Hosting a wondrous winter wedding is the perfect excuse for scheduling a hot honeymoon away from the frigid weather. However, not all brides are enamoured with the idea of a tropical escape complete with sun, sand, and surf. We conferred with top honeymoon coordinators across the country to discover the most memorable winter honeymoon locales for every personality type, from relaxation-seeking hedonists to athletes and adventurers. Read on for the most jaw-dropping honeymoon destinations for the ultimate winter retreat.
1. If You’re an Adventurous Bride…Patagonia
Donatella Braghieri-Walton, president of premier travel agency Fifth Meridian Travel, an affiliate of Worldview Travel, advises brides to look beyond travel locales they know toward parts unknown. Entering a marriage is an adventure in and of itself, and some couples choose to commemorate embarking on the epic journey by selecting an equally thrilling honeymoon locale. “For an unforgettable winter honeymoon, we recommend Patagonia for those couples looking for adventure,” Braghieri-Walton proposes. According to the travel pundit, Patagonia offers an array of unique activities and unparalleled beauty. “Patagonia is the ideal winter honeymoon destination for active, adventurous couples, because it offers everything from hiking in the Torres Del Paine National Park to walking glacier trails on Perito Moreno and exploring the penguin colonies in Punta Tombo.” For couples who truly crave excitement, Braghieri-Walton suggests sandboarding in the dunes of the Atacama desert. “Patagonia offers plenty of spectacle to go along with the adventure,” Braghieri-Walton adds. “Patagonian sunsets turn the Andes Mountains a magical shade of pink, and walking through the El Tatio geyser field at daybreak is an experience that you will never forget.”
2. If You’re an Intellectual Bride Who Loves to Relax…the Serengeti
After months of wedding-planning-related stress, the honeymoon is an excellent opportunity to unwind. Brides who simply wish to revel in the peace of a picturesque and quiet setting are perfectly suited to the Serengeti, according to Braghieri-Walton. “If you want a winter honeymoon that's more relaxation than adventure, then a safari holiday on the beautiful Serengeti is a sure bet.” While a safari is often considered the height of exhilaration, Braghieri-Walton assures brides that the relaxation opportunities offered alongside trips to the game reserves are not to be missed. “Most game reserves offer two game drives a day: one in the early in the morning and the other in the late afternoon. This schedule leaves guests with almost the entire day and evening to relax and take in the extraordinary natural beauty of the environment,” she reveals. “Several of the luxury safari lodges, such as the Singita Grumeti in Tanzania, offer hot air balloon excursions, which provide a magnificent view of the savannah and the animals who inhabit it. And the benefit of visiting in November or December is that you will be able to witness the Great Migration, as hundreds of thousands of animals make their way from Masai Mara and into the Serengeti National Park.”
3. If You’re a Nature-Loving Bride…the Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia
A beachside paradise is the stereotypical honeymoon image for a reason, but staid and overpopulated resorts are decidedly less than calming for a newlywed couple. If you prefer nature in all its glory to a packed beach full of tourists, look no further than the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia. The destination is a favorite of Christina Turrini, leisure travel consultant at Frosch. “For the adventurous longing for a cultural connection, the Aranui in the Marquesas is an unparalleled experience,” Turrini states. “A working freighter in the front and luxury cruise ship in the back , the Aranui must be experienced to be believed. Delivering products and passengers to untouched remote islands in the Marquesas while providing a cultural and deluxe experience onboard.”
4. If You’re a Tranquillity-Craving Bride…Bora Bora
Sunbathing and swimming in the lap of luxury come as a package deal when couples check into Le Taha'a Private Resort and Spa in French Polynesia, which combines an idyllic oceanside location with a covetable spa menu and unparalleled privacy. “Honeymooners are combining the beauty of Bora Bora with even more secluded Island paradises such as the barefoot luxury of Le Taha'a Private Resort and Spa. For the ultimate island escape The Brando is where regular people go to feel like celebrities, and celebrities go to feel like regular people,” Turrini explains.
5. If You’re a Culture-Craving Bride…South Africa
World-traveling brides often yearn to learn from every country they visit, exploring the rituals and landmarks of each location. Brides who possess this worldly spirit and who crave knowledge of other cultures can feed their minds in South Africa, according to Turrini. “The diversity and range of activities in South Africa is a huge draw these days. … Enjoying your favorite sun downer (choice of wine, juice, or local favorite gin and tonic) from the back of the jeep while gazing out at the African savannah is breathtaking!”