1. Paris, France
No list of romantic destinations is complete without Paris. It certainly hasn’t been called the City of Love for nothing. Well known for soul-searching strolls along the river Seine and sidewalk cafes, it is the Eiffel Tower aglow at night that is most popular with couples. Many proposals have happened under the Iron Lady, as over 5 billion lights hang on the mammoth structure; a kiss is almost mandatory.
2. Positano, Italy
This magnificent coastal town (below) is just over an hour’s drive from Naples, and its tumbling vertiginous houses are a photographer’s dream. A haven for devotees of the sun, the seaside restaurants are filled with couples enjoying a freshly made pizza and beer. As the sun sets, you’ll find yourself joining other love birds as they take in the view while walking together on the beach.
3. Bruges, Belgium
If you want to get lost in a mythical town, then you won’t get anything better than medieval Bruges. Cobblestone pathways will lead you to gothic architecture and 17th-century buildings. There is nothing more romantic than walks at night through this town, as dimmed lights and the sound of water from the canals guide you and your lover on your way. Stop for a glass of red wine at a street-side cafe and watch as the magic of the city engulfs everyone around you.
4. Prague, Czech Republic
It is known as one of Europe’s most romantic cities, and if you want to feel like you’re walking in the middle of a vintage movie set filled with stone bridges, castles and ancient cathedrals, then Prague is a must-visit. It’s hard to beat Prague’s Mala Strana district, where locals can be heard singing in their kitchens as the smell of freshly baked bread wafts through the air. A boat ride on the Vltava River will give you a chance to soak in the city in all its romantic glory.
5. Bergen, Norway
Nicknamed the gateway to the fjords, Bergen is surrounded by seven hills and seven fjords. Although it is the second biggest city in Norway, the intimate atmosphere in this friendly city lends itself to a world of romance. Museums, art galleries and restaurants offer couples the chance to soak in the rich Viking history. Put on your jacket, grab a blanket and catch a ferry ride along the fjords as snow falls gently around you and your partner.
6. New York, USA
Sure, it’s one of the busiest cities in the world, but hidden in the busy streets of the Big Apple are moments worthy of all those romantic movies. Central Park will thrill you as artists sketch your picture and buskers line every corner. Brooklyn Bridge (below) beckons couples to go on moonlit walks as you take in the superb view of the city. A night out at a bistro in Little Italy is a favourite for lovers looking for something special away from the big city buzz.
7. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
This coastal paradise on Bahia de Banderas is one of Mexico’s most enticing beach locations. As much as the white beaches and sparkling waters are major plus points, it is the quirky shops and endless restaurants that have made this a popular option among younger couples. You can also go for a walk along the Art Walk, visiting the city’s numerous art galleries, or watch the famous Danza de los Voladores (Dance of the Flyers), a ritual consisting of dance and the climbing of a 30m-pole.
Anyone who has been to the Maldives knows the island resorts practically exist for the purpose of romantic getaways. Because when it comes to fun in the sun with your loved one, it doesn’t get better than these picturesque islands. The 1,000-plus coral islets are tiny, which makes for intimate and secluded experiences. No wonder it’s known as a honeymoon haven.
9. Zanzibar, Tanzania
An archipelago about 25 to 50km off the coast of Tanzania, Zanzibar is still a newbie in the romance game compared with the Maldives and Mauritius. Made up of Zanzibar Island and Pemba Island, along with several islets, this African gem is home to roughly 800,000 inhabitants. Instead of just lounging around romantic resorts, you and your partner can experience the region’s rich cultural history too. Go shopping at the bustling bazaars of Stone Town or swing by Mercury’s Bar – a tribute to the island’s most famous citizen, Freddie Mercury – for a drink.
10. Klein Karoo, South Africa
The Klein Karoo on the Western Cape lies between the Swartberg and Langeberg mountain ranges. Because of its climate, the area is famous for its wine as vineyards grow on the fertile soil along the riverbanks. Many game lodges are in the area and feature the big five as a drawcard for tourists. At these lodges, guests can enjoy magnificent views of the mountains, go on game drives and sip a sundowner to the chirps of crickets. If you’re looking for a secluded getaway with your plus one, then the Klein Karoo is just the spot for you.
– TEXT BY JESSICA FARAH
PHOTOS: INSTAGRAM, 123RF.COM, PIXABAY
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.