This post isn’t for lovers of cliques. You wont see Paris listed here. But you will find beautiful coastal towns, historical buildings, religious sites, extraordinary nature and bright colored kitsch – from all over the world. We asked some of our favorite travel blogging couples to reveal their ideal romantic travel destination and threw in a few of our own at the bottom (to make sure we covered all the major continents!)
So throw away those store bought chocolates, toss the already wilting flowers and get some romantic travel inspiration for the best Valentines day yet.
Prague, Czech Republic
One city that often gets overlooked as a romantic winter destination is Prague in the Czech Republic. Though it gets about a gazillion tourists in the summer months, winters are a great time to visit because the city is just as beautiful and about 2/3 less crowded! With classical operas, symphonies and museums, the city makes for a great romantic holiday. Plus the majestic scenic views along the Vltava river and the panoramic views from the Prague castle can’t be beat!
Submission by Adam Groffman (@travelsofadam)
Cinque Terre, Italy
Chateau de Fountainebleau, France
There are so many lovely places to travel as a couple. One of our all-time favorite is picnicking in the back yard of the Chateau de Fountianebleau. The Forest of Fontainebleau is one of those off the beaten path places that remains perfect in every way. Located an hour from Paris, this former home to Napoleon is well worth the visit. By all means, take a stroll through the opulent hallways and throne rooms of the huge castle like structure…but save time for dessert. The grounds of the chateau are simply breath taking. Huge water features, a forest, statues and lovely gazebos welcome you. The best part? No one visits this place. As we did, you may be the only ones there.
The small city of Maastricht, Netherlands totally took us by surprise and swept us off our feet. It is a completely underrated travel destination (so few other tourists to contend with), has a fantastic outdoor cafe culture on cobbled streets, and beautiful plazas to wile away afternoons in. We completely fell for it and even a little deeper in love with each other!
San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua
This little beach town in the south of Nicaragua is the perfect place to spend a romantic Valentine’s Day. You can get there easily from the airport in Managua, and can actually get to San Juan Del Sur from most places in the U.S. in half a day! While the beach towns in neighboring Costa Rica are usually overrun by tourists in February, San Juan del Sur is still off-the-beaten path and has less tourists, making it a more intimate destination.
There are a number of restaurants lined up along the beach, all with terrific vistas over the Pacific, especially at sunset. You can get cheap, but excellent lobster everywhere, inexpensive wine and spend your day with a long walk along the beach followed by an exquisite sunset dinner.
While you’re there, you can also take some surfing lessons with your partner, go out on a snorkeling or diving trip or just enjoy some beach time away from the winter weather of North America.
World class restaurants, crazy nightlife, scenic nature and whale watching – Vancouver has got it going on. And it’s easy to get to, with Vancouver being one of the major North American airports. For couples looking for a little adventure why not take advantage of some of the great whale watching tours available. You don’t even have to go far, with most tours offering hotel pickup.
If you don’t feel like going on the open seas, then plan a romantic getaway to Stanley Park. If you want to up the romantic cheesy factor why not rent a tandem bike and cycle the seawall, before enjoying a picnic lunch in the rose garden. You can even ditch the bike and take horse drawn tour instead.
Hoi An, Vietnam
Some people like warm, tropical beaches, while others prefer a glamorous setting like Paris. For us, Hoi An had all the charm you could possibly need for a romantic getaway. Located smack dab in the middle of Vietnam, Hoi An is a town that makes you fall in love the minute you arrive. With its colourful silk lanterns dangling from the store fronts, beautiful architecture which transports you back to the Old World, and exquisite dining options, this was a place where we extended our stay and lingered for days. Hoi An is a pleasant town to wander on foot or to explore with a bicycle, and there are also lots of day trip options available to nearby beaches and organic farms. Plus, since we’re talking about romance, this city is world renowned for its tailors, which means you can get a nice dress or suit made for a special occasion!
Whether your interests are shopping, dining, exploring Cantonese culture, or simply strolling through a bustling modern metropolis, Hong Kong has a little something for everyone. Famous for its colorful, crowded skyline, take the Nong Ping Cable Car to the top of Lantau island for unparalleled views of the city and its surrounds during the day. For a glimpse into the past, head to the Yuen Po bird garden and the neighboring flower market in Mong Kok where the locals carry on just as they have for centuries. If the hustle and bustle gets too much, retreat to the striking and serene Chi Lin Nunnery, whose beautifully manicured gardens are the perfect spot to grab a private moment or two.
Last but not least, make sure you indulge in some of the city’s incredible restaurants: Hong Kong is home to over 50 Michelin ranked restaurants, meaning no matter where you choose to dine, it won’t be hard to find a a meal that will make you swoon. Enjoy the cheapest Michelin starred meal found anywhere in the world at Tim Ho Wan, a local favorite renowned for its innovative (and delicious!) dim sum… after all, nothing says romance like eating your weight in dumplings! Cap off your evening with a sail around Victoria Harbour in a traditional junk boat and watch that famous skyline light up and come to life; it’s a magical experience and one not to be missed. For more advice on making the most of your time (and money), check out this post that tells you everything you need to know about Hong Kong.
Paris may be for lovers but if you and your valentine come alive in big cities, then head to Hong Kong and let it capture your heart.
I was going to write something about amazing wineries and landscapes in New Zealand but then I realized that no one has submitted any beach locations. When it comes to beaches, Samoa can not be beat. Rent a little beach side fale and listen to the tide lap up underneath your hut. Samoa is still fairly off the beaten track so you won’t have to contend with many other couples looking to share the beach with you – for now.
Samoa is made up of two islands. When it comes to private white sand beaches and local hospitality you need to head to the larger island of Savai’i.
Sahara Desert, Morocco
None of my contributors submitted anything about Africa. And I have only been to one African country – Morocco – so that is what you are going to get.
I found Morocco a little hectic and something overwhelming. I only visited the city of Fez, and although it was one of the most interesting places I have been, it was also a little too stressful to be called romantic.
Instead I want to recommend getting out to the Sahara and going on a camel riding trek. As you head out into the middle of nowhere you will feel like the only two people left in the world, and during the cool nights in the berber tent you will get to snuggle together to stay warm. But the most romantic part about a camel trek into the Sahara Desert is climbing a sand dune to look at the stars with your sweet heart. The sky is so black that the stars look close enough to touch.