Valentine’s Day is a couple of weeks away. Have you planned something special for that special someone in your life? Most people enjoy going out for dinner, some get a special gift or enjoy a relaxing day at the spa, and others enjoy a romantic getaway. Some people will plan a ski vacation, some will go to a festival, and others will visit a romantic city. If you are unsure of where to go, perhaps one of these destinations will be the perfect place for your romantic getaways.
There is no other city like Venice, Italy – I mean come on, how many other floating cities are there in the world? Walking through the narrow “calli” of Venice feels like walking through a labyrinth of whimsical yet mysterious episodes. You can just envision what it must have been like living in the city during Carnival- anticipating that masked Casanova at every turn and corner.
A city bursting with art and music, you just can’t help but become completely mesmerized by the colors and tunes that unfold behind each little cathedral, bridge, and square. Venice is the perfect city for couples… it’s a city that just brings you back to the days of courtship. At night it’s even more magical. Wander the canal-front streets hand in hand and listen in silence as a gondolier casually accompanies you on your stroll all the while lyrically singing in the soft background. Have a candle-lit dinner waterfront and watch those amazing sunsets fall behind the Venetian lagoon. Go to the opera even if you’re not an opera fan and just fancy up in your red velvet balcony.
The best part is that Carnival in Venice falls every year right around Valentine’s Day! It makes for the perfect couple’s getaway. Just seeing the costumes and feathers is a reason to go. And guess what?! There are many balls and galas that you can easily take part in during this month. I mean who doesn’t want to be catapulted back in the Baroque era in the days of white gloves, tiaras, and playful romantic pursuits??
Hvar, Croatia must be on your list of romantic getaways. Hvar is a little island next halfway between Dubrovnik and Split. Located in the far East of the Mediterranean sea, this small island has charmed both people looking forward to relaxing and partying. With its white cobblestone streets, the tiny but beautiful harbor, and some of the most breathtaking sunsets in Europe, this island is a unique and alternative romantic destination for Valentine’s Day.
This fantastic getaway is the perfect setting to enjoy a typical Croatian dinner under the stars sitting by a garden next to the old city walls. Or you can also walk along the coast and sip a glass of local wine while watching the sun disappear behind the waves. If that is not enough, Hvar is located in front of a smaller series of islands (the Pakleni Islands). It is possible to rent a small boat and visit these islands for the day. Take some food along and enjoy a picnic while witnessing one of the most beautiful and romantic locations in Europe. And then, if you feel like dancing, why not head out to some of the clubs spread along the coastline? Independently of your style, Hvar will have something to make your Valentine’s Day unforgettable.
Bruges, Belgium – A City Infused By Romance
Without a doubt, Bruges radiates a romantic fairy-tale feel. The city is a lovers’ gem. It will wow you with its romantic medley of quaint cobblestone streets, canals, rivaling those of Venice, beautiful medieval buildings, fairy-tale turrets, and delectable chocolate! One can hardly imagine a more amorous place for a couple in love!
From scrumptious waffles, chocolate galore, yummy french fries with mayo, an incredible selection of Belgium beer, you and your partner will indulge your senses. But there is so much more than the city has to offer to a couple in love. You can share a carriage ride, a boat cruise, or a bike tour experience with your partner. You can stroll along the canals and the colorful streets, arm in arm, admiring the marvelous art galleries, quaint little markets and squares, delicate and sophisticated lace shops, and the remarkable architecture all around. This adorable city will give you unforgettable memories to share.
Bruges is small enough that you can walk everywhere on foot. Everything you need to do is right next to the city center. Within a walking distance, you can visit beautiful parks, city gates, towers, mills, churches and taste some of the typical local foods from the bustling cafes in the city center. In the evening go for a romantic stroll along the canals and enjoy a different more tranquil and idyllic view of the city with all the buildings lit up. Finally, stop by a local pub for some great music and beer.
Franschhoek, South Africa
Written by Campbell & Alya Louw from Stingy Nomads. Follow Stingy Nomads on YouTube.
Franschhoek, a small town 30km from Cape Town, is considered to be the gourmet capital of South Africa. Some of the best wine estates and the finest restaurants in the country can be found in the Franschhoek Valley. Franschhoek is a perfect place to come for a romantic weekend to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the area, taste great wines, and try delicious food. There are so many spectacular places in Franschhoek that it’s difficult to decide which wine farm to visit, where to eat, and to stay. There are about 40 wine farms in the Franschhoek Valley, many of them do wine tasting and have restaurants. Most of the wine farms can be accessed by the wine tram from the town no need to worry about drinking and driving it makes wine tasting more relaxing and enjoyable.
There are many things to do in Franschhoek besides wine tasting and dining; hiking, mountain biking, visiting a spa salon, chocolate tasting these are just some of them. Any couple will be able to find suitable activities in Franschhoek to make their Valentine’s Day special.
The best option for a romantic getaway for Valentine’s Day is to stay at one of the wine estates in a bungalow hidden between the vineyards with stunning views over the Valley. A romantic dinner at one of the venues is a perfect way to finish the day, a delicious four-course meal with wine pairing in a beautiful garden under the stars.
By Corina from Another Milestone. Follow Another Milestone on Facebook here.
When you want to choose a romantic destination to celebrate Valentine’s day with your better half, probably Romania is not the first country that comes into your mind. But what if I tell you that there is a city in Romania that seems perfect scenery for a romantic escape? Its name is Sibiu. Located right in the middle of the country, Sibiu can be visited on a weekend trip from Bucharest. It is a medieval town with cobblestone alleys, old colorful houses, and cozy cafes; perfect for an intimate date. It has modern restaurants with tasty Romanian and International dishes for your romantic dinner. Additionally, it has many interesting places to explore for the two of you.
One of the most romantic places in Sibiu is the Stairs passage. It is part of the old fortification system and during sunset, the orange light gives it an amazing glow. Walk through this passage, cross the Huet square and you will reach another famous place among lovers. Liars’ Bridge, one of the best-known landmarks in Sibiu, got its name from the lovers that come here to swear eternal love. Since many of these vows are not kept, the bridge is called the Liars’ Bridge.
Read about Sibiu’s other interesting attractions here, but you must explore them to discover them.
St Augustine, Florida
Over here at a Little Library, I’m all about the books. In a perfect world, my night would be spent at home with family, cuddling next to a fireplace with a good book and probably some wine.
Valentine’s Day is a different story though. My husband and I have been married for nine years and we’ve never been big on celebrating Valentine’s Day….until we had a baby. Once you have a child your life is no longer your own (in the best way possible!), and we now relish the opportunity to have a night or weekend to ourselves. Valentine’s Day is a perfect excuse to get away and relax, just the two of us, while a baby girl gets to spend a fun weekend with her grandparents.
One of my all-time favorite romantic weekend getaways is Saint Augustine, Florida, one of the oldest cities in the United States. It emanates a romantic charm with its old buildings, history, and beautiful city streets lining Matanzas Bay.
For romantic getaways, I recommend staying at one of the many downtown bed and breakfasts. Most B&B’s offer a romance package that includes a private couples massage in your room, a bottle of champagne, a carriage ride downtown, and much more. What is really so wonderful about Saint Augustine is that you can walk just about anywhere: once you park your car, you leave it for the weekend! One B&B we stayed at had complimentary bicycles to roam about the city, although a walk is just as pleasant. The B&B staff are so gracious and will provide a free map and point out the best places to visit and the best routes to get there.
During the day, the Saint Augustine Distillery offers a free tour and liquor tasting. Afterward, stop by the attached Ice Bar for some handcrafted throwback-style cocktails. Check out the Whetstone Chocolate factory tour as well. You can’t go wrong with free chocolate on Valentine’s Day! Tours are offered daily.
St. George Street is the main street of Saint Augustine and is the center of the city’s historic district. It’s closed to cars and filled with shops and restaurants. At night, lights strung above the street brighten and the atmosphere turns festive with the sound of live music spilling out of bars. It’s a great place to take a stroll with your partner and enjoy the sites.
For a nice dinner, I would recommend the Raintree. The small garden with fairy lights on the patio is cozy and romantic, and the food is amazing! For something a little fancier (think white tablecloths) try Collage restaurant. We discovered this restaurant on a ghost tour/pub crawl last time we were in town. It’s also the top-rated restaurant in town according to Trip Advisor!
I love visiting Saint Augustine and hope you have a chance to visit soon on your next romantic getaway.
Written by Sally Pederson from Loving Life In Spain.
Barcelona, Spain is a city that has it all. From inexpensive tapas to Michelin Star restaurants. From the Mediterranean Sea to Tibidabo Amusement Park – towering 1,680 ft. (512 meters) above the city. From private museums to public displays of art, including some of the first works of Antoni Gaudi. With the architecture, history, countless monuments, and fountains, you can spend months here and not see everything.
While in Barcelona, you will want to walk through the old city. The history and architecture through the twisting and winding cobblestone streets are impressive. The Gothic and El Born areas are the best.
Everyone who comes to Barcelona will stroll down the famous La Ramble. It is a 1.2 km walking street flanked with a one-way road on each side and packed with shops and restaurants. Tip – don’t eat here. Most of the food is overpriced and not very good.
Take a walk along Passeig de Lluís Companys and view the stunning Arc de Triomf. It was built as the gateway to the 1888 World Exposition. Follow the promenade to the Parc de la Ciutadella. Here you will see the gorgeous monumental waterfall (built in 1887), 19th – century buildings, and you can go on a personal boat on the small lake. These are just a few of the hundreds of things you can do while on a romantic getaway in Barcelona.