Everyone loves the thrill of a new romance, and one of the best things about the early stages of a relationship is having lots of ‘firsts’ together – your first weekend away, the first time you meet each other’s parents, and even your first big argument! For me, the first serious holiday you take together is particularly exciting, and I think it’s fair to say that pretty much everyone aims to strike the perfect romantic note.
Clearly the destination you choose is crucial. Begin by thinking about is exactly what you and your partner are interested in and what kind of holiday you want to go on – you need something that you’ll both enjoy equally, and that suits your personal tastes. After all, it doesn’t matter how romantic a destination is to one couple – if it’s just not your thing, it probably won’t work for you.
You can then start checking out destinations and travel companies. Below, you’ll find my list of top places on the planet to fall in love.
First up is the Maldives. Nestled in the Indian Ocean, this beautiful archipelago is, I think, pretty unbeatable in terms of romance. First of all, you’ve got the simple fact that these islands are stunning – think lush greenery, white sand beaches and turquoise waters.
Secondly, there’s the privacy factor – local law limits the number of resorts to just one per island, which means packed beaches and overly busy holiday resorts just don’t happen here. Thirdly, the abundance of luxury hotels (which you can find out more about through companies like H & J) means getting pampered is part and parcel of holidays here.
Next on my list is Rome, one of Italy’s most romantic cities. If your idea of romance involves seeing stunning ancient architecture and dining on exquisite cuisine, this is definitely the place for you.
Rome is, of course, most famous for its ancient heritage – particularly the spectacular Colosseum. Taking leisurely strolls from one site to the next in the balmy heat is definitely a great way to spend a romantic morning or evening, but for me the food plays an important part in making this destination the perfect place to fall in love.
In restaurants like Sapori del Lord Byron, you can sip on a glass of bubbly while watching the sunset over amazing city views. Or, head to Giolitti – which most locals believe is the best ice cream parlour in Rome – for some of the most delicious gelato you’ll ever taste.
This little European country has so much to offer couples. Known for its incredibly rich history paired with a glamorous ambience (particularly around the coastal areas), Croatia is ripe for romantic adventures.
Personally, I think there is one location that really stands out. Around two hours’ drive from the capital Zagreb are the Plitvice Lakes, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This area really does have to be seen to be believed. Charming wooden walkways cross the 16 crystal-clear lakes, the colours of which shift throughout the day depending on the angle of the sunlight, as well as their mineral properties. As if that isn’t idyllic enough, there are also a host of gorgeous waterfalls, while the whole place is surrounded by mountains – could there be anywhere more romantic for a tranquil stroll? I don’t think so.