Honeymoon Destinations in July
Where to go on Honeymoon in July
By Jane Anderson, Editor of 101 Honeymoons
July is peak wedding season in the UK. The Mediterranean – with its guaranteed sunshine – is the most obvious honeymoon destination, though it’s also worth considering the UK and Ireland. You’ll also find many excellent long-haul options, or you could think outside the box and head north to Scandinavia for the romance of the midnight sun.
If you’ve booked your wedding in the first half of July, you can avoid the school holiday rush and inflated summer prices. This is a great time to be in the Med. If you tie the knot in late July, you can still find outstanding honeymoon destinations such as the Caribbean, where it’s low season. July is also a great month for safaris in Africa, which you can easily combine with a beach stay.
Mediterranean Honeymoons in July
The Mediterranean is in full holiday mode at this time of year and perfect if you worship the sun but want some culture too. It’s also particularly good value in 2015, as the Euro has weakened against the Pound.
Greece is a guaranteed winner, whether you choose a luxury hotel or a simple self-catering villa or apartment. For glamour and romance it’s hard to beat the chic hotels perched on cliff tops in Santorini, where you can expect 28ºC temperatures and an average 13 hours of daily sunshine. Check out Hotel Grace Santorini and these charming hideaway houses for two.
For simpler pleasures, choose a less developed Greek island such as Alonissos where you’ll find cosy cottages and villas right on the beach including the lovely Sea Horse Cottage. I recommend GIC The Villa Collection which specialises in less developed islands such as Paxos and Skopelos. One advantage of travelling in July is that you’ll be there before the French and Italians arrive.
What could be more romantic than a honeymoon in Italy? The Amalfi coast is a beautiful destination with elegant restaurants, eye-popping views across the Bay of Naples and a dramatic coastline. Rent a villa or apartment for two with CV Villas and rent a car to explore Sorrento, the ruins of Pompeii and the mighty Vesuvius.
From the coast you’ll be able to visit the chic island of Capri. Or why not go one better and stay there. The best address is the fabulous Capri Palace Hotel & Spa where previous guests have included Gwyneth Paltrow, and some suites have their own private pool and garden.
Puglia in the south of Italy has fabulous uncrowded beaches plus historic towns and great food, and is home to the five-star Borgo Egnazia Hotel. It has just 63 rooms and suites – some with private pools – set in ancient olive groves. Other charming places to stay include Masseria Torre Maizza which has 26 rooms and a private beach club and Il Melograno which dates back to the 16th century.
For the best of Italy’s beaches head to Sardinia where you’ll find soft white sand dunes, clear turquoise bays and a great choice of hotels including Forte Village – which also has a great spa and sports facilities – and boutique gems such as the Coluccia Hotel & Beach Club. I also love the L’Ea Bianca Luxury Resort, which features a stylish mix of contemporary design and antique furniture.
One of the hottest new honeymoon destinations is Croatia, where you can stay on a traffic-free island, swim in clear turquoise seas, take glamorous boat trips and dine al fresco. See my recommended hotels in Croatia and the latest special offers. The restored city of Dubrovnik is a much under-rated honeymoon destination – in July the old town hosts a summer festival. Expect 28ºC temperatures and 10 hours of sunshine.
Turkey has many gorgeous boutique hotels yet remains good value. I love the glamorous Hotel Villa Mahal which has just 13 rooms, each with a glorious view over the bay at Kalkan. The Turkey specialist Exclusive Escapes also recommends Badem Tatil Ev, a beautiful secluded hotel with 12 rooms, an infinity pool and private beach club overlooking the bay in the sleepy resort of Selimye. Check out their full range of boutique hotels.
Another option in Turkey is the Mandarin Boutique Hotel, a romantic hideaway set in quite countryside close to the lively resorts of Fethiye and Oludeniz. Each of the double rooms has a kingsize four-poster bes and Jacuzzi for two.
The French island of Corsica (27ºC temperatures, 12 hours of sunshine) is ignored by most British holidaymakers yet has exquisite beaches, a rugged mountainous interior and lashings of great food and wine. There’s a great choice of places to stay – you could choose any of these wonderful hotels, each of which boast Michelin stars – the Casadelmar in Porto Vecchio, the luxurious Grand Hotel de la Cala Rossa or the Hotel la Villa in Calvi. Or hide away at a one-bedroom villa with private pool such as Le Hameau Sant’Andria (wow!).
Other Honeymoon Destinations in Europe
If beaches aren’t your thing, how about escaping to a luxury hotel in the rolling countryside of Tuscany. My favourites include Villa Campestri, a country manor house surrounded by lawns and wooded parkland and the elegantly-restored Castello del Nero. Another great option is Relais la Suvera, a Renaissance villa richly decorated with art and antiques.
You could take a romantic tour of Italy by train. Jump on the Eurostar in London, spend a night in Luceren, Switzerland, then head onwards to explore Venice, Florence and Rome. Or how about a romantic 8-night cruise on the Danube – take the train to Nuremberg then sail through Austria and Germany to Budapest. Find more rail ideas with prices from just £499.
It’s not an obvious choice, but Iceland in July is amazing. You’ll find warm weather – ideal for a dip in the Blue Lagoon – and of course you’ll be able to experience the amazing phenomenon of the midnight sun. There are many live bars and romantic and hip places to stay such as the Art Deco Hotel Borg, while in Husavik – Iceland’s whale watching capital – you can take a boat trip in search of minke and humpback whales under the midnight sun.
Love cycling? Why not take an independent cycling tour of Italy. Explore beautiful unspoilt countryside, visit vineyards and remote villages, eat at gorgeous restaurants while your luggage is transported each day from one charming hotel to the next.
Africa and the Indian Ocean
If you’ve always dreamed of a safari honeymoon, July is the time to go. It’s the beginning of the world’s largest animal movement as zebra, gazelle and wildebeest migrate across the Masai Mara in Kenya. For indulgence, check out this 10-night Luxury Kenya honeymoon. You’ll find 29ºC temperatures and 7 hours of sunshine on the coast though it’s cooler in the game parks.
Humpback whales migrate to the seas off Madagascar in July, and this is a great time to visit one of the world’s most exciting honeymoon destinations. As well as whale watching, you can spot lemurs in the rainforest while staying at Vakona Forest Lodge and relax at the secluded Anjajavy Hotel set on a magnificent white sand beach. Try this 11-night honeymoon in Madagascar.
It’s the cool, dry season in Zambia and Malawi where you treat yourselves to a thrilling honeymoon package that combines three nights at Stanley Safari Lodge in Livingstone to marvel at the Victoria Falls and take trips on the Zambezi River then three nights at Luangwa River Camp in the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia which has one of the world’s highest concentrations of elephant, buffalo, leopard, lion, giraffe and hippo. Wind down with four nights of luxury on the shores of Lake Malawi at Pumulani (24ºC temperatures, 8 hours of sunshine).
Other options that work well in July include Botswana where the weather will be dry and the nights cool (23ºC temperatures, 10 hours of sunshine). It has some amazingly romantic luxury camps and lodges, such as Pom Pom Camp and Selinda Camp in the Okavango Delta. You can also stay in desert camps and meet bushmen tribes in the Makgadikgadi Pans.
It’s the dry season in Namibia with temperatures of 21ºC and 10 hours of daily sunshine. It’s the best time to view game, including the desert elephant and black rhino. Take a hot air balloon ride over the pristine desert, see shipwrecks scattered along the Skeleton Coast, climb the world’s tallest sand dunes and stay at stunning lodges such as Wolwedans Dune Camp and Ongava Tented Camp, where you can gaze up at sparkling night skies. This Ultimate Namibia tour is perfect for a honeymoon.
Technically it may be winter in Mauritius, but that means 25ºC temperatures and 7 hours of sunshine. If you enjoy surfing, June through to August is the best time to go. My personal favourite hotels include LUX* Le Morne and Trou aux Biches. Bargain options include the four-star Centara Poste Lafayette Resort & Spa where a week’s half-board with flights will set you back less than £1,000 per person.
The Maldives and Seychelles are not at their best in July, but the island of Mozambique (25ºC temperatures, 8 hours of sunshine) makes a wonderful Indian Ocean alternative. As well as pristine white sand beaches, you’ll find sailing trips on traditional dhows, snorkelling in turquoise waters, fresh seafood and barefoot luxury hideaways such as Ibo Island Lodge and Vamizi Island Lodge. See a full range of honeymoons.
Zanzibar and Tanzania is another exotic two-centre option. Rainbow Tours will find you wonderful retreats like Fumba Beach Lodge and Siwandu Camp. It has a great selection of honeymoon ideas across Africa.
Other Long-Haul Summer Honeymoon Ideas
Many destinations in South East Asia are a bit wet in July, but there are exceptions. It’s the dry season on the Gulf coast of Thailand where you’ll find the lovely island of Koh Samui (31ºC temperatures, 6 hours of sunshine) which enjoys good weather from May to October, when rain is an occasional surprise rather than a persistent nuisance.
As well as being famed for its spas, Samui also has some superb seafront hotels, the best of which include the splendidly isolated Napasai and the Four Seasons, which is set in tropical gardens on a hillside and has villas with private infinity pools.
Borneo also works well as a summer honeymoon destination – the best time to travel is between March and October. Audley Travel can tailor-make a honeymoon that includes stays at charming lodges and wildlife tours to see orang-utans and clouded leopards.
In neighbouring Indonesia this romantic adventure through Java and Lombok is mind-blowing, with trekking in Yogyakarta, a sunrise visit to the 8th-century Borobodur temple, a stay at the gorgeous Plataran Borobudur Resort & Spa plus orang-utans and proboscis monkeys, horse back riding beneath an active volcano and plenty of beach time.
Bali is good in July (29ºC and 10 hours of daily sunshine). There is no shortage of honeymoon hotels in Bali though I particularly like the ultra-hip The Bale with its private infinity pools and The Purist, a boutique villa hideaway. On the island’s unspoilt north-east shore you’ll find the exquisite Spa Village Resort Tembok Bali, an adults-only haven of peace.
And then, of course, there’s the Caribbean. It will be hot in July but hurricane season has not yet begun and prices are relatively low. This is a great time to book a luxury hideaway and take advantage of lower hotel rates. St Lucia’s weather is typical of the region: temperatures of 30ºC and 8 hours of daily sunshine.
If you want a fabulous hotel on an island with lots to see and do, I recommend Anse Chastanet in St Lucia, and Jamaica Inn near Ocho Rios in Jamaica. Grenada is a small, beautiful island where you’ll find the very stylish Laluna as well as the newly-opened all-inclusive Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort & Spa which is set on a beautiful secluded beach (see the latest offers).
If you simply want to crash out on acres of blinding white-sand beaches, I recommend two options: you could maroon yourselves on the Turks & Caicos Islands where you can hop between islands on boat trips and snorkel or dive on colourful reefs. Alternatively, take the short flight from Antigua to tiny Anguilla which has more than 30 world-class beaches plus many great beachfront restaurants.
A different side of the Caribbean can be found in Cuba. As well as wonderful beaches, there is an exciting local culture with vibrant nightlife. You can drink mojitos, visit cigar factories and dance the night away at salsa clubs in the capital Havana (stay at the historic Hotel Saratoga) then relax on the coast at a classy hotel such as Paradisus Varadero or Melia Cayo Coco.
Mexico is a good value option if you want five-star Caribbean hotels at affordable prices. My faves include Secrets Aura Cozumel on the tropical island of Cozumel, and the award-winning Secrets Capri Resort & Spa which has a Jacuzzi in every room.
How about hitting the road in America? Take one of these fabulous US fly drive honeymoons including this classic California Highlights Trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 10 nights with prices from only £1,925 per person, including flights and car hire.
UK and Ireland Honeymoons in July
It’s a glorious time to be in Scotland and explore the beautiful countryside of the West Coast. Try this selection of honeymoon ideas in Scotland which includes a 6-night Seafood Trail travelling from Glasgow past Loch Lomond and onward to Wester Ross. Or stay on a private island off the coast of Argyll.
Ireland guarantees warm hospitality at its country house hotels and converted castles. I love this touring honeymoon which combines coast and countryside in Counties Wexford and Cork, or you could rent a classic car such as a Mercedes 350SL or a Morris Minor. Pick from a selection of special experiences including whale watching, whiskey tasting and foodie tours.
The West Country is one of the UK’s most romantic destinations when the sun shines and temperatures rise. In Devon, you can pamper yourselves with great food and spa treatments at The Cary Arms. Stay there before the school holidays for peaceful sunbathing and swimming in Babbacombe Bay. On the north coast of Cornwall, Gwel an Mor has stylish lodges with private hot tubs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Gilpin Lake House is made up of six spacious suites set in the private grounds of Gilpin House, a Relais & Châteaux hotel in the Lake District. You can get massages in the spa and drink champagne in a lakeside hot tub before a chauffeur drives you up to the main house for a candlelit dinner.
If you want something rustic and chic, I recommend Sheepskin which has a beautiful collection of cottages and retreats in Wales. I particularly like Tailor’s Cottage in Snowdonia and Hafod Glan Gwy on the banks of the River Wye.
Last updated: 17 February 2015
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