Well, at least one of them – going to all five would be very impressive! Love is in the air once again friends, and just around the corner winged Cupid gets ready to dock his arrow and let fly. Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, and with that comes a flurry of holidaymakers eagerly jostling to book a romantic getaway before they lose out to other couples and risk a huge breakup. So, don’t be left behind – as no amount of flowery bouquets will save you if you don’t whisk your better half off for indulgent pampering, fine dining, massages and sexy stuff. Or, at the very least, make sure you hold the car door open for them. To celebrate, we decided to give you a rundown of our top choices for romantic travel this February – and some of them might surprise you!
The Balkans are rapidly becoming one of the top holiday hot-spots in the world – if they’re not already – and Croatia is arguably the number one pull. With its seemingly endless Adriatic coastline and beautiful blue waters, towns like Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik offer old-world, medieval charm with plenty of romantic cruise options and some top-drawer fine dining. Not to be outdone, Zagreb has just been awarded the title of Europe’s best Christmas Market for the third year running – and while that might be long gone come February, the city will have lost none of its cosy charm. And don’t miss a day trip from the capital to Plitvice Lakes, a magical, fairy-tale landscape in the winter time, with many a marriage proposal offered under its stunning, frozen waterfalls. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Just across the Adriatic you’ll find Italy, which is no stranger to love and romance. The Italians are renowned for their passion – most notably in food and football – although if you come here and watch nothing but the latter you might find yourself out in the cold this winter. The city of Venice is often touted as the poster boy/girl for holiday romance – and it’s wonderful to visit in winter with considerably fewer crowds. The art and architecture of Florence is a perfect setting for cuddling up with a loved one and indulging in some stunning culture. Then there are the Tuscany hills with rolling vineyards and arguably the finest food in the world. And don’t forget Rome itself, and Sicily, Milan, Verona, oh goodness – there are too many! The whole country is a lover’s paradise guaranteed to melt the hardest of hearts.
It might not be your first thought when you think of romantic countries – probably based on the weather alone – but Scotland is without a doubt one of the best destinations in the world for you and your partner to get close. It’s the perfect place to cuddle up by a fire with a dram of fine malt whiskey, listening to some stirring romantic folk songs dating back centuries. The Isle of Skye is a gorgeous backdrop for wintry walks, and the highlands and islands are bursting with cosy bothies and B&B’s to keep your temperatures high. Don’t miss a visit to Eilean Donan castle – reputed to be the most romantic in the world. And while Edinburgh city might well be the most beautiful capital in Europe – it’s Glasgow that has the heart. Here you’ll find amazing venues in which to dance the night away with your significant other.
If warmer climes are more your taste and you want to get a little steamier, consider one of the many places around the world to get your winter sun fix. We’ve gone for The Maldives this time, which is widely regarded to be the more romantic archipelago on earth. Not a bad claim to fame when trying to attract couples from all over the world this Valentine’s Day. The waters are stunningly azure all year round, and you don’t get much more romantic than a candlelit dinner on a brilliant, white sand beach. Treat yourselves to a couples massage at one of the many spa retreats, or the more adventurous among you can go snorkelling together and enjoy the abundance of marine life in the shallow waters. For something truly magical, don’t miss the bioluminescent beach – which glows blue with microalgae in the water after dark. Something you and your partner won’t forget in a hurry.
Why not get up close and personal with and power and passion of tango? Argentina is the cradle of this seductive dance and a wonderful alternative romantic destination you might not have considered. Added to that, they make some of the finest wines in the world, but we don’t recommend trying too much of one with the other! Take in a wine tour with your loved one in Mendoza, enjoy a stroll through the beautiful gardens and parks of Buenos Aires, or relax aboard a cruise in southern Argentina while exploring the wilderness isolation of Patagonia. You might even be tempted to spend wildly and take the ultimate romantic holiday by sailing to Antarctica for a truly unique Valentine’s Day. If you prefer to stay on (slightly) drier land, a visit beneath the spectacular Iguazu Falls in the north is not to be missed. Don’t forget to bring home cases and cases of delicious red wine. This will keep that spark going long after you return home!
Be Still Our Beating Hearts!
If those five, romantic hot spots don’t get your pulses racing, feet dancing and birds singing in the trees – we don’t know what will. And look! Would you believe it? Not one mention of Paris or Prague! The world never ceases to amaze! With a little bit of thinking outside the box, you can really surprise your loved one this Valentine’s day. But don’t blame us if it doesn’t work out and you’re on your own this time next year.