Falling in love can be an exciting experience and wherever you find yourself when it happens, a romantic setting can definitely help point cupid’s arrow in the right direction. When couples look back on their past history, it is always the places and experiences they shared together that shaped their relationships. Planning a holiday that you are hoping will be romantic can be enormous pressure. Here are my top five places to throw caution to the wind and fall in love. I hope you guys like it!
Kefalonia was featured in the Hollywood take of Louis de Bernières’ romantic novel, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. It was here that the young Italian officer, Captain Corelli, played by Nicholas Cage, fell in love with the beautiful Greek islander, Pelagia, played by Penelope Cruz, during the German and Italian occupation of Kefalonia in World War Two.
This breathtaking Greek Island of sparkling turquoise sea’s and picturesque villages has only around 32,000 inhabitants, so there are plenty of places for space and privacy to let love blossom.The best beach on the Island is Myrtos Beach, spectacular, picturesque and enclosed by cliffs this beach has clear, blue water gently lapping against fine, white sand. It is the perfect suntrap and can get very hot but there is a beach bar, sun beds, and umbrellas for hire. As Myrtos is in the north of Kefalonia it is set away from the more popular resorts, therefore it is more private and well worth a day trip.
Rome’s past inhabitants and alumni include Romeo and Juliet, Casanova and Sophia Loren. Nicknamed the ‘Eternal City’, it is probably the most romantic place on our list; if love doesn’t blossom here, then it likely never will. The city’s beauty, history, and Italian cuisine, however, are an unbeatable combination and will ensure that if you don’t fall in love with each other, then at least you will fall in love with the place. Many of the Italian capital’s sights are close together and can be discovered and enjoyed on foot, which leaves plenty of scope for kisses on moonlit bridges over the River Tiber, where Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck parted on a boat in the classic film ‘Roman Holiday’. Walk around arm-in-arm while admiring the glorious architecture that dominates each part of the city.
In Rome, you will find everything from excellent family-run trattorias and pizza places to hip, upmarket restaurants.
A southern American city with balmy, sultry nights and atmospheric jazz, the slow pace of New Orleans will capture the hearts of the most reluctant lover. With a myriad of cultural influences from African to French, ‘let the good times roll’ and enjoy the vibrant, old-school panache of a music-loving city – an exuberating miss-match of flavors and styles.
Bourbon Street is the city’s most famous address in the 80 block French Quarter and is the oldest part of New Orleans. Enjoy the bars and nightlife early on in the evening, as it can get slightly rowdy late into the night. A great place to grab dinner is on a balmy evening cruise on the top deck of the Steamboat Natchez – currently the only operating steamboat in New Orleans. The steamboat will take you on a two-hour tour down the Mississippi River and your evening will include vibrant jazz performances from some of the best local musicians. You can purchase lunch/dinner or simply do the cruise by itself
4. French Polynesia – Bora Bora, Four Seasons Resort
This is a collection of jaw-droppingly beautiful islands located in the South Pacific Ocean. The islands, which include Tahiti, are scattered over an area larger than Europe. One of the area’s claims to fame is that Marlon Brando fell for his Polynesian female lead when making Mutiny on the Bounty here. For some luxury and self-indulgent pampering, head to the island of Bora Bora or for simple unadulterated seclusion slope off to enjoy the remoteness of the Austral Islands, where you can soak up the sun under a palm tree at the end of the earth and bask in your very own Robinson Crusoe romance. Bora Bora has some very high standard luxury hotels. Four Seasons Bora Bora is one of the best. Blessed with superb views and based on an outer coral reef that encloses a turquoise lagoon, the hotel has private over-water bungalow with their own plunge pools and a ladder into the lagoon. If you can bear to tear yourself away from the privacy and beauty of your bungalow the hotel has an onsite holistic spa. In particular, it has a treatment specially designed for couples called ‘Kahaia Heaven’ – for sharing with a loved one in one of the double treatment rooms. A skin-smoothing body treatment begins with cleansing, using naturally exfoliating Kahala body scrub, legendary Tahitian black pearl powder, and native fragrant vanilla. Once the skin is prepared, an exquisite massage of your choice is given. This experience concludes with a holistic and de-stressing Water and Light express facial.
5. The Plitvice Lakes – Croatia
This UNESCO World Heritage site of outstanding natural beauty, just a two-hour drive from Zagreb in Croatia, is so beautiful that it seems other-worldly with its 16 crystalline turquoise lakes and myriad luminous waterfalls that will take your breath away. It is surrounded by mountains and forms part of the Dinaric Alps. In a place so splendid and in touch with nature it’s hard not to find the beauty in each other and let love grow. The area is teaming with wildlife such as brown bears, wolves, eagles, bears and thousands of wild butterflies – this really is paradise! The lakes are renowned for their distinctive colors, ranging from azure to green or gray. The colors change constantly depending on the quantity of minerals or organisms in the water and the angle of sunlight. There are wooden walkways across the lakes: you walk across the natural pools (created, over thousands of years, by water flowing over chalk and limestone and forming small dams. This creates stunning pools of water which in turn create waterfalls. The park is stunning at any time of year, be it during winter when it becomes a frozen winter wonderland resembling a scene from Narnia, or in summer when the whole park comes alive in technicolor.
Photo Credits: @UNESCO