The best places in the world for romance set an ideal stage for that perfect kiss and so much more. And since there are many great romantic destinations around the globe, diversity of choice isn’t lacking. With so many options, however, comes the difficulty of choosing the very best. One thing we know for sure. These destinations are ideal places to start.
Paris Romantic Destinations
No discussion about the world’s most romantic destinations would be complete without mentioning Paris, so we might as well just start things off with the French capital. Often referred to as the “City of Love,” this may be a large city, but it has two sides, or rhythms, if you prefer. One is busy and vibrant. The other is more languid and poetic. Couples with romance in mind can indulge in such poetic delights as a stroll or cruise along the River Seine and a memorable candlelight dinner at any number of amazing restaurants. On the spicier side of things, there are the sensual cabaret shows at the Moulin Rouge and other such cabaret houses. One more idea to help you make the most of your romantic escape to Paris – take the elevator to the third floor of the Eiffel Tower and steal a kiss with a panorama of the city as your backdrop. As for romantic Paris hotels, the Le Bristol Paris, the Hotel Le Six and the Saint James Paris are just some of the numerous choices. For other romantic lodging tips, take a look at these Eiffel Tower hotels.
Venice Romantic Destinations
Nestled on the northeast coast of Italy, the island city of Venice is famous for its maze of canals and exquisite architecture. Of course, lovers will do well to treat themselves to at least one gondola ride on the canals. We especially recommend a sunset gondola ride under the Bridge of Sighs. According to Italian superstition, couples who kiss under this 17th century bridge while the sun is going down are guaranteed eternal love. Venice at night is about the only thing that might be more romantic than Venice during the day, and romantic Venice hotels such as the Hotel Cipriani can help you make the most of your stay in town. As day gives way to evening, couples can head to the remarkable St. Mark’s Square and cozy up at one of the bars or cafes. Worth considering are the Venice night tours that combine dining experiences with such things as a gondola ride or a walking tour in the Jewish Ghetto.
Napa Valley Romantic Destinations Image: ReeseRamirez (flickr)
The Napa Valley landscape is heavenly. Almost Garden of Eden-like. The verdant rolling hills ornamented with beautiful and bountiful wineries certainly provide sumptuous surroundings for this California area’s string of quaint small towns. The actual town of Napa has a growing number of restaurants and hotels and is a common base for wine country fun, and Yountville deserves mention for its high quality restaurants. In St. Helena, charming shopping and dining can be enjoyed along Main Street, and couples will do well to visit the renowned wineries in Oakville and Rutherford. There’s also Calistoga, where you’ll find a collection of B&Bs, shops, hot springs, and an all around laid-back appeal. The Napa Valley wine tours are about as good as wine tours get, so enjoying at least one is a must. Couples might even take things further and stay at a winery. Within walking distance of downtown St. Helena, the Salvestrin Winery offers a historic inn. All three rooms have private baths and queen size beds.
Big Sur Romantic Destinations Image: BPPrice (flickr)
Not too far from Napa is another California destination that deserves mention among the best places in the world for romance - Big Sur. Along this 90-mile stretch of coast are some of the most spectacular ocean shorelines that you will find anywhere on the planet, and tranquility is easy to find. California’s famous Highway One bisects Big Sur and has plenty of lookout areas, providing an ideal avenue for romantic drives. We recommend a convertible. Other things to do on romantic escapes in Big Sur include beachcombing, picnicking, hiking, and luxuriating at the local spas. A good place to beachcomb and enjoy a picnic, with some fine California wine of course, is Pfeiffer Beach. As for places to stay, the New Camaldoli Hermitage is a special place where solitude blends with simplicity, and it’s hard to find fault with the rustic elegance of the Ventana Inn & Spa.
Santorini Romantic Destinations Image: BluEyedA73 (flickr)
When you think of the Greek islands, do you picture beautiful whitewashed buildings that are bathed in sunshine and set against stunning blue seas? If so, you aren’t alone. That’s the kind of imagery that these islands tend to inspire, with the island of Santorini arguably being the most beautiful and iconic of the bunch. Surrounded by the cobalt waters of the Aegean Sea, Santorini welcomes visitors with a stunning portrait of sugar-cube houses set high on cliff tops. Down along the water, the coastline is a dramatic mix of white, red and black sand beaches. For active couples, a hike along the rim of Santorini’s water-filled caldera is a great way to share some time together, with the route from Fira to Oia being ideal for such hikes. A boat ride to see the volcano, a tour of the island’s vineyards and a secluded session on one of Oia’s postage-stamp beaches are other ideas for things to do on romantic Santorini escapes. For couples who need a tip for where to stay, the Astra Suites is divine and offers amazing cliff side accommodations that range from compact studios to expansive suites.
The Maldives Romantic Destinations Image: Jonathan Palombo | Photography (flickr)
Greece isn’t the only country with amazing islands. One such other example is the Maldives – an island nation that is scattered across 500 miles in the Indian Ocean. It is a seascape to rival any other, featuring pure white sand beaches that are fringed with palm trees and surrounded by some of the clearest water imaginable. Sumptuous resorts with overwater bungalows occupy private islands in this tropical paradise, so getting away from it all for some quiet time is surely possible to achieve. One such resort is the amazing Six Senses Laamu. Other things that couples can hope to enjoy on romantic vacations in the Maldives include coral reef diving or snorkeling, picnicking on uninhabited islands and sunset cruises.
Fiji Romantic Destinations Image: Daku Resort, Savusavu Fiji (flickr)
Hailed as one of the world’s best honeymoon destinations, Fiji is another tropical archipelago that is primed for unforgettable romantic escapes. A tip for such escapes is to hit the secluded beaches of Monuriki. This is the Fiji island where the movie Cast Away was filmed. Other highly rated activities that are sure to please include swimming in the warm bays of the Yasawa Islands and heading to the island of Kadavu to relish in the white sand and turquoise waters at Matana Beach. Waya, Beqa, Ovalau, Savusavu, Qamea, and Matagi are some of the other most beautiful and romantic islands. Only serving to accentuate the appeal of a romantic trip to Fiji are the island nation’s splendid offshore resorts, such as Turtle Island, the Yasawa Island Resort and Spa and the Wakaya Club. These, and several other resorts, offer plenty in the way of luxury and privacy. For cost-conscious couples, the Matamanoa Island Resort is a good place to start your lodging search.
Buenos Aires Romantic Destinations Image: soyalexreyes.com (flickr)
Buenos Aires makes our list of best places in the world for romance due largely to its reputation as the birthplace of tango. Few, if any, dance styles are as sensual as tango, and there are plenty of places around the city where couples of all levels can get on the dance floor. If you and your significant other’s tango skills aren’t exactly up to par, you can take lessons at many of the city’s tango clubs. One such club is La Virtua, which boasts bilingual tango instructors. Another idea is to head to one of the local venues where expert dancers put on nightly shows. Bar Sur in the historic San Telmo neighborhood is among the most notable of these venues and offers nightly shows that typically run from 8 PM to 2 AM. As for other reasons to whisk away to Buenos Aires for a romantic escape, this capital city of Argentina boasts elegant architecture, lovely tree-lined boulevards such as Avenida de Mayo that seem like something out of Europe, restaurants that serve up exquisite cuisine, and hotels aplenty. The Palermo Hollywood and Palermo Soho neighborhoods are where you will find some of the most fashionable restaurants in Buenos Aires, and Puerto Madero has fantastic restaurants with water views. The Recoleta area has terrific hotels, such as the Alvear Palace, the Casa Sur Art Hotel and the Park Hyatt Palacio Duhau.
St. Moritz Romantic Destinations Image: m.prinke (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0
A proper list of best places in the world for romance should include at least one mountain destination, in which case we end our summary of recommendations with St. Moritz. This Swiss resort town is truly an alpine retreat par excellence, boasting what some like to call a “champagne climate.” This ambience-related description has everything to do with the town’s reputation as a prestigious, high fashion resort - especially in winter. When the snow is falling, couples can follow up a day of skiing on the splendid St. Moritz slopes with a wonderful evening meal and perhaps a lakefront carriage ride. In summer, the other main season here, the aquamarine lake and emerald forests of St. Moritz lure couples and other people in with their beauty and outdoor recreation. Sailing and hiking are two of the most popular summer activities. St. Moritz, as you might expect, has more than its fair share of beautiful luxury hotels, with top choices including the Kempinski Grand Hotel Des Baines, the Kulm Hotel and the Carlton Hotel. The vacation rentals are tempting as well. Imagine a private chalet for your romantic vacation in St. Moritz.