Its charming cities and eye-catching natural beauty make Canada a romantic escape for newlyweds. In fact, it has been reported by the Independent that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry had their royal honeymoon in the Rocky Mountains in Alberta earlier this year.
It should come as little surprise, as the Canadian Rockies is the perfect place to kick back and relax after any wedding – let alone a royal wedding!
So if you’re looking to follow in the footsteps of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and honeymoon like a royal in Jasper, book your flights to Calgary and follow our guide to the different activities the couple did, and others they may have done.
What to pack for a honeymoon in Canada?
First things first, if you’re planning on honeymooning like a royal you will need to pack like one. Saad, who runs The Royal Watcher blog, which shares thoughts and news about royals from all over the world, believes Prince Harry and Meghan would have left their official uniforms at home.
“For a small getaway, packed with action, I doubt the newlywed Duke and Duchess would have packed the uniforms, orders, and gowns found on previous royal honeymoons when royal newlyweds were expected to host and be hosted by local dignitaries at their honeymoon destination. For Harry and Meghan, I’d expect they packed casual clothing, with jackets, boots, and active gear, as well as a suit or dress for a romantic dinner.”
Here’s a list of essentials to pack:
– Passports and travel documents
– Hiking boots
– Comfortable trousers for walking
– Jumpers and t-shirts for walking
– Light layers
– Fleece/warm coat (if going in winter)
– Gloves & woolly hat (if going in winter)
Royal honeymoon activities in Jasper
There were a lot of activities on offer to the newlywed royals. If you’re thinking of honeymooning in Canada, there will be plenty of options for you too! Take a look at our round-up of the best things Harry and Meghan did on their honeymoon and the fantastic things other newlyweds could look forward to…
Stay at the Outlook Cabin of the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge complex
With a stunning location between Mildred and Beauvert lakes, it should come as little surprise that the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge complex is where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are believed to have stayed during their honeymoon.
“Head to the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge for a drink and food with a view. The hotel has a romantic vibe – with its phenomenal location and deep cushioned chairs that are perfect for private conversations, so definitely my number one pick in Jasper.”
Saad from The Royal Watcher agrees that the lodge is a great place to stay.
“The new Duke and Duchess of Sussex are the most popular, and sought-after, couple in the world now, and it is nothing short of a miracle that they managed to go on a honeymoon without it making the papers. Canada would be a natural choice, due to the royal family’s deep links with the dominion and the time the couple spent in Toronto during their relationship. The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is a wonderful choice for the couple, because it offers luxury and a ton of activities in a remote setting, away from the cameras, which would be very appealing to the newlyweds.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were rumoured to be staying at the Outlook Cabin of the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge complex, which is also known as the ‘Royal Retreat’. It has hosted Prince Harry’s great-grandparents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, on their monumental 1939 Tour of Canada, and his grandparents, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, on their visit to mark the centenary of the Province in 2005. Alberta is one of the most beautiful provinces in Canada, and on top of the natural pursuits of hiking, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, ice-field walks and helicopter tours, there are the amenities offered by the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge complex, which include Canada’s number one golf resort course, a spa, and a plethora of restaurants.”
Visit Pyramid Island
Pyramid Island is a hugely popular destination for weddings, but the area is a great place to visit on your honeymoon with its stunning natural beauty.
Emily Mandagie, who shares her travel stories on TheMandagies.com says Pyramid Island is a great place to enjoy a picnic.
“Newlyweds can visit Pyramid Island for an easy walk with stunning 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains. This island in the middle of Pyramid Lake has a wooden bridge that connects the island with the mainland. Bring a picnic and enjoy it at the many benches, covered areas, and waterfront access here.”
Leigh McAdam, who has co-written the 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta book, says the island is a romantic spot.
“I also recommend renting a canoe on Pyramid Lake and then heading out to explore the lake at a relaxed pace. Sharing time and enjoying the majesty of the mountains while revelling in nature is a great way to feel connected. You may even want to pull up your kayak on Pyramid Lake Island, another romantic spot on the lake, and take in the view from a different angle, perhaps with a picnic basket containing dark chocolate and strawberries.”
Go stargazing in Jasper
Cities like Toronto and Vancouver may be home to film and television stars, but to see the brightest stars in Canada you need to leave the bright lights of the cities and head to the rugged mountains and lakes around Jasper.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle reportedly did this and went stargazing in Jasper National Park during their honeymoon.
But if you’re planning a holiday to Jasper and want to go stargazing, where should you go? Myriam Bolduc from the Jasper Dark Sky Festival, an annual event created after Jasper National Park was granted a Dark Sky Preserve, told us a bit about stargazing in Jasper.
“In 2011, Jasper was designated as a Dark Sky Preserve by the Royal Astronomical Society in Canada, due to its limited light pollution that creates ideal conditions for dark sky viewing. Jasper National Park is one of 17 designated Dark Sky Preserves in Canada. We are the second largest Dark Sky Preserve in the world, and we are the largest accessible Dark Sky Preserve – meaning there’s a town within the limits of the preserve.
“Jasper’s designated dark sky is a stupendous experience all year round, but the Jasper Dark Sky Festival is the only time when stargazing adventurers gather with celestial celebrities and scientific experts to get lost in the wonder of the universe above the Rocky Mountains.”
Below are the top 10 stargazing spots the Jasper Dark Sky Festival recommends in the national park:
– Medicine Lake
– Pyramid Lake & Pyramid Lake Island
– Lake Annette
– Maligne Canyon
– Lac Beauvert
– Tonquin Valley
– Mount Edith Cavell
– Athabasca Falls
– Columbia Icefields
– Maligne Lake
The Dark Sky Festival will be taking place from 12-21 October in 2018. To find out about five unmissable experiences, click here.
Go hiking in Jasper National Park
It was also reported that the royal newlyweds went on several hikes during their honeymoon in Jasper National Park. If you travel there, hiking is a great way to really absorb the outdoors. The national park is home to some of the best walking trails in the world, offering spectacular scenery and the chance to see wildlife such as black and grizzly bears.
As Canadian travel experts, here at Canadian Affair we know there’s a variety of great hikes in Jasper National Park. We spoke to Emily Mandagie from The Mandagies travel and adventure blog to hear about her recent visit. She loved wandering through the Valley of Five Lakes and exploring the Maligne Canyon.
“Jasper National Park is full of amazing outdoor activities for the royal couple. From short hikes to viewpoints to epic all-day adventures, there’s something for all skill levels here in the Canadian Rockies. This is the perfect location for the royal honeymoon and for an opportunity to experience the wonders of nature together!
“For a moderate morning stroll, the royal couple can wander through the Valley of Five Lakes to experience brilliant blues and greens in each unique lake. This 4.5-kilometer hike has little elevation gain and should take about 1-2 hours to complete.
“For a day’s adventure, they can explore Maligne Canyon and its many twists, turns and bridges. Each bridge crosses the canyon and has a new and exciting view of the deep crevasse below. This is a perfect hike for couples who wish to have a little adventure!”
Enjoy a romantic meal
During your honeymoon, you will undoubtedly want to wine and dine your other half and fortunately, there are lots of eateries in and around the town of Jasper that’ll be just perfect for a romantic evening.
Syrahs of Jasper is one restaurant that will offer you a romantic experience with its innovative cuisine, exceptional wine and friendly service. The restaurant is owned and operated by Chef Jason Munn and has been one of Jasper’s top dining destinations for many years.
The eatery has an intimate 15 table dining room that helps create its relaxed atmosphere and you can enjoy a window table with mountain views.
There’s a variety of foods you can savour during your visit and the most mouth-watering menu items we spotted are the Alberta boar rack chop, signature elk steak, goat cheesecake and Nabati strawberry swirl.
Tekarra Restaurant offers more beautiful dining that newlyweds will certainly enjoy. Just imagine walking your Moscow mule out to the ridge to watch the Athabasca River as the chef cooks the signature rainbow trout or bison short ribs for dinner.
Another unique experience at Tekarra Restaurant is that due to the pine cabin’s outdoor location, you can potentially see wildlife through the pines while you’re eating!
Ride on the Jasper SkyTram
— Jasper SkyTram (@JasperSkyTram) August 13, 2018
The Jasper SkyTram allows you to see the Canadian Rockies like never before! It is one activity that we would thoroughly recommend for newlyweds on honeymoon, as those views are simply unforgettable.
The adventure begins at the Lower Station in Jasper where you’ll begin your ride on a fully enclosed tram up the Whistlers Mountain. During the seven-minute flight, you’ll be accompanied by a fully trained flight attendant who will point out the different sights.
Once you get to the top (2,263 metres high), you will get unrivalled views of the Canadian Rockies. Make sure you take plenty of spectacular photos to remember the day.
If you’re inspired to book flights to Canada for your honeymoon, or need help with hotels and excursions, then check out our website or give our expert advisers a call.