Love it or loathe it, the public ‘holiday’ that is Valentine’s Day will soon be upon us. Whether or not romance is in the air for you, I want to spread the best kind of love: the traveling kind. As the title says, true love is the love of travel. Take a lover, take a loved one: whatever you do, just go. After all, travel is for life, not just for Valentine’s Day.
Love of travel
Strictly for the lovers
For the people that best know me, it’ll come as no surprise when I write that I’m not the overly romantic type. I prefer satirical comedies, and girlfriends have long stopped inviting me to watch the latest chick flick. When it comes to travel however, it’s a completely different story.
Admittedly, some of the most memorable travel memories I’ve had, have been when traveling with a partner. Even unromantic cynical me would change her ways if a partner presented a surprise Valentine’s Day trip. Even more so if they chose one from the list below.
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort – Kakslauttanen, Finland
Up in the northern part of the country on the road to the Arctic Sea, is an igloo spectacle that has to be seen to be believed. Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in the Finnish region of Lapland is a great location to get your romance on.
Choose between a glass igloo or a cozy log cabin to smooch and snuggle beneath the starry skies. If that doesn’t set any sparks off, how about catching a moment beneath the northern lights? Kakslauttanen has eight months of exposure. The only chance of missing them is because you’re too busy looking at each other.
Koh Rong Samloem Island, Cambodia
Koh Rong Samloem is an ideal choice for a romantic getaway. A quieter option from the neighboring party islands in the region, the tranquil landscape makes an ideal romantic backdrop.
Rent a beach bungalow and indulge in some couple-type activities such as an island bike ride, snorkeling or jungle trekking.
Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Into Africa – southern Africa – for the next one. Private luxury lodges, stunning views and observing animals in the wild are all on offer at Madikwe Game Reserve.
From the lodges you can choose from, Kopano Lodge appears to cater more to couples. Private, intimate and each suite comes with its own plunge pool…could anything be more romantic than that?
Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand
…well actually yes. Marlborough Sounds in the north-end of the South Island combines traveling and sampling local wine on the classic New Zealand wine trail.
Cycle through the region, swim with the dolphins or go for a twilight cruise on the Queen Charlotte Track. Marlborough Sounds is sure to put you in the mood for romance.
Forget the clichés of Paris or Venice, and spend this Valentine’s Day somewhere with historical romantic roots.
Seaham Hall in County Durham is where British poet and leading figure of the Romantic Movement, Lord Byron, got married in 1815. The Georgian country house is situated among 37 acres of landscaped gardens, in a cliff top location offering views of the Durham heritage coast line.
Loved up with living
If your Valentine’s Day is more no-mance than romance, these picks are for you.
Partying in Pag, Croatia
The Pag Islands offer both a mixture of peace and partying. Less touristy than Dubrovnik or Hvar Island, beaches are secluded and accommodation is noticeably cheaper. Party in the town of Novalja in the north of the island, and recover the next day on Zrce Beach.
Credit card damage in New York City, USA
One of the best things about being single is having no-one to tell you how to spend your money. Whether you’re a man or a woman, sometimes a spot of retail therapy really does hit the spot.
With every type of store imaginable in the city, flash the cash in New York. My favorite shopping areas are Soho, The East Village and Nolita (little Italy), and in that exact order.
Adventure weekend in Ometepe Island, Nicaragua
A current destination gaining in travel popularity is Nicaragua. Unspoiled beaches, clean waters and archaeological sites make it easy to understand the growing interest.
An island formed between two volcanoes and rising from Lake Nicaragua, Ometepe is an ideal getaway to put your adventure face on. Many tour operators offer tailored package breaks that include swimming, hiking and climbing two volcanoes. Who needs romance when you’ve got adventure? Tours Nicaragua is a good starting point to finding out which activities best suit your tastes and budget.
Exploring the Wadi Rum, Jordan
This sandstone and granite rock valley in southern Jordan provides ample opportunities for exploring the area.
Choose from hot air balloon rides at dawn, camel riding, hiking and rock climbing or a 4 X 4 vehicle tour of the region. Make the experience even more memorable by camping under the stars in traditional Bedouin tents.
Camino de Santiago, Spain
Peace and perspective is the call of the day. A destination for travelers, tourists and pilgrims, the Camino de Santiago is perfect for those looking for a place to reflect.
The most popular route is the Camino Frances. This begins at St Jean Pied de Port on the French side of the Pyrenees, and finishes about 780 km later in Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain.
Needless to say, sensible clothing and appropriate footwear is a must. Hostels in both the French and Spanish side of the Camino are dotted en route, giving you a chance to rest and recuperate to the finish.
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