Heading off on an outdoors adventure – as opposed to a city trip or beach holiday – is a great way to make your honeymoon as unforgettable as it should be. And what better setting than Canada, where the grandiose landscape features everything from glaciers to rainforests?
With that in mind, here are the five best Canadian honeymoons for adventurous couples.
Skiing in Whistler Blackcomb
Ski, snowboard or hop on a snowmobile together in Whistler
If you happen to be honeymooning between December and March, then a ski trip to Whistler guarantees both adventure and ample opportunity to cuddle. The twin peaks of Whistler and Blackcomb comprise over 8,000 acres of slopes, so you could be skiing or snowboarding for several days before you even repeat a piste. There’s also snowmobiling and sleigh rides, plus a multitude of après-ski options – indulge in fine dining at restaurants like Christine’s, and sip chilled vodkas in the sub-zero ‘Ice Room’ at Bearfoot Bistro. Warm up after a day’s skiing in the outdoor hot tub or by an open fire at Nita Lake Lodge.
Hiking on Vancouver Island
Explore old-growth, Sitka spruce forest on the wildly romantic Vancouver Island
Couples keen for an active honeymoon filled with magnificent scenery should pack their hiking boots and head to Vancouver Island. It’s a wildly romantic place, with beaches whose wide, flat sands seem to stretch all the way to the horizon, temperate rainforests, mountains and stark Pacific coastline. Whether you’d prefer a leisurely walk or several days of thigh-burning adventure (broken up by tastings at local wineries and craft breweries), the choice of hikes is vast. Three of the finest are the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, a multi-day trek that crosses the island’s west coast (and can be broken down into bite-size pieces), the Wild Pacific Trail (traversing rocky cliffs between lighthouses, before entering an old-growth forest of Sitka spruce) and the Cape Scott Trail (through meadows, salt marshes and across white sand beaches). Have a homemade breakfast before a day of hiking on the verandah of Little Bear Garden View B&B.
Witness the northern lights in Yellowknife
Cuddle up with a warm drink and a throw, to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience
Seeing the elusive celestial phenomenon that is the northern lights will certainly make your honeymoon extra memorable. And Yellowknife, the capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories, is a splendid setting to do so – thanks to its minimal light pollution and long winter nights. Cuddle up with a warm drink and a throw, amid arctic tundra and boreal forest, to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Do note that, while Yellowknife’s latitude makes it one of the best places to view the aurora borealis, summertime sees almost 24 hours of daylight – so your honeymoon trip will need to take place between mid-November and early April. Watch the northern lights from just outside your bedroom at Yellowknife’s Lou & Francis Guest House.
Kayaking in Haida Gwaii
Paddle alongside otters and dolphins as you explore the untouched shores of Haida Gwaii
The remote archipelago of Haida Gwaii is often cited as the world’s best destination for kayaking. It’s a place of extraordinary natural beauty and biodiversity, located 100km off the west coast of Canada, where you’ll be paddling alongside otters and dolphins as you explore its untouched shores. The freedom and serenity of travelling by kayak is unparalleled, but be sure to book a guide since the open waters here would be somewhat perilous to navigate solo. You’ll cross broad expanses of water with shards of sunlight beaming through the clouds, discovering sheltered bays and coves, and setting up camp each night in clearings of ancient cedar and sitka spruce forest. There are no roads or trails on the islands – they have been inhabited solely by the Haida people since the end of the last ice age, who are thus one of the oldest traceable populations in the world. Check into Northern Shores Lodge, close to Sandspit, where you’ll find one of the two airports on the archipelago.
A road trip on Cape Breton Island
Witness vistas of dense forests, mountains, valleys, lakes and plateaus on the Cabot Trail
There’s only one way to see Cape Breton Island, and that’s via the Cabot Trail, a 185-mile highway that loops around the northern half of the coast before crossing the Highlands. Off the coast of Nova Scotia, the island provides an opportunity for a honeymoon escape into nature, where you’ll witness vistas of dense forests, mountains, valleys, lakes and plateaus – populated by moose, bears and eagles, amongst others. Break up this beautiful road trip circuit by stopping in small Gaelic and Acadian fishing villages, where seafood and lobster are a speciality. And pause to enjoy stunning Atlantic Ocean sunsets from steep coastal cliffs. Stay in a cream, wooden waterfront house with a glorious garden at A Boat to Sea B&B.