Are you planning December nuptials? If so, there’s no need to put off a honeymoon until the weather warms up. December is a great time of year for a honeymoon—and remember, in about half the world, December is a warm weather month! A winter honeymoon can whisk you off to a snow-covered wonderland, transport you to a tropical island beach, or set you down in exciting cities around the world.
So whether you want to spend your honeymoon in a swimsuit or snuggle up with some hot cocoa, here are our top picks for the best honeymoon destinations in December.
Tropical Destinations for a December Honeymoon
Warm up to one of these popular honeymoon destinations and spend your time snorkeling, relaxing on beautiful beaches and dining with your toes in the sand. The toughest part of planning might be choosing from the huge range of luxury resorts in these tropical destinations.
For newlyweds traveling from the eastern US, it doesn’t get much easier than the Caribbean. And there are so many Caribbean Islands to choose from. But here are a few slightly under-the-radar picks for a romantic getaway.
St. Lucia offers pristine beaches, lush rainforests and stunning waterfalls, plus the iconic backdrop of the twin Piton mountains. The west coast of the island is dotted with luxury hotels and all-inclusive resorts. Serenity at Coconut Bay is a luxe adults-only option.
Anguilla is a tiny group of islands near the British Virgin Islands and provides a real sense of romantic escape. Imagine sparkling white sand beaches, terrific snorkeling and swimming, and sunset dinners on the beach. Among boutique hotels, Frangipani Beach Resort is one of the top-ranked in the Caribbean.
It feels like the all-inclusive resort concept was invented in Mexico. After all, the combination of beautiful beaches and don’t-lift-a-finger vacationing makes Mexico a perfect honeymoon destination. The Yucatan locales of Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and Tulum are famous for their white sand beaches, water sports and sprawling luxury resorts. However, don’t overlook Baja California Sur, the western peninsula that’s home to Cabo San Lucas and La Paz. There’s year-round whale-watching here, and kayaking among these gentle giants is a thrilling activity.
Indian Ocean Islands
We’ve got one thing to say: overwater bungalows. Seriously, does it get much more sexy and romantic than that? The remote islands of the Indian Ocean are top luxury honeymoon destinations, with some of the world’s best beaches, snorkeling and scuba diving.
Maldives wrote the book on over-the-top luxury. For example, an overwater bungalow on a pristine beach is a bucket-list destination for couples, newlyweds or not! Many resorts offer honeymoon packages that include couples spa treatments, romantic dinners on the beach, and villas with private pools.
Mauritius is famous for its vibrant coral reefs, cascading waterfalls and lush rainforests. That makes it a terrific December honeymoon destination for couples who want to do more than loll on the beach all day. Although, there are plenty of gorgeous beaches here. Mauritius has a fascinating culture, too. Honeymooners need to book early here, but will find it more affordable than the Maldives.
The Seychelles islands aren’t exactly off-the-radar, but they do have an air of exclusivity that make them a dizzyingly romantic destination for a beach honeymoon. Some of the best beaches in the world are found here. If you really want to go all out, book your honeymoon on a private island resort. There are several of them here, including the stunning Six Senses Zil Pasyon.
The Hawaiian Islands draw honeymooners and families alike year-round. But if you have the budget, December is the perfect time for a Hawaii honeymoon. Especially if you can book the first two weeks of the month and don’t mind a little rain. After all, that just means more snuggle time in your luxury hotel room! Tear yourself away from the beautiful beaches long enough to explore the islands’ terrific national parks, fern-draped waterfalls and funky little villages and shopping areas.
Wintry Destinations for a December Honeymoon
If you’re a fan of cold weather, head straight to Europe for your winter honeymoon. Spend your time exploring Christmas markets, drinking mulled wine, swooshing down the slopes and enjoying apres-ski cocktails. Even if you don’t ski!
Finland may not be top of mind for a winter honeymoon, but this European country is a true winter wonderland. For example, it’s got gorgeously remote treehouses, luxury log cabins with private saunas, hot tubs, and traditional cuisine. Or cozy up under reindeer furs in a real igloo hotel! Plus, December in Finnish Lapland is the best time of year for viewing the magical Northern Lights.
Switzerland knows how to do winter honeymoons. The mighty Swiss Alps are the backdrop and the playground for ski vacations, sleigh rides, snow-shoeing and more. Or, you can just keep warm in one of Switzerland’s amazing spa hotels, such as Kulm Hotel in glitzy St. Moritz or the sleek Park Hotel Vitznau on Lake Lucerne.
Germany shouldn’t be overlooked as a destination for a romantic December honeymoon. Its Christmas markets are among the oldest and best in Europe. Plus, its small, historic towns are filled with old European charm. And a Rhine River cruise is a carefree way to take in some of Germany’s prettiest towns.
Big Cities and Big Adventure Destinations for a December Honeymoon
If your idea of a perfect honeymoon involves long-haul flights (splurge for the upgrade!) and far-flung cities, the other side of the world is waiting for you in December. That’s when it’s summer in the southern hemisphere. Use these cities as jumping-off points for adventure trips.
Cape Town, South Africa offers stunning coastal scenery, majestic mountains and a terrific nightlife. In addition, it offers quick access to the Cape Winelands, where many outstanding wines are produced. Make it a road-trip or let a guide do the designated driving. Once you’ve done the big city, head to the bush, and experience a safari in Kruger National Park. Or consider nearby Botswana, where there’s a huge range of tented luxury safari camps and lodges. We saw an incredible variety of animals at Botswana’s Chobe National Park, and the Chobe Game Lodge will put you right in the middle of the action.
Sydney is the stepping-off point for an extended winter honeymoon in Australia, where December is one of the warmest, driest months. Start with a few days in this cosmopolitan city Down Under. Take in great outdoor activities like biking or water sports on the Sydney waterfront or maybe a show at the iconic Opera House. Then take your pick of the vast offerings of Australia. The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef. And busy Cairns is the gateway city for a host of outfitters offering multi-day boat trips for scuba diving and snorkeling. Or take an easygoing road trip along the southern coast to Adelaide by way of Melbourne, stopping for amazing national parks, great Australian wines and cuisine.
Okay, so New York City may not require a long-haul flight or feel very exotic and it definitely won’t be summer weather. However, the Big Apple can really deliver when it comes to a December honeymoon. Manhattan decks the halls at Christmas, when streets are strung with lights and the famous store windows come alive with elaborate holiday displays. Take in a Broadway show, go to the top of the Empire State Building, ice skate at Rockefeller Center, and splurge in some of the best restaurants in the world. From New York, you can road trip it or take the train to the gorgeous Adirondacks through New England all the way to Vermont. Or through Upstate New York to reach a (very chilly) Niagara Falls, one of the most iconic honeymoon destinations in the world.
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