Romance, Canuck style

Think of a Valentine’s Day destination and what countries come to mind? Italy? France? St Bart’s? The Seychelles? The Maldives? Canada?

Yes, Canada!

Okay, admittedly at this time of year it may have snow, chilly winds and low temperatures, but rather than a dampener, these conditions set a scene that positively stokes romance.

Still not sure? Take a look at these five uniquely Canadian, heart-warming experiences.

From the summit of Grouse Mountain, Vancouver, British Columbia.

From the summit of Grouse Mountain, Vancouver, British Columbia. Photo by kcxd

Grouse Mountain, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Winter Wonderland: Grouse Mountain. Photo by Vince Alongi

Snowshoe through a winter wonderland – Grouse Mountain, Vancouver

Grouse Mountain stands more than 3,000 feet above Vancouver. Explorer types can wind their way through a winter wonderland of snowy forests and frozen lakes on snowshoes, before cosying up to a roaring lodge fire with cheese and chocolate fondues (two separate courses, naturally).

The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Alberta, Canada

The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Photo: www.fairmont.com

Get pampered – Lac Beavert, Canadian Rockies

On the shores of the glacier fed Beavert Lake, the luxury Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge has been welcoming guests to the Canadian Rockies since 1922. Inside its new $10.7 million spa, visitors can indulge in local treatments, including fir-infused stone massages and maple butter body wraps.

Rideau Canal, Ottawa, Canada

The Rideau Canal Skateway during Winterlude Festival. Photo by Vince Alongi

Skate hand in hand – Ottawa’s Rideau Canal Skateway

Every February, Ottawa turns its frozen Rideau Canal into a city wide skating track. Nearly five miles long, it’s the world’s largest skating rink.

We can’t think of another capital city in the world where you can skate from the steps of the Parliament to a lake, passing outdoor art galleries and cosy eateries along the way.

Hôtel de Glace, Quebec, Canada

Hôtel de Glace, Quebec. Photo by Pa_nda

Spend a sultry night in a hotel made of ice – Québec City

Every winter in Quebec sees the construction of a 30-plus-room crystal palace made entirely of snow and ice. Situated only 10 minutes from downtown Québec City, the Hôtel de Glace is comprised of vaunted rooms, each one with a unique winter theme, where the walls, floors and even furniture are sculpted in ice.

Here’s hoping Valentine’s couples don’t melt their bed! Take a virtual 360° tour of the Hôtel de Glace.

Frozen grapes on the vine - icewine

Frozen grapes on the vine. Photo by mya!

Glug seductive icewines – Nova Scotia

The Nova Scotia Icewine Festival starts each February in Wolfville wine country.

With food and wine pairing tastings, vineyard tours and all manner of other winter-based activities (read: sleigh rides and ice dancing performances), the festival celebrates the region’s sweet, dessert wine produced from grapes frozen while still on the vine.

Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…

(Our featured image is by Vince Alongi)