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Where to Honeymoon If You Love Winter
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Finland

It’s difficult to pinpoint only one “honeymoon perfect” spot in Finland as the country offers so much to newlyweds seeking winter adventures. The glass-roofed igloos at Hotel Kakslauttanen in Lapland are, of course, a unique experience especially for those who have seeing Aurora Borealis on their bucket list. But staring at the sky is far from the only thing you could do here. Explore the area the way the local people, the Sami, have done for over a century—in a sled pulled by dogs or reindeer, go ice fishing, or take a day cruise in Sampo, an icebreaker built in the 60s.

And while you’re in Finland, spend a night or two at The Bengtskär Lighthouse, Finland’s southernmost destination and one of the few lighthouses along the country’s Baltic Coast that offers overnight accommodation. Or if you’d like to experience Finland’s countryside and famous saunas in a luxurious setting, head to Haikko Manor & Spa, located in Porvoo about 30 miles east of Helsinki.

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Montreal, Canada

Montreal has a certain old-world charm to it that makes it the perfect spot for a honeymoon. And in the winter, the city turns into a picture-perfect snow-covered wonderland with plenty of places to explore and things to do en couple (also, the fact that people speak French just adds to its appeal).

After an ice skating session in Parc La Fontaine, warm up with a cup of hot chocolate at Juliette & Chocolat, a restaurant that specializes in all things sweet, and at sunset head to the Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal for breathtaking views of the city.

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Discover Antarctica

Luxury cruise company Ponant has teamed up with National Geographic for the expedition of a lifetime. In 21 days, you’ll explore the wilderness of the Falkland Islands, the black sand beaches of South Georgia—also home to millions of seabirds and king penguin colonies, the South Orkney Islands with its majestic glaciers, and, finally, the Antarctic Peninsula and its inhabitants—seals, penguins, humpback whales. And it’s all set against the most stunning background—snow-capped mountains, glaciers and icebergs.

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Gstaad, Switzerland

European royalty and Hollywood celebrities flock to Gstaad in the winter because, despite its notoriety, it has remained an idyllic locale where you can enjoy the unspoiled beauty of the Swiss Alps.

Stay at Gstaad Palace, an iconic American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property and one of Switzerland’s most glamorous honeymoon hideaways that’s hosted the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Grace Kelly, and Jackie Kennedy. Guests of the hotel enjoy a complimentary lunch 9,000 feet above sea level at the Matterhorn Mountain where they are flown by helicopter. After a long day at the slopes, relax at the Palace’s spa with a two-hour Hammam treatment before sitting down for dinner at Le Grand Restaurant and enjoying the gorgeous views of the Alps.

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Greenland

While Greenland has been gaining popularity in the past couple of years, it is still far from being overrun by tourists. It’s remote and peaceful—a true fairy tale winter wonderland—and that makes it the perfect honeymoon spot.

But that doesn’t mean it’s boring—on the contrary, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy. The capital Nuuk is the cultural center of the country, home to museums and the national cultural center where you can attend an exhibition or a concert. If you like catching your own food, go on a “fish and dish” boat tour and enjoy a gourmet meal afterward, cooked by a chef. Another great spot is Ilulissat, a small and picturesque town, that offers excellent whale watching tours among the icebergs.

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Prague, the Czech Republic

Prague has many nicknames: the city of a hundred spires, the golden city, the mother of cities, the heart of Europe. While we leave it entirely up to you to pick your favorite, all of these nicknames describe a different side of the Czech Republic’s capital that make it a honeymoon-worthy destination. And “romantic” doesn’t even begin to describe the city once the first snow settles in and Christmas markets, small and big, start popping up around town.

For the ultimate luxury experience (and best location in town), stay at the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property Four Seasons (a Ritz-Carlton outpost is set to open in 2022) situated near historic Charles Bridge and overlooking Prague Castle, the world’s largest castle complex dating back to the 9th century.

Courtesy The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe, California

If a memorable ski-focused honeymoon is what you’re after, then head to Lake Tahoe in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains.

The Ritz-Carlton, another American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, is the only AAA Five Diamond luxury resort in the area that offers the finest ski and après-ski services. Forget about touting heavy ski gear with you— the moment you step foot at the resort, a ski valet will take your gear and bring it to you when you’re ready to hit the slopes (they will even warm your ski boots!)

When you’ve had enough snow for the day, cozy up with your spouse by one of the property’s outdoor fire pits and try the house-made s’mores that come in flavors such as mint, caramel apple, orange, and pumpkin spice. Or if you prefer something stronger, head to the champagne bar and have a glass of bubbly paired with the chef’s favorite raw-bar appetizers—chilled shrimp cocktail, oysters, or ceviche.

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Iceland

If you ask us, there is no better time to honeymoon in Iceland than in the winter. It is when the summer craziness that is peak season has died down and you and your significant other have everything Mother Nature has created on this tiny island to yourselves—including moss-covered lava fields, active volcanoes, glaciers, underground caves, and majestic waterfalls.

Start off with a few nights at The Retreat at Blue Lagoon, a 62-suite luxury hotel built inside the country’s biggest geothermal pool. Rent the private Lava Cove for a truly exclusive spa experience. The suite, equipped with a fireplace and a kitchen, has its own lagoon (because let’s face it, having your own Blue Lagoon is the pinnacle of luxury) and you and your spouse can take advantage of the on-call chef, masseuse, and yoga instructor.

Then, head to the North of the country—a region that is considerably less visited than the South, and that has a number of incredibly beautiful sights including its own version of the popular Golden Circle, dubbed the Diamond Circle. Explore Lake Myvatn’s lava fields, marvel at Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall, and go on a helicopter ride of the Northeastern Region.

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Japan

Winter in Japan? Why, yes.

Sure, Sakura season in the Land of the Rising Sun is beautiful and romantic but a visit in the winter offers plenty of unique and memorable sights and adventures, too.

Get ready for epic experiences like a drift ice cruise in the Sea of Okhotsk along Abashiri City in Hokkaido, witness snow monkeys taking a hot bath in Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano Prefecture, attend the magical Yunishigawa Kamakura Festival where hundreds of small snow huts, or kamakura, fill the streets of the town and turn it into an illuminated wonderland at night, and take a walk between the snow monsters, or juhyo, in Zao Onsen—a ski resort that gets an enormous amount of snow each year which turns the trees into a wondrous spectacle.

And while you’re there, take advantage of the world-class ski facilities and spend a few days hitting the slopes.

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Chamonix, France

Chamonix needs no introduction, especially to winter sports fans. The French town, situated at the foot of Mont-Blanc on the border with Switzerland and Italy, will keep you busy even if skiing is not your thing.

Top notch dining (including the two-Michelin starred Albert Premier), premium boutiques, and luxury spas (among which the newly opened QC Terme) will all make for an unforgettable experience à deux.

But for a truly unforgettable adventure, take the small Montenvers train up to the Mer de Glace glacier. Spend a day taking in the stunning vistas (after all, you are at 6,276 feet above sea level), go on an ice cave tour in the glacier, and check out the exhibits at the Temple of Nature and Glaciorium exhibition center. If you’re not afraid of heights, don’t miss Aiguille du Midi and its glass cage that hangs over a 3,280-foot precipice.

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Source: by Dobrina Zhekova to Departures
Featured image: © Curdin Wuethrich/Getty Images

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