I am a hopeless romantic and a dreamer. Not just in the month of love, but always. I dream of the days when we can travel across the globe again. Days when the Coronavirus is something of the past. And, when that day comes, I would like to travel to all five of these destinations. Here is my list of the five most romantic destinations in the world.
Being a descendant of French heritage, I’ll probably always have a special place for Europe. I’ve been to Paris before, but I want to go back.
I want to spend enough time in the city to discover its best cafés and coffee shops, climb up the Eiffel Tower once more, indulge in French macarons at Pierre Herme and have breakfast in bed at L’Hotel. For one evening, I’d like to go all out and dine at Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée (a three-Michelan starred restaurant close to both the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Elysees).
I dream of waking up to views of the Eiffel Tower from a romantic balcony at Hotel Balzac.
I think Bruges might be my all-time favourite. Cobblestones, medieval canals, lace shops, swans and chocolate – what more could a girl ask for? The city has a truly unparalleled romantic charm to it. We spent about two days in Bruges, but it was not enough. When you visit, be sure to go on a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride through the city. Also, don’t miss out on that delicious Belgian chocolate and even some hot chocolate if you’re visiting in wintertime. Stroll down Breidelstraat (Breidel Street) to find an array of chocolatiers to choose from. You can also sample some chocolates at the Choco Story Museum (which will be open again from June 2021). Also be sure to treat your partner to a ‘Brugse Zot’ beer at De Halwe Maan Beer Brewery. And, last, but not least you can’t say you were in Bruges if you didn’t explore the Minnewater Park and the lovers’ bridge.
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I’ve never been, but this place looks like it was made for travellers like me. Its fairy tale cottages and hidden passageways have a romantic charm to it and downtown Carmel is filled with historic hotels and lovely bed and breakfasts. Carmel-by-the-sea is a small beach city located on California’s Monterey Peninsula and it is renowned for its scenic Carmel beach, tree-shaded streets, artisan boutiques and its beautiful Spanish mission site.
Stroll down Ocean Avenue and pop in at their unique shops and don’t leave Carmel-by-the-Sea before you’ve hiked the Sea Lion Point Trail at the Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.
When we visit, I believe a stay at Carmel Valley Ranch the Unbound Collection by Hyatt would be in order. And also perhaps a night at L’Auberge Carmel. Now, wouldn’t that be a treat?
This Austrian city borders one of my favourite countries, Germany and has views of the Eastern Alps. It’s also the birthplace of Mozart. For someone who enjoys destinations with an old-worldly charm, this is the ultimate romantic destination.
One thing that you need to do when you are in Salzburg, is to dine at St. Peter Stiftskulinarium. The restaurant has been documented as the oldest restaurant in Europe and here you can experience a combination of classical music and brilliant cuisine. They even offer a Mozart Dinner that takes you back to 1790 – an experience that will leave you nostalgically satisfied.
Make your stay even more memorable by making Schloss Fuschl, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa the base from which you explore the ‘Sound of Music’ Salzkammergut region of Austria. The Schloss dates back to 1450 and forms part of the Marriott Bonvoy group. It’s a mere 25-minute drive from Salzburg city and offers spectacular scenery.
Being South African with a French heritage, Franschhoek is definitely my top romantic destination when it comes to South Africa. The wine valley has so much to discover – from some of the country’s best wines and cuisine to the most beautiful scenery. And, it’s got a French flair, which I love!
As it forms part of the Cape Winelands, a wine tasting or two is inevitable. Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate will always be a favourite of mine. Except for impeccable wines, they also offer lovely accommodation and dining options with a modern, but romantic feel.
Another must is Babylonstoren, with its various accommodation options – from the luxurious Farmhouse to the lovely Fynbos Cottages – and its incredible garden, inspired by the historic Company’s Garden in Cape Town. You can also fuel your secret romance with home baked goodness and farm-to-table cuisine at this beautiful destination. Not to mention the spectacular living spa experiences among bamboo forests, greenery and water channels.
Whether you’re planning to travel local or abroad, there is so much to see and do and when you are able to explore these romantic destinations, be sure to share your experiences by tagging Suitcase & Chardonnay. I would love to hear all about it! Happy travelling, romantic wanderers!