Through the lens: 20 destinations for the incurable romantic

February 14, 2014 at 12:47 AM

A gondola ride on the canals of Venice; a picnic in California’s Napa Valley; a stroll on the white sand beaches of the Seychelles – these are the romantic moments that make special memories for couples in love. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner here is a look through the lens at 20 romantic destinations for those incorrigible dreamers and incurable romantics.

La Digue

Seychelles

Postcard perfect La Digue (Photo: Didier Baertschiger)

Postcard perfect La Digue (Photo: Didier Baertschiger)

Whether you’re looking for a great honeymoon destination or just a romantic getaway, the islands of the Seychelles are a tropical paradise. The archipelago of 115 islands is located in the Indian Ocean, and although there is beauty everywhere you look, the island of La Digue is a firm favourite with couples in love. Postcard-perfect, white-sand beaches and warm turquoise waters surrounding La Digue are just some of the things that make this island a fabulous destination for the lovesick.

Venice

Italy

Take a romantic ride in a gondola on the canals of Venice (Photo: gnuckx)

Take a romantic ride in a gondola on the canals of Venice (Photo: gnuckx)

Even the masses of tourists can’t detract from the fascinating beauty of Venice. Take a romantic gondola ride along the canals, wander over bridges and through the narrow streets, or relax at a café. Whatever time of year you visit, you can’t help but be enchanted by the city.

Penang Island

Malaysia

There's romance in the air in Penang (Photo: epSos .de)

There’s romance in the air in Penang (Photo: epSos .de)

Penang Island is located on the west coast of Peninsula Malaysia and is a cultural melting pot of Malay, Indian, Chinese and European influences. Although the beaches may not be as beautiful as some of the other Malaysian islands’, there is something romantic in the atmosphere. Visit the picturesque beaches at Batu Ferringhi, or take the Penang Hill Railway to the summit for exquisite views of Georgetown.

Heidelberg

Germany

Heidelberg at sunset (Photo: Aaron Choi)

Heidelberg at sunset (Photo: Aaron Choi)

The city of Heidelberg, with its medieval castle overlooking the River Neckar, is the epitome of a German fairytale, with a distinct old-world charm. Surrounded by wooded slopes and vineyards, this beautiful town is the perfect place to enjoy some good wine and fabulous local dishes. Explore the market squares with their open-air cafés, take the scenic “Philosopher’s Walk”, and visit the fairytale Heidelberg Castle.

Bora Bora

French Polynesia

Beautiful Bora Bora (Photo: Rachel_thecat)

Beautiful Bora Bora (Photo: Rachel_thecat)

You can’t go wrong choosing to spend a romantic getaway in the islands of French Polynesia and Bora Bora is no exception. Located in the leeward group of the Society Islands, Bora Bora is famous for its luxury over-water bungalows. Spend your days swimming in the crystal-clear water, soaking up the sun and enjoying the idyllic ocean views.

Beppu

Japan

Hot springs and cherry blossoms in Beppu (Photo: variationblogr)

Hot springs and cherry blossoms in Beppu (Photo: variationblogr)

If your idea of a romantic break is soaking with your love in thermal springs, then Beppu is the place for you. Known for the numerous natural hot springs (onsen), the quaint town is a wonderful mix of modern and traditional, and the welcome is as warm as the water. The best time to visit is in spring when the cherry blossoms are out in all their glory.

Napa Valley

USA

Experience romance in Napa Valley (Photo: Aurimas Adomavicius)

Experience romance in the Napa Valley (Photo: Aurimas Adomavicius)

Although the USA is home to many romantic spots, one of my favourites is the Napa Valley in California. A tour of Napa Valley wineries is the perfect romantic getaway for wine connoisseurs. Enjoy a picnic and fine wine surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in California.

Bagan

Myanmar

Sunrise over Bagan (Photo: Dmitry Sumin)

Sunrise over Bagan (Photo: Dmitry Sumin)

There is something mysterious and magical about watching hot air balloons lifting against a backdrop of pagodas and temples at sunrise. If your idea of romance involves adventure off the beaten track, then head to Bagan in Myanmar.

Mauritius

Discover the island paradise of Mauritius (Photo: Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority)

Discover the island paradise of Mauritius (Photo: Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority)

The Indian Ocean island of Mauritius is another tropical paradise. Enjoy an unforgettable romantic break on palm-fringed beaches surrounded by lush forests. When you’re not swimming in the turquoise water or sun bathing on the beach, visit the bustling town of Port Louis, or enjoy some pampering at a hotel spa.

Santorini

Greece

The whitewashed houses of Oia cling to the hillside of Santorini (Photo: Pedro Szekely)

The whitewashed houses of Oia cling to the hillside of Santorini (Photo: Pedro Szekely)

Who can resist the charm of whitewashed houses that cling to the hillsides of Santorini? It’s not hard to understand why this beautiful Greek island is so popular with tourists. Take a tour of the island’s wineries, sail through the picturesque old port of Fira, or enjoy a couple’s massage overlooking beautiful Oia.

The Cotswolds

England

A Cotswold cottage is the perfect romantic hideaway (Photo: Jason Ballard)

A Cotswold cottage is the perfect romantic hideaway (Photo: Jason Ballard)

You don’t have to travel to another country to find a romantic hideaway. The quaint limestone cottages and rolling green hills of the Cotswolds make it an ideal romantic spot if you’re looking for a little peace and quiet and quality time. A Cotswold cottage is the perfect romantic hideaway.

Belize

Sunrise over wild Belize (Photo: anoldent)

Sunrise over wild Belize (Photo: anoldent)

Located in Central America Belize is as wild as it is beautiful. Take romantic strolls along white sandy beaches, enjoy a sunset paddle on the ocean, explore ancient Mayan ruins, go scuba diving in the Blue Hole, explore the jungle on the back of a horse, or take a zip line above the jungle canopy. Belize is the perfect place for a romantic adventure.

Paris

France

Paris is the city of love (Photo: Vassil Tzvetanov)

Paris is the city of love (Photo: Vassil Tzvetanov)

It may be clichéd, but Paris truly is a city for lovers. Whether you stroll along the Seine at sunset, share a romantic dinner at the Eiffel Tower, wander through Jardin du Luxembourg, or take in the masterpieces at the Louvre, Paris is where romantic memories are made.

Lake Tahoe

USA

Tranquil Lake Tahoe (Photo: vairoj)

Tranquil Lake Tahoe (Photo: vairoj)

If peace and tranquility appeal to you, then you’ll love the serenity of Lake Tahoe. Located in the Sierra Nevada, on the border of California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is the largest Alpine lake in North America. You can enjoy skiing in the winter or go swimming and sailing in the summer. It’s a year-round delight.

Italian Riviera

Italy

Romantic Vernazza on the Italian Riveira (Photo: runner310)

Romantic Vernazza on the Italian Riveira (Photo: runner310)

The charming old fishing ports, rugged cliffs and natural beauty of the Italian Riviera make it one of my favourite romantic spots in Europe. Whether you plan to spend your days hiking along the picturesque Cinque Terra, or just people-watch at a café in Portofino, it’s sure to be a memorable romantic break.

Buenos Aires

Argentina

Romantic Buenos Aires is home of the tango (Photo: .v1ctor Casale.)

Romantic Buenos Aires is home of the tango (Photo: .v1ctor Casale.)

The tango is the dance of lovers, so it makes sense that Buenos Aires, the home of the tango, is one of the most romantic cities in the world. You’ll get to enjoy historic architecture and tree-lined boulevards.  Watch an opera, go searching for treasures at the antique market in San Telmo and take a tango lesson for two.

Lake District National Park

England

Buttermere Lake in the Lake District National Park (Photo: Les Haines)

Buttermere Lake in the Lake District National Park (Photo: Les Haines)

Boasting some of England’s best scenery, the Lake District National Park is the perfect place for those looking to escape from it all. Enjoy magnificent views as you walk between picturesque villages in the park, also home to England’s highest mountain and deepest lake.

Hawaii

USA

A perfect Hawaiian sunset (Photo: Paul Bica)

A perfect Hawaiian sunset (Photo: Paul Bica)

Breathtaking natural beauty, idyllic beaches, a warm blue ocean and superb sunsets. The islands of Hawaii have all the ingredients for a perfect romantic break. Take a catamaran cruise, snorkel in the warm waters around Lanai, or watch the sunset from the Kalalau Trail.

Salzkammergut

Austria

Beautiful Hallstatt in Austria's Salzkammergut region (Photo: Jiuguang Wang)

Beautiful Hallstatt in Austria’s Salzkammergut region (Photo: Jiuguang Wang)

The Salzkammergut is the Austrian version of the Lake District. The region is home to Alpine lakes and charming mountain villages, surrounded by majestic mountain peaks. Go paddling on a lake, cycling through the rolling green countryside, or enjoy some pampering at one of the numerous Alpine spas.

Prague

Czech Republic

Prague is one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world (Photo: Christopher Woo)

Prague is one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world (Photo: Christopher Woo)

The old-world charm and Bohemian atmosphere of Prague make this historic city a great choice for a romantic holiday. It’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Celebrate love by taking a stroll on the historic Charles Bridge, or explore the winding cobbled streets of Malá Strana.