Saturday, May 25, 2024

The Enthusiast Guide to Six of the Most Romantic Winter Destinations

The ideal vacation for a couple is a subject of much debate. Some people would say it’s unwinding with a cocktail and a cigar at a Maldivian resort, while others would prefer to go on an epic adventure across the Sahara Desert that they will remember for years to come.

The more we see of the world, the more convinced we become that this is one fabulous place. Romantic destinations are aplenty, scattered all over the seven continents. Heck, you could even go further and cruise over (nope, not a typo!) the North Pole, if you fancy.

The question is, where will you and your significant other travel on your next romantic getaway? To assist you in making your decision, we’ve handpicked six of our favorite romantic destinations around the globe.

1
Zakopane, Poland

Tucked away at the base of the Tatra Mountains is Poland’s most popular winter ski resort. It provides a fairy-tale vibe blended with a wealth of activities for couples to enjoy, from skiing down the magnificent mountain range to trekking to the gorgeous Morskie Oko Lake. Add to that Zakopane’s romantic heritage and its lively, yet swoon-worthy, nightlife. Aside from outdoor activities, Zakopane is recognized for its exquisite wooden homes from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some have been preserved as museums, while others have been transformed into exquisite restaurants and lodgings.

Polish food is as hearty as it comes. Meat and vegetables with a glass of beer or vodka are menu staples. Krupowki, the main street, is lined with traditional eateries featuring wooden interiors and grills piled high with sausages and swine. Live traditional music can often be found, delivering the finishing touch to the romantic ambience.

2
Venice, Italy

Venice is often regarded as one of the most romantic cities on the planet. Even people who despise clichés cannot dispute the allure of this one-of-a-kind setting. However, visiting during the peak summer tourist season, with gawking throngs impeding every move, might raise questions about why you ventured here in the first place.

Depending on when you go, you can experience a Christmas-themed Venice or take advantage of the off-season sales and chilly weather that January ushers in. The month of February in Venice is packed with vibrant colors and masks, making it an ideal opportunity to experience one of the most entertaining aspects of life on the lagoon.

3
Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Koh Phi Phi Don (the main island of the Phi Phi Islands) is the ideal setting for a night of candlelit dinner followed by some good party vibes. The island has a thriving nighttime scene, complete with bars, clubs, beach parties, and impromptu fire performances. Drinks are typically served in buckets, and the looming two-for-one offer signs all over are legendary and potentially detrimental. The beautiful white lagoons on the east coast and the less developed area of Hat Yao in the south are ideal for people seeking peace and quiet. Ko Phi Phi Leh, the island’s smaller neighbor, is uninhabited and hotel free; its coral reefs and pristine seas are surrounded by towering, craggy cliffs, and the only way to get there is on a day or twilight sail.

There are no airports servicing Koh Phi Phi islands. The most common modes of transportation are speedboats or ferries from Phuket, Krabi, and the extremely popular Koh Lanta. The trip takes from 90 to 180 minutes, and obtaining tickets ahead of time is recommended to get the best deals.

4
Téryho Chata, Tatra Mountains, Slovakia

One couldn’t possibly turn down a couple of nights at the magical Téryho Chata. The extremely famous lodge is a lone wooden structure 2,015 meters above sea level. It’s known in Europe as the highest year-round mountain lodge, next to the stunning Five Spi Tarns in the Slovakian High Tatras.

The cute village of Starý Smokovec is the most convenient starting point for a trek that might take anywhere from two to six hours. Another option, yet more challenging, leads from the north, starting in the settlement of Tatranská Javorina and continuing across the Javorová Valley to the Sedielko pass. Hiking in the winter necessitates using appropriate equipment, such as snow spikes, ice cleats, and trekking poles.

Aside from the spectacular snowy landscape, you may encounter one of Téryho Chata’s mountain porters on your way up. They’ll be wearing big wood-frame backpacks that bulge more than a meter over their heads, loaded with food, beverages, gas, and anything else required for a lodge that far up in the mountains to function.

When you arrive at the lodge, prepare to be greeted with a satisfying warm meal that tastes 10 times better because of the breathtaking scenery. The hut and its immediate environs are perfect for various outdoor pursuits, including but not limited to hiking, crossing passes, climbing, mountaineering, ski alpinism, or simply lounging by the captivating tarns.

5
New York, USA

When it comes to winter romance and urban exuberance, New York City is unrivaled. The roadways and shopping centers are decked up in holiday cheer with enormous Christmas trees and other festivities.

You can’t possibly be bored in New York. In the daytime, loving couples can either brave the cold and walk around snowy Central Park or warm themselves in one of the city’s many indoor attractions. Evening activities might include ice skating, watching street shows, and visiting exclusive eateries and nightclubs.

6
Cappadocia, Turkey

Deep inside central Turkey lies a geologic marvel with honeycombed hills and gigantic stones of unearthly grandeur. The exotic landscape is complemented by an equally impressive historical past. Over time, inhabitants in the area gradually dug into the softer rock for refuge, leaving behind a unique cavernous environment.

Cappadocia should be at the top of every amorous couple’s bucket list. It’s a place where wild horses roam freely, cave hotels abound, and hot-air balloons hover above the landscape. One of the most popular spots is Love Valley. Its beautiful scenery includes fairy chimneys developed by volcanic rock and cave shelters dating back to the Bronze Age.

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