Not quite ready to say goodbye to the party after your big day? Make your honeymoon part of the fun and take your wedding celebrations on tour with a trip that coincides with one of these awesome annual events.
The party doesn’t have to be over after the DJ plays the last song at your reception – or even after your cheeky bridal suite nightcap. When your guests have waved you off,
let the rest of the world celebrate your newlywed status with you instead – by booking a festival ’moon.
A festival honeymoon is a great way to shake off the months of wedding stress and sleepless nights over whether you’d actually much prefer a wedding jumpsuit and which alternative wedding reading is the right one for you. Plus, for those who struggle to sit still for too long you may be craving a chance to bring out your wild side in between sleepy beach days and romantic candlelit meals.
Whether you love music, art, dance, food, sport or wildlife, there’s an event somewhere in the
world that’s just perfect for a post-wedding party – and we’ve tracked them all down just for you. Not only that, you’re not limited to just the summer months either; we’ve discovered festivals taking place worldwide across the entire calendar.
Don’t panic if you’re not up for dancing ’till dawn though. We know the most romantic hotels near each festival location to relax in together (when you’re ready to relax!) Just make sure to book far in advance – these are the hottest tickets in town and you don’t want to miss out.
Flower crowns, sunnies and honeymoon beauty must haves at the ready, you’re definitely going to want to start packing right away.
Lunar New Year, Vietnam†
Spectacular scenes of bright red lanterns, yellow sunflowers, firecrackers and the sound of banging gongs fill the streets during the Lunar New Year, which marks the arrival of spring and new beginnings. Celebrate your own new beginning as a married couple by joining in the festivities. There’s plenty to feast the eyes, as well as taste buds, on – public stages are set up with free music and shows, and traditional festive foods are sold at street markets.
Stay: Retreat from the vibrant sights and sounds of Hoi An
city just 15 minutes’ away at
the tranquil, beachside Four Seasons resort, The Nam Hai. From £533 per room per night*
Europe’s answer to the Rio Carnival is famous for its elaborate masks, which historically gave the wearer freedom to do whatever they desired without any guilt! Today the carnival is all about dancing into the early hours at masked balls, watching street shows, and beautiful flotillas of colourful gondolas gliding by through the waterways.
Stay: Just steps from all the action of St Mark’s Square is Baglioni Hotel Luna, one of the oldest – and most romantic – hotels in Venice. Head to the hotel’s Canova restaurant for mouthwateringly good Venetian cuisine. From €245 (approx. £220) per room per night B&B.
What could be more fitting on your honeymoon than a visit
to Mumbai during the Hindu festival of love? Holi is a vibrant colour- filled festival to celebrate the love story of Radha Krishna. People from all walks of life come together to sing, dance and cover themselves (and others!) in colourful paint and water.
Stay: Right in the middle of the action is the calm
oasis of the Taj Mahal Palace, overlooking India Gate and
the sea beyond. Refuel after
the riot of colours in one of 10 restaurants or in the serene Jiva spa. A 2019 Holi package in Mumbai, from £1,895 per person, incl. five nights’ B&B accommodation at the Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, plus flights and transfers.
Tanzcafé Arlberg music festival, Austria
In the world of ski resorts, the name Lech is synonymous
with exclusivity. The visits of numerous ski-loving royals from Princess Diana and princes William and Harry to the Jordanian royal family on the slopes have turned this charming farming village into a five-star- hotel-studded destination that’s perfect for a romantic winter honeymoon. Lech knows how to let its hair down though, and every April the village becomes a stage for the Tanzcafé Arlberg music festival. There’s a mixture of everything, including big band, electro, swing, pop, funk and soul.
Stay: Severin*s is a traditional Austrian chalet from the outside, but inside you’ll find everything you need for an indulgent honeymoon – a full-length pool, relaxing spa and fine-dining restaurant. From €690 (approx. £620) per night B&B incl. dinner.
Grenada Chocolate Festival
Grenada, best known as the Spice Island, reveals its sweeter side in late May with an annual chocolate fest. Events include tree-to-bar tours, tastings with cacao experts and even spa workshops where you can create a variety of beauty potions and elixirs to be used
in your spa treatment.
Stay: Silversands Grenada was one of the most exciting honeymoon hotel openings
of 2018 – when you see the resort’s 100-metre-long pool (the longest in the Caribbean) and very unheard-of-in-Grenada modern minimalist interiors you’ll understand why. Pull up a sun lounger around that pool after indulging in all those sweet treats. From $1,000 (approx. £785) B&B per room per night, incl. private airport transfers and a selection of soft drinks, coffee, bottled water and beer from the private bar.
Nit de Foc, Mallorca
This festival takes place in Mallorca’s stylish capital every June on the eve of the Fiesta of Sant Joan to mark the beginning of the island’s summer celebrations. Expect pop-up parties, concerts, bon res and spectacular reworks in the heart of the city, where locals and tourists come together to dance in the streets.
Stay: Watch the sky light
up with reworks from Sant Francesc Hotel Singular’s spectacular rooftop, complete with pool, and sushi and cocktail bar. Enjoy balmy summer nights dining alfresco on Mediterranean fare in the hotel’s Quadrat Restaurant & Garden or wind down after a night on the tiles with a spa treatment. From €285 (approx. £256) per room per night.
Verbier Festival, Switzerland
The hills are alive with the
sound of music as the world’s best classical musicians descend on
the stunning Alpine resort for the Verbier Festival. Spend your days exploring the summer activities on offer in the peaks before evenings of concerts and masterclasses.
Stay: Over the summer, Richard Branson’s exclusive-use The Lodge is open “hotel style”, so you can snap up one of the stunning suites with incredible mountain views. Suite Occasions offers suites from CHF3,000 (approx. £2,396) per suite based on a three-night stay, suites incl. spa treatments, a private dining experience and a Lovers’ Picnic.
La Tomatina, Buñol, Spain
If you’re after just plain unadulterated fun, Spain’s tomato festival is the one for you. La Tomatina, first held
in 1945, is quite simply just one massive food fight where participants throw tomatoes at each other for around two hours before being sluiced down by giant water hoses. Now, that’s something to write about on your postcards!
Stay: Hospes Palau de la Mar in Valencia is a short drive away from Buñol and is a complete contrast to the festival – clean, contemporary interiors with a calm, relaxed vibe. There’s a spa and hidden garden, as well as a hydrotherapy pool. From £170 per night.
Hermanus Whale Festival, South Africa
It’s the whales that do all the work at this festival as wildlife lovers gather to watch one of the world’s most wonderful migrations. Claimed to be the best place on the planet to watch southern right whales from land, the coastal village of Hermanus comes alive for three days in September with street shows, parades, music and food stalls with a backdrop of whales gliding by.
Stay: There’s no better place to see these gentle giants than from the cliff-top Birkenhead House overlooking Walker Bay. You can spot whales wherever you are here – from the pool, your bed or the dining room. From R3,800 (approx. £214) per person per night full board.
Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany
This 16-day folk festival needs little introduction – more than six million people gather each year to share their love of beer. Plus, there’s food, dancing, parades, fairgrounds and traditional Bavarian costumes on show.
Stay: Bayerischer Hof is minutes from the Marienplatz – the perfect location for making merry at the beer festival as well as taking in
the everyday tourist sights of Munich. The stately building is home to a cinema, pool, spa, the three-Michelin-starred Atelier restaurant, and Palais Keller, a traditional Bavarian restaurant with an extensive beer list. Prost! A double room at Bayerischer Hof is priced from €310 (approx. £279) per night.
Day of the Dead, Mexico
This Mexican festival owes its sudden popularity to our very own Daniel Craig as James Bond in Spectre. Unbelievably, before Daniel’s crazy helicopter stunt in the opening scenes of the film, a Day of the Dead parade had never taken place in the city. Now, however, you can have your very own 007 moment as the city brings the event to life each November with impressive props and oats throughout the streets.
Stay: Escape the giant ghouls and skeletons by heading north to Belmond Casa de
Sierra Nevada in San Miguel
de Allende. This cluster of terracotta-coloured mansions surrounded by terraces and gardens is a refined hideaway after the fun of the festival. Rooms from £259 per night B&B per night.
Raise a toast to your first year of married life together in arguably the world’s best city for New Year’s Eve celebrations. No, we’re not talking about London. We’ll give this one to the Aussies – they certainly know how to organise an unforgettable reworks display.
Stay: Sydney has plenty of harbour view hotels to choose from, but you can’t beat the panoramic vistas from the floor-to-ceiling windows of the Shangri-La Sydney’s Blu Bar on 36. Watching the sky above the opera house and harbour bridge turn into a kaleidoscope of colours with a cocktail in hand will be an unforgettable honeymoon moment. Rooms from A$495 (approx. £279) per night.
Based on 2020 dates.