Looking for alternative romantic destinations in Europe? Autumn, the cosiest season of the year, is upon us and we’re already eyeing up romantic destinations. If you are looking for an intimate romantic getaway away from the tourist crowds, look no further! We’ve put together a list of 5 of our favourite alternative romantic destinations in Europe for a memorable getaway with that someone special!
1. Mourstiers Sainte-Marie, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France
Arguably the most beautiful village in France, you will find Mourstiers Sainte-Marie in the UNESCO-listed Géoparc de Haute Provence. The village sits between two cliffs, at 100m high. Its picturesque pastel-coloured houses provide a contrast to its dramatic setting, lending the village its unique beauty. With only 700 residents, the village is ideal for an intimate getaway.
Spend your time there strolling through babbling fountains, exploring artists’ stalls selling handmade goodies, and tasting authentic French cuisine. The restaurants there range from refined gastronomic pleasures, such as the restaurant of the world-famous Chef Ducasse, to brasseries serving traditional dishes and local snacks. During your stay there, don’t miss out on visiting the village’s famous chapel. The chapel is not only beautiful but also boasts beautiful panoramic views of the rooftops of Mourstiers.
2. Ravello, Amalfi Coast, Italy
The stunning village of Ravello boasts one of the most mesmerising views of the entire Amalfi Coast. This clifftop town, also known as Amalfi’s balcony, gets its nickname from its unique location. The village sits at 350m above sea level, overlooking Amalfi’s charming fishing villages. It is also known as “the city of music”, as musicians and other artists have historically retreated there in search of rejuvenation and inspiration.
Boasting all the beauty of the Amalfi coast and none of the tourist crowds, Ravello is ideal for a cosy romantic getaway. Spend your days strolling through medieval streets, garden villas, and ancient stone pathways. Expect great food, wine and music in abundance, and, of course, beautiful sunset views!
3. Alcalá del Júcar, Albacete, Spain
The stunning village of Alcalá del Júcar boasts almost-unreal natural beauty. It sits on a steep hillside, with its white-washed houses blending with the white cliff face. The village itself, with its traces of Roman architecture, is uniquely beautiful and has been classified as one of Spain’s historic artist towns.
Strolling through the village, you will see houses carved into the rocky surface of the hill. Make sure to visit the Cuevas del Diablo- a series of caves built into the cliff face, as well as the historic Church of San Andrés. Also, for the ultimate romantic experience, don’t miss out on visiting Alcalá del Júcar Castle. The castle is a former medieval Arab fortress and is situated at the highest point in the village. From there, you can enjoy beautiful views of the vibrant gorge and river below, with the medieval fortress as your backdrop.
4. Giethoorn, Overijssel, The Netherlands
This (mostly) car-free village in the north-eastern part of the Netherlands is ideal for a secluded romantic getaway. Picture boats strolling down calm waterways, and beautiful footpaths and bicycle trails taking you through traditional Dutch thatched-roof houses.
Visiting the village, you will feel like you’ve gone back to a simpler time. Historically, the village was only accessible by boat, and you will notice that the traditional Giethoorn boats, also known as punters, are still around, as are the village’s historic wooden bridges. Go for a boat ride to see traditional 18th-century farmhouses and take in the area’s natural beauty. Also, make sure to venture to one of the many local restaurants by the waterfront for a taste of authentic Dutch cuisine. To experience the village’s charming character, we recommend going on the ‘Giethoorn walking route’, which will take you through all of the village’s most beautiful sites.
5. Morcote, Ticino, Switzerland
This picturesque village in Southern Switzerland has more than once won the title of Switzerland’s most beautiful village. The former fishing village sits on the shores of the stunning Lake Lugano. At the bank of the lake, you will find colourful houses and architecturally impressive buildings, such as the renowned Palazzo Paleari. Then, venturing to the heart of the village, you will discover winding cobbled streets, beautiful gardens, and medieval passageways
Spend your time there exploring the local shops by the waterfront and discovering the medieval heart of the village centre. Also worth a visit is Scherrer Park, where you will find a variety of plants, including palm trees and cypresses. The park often hosts cultural and artistic events so be sure to check the schedule to get the most out of your visit.