Travel is a great way to some quality ‘couple’ time with your loved one. The difficult bit is deciding where to go. Most tour companies suggest beach resorts which can be expensive and they are not always everyone’s idea of a romantic holiday. To help you decide, here are five tried and tested Five romantic getaway ideas…
Despite being a tourist hot spot, Paris’ last village is still one of the most romantic and charming areas of the French capital. Follow in the footsteps of Amelie and wander past atmospheric winding cobbled streets, houses with shutter board windows and quaint 1930’s style cafes. Despite being a small area there’s still plenty to do here, grab a Croque-Monsieur, climb the steps to the Sacré-Cœur Basilica (Sacred Heart Church) and enjoy one of the most panoramic views in town. Montmartre has plenty of interesting places to see and you wouldn’t have to walk far to find an art gallery or typically Parisian chic vintage boutique. Montmartre’s bars and restaurants are mostly very good (if a little overpriced) and some offer more than a hint of nostalgia. For a more peaceful stay keep the time you spend in the seedier neighbouring Pigalle district to a minimum but make sure you visit the world-famous Moulin Rouge at least once.
The often underrated Scottish Highlands offers some of the most romantic scenery in the world. To make the most of your stay, hire a car and drive through beautiful wild rugged landscapes, ancient woodlands, historical castles and crystal-clear lochs. There will be also plenty of alone time, in the less touristy areas you’re unlikely to spot anyone else amid the surreal, lunar-esque countryside. In these areas the lakes and woods have an eerie stillness and the landscapes have been virtually unchanged for hundreds of years. If the wind and rain start beating you down don’t worry you can always warm up again by your cosy log cabin fire.
Big Sur, California
The Pacific Coast Highway which runs through the area known as Big Sur is well-deserving of its reputation of being one of the most unforgettable and exhilarating road routes in the world. It also makes an excellent choice for a romantic destination. If you can hire a convertible then even better. Drive your way along the clifftop road and make the most of the dramatic views of the blue-green pacific and waves crashing underneath. When night falls stop off at one of the perfectly located sites and camp under the stars. If you’re not an outdoorsy person then try one of the bohemian coastal towns instead and enjoy the welcoming hospitality that most of the Inns offer.
Lake Garda, Italy
More laid back than Rome and less crowded than Venice, Italy’s largest lake has seduced the likes of DH Lawrence, Ibsen and er.. George Clooney. Lake Garda is also one of the romantic destinations in Italy, if not Europe. Where can you go wrong with a beautiful mountain lake flanked by impossibly gorgeous villages? Each of the lake-side communities are very different and range from a historic town dominated by a medieval castle to a picturesque village brimming with flowers and pastel-colored houses. Hire a convertible car and drive along zig-zag roads and cave tunnels then choose an attractive harbour-side trattoria to eat alfresco, sip limoncello and watch the sunset. A perfect romantic getaway.
Amsterdam may not be an obvious choice but the Dutch capital makes a great destination for couples. It has an unexpected romantic quality which could be down to its relaxed culture and unbelievably friendly locals. It’s also a pretty and compact city which has plenty of attractive cobbled streets, canals and colouful gabled houses. If you’re not an open-minded type then stay away from the red light district and concentrate on the culturally rich and historical side of Amsterdam instead. Try the Tulip, Van Gogh or Anne Frank museums or one of its many great art galleries. A good tip for a ‘couples’ break is to stay away from the smaller run-down hotels and book into more contemporary or luxurious accommodation instead.