You have already fallen in love with great destinations like Paris and Hawaii, so this year we decided to change things up a bit and head off the typical tourist path in search of lesser-known romantic places. Whether it’s a candlelit wagon ride in Montana or a visit to Cupid in Copenhagen, each of these destinations promises something unique for you and your sweetheart. Without further ado, here are 10 hidden places from around the world that are sure to sweep you off your feet.
Iguazu Falls, Argentina And Brazil
With cascading waterfalls taller than Niagara Falls and a love story that rivals Romeo and Juliet, Iguazu Falls is the perfect place to fall in love all over again. Legend has it that Guarani tribesmen would sacrifice young virgins to appease a monstrous serpent named Boi that inhabited the river. One day a warrior named Taroba fell in love with the chosen offering, Naipi, and the two ran off together. Boi, seeing the lovers escape, lashed its mighty tail and split the river, forever separating them and creating the Iguazu Falls. Whether the story is true or not, you and your loved one can stand together and witness the glory of more than 270 falls shared by Brazil and Argentina.There is an array of accommodations in the nearby city of Puerto Iguazu.
Sometimes overlooked for the more popular European canal destinations such as Venice or Amsterdam, Copenhagen has everything a couple needs for the ultimate romantic getaway. Not only can you meander through the old canals with your better half, but you can pay a visit to Cupid at the Thorvaldsen Museum. Couples can also pass the time at Tivoli Gardens, an adventure park within the city, where they can stroll among the flowers or watch the fireworks as the sun sets. In addition, the Danish capital offers opera, theater, shopping, and fine dining galore.The Copenhagen visitors’ bureau recommends several romantic hotels within the city.
The Resort At Paws Up, Montana
(Photo: The Resort at Paws Up)
If the idea of stargazing while cozying up with the one you love in a horse-drawn wagon sends you to the moon and back, then The Resort at Paws Up might be the ideal landing spot for you and your significant other. The Montana resort not only offers starlit wagon rides, but also offers many other activities with packages that are tailor-made for two, including couples’ massages, private horseback rides, wine tastings, and fire and fondue. Located on a 37,000-acre working cattle ranch not far from Missoula, this luxury resort combines the great outdoors with the finer things in life, and even offers the chance to go “glamping” (short for glamorous camping), where you will be treated like royalty on the range.Paws Up offers a variety of accommodations, from riverside camping to luxury camping, and plenty of indoor options in-between. Rooms start at about $720 per night, and come with three meals per day and access to most of the resort’s activities. Packages are also available.
New Caledonia, South Pacific
(Photo: New Caledonia Tourism)
Described as the place “where the French Riviera meets the South Pacific, “New Caledoniabrings together Melanesian culture with French influence to create the best of both worlds in an idyllic island setting. About a two-and-a-half-hour flight from Sydney, Australia, the archipelago boasts the world’s largest lagoon and second-largest coral reef—both named UNESCO World Heritage Sites. As a popular honeymoon destination, there is plenty for lovers to do outdoors as well as in the capital city of Noumea, where you’ll find exotic cuisine, unique boutiques, and French Colonial architecture. You and your beloved can enjoy all of the romance of France in a totally unexpected atmosphere.There are a variety of available accommodations, including bungalows situated over the water.
Kelowna, British Columbia
(Photo: Courtesy of www.tourismkelowna.com)
Want to experience the romance of wine country but go a bit off the beaten path? If so, skip the typical go-to spots like Napa Valley or Bordeaux and head to Kelowna, British Columbia, located in the heart of Canada’s Okanagan Valley. Not only can you sample the area’s award-winning wines, but you can also treat your honey to a hot-air-balloon ride, vineyard cycling tour, or couples’ massage at a local spa. For something truly unusual during winter, take your sweetie on a snowshoeing tour by moonlight. As the largest city in the Valley, Kelowna combines big-city amenities like fine dining, art galleries, and boutique shops with a small-town ambiance, all surrounded by mountains, lakes, and pine forests. The city offers a range of accommodations, from cozy B&Bs to upscale boutique hotels.
Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber, Germany
Love can sometimes feel like a fairy tale, and there’s no better place to have a happy ending than in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. The medieval town is located along the Romantic Road and is considered the best preserved city in Germany, with architecture dating back to the 12th century. You and your sweetheart can walk along the wall that encircles the charming half-timbered town, visit the year-round Christmas Village, or climb to the top of the Rothenburg Town Hall Tower for views of the surrounding countryside. Couples can also enjoy the many shops, restaurants, and guided tours available within the walls.You can find all kinds of accommodations in Rothenburg from B&Bs to hotels.
Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, Florida
(Photo: Noble House Hotels)
When it comes to the ultimate romantic splurge, there’s nothing like escaping to a private island, especially one that is home to one of the world’s best hotels (as recognized byTravel & Leisure). Set among the Florida Keys, Little Palm Island Resort & Spa gives new meaning to seclusion, and can only be reached by a seaplane or boat. You and your beloved can completely escape the rest of the world, as there are no telephones or televisions, and guests under the age of 16 are not allowed on the island. The resort offers 30 oceanfront thatched-roof bungalows scattered among its five-and-a-half acres. While on the island, lovebirds can enjoy many activities, such as kayaking, swimming with dolphins, and scuba diving or snorkeling. Room rates start at $690 per night (without taxes and fees), and include boat transfers, minibar beverages, and water sport activities.
Chaa Creek, Belize
(Photo: Christine Sarkis)
If you and your sweetheart prefer something a bit more adventurous than the typical getaway, Chaa Creek offers a stay unlike any other. The Belizean rainforest eco-lodge, located on a private 365-acre nature reserve near the foothills of the Maya Mountains, provides an ideal setting to reconnect with nature and one another. Wake to the sounds of the rainforest in one of the lodge’s many different accommodations, including thatched-roof cottages and treetop Jacuzzi suites. Once you’ve taken in the surrounding beauty, you can enjoy together time with on-site activities like horseback riding, canoeing, or relaxing at the spa. The lodge also offers helicopter rides, snorkeling, and tours to Mayan temples for when and if you decide venture out.Rooms start at $450 per night (without taxes and fees) for the treetop Jacuzzi suite. Packages are also available.
When it comes to romance, it’s hard to beat an old fishing village that combines historic charm with modern comforts. With its luxurious boutique hotels overlooking the water,Zihuatanejo (pronounced see wah tah NAY ho) offers a respite from the high-rises and all-inclusive resorts of more well-known Mexican beach destinations. Couples can enjoy the days lounging on the sand surrounding the bay, shopping in the small market downtown, having a drink at one of the lazy beach bars, dining under the stars, or listening to the wandering musicians who are always standing by for spontaneous serenades.A wide of variety of lodging, including luxury resorts, boutique hotels, bungalow rentals, and B&Bs, are available in Zihuatanejo.
Located off the coast of Malaysia, Langkawi is comprised of 99 islets and is a couple’s dream getaway. This popular vacation spot offers stunning beaches perfect for a little R&R with the one you love. Since Langkawi isn’t just geared toward tourism, there are many spots to experience everyday life among the paddy fields. Langkawi provides a great deal of activities, including the cable car that takes you to the top of the island’s second-highest peak; a mangrove forest that offers an opportunity to feed the eagles; or the Underwater World, which is features more than 5,000 varieties of freshwater and marine species. There are a range of accommodations that will suit any budget.
Other Romantic Places
(Photo: Simply Scilly/Mercury PR)
The theme of romance has certainly been in major headlines already this year, particularly with the upcoming nuptials of Prince William and his fiancee Kate Middleton, and some publications are already speculating on where they’ll spend their honeymoon (perhaps the relatively unknown and near-to-home Isles of Scilly?). What hidden romantic escapes are you planning for this year? Are you hoping to go near or far? Are you aiming for somewhere unexpected and exotic, or someplace simple and sweet? Please share your favorite locales with other readers in the comments section below.
By Kate Hamman, SmarterTravel Staff. This content was originally published at Smarter Travel, a TripAdvisor Media Group company. SmarterTravel.com is the largest online travel resource for unbiased travel news, deals, and timely expert advice.