Planning a honeymoon in December? Whether you want to stroll through the Christmas markets of a historic European city or soak up the sun on the beaches of a tropical island, these romantic honeymoon destinations will make your dreams come true.
Using our extensive travel experience, we’ve created a list of the very best honeymoon destinations in December. Let’s take a look!
Cape Town, South Africa
You’re in luck because the perfect time to visit Cape Town is in December. It’s summer in South Africa so you can expect warm weather and endless sunshine. However, it’s not just the weather that makes Cape Town such a great destination. It’s also the range of activities, scenery, and experiences that you can enjoy all in one place.
Exciting nightlife? Check. Safaris? Check. And they’re just a short drive away. Relax on the white sands of Camps Bay Beach or watch the African Penguins waddle in and out of the surf at Boulders Beach. Take a drive along the picturesque Garden Route or head up to the Cape Winelands. We love this wine region for its boutique stays, farm-to-table cuisine, and, of course, the delicious bottles of Sauvignon Blanc.
Koh Samui, Thailand
While Phuket might be the largest island in Thailand, with a huge concentration of resorts, Koh Samui is the most romantic beach destination. The accommodations range from luxurious resorts with acres of tropical gardens (like Banyan Tree Samui) to private villas with outdoor pools.
Indulge in a relaxing massage in a cabana overlooking the ocean or enjoy a candlelit dinner on the beach. Join a snorkeling tour and go island hopping to nearby Ko Tao or visit Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park. Here you can swim in crystal-clear waters, relax on pristine beaches, and hear the sounds of the undisturbed jungle. Another reason Koh Samui is our top island destination in Thailand is that it has its own international airport, so getting here isn’t a hassle.
This isn’t your usual honeymoon destination. For couples bitten by the wanderlust bug, Patagonia is a top bucket list destination. Why not make it your honeymoon destination as well? This remote region includes parts of Argentina and Chile. It’s spread out over a vast area so make sure you have enough time to fully explore.
Embark on a backpacking trip through Torres del Paine National Park where you will see glacial lakes with bright turquoise water and towering granite peaks. Next, take a trip to the imposing Perito Moreno Glacier and walk across the ice while wearing cleats. If you have time, make sure you visit Ushuaia, also known as “The End of the World”, which is a port town. From here, you can embark on a cruise to Antarctica.
If trekking over glaciers in Patagonia seems like a bit too much work for you, let us introduce you to Maldives. Located near Sri Lanka and India, Maldives is an island nation famous for luxurious overwater bungalows, white sand beaches on private islands, and hammocks extending over azure waters. In actuality, there are over 1,150 atolls (islands), but don’t let the number stress you out!
We recommend picking a destination based on the resort. Many of the best resorts are located on private islands and can only be reached by seaplane. Alternatively, Biyadhoo Island is considered the honeymoon island and houses gorgeous resorts with thatched roofs and impressive facilities. While luxury and relaxation are the main reasons to visit Maldives, the scuba diving and marine life are also huge draws.
The Florida Keys, Florida, USA
While not all of us have the time or the budget to visit Maldives, many of us can make a honeymoon in the Florida Keys a reality. The best thing to do is rent a car and drive the 100 miles from Key Largo to Key West. An overseas highway connects this archipelago, and the journey takes about 2.5 hours.
However, you’ll want to give yourself more time to enjoy the sites. You’ll see panoramic views of the Gulf, the outline of coral reefs in the sea, and crystal-clear water lapping the sandy shores. We recommend staying a couple of nights in Key West to enjoy the nightlife but make sure you take a few days of respite in Islamorada. The atmosphere is beautifully peaceful and you’ll leave feeling fully recharged.
Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, USA
Another great US honeymoon destination is Carmel-by-the-Sea. This coastal town is about 2 and a half hours from San Francisco and looks like something out of an expensive fairytale. European-style houses with window boxes and white trim line the cobblestone streets. The residents put love and care into their gardens so just strolling along the streets is a pleasure.
You can spend the afternoon browsing the boutiques, enjoying the cafes and even visiting the beach (the surf’s a bit wild in December). We recommend visiting during this time of year because the town goes all out with its Christmas decorations, and the foggy days create a cozy atmosphere. Carmel-by-the-Sea is only 30 minutes from Big Sur so you can embark on a variety of gorgeous hikes – weather permitting, of course!
However, if you’re looking for a Caribbean honeymoon destination, St. Lucia is an ideal choice. December falls within the dry season so you’ll experience sunny days and warm temperatures. Saint Lucia is home to several of the most exclusive all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean.
Jade Mountain Resort costs a pretty penny, but the ultra-private, contemporary villas blend seamlessly into the tropical landscape and the entire design is sensuously luxurious. The dramatic Piton Mountains offer a breathtaking backdrop to your romantic getaway, and the lush rainforests feel positively alive. Snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, waterfall chasing, and sailing are all activities you can enjoy. In addition, Christmas and New Year’s are both celebrated to the max on this Caribbean island.
Maui, Hawaii, USA
In keeping with the theme of beautiful beaches and dramatic natural settings, we have to add Maui to the list. There’s a reason everyone and their cousin dreams of visiting Maui at least once in a lifetime. Cascading waterfalls cut through lush jungle ravines before joining streams that rush into the ocean. Golden sand stretches for miles on the beaches and the water is crystal-clear.
If you only do one thing in Maui, you should rent a car and drive the coastal road to Hana. This 64-mile journey boasts epic views of the ocean, dense jungle, and local towns. In addition, the cafes along the way have amazing food so you will be stopping a lot. However, if road-tripping isn’t your style, the romantic resorts and plush hotels will check all your boxes.
If you’re looking for a beach destination in Europe for your winter honeymoon, Tenerife is a good choice. Located in the Canary Islands, Tenerife is the largest island in the archipelago. While December isn’t a hot month, you can expect temperatures around 60-75 degrees in the popular beach towns. It’s a great time to go on hikes in the surrounding mountains, relax in the spas, or visit several of the local vineyards.
Additionally, many of the luxury hotels and all-inclusive resorts offer heated pools and jacuzzies with waterfront locations. However, this time of year is good for sunbathing on the golden beaches and enjoying cocktails at the beachfront bars.
This is the perfect honeymoon destination for couples seeking a city getaway that’s not too expensive. While you should expect cold weather, the atmosphere is lively and even the early setting of the sun can’t keep people off the streets. Take a cruise down the Danube River and admire the lights glowing from the Gothic cathedrals, opera houses, and Buda Castle.
Ice skating is an outdoor activity that simply cannot be missed, but visiting the thermal baths should be at the top of your honeymoon itinerary. The Christmas markets also add to the cheery atmosphere – don’t forget to try the mulled wine! Speaking of food, Hungarian cuisine is the perfect winter food. It’s hearty, comforting, and will warm you from the inside out. Must-try dishes include Goulash (a rich stew frequently served with beef and dumplings) and Kolbász (Hungarian sausages).
Another magical city destination in Europe is Vienna. The charming Christmas markets make it one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in December. The vendors decorate their stalls with twinkling lights, greenery, and handmade ornaments. The smell of roast chestnuts permeates the cool air, and you can hear Christmas carols performed on the streets.
Vienna is known as a destination for classical music lovers, and December is the perfect time to attend grand Christmas concerts and opera performances. Other romantic activities include taking a sleigh ride in the Vienna Woods, ice skating in the public squares, and viewing the Christmas decorations at the beautiful cathedrals.
Mahé Island, Seychelles
If you can’t imagine spending your honeymoon in the snow and you’re dreaming of an off-the-beaten-path tropical island, you will love Mahé Island. December marks the beginning of summer so expect sunny weather. Located off the coast of East Africa, Mahé Island isn’t easy to get to, but the natural beauty makes it worth it. Picture pristine, white sand beaches with lush jungle on one side and aquamarine waters on the other.
Go diving in Port Launay Marine National Park and observe turtles, reef sharks, and even manta rays. Enjoy luxurious spa treatments at 5-star resorts or relax on your private bungalow’s terrace. A road trip along the winding coastal highways or a stroll through one of the island’s lush botanical gardens make for memorable romantic experiences.
The Azores, Portugal
Even though the Azores are technically an autonomous part of Portugal, these volcanic islands are situated in the Atlantic Ocean. While December brings cooler weather and a greater chance of rain, it is also a good time to visit without the crowds. Witness the intense turquoise color of the crater lakes at Lagoa das Sete Cidades or hike up impressive volcanoes. Take to the seas for the chance to spot dolphins and whales, or try your hand at sea fishing.
However, our favorite winter activity is definitely soaking in the hot springs. Poça da Dona Beija is our favorite hot spring because it includes 5 outdoor thermal baths tucked away in the jungle. While there are many luxury resorts in the Azores, boutique hotels offer the most romantic stays.
Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland
The most romantic destination for viewing the Northern Lights is definitely Rovaniemi. And, this winter wonderland is also the official home of Santa Claus! During the holiday season, Rovaniemi transformed into a snowy kingdom with cozy, wooden cabins, hotels made entirely of snow and glowing Christmas lights.
Spend the night in a glass igloo and watch the Northern Lights from the comfort of your warm bed. Take a dog sled ride through the woods and then warm up in a traditional Finnish sauna. Visit the impressive frozen waterfalls of Korouoma or learn to ice fish like the Finns. But, whatever you do, make sure you dress warmly and bring lots of clothes!
In recent years, Tulum has become one of the trendiest vacation destinations for young couples. This is due to its enticing bohemian vibes, great beaches, and easy access to some of the most beautiful places in Mexico. For example, you can visit Laguna de Kaan Luum, a grass-lined lagoon with water that appears almost white on the edges and deep, dark blue in the middle. You can swim in the crystal-clear waters of a cenote or explore the ruins of an ancient, Mayan city.
Once you return to the beach, try a mezcal cocktail made in one of the chic bars or spend the afternoon at one of the many outdoor cafes. While the fun activities are definitely a draw for everyone, it’s the accommodations that make honeymooners book their flights. There are a variety of one-of-a-kind stays, ranging from treehouses to ultra-cool villas to renovated historical houses.