Post # 1
Fiance and I are in the midst of planning our honeymoon for this May! We are based in the USA, for reference. We’ve thought about tons and tons of destinations and come up with example itineraries for probably 5-6 different regions/countries at this point, and we keep changing our minds about where we want to go. Originally we were looking at a lot of tropical islands with good beaches and snorkeling and relaxation, but we’ve recently fallen in love with the idea of going to the Azores in Portugal — still islands, but not tropical. We are really excited for the opportunity to go to these gorgeous islands with great hiking and lakes and waterfalls and adventure!
However, there is a part of me that is sad to give up the warm beach, snorkeling, relaxing by the pool in the sunshine vibe that we’d get in a more tropical destination. Will we regret having a more adventurous honeymoon somewhere that will likely be cool (50-60 F), cloudy, and rainy for most if not all of the time we are there? Should we add 1-2 days in a more tropical place while we are in Europe, like Mallorca or something, so we can have the best of both worlds?
Any insight about this would be great, since neither Fiance or I have ever been married or been on a honeymoon before, we’re not really sure what the most important thing is! We travel a lot together and typically go on road trips to go hiking or camping in national parks, so doing something outdoors and in nature in a beautiful place for our honeymoon is really fitting, but I do want to make sure we have time for relaxation and pampering too. Additionally, if you have any recommendations for places in that area to add to our trip to throw in a bit of relaxing and warm weather, that would be much appreciated! Thanks!
Post # 2
I think the azores sounds amazing! I don’t think you’ll miss laying on the beach and snorkeling once you see all the super cool stuff there. I also don’t think adding 1-2 days somewhere else would be worth it at all – you’d spend all the time in the airport and probably just add more stress.
If you want some time for pampering, maybe pick a nicer hotel for a few days? Spend (ex) 5 days in an air bnb doing your hikes and sightseeing, and then 2 nights in a luxe hotel where you hit the spa and eat at some nice restaurants.
Post # 3
If you’re even asking the question, the answer is likely to be yes.
I have to say that for me, a honeymoon means a beach somewhere and I’m not even sure why that is. We did a combination, first a ski trip, then to Mexico. Maybe you could incorporate both.
Post # 4
My hubby and I have very similar preferences to yours for “usual” trips – we’re in Canada but we’ve hiked and camped US/Canadian national parks, done road trips in Iceland and NZ, etc. We recently went to Kauai on a whim after a few months after our wedding, which was probably the closest we’ve done to a typical honeymoon…and while it was lovely, it really wasn’t “us.” We’re going to South Africa in February for our official Honeymoon and we’re spending a couple days at a nice safari with more luxurious offerings (massage, fancier accommodation etc). The rest of the time we’ll be roadtripping, staying in Air BnBs, and doing a bunch of sightseeing and hiking. It might not be everyone’s idea of what a honeymoon should be, but we’d personally go a little stir crazy with a week or two in a tropical all-inclusive or something. Not in any way saying one is better, just that you might (or might not) want to consider what you’d truly enjoy more!
Post # 5
- Wedding: July 2018 - Mount Princeton hot springs
So I was kind of in the reverse situation. I was really hesitant to spend all that money on a vacation where I didn’t feel we would be truly experiencing the area we visited (staying at a resort) and was leaning toward going to Europe and visiting a few countries instead. We got engaged earlier this year in Amsterdam after traveling through Germany and France and it was an amazing life changing trip, but fed exhausting. Together we finally decided that we have the rest of our lives together to go on lots of trips to explore, and this trip is kind of one of a kind. We are very active and curious and never became bored at the resort, and realized that snorkeling and exploring the island is immersive of the landscape and culture (we did stay at a resort but biked to town, attended a local weekly fish fry, etc) and I 100% enjoyed our honeymoon. Also my husband has a little bit more trouble than I do just chilling out and I have NEVER seen him so relaxed, so that made it all worth it. He snorkeled for hours.
We travel a lot, so I know we will go to Europe for whatever trip I would’ve planned there for our honeymoon sooner or later. If travel is not a big part of your life and you don’t know when you’ll be getting another “exucse” for a big trip then I would say maybe go for it and do the Azores, because, WOW! But if it’s a trip you would make in the future I would totally recommend an all inclusive island getaway- and that’s coming from someone who had lots of doubts beforehand. I’m sure whatever trip you two go on will be great since you’re together
Post # 6
For what it’s worth, I’d rather take the trip you’re planning than stay at some crowded resort for a week. But if you’re worried about it, maybe take the advice of a pp and stay at some fancy hotels or book a couple spa treatments. For our honeymoon, we’re doing a camping safari in Namibia! I’m really into a non-beach honeymoon. IDK, you’re going to be vacationing with your brand new husband. It will definitely feel like a honeymoon 😝
Post # 7
- Wedding: August 2018 - Location
We are adventure/culture travellers. We’ve literally been around the world and didn’t think anything else for our honeymoon. We spent two weeks driving around Ireland.
Honestly I regret not doing a beach vacation. It would have been nice to just relax as a newly married couple together. We were so caught up in where to go next, what time does this museum open, finding driving routes where the roads aren’t insane, etc so like we didn’t chill and get dressed up and have nice meals together.
That said my friend went to the Azores last year and it seemed like a good combination of beach and hiking/activities.
Post # 8
we did our honeymoon 6 hours away at a state park with islands and hiking and quaint shoppes. we stayed in a lovely 1800s b&b, hiked, did a boat tour, ate fantastic food…
No regrets at all over not doing the standard tropical honeymoon! It was so much more economical, and the important part was we were together and doing what we loved (iykwim…)!
Post # 9
Your trip to the Azores sounds perfect! I believe there is no wrong way to go on a honeymoon, and to base it on your personal preferences. We are also active travellers and very used to the backpacking and hiking style. We decided for a non-tropical honeymoon because it felt more ”us” and less following the standard. We opted for Switzerland, and gave ourselves plenty of time to explore. We rented a car and packed more. We started our days at 10am, sleeping in most mornings, and came back when we wanted to relax. You can adapt your schedule as well as to allow for more relaxation, because you’ll probably need it after the wedding!
Post # 10
I had a non-traditional honeymoon. 🤷🏻♀️ My DH has a job that keeps him traveling internationally to resort destinations most of the year, and I try to fly to him as much as possible. We are in those “beachy honeymoon” places a lot and ironically my DH is not a lay on the beach and relax kind of guy. When I travel with him for work I’m usually relaxing on the beach while he’s working. We delayed our honeymoon 6 months and spent 2 weeks in Vail, CO skiing for our honeymoon. We didn’t regret it at all!
Post # 11
We spent our honeymoon hiking in Scotland. It was between 40-60 degrees while we were there and it rained quite a lot but we had an amazing adventure and I wouldn’t have changed anything about it.
Post # 12
Lots of people do non tropical honeymoons and don’t regret it.
Azores is a lovely honeymoon destination, but this would be a problem for me: (50-60 F), cloudy, and rainy for most if not all of the time we are there.
That would be a big nope from me. That kind of weather is for a city trip where much of your time is spent indoors, in my book.
If it were me, I would look at places that offer similar nature/hiking but with a bit better weather in May. Maybe Tenerife, Sardinia or Corsica, Aeolian Islands, etc. And push the trip as far into later May as possible.
The only advice I have is to build in some relaxation up front. We really needed to just lay around for a couple days to rest and decompress.
Post # 13
- Wedding: April 2016 - Manhattan, NY
nalastardust I don’t think a honeymoon has to be tropical, it should be what you want it to be. The location sounds great but the time of year/weather does not. Although we were on the Mediterranean in the last couple weeks of May and had pretty great weather during the day (70s), but chilly evenings. That was our second anniversary trip and we didn’t have our real honeymoon until our first anniversary. We had a destination wedding in NYC (Friday morning) and made a minimoon out of the weekend before heading back home. Taking our honeymoon a year later allowed us to save up for a better trip. We were gifted a stay at Disney World in the Animal Kingdom lodge so we started there then spent a week in Bermuda after that. We like a combination of active excursions (hiking, kayaking, zip lining, horseback riding, etc.) and relaxation (might a nap on the beach or poolside once or twice on the trip) so bad weather would be a deal breaker for us.
Post # 14
Thanks for all the feedback and advice everybody!! I really appreciate all your input. It sounds like we have some more thinking to do… We are really excited about the idea of the Azores and for work purposes we can really only take our honeymoon in early-mid May, so that’s why we are thinking abou doing it then and there. But I definitely do hear what you’re saying about considering weather! I double checked, it looks like highs in May are 60-70 F, cloudy ~50% of days, and rainy ~15% of days (but I think brief rain showers, not drizzling all day). So a bit better than I had originally said! We had wanted to go to New Zealand or Glacier and Banff National Parks, but decided against both for weather reasons in May, so I definitely agree it’s a valid thing to think about.
Wherever we go, we will be sure to build in time for relaxation, whatever form that may take!
Post # 15
If we do decide we want to add in some beach relaxing time, are there any places in Europe that might be warmer with good beaches that we could add into our trip? Maybe even do 3-4 days at the end of the vacation in a warm tropical-ish relaxing place? I’m not familiar enough with European islands and coastal regions to know which would be best in mid May, so any suggestions would be awesome!