With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we begin to ponder romantic things we can do for our loved ones. Some go the traditional route with chocolates and flowers or dinner and a movie, but don’t forget that sharing a new experience or going someplace new can also recharge a relationship. Think outside the box and do something truly special that will be remembered for years to come.
A great way to think outside the Valentine’s Day box is to surprise your loved one with a vacation. There are plenty of places to go year round that exude romance, so share the love any time of the year, not solely on February 14th!
For some inspiration, I’ve asked 17 travel bloggers to share their most romantic destinations, and as always, they did not disappoint!
The Turks and Caicos islands – Hackerette
The Turks and Caicos islands are at the top of the list when it comes to the most romantic destinations in the world. Where else can you join your lover for an idyllic horseback ride right into the crystal blue sea? Spending the day near the ocean with the ‘Provo Ponies’ is a bucket list item you don’t want to miss! The main island of Providenciales has a laid back vibe with beaches to die for. Grace Bay has been rated the number one beach in the world, more than once, for a reason. The pure white sand and turquoise waters will invite you to frolick like teenagers. Sneak away together with a picnic lunch to the secret beach of Taylor Bay. This beach is difficult to find, but once you do, you’ll see what all the fuss is about. This little hideaway is off the beaten path and is one of the last places in the world you can potentially be completely secluded in your own private paradise. With all of the delicious food and local hospitality, you can’t help but smile. You can dance the night away at Club Med or simply bask in the sun. Insider tip: Book the Provo Ponies at least a month in advance to ensure you check this one off your Bucket List! 🙂
Ronda, Spain – Andalucia Explorer
Ronda one of the famous towns just a long and winding road inland from the Costa del Sol and Malaga in the south of Spain and what absolute opposites they are. For miles of sandy beaches, ‘Full English Breakfast’ signs and lively, noisy night-life the Costa is your spot, but for a bit of privacy and a romantic spot then head to the lovely town of Ronda. Walk over the ancient bridge connecting two parts of the town and step onto the famous and well-photographed balcony. Look out over the vast views and down to the valley below, breath in the fresh mountain air – a spot to propose.
This was the land of muleteers and bandits wandering the wild terrain and once a year in May a Royal Fair also known as the Romantic Fair sees the locals dress in costumes from the romantic times. Swash-buckling bandits and bonneted and gowned ladies parade the streets, adorned mules and flower-bedecked buildings completely transform the town for those few days. What better time to go and be romanced by traditions from by-gone days.
I’ve been many times to this lovely white village for it’s charm, views, gastronomy – it’s a breath of fresh air.
Culebra Island, Puerto Rico – Indecisive Traveler
I’m far from a hopeless romantic, but there are moments and places that can soften me. For my boyfriend and I’s 5th year anniversary, we decided to take a day trip to Culebra Island and sip champagne on Flamenco Beach. We already live 10 minutes from some pretty gorgeous beaches, but Flamenco Beach is one of the Top 10 Most Beautiful Beaches in the world, so we thought it might be a romantic spot for an anniversary. It did not disappoint. Everything seemed impossibly pristine. Lush green mountains butted up right against the incredibly blue water. There were even some colorful abandoned WWII tanks rusting on the beach. That may not sound romantic or beautiful, but for me, it was the perfect backdrop for a 5th year anniversary with someone who has been through good times and bad with me. I couldn’t help but get cheesy and insist we take photos by the tank while humming “Love is a Battlefield.”
Hawaii Island, Hawaii – Travel Photo Discovery
Going to Hawaii for a romantic getaway is ideal since the islands are a fantastic place to enjoy with your significant other. The Big Island is just that big in terms of places to see, attractions to visit and adventure filled activities. It’s up to you if you want to have an action filled calendar of activities or just spend the days at the beach with a lovely sunset view at a magnificent restaurant facing the ocean. Living on the Big Island, there’s always a lot of choices, events and activities to keep you busy, but the best part is spending it in paradise with a loved one and doing things you enjoy together while exploring the best of the Big Island of Hawaii. For travel inspiration, check out some of my favorite Big Island adventures here for more images and places to visit around the island.
Key West,United States – The Florida Living Magazine
Key West means many different things to different people. To some it’s a great place to fish or to drink your sorrows away. To my husband and I, Key West offers a romantic and tropical destination that doesn’t involve taking out our passports. After living in the lower Keys for two years, we’ve come across various romantic spots, some of which you may never even think of. Sure, there’s the famed Mallory Square which you can visit any night of the week for great dining, fun acts and a sunset worth a thousand words, but that’s not all that makes the island a paradise for the romantically inclined.
During the day you can rent a boat from the Key West Harbor and Yacht Club located on Stock Island and take her out for a spin before anchoring at one of the many patch reefs located only a few miles off shore. Not only will you be able to snorkel and scuba dive among hundreds of tropical fish and other marine life, but you’ll also be able to sit back with a cold drink in hand and simply enjoy each others company. You may just find yourself stealing a glance at your loved one and wondering how life could get any better.
Negril, Jamaica – McCool Travel
The Caves in Negril, Jamaica is an ideal romantic getaway destination. From the moment you step off the plane at the airport, someone is on-hand to cater to your needs, including leaving you alone. The resort has 12 cottages built atop the secluded caves. While on property you can choose to dine or drink with other couples, alone in several nooks, or in your room. Launch kayaks or snorkel in the quiet cove, find a comfortable hammock or lunge spot, or have some adventure and jump off the cliffs (varying heights). For the ultimate romantic experience, arrange to have dinner in the private cave.
Bali, Indonesia – Always Summer
Always Summer has traveled in almost 55 countries looking for authentic experiences, great panoramas and lovely getaways. For us, the most romantic destination worldwide is Bali, Indonesia. The moment we stepped on the island, we knew that we would love it and that is something special about it. We felt that, as you step in, any stress flies away and a feeling of peace and of good vibes surrounds you.
On the Island of Gods all you have to do is relax and let yourself be pampered. To this feeling contributes the spectacular views of the serene green rice fields, the diversity of great spas and yoga options, the fantastic healthy food, the high quality of the accomodation focused on making you the most romantic experience ever.
Bali is the best destination to regain your love mojo or the celebrate a memorable honeymoon. The most romantic evening we had was at the world famous Rock Bar, at Ayana Resort & Spa. The bar is climbed on the cliffs of Jimbaran coastline and of the crashing waves of the Indian Ocean.The red sunset is unique in the world. Along with the great looking drinks the place can get addictive 😉
Provence, France – The Vlog Expedition
Imagine yourself sitting on the shady terrace of a typical Provencal mansion, sipping a fresh glass of rosé wine while listening to the sweet sound of cicadas in the pine trees. Provence to me is the most beautiful and romantic place in France, but that maybe has to do with the fact that it is my hometown region.
I took my partner there last summer to see the lavender fields in bloom. We visited the area around Grignan, in the Provençale Drôme, a town tucked by the Rhône river, the Côtes du Rhône vineyards and the regional park of the Baronnies Provençales.
I remember sitting on the sun loungers under the cherry tree gazing at this stunning scenery we got from that lavender farm we visited. There is something magical about the purple landscape stretching for miles only to meet the Ventoux Mountain in the background.
This is not where most tourists go to see the lavender fields and that’s why it makes it so special. Remote and away from the crowd, great wine, delicious food, amazing sceneries, beautiful medieval mansions, sunny all year round, if this is not the best destination for a romantic getaway, I don’t know what is.
Fairy Glen, Scotland – Dutch Dutch Goose
Getting caught in the rain, which you almost certainly will, only adds to the romance. A few sheep will wander by, but otherwise, despite the areas popularity, the view is entirely yours. In these moments, it will be your Fairy Glen.
I was lucky enough to share this experience with my husband and small children. My big-little, age 4, led our expedition. He found the perfect spot for us. We could see a raging waterfall in the distance. My husband and I perched on the rock wall, while the boys searched for evidence of fairies. They were quieter then usually as they found stones and sticks to build fairy houses.
When the time came to hike back to the car we were drenched from persistent light rain, but our hears were full. We still talk about our Fairy Glenn and the time we spent there.
Alberobello, Italy – LooknWalk
For our fourth wedding anniversary we planned a week in Italy, setting our base in Bari. And when you say Bari, the first thing that comes to mind is: Alberobello.
On a rather cloudy day at the end of May (n.a. 2016), we made it to the bus after getting our tickets a day before. In good old Italian style, nothing is open on a Sunday. A rather long (1 hour+) and bumpy bus ride later, we arrived in Alberobello. And had no idea where to head to to find the trullis.
The weird looking houses are spread all over the area but Alberobello is where most of them are still standing and are still used. One area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – the one we were looking for – and another comprises trullis which are still used as homes.
GPS in hand, we found the route and after a short walk to came to the entrance to the site. I fell in love right then and there. No previous plans made, we just started walking among the trullis, eyeing the less crowded streets. That’s the trick to be able to enjoy the houses, the small streets, and take lovely photos together.
Ljubljana, Slovenia – My Adventures Across the World
When most people think about a romantic destination, the first places that come to their minds is either Paris or Venice. I may not be the most romantic woman in the world, yet I found Ljubljana to be an incredibly romantic city, and in a more subtle way compared to the most well known romantic destinations. It is such a friendly place, with a relaxed vibe, where it is pleasant to walk around – along the river, in one of the many beautiful parks, to the castle. The entire city centre is closed to traffic, so no car will ever stop pedestrians from holding hands. If the weather is nice, it’s great to sit in one of the many cafés along the river and just watch life passing by. If it isn’t, there are so many more cute and cozy places to go have a cup of hot chocolate, or a glass of wine. And the sunset view from the skyscraper is simply stunning. I could definitely picture myself there, admiring the view, with someone special next to me.
Bora Bora, French Polynesia – Free Two Roam
The most romantic destination we’ve been to is Bora Bora. It was always my dream honeymoon destination, so when we married eight years ago I wouldn’t go anywhere else.
Bora Bora is a small island that is part of the Society Islands in French Polynesia. Its lagoon is arguably the most beautiful one in the world, and landing there feels like you’ve reached paradise. Home to crystal clear waters, white coral sand, and iconic overwater bungalows, once you set foot on Bora Bora you will never want to leave!
As a couple, Bora Bora offers a variety of activities that you will remember for a lifetime, such as snorkelling with sharks and rays, or a private safari around the island. If you prefer to relax you can take a couple’s massage at your resort’s spa.
You can do as much or as little as you want. One of our favourite things to do was just sit on our deck looking out over the lagoon towards the imposing Mount Otemanu which dominates the main island. For something a little more strenuous we’d climb down from our bungalow into the lagoon for a swim as if we were entering a giant swimming pool! It was truly breathtaking!
Do you love wining and dining? Being a French colony Bora Bora resorts serve delicious French and Polynesian food accompanied with gorgeous French wine for you to enjoy every night.
Whether or not you’re there on honeymoon visiting Bora Bora is an experience that everyone should have at least once! We ourselves dream about returning there one day.
Rome, Italy – Postcards Illustrated
Why Rome is my No1 destination for romance.
There is no end of famously romantic spots to enjoy in Rome and every one of them is beyond compare in awe-inspiring uniqueness. An unforgettable backdrop to a romantic getaway it is a capital city like no other. Early bird lovers? Make a date to watch dawn break across ancient Rome, hours before the crowds and commuters. The arched windows of the colosseum burst with an orange glow as the sun rises behind. The Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps or the view from the top of St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City – if you’re planning a trip to Rome no doubt they’re all on your list.
For me though, it is not Rome’s monuments that make it the destination of choice for heartwarming moments with the one you love. Spend any time walking down the inviting cobbled streets that knit Rome together and you will stumble across a charming and authentic square; a piazza boxed in by imposing white stone ancient buildings invariably boasting a small monument fountain to run your fingers under. Narrow streets housing pizzerias and gelato shop fronts, not much wider than the awnings enveloping local al fresco diners; with just enough cracks in the render to add charm to the flowers and ivy bursting from every first floor window. Narrow and illuminated by warm light and laughter there is always a quiet corner or view that feels exclusively Italian and exclusively yours.
Maldives – Mum on the Move
The Maldives is the undisputed heavyweight champion when it comes to tropical island getaways. With over 1,000 coral islands scattered in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives are a honeymooner’s favorite for good reason. Epitomizing the ethos of barefoot luxury, here you can dine with your toes in the sand as you gaze over vast expanses of snowy white sand and azure waters, indulge in a couples massage or set off into the sunset on a traditional dhoni (wooden sail boat).
Divers will also be in heaven with its vibrant marine life – the stunning coral reefs are home to manta rays, eagle rays, tuna and a variety of sharks, including whale sharks. You don’t even need to get wet to admire the marine life in the Maldives, with many resorts now boasting underwater restaurants and spas. And where else can you dine on stilts over a family of nurse sharks, or watch black tip sharks swimming by as you eat your breakfast?
Maui, Hawaii – Headed Anywhere
Maui: Tropical Romance & Adventure
No matter your travel style, Maui has plenty on tap for couples seeking a romantic vacation. For us, Maui is one of the most romantic places we’ve travelled to because it offers so many opportunities for us to get out in nature and away from the crowds.
Stargazing is one of the most romantic things I think couples can do. It requires you to snuggle to stay warm and inspires deep conversation while gazing into the vast universe. There are few places better to do this than at the summit of Haleakala. The lack of light pollution, small crowds and chilly temperatures are a recipe for romance. Driving the Road to Hana is an experience that is excellent for bonding as a couple. Explore secluded waterfalls and exotic black sand beaches as you make your way along to curvy coastline road to the sleepy town of Hana. A Luau is a fun way to experience more of the Polynesian culture. Feast at Lele amps up the romance by offering private tables with the ocean and the sunset as a backdrop. For more information on Hawaii, read our Intro Guide to Hawaii.
Thailand – Getting Stamped
My favorite romantic destination in the world is the Thailand islands! I actually took a Thailand honeymoon and feel in love with the country and let’s get real the turquoise waters and sandy beaches are pretty epic. There is no other place I’d want to be than on the beach hearing the waves crashing outside my beach bungalow and just steps from the ocean. One of my favorite things to do is go on an Thailand island hopping adventure, for only $45 a day you can rent a private long tail boat to bring you around all day to the nearby islands. Nothing says romantic more than a private islands! I love watching the epic daily FREE show, the sunset, while drinking $3 mojitos on the beach. Every year my husband and I go away on our anniversary and it’s always to a beach, but the islands in Thailand are our favorite spot in the world.
Greek Islands, Greece – Luggage & Love
The Greek Islands are on everyone’s bucket list, they are a top destination, but with so many islands it is hard to choose which to visit. Santorini is the most well-known Greek Island and is beautiful to visit. With the Blue and white buildings, it is an island you can walk around and photograph anything because it just stunning. We loved our visit to Santorini and hope to go back again. Milos is a lesser-known island also part of the Cyclades and about 152 kilometers from Santorini. Milos is the island to visit if you want to go to exotic beaches like Sarakiniko and Kleftiko. Take a boat trip while on Milos so you are able to visit the hard to reach beaches. We spent the whole day on a sail boat and it was the highlight of our trip while in Greece and we saw many things during our trip. Crete is Greece’s largest island and has so much to offer. We stayed in the heart of Chania near the venetian harbor and it was a great area to explore. There is so much to see and do on Crete you may never have enough time. One of our favorite spots to visit was Seitan Limania, it is a secluded beach that not many know about. It is a tranquil paradise amongst the steep cliffs around. It must visit when adventuring around the island of Crete. So start planning your trip to the Greek Islands there is so much to see and you don’t want to miss anything!
Cape Town, South Africa – Mademoiselle Nomad
It is easy to fall in love with Cape Town. What’s not to love? From the mesmerizing sunsets to the landscape that leave you in awe, this city is a gem to be explored. For a romantic getaway, this city is more than perfect.
Whether you climb Table Mountain on a full moon hike or lounge on the beach at Clifton, Cape Town has much to offer. If it’s a tranquil holiday you’re after, start the day at a food market to sample the local cuisine and pack a few of your favorite bites on a picnic at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. During the summer months, there are concerts from world-class artists there.
You can also head to the Cape Winelands, less than an hour from the city center and indulge in exquisite wines. Wine estates are the epitome of romantic settings. It is little wonder therefore that they are often used as wedding venues.
Cape Town has such charm not only in the diversity of its landscape but also that of its people. A great mix of cultures can be found in Cape Town’s cosmopolitan city, from local South Africans to expats and visitors.