Forget about the flowers, ditch the chocolates and do something really special for your loved one this Valentine’s Day. There’s no better time to spoil your partner so make a grand gesture and sweep them away to a destination they are unlikely to forget in a hurry.
Whether you want to explore Europe’s major cities, jet off to more exotic shores or would prefer to hide away in a cosy countryside cottage, here are some of our favourite Valentine’s escape ideas:
The City Break
For those with a limited timeframe, weekend getaways are an affordable way of visiting Europe’s major destinations. Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year making it the perfect time to explore one of the continent’s beautiful cities without having to take time off work.
Channel your inner Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck and embark on your very own Roman Holiday. The 1953 classic set in the Italian capital has inspired generations of lovers to visit the Eternal City. Home of Catholicism and rich in ancient history, Rome is full of things to see but for a truly romantic experience visit the iconic Trevi Fountain by moonlight.
Elsewhere in Italy you could venture to Verona – the setting of the world’s most famous love story Romeo and Juliet. Or if you fancy somewhere closer to home, Edinburgh blends rolling hills and medieval history with award-winning restaurants and cosmopolitan cocktail bars making for a uniquely intimate experience.
The Spiritual Retreat
Give your loved one the gift of good health this Valentine’s Day by treating them to a weekend of relaxation and recuperation.
Wellbeing Escapes specialise in spa breaks for couples such as the Lefay Resort & Spa at Lake Garda. Located on a breathtaking alpine backdrop and surrounded by olive groves and lemon trees, Lefay is the ultimate destination to unwind. The spa’s wellbeing package includes a full body massage, life consultation, as well as access to a private salt lake, yoga and cycling.
Alternatively you could spend a few days finding your zen at Dhamma Vihara, a meditation haven belonging to holistic experts Art of Meditation. The retreat, located in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of Southern France, is surrounded by natural forest and is the perfect place to find peace in an unspoilt environment.
The Secret Escape
Give your loved one your undivided attention by whisking them away to a cosy cabin deep in the woods, far from the distractions of the city. Spend some quality time exploring the surrounding forest, indulge in long lunches in nearby pubs or restaurants and then return home to snuggle by the log fire.
Forest Holidays provide luxurious log cabins in a number of woodland areas across the UK. Their brand new Golden Oak Hideaway cabins have been exclusively designed for those escaping to the forest for romance. Each cabin comes complete with hot tub, wood burning stove, a hammock on the decking and a large, sunken bath with a panoramic view of the forest.
For a different type of countryside adventure, why not hop on board a narrowboat and sale through the canals of the Norfolk Broads. The Broads are brimming with idyllic villages and market towns, offering access to the Great Yarmouth coast as well as the historic city of Norwich. With a large choice of convenient moorings, there are plenty of waterfront eateries and areas to explore on foot.
The Farflung Adventure
If you want to go the extra mile this year, spoil your Valentine rotten by whisking them away on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to one of the world’s most exotic destinations.
With verdant rainforest stretching down to pristine white sands and warm turquoise waters, the Seychelles is one the world’s most intoxicating destinations. Located off the East coast of Africa, the archipelago of paradisical islands are home to some of the world’s best beaches, colourful coral reefs and luxurious hotels.
From the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, Bora Bora is another desert island idyll with a distinctively different flavour. The Polynesian island has shallow waters abundant in marine life and has fast become an A-List celebrity hotspot. For the ultimate castaway experience, choose an overwater bungalow perfect for swimming, sunbathing and gazing out at the endless ocean vista.
The Road Trip
If you’re looking to inject a little excitement into your relationship, a continental road trip could be exactly what you’re looking for. Truly Experiences have several driving experiences that can be tailored to each individual couple’s preferences.
The three-day ‘Drive the Romantic Road by Porsche 911 Experience‘ takes you through some of Bavaria’s highlights. Named ‘romantic’ for its imagination-inspiring qualities, the route begins in Frankfurt before passing through the fairytale-like Wurzburg and Rothenburg and culminating in cosmopolitan Munich.
Alternatively you could embark on the ultimate French road trip. Beginning in Nice, you’ll pass through the glitz and glamour of Cannes, historically impressive Avignon, Lyon – famed for its prestigious wineries, before culminating in Paris, the most romantic city in the world.