When it comes to honeymoons, the stakes are high. There’s more than perfect weather to consider when planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip. For sun worshippers, there’s sparkling white beaches and lavish resorts. For adventurers there are flourishing coral reefs and wildlife-filled savannahs to explore. Don’t know where to start?
Africa and Asia are vast enough to offer the romance-factor all-year round. We’ve narrowed down eight of the continents’ best honeymoon destinations whether you want luxurious camping in Botswana or balmy nights in Vietnam under the soft glow of lantern lights.
After a summer wedding fly to Kenya for that perfect bush-to-beach combination. First, explore wildly romantic Out-of-Africa-style scenery a la Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. Think hot air balloon rides over the Maasai Mara, Big-5 spotting from an open-top 4×4 and candle-lit dinners atop teetering kopjes watching vast plains disappear into the horizon. Afterwards, you can slow the pace right down on Mombasa’s beaches infused with Arab, Swahili and Indian cultures. Sip coconut water, dine on catch of the day and canoodle in a hammock under the 300 miles of palms.
When to go: June to March – avoid rain in April and May
If you’re in Tanzania (or Kenya) and looking for a post-safari escape, Zanzibar’s spice islands are the perfect tonic. Switch from the Serengeti to Stone Town, the UNESCO-listed old city trading cinnamon and vanilla since the 19th-century. The romance is in the crumbling architecture with brass-punctured carved wooden doors– remnants of its Swahili, Indian heritage. But it’s the powdery beaches, swish resorts and traditional dhow boats sailing on the horizon that anchor most honeymooners firmly to its shores. Luxuriate in private pool villas complete with billowing netted four-poster beds and slick service. If you want to keep it low-key, head to the archipelago’s wild Pemba Island for seclusion and a hint of adventure.
When to go: June to March – avoid rain in April and May
Brimming with more diversity than anyone expects, South Africa proves that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to a honeymoon. There’s something for every couple whether that’s private picnics on a vineyard estate or wildlife spotting from a canoe for two. Foodies can savour Cape Town’s world-class restaurants and work it all off on breath-stealing hikes up iconic Table Mountain. Afterwards the wild game reserves on the Eastern Cape can be seamlessly explored from a safari suite overlooking sweeping savannah vistas. One of the best things? Whenever the wedding is, South Africa’s pleasant temperatures accommodate all-year round.
When to go: year round depending on region
If empty beaches and barefoot retreats are more your thing, then Mozambique is just the trick. You’ll find generous shorelines perfect for solitary walks combined with smart resorts hidden away in the dunes. The honeymoon might be an island escape but it’s certainly no ordinary fly and flop. Adventurous couples can go sand boarding down undulating dunes and horse ride along the shoreline. It’s an underwater paradise for those who could spend hours inspecting vivid coral kingdoms. The heavenly beaches and warm Indian Ocean provide the most romantic backdrops to candle-lit beach dinners and sunset cruises on wooden dhows should you feel that way inclined.
When to go: September to November
For post-nuptial adventure, Botswana ups the ante. Africa’s most coveted safari spot lays claim to wildlife in huge concentrations as well as some of the swankiest lodges out there. If you have deeper pockets, this is where you can splurge on heli-rides over the waterways of the mighty Okavango Delta, horse riding through lily-pad flecked floodplains and flutes of champagne as you’re punted along on a traditional mokoro canoe. For next-level romance, sleep out in the moonscape of the Makgadikgadi salt pans with nothing between you and the stars.
When to go: May to October, perfect for peak wedding season.
If you’ve gone for a winter wedding, look no further than the Philippines islands to shed the cold weather. Cue powdery soft sand, crystalline water for top-notch diving and luxurious thatched beach hideaways that feel like you’re stranded, but in the best of ways.
In a nation known for its congeniality as well as sensational natural beauty, every activity feels effortless whether that’s swimming with turtles in a protected marine sanctuary or hiking in tropical jungle that seems to tumble into the sea. Spend your days eating freshly caught tuna and crab curries washed down with cold beer. Heaven.
When to go: November to April
If you’re still chasing that post-wedding high, we couldn’t think of better place for a romantic adventure than in Vietnam. A few nights in buzzing Ho Chi Minh will keep you busy with scooter rides, hip bars and extreme ornate pagodas. Nothing spells romance like good food – think aromatic noodle soups and fresh summer rolls for sharing, dunked in peanut sauce. There’s no shortage of beaches (Vietnam has 3,000-kilometres of coastline) where emerald sea meets syrup-gold sand. Recline by the infinity pool or enjoy solitary strolls along the shore.
When to go: December to April
A new marriage calls for new discoveries. A honeymoon in Cambodia feels like you’re discovering something for the first time whether that’s lip-smacking Cambodian cuisine or ancient temples encroached by jungle. The national parks naturally draw those more active who can go gibbon-spotting on a kayak or even glamping in the sloping Cardamom Mountains. In more popular places, like the Temples of Angkor, there are ways of steering off the well-worn track. This could be cycling around the remoter temples topped off with a sunset cruise on the Tonle Sap lake watching floating villages pass by.
When to go: November to March
Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Pam, who's travelled extensively in Vietnam. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember – the vespa rider who’ll whizz you round HCMC on a unique foodie tour, the guide who’ll take you fishing with locals at Chuon Lagoon and the ranger who’ll guide you to golden-cheeked gibbons to hear their dawn duets.
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