Ever wanted to ski somewhere off the beaten track, or combine a ski honeymoon with sightseeing, beach lounging and other exciting activities? Look no further…
Ski holidays don't have to be a whole week spent in a wooden cabin in the snow, chained to a busy resort. If you're torn between the mountains and the beaches, or don't want to spend your entire honeymoon on the slopes, Emma Brisdion explores some of the most interesting destinations for an unusual ski honeymoon this winter.
Dubai has an awe-inspiring portfolio of impressive buildings, feats of engineering and extreme sports to offer visitors, but desert environments aren't exactly a skiers haven, right? Wrong. Dubai's Mall of the Emirates hosts the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East, with 22,500 sqm of real snow covering its five runs year-round. The resort offers varying slopes to suit all levels, from beginners who just want to give it a go, to advanced skiers who can take on the challenge of the world's first indoor black run.
Other things to do: Once you step out of the snowy wonderland, the vast Mall of the Emirates is famous in its own right. Treat yourselves to holiday souvenirs or even a whole new wardrobe, watch the latest romantic movies or blockbuster releases in one of the cinemas and share an evening meal in one of the 90 restaurants available - such as the Lebanese cuisine of Al Halabi - without ever leaving the mall.
Later, surround yourselves with spectacular panoramic views and enjoy an afternoon tea or evening drinks at the Skyview Bar, on the 27th floor of the iconic Burj Al Arab (the hotel that looks like a sail).
Getting there: Turkish Airlines fly from London Gatwick to Dubai International from £312 return.
Thrill-seekers, listen up! With winter fast approaching, the powder-hounds of the world start to hear the mountain calling. For those looking for a hot honeymoon, without missing out on the slopes, this Italian island might just have the answer. Sicily conveniently provides the best of both worlds - beautiful Mediterranean beaches overlooked by the striking Mount Etna, a snow-capped volcano with a growing ski reputation. But you have been warned; Mount Etna is Europe's most active volcano so check the forecast before you head up the volatile slopes.
Other things to do: Once you've made your descent, take an afternoon off to lay back, relax and warm up on the Italian beaches. To add a little culture to your trip, visit the Greek Valley of the Temples in the province of Agrigento. The fertile soils from the volcano have made the island perfectly suited for grape growing so the lands are littered with vineyards and lemon groves. What better place for a romantic stroll.
Getting there: easyJet fly from London to Catania Fontanarossa, Sicily, from £65 return. (www.easyjet.com)
If you squint a bit, Australia's island state is roughly heart shaped and has loads to offer a couple of honeymooning love birds. Tasmania boasts stunning coastlines and rich jungles, perfect for a few days spent blissfully tramping through the thickets of trees and exploring high and low, from the beaches to the rocky mountains. While mainland Australia has several ski resorts of its own. For a more unique experience, ski down the quieter, lesser-known runs of Tasmania's Ben Lomond National Park.
Other things to do: The ancient crumbling cliffs are perfect for a spot of afternoon fossil hunting or wonderful views and abundant wildlife. Enjoy mountain walks or even bike trails over rocky terrain similar to that of Scotland. While you're out and about, keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of the screeching black Tasmanian Devil - the island is now the only place in the world where this endangered marsupial can be found in the wild. And if the slopes don't tire you out, you could also try your hand at cross-country skiing.
Getting there: Qantas fly from London Heathrow to Launceston, Tasmania, via Sydney from £877 return.
Though it may be some distance from the world-renowned European ski resorts of the Alps and the Dolomites, the island of Cyprus - just south of Turkey - is home to the Troodos Mountain range. During the winter its highest peak, Mount Olympus, is home to four slopes and offers the (almost) unique chance to spend a morning skiing on fresh powder, followed by an afternoon relaxing on a sunny Mediterranean beach.
Other things to do: Cyprus is home to many postcard-worthy golden beaches, so after a morning on the slopes, top up your tan, swim in the clear blue waters and sip cocktails by the shore. If a romantic dinner is on the cards then share a candlelit mezze - sampling a delicious range of fresh, traditional Mediterranean dishes.
Getting there: Ryanair fly from London Stanstead to Paphos from £105 return.
Think extreme sports in South Africa and you'll probably jump to whale watching or shark diving. Well now you can add skiing to that list! The country's only ski resort, Tiffindell, is built on Ben Macdhui and every year hosts the South African Ski and Snowboarding Championships. So if you're looking for a truly unique honeymoon experience, spend your holiday in shorts on safari, shark watching on the open ocean and skiing over real snow, all within one country! And besides, how many couples can say they've skied in South Africa?
Other things to do: Visit Cape Town and explore the coast around the Western and Southern Cape and Cape Peninsula. From here take a boat ride with local experts to watch magnificent humpback whales and dolphins frolicking in the wild. After tasting the award-wining regional wines, take a stroll through the vineyards of the Stellenbosch wine regions.
Getting there: Turkish Airlines fly from London Gatwick to Cape Town, via Istanbul, from £568 return.
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