There's no doubt about it, a honeymoon should be the most unforgettable holiday of a lifetime and the perfect finish to the happiest day of your lives. After the stress and excitement building up to your big day, unwinding for one or two weeks in one of the world's most couple-friendly destinations is a must. For the best weather, beaches and romantic adventures, check out our essential list of top honeymoon destinations.
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Extend the special atmosphere of your wedding day for another week or two by booking a honeymoon that's just as memorable. Add some of these ideas to your wedding planning folder:
A beautiful, romantic island getaway, Bora Bora is tucked away close to Tahiti. Palm trees line the beaches, and little 'bungalows' for couples peek out over the water. See even more on a helicopter ride over the island. Many resorts and hotels give you the option to book photo sessions, spa treatments and special mealtimes for two. As well as soaking up the sun on the stunning white sand beach of Matira Beach, fit in some romantic adventures including safari and parasailing. The best time to visit Bora Bora is from May to October during the dry season, but for a quieter trip, aim to visit during the tail ends of this timeframe.
The quiet and relaxing atmosphere on Bali helps you feel as if you've really escaped together. It's a fashionable, stylish destination that'll earn the envy of all your friends. Enjoy a little privacy on the pristine stretches of sand. On days when you feel like exploring, visit Bali's coral reefs, rice paddies or safari and marine park. By night experience the sunset at Uluwatu Temple followed by cocktails at the famous Potato Head Beach Club. The best time to visit Bali is just before or just after the high season, for both dry weather and fewer crowds. If you can visit Bali in April, May or September.
This dream destination makes picture-perfect honeymoons a reality. Head for secluded beaches with sand as white as a wedding dress – and you'll find 'something blue' in the miles of turquoise ocean. Each island in the Maldives is a jewel in the Indian Ocean. Dip a toe in the water outdoors, or bathe inside at a spa resort. As one of the world's long-standing ultimate honeymoon destinations, there's no shortage of romantic adventures to be had on the Maldives. From couples diving and snorkelling activities to luxury boat trips and underwater couples' massage, every day is a new one on this archipelago. The best time to visit the Maldives is between November and April.
Mauritius is the perfect honeymoon destination for couples that are seeking a tranquil escape. By day take a rum-tasting tour or a catamaran cruise and start the evening with a sunset beach ride on horseback followed by a romantic dinner on the beach.
Most Mauritius hotels offer 'honeymoon special' rates and packages for couples. The island's exotic atmosphere draws from its rich culture and history. It's also the place to enjoy winter sun, as the weather is hot and sunny all year round. The 18th-century botanical gardens and swaying palms make a beautiful backdrop to holiday photos.
The unspoilt feel of the Seychelles keeps the islands near the top of the list for honeymoon destinations. It's a little taste of paradise, with more than 100 islands to discover. Mahe is the largest and busiest, and is lively and full of things to see and do. More hotel resorts and private getaways can be found on Praslin. There are countless luxury couple activities for honeymooners on the Seychelles, including yacht trips, helicopter rides, candlelit beach suppers, couples' massages and stargazing trips. The perfect time to visit this stunning archipelago is either April to May or October to November, avoiding the hottest weather, the windiest weather, and the summer crowds.
For a luxury honeymoon or more active trip, Kenya's consistently popular. As an alternative to relaxing on the beach, you and your sweetheart can head out on safari. The country's national parks and game reserves are where you can spot zebras, lions and elephants on a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Another romantic option is to take to the skies in a hot air balloon at sunset.
For a beach holiday or city break to Nairobi you can visit Kenya any time of year, but for those hoping to enjoy a safari it's best to go in dry season from June to October. For an unforgettable honeymoon incorporate a stargazing experience into your stay.
When you think of romance, you think of Venice. It caters to everyone, with hotels and restaurants ranging from budget to boutique. There's something about the city's waterways, gondolas and atmosphere that inspires love in all who visit. Hop over to Murano in a water taxi to see the island's world-famous glass-blowing and pick up a honeymoon memento. There's loads of romantic dining options in Venice with plenty of waterside restaurants. Be sure to take your perfect honeymoon photo on the famous Rialto Bridge. If it works with your wedding dates, ideally head to Venice just out of season in Spring or Autumn to avoid the crowds. Those looking for a budget-friendly honeymoon destination will find that Venice, with its short plane trip from London, is the perfect answer.
Mexico is becoming more popualr with those looking for more unusual and exciting honeymoon places. Those seeking a tranquil honeymoon experience should consider the luxury resorts of Acapulco, Guadalajara and the more exclusive parts of Cancun, where adult-only hotels, top-class facilities and fine dining are in abundance. Those looking for romantic adventures and a spot of adrenaline may favour Los Cabos or Veracruz. Couples looking to experience local culture and authentic Mexican cuisine will find a good choice of luxury accommodation at San Miguel de Allende, Oaxaca or Puebla. The ideal time to visit Mexico is from December to April when the weather is warm and dry.
From the jaw-dropping landscapes of the South Island where fjords, glaciers and mountains lie, to the rich cultural heritage and cosmopolitan city of Auckland in the North Island, New Zealand is more than just a two-week honeymoon trip, it's a once in a lifetime holiday. It's worth waiting until the right time to go, even if that means not going straight after the wedding, so you have the time to explore it full. Perfect for honeymooners looking for everything including adventure, activities, wine tasting and a touch of seclusion, which is always easy to find in New Zealand. Ideally, head to New Zealand during the country's summer, which is in November to February.
With over 6000 islands to choose from, whether you want to lounge on the beach or take historic tours, you can do it all in Greece. Top islands for honeymooners include Santorini, known for its luxury accommodation, clifftop restaurants and world-famous sunsets whilst those looking for a luxury spa-based honeymoon in unspoilt surroundings should opt for Naxos. If you want it all however, choose Crete, one of the largest islands, a place bursting with history, mountain scenery, culture, fine wine, seafood restaurants and beautiful beaches. Greece enjoys hot summers and mild winters. If you choose one of the more luxurious resorts there's no reason not to go in June-August, although you will find cheaper prices and fewer crowds in April-June or September-October.