Even if you don’t think Valentine’s Day is your cup of tea, what could be more romantic than whisking someone away for a last minute Valentine’s Day break? One of the benefits of the UK is its close proximity to a countless array of destinations – from Italy and Spain to France and the Czech Republic. Which means a holiday in some of the most beautiful places on the Earth, doing what you want, when you want.
Dine on pasta and gelato, dance to street music, explore ancient cities and enjoy long, lazy lie-ins in luxurious hotels – what could be a more perfect way of celebrating your love for someone?
14th February doesn’t have to be Hallmark cards and petrol station flowers. So for some inspiration, we speak to travel expert Nikki Cox from Holiday Gems to see what the most romantic places for last minute Valentine’s Day breaks are
There is nothing the Italians do better than passion. From the gutsiness of the food to the dramatic architecture, Rome is one of the best places in Italy to visit with a Valentine’s date. Visit the Trevi fountain, share a bottle of wine on the Spanish Steps, enjoy a long dinner al fresco in a little square – Rome can sometimes knock you out with the amount of romance that’s in the air.
You could even visit the skull of St Valentine which is encased in a gold and glass case in the Piazza del Bocca della Veritas – if the idea of seeing that kind of thing appeals!
Historical, Gothic and bohemian – Prague is the romantic hotspot of Eastern Europe. There’s an endless array of exquisite, design-led hotels for you to rest in – but there’s so much to do in the city that opportunities for rest may be kept at a minimum.
Days can be whiled away exploring, while evenings can be spent in smoky jazz bars or at a night at the opera. The twisty, cobbled lanes, intimate bistros serving late into the night and the centuries-old architecture make this a perfect last minute Valentine’s Day break.
The vibrant city of Barcelona is perfect for a Valentine’s Day break. The captivating atmosphere is perfect for lovers wandering down Las Ramblas and in and out of the many Xampanyerias (cava bars) dotted about the city. There’s the beach to enjoy, hills to take in stunning panoramas and the weird and wonderful architecture of Gaudi around every twist and turn.
The punchiness of Catalan cuisine, the passion of the region’s music and the laidback charm of the city make this a Valentine’s Day break to remember.
Taking the Vaporetto from the airport to Venice is enough to know that you’ve chosen the right destination for Valentine’s Day. Spread out across the water is the ancient city that been the centre point of European history for over a thousand years. With no cars, over 400 bridges and endless canals, this city is designed for walking hand in hand with the person you love. The winding streets and charming bridges never tire and there is always somewhere to stop for a restorative espresso or Aperol Spritz.
Rich in culture and history, a good few days in Venice is needed to appreciate the magnificence of the city. But for looks alone, it is definitely one of our favourite European romantic breaks.
With romantic walks by the Seine, across the bridges weighed with lovelocks and ending in a kiss on top of the Eiffel Tower – is it any wonder why this place is called the City of Love?
Despite it’s relatively small size, Paris has so many different facets. While the touristy bits need to be done for first timers, there is also the many hidden parts of the city – the hills of Montmartre, the secret gardens, the restaurants around the back of shops that only the locals know about – that are all there waiting to be discovered.