6 hot and cold honeymoons

6 hot and cold honeymoons

With the turn of the seasons honeymooners are faced with a decision to make: escape and catch some exotic rays, or embrace winter and have a seasonal break?

As summer draws to a close and the dark nights start creeping in earlier, it becomes even easier to find yourself daydreaming about the perfect getaway, especially if you're currently planning your dream honeymoon. Emma Brisdion explores…

Jet off to catch some winter sun…

If you're not ready to say goodbye to the sun, then why not head somewhere a little warmer and escape the frosty fingertips of winter in the UK?

1. Belize

If crystal-clear waters and white sand beaches sound like paradise to you, then head over to Belize and get ready to share sunset beach walks, hand-in-hand with your belle or beau, before spending warm nights in a thatched roof hut on the sands. Belize is home to the coral-clad Mesoamerican Barrier Reef - second only in size to Australia's Great Barrier Reef. So spend your time snorkelling or scuba diving among vibrant sea creatures, such as parrot fish, butterfly fish and even a hawskbill turtle or two. For a truly unique dive, pay the Blue Hole a visit - a stunning circular reef surrounds a deep chasm that seems to drop to the ocean floor.

If you're a couple of landlubbers, don't forget to explore the Mayan ruins dotted in the rich jungles; the ruins at Caracol are a scenic drive from Belize City and remain the largest Mayan site in Belize. End each afternoon by relaxing in a two-person hammock on the beach…

Getting there: American Airlines fly from London Heathrow to Belize City from £570 return.

Where to stay: The cosy, family-run Belcove Hotel is perched on the river in the very centre of downtown Belize City, with quick access to its historical sites. Doubles from £20p/n.

2. Tanzania

Tanzania may not be the first place that springs to mind when you're thinking of planning a honeymoon, but after a little exploration this West African country has heaps to offer as a romantic destination. Book a hot air balloon safari over the Serengeti and whoosh, or rather glide, through the early morning skies as the sun rises, bathing the magnificent grasslands and outcrop-spotted landscape in light. The striking white beaches of Zanzibar island, fringed by barrier reefs, are also just a short ferry trip from Dar es Salaam on the coast of Tanzania.

Getting there: Turkish Airlines fly from London Gatwick to Dar es Salaam from £385 return.

Where to stay: The Protea Courtyard Hotel in Dar es Salaam offers charming rooms overlooking a relaxing courtyard and pool, surrounded by lush vegetation. Doubles from £130p/n.

3. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Dance the night away together and try the Argentine tango in Buenos Aires. If you have two left feet not to worry - you can opt to just watch the professionals instead. Head west and you'll find Mendoza wine country and spend a day sampling award-winning Argentinean wines. To round off a truly spectacular trip, the dramatic Iguazu Falls to the north has been named one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature and is a must-see on your honeymoon itinerary.

Getting there: KLM fly from London Gatwick to Buenos Aires from £680 return.

Where to stay: For a blend of contemporary and grand historic design, spend a night in the ornate rooms of the 1555 Malabia House Bed & Breakfast. Doubles from £84p/n.

Honeymoon in a winter wonderland…

For those of you more than happy to embrace the chill of winter, there are many options for a magical winter honeymoon that don't necessarily involve chilly November nights, soggy from the rain.

1. Finnish Lapland

Don snowshoes, layer up with cosy fur-lined hoods and venture out into the night to admire the unbelievable beauty of the aurora borealis. For the best views walk far from the towns to minimise light pollution. The Northern Lights have long been an enchanting sight coveted by lovers and, in fact, Japanese culture even suggests that a child conceived beneath their otherworldly light will be blessed with great intelligence.

Once you return to your flake-dusted cabin, what could be more romantic than shrugging off your coats to snuggle up by the fire with a steaming mug of hot chocolate? The next morning you could be flying through snow-covered forests and over frozen lakes as huskies pull you on a unique tour of Lapland on a traditional wooden dog sled. And of course, for a little festive magic, pay a visit to Santa's reindeer!

Getting there: The Lapland region is served by five airports. Norwegian fly from London Gatwick to Ivalo, Finland, from £163 return.

Where to stay: Spend a few nights under the stars in a glass-roofed igloo or a rustic log cabin in Kakslauttanen igloo village, Finland. Doubles from £225p/n, via booking.com.

2. Iceland

With clear Icelandic skies overhead, pack a picnic and hike across azure glaciers or follow ice-carved mountain trails to soak in the rolling views over rumbling volcanoes. Spend an afternoon exploring the ethereal Kverkfjöll ice caves in the Vatnajökull National Park or, closer to Reykjavik (30km south), try the caves at Raufarhólshellir. If you still fancy some warmth take a dip into the hugely popular geothermal baths: the Blue Lagoon (www.bluelagoon.com) is just under an hour away from Reykjavik and while you're there, why not try treat yourselves to some natural mud spa treatments?

Getting there: WOW air fly from London Gatwick to Reykjavik from £119 return. (wowair.co.uk, 0118 321 8384)

Where to stay: Rent an apartment in the heart of Old Reykjavik with Rey Apartments for a great location in Iceland's capital city. Double apartments from £70p/n.

3. Québec, Canada

Brush up on the language of love and spend your winter honeymoon in the French-speaking region of Québec, Canada. Take a leisurely stroll or even a horse-drawn carriage through the bustling centre, filled with artists and street entertainment, then wander around the aging city walls that encircle Québec City. It's easy to see why UNESCO-designated Old Québec is a World Heritage treasure; its cobbled streets are lined with centuries-old architecture and are grandly overlooked by the iconic Château Frontenac. The well-known Canadian winter is starting to set in and as temperatures drop, try your hand at ice-skating at one of the skating rinks that pop up during the season.

Getting there: Delta fly from London Gatwick to Québec from £581 return.

Where to stay: For a romantic European city-break feel, embrace the French ties in Quebec's cultural history and stay at the Manior d'Auteuil. Doubles from £94p/n.


Image: Dreamstime

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