Exciting Times Alert: It’s almost Valentine’s Day, which is, like, the perfect excuse to zoom off on a last-minute #baecation to take a bunch of selfies with ice-cold cocktails in front of tangerine sunsets and basically rock all the most amazing parts of a honeymoon without having to do the whole wedding thing. It’s your chance to go on a romantic adventure together and create another album of memories as a madly in love pair of cutie-pies (too much?) C’mon, what’s not to love about a couples vacay in mid-Feb?
The question is: where do you go for an awesomely memorable Valentine’s Getaway in 2019? And it’s a groovy as James Brown question because choosing the perfect locale from the millions and millions of romantic spots around the world requires a small dollop of luck and a large dollop of planning.
Of course, you could do what most couples do and flock to Paris to celebrate your love in the city of, well, love, or you could even see the breath-snatching city of Venice from the back of a gondola while trying not to feel awkward about smooching in front of your striped-shirt-wearing tour guide. Or, if you want to cover V-Day in some extra special sauce, you could follow our favourite picks and enjoy the sort of baecation destinations you probably never thought of?
So, without further ado, here are the world’s best, non-cliche, couple’s getaways for Valentine’s Day.
The Uber-Gorgeous Akaroa, New Zealand
Almost every pocket of New Zealand is knee-weakingly romantic. It’s just a matter of getting in the car, driving in any direction and stopping when you feel like it. But if you want somewhere that’s next level romantic, you only need to head 50 miles out of Christchurch to the tiny French-English colonial village of Akaroa. It’s proposal-worthy -- a historic secret hidden at the bottom of some ancient volcanoes. And it’s not just the chance of seeing an eruption that’s hot. There’s a bunch of beautiful bays too, where you can chill out with a large penguin colony or swim with dolphins just off the shore or take in the sweeping views on a gentle hike. Or if you’re not quite up for that sort of aerobic exercise, there’s plenty of galleries, waterfront cafes, and bed & breakfasts to soak up.
The Magical Marco Island, Florida
Saying there are romantic beaches in Florida is like saying the Pope is a bit religious. But Marco Island, now that’s a secret only few know about, and it’s super-special. It’s the first of the Ten Thousand Islands and it’s on the doorstep of the Everglades. It’s simply stunning. It’s got white sands and sensational sunsets for days, and then something you don’t get anywhere else - America's most wow-factor ecosystem, which you can explore on the back of a jet ski. And when you’re done with the mangroves and manatees, you can chow down on a sand-front dinner at a scrummy oceanside eatery. How rom-com ending does that sound?
The Postcard-Perfect Palm Cove, Australia
Okay, so fleeing to some far-flung tropical paradise is nothing new on the romantic getaway front. But Palm Cove in Queensland is different for two reasons: a) it hasn’t been Instagrammed a million times by tourists (yet!) and b) it’s as remote and sandy as a washed-up TV dinger. That means you and your gorgeous SO can lounge about on the white sandy beaches, top and tail it in a palm-strung hammock, and then do something more out there when you’re ready, like explore the Great Barrier Reef or wander through the Daintree Rainforest (or wander over it using the Skyrail Cableway). Of all the epic places to stop for a cuddle, this has to be one of the most jaw-hits-floor spots.
The Totally Tip-Top Tallinn, Estonia
OMG! Of all the coolest new places to try something old-timey, nowhere sparkles with more je ne sais quoi than the Old Town of Tallinn. It’s the delicate blend of medieval masterpieces and modern wowzers, where ground-to-sky glass buildings cuddle up to ancient turrets in the most break-the-internet way imaginable. There are rickety cobblestone streets and hilltop fortresses, beautiful castles and staggering churches, lakes, forests and rocky beaches and, best of all, it’s oh-so-cheap still. It’s a proper “you have to see it to believe it” sort of destination.
The Utterly-Gorgeous Galway, Ireland
Ed Sheeran may have made this place famous when he popped the infectiously bubbly Saoirse Ronan in his music video ‘Galway Girl’ - but this charming town on the romantic coast of the Irish Sea has been kicking off happily ever afters for a pretty long time. It’s just so, ummm, wow. So mythical and otherworldly. And then there’s the drop-dead-stunning Kylemore Abbey in Connemara, which is where a bunch of holy folks used to live in luxury surrounded by lush Victorian gardens on the edge of a mist-on-the-water lake. It’s about as romantic as any house you could ever imagine.
The Oh-So-Dreamy Death Valley, California
Okay, we’ll admit it - the name ‘Death Valley’ doesn’t exactly scream out “aphrodisiac!” But what could be more romantic than driving into the middle of the Mojave Desert and camping out beneath an ocean of twinkling stars a hundred miles from all those other ostentatiously affectionate couples? It’s got to be the most intimate experience you could ever hope for while roughing it in a vast slab of sand. And when you’ve had enough of all the romance and isolation and stargazing stuff, you can just book into the nearby Furnace Creek Resort (another delightful name) and enjoy things like spring-water pools, comfy mattresses, and the little things in life.
The Picturesque Prince Edward County, Canada
(Give or take) a couple of hours east of Toronto is Prince Edward County and, holy-moly, does it make your mind fizz and pop and go awwwww. At first glance, it’s an epic haven of lake shores and rolling pastures and vineyards so perfect all you want to do is fill a picnic basket with cheese, cured meats and a bottle of something red. But look a little closer and you’ll uncover a yummy-yummy food and wine scene, a mad-cool art scene, crazy views of Lake Ontario, and some of the most romantic strolls on the planet (#HalfmoonBay #pebblebeaches). It’s a romantic mood-setter if there ever was one.
The Completely Spectacular Collioure, France
Not plonking a piece of France on a list of romantic baecations is like picturing a ski holiday without snow. It’s not right. And, outside of Paris, there is nowhere with more sparkling charm than Collioure. It’s like stepping back in time and enjoying the Côte D’Azur before all the glamorous people starting buying up property and throwing glitzy parties. It’s cobbled streets, white-walled buildings and terracotta roof tiles. It’s beachfront castles and rolling hills full of vineyards. It’s authentic dinners and magical old town moments, romantic strolls up to Fort Saint-Elme, pastel-hued neighbourhoods, and endlessly spectacular views across the town and out to sea (none of which Paris has!).
Thanks for reading. For more travelspiration and far-flung adventure ideas, follow us on Instagram and Facebook and, you know, don’t forget to grab yourself the most awesome towel ever made… and some shorts… and a hair wrap... and probably a poncho too. After all, everyone looks good in stripes.