Planning your honeymoon? Just looking to get away from the grind? The globe is full of romantic destinations, whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an urban escape. Some of the most remote regions of the world offer up the best surprises and adventures that will stay with you for a lifetime. We have compiled a list of some of the finest, most romantic destinations across the continents.
What could be more romantic than Paris, “the city of love”? Visit the iconic Eiffel Tower, museums like the Louvre and landmarks like the Notre Dame Cathedral for a cultural journey through past and present. The food scene in Paris is divine, with restaurants and bistros scattered throughout the cobblestone streets between parks and city landmarks. Paris offers a certain “je ne sais quoi” that makes for a romantic getaway anytime of the year.
The most popular times to visit are in the spring (April-May) and in the fall (September-October) because of the ideal weather. Prices peak at those times, though, so if you’re looking for a less expensive getaway consider going December through March.
There is no shortage of hotels in the city, from luxury to modest fare. Keep in mind that hotel rooms are much smaller in France than in North America, so your king size bed might take up most of the floor space. It’s all part of the experience! Wake up to the sound of church bells ringing in the distance and head out to your local bakery for fresh croissant and baguettes. Sit outside of a café and sip your latte while you watch the world go by. Enjoy the finest red and white wines in the world and experience cuisine as it originally was intended.
Spend your evening in Pigalle, home to the Moulin Rouge and excellent night-life. Wander through Montmartre and take a ride on the merry-go-round or have your portrait painted by an artist in the Place du Tertre. Visit the Ponts des Arts, also known as the “lovers bridge” to hang a padlock on its railings to immortalize your love.
Travelers Tip: If you love to shop, look no further than Lafayette or Printemps department stores that offer every high-end brand name you can imagine in the most romantic, stunning settings. These stores look more like museums and feature cafes and restaurants to satisfy your cravings.
Does skiing by day and snuggling by the fire at night sound like a romantic getaway? Look no further than Lech, Austria, an exclusive luxury ski resort with more 5-star hotels than any other region in the country. Ski out from the front steps of your hotel onto challenging slopes with great restaurants dotted along the way. Arrange for a personal concierge to satisfy your every desire and answer your questions. Book a day at the spa, shop at luxury brand name stores and eat fine haute cuisine with panoramic views.
Over 10,000 tourists visit this winter oasis every year, which must be why there are over 3,000 seasonal workers ensuring the hotels and the slopes are running without a hitch. In Lech, you will truly feel like you are isolated from the rest of the world, offering a sense of peace and tranquility that is often difficult to achieve. Lech is the kind of place where you will want to unplug from your phones and computers and be with the one you love. Escape the fast pace of modern life and pamper yourselves in absolute luxury.
Travelers Tip: The spa scene in Lech is one of the best in the world and is so much more than a 60-minute back rub. Try the body scrubs and wraps, steams and saunas, water therapy and massage to walk away feeling brand new.
Kyoto offers a unique blend of fascinating history and natural beauty, making it a lovers’ paradise. The sister city to Paris, Florence and Prague, Kyoto is spread out amid babbling brooks and rushing rivers, and surrounded by mountains on all sides. Kyoto is a destination year-round, but it is most famous for its cherry blossom season in the early spring. Considered one of nature’s most picturesque sites, the cherry blossoms flood the city in pink and white. When the blossoms begin to fall, you feel as though you’re watching snow fall gently onto the grass below. Bring your camera to witness this truly magical time of year.
Kyoto is full of ancient temples, shrines, palaces and castles, several of which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. One temple with romantic significance is called the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, built in 778AD. Behind the complex, the Jishu Shrine celebrates the Buddhist God of matchmaking and couples can participate in a number of activities to strengthen their bond. Dissolve and private message in water, tie a love note to the fence or rub the Buddha’s belly for good luck. Kyoto is a magical place that will satisfy foodies, history buffs, adventurers and romantics alike.
Travelers tip: Book a table at Le Musee de Hokkaido for a modern twist on traditional Japanese cuisine. Using only seasonal ingredients, this restaurant serves dishes that resemble the finest art and taste unlike anything you have ever had before.
Many would argue that Santorini, Greece is the most romantic islands in Greece. Picture white houses with electric blue shutters, turquoise waters as far as the eyes can see, blazing sunsets, Mediterranean foods (think olives and feta), mythological history and a great nightlife and you have Santorini. The island is of volcanic origin so the beaches are black sand beaches, which offer a beautiful contrast to the water.
Want to turn up the party? Head to the island of Mykonos where the clubs impress every night of the week and sleep is not the priority. The island of Tilos is renowned for its mountains and rough back roads, making it a great destination for adventurers. The beaches are rocky, so don’t expect to sunbathe here, but you can dive off a rock cliff into plunging pools below! Home to Mount Olympus, head to the island of Skyros for peace and quiet. Rent a scooter and travel the length of the island. Discover the lush, green hills in the north and the arid, dry conditions in the south. Just make sure you fly directly into the Skyros airport instead of taking the ferry over. It’s not a short trip.
Travelers tip: If you have more than one week, try booking a few days on a few islands to get the variety that the islands offer. Ferries operate daily to get you to and from the ports, and there are cheap options by air if you don’t want to sail the seas.
Located in the Arctic Ocean halfway between Norway and the North Pole, Svalbard is the Arctic North of your dreams. This vast archipelago is a land of stunning snow-topped peaks and glaciers, icebergs and deep blue waters. Experience the endless Arctic nights and the perpetual summer sun for a remarkable journey into nature. One of Europe’s last great wildernesses, the polar bear population exceeds the number of residents here, as this is the site for decades of polar exploration in the region.
Take a boat trip, a hike on a glacier, a snowmobile expedition or a sledding trip led by a pack of huskies. Capture the spirit of the North Pole and feel like a true explorer as you charter untouched land. Chalets and resorts have made their home here, offering adventure tours, fine dining, world-class spas and plenty of opportunities to hike and breathe in the fresh air.
One of Svalbard’s biggest highlights is the opportunity to see the Northern Lights. From November to February, there is no daylight in the area, which attracts people from all over the world to experience the northern lights dancing across the night sky. Svalbard is actually the only place in the world you can experience the aurora borealis in the daytime.
Travelers Tip: Remember not to underestimate the Arctic temperatures, especially if you plan to travel during the winter months. Do your research and pack thermal gear designed for these conditions.
The Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, Africa is over 3 million acres of roaming plains, and mountains and home to the greatest and most varied collection of wildlife on earth. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Serengeti symbolizes peace for the animals and the people who call it home. The local Maasai people call it Siringitu, “the place where the land moves on forever”, which truly captures its wonder.
Home to hundreds of thousands of wildebeests and zebras who participate in the great migration every year, you will meet buffalo, elephants, hippos, lions, giraffes and baboons. Cheetahs and jaguars also live here, alongside the endangered black rhino whose sightings are rare and coveted.
High-end tourism has thrived in the Serengeti for decades, from the 1930s when a trip into the African heartlands was truly a trip into the unknown. Many eco-tourism hotels and resorts have made their mark by respecting the land and its inhabitants through zero-waste operations and sustainable practices.
Imagine yourself sleeping under the stars in a luxury tent, eating breakfast overlooking the vast plains and trekking out in a four-by-four to feast your eyes on wildlife straight off the pages of National Geographic. All resorts and hotels offer guided tours of the area, and some include an opportunity to camp out a distance from the resort, offering a thrilling and truly immersive experience.
Traveler Tip: After your long journey to the capital city of Arusha, plan to stay overnight at the Arusha Coffee Lodge to put your feet up and get some much needed sleep. This lodge offers trips into the Serengeti on their chartered propeller planes known as “bush planes” that will start your adventure off on the right foot. Just remember to have your camera in hand as these planes fly low and offer stunning views of the region from above.
Lagos is a small town located in Algarve, Portugal along the south coast. It is a region of hidden delights, from golden beaches lined with limestone rocks, local restaurants serving some of the freshest fish in the world, to the bright light that has come to characterize the long, hot summers in this region. The fresh produce here grows year round, from almonds to olives to oranges and chestnuts. The local markets are brimming with foods local to the region such as octopus and squid, sardines and tuna, making Lagos a foodie paradise.
Choose a resort sitting atop a limestone cliff or book a guesthouse along the eastern coastline where you can find a quieter, more authentic experience away from the bustle of tourism.
Surfing is popular here, as is dolphin watching and exploring. Stumble upon a sandy cove nestled along the coastline and keep it all to yourselves for the afternoon. Although Algarve is safe to visit year round because of the impeccable weather, avoid school holidays. The best months are May, June and October when the sun is hot and the visitors are few. July and August are the busiest months, and December and January offer cooler nights but warm days.
Travelers Tip: Hotel rates are dramatically lower in December and January when the weather is cooler. It’s a wonderful time to have Algarve to yourselves without competing with the masses. Keep in mind that because these months are considered low season, many restaurants and shops will be closed.
Croatia is difficult to get to from North America, but a few stops along the way could offer an exciting adventure on your way to paradise. Croatia is known for its pristine, white sand beaches, warm turquoise waters and world-class holiday destinations.
The cities of Split and Hvar are popular destinations that offer great jumping off points to more remote regions by air or by boat. Many local towns are pedestrian only, so make sure to pack comfortable walking shoes to explore the region.
The stunning beaches can get overrun in peak season, but late August and September offer the perfect time to enjoy warm waters, ancient towns and fantastic food. The island of Vis is the ideal romantic getaway. Tuck away in a secluded bay or explore the island by vehicle and discover extensive vineyards plush with pine, olive, oleander, fig and mulberry trees. The local seafood and wine is delectable, and restaurants open their doors with menus featuring only the freshest, seasonal ingredients to tempt your palette.
Explore medieval towns and ancient cultures on the island of Korcula, relax on Mali Losinj known as the island of vitality for its lush forests and deep green waters, and feast on local cuisine on Pag.
Travelers Tip: The city of Hvar is best known for its beauty, buzz and nightlife. Sit amid Venetian and Austrian architecture and party with Italians who flock to this region for vacation.
British Virgin Islands
With over 40 unspoiled, tropical islands and uninhabited cays, the British Virgin Islands are a nautical paradise. Soft, white sand beaches neighbor crescent-shaped bays at every turn. From sailing to snorkeling, to simply lounging on the beach to work on your tan, these islands are straight out of a postcard and straight out of your romantic vacation fantasies.
The island of Tortola is the largest and most populated of the BVIs with a variety of hotels and restaurants as well as nightlife and shopping options. Going barefoot to a beachside bar is a must here, where you can sip fresh cocktails and watch the sun set. Party into the night with live music and people from all over the world.
The island of Virgin Gorda is less populated than Tortola, but it boasts some of the finest luxury resort destinations in the region. The most popular destination on the island are the baths on the southwestern tip. Massive boulders sit at the water’s edge forming caverns and cave with warm pools of water for bathing and swimming. Spot sea turtles in the coral reefs, eat spicy Caribbean dishes at local restaurants and enjoy a shirt-optional kind of lifestyle here.
For those looking to truly escape, head to Anegada, which is an 11-mile long island with a population of 200. Flat, coral limestone provides the base for this tropical oasis. Escape it all on this slice of heaven in the middle of the ocean.
Traveler Tip: Culture buffs should head to the museum at 1780 Lower Estate Sugar Works or the ruins of the Saint Philips Anglican Church on Tortola Island. The islands offer much more than sandy beaches and mojitos!
Bali is one of those magical islands that has something for every type of traveller. Whether you’re looking for a five-star treatment or a more rustic adventure, Bali has it all. Tropical beaches ideal for swimming, lush green landscapes, authentic culture and cuisine and a spirituality that can be found on street corners or in ancient temples, Bali is a cultural and tropical paradise.
Travel to Ubud in the north to explore lush, green tropical forests, plunging pools, waterfalls and rice fields. Make friends with monkeys at the monkey sanctuary; take a cooking class to learn local cuisine, or go rafting on one of the gushing rivers. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on a traditional Balinese massage.
Seminyak is further south and offers a great contrast to the tranquility of Ubud. The party scene here is unrivaled, with beachside bars and clubs featuring world-renowned DJs and impeccable sunsets. Butler and concierge service is top-notch in Bali and the prices are affordable.
The Balinese culture is open, friendly and respectful. You will walk away feeling enriched by the island’s beauty, rich history and culture.
Traveler Tip: Bargain shopping is a fun thrill at local markets and shops. Enjoy the back and forth as you eye up colorful sarongs, beautiful art and fashion.
Italy is a country made for lovers. From the water lapping up against the cobblestone streets in Venice to the sweet scent of citrus blossoms in Sicily, the country is diverse and exciting, brimming with activities and flavors that have come to define our modern view of love. Italy has sex appeal unlike any other country in the world, from its castles to its beaches and volcanoes.
For the height of romance, spend a few nights in Venice. Take a boat tour around the city and appreciate the architecture from afar, walk the streets and stop in at a local restaurant or feast on fresh gelato. Around every corner is a bridge over the canal or an alleyway that looks like a postcard waiting for you to explore.
Rome offers such rich history and beautiful architecture; it’s easy to get lost walking for hours here. Head to the Spanish Steps or to the Colosseum for a truly iconic experience. Load up on pizza and pasta at an outdoor restaurant situated in a courtyard. Listen to the local speaking Italian with passion and vigor. Watch the people go by from the foot of a statue or fountain.
Don’t miss out on the Amalfi Coast just south of Naples. Doted with picturesque villages clinging to cliffs above the ocean, rent a car and take a memorable drive up the coast to witness picturesque towns and winding streets with impeccable views.
Travelers Tips: Visit the city of Verona to visit the house where Juliet lived in Shakespeare’s classic tragedy and stand below the balcony where Romeo claimed his love.
St. Lucia is considered one of the most exclusive islands in the world with stunning landscapes and beaches. Arrive in style by helicopter and see the stunning island from above. Many resorts have helicopter pads so you can fly in to your oasis direct. Several resorts on the island are couples-only, offering a more mature experience away from the bustle of family-oriented escapes.
Beaches on St. Lucia vary from gold to silver to white and whichever coast you choose will not disappoint. One of the most famous beaches is called Anse Chastanet’s with silver sand, palm trees and forested hills backdrop. Soak up the breathtaking sunsets, get a couples massage in a private cabana with champagne and fresh fruit, or dive into the fresh waters to spot local wildlife such as dolphins.
St. Lucia is a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons and resorts are often booked years in advance. Your family and friends will never forget this beautiful oasis that offers relaxation and adventure for all.
Traveler Tip: Travel to the Sulpher Springs that sit atop the world’s only drive-up volcano. Swim in the warm pools and apply natural mud masks, or purchase a ball of dried volcano mud to take home!
Hawaii boasts six islands, each with their own allure and special features. Misty waterfalls, sun-kissed beaches, volcanic lava and adventures are all part of Hawaii’s appeal.
The island of Kauai has sharp, rugged cliffs and lush valleys that seem completely untouched by modern civilization. Oahu offers water adventures like sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving and stand-up paddling. Molokai offers completely unspoiled beauty and nature, which means you can slow right down and enjoy the scenery without distraction. Maui’s agricultural scene is strong, making it an excellent choice for fresh ingredients and farm-to-table cuisine. Hawaii Island is home to Maunakea, one of the most renowned astronomical sites in the world. Free flowing lava breaks against the ocean tide in a dramatic and stunning fashion here.
Luxury resorts, spas, impeccable local cuisine, entertainment and nightlife are all available in Hawaii. Steps away from mainland US, these islands seem worlds apart from their neighbors, and yet also have the comforts or home.
Travelers tip: Visit Hawaii any time of the year, but if you’re looking for the warmest, driest conditions aim for a time between April and November.
Kas, pronounced ‘cash’, is a small fishing, diving, yachting and tourist town in southwestern Turkey. The town itself has a mellow atmosphere, making it a welcoming and peaceful spot for a vacation. The water sports and adventures are world class here, with shipwrecks to explore on diving expeditions and kayaking tours for the wanderer.
The town has lovely restaurants and bars, adorable streets lined with Bougainvillea flowers and a main square where locals and tourists can gather to make new friends and carry the afternoon in to the evening. Visit the historic Amphitheatre just outside the town and watch a concert during the summer months.
Head to Kaputas Beach just 18km from Kas, which is tucked away in a mountain cove where the fresh mountain water meets the sea. Shop at the local markets in the morning and watch the sunset from the top of the local mountain.
Traveler Tip: Head to Greece for the day! The Greek Island of Meis is only a 20- minute boat ride away from Kas and offers great swimming, dining and relaxation. Make sure you book your trip the day before as it fills up quickly. And pack your passport just in case.
Barcelona is easy to fall in love with. Go for the gastronomy, but stay for the romance. Barcelona is one of Europe’s top destinations. It is the perfect size to visit for a long weekend. There’s so much to do and see. The rambling streets, bustling plazas and stunning views make it a perfect setting if you’re in the mood for love. Whether taking somebody on a fist date to remember or on a silver wedding anniversary, Barcelona is alive with romance and energy that is unrivaled in other parts of the world.
In Barcelona, there are bakeries strung along labyrinthine streets and centuries-old candlelit restaurants on every corner. You can parasail 150 meters above the ocean, go wine tasting at some of Spain’s most acclaimed wineries, book a Catamaran cruise for two or book a romantic dinner on a boat while it cruises around the harbor. Barcelona is a Mediterranean playground with endless sights to see and activities to enjoy.
Travelers Tip: Barcelona is at its best between April and June, and between September to October. The days are mild and the nights are cool. In the summer months, the city is exploding with tourists and locals. The energy is electric, but the prices and availability of hotels will be affected.