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We all have them. Places that we absolutely adore. Places that call us back time and time again. Places we just can’t help loving.
For me, it’s all about Slovenia and its stunning natural beauty; Berlin and its great vibe; Portland and San Francisco for the amazing food options in both cities; and of course, Budapest, a home away from home for me.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, I asked my travel blogging friends what places they loved and what made it special to them. Regardless of the where these places are in the world, it’s clear that the world is a wonderful place and love most definitely makes the world go round. Here’s what they had to say:
Lauren of #ljojlo
Lombok, Indonesia is Bali’s lesser known neighbour and a place I hold dearly to me heart. I haven’t actually been there for Valentine’s day but Lombok itself could be my Valentine whenever it would like to be. The island itself is laid back and relatively quiet in comparison to the hustle and bustle of Bali. Don’t let that fool you into thinking the place is boring because it ain’t. If adventure is what you are after this Valentine’s day, Lombok has you covered. Whether that be snorkeling, surfing, spending time under waterfalls (how romantic) or hiking Mt Rinjani, Lombok’s volcano, there are plenty of options.
If relaxation is more your Valentine’s day vibe, which let’s be honest it probably is, Lombok has luxury and relaxation covered also. Due to there being less tourists compared to Bali, Lombok’s prices are on average quite a bit cheaper. Therefore, luxurious villas are incredibly priced, often with fantastic views looking back over the island of Bali. Hence, if relaxation with a hint of adventure for a cheap price is tickling your fancy this Valentine’s day, get yourself to Lombok.
Gia of Mismatched Passports
From the otherworldly colours of its beaches to the majestic architecture of its cliffside towns, there are many things to love about Santorini. During our visit to the island, we had the chance to see its many wonders. Santorini did not fail to exceed our expectations!
One of my favourite spots in Santorini is the Red Beach, located in the south of the island. The unique red pebble beach was out of this world – it could almost be Mars! The rusty red colour of the beach contrasted perfectly to bluish-green waters of the Mediterranean sea. As I walked along this coast, the foamy waves splashed upon my feet. It felt cold, it wasn’t a dream. This beach still remains one of the most beautiful I have seen around the world.
Another memorable part of our trip to Santorini was the walk overlooking the caldera, starting from the island capital Fira towards the sunset point of Oia. The views are amazing! It was the perfect way to capture the beauty of Santorini – the beautiful white and blue roofed buildings, the pinkish sunset and the scenic view of the island landscape. It was magical!
I had the chance to share this amazing place with my boyfriend as part of our trip around the world. We have been to many places and Santorini is one that truly captured our hearts.
Stu & Eloise of Am I Nearly There Yet?
We had a really romantic time during our time in Goa, India! What made it so romantic was a combination of location and timing – we stayed there for about 2 months, right on the beach (literally) in our own little ramshackle hut!
As the monsoon season was approaching, most of the holiday makers had gone home, with other travellers heading north to escape the coming rains. This meant we had the beach, cafes and restaurants all to ourselves most days! We would do morning yoga together on the beach at sunrise, spend the day exploring and/or chilling, then come back for sunset, beers and dinner! We even had our own pack of beach dogs that hung out with us!
We loved our time Goa, only reluctantly moving on when our hut had to be dismantled before it was blown away. We headed north like the rest, but only when we were ready!
Paul of A Luxury Travel Blog
One highlight from our trips in recent years was the Shamwari Game Reserve in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. It ticked all the boxes – quality accommodation, incredible game viewing, professional staff and an amazing experience. This photograph was taken when a few elephants passed our vehicle extremely closely.
Noel of Travel Photo Discovery
Visiting Lyon, France is like being in Paris in a smaller and more manageable scale. There are beautiful monuments, medieval sections of the city and amazing regional cuisine to experience throughout the city. Here’s a quick impression of a day visiting Lyon and the gorgeous attractions and scenic panoramas I saw along the way.
Hannah of Getting Stamped
Koh Lipe Thailand captured our hearts the moment we saw it in distance from the speed boat. As soon as we stepped foot on Koh Lip we fell in love. Koh Lipe is our favorite island in the world. This magical island has some of the best beaches in the world, heck it’s nicknamed the Maldives of Thailand.
A typical day involves waking up in your beach hut to the waves crashing and only steps to the amazing turquoise waters of the Andaman sea. Walking to town for a fresh smoothie from the YAHOO lady, you will hear her screaming on walking street. Then either walk around the island, take a day trip to explore the nearby islands, chill on the beach and work on your tan, or go snorkeling. A perfect end to the day is relaxing on Sunrise Beach with a cocktail in hand watching the sunset, and then it’s off for some spicy Thai curry at our favorite restaurant Sunrise Beach Restaurant. For some nightlife head to walking street to 100 cocktails for 100 baht drinks. Even saying Koh Lipe makes me smile, I just love it. Make sure to check out my ultimate guide to Koh Lipe.
Sharon of Where’s Sharon?
Bohol is a small island in the Philippines and is the perfect place to visit if you are looking for beautiful scenery, adventure or just a relaxing holiday. We just love it!
My favourite part about Bohol is the variety – there’s beautiful beaches and tropical jungle. There’s also tiny tarsiers which can be visited in the wild. It’s renowned for its diving and snorkeling and the stunning Chocolate Hills – if you visit at the right time of year, these rolling hills are a brown chocolate colour.
Once you have checked out all of that, there’s also adventure activities, rivers to sail down and fireflies. It’s also perfect for all travellers – we went with kids, but it would be just as awesome without them or alone. There’s plenty to interest anyone.
The best part about all of this is that Bohol is easily accessible – it’s just a short ferry ride from Cebu City, one of the main entry ports into the Philippines.
Carole of Travels with Carole
I (heart) NYC. In fact, it seems the whole world does. I was just there again a few weeks ago, and I can’t get enough of SoHo and the Village. I did hop all over the city, but these neighborhoods are my hands-down faves to spend time. If I were going to be there on Valentine’s Day, I’d make a reservation at Balthazar for breakfast or brunch with my hunny. Then we’d wander around, stopping into a few special stores—across the street at the ShopMoMA Design Store to select a gift for him, perhaps a pop-art umbrella. And what better way to end our Valentine’s Day excursion than coffee in nearby Greenwich Village on MacDougal Street at Caffe Reggio, America’s first cafe?
Odoardo & Eride of Queidue
The first place that comes into my mind as a place to spend Valentine’s Day is in Gozo, the smaller sister island of Malta, in the middle of the Mediterranean. On its most western point, Mother Nature created an amazing place, the Azure Window. It is a huge stone arch pushing out in the sea, one of the main attractions of the archipelago. The first time I visited it I was speechless. The second time again. And so on, because it is such an astonishing place.
My tip to really enjoy the Azure Window is to get there in the afternoon and have a picnic. Something really simple, but extremely fascinating due to the location and the atmosphere. While you eat and drink something, you can see the Azure Window being visited by some tourists despite the low season. This must be one of the most popular and photographed places in the whole Mediterranean and there is no doubt about the reasons.
Staring at the sea and at the empty horizon will let you think about new adventures together. And finally the sun will start going down and both the sea and the arch will become orange, pink and red, merging them in one of the most beautiful sunsets of the Mediterranean, which make the Azure Window, if possible, even more beautiful.
Lauren of Justin Plus Lauren
Niagara Falls is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway. It might be a bit cliche, but it certainly is one of the best spots to spend Valentine’s Day. Justin and I visited Niagara-on-the-Lake last year for a romantic getaway at a cozy inn, the Pillar and Post. There was a fireplace in our room, and the spa and hot springs at the hotel added to the romantic atmosphere. Niagara-on-the-Lake has amazing wine tours with some of the most delicious wine to sample, perfect for a Valentine’s Day vacation. Be sure to try the area’s local specialty, ice wine! And of course, you have to visit the spectacular waterfall itself, Niagara Falls. During this time of the year, the water is partially frozen and there aren’t many tourists. It’s quite the stunner, especially in the winter when it’s all icy and covered in snow.
What places do you love? What spots do you find romantic? Where do you want to visit with your someone special (and yes, it can be yourself!)
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