When people think about taking a romantic vacation, they are probably picturing visiting Paris or Venice, somewhere that is synonymous with romance in the popular imagination. Millions of people flock to those cities every year looking to propose, enjoy their honeymoon or simply have a vacation filled with romance. There is nothing wrong with going to those places for a romantic getaway, but such stereotypically romantic locations are not the only places that you can have a romantic getaway.
There is something to be said for exploring an area that is new and unique. While Paris is certainly a place associated with romance, it sometimes feels like there are no new stories to come from the city. Everyone wants to go to Paris, and everyone comes back with very similar tales. If you want something unique, you need to go somewhere unusual. Your options are nearly endless when it comes to picking a romantic location, and how romantic you find a destination will depend on you and your partner. Some people feel that the quiet of nature encourages intimacy. Others prefer the bonding that comes from the excitement of a city. Regardless of what you are looking for, you can find it at one of these romantic destinations that are off the beaten path.
Pembrokshire National Park, England
As a general rule, when people think about visiting England, they normally envision going to London or Windsor. They want to see Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and all the other tourist attractions for which the nation has become so well known. Couples want to ride the London Eye and be awed by the view together. They want to visit the infamous Tower of London and watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.
While London is wonderful to visit, there is far more to England than simply its capital city. If you want a romantic destination that is a bit out of the way, spend some time near Pembrokeshire National Park. Few people think of visiting national parks that are outside of their own nation. That is simply not why most people travel internationally. Spending time in the natural world in an unfamiliar place, however, can give you a wonderful sense of adventure and drive home that you really are in a different nation. It is easy to find familiar things in cities, but there is something far more alien about not recognizing the birds or trees around you, and it can help you and your partner really feel like you are in your own little world.
Isle of Skye
Scotland is not normally what people visualize when they think about a romantic getaway. They might consider taking a romance filled vacation in Ireland if they have Irish heritage, but Scotland is normally left off the list of possible honeymoon destinations. The region is notorious for cold weather and endless rain, and most people have limited interest in visiting. This is a shame, especially when gems such as the Isle of Skye are hiding off Scotland’s coast.
Isle of Skye is connected to Scotland by bridge and looks like something out of a fantasy film. The landscape is known for rugged stone, crystal clear waters, endless greenery and spectacular sunsets. Photographs taken at the fairy pools and sheer sided coastal cliffs look like they could not possibly be real. If your significant other loves nature, photography or fantasy, the Isle of Skye is a location that is a must visit.
Big Sky Country
When most people imagine romantic getaways, their minds go automatically to white sand beaches, lush greenery and cascading waterfalls. For some reason, tropical locations have become more or less synonymous with romance when it comes to nature. Otherwise, the majority of people would think about cities and urban locations that are lit up at night and allow couples to take long walks hand in hand. Most people do not picture drier, colder locations as being particularly romantic. This opinion likely means that they have never been to Big Sky Country.
Big Sky Country is an unofficial area in the northern part of the central United States that is usually associated with states such as Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota. It is so named because the sky seems endless in those locations and often appears an extra intense shade of blue. It is not a traditional romantic location, but the sight of the sunset painted across an endless sky is enough to awe even the most cynical of hearts.
The Appalachian Mountains are not what most people envision when they are talking about mountains. The word “mountains” brings to mind the sharp edges and dangerous height of the Himalayas, the snow covered Alps or the stark, bare stone of the Rockies. Most people do not think of the gentle slopes and endless forests of the Appalachians.
Located in the eastern United States, the Appalachian Mountains are some of the oldest mountains in the world. At their tallest, they would have towered even higher than the Himalayas. Today, however, the range is dominated by low, tree-covered slopes. The Appalachians run almost the entire length of the United States, and numerous sections of the larger range have their own famous names. Among the best known of these are the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia and the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina. There is something for everyone in the Appalachians, regardless of the season. Hiking is always popular in the warmer months, while skiing dominates in the winter. Camping is always a popular option, and there are numerous cities nestled within the mountain range for those who need a break from the great outdoors.
Gulf of Mexico
When it comes to a beach vacation in the United States, the vast majority of people turn their eyes to Florida. Bordered by water on three of its four sides, the state is one of the premier vacation destinations both for domestic and international tourists looking to soak up some sun while they are in America. Tourists tend to be split on whether they prefer the rougher surf of the Atlantic Ocean or the calmer, warmer waters of the Gulf of Mexico. For those who favor the Gulf, Florida is not the only place you can go to visit it. Several states border the Gulf of Mexico, and many of them offer a more romantic destination than Florida. Louisiana and Mississippi, for example, both are well known for epitomizing the slower, more sensual culture of the Deep South, and they have the architecture and Spanish Moss to go with it.
Just about every American dreams of vacationing in Hawaii one day. The island chain is practically synonymous in American culture with decadent relaxation. The archipelago is a popular destination for international visitors as well. The vast majority of people, however, head to one of the more famous islands such as Oahu, Maui or Hawaii itself, better known as the Big Island. One of the most beautiful locations in the island chain, however, is also one of the lesser visited.
At the very northern tip of the archipelago is the island of Kauai. Nicknamed the Garden Isle, the island is covered by a tropical rainforest and is known for being more laid back and relaxed than the more touristy islands. That does not, however, mean that there is not plenty to do on the island. Nature lovers will adore the hiking trails, SCUBA diving and surfing available on Kauai. Spielberg fans, meanwhile, will relish the opportunity to visit the locations where the Jurassic Park movies were filmed. For those who simply want to sit on a beach and listen to the waves, there are more than enough locations to do that as well.
Italy is one of those countries that just about everyone hopes to visit one day. The food is widely considered to be among the best in the world, and plenty of visitors simply want to eat their way through the country. The landscape is gorgeous, and Italy is home to some of the most famous and romantic cities in the world. Venice is one of the most unique cities on Earth and is known worldwide for its canal system. Rome, meanwhile, is overflowing with history and home to Vatican City, the smallest nation on Earth and the heart of the Catholic Church.
Most of what people visit is in central Italy, but southern Italy has an amazing amount to offer as well. The food is absolutely fantastic, and the beaches border the stunning blue waters of the Mediterranean.
When people think of romantic destinations in France, almost everyone immediately envisions Paris. They think about walking by the Seine with their lover and basking in the streetlights. They imagine sharing a kiss in front of the Eiffel Tower or spending time together studying the incredible stained glass windows of Notre Dame Cathedral. In short, most people think of the city that is seen as epitomizing both France and romance.
France, of course, is not limited simply to its capital city, and the rest of the country is more than worth exploring. See a different side of France and head out to the country side or spend some time in the mountainous part of southern France. You can still enjoy delicious French cooking and wines, but you will get to see a side of the nation that most visitors never bother to investigate.
Romania is a nation that many people seem to forget exists. The nation is neither small enough to fascinate those who love visiting tiny countries nor large enough to register on many foreigner’s list of places to visit. All that means, however, is that Romania is a forgotten gem nestled in the middle of Eastern Europe.
Romania has something for just about everyone that visits. Modern cities such as Bucharest offer tourists the opportunity to shop, eat and visit the gigantic Palatul Parlamentului. For those who prefer a more historical feel to their vacations, there are a number of medieval towns scattered throughout Romania, such as Sighisoara. The most famous attraction, however, is the one that is filled with literature lovers, film fans and anyone who enjoys the gothic and supernatural. What calls to these people is Bran Castle, an ancient castle on a clifftop in the forested region of Transylvania that has long been associated with the most famous vampire of all time, Count Dracula.
Few people think about visiting Israel as part of a romantic getaway, but the Holy Land has just about everything a person could possibly want from a romantic destination. There are beautiful beaches on the Mediterranean along the coast, and northern Israel is surprisingly lush with rivers, waterfalls and natural springs. For those that enjoy hiking, there is no shortage of trails crisscrossing the small nation. You could hike the Israel trail, climb Masada to watch the sunrise or visit any one of the innumerable ruins scattered throughout the nation.
If you go to Israel, you must go to Jerusalem. As the holiest city in both Christianity and Judaism as well as the third holiest city in Islam, the Old City of Jerusalem draws millions of pilgrims every year. The reverent atmosphere can actually make for an extremely intimate vacation with your loved one. The energy and spirituality in the air lends itself to deep discussions and increasing the emotional intimacy necessary for a lasting relationship.
Jerusalem is the heart of Israel, and no one with any sense pretends otherwise. That said, there is far more to Israel than its capital city, and far too few visitors ever take the time to explore the rest of the nation. Since so many of those who come to Israel are pilgrims, the vast majority of them focus on visiting the most spiritually and religiously important sites. Christians, for example, tend to visit Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth. For those looking for a romantic getaway, however, those holy sites may not be what you are looking for. In that case, you might be better off spending time in Tel Aviv. The city sits on the edge of the Mediterranean and is known for its nightlife, shopping, art galleries and museums. There is more than enough to keep anyone entertained within the city limits, but nothing is too far from Tel Aviv’s central location if you decided to mix it up.
If you are someone who likes to have a variety of things to do during a romantic getaway, one of your best bets may be to spend your vacation in Tokyo. Japan’s capital city is the largest in the world both in terms of sheer size as well as number of people. If you cannot find something you enjoy doing in the city, the problem is not with Tokyo. The city has been ranked as first in the world for both nightlife and shopping. It is also known for its helpful locals, excellent public transportation and clean streets.
For those who do not care for modern entertainment, there are also several national parks that are technically within the limits of Tokyo and a number of museums. The city is so vast and varied that it is all but impossible not to find what you are looking for, regardless of what that thing may be.
Some people find the sheer size of Tokyo to be overwhelming. In that case, Kyoto might be a better option for you. Kyoto was the capital of Japan before Tokyo and is situated south west of Tokyo. The city is often seen as being the cultural hub of Japan and contains many of Japan’s most famous buildings and traditions. There are numerous classical Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines within the city including Fushimi Inari Taisha which is recognized across the world by its famous row of 1,000 torii gates, called the Senbon torii.
Kyoto is also famous for the practices most commonly associated with formal Japanese culture. Among these are kaiseki dining, geisha, ancient castles, art galleries showing traditional Japanese art and imperial palaces. If you travel during late spring, you can enjoy the hundreds of cherry blossoms as they bloom.
If you are headed toward the Land Down Under, you will already be inundated with things to do. As tourists, you would probably be interested in seeing the famous Australian Outback and visiting the locations that are famous within Australia such as the Sydney Opera House. If you are fans of wildlife, you would also likely consider a stop at the Australia Zoo, the famous brain child of the late Steve Irwin.
Few people that visit Australia end up straying from the mainland, but that is a shame as a hidden gem rests just offshore. The island of Tasmania is roughly 150 miles off the southern coast of Australia. This island is covered in forest and is known for its lakes and rugged wilderness. Many of the flora and fauna from Tasmania are not found anywhere else in the world including the famous Tasmanian Devil. It may not seem like the most romantic place at first, but the natural beauty and uniqueness of the island can make your time there truly unforgettable.
When it comes to lush, green beauty, there are not many better places to go than New Zealand. This island nation sits in the South Pacific and is the perfect destination for anyone who loves the topics. The island is covered in forests and filled with amazing things to do. Tolkien fans can walk the same paths that were used in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy while those who prefer cultural activities can learn about the local Maori people. The more adventurous types can visit Pohuto Geyser, climb Mt. Victoria and enjoy adventure sports in Queenstown. They can also visit local hot springs or check out the numerous active, dormant and extinct volcanos on the islands. There are also boating opportunities and botanical gardens within Christchurch. Meanwhile, there are beautiful beaches for those who prefer to spend a romantic getaway laying in the sun.
If your loved one is the adventurous type, you might enjoy taking a trip to South Africa. Located at the very southern tip of the continent, South Africa is best known for its safaris and Kruger National Park. Kruger is one of the most popular safari destinations on the planet and boasts nearly all of Africa’s most iconic creatures. Lions, leopards, rhinos, giraffes, hyena, water buffalo and elephants can all be found within the park’s borders. Most people who visit the park do their best to spot the Big Five. These animals were considered the most difficult to capture on big game hunts, but now the term is used to describe the most sought after animals on safaris. The Big Five are lions, leopards, rhinoceroses, elephants and Cape buffalo.
If safaris are not your thing, there is still plenty to do. South Africa is proud to boast a number of vineyards as well as seaside resorts. You are sure to find what you are looking for in this nation, but do be sure to check on your immunizations before traveling. You may need to get extra vaccinations before you leave for diseases such as yellow fever.
Romantic destinations can be found anywhere in the world. Depending on what you are looking for, you could cross the globe to find the perfect spot or go no further than your own backyard. The possibilities are endless. It all depends on what you are looking for in a romantic getaway. Regardless of what you are hoping to find, it is somewhere out there for you. You may have to do a little digging, but the results will be worth it when you have a romantic getaway that is as unique and special as the person you love most.