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    10 Best Honeymoon Destinations at Christmas

    Pink Gin BeachOberoi Udaivilas on Lake Picholasouth-australia-sunsetBlue Lagoon, Iceland

    Where to go on Honeymoon at Christmas and New Year

    Jane Anderson, Honeymoon expertBy Jane Anderson, Editor of 101 Honeymoons


    Honeymoon at Christmas? Surely the idea is unthinkable. This is a time of year when you should be warming your toes at home, or exchanging pleasantries with the in-laws. But many newlyweds are now scheduling their honeymoons to coincide with the holidays over the Christmas and New Year season – even if they don’t get married during the festive period. Here are 10 of the best destinations.


    Dominican Republic

    Average highs at Christmas: 29ºC
    Average daily sunshine: 7 hours
    Flying time from UK: 9 hours

    The Dominican Republic‘s palm-fringed, white-sand beaches, elegant beachfront resorts and stately colonial towns are enticing enough for honeymooners. They also offer superb value – with five-star, all-inclusive luxury at three-star prices. For the adventurous, there’s a lush interior of rainforests, mangroves and waterfalls to explore. For pure romance, choose a stylish boutique hotel such as the Zoëtry Agua in Punta Cana. If you want a decadent touch and you’re up for a party, try the Hard Rock Hotel at Punta Cana where all rooms come with whirlpools and there’s live music as well as themed parties.

    Grenada

    Average highs at Christmas: 29ºC
    Average daily sunshine: 7 hours
    Flying time from UK: 10 hours 

    Spices, chocolate and soft sandy beaches – Grenada offers a laid-back Caribbean experience on an island that doesn’t have the overdevelopment seen in other parts of the region. Most of the resorts – along with the exceptionally pretty capital St George’s – are on the south-west corner of the island. That includes all-inclusive adults-only Sandals LaSource, where you can wallow in your own private plunge pool. Another romantic option is chic Laluna, a small boutique hotel that fuses Italian and Balinese influences and where you can have an authentic Italian dinner on a candlelit beach.

    Jamaica

    Average highs at Christmas: 29ºC
    Average daily sunshine: 7 hours
    Flying time from UK: 9 hours

    Exceptionally beautiful reef-lined beaches make Jamaica a top choice for honeymooners. But Jamaica’s adventure playground isn’t confined to its shores. Head inland to Blue Mountain Peak, where a pre-dawn hike is an intoxicating experience. For old-time 1950s glamour, savour the history of Jamaica Inn on a private beach in Ocho Rios. If you want to luxuriate in complete privacy, book a villa with a private pool and beach access. For a lazy exploration of Jamaica’s island neighbours, a tall ships cruise takes you to where huge cruise liners can’t reach.

    Delhi

    Average highs at Christmas: 22ºC
    Average daily sunshine: 6 hours
    Flying time from UK: 8 hours 30 mins

    India’s capital is a madcap assault on the senses but an exhilarating experience nonetheless. After a few days getting acquainted with Delhi‘s attractions, including the 17th-century Red Fort, honeymooners can join a luxury private tour of some of northern India’s unmissable sights. Audley Travel has a Classic Rajasthan tour, which features the Taj Mahal, Jaipur’s palaces and the chance to unwind in the Rajasthan countryside.

    Maldives

    Average highs at Christmas: 30ºC
    Average daily sunshine: 7 hours
    Flying time from UK: 12 hours

    Think of honeymoons and the Maldives immediately spring to mind. Scattered around the Indian Ocean are tiny, jewel-like islands with white sandy beaches, impossibly clear waters and vivid coral reefs. All-inclusive holidays offer the best value, ranging from three-star resorts to five-star luxury. Four-star Komandoo Island Resort & Spa is set on its own private island and is for adults only, with attractive bungalows and over-water villas. Keen scuba-divers should head to Meeru Island Resort and its dive centre. For a truly exotic honeymoon, combine the Maldives with a visit to Sri Lanka in this twin-centre holiday.

    Kenya

    Average highs at Christmas: 32ºC
    Average daily sunshine: 9 hours
    Flying time from UK: 8 hours 30 minutes

    A safari honeymoon in Kenya – finished with a few days in a dreamy Indian Ocean resort – is perfect for couples wanting to combine relaxation with adventure. Luxury safari lodges in the Masai Mara, Samburu National Reserve and other national parks let you get safely close to wildlife without having to rough it. Richard Branson’s Mahali Mzuri safari camp has only 12 tents but comes with a pool and is set within the private Olare Motorogi Conservancy. A honeymoon combining Kenya with Zanzibar is one of the most satisfying ways of exploring East Africa.

    Cape Verde Islands

    Average highs at Christmas: 25ºC
    Average daily sunshine: 6 hours
    Flying time from UK: 6 hours  

    This archipelago off the coast of West Africa isn’t quite short haul but it’s close enough. And as it’s in the same time zone as the UK for half the year, there’s no jet lag to worry about. Inexplicably, the islands’ fascinating combination of volcanic landscapes, white-sand beaches, sweet fishing villages and a Portuguese-African-Creole cultural mélange hasn’t really been discovered. Sal is one of the most popular islands for holidaymakers, with a large range of beachfront resorts. The new five-star Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort was due to open in November 2017. Boa Vista’s beaches rival those of Sal’s, and you can visit both on an island-hopping honeymoon.

    Adelaide

    Average highs at Christmas: 27ºC
    Average daily sunshine: 9 hours
    Flying time from UK: 22 hours (one stop)

    Sophisticated Adelaide is an excellent place to start an exploration of South Australia, where a honeymoon can be an alluring blend of culture, beaches and wilderness. Add to the mix a lazy wander through the vineyards of the Barossa and Clare Valleys, the irresistible sight of the animals that inhabit Kangaroo Island and an exploration of the vast Southern Outback. Wexas has a wildlife and wine tour, or add the Southern Outback on these trips with Turquoise Holidays.

    Tenerife

    Average highs at Christmas: 18ºC
    Average daily sunshine: 6 hours
    Flying time from UK: 4 hours

    Tenerife is so near (relatively) yet so different. The largest of the Canaries is an island of two climactic halves, neatly divided by Pico del Teide, Spain’s highest peak. Tropical vegetation and luxuriant vineyards cover the northern half, while some of the island’s most popular beaches are spread along the southern coast. For a peaceful, adults-only getaway, try RedLevel at Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora on the west coast. For sheer luxury – and a Michelin-starred restaurant – I recommend the Ritz-Carlton Abama which has an adults-only wing.

    Iceland

    Average highs at Christmas: 0ºC
    Average daily sunshine: 1 hour
    Flying time from UK: 3 hours

    It’s tempting to throw away the usual idea of a honeymoon in the sun and go for something more offbeat. Iceland fits the bill, and during the winter months you can gawp at the extraordinary spectacle of the Northern Lights from the comfort of a glass igloo. Take a whale-watching trip to see orcas gliding through ice-cold waters before warming up in an outdoor geothermal hot spring. A fly-drive honeymoon along Iceland’s Route 1 takes you past more natural wonders than you can count – with waterfalls, volcanoes and craggy mountains seeming at every turn.

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