Celebrating the love in some of the most romantic cities in the world
With Valentine’s day right around the corner, love is in the air and on the mind. Travel lovers (or those with a travel lover for a partner) are surely lusting after a romantic getaway to ring in the holiday. To aid in the search for romantic destinations, we’ve conjured up a list of the five most romantic cities in the world that are sure to have you researching future vacation packages.
Romance abounds in the Greek isles. Paramours have over 200 inhabited islands to choose from with Crete, Mykonos, and Santorini as front-runners. The latter is a personal favorite of the hubs and myself. The whitewashed buildings with characteristic blue roofs welcome visitors to the idyllic town of Oia in the north. Grab a gyro and a bottle of wine and race to beat the other guests for the best place to catch the iconic sunset. Toast to your love as the sun kisses the Aegean Sea goodnight.
Sunsets aside, you can bask in the sun (and each other’s affection) on one of Santorini’s colorful beaches. Due to the island’s geographical features, black and red volcanic pebbles leave the beaches with pretty hues to contrast the crystal-blue ocean water.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro throws one of the biggest Carnaval festivals in the world, and as such, is no stranger to revelry. This is a city that takes passion very seriously. Our best advice is to sit back, relax, and see what this saucy city has in store for you and your sweetie.
Let things get steamy as you and your partner samba at a local dance club, and then cool off with a caipirinha (or two) at the famous Belmond Copacabana Palace hotel. During the day, head to Ipanema Beach to frolic in the waves and partake in some of the best people watching in the world.
Viewfinder Tip: When in Rio de Janeiro, avoid petty crime by keeping valuables stashed in your hotel and not flashing your cash or fancy jewelry.
Sightseeing can lend itself to its own brand of romance as you cozy together in a cable car up to Sugarloaf Mountain (locally known as Pão de Açúcar) or the train to the Christ the Redeemer statue.
You caught us. We’re cheating. Tuscany is not a city but rather an entire region in Italy. To us, nearly everything about the area screams romance. The majestic rolling hills, Chianti-stocked cellars, and abundant medieval cities are a wonderful recipe for romance.
Stroll hand in hand with your amour through the winding alleyways of Siena, or perhaps share a scoop of world-famous gelato in medieval San Gimignano. To take in a true masterpiece, head to Florence to ogle over the chiseled frame of Michelangelo’s David statue.
Strolling through San Gimignano in Tuscany
And let’s not forget that Italian food is a romance language in and of itself. Don’t believe me? Just look at Lady and the Tramp. What’s more romantic than sharing an al dente spaghetti noodle with the one you love?
We couldn’t really narrow it down to just one city on Maui. The whole island is sure to ignite the romance. Admittedly one of our favorite vacation spots, the mister and I let ourselves truly indulge with every visit.
The beauty of this island is the blend of nature and town. There are so many gorgeous places to escape to with your honey. Personally, we love couple-building experiences like repelling down waterfalls or outrigger canoeing. Even a trip on the legendary road to Hana can be romantic with the right company. However, Maui also boasts a nice touch of posh activities. The Ocean Vodka company has a lovely tasting room, while the Terme Hydrotherapy Circuit and soaking pools at Grand Wailea’s Spa Grande are excellent ways to unwind with your lover.
For us, Maui is all about the togetherness of love. Whether you’re holding hands as you jump off a waterfall or feeding each other truffles at the Surfing Goat Dairy, you’ll find something for lovers of every taste.
Cape Town, South Africa
The view from atop Table Mountain is enough to make any heart race. If you choose to hike to the top, it might take your breath away as well. For those who would rather reserve their energy for other activities, a relaxing gondola ride to the top is the way to go.
This seaside city is ripe with wine and adorable cafés. It would be difficult not to fall in love here, as there is such a wild energy and jaw-dropping beauty to the place. Each panoramic street is studded with a place to sample the local wine and cozy corners to cuddle up and get to know one another.
Escape just outside of Cape Town for a hot-air balloon safari. Love is in the air as you soar over vast plains studded with African wildlife. Once you’re back on terra firma, head to the Beau Constantia estate to celebrate your journey over some of the best wine in the region.
What’s the most romantic city that you’ve visited?
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Chris and Tawny have had articles and videos published on USA TODAY TRAVEL, BBC Travel, Matador Network, as well as appeared as guest stars on TLC Asia's Fun Taiwan television series. When not on the road, you can find Chris and Tawny nestled in their home in Tacoma, Washington fueling up on coffee and cat cuddles while planning their future adventures. You can follow their travels on their blog, Instagram, and YouTube