You’ve made it official – and now it’s time to unwind. Honeymoons are the perfect fuel to start your new married life. Whether you tied the knot close to home or far, far away; your honeymoon is just as important as your wedding day and it should be the trip of a lifetime.
Whether you are after an idyllic beach stay or an action-packed getaway, the upcoming Wedding and Honeymoon Show will feature some of Ireland’s leading travel companies offering a wide range of honeymoon packages which cater to all tastes.
Opening on the 7th and 8th September at the RDS, Dublin, the Wedding and Honeymoon Show is the perfect opportunity for brides and grooms-to-be to talk face-to-face with travel experts, create bespoke honeymoon packages, and avail of show only discounts.
Ahead of the show we caught up with some of the travel and overseas exhibitors who will be at the two-day show and who have shared a calendar breakdown of the best honeymoon destinations by month.
January: South Africa
With 19 national parks to pick from, South Africa is deservedly a hot spot for safari and adventure junkies. At the tail end of the wet season, you’ll get cheaper prices but still catch the Big Five in Kruger National Park. Along the picturesque Garden Route, you’ll also find shark cage diving at Mossel Bay or bungee jumping at Bloukrans Bridge. For a bit of relaxation, explore Cape Town’s beaches and mountains before discovering its coolest bars, restaurants and nearby vineyards. Though worth noting, the best time to visit for whale watching is between July and November.
With many European destinations still a little too chilly to venture into, February is a popular month to visit the tropics for some well-deserved post-wedding rays of sun.
Thailand is a favourite honeymoon hotspot for those travellers who crave intriguing culture as much as they desire stunning beaches. Lying in the centre of the tropics, Thailand’s rainfall can vary dramatically month to month as well as between different parts of the country. However, whether you’re at a beach party in Phuket or laying in a hammock in Koh Samui, February is the perfect time to choose as temperatures rarely fluctuate much from the 28°C (82°F) average and showers are at their lowest of the year.
With its sumptuous mix of traditions, spiritual beliefs, festivals, architecture and landscapes, your memories of India will blaze bright long after you’ve left its shores. Known for its beautiful collision of ancient Eastern culture and uniquely futuristic design, it’s an ideal pick for a honeymoon of celebration and festivities. After the full moon of each March, the people of India celebrate the festival of colour, Holi. The streets are awash with vivid colour as dyed powder and water are thrown around – it’s certainly not the day to wear your Sunday best! If this is a little too rambunctious for you, March is a perfect time to visit the serene backwaters of Kerala where Holi festivities are a little calmer.
April is a lovely month to visit when the weather is not too hot or cold… Seychelles is a place of safety and serenity, where an astonishingly surreal beauty and a languid pace of life conspire with an enviable tropical climate and welcoming people to provide a unique backdrop for those tender romantic experiences.
Enjoy all the diversity in accommodation that Seychelles has to offer, from charming Creole guesthouses, intimate hotels both large and small, to the magical experience of sumptuous five-star resorts and exquisite island hideaways.
The beautifully diverse country of Mauritius has much to offer sun-seeking honeymooners throughout the year with its sublime mix of tropical warmth and cooling breezes. May is a great time to visit this island paradise as cyclone rains drop off and the humid heat of its summer decreases. What’s more, prices tend to be at their lowest as you avoid the popular peak period of July to October. Look out for resorts on the north or western coasts for a warmer, drier trip.
Whether it’s Shakespearian love stories in Verona, clifftop views of the Amalfi Coast or gondola rides in Venice, Italy offers more than its fair share of romance to honeymooners. July and August are peak months, so travelling just a little earlier offers equally fantastic weather (average of 23°C (73°F) with at least 12 hrs of sunshine) but with far fewer crowds. The white sandy beaches of Sardinia offer an unhurried alternative to busier Mediterranean spots, whereas the lakes of the north offer a more laid-back alternative to a busy city stay.
July: French Polynesia
Tahiti and her islands offer some of the world’s most breath-taking landscapes, which are best enjoyed when temperatures are mild, rainstorms are less frequent and whale-watching season is at its peak. From the garden-green hillsides of Moorea to the towering mountains of Bora Bora and the untouched coral reefs of Rangiroa and Fakarava, there’s something to explore at every turn.
August is the most popular month for couples to tie the knot as well as the busiest time of year for travel. This makes choosing the right destination to ensure your honeymoon is a truly personal experience a challenge.
The Indonesian island of Bali benefits from having a climate where temperatures vary very little throughout the year making it a great year-round honeymoon destination. August has the lowest rainfall of the entire year and with temperatures rarely differing from the 27°C (81°F) average, it’s an ideal destination if you’re looking for beautiful beaches with weather to match.
In the midst of the Wildebeest migration September can be one of the best months to visit. The diversity of game in Kenya is simply astounding. From the big five to the small five, Kenya’s game parks, reserves and other wildlife protection areas host some of the wildest game thus the reason why this is home for the safari. Dotted in their unique landscapes, geographical features, a vast array of game ensues. The icing on Kenya’s wildlife cake is the annual Wildebeest Migration at the infamous Maasai Mara migration between mid-August and late October.
With rain season coming to an end, October is a perfect time to take advantage of smaller crowds and cheaper rates across all of Mexico while still enjoying pleasant weather. Consider an all-inclusive beachfront resort for an easy honeymoon getaway with a focus on fun in the sun or get to know Mexico’s cultural roots by hiking Mayan ruins, visiting archaeological parks, and diving into stunning cenotes.
Known for its luxury hotels, stunning beaches, excellent service and year-round warm weather; if you’re a sun-seeker, Dubai should definitely make your honeymoon shortlist. Rain is a rarity, but the excessive heat of the summer can be a little much for many of us. Also, with fantastic travel links, Dubai can easily be twinned with various African and Asian holiday spots to add a little diversity to your special trip.
December: Prague, Czech Republic
Some say it’s the most romantic time of the year and for those seeking a winter wonderland honeymoon, you have a wealth of choices in December. But what can be better than strolling the classically romantic streets of a European capital city with a cup of hot cocoa in hand across a long winter’s night? Maybe doing so in between hopping from holiday markets to cosy pubs filled with festive cheer. Winter honeymoons don’t have to be centred on beach escapes – sometimes confronting the cold is exactly the key to a magical honeymoon.
If you are looking for honeymoon destination inspiration why not visit The Wedding and Honeymoon Show – coming to the RDS on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th September. With experts on hand to offer practical advice and offer ‘show only’ special offers, the two-day wedding and honeymoon show is not to be missed. Book your ticket now: www.wed.ie
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Kelly is a former wedding planner and a lover of anything pink. She believes that any bride can plan her own wedding, with a few tips and helpful tools.