Valentine’s day is less than a month away and we’re already daydreaming of romantic destinations in Europe. While Europe’s beautiful capitals, Paris, Rome are brimming with love, they are also brimming with tourists! If you are looking for an out-of-the-ordinary destination, for an intimate and romantic getaway look no further. Check out our list of the 5 top alternative romantic destinations in Europe. And take your pick to surprise your loved ones with a romantic getaway unlike any other!
1. St. Petersburg, Russia
Charming canals, stunning palaces, beautiful gardens- these are just some of the things that make St Petersburg one of the top romantic destinations in Europe. Spend your days soaking up the history and the romantic atmosphere in Europe’s “Venice of the North”. Take your pick from a canal boat ride to a picnic in the beautiful St Petersburg gardens. Or, if you are looking to stay warm and cosy, go for a delicious hot chocolate at one of the city’s majestic cafés or to one of the many palaces to explore their majestic interiors. As for the evening, you can venture to an underground bar or treat yourselves to an outing to the theatre or the Russian ballet. This is guaranteed to be a romantic getaway unlike any other.
2. Mont-Saint-Michel, France
Located at the bay where Normandy and Brittany meet is the outworldly island of Mont-Saint-Michel. Picture a medieval walled city hovering above the waters at high tide and blending in with the sandy shores at low tide! As one of the first sites in the world to be classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city boasts architecturally stunning historic buildings, including, of course, its famous abbey. Walking through the charming streets of the island, you’ll feel like you’ve gone back in time. Discover it’s stunning architecture, eat local delicacies, such as crepes and omelettes, and enjoy the beautiful scenery. And if you are staying overnight, be sure to visit Saint-Malo- Brittany’s charming port city. Explore two romantic destinations in one memorable getaway!
3. Santorini, Greece
Famous for its white-washed houses and gorgeous sunsets, Santorini has been a classic romantic destination for years. Why visit a Greek island in the winter, you may ask? First of all, the island is far less crowded during the winter, leaving you free to explore the winding streets of the island in peace. In terms of the weather, while it may not exactly be swimming weather, it’s still warm enough to be outdoors.
Make the most of the non-scorching sun to explore the medieval village of Pyrgos, the vibrant town of Fira, and the iconic village of Oia. Take on the hiking path from Fira to Oia, to enjoy breathtaking views of the Aegean sea or venture to the top Mount Profit Ilias, the highest point of Santorini, for a panoramic view. You can also soak up the history with a visit to the Minoan Akrotiri and the Museum of Prehistoric Thera. Or, you can even visit a local winery to learn insider secrets about the local wines. And let’s not forget the delicious Mediterranean food. Enjoying a delicious dinner with a view of Santorini’s famous sunset- now that’s romance done right!
4. Bruges, Belgium
Colourful houses, cobbled lanes, charming market squares…the city of Bruges in Belgium is the definition of picturesque. Venture to this fairy-tale-like city this winter to discover one of Belgium’s best-kept secrets. Bruges is a haven of romantic activities! Take your pick from feeding the swans at Lake of Love, strolling across the Lover’s bridge, or going for a canal cruise through the charming city. As Bruges tends to get chilly in the winter, you can warm up at one of the cosy cafés, serving fresh waffles and decadent hot chocolates. Bruges also has an abundance of charming chocolate shops you can visit, as well as ateliers, where you can learn about the secrets of the local chocolatiers. Now, what’s romance without a little chocolate?
5. Romantic Road, Germany
The Romantic Road in Germany is the ultimate romantic destination for 2020. Venturing down Germany’s romantic road, you will first come across the historic cities of Würzburg and Augsburg. The first is renowned for its baroque architecture and wines, while the other for its rich history as one of the oldest cities in Germany. Continuing down the road you will find, not one, but three medieval walled towns! We recommend staying overnight at one of the towns to start fresh the next day for the grand finale: Neuschwanstein Castle. You are sure to recognize this iconic fairytale castle, located on top of a hill that overlooks Bavaria. You can go on a tour to explore the interiors of the castle. Or, you can walk up to Marienbrücke, a suspension footbridge behind the castle to take in the breathtaking view of the castle. The perfect ending to a memorable road trip!