Every couple knows that the fastest way to cloud nine is a romantic vacation just for two. This Valentine’s Day, escape the hum-drum pressures of ordinary life and give yourself the gift of a fun-filled holiday. Whether you and the love of your life like sky-high adventure or swinging in a hammock next to a turquoise sea, we’ve got just the ticket. You’ll find some tried-and-true favorites as well as some unexpected new places on our roundup of the most romantic getaways for Valentine’s Day.
The Top 20 Most Romantic Vacation Getaways For Valentine’s Day
20. Las Vegas, US
You say tacky, we say tack a wedding onto your Valentine’s vacation! Even if you decide not to hit up one of the city’s hundreds of speedy chapels, Vegas is over-the-top fun for couples. Take in a show, cruise down the strip, or try your luck in a casino. Or, splurge on a luxury suite (link to exclusive hotels piece) and order endless bottles of champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries from room service. One thing’s for sure–being serenaded on the indoor canals won’t set you back as much as a trip to Venice.
19. Quebec City, Canada
Craving a romantic European interlude but don’t want to break the bank? Quebec City has all that old-world charm but won’t cost you an arm and a leg. With its cobblestone streets, cute inns and cozy restaurants, this lesser-known spot packs a serious romantic punch. Plus, the food is to die for. There’s nothing like a heaping stack of pancakes dripping maple syrup after a night of acrobatic lovemaking.
18. Llanddwyn Island, Wales
Celtic poetry started the tragic lover fad long before Romeo and Juliet his the scene (sorry, Shakespeare!) Go anywhere in Wales, and you’ll understand how the staggering scenery could inspire such heights of emotion. Stormy seas, rugged cliffs, and lush forests would put the Isolde and Tristan into any modern-day romance. This island is named after the Welsh patron saint of lovers. It might be a bit chilly in February—all the better to snuggle up by the fire with your better half.
17. Dalsholt, Iceland
Is there anything romantic than a turf house? In Iceland, you can book your own at Torfhús Retreat, a remote collection of these unique structures. Shake off civilization and do it like the Vikings did — on a bearskin rug in front of a blazing fire. This time of year, Iceland is all northern lights and magnificent sunsets. In February, there are about 14 hours between sunset and sunrise. That’s a lot of time for nighttime activities!
16. Verona, Italy
Two houses, both alike in dignity… If you recognize the opening lines to the world’s most famous play, then you’re already a romantic at heart. Yup, Verona is where Romeo and Juliet met, fell in love, and… well, I don’t want to give away the ending. Suffice to say, you and your lover will probably have a better time than they did touring the gorgeous medieval streets and candlelit restaurants of this cozy Italian village. If you and your best friend for life are die-hard romantics, then Verona is the ultimate getaway for Valentine’s Day.
15. Cotswolds, England
Fairytale perfection is only two hours away from London, in the picturesque villages that make up the Cotswolds. Stay at a Bed & Breakfast, feed the ducks, and visit the Broadway Tower to act out your Rapunzel fantasy. Or take a road trip — with a road named, literally, Romantic Road, you’d have to have a heart of ice not to. Definitely one of the most romantic getaways for Valentine’s Day if your idea of romance is inspired by a Brontë novel.
14. Kyoto, Japan
For many travelers, a kind of hush falls over you when you first set eyes on Kyoto. The temples, the lantern-lit forests, the spas—there are endless romantic spots here, making it one of the best Valentine’s vacation ideas in the world. Stay at a traditional Ryokan inn and test your love at Jishu Shrine. If you can successfully cross the temple’s famous “Love Stones”, it means your relationship will last forever.
13. Jodhpur, India
Fondly known as “The Blue City,” Jodhpur is a feast for the eyes and the heart. One of the main attractions here is the Jaswant Thada, a memorial for a 19th-century maharaja. The soaring architecture and tropical gardens make it a mesmerizing place for couples to get lost in. If you and your partner love spicy food and exploring exotic destination off the beaten track, then this is the Valentine’s destination for you.
12. Grand Cayman, The Cayman Islands
No list of the most romantic Valentine’s vacation would be complete without a gorgeous Caribbean island. White sand, turquoise seas, and cocktail umbrellas as far as the eye can see. Whether you stay at a vacation rental or an all-inclusive resort, we recommend heading to 7 Mile Beach at least once during your trip. From there, you can play spot-the-sea-turtle. These awesome turtles are promiscuous and mate several times throughout the breeding season—but who are we to put a definition on romance?
11. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tango is considered one of the most romantic dances in the world, if not THE most. Even if you’re not a dancer, we defy you to watch a performance without getting all hotted up. For couples, we recommend scoring a free lesson in the main square, surrounded by Belle Epoque architecture and Argentina’s romantic revolutionary history. It’s also surprisingly affordable to travel to these days. If you can get a South American nonna to tsk at your public displays of affection, you win Valentine’s Day forever.
10. Cappadocia, Turkey
As if its landscape of painted sand dunes and historic cities weren’t enough, the sky over Cappadocia is full of hot air balloons. This whimsical way to take to the skies is the ultimate in romantic Valentine’s getaways—just pack a bottle of champagne and you’re done. Due to its peaceful climate, Cappadocia is the only place on Earth where hot air balloons can safely fly year-round. On the ground, there are a ton of cool things to explore, including several underground cities.
9. St. Petersberg, Russia
Paris of the East, anyone? Don’t let its chilly climate or the fact that it’s built on a swamp fool you — St. Petersberg is a great city for lovers. Wide boulevards beckon, the hotels are extravagantly luxurious, and the diet is basically a menu of aphrodisiacs (caviar, vodka, repeat.) Bonus points if you wander around reading Pushkin’s epic romantic poem, Ruslan and Lyudmila. Just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?
8. Luang Prabang, Laos
This glorious destination was closed to tourists until the 1980s, and because of its relative remoteness, it remains pristine. The former royal capital is beautiful, with a relaxed, chill atmosphere perfect for the couple looking to unwind. Score a sweet hotel for a steal and splash around in the breathtaking Kuang Xi waterfalls. And of course, like most of Southeast Asia, you’ll fall in love with the food most of all.
7. Halstatt, Austria
What better place to celebrate your love than in one of the most beautiful cities in the world? Surrounded by mountains, on the shore of a serene lake, this fairytale locale is also a favorite honeymoon destination. In February, a fine layer of snow makes the buildings look like gingerbread cottages.
6. Lanzarote, Spain
Lanzarote is one of the less-touristy of the Canary Islands, but no less beautiful. Its secluded beaches with perfect sand and turquoise waves are on point. This time of year, the weather is warm and the sunsets are sultry. Plus, you can grab a meal at El Diablo, one of the world’s most exclusive restaurants, and eat a meal prepared over the heat of an active volcano. Hot!
5. Dresden, Germany
Frequently referred to as the Florence of Germany, Dresden is a lover’s paradise in a country that not many people think of as romantic. Take a sunset river cruise along the Elbe, or stroll the grounds of Zwinger Palace. You’re likely to stumble into the Nymphenbad sculpture garden, where you can sneak a kiss among the lush foliage and smirking cupids. Or, you know, get some bratwurst in ya. (Because that’s what they eat in Germany, get your mind out of the gutter!)
4. Beaufort, USA
Wild horses, couldn’t drag me away. It’s one of the most romantic songs ever, but did you know there are still herds of wild horses roaming the US? This rugged rural town in North Carolina is one of the only places you can see them up close. Surrounded by natural beauty under a sky that’s crowded with stars after dark, it’s impossible not to get all lovey-dovey.
3. Valparaiso, Chile
This port city is so beautiful and evocative that it has inspired poets and writers for centuries. Tourist traps have got to be the most unromantic thing on earth—thankfully, you won’t find many of those here. The former home of Pablo Neruda tends to fly under the travel radar. Head here for unforgettable strolls through colorful streets and the cultural mashup of Spanish, Latin, and British influences. Reciting a few lines of Neruda over a glass of red wine is all anyone needs for a romantic occasion.
2. Bacalar, Mexico
Mexico is such a hotspot for couples craving sun that there aren’t many untouched destinations anymore. This up-and-coming location is one of them, however, that’s not going to last for long. Head there now, while the stays are still cheap, the tacos delicious and the beaches virtually empty. The incredible sunsets over the blue lagoon are enough to make it one of the most romantic getaways for Valentine’s Day this year.
1. Paris, France
Ok, it’s cliché – but hear me out. Instead of doing the timeworn tour of the Eiffel Tower followed by an overpriced dinner rich in sauce and regret, do this instead: Book a cute Airbnb on the outskirts of the city, eat croissants and a bowl of café au lait for breakfast. Then, duck into a bookstore and read poetry to each other for hours. Finally, link arms and get lost in the meandering streets of le Marais and dine on the best falafel you’ve ever had in your life (at L’As du Fallafel. Just go. Trust us.) If that’s not one of the most romantic getaways for Valentine’s Day, we don’t know what is.