This time of year, as we knuckle down to cold weather, gym classes, and a booze-free January, (well for the first few days, at least!) the only thing getting many of us through, is looking ahead to our summer holidays.
But, if our celeb-filled Instagram feeds are anything to go by, winter is the best time for a luxurious getaway.
The November to February season offers some of the best choices year-round, for travel.
Whether you’re looking for a break in the snow, a week on the beach, or a city getaway you won’t get rained on, winter (Northern Hemisphere winter that is) brings the perfect conditions from some epic trips around the world for honeymooners.
While many European and North American couples opt for a summer wedding and honeymoon, it’s not the best time to travel to many popular honeymoon destinations.
Not only is summer often a more expensive time to travel, but some resorts are packed with kids in July and August, while many regions are in the height of rainy or hurricane seasons well into September.
Choosing a winter honeymoon is savvy for lots of reasons, whether you get away before Christmas, or skip the back to work vibes of the new year.
While it might be harder to shop for a bikini in London or New York in December, once you get away, these destinations offer amazing experiences, ideal weather conditions, and phenomenal accommodation.
Plus, even if you’re not having a fall or winter wedding, delaying a honeymoon after a summer bash will give you both time to save up your spending money, and something to look forward to after your big day.
Still not sure if holding out for a winter honeymoon is right for you? Check out ten of our favourite destinations to visit between November and February.
1. Rio De Janeiro
Photos via Copacabana Palace
Photo via Fasano Hotel
Copa… Copacabana. While Brazil is a magnificent country to visit any time of the year, if you’re a couple who want a honeymoon that’s all about the fun, the best time to hit up the world capital of partying has got to be summertime in South America.
Reaching balmy temperatures of 104ºF/40ºC in December and January, you’ll never feel guilty for wiling away a week on the beach with a Caipirinha in-hand.
Best of all, delay your new year’s trip until February, and you can have the ultimate post-wedding blow-out at Carnival.
Photo via Mandolin Beach
Photo via Raleigh, Miami Beach
Photo via Visit Miami
Glossy and glamorous, yet arty and cool, Miami is the perfect storm of styles for an unforgettable honeymoon in winter.
A big celebrity favourite this year for New Year’s Eve, Miami boasts some of the coolest hotels in the world, setting the bar for luxury, fun, and that iconic art deco style.
Spend the day flaked out on Miami Beach, hit the South Beach bars at night, soak up the vibes in Little Havana, or rent a car and take a drive down the Keys.
Florida might not be your first thought for a romantic honeymoon, but if you’re looking for something a little bit different, this is just the place.
3. The Caribbean
Photo via Jade Mountain, St Lucia
Photo via Kuoni, Antigua
Another post-Christmas playground of the rich and famous, the islands of the Caribbean offer endless options for a romantic break. As you might remember, we visited Barbados and Antiqua last year, and paired with the likes of St. Lucia, Mustique, St John, or bigger islands like Jamaica, Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico, you can choose a single or multi-destination winter break with guaranteed sunshine.
Boasting world-class resorts, breathtaking beaches, and the friendliest people, a holiday in the Caribbean is about more than just lounging by the pool. Watersports, wildlife, nightlife and great food make this a truly memorable place to visit, and winter is the prime time to do it.
One thing to note though, some Caribbean islands are not as friendly as others to same-sex couples, so check before you travel so you don’t encounter any nastiness on your honeymoon. (We hear Puerto Rico is extremely welcoming to same sex couples!)
4. New Zealand
Photo via Eagle’s Nest on Mr & Mrs Smith
Photo via Huka Lodge on Mr & Mrs Smith
Photo via Wilsons Abel Tasman
With one of the most diverse, unique, and all-round mind-blowing landscapes in the world, New Zealand is a no-brainer for a honeymoon any time of year, but even more so when it’s summertime down south.
Long, sunny days make it the perfect season to hit the road across the iconic North and South islands, the best way to take in all this country has to offer.
White sand beaches for swimming, crystal fiords for diving, picturesque mountains for hiking, and stunning glaciers for helicoptering, along with all the wine tasting, bungee-jumping, and of course, experiencing Maori culture, New Zealand is the epitome of accessible adventure for honeymooners.
5. Swiss Alps
Photo via W Verbier Hotel
Photo via The Cambrian, Mr & Mrs Smith
Photo via Gstadd Palace
Some couples want a winter honeymoon that takes them away from the cold weather, but for others, it’s all about getting to the heart of it. And there’s nowhere as quite as splendid as Switzerland for taking in the apres ski atmosphere in a honeymoon-worthy setting.
Alpine resorts like Klosters (a favourite with the Royals), St Moritz, Davos, Gstaad, Wengen, and Verbier, offer the most superb winter scenery.
While skiing and snowboarding are the most popular things to do in the Alps come wintertime, less sporting honeymooners can avail of thermal spas, idyllic villages and lake cruises. If all fails, put your feet up by the fire with a rich hot chocolate, and your new spouse.
6. Tanzanian Serengeti
Photos via Kuoni
Last year, we shared a round-up of our favourite destinations for a safari honeymoon. And if it got you excited for taking a walk on the wild side for your winter honeymoon, then one of the best places to visit this time of year, is the Serengeti in Tanzania.
Before Christmas will see a million wildebeest start their Great Migration south through the Serengeti, a sight that will truly take your breath away. With calving taking place in the shorter grass in late January and early February, this is a good time to spot some predator action.
Along with the ubiquitous wildlife, the landscape is lush and green, and the rains tend to be short in winter, making for an all-round more enjoyable safari experience.
Be sure to splash out on a hot air balloon over the Ngorongoro Crater, epic is not the word.
7. South Thailand
Photo via Amanpuri Resort
Photo via Freedom & Freelancing
Photo via Paresa Phuket on Mr & Mrs Smith
Southern Thailand is another one of those classic destinations for a winter break, but that doesn’t mean your honeymoon has to be anything close to classic. Whether you’re looking for a plush hotel or an island beach hut, this region has got it all.
Rugged cliffsides on the Andaman Sea offer iconic scenery off Phuket, Krabi, Phi Phi and Ko Lanta, while the Gulf of Thailand to the east, lays out white sand beaches and great diving on Koh Tao, Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan.
The entire region boasts incredible food and fun nightlife, but if it’s a slice of serenity, privacy, and romance you’re after, while it can be hard to find in this popular part of the world, it’s certainly not impossible.
Photo via Hotelli Iso-Syöte
Photos via Visit Finland
If it’s a wonderland you’re after for your winter honeymoon, look no further than the Lapland region of Northern Finland (Lapland itself stretches into Sweden and Norway too).
Like a real-life version of Frozen, this snow-covered region might be most associated with family breaks to meet Santa Claus, but it’s also a pretty stunning place to spend your honeymoon too.
With unique igloo hotels, tree houses over snow fells, and cool cocktail bars made from ice, Lapland has a fun adult side, but add in husky tours, reindeer sleigh rides, backcountry skiing and ice-swimming, it’s got lots of adventure to offer too.
With the Northern Lights visible almost every other clear night from September to March, it’s also the ideal time of year to take in one of the most beautiful sights on the planet.
The polar night, or Kaamos lasts for about a month over December and January, where it stays mostly dark over the entire period, a unique thing to experience, but definitely something to keep in mind, if you’re visiting during this time.
9. Indian Ocean Islands
Photo via Kandolu, Maldives
Photo via Kuoni, Mauritius
One of the most popular hotspots for winter sun, the islands of the Indian Ocean offer sheer bliss if you’re after the kind of honeymoon that’s all about relaxation.
With world class 5-star resorts, the kind of white-meets-turquoise beaches dreams are made of, and fantastic seafood, this region shows us how to do the beach bum life, in style! Though with sunset cruises, seaplane trips, diving, snorkelling, fishing and whale-watching, you certainly won’t get bored.
Mauritius, the Maldives, and the Seychelles are the most renowned island destinations, but the Zanzibar Archipelago and Reunion are also well worth checking out.
10. Yucatan Peninsula
Photo via Hacienda Uayamon on Mrs & Mrs Smith
Photos via Be Tulum on Mr & Mrs Smith
Mexico is one of those destinations that might seem tried and tested, but always has something cool and new to offer travellers. And as the epicentre of tourism in Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, with its lush jungles, vibrant history, and warm waters, is the ideal backdrop for a diverse winter honeymoon.
While it boasts some big resorts and palatial hotels, it’s also an accessible place to scratch the service a bit, with some fabulous boutique guesthouses and beautiful Airbnbs. Of course the food is a big draw in Mexico, but the beaches, archeological sites, colourful bars and chatty locals are all worth your attention.
Cancun might be the most renowned resort in the region, but it’s worth skipping for trendy Tulum, pretty Campeche, lesser-explored inland Yucatan, and the glamorous Riviera Maya.
Photo via Hacienda Uayamon on Mrs & Mrs Smith
Lots of cool ideas in there, whether you’re honeymooning in winter by choice, or necessity. It’s great to know there’s options for a beach break or snow holiday, a city trip, or an adventure getaway, even when it’s so grey outside the window!
Have you any other tips or suggestions for a winter honeymoon? We’d love to hear them!
Get more ideas for a unique honeymoon here.