And our favourite month of romance is here … it is Valentine’s Day!
Imagine what if you could club romance with a bit of adventure, shopping, visiting historical monuments or simply do nothing but laze around.
For all my readers who plan to spend some romantic time, here are some beautiful and off beat destinations that would surely want you to pack your bags and run away with your better half
TOP 5 places to visit internationally:
• SWITZERLAND – With its beautiful alps and cheese, Switzerland is a must visit for all the romantic die-hards. Imagine yourself, tucked into a mountain top cottage sipping on some amazing wine and stuffing yourself with loads and loads of Swiss chocolates. One would feel like walking inside a post card picture while walking through Lauterbrunnen Valley, where there are more than 70 waterfalls or riding a horse carriage through the quiet lanes of Val Roseg. One could even visit the Goms Valley under a thick blanket of snow for some skiing. Mount Rigi boasts of being the first cogwheel railway in Europe. One could hike, walk or simply take the rail and enjoy the various activities conducted here.
Travel Tip: It is extremely convenient to purchase a Swiss Travel Pass from your nearest Travel Agent for a hassle free travel either by road, rail and waterways throughout the country.
• THE GARDEN ROUTE, SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa is not only a land full of wild safaris, it also boasts of a mesmerising and a beautiful route which starts right from the south eastern coast of South Africa and extends towards Mossel Bay (Western Cape) to the Storms River (Eastern Cape). The Garden Route has plenty of diverse vegetation and one would also come across various lakes dotted along the coast. This Route is planned well between the African mountains and the large Indian Ocean which provides us nearly 300 species of bird life ranging from fynbos to forest to wetlands. The towns that one can come acress this route are namely – Outshoorn, George, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Sedgefield. The Garden route has plenty of activities to offer like Hiking, Biking Trails, Bird watching and also a few Photograpic tours to capture Africa’s wild cats in their natural surroundings. This route is extremely famous for their nature parks and the beach walks- Robberg Nature Reserve is one of the most popular beach walks just outside Plettenberg Bay followed by Knysna Elephant Park which should definitely not be missed. This route is best explored with a self driven car which can be booked in advance.
Travel Tip: The best time to visit the Garden Route depends on your interests. The whale watching season runs between July and October (September being the peak season) or you can also visit Knysna Festival in July which is conducted for 10 days. This could be a good option as one could combine the culture, food and music.
• FEZ, MOROCCO – As they say, “Getting lost in Fez is where the fun really starts”. The third largest city in Morocco, takes you back in the era of 1200’s where the city’s medieval streets and the covered markets will not let your memory fade way for a long long time to come. Fez is best known for its ancient architecture and numerous historical sites. Designated as UNESCO World heritage sites, Fez is an ancient centre of learning the culture and craftsmanship. There isn’t a corner in the city where you would not find the link to the kingdom’s past. In contrast, there are plenty of five star hotels to bed & breakfast inns that you would find in this city. There are various festivals that one could visit Fez and experience the culture. Right from annual pilgrimages to food festivals to Fes Festival of World Sacred Music , Fez has a beautiful and a warm feel towards one and all.
Travel Tip – Always opt for an official guide while visiting the city. One should strictly avoid the local boys who would try and coax you to purchase information about the places which could be just walking distance from the place you would be staying at.
• BURGH ISLAND, UK – Sometimes, the most romantic thing to do is just pack your bag and book yourself for a nice long stay at one of the most luxurious hotels and unwind yourself. The Burgh Island Hotel, is one of those iconic Devon landmark. Built in the year 1929, The Burgh Island hotel has seen some of the really famous guests coming to unwind and enjoy utter peace and space for themselves. One of the most striking features of this property is that each of the room has been named after a celebrity visitor. You shall not find any television sets inside the rooms, but there is one in their library room and you can hire a DVD from their reception.
Located just at a 4 hour drive from London, this hotel is accessible by air and rail too. The hotel has an original 1930’s billiards room and a sea water bathing pool to boast off. You can either take their famous Sea Tractor or just take up their small rowing boats for a scull. Pampering yourself in their spas is definitely a high point. You can have an option of getting the treatment done in your own room or in their treatment room.
One should definitely not miss the Curry Night at The Pilchard Inn on Fridays which is extremely popular on this island. There are plenty of day trips from Burgh Island that could suit your interest, few to name are – Dartmoor Zoological Park, South Devon Chilli Farm and South West Coast Path National Trail.
Travel Tip – Do not forget to carry your black ties and evening gowns for the dinner events every evening at the Burgh Island Hotel.
• THE ISLANDS OF TAHITI, FRENCH POLYNESIA – There is no better way than to unwind yourself in the sun, sand and water. The 118 islands of Tahiti oozes of various mountain peaks, blue lagoons, white sand beaches and luxuriously intimate resorts. With a distance of 5 hours from Hawaii Islands and New Zealand, the islands of Tahiti are simply a delightful combination of a perfect romantic getaway. Whether you are shopping at the many small boutiques and unique market areas near Pao Pao, Moorea or exploring the Underwater World at Bora Bora Islands there is something interesting and new to explore. You could also opt to hike or take a helicopter ride to explore the high waterfalls at Tahiti. One of the most convenient ways to explore the ocean is to hire a catamaran from Tahiti to Moorea and discover the underwater world of Tahiti Islands. One also has an option of hiring a glass bottom boat or parasail to discover the neon colored world.
Taha’a , Raia Tea, Huahine and Rangiroa are a few hidden treasures of the Tahiti Islands. Taha’a is famous for its producing the world famous Tahitian Cultured Pearls whereas one should not miss visiting the Marae Taputapuatea which is the largest ancient outdoor temple while visiting Raia Tea.
Travel Tip – Do not be surprised if the airport authorities weigh you at the airport, they are making sure that the flights are well balanced for your trip. Hence I would recommend you to pack as light as possible while travelling to the Island.