star Kuredu Island Resort which has miles of white sand beach, two pools, four restaurants and a great reef for diving and snorkelling.

NIYAMA Maldives is another exciting luxury resort. It offers 87 beach and water studios and pavilions – most with private pools – on two secluded islands. You can also opt to spend a night at sea in a luxuriously-fitted Maldivian sail boat, complete with personal chef and butler.

Many honeymooners choose to combine the Maldives with a cultural trip to Sri Lanka on a twin-centre honeymoon. You can get married in Sri Lanka (30ºC, 7 hours of sunshine) followed by a lazy honeymoon in the Maldives, only an hour’s flying time away. See more honeymoon ideas in Sri Lanka. (Note: you can’t get married in the Maldives, because the country is Muslim).

You can also combine the Maldives and Abu Dhabi, and India and the Maldives on these two-week honeymoons.

December is also a great time to visit the Seychelles (29ºC and 7 hours of sunshine). Here you have a choice of a luxury hotel on the main islands of Mahé or Praslin, or staying at a remote barefoot island resort such as Denis Private Island. Better still, combine the two with a short flight.

The Indian Ocean combines easily with southern Africa – for example, South Africa followed by Mauritius or the Seychelles. The combination of safari and beach is another winner in December. Or how about spending some time in Cape Town (25ºC, 11 hours of sunshine) before heading off on safari? Premium options include this Ultimate Cape Town, Winelands and Kruger honeymoon.

One of my favourite spots in South Africa for either a wedding or a honeymoon is Richard Branson’s Mont Rochelle set beneath the Klein Dassenberg mountains with its own vineyard and wine cellar.

In East Africa, Kenya is affordable and you’ll find some gorgeous places to stay such as Elsa’s Kopje in the Meru National Park and Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp close to the Masai Mara. See my selection of the best safari honeymoons in Africa.

More Long Haul Honeymoon Ideas

If you want to indulge and don’t want to fly a long way for your guaranteed sunshine, Dubai is a great option – it’s 6 hours flying time from the UK and promises 26ºC and 8 hours of sunshine in December. I recommend The One&Only Royal Mirage – one of Dubai’s more intimate luxury hotels – and the JA Palm Tree Court which offers all-inclusive prices with five-star standards.

Six hours in the air also gets you to the Cape Verde islands where you can expect 8 hours of sun and 27ºC. With white sand beaches, dramatic landscapes and a mix of African, Brazilian and Portuguese influences, these Atlantic islands offer tremendous value, particularly on the main islands of Sal and Boa Vista. See the latest offers.

Florida is a perfect choice if you fancy a fly-drive honeymoon: combine the glitz and style of Miami with the Keys and the pretty Gulf Coast. Stay on the ever-fashionable South Beach before chilling out at the Ocean Key Resort & Spa or the South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island.

It’s summer in South America where you could enjoy a fabulous adventure in Ecuador & the Galapagos or discover the beautiful and diverse landscapes of Chile where highlights include the icy wilderness of Patagonia, the celebrated wine region and the alien beauty of the Atacama Desert (parts of which have never seen rain). This 12-night tour ticks all the boxes.

For the ultimate long-haul adventure, how about Australia. This Sydney to Melbourne coastal drive includes whale-watching, wine-tasting, national parks, beaches, penguins, kangaroos and koala bears.

In New Zealand I recommend a self-drive honeymoon that includes the cities of Christchurch, Wellington, Queenstown and Auckland plus natural wonders on North and South Islands including Mount Cook National Park, Rotorua, the Bay of Islands, a cruise on Milford Sound and a ride on the Trans Alpine Train. This 23-day Grand New Zealand itinerary is great value.

Beyond New Zealand in the South Pacific lie the Cook Islands and Tahiti (formerly French Polynesia). Both can be combined with Australia or New Zealand, but they are also popular honeymoon destinations in their own right. You could take a cruise around the 118 gorgeous islands and atolls of Tahiti or stay in a fabulous resort hotel such as the Four Seasons Bora Bora.

In the Cook Islands, Sea Change Villas and Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa are both ideal honeymoon getaways on Rarotonga.

Short Haul Honeymoons in December

Honeymoons are not all about sun beds and beaches. You could be snuggling up around a log fire, and venturing out into the snow for magical vistas of mountains and pristine night skies.

Relatively close to home, Iceland will be a snowy wonderland in December – with a great chance of seeing the Northern Lights. Stay at the Hotel Ranga on the banks of a salmon river overlooked by glaciers and mountains. In the evenings, you can sit in outdoor geothermal hot tubs, watching the sky.

I also recommend Artisan Travel which offers romantic honeymoons in the Arctic Circle. Stay in one of these ice and snow hotels including a glass igloo where you can lie back in a warm bed and gaze up at the Northern Lights.

If you want sunshine but don’t want to take a long-haul flight, you could opt for Egypt. Combine sightseeing in Cairo (21ºC and 7 hours of sun) with an unforgettable Nile cruise.

Morocco is also warm and sunny in December – expect 19ºC and 7 hours of sun in Marrakech. Stay at a romantic riad in the souks or a spectacular desert camp. This 12-night Grand Circle private tour includes Marrakech, Essaouira, the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara desert.

The Portuguese island of Madeira has year-round sunshine, great hotels and mountainous landscapes that are perfect for romantic walks. Stay at a restored quinta (country house) such as Quinta da Bela Vista or Quinta da Casa Branco. Expect 17ºC and 6 hours of sun.

Nearby Tenerife is often overlooked by honeymooners, but it’s a beautiful islands with lots to do – from dolphin watching to volcano climbing – and wonderful hotels, including the adults-only Red Level at Gran Melia Palacio de Isora and the Gran Hotel Bahia del Duque

Last updated: 14 February 2019

>> Visit our homepage for the full choice of 101 honeymoons or try our fun quiz to find the right destination for you. Our sister site, 101 Holidays, has expert tips on the best December holidays plus advice on where’s hot in December.

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