Valentine’s Day Special: The World’s Most Romantic Places

Posted on February 8, 2009 by

As the most romantic day of the year is approaching fast, it’s time to dig up some hot ideas to romance your loved one. Modern urbanites these days might find it quite a bit of a commercialized gimmick for romantic fools to empty their pockets and boost the economy; I’m just one of those fools who love to be swept off my feet and completely indulge in romance.

Here are some of our favorite ways to spend Valentine’s:

1. Prayers at Tanah Lot Temple – Bali, Indonesia

Tanah Lot Temple is one of the most tranquil and peaceful spots of Bali. It stands in the sea, built out of cliff rocks jutting out of the coastline. A visit to the temple comes with blessings by the local pilgrims who say a little prayer for you, and bless you with rice on your forehead and frangipani flowers. Our favorite place to enjoy the beauty of Tanah Lot are the cafés perched on the cliff top, overlooking the temple, offer fantastic view of the entire coast and a tranquil time for you and your loved one.

These days, Bali is mostly dominated by lobster-tanned tourists, but fret not, there are still many areas undiscovered by the conventional crowd. The emerald green rice paddies of cultural center, Ubud , bring you through a journey into the traditions and cultural aspects of Bali, which is one of its kind.

Tanah Lot is approx. 1 hour’s drive away from Kuta, the hotspot of Bali. We rented a jeep for US$15 a day, that took us around the coast, stopping by several temples along the way and up to Ubud.

2.  Driving along the Great Ocean Road – Melbourne, Australia

A recent trip along the Great Ocean Road made me fall head over heels for it again, it’s hard not to. With the ocean breeze in your face, cruising along the coastline, with the dramatic cliff rock formations passing right by, is the perfect way to romance your loved one. At least we did.

The romantic fools in us decided to splurge for once, on a 15-minute helicopter ride that took us high up, with a full frontal view of the 12 Apostles, Loch arch Gorge and the rest of the coastline. Our first time on a helicopter, and it rocked. Definitely worth the AU$70!

A natural phenomenon of sea erosion has created the amazing 12 Apostles – odd cliff formations lining the coast. Unfortunately with the impact of the waves, there are only 7 rocks left. Better see it before they are all gone!

Our picnic at the nearby Warnambool made the trip even rosier. With green grass and a swan lake, having a glass of wine and salad makes it a perfect Valentine’s.

3. Cruising the canals of Venice, Italy

Nothing beats the whimsical and dreamy atmosphere  in Venice – you breath, smell and soak in romance. I surprised Alberto on his birthday in 2007 with a weekend trip to Venice – of course, even guys fall for that!

Taking a Venice gondola ride through the Canals (although that is costs 60euros for a ride – budgeted travelers like us could take the 4euros Vaporetto instead.) or people-watching at  Piazza San Marco are the best ways to fire up your passion. Accommodation can be way costly, check out small hotels in the Venetian countryside that cost half the price and only a bus ride away. We stayed in the Hotel Villa Dori, with room rates of 77euros per night, and Venetian styled 4-poster beds. Definitely true Valentine’s style!

4. Sunset at the Alhambra Palace – Granada, Spain

One of our frequent haunts in Alberto’s hometown in Southern Spain, is the outdoor café of the Alhambra Palace Hotel. Built in commemoration of the ancient moorish Palace, the Alhambra, it is perched on the hilltop, overlooking the Andalusian city of Granada. We love having a glass of tinto de verano (Spanish concoction of red wine and soda), in the outdoor verandah with a bird’s eye view. Dotted with white-washed houses, the Alhambra Palace on the left and snowy Sierra Nevada (mountain range) on the backdrop, there is no better way to spend some time with each other.

The Alhambra is also a mystical spot to get lost in its maze-like architecture, especially when it gets dark. I was awed by the beauty of the Alhambra on my first visit to Spain, when we went for a night tour of the Alhambra. Dimly lit with yellow lights, the Palace exudes an enigmatic feel where you can’t help but immerse in the Arabic mystique.

The 5-star Alhambra Palace Hotel is definitely costly to stay in, but the café offers reasonably priced drinks from 3-4euros each. With an exquisite Moroccan influenced interior, its decor of arabic lamps and intricate carvings not only enchant you but also add a romantic flavor to your evening.

Every single time we’re in Granada, we pay a visit to this café just to remind us of our love for each other, and for this charming city.

5. Admiring the night view of Singapore – Marina Barrage

A newly built man-made dam that separates the Java sea from the Singapore River, Marina Barrage not only functions as a dam, but also offers state-of-the-art architectural marvels. Built as an eco-friendly spot, the rooftop of the barrage is covered with green grass and wading pools, idyllic for a romantic escape from the city. What’s more, it’s free!

The best thing about the barrage is its location – right at the outskirts of the CBD (Central Business district) of Singapore, it boasts of an amazing view of the skyline of the city. Yet, in the tranquility, you feel that you’re away from the hustle and bustle of this Asian cosmopolitan city. I love to spend quiet nights here, admiring the twinkling city lights and enjoying the silence of it all.

6. Secret coves at the Venetian pools – Miami, USA

This was where we spent some of the most beautiful days together. Miami was where we met, and we had such wonderful memories at the Venetian pools. Probably the most romantic spot in Miami, the natural spring water pool formed from coral rock quarry has a vintage vibe to it since its popular days in the 1920s.

We loved the secret hideouts in the coral caves (some private time away from the crowd) , the refreshing waterfalls and grottos. It’s a great site to steal kisses, enjoy the privacy and walk back through the past.

Right near the University of Miami, it’s a great respite from the heat as well.

Flickr photo by Matt Kiefer

7. Cotton clouds of Pamukkale, Turkey

Definitely one of my favorite spots in the world, Pamukkale (Cotton castle) boasts of crystal white limestone pools, laying vicariously over the plateau slopes, forming a beautiful phenomenon of travertine. So pure, lavishing and unspoiled.

Unfortunately, these days, swimming in the pools is prohibited due to environmental damage brought by tourism. Still, sitting by the slopes, watching sunset hand in hand with your loved one – you couldn’t ask for more in life.

Besides the cotton clouds, Pamukkale is actually famous for the ancient city of Hierapolis. Amazingly well-preserved roman ruins show evidence of an ancient civilization – from the Temple of Apollo to the Hierapolis temple, you could almost feel the entire city come to life! The Sacred pool at the foot of Hierapolis even allows you to swim with ancient artifacts.

Flickr photo by Filippo Salamone

 

8. Marveling at the architectural beauty of Santorini, Greece

Blue domes and white washed houses litter all over the volcanic island of Santorini. We were really lucky to have the opportunity to visit the island back in 2006, seeing that it was world famous, and quite extravangantly expensive. It is possibly the most picturesque island in the Aegean sea – amazing volcanic geology and typically greek architecture.

We rented a car at the foot of the island for 20euros a day, where we started the steep drive up to the villages of Santorini. Oia enjoys praises in guidebooks and fellow travelers’ commentaries, as the most beautiful village atop an impressive cliff with a spectacular view of the Aegean sea.

I especially loved having a drink in the cafés along the narrow paths of Oia, offering a view to die for. Life can’t get any better with some wonderful Greek cuisine – salad and Moussaka, along with a shot of Ouzo. How else do you light up the fire of romance, besides the Greek style?

 

Where are you spending your Valentine’s Day? What are your favorite romantic places in the world?

Comments

comments

About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is the co-founder of WildJunket. As a professional travel writer with a special interest in offgrid destinations and adventure travel, she scours through the world in search for a slice of undiscovered paradise. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Guatemala, swam with sealions in the Galapagos and built a school in Tanzania.

39 Responses to “Valentine’s Day Special: The World’s Most Romantic Places”

  1. LLC February 8, 2009 3:48 pm
    #

    Totally love your ideas on how to spend Valentine's!

  2. Globetrotting Bride February 9, 2009 4:09 pm
    #

    These are all amazing suggestions!!! I want to visit them all. Love your blog!

  3. wincent.tan February 10, 2009 3:40 am
    #

    Besides the vibrant nightlife of singapore. The Arts and Entertainment Singapore has to offer is quite a lot too. Since I moved her 5 years ago, I must say I am pretty happy with the development in this area. Singaporeans aren't that stiff afterall.

  4. Nellie February 12, 2009 6:46 am
    #

    hey Wincent, great one there! Yes you're right, Singapore really isn't that dull like what many visitors think. There are after all lots of things to do, especially at night! I sure will write more about Singapore in time to come.

  5. Sonya January 21, 2010 9:35 pm
    #

    Thanks for sharing your fave spots to spend Valentine's! Many of these are mine too. Then again, I always try to make our favorite spot for Valentine's wherever we are living and traveling on February 14 every year.

  6. Taina April 2, 2010 11:44 am
    #

    Hello there, Happy April Fool’s Day!

    Two elderly couples were enjoying friendly conversation when one of the men asked the other, “Fred, how was the memory clinic you went to last month?”

    “Outstanding,” Fred replied. “They taught us all the latest psychological techniques – visulization, association – it made a huge difference for me.”

    “That’s great! What was the name of the clinic?”

    Fred went blank. He thought and thought, but couldn’t remember. Then a smile broke across his face and he asked, “What do you call that flower with the long stem and thorns?”

    “You mean a rose?”

    “Yes, that’s it!”

    He turned to his wife “Rose, what was the name of that clinic?”

    Happy April Fool’s Day!

  7. London Apartments June 17, 2010 12:06 pm
    #

    The Alhambra is nice, but I won't say it's romantic – I find it rather imposing actually. Bali and Greece is definitely very romantic. And on par with night views in Singapore I would suggest the London Eye as well – breath taking views over Buckingham Palace and the sparkling lights over the Thames – you'll definitely get a YES.

    • admin June 18, 2010 3:59 pm
      #

      Thanks for the input. Woo have you seen the Alhambra at night? In the evening, the entire Alhambra is washed in a shade of glow and it’s wiped out of tourists – that time is the best time to linger around with your loved one. I’d say the views from the London Eye are stunning, but the queue to get on there – crazy! There are just too many tourists in line, and when you get the chance to hop on, you’re surrounded by huge groups of students and camera-toting tourists – not the least bit romantic I’m afraid.

  8. Widya Wijayanti February 15, 2011 12:22 am
    #

    Have visited no. 1 to 5. Indeed I agree! Alhambra at night was spectacular! I stayed at El Numero 8 hostal and enjoyed Sangria on the roof overlooking the palace.

    Always want to visit Santorini…great recommendations. Thanks for sharing :)

  9. Mathieu May 10, 2011 4:07 pm
    #

    Those are some really gorgeous and breathtaking sights. Nothing like soaking up the romance in the warm sun of Venice or taking a few days off in an idyllic beach-front resort in Bali to rekindle the love spark in the both of you.

  10. Karen February 12, 2013 5:51 am
    #

    a very nice selection of places. although, I would have also included the cayman islands hehe

  11. Steve April 11, 2013 9:19 am
    #

    My wife loves to travel to Italy and I am sure that she will be happy knowing that I arrange a trip for our wedding anniversary next year.

  12. hockeytimeamerica.com April 18, 2013 12:23 pm
    #

    I’m extremely impressed together with your writing talents as well as with the format on your weblog. Is that this a paid subject or did you customize it your self? Either way keep up the nice high quality writing, it is uncommon to see a great weblog like this one these days..

  13. Kori June 9, 2013 1:50 pm
    #

    This is a great list of romantic travel destinations. I would also like to believe that Paris would be a romantic destination as well.

  14. Play Unblocked July 15, 2013 7:52 am
    #

    Whilst it's nice to see a turban wearing Sikh "breaking mainstream" I wonder if we have taken this pursuit of social acceptance too far. Just a question as this is something I'm grappling with myself.

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