Celebrating Valentine’s Day abroad can be an amazing experience! No matter what stage of coupledom you’re at, the gorgeous locales, exotic food, and thrill of exploration pretty much guarantee that love will be in the air.
February 14th is just under a month away, so now’s the time to get planning! Why not shake things up a little this year? Escape the tired Valentine’s Day cliches of snobby restaurants, expensive roses, and oversized teddy bears with a trip to one of these incredible romantic destinations.
(We like fancy food and flowers as much as the next person, but what really gets our hearts fluttering is a crisp plane ticket tucked into our passport 😉)
Think of romance and one of the first places that jumps to mind is Venice (it is Casanova’s hometown, after all!).
Marble palaces and pastel-hued houses lined up like macarons in a bakery window; priceless Renaissance art languishing beneath elaborately carved ceilings; sprawling piazzas and intimate alleyways; and all of it connected by a latticework of meandering green canals… it’s hard to imagine a dreamier setting for lovers than Venice. Couples can get cozy over cappuccinos in a centuries-old caffè, splurge on a serenaded gondola ride through the canals, and sample delicious cicchetti (Venetian tapas) at one of the small, local bars hidden all over the city.
Finish off your day by taking in a glorious Venetian sunset and congratulate yourself on planning the perfect romantic getaway.
❤️ Hot tip: If you and your sweetheart are early risers, head to Piazza San Marco in the wee hours of the morning when the city’s still sleepy. You’ll have unparalleled views of the massive square sans the tourist crowd and can relax to the tranquil tune of the Duomo’s bells.
💋 Language of love: Ti amo = I love you
Québec City, Canada
“Canada? In February?” you cry. We know the winters up north can be brisk (to put it mildly), but hear us out!
Québec City is a decadent French éclair in a country of simple Canadian butter tarts—elegant, indulgent, and charmingly European. As one of the oldest European settlements in North America, it’s got its fair share of cobblestone streets, grand architecture, and historic landmarks. Bundle up tight and explore the chic bistros and boutiques of the Petit-Champlain district; look out over the St. Lawrence River from your warm perch in 1608, Château Frontenac’s classy wine-and-cheese bar; enjoy the marine life and the massive winter lights display at the Aquarium du Québec; and drive just 15 minutes outside the Old City to wander the beautiful Montmorency Falls Park and marvel at the frozen masterpiece of the falls.
Québec City is the perfect place to indulge in some of that classic French romance, without the 8 hour plane ride.
❤️ Hot tip: Book a room for two at the famous Hôtel de Glace and spend a magical night in a premium suite carved out of ice. (You can also take a tour of the ice hotel during the day if you’d rather not stay overnight!)
💋 Language of love: Je t’aime = I love you
Couples who love to play will find paradise in Cabo San Lucas. What was once a peaceful fishing village on the Baja California Peninsula has transformed into one of the world’s premier destinations for luxe resorts, celebrity sightings, and wild nightlife.
Club-happy couples will find plenty of hot venues to get their drink and dance on, including the fantastically crazy El Squid Roe and legendary rock ‘n roll cantina Cabo Wabo. Not to fear, though—Cabo also has plenty to offer couples who prefer their vacations a little quieter!
In addition to exploring its fantastic beaches and impressive rock formations, nature-loving lovers visiting Cabo between October and March will have the chance to witness the annual migration of gray whales—an event that brings thousands of these majestic creatures to the peninsula every year. Adventurous souls can spend sunny afternoons surfing the choice swells along the Cabo Corridor or snorkeling the dazzling coral reefs in Cabo Pulmo National Park.
❤️ Hot tip: If Cabo’s flash and frenzy has you craving a change of pace, head north to the new age haven of Todos Santos and spend a day or two soaking up its quirky, artsy vibes. Be sure to stop by Caffé Todos Santos for excellent coffee and a gigantic cinnamon bun!
💋 Language of love: Te amo = I love you
Lucerne is a shining gem at the heart of Switzerland, historic houses and ornate churches arranged prettily around its namesake lake. Jagged mountain peaks, glittering with snow even in summer, encircle the city like the stone arms of some giant golem—an appropriate metaphor for a place that looks like it tumbled straight out of a fairy tale.
Lucerne’s waterfront promenades, covered bridges, and frescoed buildings make for quite the romantic backdrop as you stroll around, and history and architecture buffs will be in absolute heaven wandering through the Altstadt (“Old Town”). Even if history’s not really your thing, The Jesuit Church, the Lion Monument, and the stunning Chapel Bridge are must-sees during your stay.
Outdoorsy couples will definitely want to venture up to the peaks of Mount Rigi or Mount Pilatus, which are surprisingly accessible and offer spectacular views of the Alps and the city below.
❤️ Hot tip: Lucerne, one-time home of famed composer Richard Wagner, is known for its beautiful music. Head to the KKL Luzern—itself an incredible piece of modern architecture—for a classy date at the symphony.
💋 Language of love: I ha di gärn = I love you*
*The more literal translation would be “I like you,” but that’s about as romantic as it gets in stoic Swiss German.
Santorini is undoubtedly the belle of the ball when it comes to the Cyclades, but its Instagram appeal and lengthy time in the spotlight have led to major tourist crowds. If you’re looking for a Greek island experience with a bit more elbow room, Paros is the place for you.
The island’s capital, Parikia, has a hum and energy that belies its small size. Bordered by pristine blonde beaches and packed full of trendy restaurants, cafes, and shops, Parikia combines big city flair with white-washed, blue-domed island charm. Venture to the north end of the island to find the beautiful port town of Naousa, where you and your sweetheart can enjoy authentic Greek cuisine along the waterfront before wandering the labyrinth of pretty cobblestone streets behind it.
For scenic hiking trails, hidden coves, and a dose of history, head to Paros Park on Ai Yiannis Detis—a gorgeous little peninsula that offers breathtaking views of the sea and coastline.
❤️ Hot tip: Couples looking to tie the knot in a uniquely lovely location, take note! The rustic 17th-century monastery in Paros Park makes for a stunning wedding venue.
💋 Language of love: Σ’αγαπώ (S’agapó) = I love you
Big Sur, California
If you and your SO want romance a little closer to home, Big Sur’s got it in spades. This ruggedly beautiful slice of Californian coastline runs between San Simeon and Carmel-by-the-Sea (another TravelBash fave!), and has been inspiring artists and visionaries with its wild spirit for decades.
Wilderness junkies will adore Big Sur’s stunning cliffs, massive redwoods, and tumbling waterfalls, while Kerouac fans will get a literary thrill out of following in his footsteps down “the endless road ahead.” Soak up some healing spiritual vibes at the Esalen Hot Springs, indulge your inner gourmet with a meal at the charming Casanova Restaurant, delve into the region’s Spanish roots at the historic Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, and marvel at some of California’s most enchanting state parks.
No matter which part of Big Sur you choose to explore, you’re sure to return home with more clarity and calm than when you left.
❤️ Hot tip: For upscale simplicity at its best, spend the night at the Post Ranch Inn—a luxurious boutique retreat perched atop a cliff 30 miles south of Carmel. As a guest, you’ll be treated to mind-blowing views, fine dining, and one of the largest wine collections in America. Couples wanting to really zen out together can opt for a package deal that includes activities like yoga, stargazing, and guided nature walks.
Romantic holiday in Europe a bit too predictable for your taste? If so, why not venture off the beaten path a little?
Kerala is South India’s best-kept secret—verdant hills coated in sweet-scented tea, miles of dazzling Arabian Sea coastline dotted with pristine beaches, and a web of languid backwaters that connect inland rivers to the sea. Life moves a little slower here, the mirror image of frenetic Indian mega-cities like Mumbai and Delhi.
Couples in need of some TLC can find peace and healing at one of Kerala’s many Ayurvedic spas, while those with a little more pep in their step can make the trek to Chembra Peak and its famous heart-shaped lake—the perfect place for a lovers’ picnic! For accommodations, splurge on a houseboat rental and unwind in luxurious style as you drift through the Kerala Backwaters or head to the mountain town of Munnar and book a romantic room for two at the gorgeous Windermere Estate.
Kerala’s lush tropical climate and breathtaking scenery provide the perfect backdrop for an intimate couple’s adventure unlike any other.
❤️ Hot tip: Sign up for a cooking class with local star chef Nimi Sunilkumar and experience the uniquely tantalizing flavours of Keralan cuisine—aromatic herbal blends, tongue-tingling spices, and sweet undertones of cinnamon and cardamom. What better way to cook your Valentine’s Day dinner than together (under the watchful eye of a professional chef)?
💋 Language of love: ഞാന് നിന്നെ പ്രേമിക്കുന്നു (Njaan Ninne premikkunnu) = I love you
Whether you’re proposing, tying the knot, honeymooning, or just looking to escape with that special someone for a while, let us help you plan the perfect couples getaway! 😍✈️