Do you want to bask in the dreamy sights of Venice? Perhaps drink sherry at a bar in Seville, or soak up the sun in Santorini? Europe often tops the list of people looking for romance, adventure, or a little bit of both. But what are the best places to visit? Here is our list of five of the best European destinations for couples.
Whether you’re kayaking in a glacier lagoon or horseback riding in a windswept moor, you are bound to find thrill and romance in Iceland. The country does not have the balmy, palm-fringed beaches of the tropics, but it has smoky hot springs, a thousand waterfalls, and glistening fjords. Go on a glacier hike and ice cave tour, then soak in the steamy waters of the Húsafell Canyon Baths. Explore Reykjavic, learn to cook Icelandic food together, stay at a glass lodge and watch the stars as you fall asleep. If you’re travelling in the winter months, be sure to chase the Northern Lights.
From beaches to canals to wineries, nothing does romance better than Italy. No wonder almost every romantic dreams of exciting luxury Italian tours. Ride a carriage through Rome and explore the Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel, and the Trevi Fountain, where you can toss a coin and wish for love. Leave a love lock on the bridge of Ponte Vecchio in Florence, or leave a love note at the Capulet courtyard in Verona. Swear endless devotion at the Path of Love in Cinque Terre or gaze at the endless sea from the Terrace of Infinity in Villa Cimbrone. Celebrate your love with a Bellini cocktail at a bar in Venice. Or, toast to it with a glass of Chianti at a winery in Tuscany.
Picturesque Portugal is a bucket list essential for couples who want a combination of stunning scenery, sunny shores, and tasty tapas. Stroll hand in hand on Lisbon’s traditional mosaic sidewalks and discover pastelarias selling decadent pastéis de nata on your way to Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower. Take a day trip to Sintra, where you’ll find clusters of pastel-colored houses perched on pine-covered hills, or travel north to Porto for a cruise on the Douro River, a walk on its bridges, and a healthy dose of old-world charm. For a mix of beach and nightlife, head to Albufeira in the Algarve region. But if you want a place with a smaller crowd, sail to Madeirã and relish not only the beaches but also the wine.
The moment you arrive in Greece, you will understand why it’s one of the most sought-after travel destinations in Europe. The country is thoroughly modern, but a sense of millennia-old history permeates the air. You can feel this as you gaze at the Acropolis looming high over Athens or when you look at the majestic ruins of the Temple of Poseidon. At the same time, Greece exudes timeless romance. Explore the Greek islands on a small group tour. Watch the sunset in the hilltop village of Oia in Santorini, dance the night away in Mykonos, discover the statues honoring the poet Sappho in Skala Erresos. Take the romance seaside to the beaches in Crete, or better yet, head to the island of Milos to escape the crowd.
Sun-kissed Spain is a burst of colors that makes your head spin and your heart beat faster. And no, we are not talking about sangria or flamenco. Spain’s landscape is astounding, but so is its architecture. Picture the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, the Metropol Parasol in Seville, and the Alahambra in Granada. In the countryside is an ocean of olive groves, vast vineyards, and flower-clad meadows. Then, there’s the famed Balearic Islands, where you’ll find some of the best beaches in Europe. You have the chic Melloraca, the lush Menorca, the vibrant Ibiza, and the quiet Formentera.