Planning to woo your significant other with a romantic escape? For maximum brownie points, why not break out of your well-worn routines and choose somewhere decidedly different? Here’s four destinations you might not have considered that are bound to set your partner’s pulse a-flutter.
The English-speaking island of Malta has the warmest waters in the Med and archaeological sites so well preserved they’ve regularly stood in for Ancient Greece and Rome on the big screen. Wander and lose yourselves among the narrow, stone medieval alleyways of Malta’s original capital, the 4,000 year old fortified city of Mdina. Also known as ‘the Silent City’ after it was deserted for the current capital of Valetta, Mdina is a car free zone and there are even street signs urging visitors to be quiet and help retain the ambience of stillness. It’s packed with fine courtyard restaurants, distinctive red cupola churches and Arab-influenced architecture, perfect for a romantic pre-dinner stroll along the gas lit streets.
For a taste of the Caribbean, but without the honeymoon and cruise crowds those islands tend to attract, set your coordinates for the volcanic West African islands of Cape Verde. One of these, the island of Sal, is a former salt mining centre that offers brilliantly white sandy beaches whose cool breezes invite kitesurfers, while there are vast underwater caves to explore and curative salt spas to soothe weary couples. The potent mix of Creole and Portuguese cultural influences here can be traced in the melancholic, soulful strains of the national music of Morne, which sounds like the missing link between fado and blues.
Still one of the more remote and affordable corners of former Yugoslavia’s spectacular strip of coastline, the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro is fast becoming a haven for luxury yacht owners and celebrity getaways, thanks to glitzy marina developments and secluded waterfront hideaways. Vestiges of Venetian architecture, ancient walled towns carved from the cliffs, rugged peaks, deep canyons and vast tranches of untrammelled hiking terrain add up to make a destination that Lord Byron once described as the place where ‘the most beautiful encounter between the land and the sea must have happened.’ It doesn’t get much more romantic than that!
Sri Lanka holidays have a growing reputation as a more laidback alternative to India and continue to draw curious travellers keen to explore the country’s national parks, seven UNESCO World Heritage sites, lush natural beauty and vibrant culinary traditions. The ramshackle beach town of Tangalle – on the southernmost tip of the tear-shaped island – is blessed with largely deserted, tranquil beaches that stretch for miles. Here, the two of you can watch fishing boats gently bobbing in calm coves, spy on the multiple species of nesting sea turtles and pick your way inland through paddy fields and rocky temples. What’s your top pick for a romantic getaway? Share your loved-up recommendations below! Images by Dr M. Sheppherd, Brian Dell, used under Creative Comms licence.