3 fairy-tale lands for winter honeymoons
If you’re a soon-to-be wed couple that prefers white snow to white sand, consider swapping fruit cocktails for vin chaud, and heading off piste from the honeymoon tropics. Narnia-like adventures; horse-drawn sleigh rides; log cabins and cosy fireplaces: you certainly won’t be scrimping on any romance in these beautiful winter wonderland locations.
Stargazing adventures in Iceland
Make your honeymoon the trip of a lifetime and head to the far north to experience the most spectacular natural show on earth: the aurora borealis (or the northern lights). About 75 minutes from Reykjavik, the skies above the ranch-style retreat of Hotel Ranga have excellent clarity and virtually no light pollution. Experience the magic of the northern lights from outdoor geothermal hot tubs, then continue your night time wonderment with some serious stargazing in the hotel’s new observatory, by far the most advanced in Iceland with its high-tech telescopes.
Situated on the banks of the famous salmon river Eystri-Ranga, the food is also impressive with the hotel’s gourmet restaurant serving up freshly caught fish and seasonal Nordic cuisine.
An adventurer’s paradise, it’s easy to get lost for a while in this land of ancient natural wonders. A must-do, is a tour of the Golden Circle to take in the tremendous Gullfoss waterfall, Þingvellir national park and The Great Geysir (sprouting hot spring).
Honeymoon thrill: take a Super Jeep tour along the rugged and surreal terrain of Mt. Hekla volcano, driving by snow and ice covered peaks, glaciers and explosive craters.
Powder hunt in the Portes du Soleil
If a roaring log fire, outdoor hot tub and award-winning menu sounds like your ticket to heaven, escape to Riverwood Lodge in the French Alps. Just close enough, but still tucked away from the bustling resort centre of Morzine, this ski lodge has a boutique hotel feel with stylish interiors, lavish textiles, beautiful wooden beams and balconies bestowing sweeping mountain views. Your own private driver will take you to the ski lifts every morning, where you can swiftly access the 650kms of pistes that is the Portes du Soleil ski area.
You’ll find every conceivable terrain: wide sunny blue and green runs; bumpy blacks for showing off your mogul skills; tree-lined slopes for flat-light days; easy-to-reach powder and plenty of playing ground for the freestyler, including ‘The Stash’ where the jumps and rails are made from tree stumps and rough-cut timber.
Back at the lodge, you’ll stay well fed from the seasonal and expertly crafted menu, which brings a contemporary twist to classic French mountain fare. Recover from a rewarding day on the slopes in the cinema room where you can sink into huge comfy sofas to watch your favourite films.
Honeymoon thrill: leave the crowds behind to discover amazing off piste and beautiful scenery on a ski touring day.
Be the ice king and queen of Quebec
The only ice hotel in North America is an architectural genius and a wonder to behold. Marvel at the crystalline ice sculptures, glittering chandeliers, beautiful great hall, chapel, ice slide and Ice Bar serving cocktails in sparkling glasses made of ice. Frozen natural beauty meets urban style in the 44 themed rooms and suites. For an extraordinary honeymoon suite the Deluxe Arctic Spa has its own fireplace and private spa.
Just ten minutes from downtown Quebec, the Hotel de Glace is in the perfect location for discovering the picturesque old town. You’ll soon fall under the spell of this charming area with its narrow cobblestone streets, 17th and 18th century stone buildings, classic bistros, sidewalk cafes and artisan boutiques. Come between January and mid-February and you’ll catch Quebec’s winter carnival. With its roots dating back to the beginning of the city’s French colony and a lively programme enriched each year with new events, winter sports and exhibitions, the carnival is in the world’s top three along with Rio and New Orleans.
Honeymoon thrill: find yourselves in a fairy-tale, riding through snowy landscapes in a horse-drawn cariole.