There are some destinations that simply ooze romance. Whether it be iconic cities such as Paris and Venice or the idyllic beaches of the Maldives and Seychelles. But, unfortunately for many of these places – everybody knows it. So if you’re looking for a valentine’s getaway without the crowds, here’s our pick of the most romantic destinations off the beaten track.
Despite being the third largest island in the world, Borneo attracts far fewer visitors than other destinations in Southeast Asia. But for those who make the journey to the northern state of Sabah, what awaits is an eco-tourism paradise perfect for those wanting to combine a little romance and adventure.
You could enjoy a longboat ride along the Kinabatangan River and spot wildlife on its banks or visit the endangered orangutan at the Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre. Hike Mount Kinabalu for breathtaking views from its summit or hit Borneo’s islands for some fun in the sun.
When it comes to accommodation, you’re simply spoilt for choice. You’ll find everything from luxury eco-resorts to rainforest retreats and beachside bungalows, many of which boast infinity pools and Jacuzzis.
Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique
Considered by many to be one of Africa’s best-kept secrets, Mozambique gets far less attention than neighbouring South Africa. But with its vast Indian Ocean coastline complete with dazzling beaches, coconut palms and azure waters, it’s a wonder why.
Discover beautiful beaches such as Tofo and Barra on the mainland, then hop on a traditional dhow sailboat to explore Mozambique’s offshore islands. The Bazaruto Archipelago lies just off the coastal town of Vilanculos and consists of six pristine islands protected as part of a marine park.
Once there, you can enjoy some of the world’s finest diving, with teeming coral reefs, dolphins, turtles, whale sharks and more to see depending on the season. The entire archipelago only offers four lodges so, whilst it won’t be cheap, it certainly will provide an off the beaten track experience.
If it’s a romantic city break that you’re after, Lithuania’s capital city has it all. Boasting one of the largest medieval old towns in Europe, Vilnius features cobbled streets lined with historic architecture, picturesque churches, boutiques, cafes and more.
Take a stroll about this UNESCO-listed urban centre and soak up the ambience. Then in the evening, enjoy candlelit dinners and cosy wine bars with your special someone.
The Hill of Three Crosses offers stunning views over the city’s red-tiled roofs and spires. But for a truly romantic experience, take a hot air balloon over the city followed by a glass of champagne. Vilnius is a great budget destination, so if you do splash out for the ride, you can be sure the rest of your getaway won’t break the bank.
Caye Caulker, Belize
Occupying a small stretch of the Caribbean coast, beautiful Belize is tucked between Mexico and Guatemala. But whilst it lacks in size and visitor numbers, it’s packed with romantic charm and attractions.
Speckled along Belize’s coast are hundreds of tropical islands known as cayes, where you’ll find white-sand beaches, crystal-blue waters and hammocks for relaxing. Caye Caulker, in particular, offers fresh seafood, balmy breezes and colourful beach houses, alongside a wonderfully unhurried pace of life.
Little known is the fact that Belize also boasts the second longest barrier reef after Australia. You’ll find snorkel tours and dive boats offering day trips to this underwater world. Then you can end your excursion enjoying a spectacular sunset over the water.
Explore this colourful maze with its bustling souks, artisans and mosques. Here you can buy ingredients to take a local cooking class and learn how to make some traditional Moroccan cuisine. Most buildings have flat roofs, so be sure to enjoy a romantic rooftop dinner under the starry Arabian night sky.
Top off your visit by staying in a traditional Moroccan house known as a riad. Characterised by rooms surrounding an inner courtyard or garden, this accommodation is the most authentic in Morocco. Some of the most beautiful riads in Fes almost feel like palaces, with their stunning craftsmanship, ornate decor and beautiful tile work.
Feeling inspired by these destinations? Our tailor-made holidays are perfect for creating your very own romantic itinerary.