Ah, romance. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s easy to neglect it a little. But if there’s ever an opportunity to rekindle the flame and spend some quality time with your loved one, it’s on an overseas adventure.
It’s hard not to be swept up by backdrops of soaring mountains and picture-perfect beaches, the music of an unfamiliar language or the rich sensory experience of a being somewhere new for the first time. Travel opens up a space for couples to unwind, explore and enjoy the finer things in life; to reflect on old memories and make wonderful new ones.
So leave your kids, grandkids jobs and responsibilities at home, and ready yourself for some well-deserved ‘you time’. Cue the violins: presenting our list of the most romantic countries and travel experiences in the world.
Fine wine? Sumptuous cheese? Charming countryside perfect for picnicking with said wine and cheese? France has all the ingredients of a classic romance – rustic cuisine, gorgeous people, famous cities and a beautiful language. Strolling along the River Rhone in Lyon, gallery-hopping through Paris, cruising down the Canal du Midi on a riverboat and calling into Provincial hamlets for lunch…France is made for lovers young and old.
When it comes to romance, it’s hard to go past bella Italia. Soaring mountains, sweeping coastlines dotted with villages, vineyards interspersed sunflower fields…the Italian countryside practically invented romance. And then there’s the cities – Roma, Florence, Naples and Venice, where lovers can indulge in classic experiences like holding hands under the Bridge of Sighs, tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain after a night at the opera, or enjoying a white-tablecloth dinner on a cobblestoned street corner (order the spaghetti to share). A little schmaltzy, perhaps, but oh-so-Italian and oh-so-Romantic. When in Rome, right?
There’s nothing more sensual than the tango. Born in the working-class neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, this steamy dance for two is all about passion, poise and connection. For the perfect romantic night out, start with a candlelit dinner in BA’s Palermo district, followed by a seductive tango show (or perhaps even a class). Finish the evening with a midnight stroll along the Puerto Madero waterfront or a nightcap in a cozy wine bar.
Outside the city, Argentina has romance aplenty – in rustic country estancias, the icefields and forests of Patagonia and, of course, the rolling vineyards of Mendoza, where you’ll find the best Malbec in the world.
In the springtime, something incredible takes place in Japan. From February until May every year, a gorgeous pink snow sweeps across the country. After the long winter, people flock to parks, streets and rivers to enjoy the abundant cherry blossoms – or sakura – blooming around them. Ancient castles, temples and gardens are dusted in pink; supermarket shelves heave with floral-flavored snacks. Sure, it’s a busy time of year to visit, but the fleeting beauty, energy and romance of cherry blossom season in Japan make it completely worth it. Bring your camera.
Okay, so India doesn’t always feel romantic. Thronging crowds, cows wandering the streets, traffic chaos…it’s no peaceful stroll through the park. But look at it a differently and you’ll find romance everywhere – in the fiery curries, Maharaja palaces (where on a Peregrine tour, you’ll spend the night), ringing temples and sumptuous fabrics; in the misty hill stations of the north and the Dutch and French-influenced port towns of the south, in cities that set the imaginations of Yeats, Eliot, Kipling and The Beatles aflame.
And who could forget, of course, the greatest monument to love ever made – the exquisite Taj Mahal, built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a tribute to his wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
Kenya & Tanzania
Is there a better way to light the fire of love (sorry) than on a romantic hot air balloon ride? Huddle close and drift through the sky as the sun rises over Tanzania’s magical Serengeti. Dawn is the most active time of day for animals, so you might easily catch a glimpse of hippos wallowing around rivers, lions enjoying a tasty wildebeest breakfast or herds of gazelles vaulting across the plains. Afterwards, sit down to a sumptuous breakfast in the middle of nature.
Jordan may not be the first place called to mind when thinking of romantic destinations, but a trip through this jewel of the Middle East delivers romance in spades. Fall asleep under starry skies in a Bedouin camp in the desert, float hand-in-hand in the Dead Sea, and be treated to the magical experience of seeing Petra’s Treasury by candlelight.
The ancient city of Petra, home to massive pink stonewall carvings, was once the portal to the Near East and the crossroads of camel caravans carrying exotic spices and textiles across the lands. Jordan is something special, and to experience it with a loved one is an even greater adventure.
Feel like getting away somewhere romantic? A Peregrine premium adventure will take you there.