With the annual celebration of love and commercialism we call Valentine’s Day swiftly approaching, travel-loving lovers will be looking for a romantic destination to whisk away their special someone. But kissing under the Eiffel Tower, taking a gondola ride through Venice or (God forbid) heading to Las Vegas are such overdone cliches. I put out a query for travellers to reveal their most romantic destinations, so why not try some of these lesser-known gems?
Loveland, Colorado – recommended by Nicole Yost
Love may be the grandest of feelings, but there doesn’t mean there isn’t room for some good-natured small town kitsch. Loveland, Colorado (named for William A.H. Loveland) is known as America’s Sweetheart City and nestled amidst the majestic Southern Rockies. Boasting a thriving art community, including the largest outdoor sculpture show in America and such prestigious accolades as “Best Places for a Long Life” (Money Magazine 2008) and “Best Place to Retire on the Water” (US News 2009), this is the archetypal slow-paced, small American town that we all know from TV.
As you might expect, the town decorates the town for Valentine’s Day, with many lovebirds strolling along the sculptures or around Lake Loveland for a romantic one-on-one date.
Probably not for the thrill-seeking traveller, but what’s so wrong with quaint?
New Delhi – recommended by Tanya Mlynarczyk
By sheer serendipity Valentine’s Day lands bang in the middle of the Indian wedding season, and the whole country becomes more colourful and festive, with garlands of flowers draped across the wedding locations, wedding processions in the streets and music and dancing taking place throughout the night.
What makes this such an romantic destination for travellers is that, unlike western weddings which are considered private affairs, Indians will gladly welcome them to take part in the celebrations.
If you haven’t already travelled across India (why not!?) then you could definitely do worse than escaping the miserable European and North American winter and sharing in the romance of the Indian wedding season.
Canggu, Bali- recommended by Ren Jean &Marguarite Clark
There were a lot of locations vying for most romantic beach destination, but Canggu in Bali was twice recommended for its white sand beaches and beautiful sunsets. Not a bunch to miss a trick, the Balinese tourist industry has picked up on the area’s romantic appeal and offers a range of Valentine’s Day activities. Most notable of all being a beach picnic in a four-poster bed.
Porto, Portugal – recommended by Kristin Greenwood
Veteran travel blogger Kristin Greenwood was kind enough to share her and her husband’s experiences of Porto:
“As we drove into the city during sunset, I right away knew why he loved this city so much. It felt as if your mind was an empty canvas. A canvas that was filled with one magical image after another the more you saw of it.View Torre dos Clérigos. In the middle of the painting you could see the tower, called Torre dos Clérigos. It is part of the Clérigos Church. When you stand at the top of the tower you can hold your loved one in your arms and enjoy many colorful views over the entire area”.
If you’re looking for a city break that has the beautiful architecture and romance of Paris but has a gentler, less touristy feel to it, Porto may be the romantic break your looking for.
Cannes – recommended by Michael Leahy
Less of a recommendation more of a romantic anecdote, Michael Leahy let us in on a story that shows that love has no age limit:
“I was at the bar of the Carlton with some people in late January during the Midem festival. One of them happened to be an opera singer, who had decided to go rock. After a few drinks she was coaxed into singing an aria for us, much to the amusement of a quiet, elderly couple sitting nearby. I asked them where they were from. They paused and looked at each other. It turns out they were from different towns and had been meeting in Cannes every year for the past 20 years to get some spring sun and continue an affair.
“They looked so happy together. Romance does not have a sell-by date apparently. And the appeal of the Croisette does not diminish with age.”
I’m by no means claiming this is a definitive list, and if any readers have their own suggestions for romantic getaways then please drop them off in the comments below. I hope you all have a happy Valentine’s Day!
Jamie Waddell is a travel addict and writer who returns to the UK periodically to earn enough to leave again. He blogs at Which Offshore, a not-for-profit site that provides financial and lifestyle information for those looking to move abroad permanently.