With Valentine’s Day upon us, our travel experts want to take you on a journey to some of the most romantic destinations, and dining experiences around the world. Whether you are looking for a romantic addition to your overseas holiday this year, or looking for some inspiration as to how and where you may pop the question next year (wink, wink), here are the Top 14 Most Romantic Places around the world.
1. PARIS, FRANCE
It wouldn’t be much of a list if we didn’t include Paris. The French capital oozes charm, romance and sophistication everywhere you look. From sidewalk cafes that are perfect for getting cosy, passionate art exhibitions (like The Lourve) to authentic French restaurants serving traditional cuisine that is sure to tantalise all your taste buds, this destination is synonymous with romance.
Our pick: Book an afternoon or sunset climb of the Eiffel Tower followed by a dinner at 58 Eiffel Tower – the restaurant located on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. Get intimate with your loved one as the sun sets over the River Siene, whilst the ambiance shifts to a calm, romantic setting overlooking the beauty of the City of Lights.
2. KANOUN RESTAURANT, KASBAH TAMADOT, MOROCCO
If you’re looking for a dining experience with a backdrop and scenery that needs to be seen to be believed, then the Kanoun Restaurant at the Kasbah Tamadot hotel in Morocco is for you. With an intimate fireside bar for pre-dinner cocktails and a stunning dining area complete with wonderful views, they serve delicious local and international cuisine.
Our pick: By day do a tour that sees you hiking the local area or climbing Mount Toubkai so that you and your partner can take in the incredible scenery, and by night reminisce about your day as the sun sets on the stunning and awe-inspiring Atlas Mountains. The hotel offers 28 rooms and suites, including your own private plunge pool and furnished with traditional Moroccan antiques. Spoil the one you love with an overnight stay with an indulgent breakfast the following morning.
3. SANTORINI, GREECE
Pure romance is watching the sunset over the brilliant blue Aegean Sea from your own private terrace in Santorini. Everywhere you look is insta-worthy, from the uninterrupted views to the ocean to the white villages adorned with blue roofs and doors and pops of colourful flowers. In a place like this romance is almost effortless and can be achieved with a bottle of Champagne and a platter of local delicacies.
Our pick: Book an unforgettable night at one of the many villas in part of Fira town called Firostefani which is only an 800m walk from the town square, yet away from the tourist hub.
4. THE MALDIVES
The title for the most romantic archipelago on earth… goes to the Maldives. With a stay in one of the overwater bungalows strung along the crystal-clear turquoise sea, you will feel like you are in your own private paradise. Bask on the private white-sand beaches with your significant other, watch the sun settle over the endless ocean and bathe in the clearest of waters.
Our pick: For a truly unique dining experience like no other, go under water. Rated the ‘most beautiful restaurant in the world’ by New York Daily in 2014, The Ithaa Undersea Restaurant offers you and your loved one an unforgettable experience to dine five meters below the surface, offering 180-degree panoramic views of the vibrant coral gardens around you. The restaurant serves contemporary European cuisine in a six-course set dinner menu, including caviar and fresh seafood.
5. BEIRUT, LEBANON
From under the sea, to high in the sky, Beirut offers a unique and extraordinary dining experience that’s not for the faint-hearted. Dinner-in-the-Sky offers, well…. exactly that! It’s fine-dining meets adrenaline in the form of a restaurant that is suspended 50 metres above the ground by a crane. Whilst it’s not so much an intimate dining experience, it is certainly one to remember as you savour the sensation of eating whilst floating with the one you loved as you overlook the beautifully illuminated Mohammed Al-Amin Mosque.
The concept has now spread all over the world and can now be enjoyed in Sydney, Japan, India, Dubai, South-Africa, Brazil, United States, Mexico, Canada and China.
Our pick: Spend the day exploring the culture and traditions of this incredible city. Stroll hand-in-hand through the neighbourhood of Mar Mikhael with trendy cafes, restaurants and art galleries, before continuing onto Rue Gouarud for some window shopping.
6. ROME, ITALY
When in Rome, nothing says romance like dinner at a Michelin star restaurant with the Colosseum as a back-drop. At AROMA at Palazzo Manfredi, quintessential Rome is reflected in a menu of classic Italian dishes on a picturesque outdoor terrace offering an unparalleled view to the Colosseum.
Our pick: Indulge in the incredible options on the menu that marries the mastery of Italian cooking with the chef’s creative flair. The Tagliolini pasta is to die for. If you can, spend the night in one of their hotel rooms and wake up to the sun rising over Rome’s most iconic archaeological feature.
7. THE ROCK RESTAURANT, ZANZIBAR
A world-famous restaurant, known not only for its extraordinary location, but also its fabulous food inspired by the natural resources, The Rock Restaurant provides an open-air terrace that’s perfect for a romantic evening under the African stars. Set in / on the waters of the Indian Ocean, in front of Michamvi Pingwe beach on the south-east coast of the island, the restaurant is accessed off the beach on foot at low tide or by boat at high tide. It provides either a 360-degree ocean view, or on low tide, a view of half-ocean and half white sandy beach with swaying palms. With an intimate setting for only 20 people, bookings are essential.
Our pick: Stay the night with a choice of two nearby private, award-winning resorts and make the most of your visit with a trip to the zoo and aquariums of Cheeta’s Rock, spend time swimming on the beaches of Nakupenda, Nungwi, and Kendwa or soak up the history at the museums and henna art gallery.
8. SNOW VILLAGE, LAPLAN HOTELS
Need an excuse to get cosy with your loved one? Are you both a fan of Game of Thrones? How about spending some quality time together in the unique and magical world of ice and snow? Each year, around 20 million kilos of snow and 350,000 kilos of crystal clear natural ice are used to build the spectacular SnowVillage which changes in shape, size and design to amaze visitors year after year.
Covering an area of about 20,000 square metres, the SnowVillage consists of a Snow Hotel in Finland, with snow rooms and suites, Ice Restaurant, Ice Bar and Ice Chapel. This year, the entire hotel is Game Of Thrones themed – with rooms designed by sculptors from Russia, Poland, Latvia and Ukraine. You can find a life sized iron throne with swords, a scary Braavosi Hall of Faces and a white walker with glowing blue eyes.
Our pick: Discuss your love for Game of Thrones over a 3 course menu in the magnificent Ice Restaurant. With interior decorations that are naturally made of ice and snow, and illuminated colourful lights and candles, you’ll be sure to get close with temperatures dipping to -2 degrees Celsius. Warm up with a glass of wine or three, before heading back to your room complete with a bedframe made of ice. The comfortable temperature between -2 and -5 degrees Celcius, along with the quiet tranquil surroundings make for an unforgettable arctic experience. An overnight experience includes a guided tour inside the SnowVillage, sleepover instructions, high quality sleeping bags and fleece lining bags, nearby shower and toilet facilities, room wake up with hot berry juice, buffet breakfast in the warm log restaurant and a diploma to commemorate your stay.
9. GROTTA PALAZZEESE, ITALY
Carved out of magnificent limestone rocks, with a view over the blue-green Adriatic, the Hotel Grotta Palazzese in Polignano a Mare lies in an unparalleled location and has been enchanting visitors for centuries. Naturally lit by the aqua marine reflection from the waters, the summer cavern provides a romantic setting with the splashing of the sea against the rocks to set the mood, accompanied with fine wine and good company. Due to seasons, the restaurant is only open March – November each year and later this year, a brand new five star hotel is set to open allowing you to make the most of this iconic oceanfront destination.
Our pick: Whilst in Polignano you may visit Museo Pascali (museum), do some scuba diving or snorkelling off the beaches, explore with a city tour, or a wine and tasting tour. For a little extra romance, walk hand in hand down the beautifully preserved cobblestone streets at Centro Storico di Polignano a Mare and explore the historical churches and buildings.
10. KAUAI, HAWAII
Say aloha to romance on Kauai, Hawaii’s least-developed island. Kauai is a favourite for those that want to get away from the crowds and enjoy secluded, natural beaches. Get your heart pumping on a hike through the lush mountains or with a private dip in the waterfalls. For a romantic trip away, with nothing to do but enjoy each other’s company the “Garden Island” is where it’s at. Sunbathe on the powdered shores, wade into the warm, unclouded water and enjoy the abundant coral and wildlife. Hike the 22-mile Kalalau Trail – one of the toughest, most worthwhile hikes in the Aloha state. Soak up the small town charm of Waimea Town and Hanapepe Town, which are both great spots to grab a meal, do a little shopping or just explore.
Our pick: Take a trip to the awe-inspiring and natural marvel that is Waimea Canyon. Dubbed as “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific” its colourful dips and peaks are home to lush vegetation and towering waterfalls. Take a picnic and set for the canyon’s lookout point and prepare to be blown away.
11. ST. MORITZ, SWITZERLAND
This Swiss resort town, famous for its “champagne climate,” is ideal for cosmopolitan couples seeking an alpine adventure. Picture a day skiing amongst snow-capped peaks, followed by an equally heart-pounding evening snuggled up on a horse-drawn carriage ride along the frozen lake.
Our pick: Take a ride on the Bernina Express – a panorama train on the most scenic railway in Europe to the Puschlav.
12. MAJORCA, SPAIN
Hollywood’s elite have been spotted canoodling on Majorca, the largest of Spain’s Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. With its unspoiled golden sand beaches and intimate boutique hotels it is easy to see why this island inspires romance. Stroll the shores of Playa de Muro – the top rated beach on TripAdvisor for its white sand and crystal-clear waters. Visit the impressive site of Le Seu cathedral in Palma de Mallorca, the island’s capital.
Our pick: Settle in with some fine wine and great food and watch the day disappear beyond the Serra de Tramuntana – the mountain range forming the northern backbone to the island. The stunning mountain range has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO as an area of great physical and cultural significance. A cruise along the waters of the town is also a must!
13. KHAO LAK, THAILAND
If romance, seclusion and luxury are what you are looking for, look no further than the luxury boutique hotel, The Sarojin in Khao Lak, Thailand. Offering just 56 rooms on a secluded 11km stretch of beachfront, the hotel provides a personalised, bespoke experience and offer a rare insight into local Thai life through a combination of unique tailor-made excursions and sustainable tourism work with the local rural and coastal communities. Fill your days snorkelling aboard the Lady Sarojin boat, sunset cruises and private charters, canoeing, deep sea fishing or jungle treks.
Our pick: Spoil your loved one with a Candlelit Jungle Waterfall dinner. Set in the jungle with a waterfall as the backdrop and surrounded by candles, a private dining table is set just for the two of you and you are served upon by your own private chef and treated to some of Thailand’s freshest and fragrant flavours. A truly memorable experience.
14. YUCATÁN PENINSULA, MEXICO
Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is a vast coastal region brimming with tropical beaches, spectacular wildlife, ancient Mayan ruins, small colonial towns, and plenty of outdoor adventures. It’s a place of emerald waters turning to turquoise waves crashing on perfectly white coral-sand beaches.
Our pick: Spend a day visiting Las Coloradas, where the sea water turns pink on an epic scale due to the salt production, or swim with the whale sharks with a tour from Isla Holbox, and definitely make the time to swim in Cenotes – an underground cave filled with fresh water. Cenote Ik-Kil, near Chichén Itzá, is certainly one that we recommend going to visit. It’s breath-taking and magical to experience with that special someone.
LET LOVE INSPIRE YOU
With so many incredible and romantic destinations across the world, it’s hard not to be inspired to make plans for long-lasting memories with your loved one this Valentine’s Day. After all, love makes the world go around, and we’re here to help you take that love all over the world.
Happy Valentine’s Day and safe travels from Travel Partners Australia ✈️