We’ve compiled our list of the most romantic destinations worldwide. Arguably, wherever you are with your loved one could be called the most romantic, but these places have something extra special:
Looking to heat things up on Valentine’s Day? You don’t always have to go down south. While you might think of travelling to Iceland as frozen fjords, glaciers and well, ice, consider this: it has roughly seven hours of daylight in February; the rest is in darkness (wink, wink, nudge, nudge.) The Winter Solstice in December only has four hours of daylight and you’ll definitely want someone to keep you warm, perhaps in Reykjavik’s famous Ice Hotel. When you’re not making your own fireworks, the natural show put on by the Aurora Borealis will mesmerize. Witnessing the colourfully-charged Northern Lights sky explode is a once-in-a-lifetime must-see, though multiple times is better. Same goes for getting steamy in Iceland’s incredible geothermal hot springs. If romance means enjoying the outdoors to the fullest, Iceland’s long daylight hours during the summer will also let you get the most of this magical land.
2. Buenos Aires
The romance of sizzling and sultry Buenos Aires will make you bend at the knees (literally—it is the birthplace of tango, after all.) Not surprisingly, a city that holds this dance as one of its great treasures, breathes passion. Beyond the rose-in-the-mouth performances, stop and smell the flowers in meticulously-manicured gardens. Buenos Aires is a city of parks, conducive to romantic strolls and losing sense of time. The abundance of colonial architecture enhances the capital city of Argentina’s ambiance. If it’s too hot in the steamy city, cool off on the coast, where you can gorge on seafood platters meant to be shared by two. It’s a common sight to see Argentines, young and old, showing affection. This city will make even the quiet turn Quixotic. Buenos Aires is timeless and so are its traditions of love.
Like two lovers, a trip to Hawaii and romance go hand in hand. It is also one of the world’s most popular honeymoon and wedding destinations. You don’t have to be a newlywed however, to feel the love in the air. With the intoxicating fragrance of exotic blooms in the warm wind, long walks on endless beaches and cascading waterfalls, Hawaii is sure to make love blossom. Plus, it combines the Valentine’s essential ingredients of flowers and chocolate (flowers are everywhere and Hawaii is the only place in the US that grows cocoa.) All six islands of the Hawaiian archipelago offer something for couples, whether it’s learning to scuba or surf together on the Big Island, retreating to a couples-only resort in quiet Kauai, stealing a kiss on Sweetheart’s Rock in Lanai and stargazing in Maui (or gazing into each other’s eyes.)
4. Quebec City
Quebec City’s enchanting European atmosphere radiates romance. Ignite or rekindle the flame by strolling thorough gas lamp-lit, cobblestoned streets. Snuggle beneath a warm blanket on a horse-drawn carriage through the old city. Reserve an intimate table for two in an acclaimed French restaurant. Hold hands ice skating on the Place D’Youville rink, encircled by historic architecture. You’ll feel like you’re in a living snow globe, with gently falling snowflakes whirling around. In summer months, enjoy a picnic basket of local delicacies by the St. Lawrence River. Engage in a tête-à-tête, admiring the picturesque views of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Discover why Quebec City is called “North America’s most romantic city.” Its idyllic Old World scenery beckons comparisons to Paris (making it a more affordable and closer option, too.) Cozy up to the idea of heading here, and then cozy up to one another.
What could be more romantic than a secluded island with a loved one? (Unless of course the loved one is Aunt Gertrude and seclusion has you naming a volleyball Wilson.) We’re talking about Palawan, the Philippines’ least populated region. One can’t help but wonder if Alduous Huxley named his fictitious utopian island Pala, after Palawan.
While Travel & Leisure magazine deemed Palawan “the World’s Best Island” in 2013, it retains its rustic charm. Naturally, such global attention has boosted tourism, but compared to other beach destinations in Asia, Palawan remains relatively untouched. Perfect for romantic getaways, we can’t guarantee you’ll remain untouched… by its beauty, that is. Bask on sun-kissed, sugar white beaches. Swim in hidden inlets of aqua water divided by majestic limestone. Take a hike through pristine wilderness to discover terrestrial wildlife, or plunge into crystal waters to admire aquatic wildlife. A snorkel or scuba will surely have you finding “Nemo,” as well as love. Palawan is the Philippines’ answer to paradise.