Honeymoon Destinations in May
Where to go on Honeymoon in May
By Jane Anderson, Editor of 101 Honeymoons
So you’ve chosen that all-important wedding date. Now for the fun bit – which are the top honeymoon destinations in May?
In the Mediterranean, most tour operators start their summer flight programmes in May, but the crowds have yet to arrive, so prices are set low. Long days of warm sunshine are all but guaranteed, yet it’s rarely too hot to wander into town or do some sightseeing. In short, this is the perfect time to head to the Med.
May is also one of the best months to go long haul. Prices in the Caribbean plummet after the Easter holidays, yet the weather is all but perfect, with several months to go before the hurricane season.
There are also great options in the Indian Ocean, Africa and Asia. Or you could opt for a honeymoon in the UK.
European cities are ideal in May. Florence has just the right mix of high culture and fabulous food. One of the best hotels is the five star deluxe Helvetia e Bristol, and you can easily combine this with a stay in Rome and Siena.
Few cities are more romantic and evocative than Venice and May is a great month to visit, before the summer crowds descend. To make it extra special, you can travel by Orient-Express with an overnight stop in Switzerland. You’ll experience the beauty of the Alps and arrive in Venice next day to be whisked to your hotel by water taxi. Best hotels in Venice include the five star deluxe Ca’ Sagrado overlooking the Grand Canal and the four star Hotel Londra Palace near the Bridge of Sighs.
Spain has some of the most appealing cities in Europe if you’re looking for romance and culture. I recommend heading to Andalucia and exploring Seville, Cordoba and Grenada. You can expect lots of warm sunshine – ideal for lounging at pavement cafes and dining al fresco – but it won’t be too hot for sightseeing.
The Cote d’Azur in France is home to the glamorous cities of Monte Carlo, Cannes and Nice, and glorious in May. Treat yourselves to a stay at Le Negresco in Nice, the Radisson Blu 1835 in Cannes or the Hotel Metropole in Monaco.
May Honeymoons in the Mediterranean
In my view, the best months to visit the Mediterranean are May, June, September and October. The main advantage of May is the weather – you can expect warm sunshine, low humidity and cool evenings – but you’ll also find the welcome is friendly as resort workers look forward to another summer season. In many places you’ll find hills carpeted with spring flowers.
On the French island of Corsica you can’t miss the scented Maquis, at its best in May. There’s a great choice of hotels, villas and apartments including some real gems such as the cool and contemporary Casadelmar and the elegant Hotel la Villa in Calvi. Alternatively hide away in a one-bedroom villa with its own private pool such as Le Hameau Sant’Andria.
The countryside of Mallorca is another great destination. Far from the cheap-and-nasty packaged resorts, you’ll find secret coves, picturesque villages, rugged walking paths and well-appointed villas for two such as Ca’n Pulit and Ca Na Xidoia. Prices in May will be much lower than in the peak summer period.
Want somewhere a bit different? Take a look at DDG Retreat, a gorgeous eco-friendly hideaway in the hills of Andalucia. It has just five individually designed casas – some with outdoor baths – plus a lovely restaurant, spa, infinity pool and hammam.
The Greek Islands are particularly attractive in spring. Head to the stunning volcanic island of Santorini for chic boutique hotels such as Grace Santorini or these cosy hideaway houses for two. The weather Cyprus will be superb – I recommend the contemporary Almyra and its glamorous five star sister hotel, the Anassa. If you want to get away from it all, rent a simple seafront villa such as Sea Horse Cottage on the tiny island of Alonissos.
The Dalmatian coast of Croatia offers sparkling turquoise seas, island escapes and superb food at sensible prices. Arrive by private water taxi at the glamorous Villa Vilina on the traffic free island of Lopud, or check into Hotel Podstine which overlooks a sparkling bay near the hip town of Hvar. Discover more honeymoon ideas in Croatia plus these latest special offers.
Turkey has near-guaranteed good weather and a great collection of boutique hotels such as Hotel Villa Mahal described as the “most romantic hotel in Europe” by Condé Nast Johansens.
If you want solitude, head to the Mandarin Boutique Hotel, a charming adults-only hideaway with just eight rooms set in the Turkish countryside near the resort of Fethiye. Rates are very affordable and each room has a four-poster bed and Jacuzzi.
If you love all things Italian treat yourselves to a week on the island of Capri, perhaps combined with another week exploring the Amalfi coast. On Capri you could stay at the glamorous Capri Palace Hotel & Spa.
Things will be warming up nicely on Sardinia where you’ll find empty white sand beaches, clear turquoise seas and great hotels such as the sophisticated five-star Hotel Castello, the seafront Villa del Parco and the minimalist boutique Coluccia Hotel & Beach Club. In the far south region of Puglia you should check out the elegant five-star Borgo Egnazia Hotel which has villas with private pools, a first class spa and golf.
Further north, you could stay head to the rolling countryside of Tuscany where you’ll find some outstanding hotels that will particularly suit food lovers. I recommend the elegantly-restored Castello del Nero and Borgo San Felice.
If you dream of getting wed in the Med, check out The Discovery Collection which can tailor-make weddings in beautiful and historic locations including Italy, Turkey, Jordan and Malta. They will source everything locally including musicians, cocktail waiters and florists, and give you a hand with the paperwork.
More active honeymooners, might like to take the opportunity of slightly cooler fine weather to take a cycling tour of Italy.
Find more honeymoon ideas in the Mediterranean.
Caribbean Honeymoon Destinations in May
This is a superb time to head to the Caribbean. The islands are winding down after the high season, and hotel rates and airfares are great value. But the weather is still great with temperatures in the high 20s and perhaps the occasional short rain shower at night or in the late afternoon.
Each of the islands has its own character and charms, so your choice should depend on what you’re looking for in a honeymoon – and your budget.
If you’re on a budget, the Dominican Republic is very competitive on price compared with elsewhere in the region, especially if you go all-inclusive, and the beaches are stunning. I recommend Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana.
Mexico is another bargain, and great if you want a five-star stay at affordable prices. Check out Secrets Capri Resort & Spa, which has a Jacuzzi in every room, and Secrets Aura Cozumel on the tropical island of Cozumel.
Cuba is well priced and ideal if you want to explore the country as well as flop on a beach. You should certainly spend a few days exploring the capital Havana (think mojitos, cigar factories, 1950s American cars and salsa clubs). You will then have earned yourselves a spell at a luxury beach hotel such as the Melia Cayo Coco or the Sol Cayo Largo, a four-star all-inclusive on an unspoilt island, 40 minutes flight south of the mainland.
If you crave privacy rather than the attentions of hotel staff, you can get a great out-of-season bargain renting a private villa for two on a small characterful island like St Barths or Bequia in the Grenadines.
Grenada, the spice island, is small, friendly and has many pretty coves tucked away behind forested hills. Honeymooners should head to the stylish boutique hideaway of Laluna.
If you really want to get away from it all, head to the pristine white-sand beaches of the Turks & Caicos Islands. Although expensive, Sir Rirchard Branson’s Necker Island is a fabulous treat. It runs Celebration Weeks during selected weeks of the year.
You can also explore the Caribbean on a Star Clippers cruise, setting sail on a magnificent tall ship. The vessels are small enough to feel intimate and stop at small ports inaccessible to big cruise ships. And what could be more romantic than a real sailing ship?
For an authentic – and inexpensive – experience, check out Essence of the Caribbean which has a wonderful choice of B&Bs, guest houses and small hotels such as Rosalie Bay in Dominica, A Stone’s Throw Away in the Bahamas and The Blue House B&B in Jamaica.
If you want a more conventional luxury hotel, I recommend this collection of 13 gorgeous small hotels and resorts.
UK Honeymoons in May
If you want a romantic, rustic and chic experience – and are looking for a honeymoon bargain – try Sheepskin which has a collection of cottages in Wales and Devon. My top recommendations include Tailor’s Cottage in Snowdonia, Tamar Cottages in Devon’s Tamar Valley and Hafod Glan Gwy on the banks of the River Wye.
Or head to gorgeous Scotland whether the days are getting longer and you can enjoy this 5-night self-drive Luxury Scottish Honeymoon that includes stays at a five-star hotel in Edinburgh, a lodge on the shores of Loch Ness and a private island off the coast of Argyll. From only £885 per person – plus you can upgrade to a classic car.
You can expect good weather in England’s southwest. In Devon you can pamper yourselves with great food and spa treatments at The Cary Arms in Babbacombe Bay. If you want a secluded self-catering hideaway try somewhere like Hideaway in Fowey, Cornwall – find more romantic cottages at Rural Retreats.
Other Long Haul Honeymoons in May
May is a great month to explore California. Imagine driving down Highway One between Los Angeles and San Francisco in an open-top car, staying at the Calistoga Ranch in Napa Valley and the gorgeous Ahwahnee Lodge in Yosemite National Park before heading down to Big Sur. You can combine this with a Polynesian beach beach at the Four Seasons Bora Bora before flying home via LA. Stunning!
Exsus has a lovely range of classic US fly drive honeymoons including this classic California Highlights Trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 10 nights, staying at Yosemite National Park, Carmel, Santa Barbara and Santa Monica, with prices from £1,925 per person, including flights and car hire.
Or head down to South America, where Peru is at its best – this is a marvelous time of year to combine beach, jungle and a trip to the ancient city of Machu Picchu. This 8-day Highlights of Peru private tour costs from £2,660 per person.
May is the perfect time to visit Japan. Temperatures in Tokyo will be mild, the gardens are in full bloom and the mountains are green. See this selection of honeymoons in Japan including an exciting and romantic private tour of natural hot springs, stays in Tokyo and Kyoto, nights in traditional ‘ryokan’ inns and travel on bullet trains.
It’s also a good time to honeymoon in the Indian Ocean. In Mauritius the humid summer months (December to April) have passed, but the winds of July and August are months away. Check into such gems as the newly re-opened Trou aux Biches.
The Seychelles are beautiful in May but prices are lower before the high season of July and August. There are plenty of boutique hotels such as Coco de Mer and Black Parrot Suites on Praslin Island or you can push the boat out with a stay at Banyan Tree Seychelles on Male or a private island like Denis.
It’s not such a great time in the Maldives but Mozambique is a superb alternative. The remote silky white beaches are as beautiful as any in the world and you can combine it with sailing cruises on traditional dhows and wildlife safaris. Try this island hopping honeymoon.
In Bali, May is the beginning of the dry season, so this spiritual island will be looking particularly lush after the rains. Here are some of the world’s most romantic hotels such as Bambu Indah, with antique houses set amongst rice paddies, the laid-back luxury hideaway of Puri Ganesha and the pampering haven of Spa Village Resort Tembok Bali. See more hotels in Bali.
If you fancy Malaysia, head to the delightful island of Pangkor Laut which lies in splendid isolation three miles off the west coast of Peninsula Malaysia. Or head to the Gulf of Siam where the dreamy island of Koh Samui enjoys great weather in May. It has many gorgeous hotels where you can dine barefoot on the beach and enjoy Thai massages for two.
In Africa, May is an excellent time to visit Botswana where the weather is fine and the trees are green. Botswana is home to some of the most opulent camps in Africa such as Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp in the Okavango Delta and Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero in Chobe National Park.
It’s the dry season Namibia with temperatures of around 25ºC. Take a hot air balloon ride over the desert, see shipwrecks along the Skeleton Coast, climb the world’s tallest sand dunes and track the endangered Black Rhino. Namibia has superb lodges and tented camps, such as the Wolwedans Dune Camp and Ongava Tented Camp. This Ultimate Namibia itinerary is popular with honeymooners.
It’s also a perfect time to visit Zambia and Malawi for a chilled-out and exciting Lake and Bush honeymoon. Put your feet up at Pumulani, luxury beach lodge on Lake Malawi, before exploring true wilderness at Mkulumadzi Lodge in the Majete Wildlife Reserve, then flying to Zambia for a stay at Tena Tena, a luxury tented camp in South Luangwa National Park.
Madagascar is emerging as one of the fastest-growing and most exciting honeymoon destinations, thanks to its unique wildlife and stunning white-sand beaches. You can expect dry weather and temperatures of around 30C. This 11-night honeymoon in Madagascar features stays at Vakona Forest Lodge where you can spot lemurs in the rainforest, and the secluded beachfront Anjajavy Hotel.
If you want to experience total relaxation in a sublime natural setting, head to Ananda in the Himalayas which is set beside the Ganges River in the foothills of the world’s greatest mountain range. Built on a royal estate, it offers superb food and spa treatments, plus the option to try treks, nature walks and white water rafting.
Try another month…