Romance can be found everywhere and anywhere, its in the air that we breathe, the smiles people give to us and in the things that make us laugh and be happy with our partner. But sometimes romance is in a special place too. We may have found love and romance at home and abroad, on vacation or just in a moment. Yet there are some places that smell of romance, that exude love and simply are romantic destinations and so here we discuss some favorite places that fit the bill.
Just what makes a place a top romantic destination is open to many factors. The first of course may be the weather, warm and sunny appears to be favored by most. Lingering on a soft white beach under swaying palms appeals to all of us who undergo annual cold winters. However, I have been to destinations that have been snowbound, only to find them gorgeously romantic. For me, winter is a great season and my top romantic destinations include some fantastic ski resorts. St Moritz at Christmas is a great example as is Valmorel after a snowfall, or Zermatt on New Year’s Eve. So clearly then it is not just the weather that feeds us romantic feelings about a place though it is a factor.
A top romantic destination has to look right. A pretty village in the Alps is romantic and appealing; a New England village in the Fall is romantic for walking, a walk on a deserted beach on the northern coast of Koh Samui is extremely romantic to hold hands. Where better perhaps that a stroll along the Seine in Paris in early spring to feel overwhelmed by love and romance as you walk hand in hand with your partner. The same may be said of Barcelona in Spring, walking through the squares before the heavy oppression of a hot Mediterranean summer sets in. And here we find more clues in my words, walking and Spring! Walking of course brings a sense of communion and togetherness in any location or destination. We remember walks together fondly in many places whilst springtime is our own regeneration after winter. Springtime is a good season to find romance in a place.
Springtime is for many of us a wake up call, an out with the old in with the new feeling. A time for Spring cleaning, for freshness, for renewal. Clean air, sunlight and flowers. The earth wakes up and so do we. So we are often drawn to romantic destinations that obviate these sensory factors. For example, I have never been so alive as on visiting Amsterdam one spring when the small lanes were alive with the rich color of tulip flower markets. I was overjoyed with a sense of the ability to find romance there.
Romance in a place can be found from its history and architectural properties, which is why so many of the ancient and great cities of the world are poplar romantic destinations for lovers. From the Great Wall of China, to Paris, Rome, Florence, Milan, Amsterdam, Sydney, New York and Vienna, all have a magnificent historical heritage that pervades all and leads us into a sense of historical romance that requires us to take someone’s hand as we breathe in all around us.
So I think that the key elements of top romantic destinations are:
So whilst we live to find romance in the Caribbean and the South Seas, dreaming of white deserted beaches and swaying palms, trade winds and butterfly kisses at dawn or sunset, languid afternoons by the lagoon pools and tropical mischief on a languid evening, let us not forget that there are many destinations across the world that are not only romantic in themselves, but can emphasize the romance that already exists within each of us.
Here are ten of my personal top romantic destinations and romantic places for myself.
Amsterdam in deepest winter
There are fewer places on earth more romantic than Amsterdam in deepest winter in my opinion. Ancient churches, frozen waterways, snow-heavy skies, shimmering shops all nestle along walkways through beautifully old streets in this most pleasant of cultural cities. Its a cultural melting pot where you can find romance on every corner. Combine ancient cobbled streets of lilting Dutch town houses, set against frozen canals, people scuttling along on cycles, starlit book shops crowding in sulky corners, fabulous food stores, eateries and restaurants, bars that are heaven-sent and the relaxed nature of the Dutch and it is a vibrant and exciting city ideal for a first break away with a loved-one. With bells tolling from churches at dawn, the shimmering waters of canals everywhere, ancient beautiful architecture, flowers on street corners, this city is most certainly picturesque. The winter and snows certainly add the topping to a place that already exudes history and you can imagine yourself with your loved on starring in your very own European cinematic romance set against a beautiful and vivid backdrop. Firmly recommended.
Hong Kong at Sunset
To many the romance of Hong Kong can be easily missed. A bustling metropolis acting as a gateway to a throng a different Asian cultures, Hong Kong certainly doesn’t stand still. But amongst it all are two of the most amazing sights on earth that should only be witnessed with your loved one. The first is sitting in the Peninsula hotel top floor bar on the Kowloon side watching sunset and darkness fall upon Honk Kong itself. As day turns to night you can take the hand of your loved on and watch as neon begins to light up probably one of the seven most wondrous views in the modern world. All taken with a Gin and Tonic. If this is how we find romance , then it's the best.
The other is to repeat the exercise of sunset but this time by taking the cable car to the top of the Peak. Go behind the peak café and restaurant to the viewing platform where you can watch sunset over Kowloon, but this time make sure that you kiss you partner for a long time. Because you will remember it forever.
Niagra Falls in Late Spring
Until you have seen the horseshoes falls from the Canadian side in late Spring, you haven’t lived. Spectacular this place is, beyond belief. Take your partner, book into the hotel at its side and spend the most romantic weekend of your life. Love and romance your partner here until they melt. I can’t add any more to this because you just have to take your loved one and go there – today. Why late spring? Well at this time of year the warm sun gives the entire falls a golden glow that makes it such a romantic place. Take a glass of champagne in one had and the hand of your loved one in the other ands find romance here for yourselves.
Anchorage Alaska on the longest day
Romantic destinations take many forms but I found the experience of Anchorage, a beautiful place in the summer, awe inspiringly beautiful. For me it is a place of love and romance as much as of breathtaking scenery. You may be surprised that I list it as one of my favorite romantic places but you just have to visit and relax in this beautiful place. There are so many things to do with your partner in this area that you will lose count, but I think that around June 21st when it remains light for most of the night is so much of an experience that it’s a time and place for something special. It is a top romantic destination for sure. It’s a place to feel alive and share something emotional and help that feeling of togetherness. A special place.
Bali in October
As far as romantic places go, this is perfect. This has to be one of the world's top romantic destinations, especially for couples. As it’s a tropical isle it doesn’t become romantic because of its climate, though it does reek of paradise after getting away from the airport. I’d point you and your chose partner straight towards the Bali Cliff resort at the southern tip of the island or Lovina Beach on the northern coast. Either places at this time of the year are quiet whilst the weather remains perfect. If I was to choose the perfect place for a date, to embody the love and romance of my relationship, or even maybe to propose, I’d choose Lovina beach at dawn in an outrigger canoe as the dolphins race past chasing tuna and the sun breaks the horizon. It doesn’t get any more romantic or special than this. Just save it to say 'I do'.
Paris in early Spring
As far as romantic places go, Paris has to be a prime choice in my book. Traditional it may be, but romantic, it most certainly is. Spring time has to be the perfect season too. Culture, history, gastronomic delights, superb wine and walks beyond all walks. Take your partner to the top of the Eiffel tower, over to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa and then shoot about the metro visiting Montmartre and the Left bank then take a long walk together along the many tree lined boulevards. The essence of Paris is the simple act of being together walking, visiting and seeing and finding romance in private. Its special, it is one of my favorite romantic places at any time of year but I loved Paris in early spring and I think you both will too.
The English Lake District in early Winter
The English Lakes in north-western England is loved by many during the summer months but the things that brings it romance is the solace that winter brings. But I believe it is a top romantic destination at this time of year. I find romance here when the ancient villages are quiet, the restaurants available and we can walk where we please. There are a plethora of well-hidden Lakeland hotels nestling in trees ready to cater as a lovers paradise. If you are looking for log fires, thick rugs, four poser beds and romantic walks round local lakes then go in November or January and I’d go as far as saying that it’s the perfect place to fall in love.
New York in February
What hasn’t been written about New York may not be worth writing. But for me New York in February is the epitome of classic romance and one of the top romantic destinations for anyone. How many romantic movies have been made in this city – lots, and this is for a reason. Why is it romantic? Easy, combine cold, snow, superb shopping and ice skating in central park and you have everything that is perfect about close times together. Sightseeing is unlimited, restaurants with tables for two are everywhere and I believe there is something special about wrapping up warm and getting outdoors with the person you love. If you are going to find love and romance in a city, its possible it will be New York. Walking in Central park in the snow has got to be a life long memory of how love really should be.
Cyprus before Summer
It’s the birthplace of Venus, what more needs to be said about finding love and romance. Stick to the west side of this island around Paphos for perfect sunsets, sun for 360 days a year, remote bays and fresh seafood. Top quality hotels abound and this is essential for many romantic destinations. But the single thing that makes this island romantic for me are the lonely drives by car up into the fresh alpine interior. Seemingly unexplored valleys, high passes and the sweet scent of pine everywhere, this is a beautiful place. Open the door and breathe, then kiss each other. Deeply. Definitely one of my top romantic destinations of all to find romance in a sunset.
Koh Samui in November
Why not round the year off with one of my favorite romantic places on earth. The island of Koh Samui in the Thai gulf is more famous for its near-neighbor which is the inspiration for the book and movie, The Beach. But the reason I list this as a top romantic destination isn’t the quaint airport with wooden huts in a jungle clearing, or the Golden Buddha on the northern coast, it’s the simple delight at this time of year of taking a small beach bungalow with your loved one and walking bare footed on white sand beaches and treading the first footsteps of the day. Or using a fallen coconut as a drinking vessel and play ball. Watch endless sunsets and find romance in the moment, eat perfect food in quiet surroundings and imagine you are both lost at sea. It’s a place to be with someone, to be quiet, to be solitary and to feel very much the love and romance of the place.