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7 Overlooked Romantic Destinations

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Romantic vacations take a detour

Romantic vacations take a detour

Looking for a romantic getaway that breaks from norms and encourages you to think outside the predictable locations? Throw the mundane box of cliché expectations to the wind and take your partner to an overlooked romantic destination. Whether searching for a beach-side resort that allows you to relax together or if you’re aching for an amorous adventure into the untamed mountains of a tropical island, you want and deserve the everlasting memories of a special experience made more distinguished by exotic themes and underrated reputations.

Cities like Paris and Venice, or island destinations like French Polynesia and the Caribbean, have embraced their romantic images. They attract couples from around the world but the following list comprises an eclectic array of destinations guaranteed to delight, entertain, and enchant the one you love whether popping the question, toasting to your honeymoon, or simply indulging in the sensual ambiance of a deserved romantic escape with unforgettable creativity.

1. Azores, Portugal

Romantic paradise dropped into the Atlantic

Romantic paradise dropped into the Atlantic

The Azores archipelago is an exhibit of gorgeous natural backdrops that glisten on the azure waters of the Atlantic, emerald forests that frame mountainous trails, and whitewashed walls of charming towns who glint in the sunlight. The nine islands boast dramatic, untouched landscapes for couples thirsty for a combination of adventure and seclusion. Hiking trails lead deep into hidden canyons or along the ridges of captivating cliffs that overlook the ocean. Stunning horseback rides along the beach at sunset will fulfill your wildest dreams and fantastical caverns provide a spark of discovery that indicate the volcanic origins of the collection of islands. With 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including vineyards and colonial towns, marine reserves and natural parks, the Azores have a diverse field of options for a couple who wants everything during a romantic getaway.

Learn more about these captivating islands here.

2. Lapland, Finland

Arctic romanticism impresses and inspires in Finland

Arctic romanticism impresses and inspires in Finland

Disconnect from the fast pace of modern society for an immersive encounter with supernatural beauty in the serene winters of Lapland in Finland. This secluded destination within the border of the Arctic Circle attracts a certain type of couple who find charm and passion in bundling together in the warmth of a cozy accommodation with views of sprawling blankets of snow. The overlooked romance of this distant region of Finland casts a fabulous spell over visitors between November and March in the form of the dancing aurora borealis. The snow-covered landscape offers a surprising paradise for skiers with spectacular views to witnessing roaming reindeer who forage in the wilderness and villages of the indigenous communities. After snuggling beneath the Northern Lights, refresh yourself in the heat of a soothing sauna or travel through the winter wonderland by dog sled.

Plan your adventure north the right way. Start here.

3. Puglia, Italy

Italy's less visited corners have a hidden romanticism that is sure to impress

Italy's less visited corners have a hidden romanticism that is sure to impress

Italy always tops the list for travelers looking for a passionate escape in Europe, but the true spirit of romance coalesces in the beauty of the Mediterranean in the southeastern region of Puglia. Step out from the crowds of Tuscany and Venice for a captivating view of the crystal-clear waters that lap at the coastline. The region’s charm is accentuated by authentic specialized cuisine and enchanting historic towns. If you prefer to relax with a cocktail in your hand, you can lounge on pristine white-sand beaches in the refreshing shade of a colorful umbrella. Food enthusiasts travel inland to sample the seductive lushness of olive oil or enjoy the authentic ambiance of a coastal town. Local restaurants serve the morning’s fresh caught seafood. Embrace traditional Alberobello as it glows with white walls and distinctive conical rooftops of trulli homes while history aficionados can wander the streets of Lecce between the baroque splendor of the surrounding architectural designs.

Click here to learn about Italy's delightful surprises.

4. Maasai Mara, Kenya

The undeniable allure of Kenya's majestic plains will inspire you and your loved one

The undeniable allure of Kenya's majestic plains will inspire you and your loved one

The vast plains and lush greenery of Kenya’s Maasai Mara inspire the authentic dreams of a luxury safari. The landscape’s captivating views exhibit abundant wildlife and whisk you into a magical ambiance of romance and seclusion that spans an area of 580 square miles. Acacia trees, herds of zebras, and migrating wildebeest speckle the scenery; all of which just brush the surface of famed images. Fantastic encounters with Nile crocodiles, hippos, and the renowned “Big Five” – lions, leopards, rhinoceroses, elephants, and cape buffalo – await you. Romance becomes intertwined with the thrilling panorama of grazing wildlife suited for lovers eager for luxury and isolation. Discovery and majesty are found in the community conservancies, Maasai villages, and spread across the scenic protected reserve.

Prepare yourself for truly remarkable sights. Click here to learn more about a Kenya Safari.

5. Zanzibar, Tanzania

Africa's Eastern Coast offers spellbinding blissfulness

Africa's Eastern Coast offers spellbinding blissfulness

The intimate and natural charms of Zanzibar stand approximately 15 miles off the coast of Tanzania but with a romantic ambiance seemingly worlds away. The turquoise and azure waters that surround the island shimmer like jewels and caress the soft, white sands of pristine beaches. You can dip into the water to swim and snorkel at coral gardens and happen upon pods of frolicking dolphins passing by, or you can elect to relax on comfortable lounge chairs while listening to the tides. If interested in culture and heritage, you can stroll the streets of historic Stone Town to find the fascinating combination of African, Arabian, Indian, and European influences in the architecture, customs, and cuisine. The frenzied movement of daily life at home fades away against the backdrop of cobblestone alleys, ancient mansions, distinctive mosques, and fragrant marketplaces, known as souks. In the comfort of your enchanting accommodations, the effortless grandeur of the Indian Ocean will surely impress you.

Tanzania will shatter expectations. Learn more about this Eastern Africa gem here.

6. Bariloche, Argentina

Bariloche accommodates romantic getaways any time of the year with an expansive variety of attractions

Bariloche accommodates romantic getaways any time of the year with an expansive variety of attractions

Interested in summer bike rides around the shimmering waters of an alpine lake or eager to hit the ski slopes after breakfast in a Swiss-styled chalet? Bariloche, Argentina provides the active couple a perfect romantic destination year-round. Hiking trails around the Lake District and spectacular confectionaries that produce some of Argentina’s best chocolates accentuate the indelible charisma that characterizes Lake Bariloche, which lies at the northern end of the country’s famous Patagonia region. Indigenous, European and migratory influences create a spirited heritage. Bariloche has become an under-utilized oasis for those couples who love climbing hills, riding horses, and exploring on mountain bikes or winter-sports enthusiasts happy to shred through the snow along steep, picturesque slopes reminiscent of an alluring postcard.

Picture-perfect Argentina awaits the curious explorer. Learn more here.

7. Sri Lanka

Reality becomes surreal in this enchanting and other-worldly land

Reality becomes surreal in this enchanting and other-worldly land

With a landscape consisting of rainforest, wildlife, rugged mountains, and untouched beaches, romance abounds on the island nation of Sri Lanka, located 31 miles away from the southern tip of India. A perfect balance of activity and relaxation, seclusion and exploration greet you on arrival. Timeless ruins become an irresistible prospect hidden in the untamed jungle terrain that highlights more than 2,000 years of history. Asian elephants parade across the landscape and venture to their favorite watering hole in protected national parks that also host leopards, water buffalo, and colorful birds. Beaches dazzle you with soft white sand and gem-like waters while tea plantations retain a sense of colonial charm accentuated by modern luxuries. Your cherished vacation becomes an unforgettable excursion filled with marvelous sunsets, delicious cuisine, and incredible heritage for any couple searching for an idyllic love affair.

No other island offers the range of scenery and enchantment of Sri Lanka. Click here to discover enticing itineraries.

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