Winter weddings have been gaining in popularity for some time now. Why risk disappointment by pinning all your hopes on a sunny summer’s day? Embrace the winter and it’s own special delights – brilliant icy days, roaring fires and cosy interiors. And for your honeymoon you’ve a choice: go even colder or search out the sun. Here’s five suggestions for winter destinations you’ll never forget.
The song may extoll the virtues of Paris in the springtime, but Paris is a great romantic city at any time of the year and winter is no exception. Dine at 58 Tour Eiffel on level one and see the lights of the city stretch before you. Take a night-time cruise down the Seine; the brilliantly illuminated buildings of the city make this the most beautiful city river journey in the world. Listen to classical music in the stunning gothic masterpiece of La Sainte Chapelle or the 850-year-old Cathedral of Notre Dame, and take in a show at the Moulin Rouge. Whatever your tastes, Paris has numerous delights to keep the cold at bay. Oh and if you’re looking for somewhere to stay, we cannot recommend Hotel Jules et Jim enough.
An easy contender when it comes to a winter honeymoon in Europe – what could be more romantic than wrapping up warm and watching the wispy ribbons of the Northern Lights above you? There are many tour packages, specially designed for honeymooners, with set itineraries so that you can focus on each other, whilst making the most of the island’s top highlights – without having to stress over planning the details. Be sure to visit the geothermal spa, Blue Lagoon, and the famous Golden Circle tour of Thingvellir National Park, Geyser Hot Spring and the Gullfoss Waterfall. In Reykajavik, enjoy the best view of the city from the Hallgrímskirkja Church, eat the freshest seafood, and explore the plenty of bars, clubs and theatres in the evening. And of course, head to Iceland between November and February for the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights. Be sure to spend at least a night staying in a bubble under the millions of stars and if you’re lucky, the Northern Lights also. And if you’re struggling to think of the perfect winter honeymoon destination, check out this aurora icelandic tour, it will seriously change your life!
This city is actually at its best in winter time. During the summer time, London can be over-crowded and congested but in winter time, although the crowds are still there, there’s an atmosphere and a buzz about the city that is beguiling. The Thames may not have the exquisite buildings that flank the Seine but walking its banks is a romantic experience all the same. The brilliantly illuminated facades of the famous Victorian shops: Harrods, Liberty, Fortnum and Mason, Selfridges are at their most enticing on a gloomy winter’s day with dusk drawing in. There are outdoor pop-up ice rinks at the great city museums, a Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and of course the Christmas lights of Oxford Street where over 750,000 bulbs create a breath-taking annual spectacle.
Now Rome definitely is a city where most people visit during the summer, so why not have a winter honeymoon in a city almost empty of tourists? Rome does not have the big department stores of London or Paris; instead expect a refreshingly old-fashioned experience in small shops and markets. At the Market Piazza Navonna you’ll find that artichokes and chicory are in season and that the air is sweet with the smell of oranges, mandarins and clementines. The famous ruins of Rome such as the Colosseum or the Ostia Antica can be enjoyed free from crowds and on certain days in winter entry to them is free. Rome has an abundance of the most romantic medieval hotels, stunningly decorated in authentic Italian fashion – not to be missed if honeymooning in Rome!
Prague, Czech Republic
For the full-blown city-in-winter honeymoon experience, why not try Prague. You’ll need to wrap up warm but the unique charm of this delightful city is best experienced when it is covered with snow. The Old City is central and easy to walk – roaming its streets is one of the pleasures of a visit. Christmas markets run from late November in Wenceslas Square and the Old Town Square, and their stalls are full of jewellery, lace, hats, dolls and wooden toys. Huge hams hang alongside small mountains of cakes and you’ll encounter children in traditional costume singing carols and roaming groups of devils and angels – the Mikulas. And in the evening, there are more bars, clubs and concert venues than you’ll ever find time for.
Perhaps though you’d like to escape the cold and if so then Santorini, the most romantic of the Greek islands, is a destination you should definitely consider. Enjoy the charm of this picturesque island at a time of year when it is not heaving with tourists. Prices are also half the cost in summer, so you’ll be able to indulge in more luxuries like a private yacht to tour the neighbouring islands, caves and volcano! Stay in one of the beautiful traditional whitewashed houses, with their arched ceilings and balconies that look out over breath-taking views. Unlike the other destinations mentioned, most shops close in Santorini for the winter. Instead, take a romantic stroll through the magical winding streets of the small towns, and hike from Fira to Oia to enjoy the most stunning views of the island – ending with an awe-inspiring view of that famous Santorini sunset in Oia. Temperatures in November are a pleasant 18 degrees and even at its coldest in January, the island is still at a comfortable 14 degrees.