Five romantic destinations

Overseas Education | 14 Feb 2018

With valentine's day upon us, it's time to show that special someone that you've been thinking of them and are looking forward to spending a couple of romantic days and nights together.

Forget Paris - the members and editors of have come up with a list of romantic destinations that you probably haven't visited yet and are bound to enjoy together.

Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

If you think Prague and Vienna are too cliche, how about visiting the spa city of Karlovy Vary?

Located at the confluence of the rivers Tepla and Ohre, Karlovy Vary is about 130 kilometers west of Prague. While the town is famous for its spa culture and hot springs, it also contains beautiful belle epoque and art nouveau building facades.

And these spas are not cost-prohibitive - many of the city's famous thermal springs are located in open colonnades, which are free to the public and where visitors can "drink cure" from special cups available for purchase throughout the town.

Some of the more notable colonnades are the Park Colonnade and the Mill Colonnade, as well as the Thermal Spring Colonnade. Stroll the streets, sip the cure, and enjoy your weekend away from the busy city.

Ischia, Campania, Italy

Few coastlines have the views and sunsets of the Amalfi in Italy, but with those views come high prices and large crowds. Celebrities have flocked to the nearby island of Capri, but with their visits and vacations, so have followed the high prices and big groups.

Avoid the large crowds and high prices by visiting Ischia, the largest of the three islands off of Naples, but significantly less "sceney" and crowded than Capri.

Accessible by ferry from Naples and Pozzuoli, this island is of volcanic origin and therefore known for its thermal hot springs and wellness activities.

In addition to heated pools and spas, one must-see is a walk on the Ponte Aragonese, the foot bridge that connects the island to the Castello Aragonese.

For unparalleled views, stay at the Albergo Il Monastero, a hotel built in an old convent within the Castello Aragonese. If that's not feasible, at least enjoy drinks from the hotel's terrace.

Roussilon, Provence, France

While many trips within Provence start in Marseille, the destination for your romantic getaway should be somewhere less crowded and with a slower pace.

If you and your significant other enjoy hiking and being outdoors you should schedule a stopover in Roussillon while touring the Cote d'Azur.

Roussillon, situated 50 kilometers from Avignon on the road to Apt, is a small village most notable for its location in the midst of one of the world's largest ochre deposits. This is reflected in both the hills surrounding the village as well as the buildings themselves with the clay ranging from a yellow to dark rust to almost violet.

Visitors can take two different walks, one 30 minutes long and another 60 minutes long, to explore the Ochre Trail and learn more about the geology and landscape at the site. It is worth noting that the trail is closed annually from January 1 to February 16.

Savannah, Georgia

Long overshadowed by picturesque Charleston, Savannah has recently become an increasingly popular romantic destination due to the city's well-preserved architecture, creative culinary scene and affordability.

Savannah gives visitors the opportunity to truly embrace the flaneur lifestyle.

With 21 public squares and no laws against open containers, visitors can stroll the streets with a to-go cocktail of their choosing.

If you or your partner enjoy architecture and house tours, Savannah is a goldmine of amazing properties - walk along the Victorian district, filled with historic homes, flourishing gardens, and complex iron work.

Boutiques and home furnishing stores line Broughton Street, and one store not to miss is The Paris Market. Filled with everything from vintage chandeliers to reproduction carousel letters to John Derian accoutrements, this store is as well known for its inspired seasonal window displays as its unique home furnishings.

While many visitors try to sneak into Paula Deen's restaurant, you can get an exquisite meal at Elizabeth on 37th. Set in a turn-of-the-century Southern mansion, the changing menu features a wonderful selection of fresh Southern Coastal favorites like crab, oysters and clams, while incorporating seasonal herbs, veggies and edible flowers from the house garden.

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Start your trip with a day in Hanoi, Vietnam's capital and second-largest city, before embarking on a two-day, one-night tour of Ha Long Bay.

The drive from Hanoi to Ha Long takes about 3 hours (including one rest stop), with the second half of the trip being bumpier, but the journey is worth it. Rather than a large cruise liner with crowds of people, splurge on a "luxury junk" (which there is no shortage of on the bay) and enjoy one of the most beautiful scenes in Southeast Asia with your significant other.

The bay, which includes more than 1,600 islands and islets, is comprised primarily of limestone pillars.

One island, TiTop Island, can be explored on foot and affords those who make the climb to its summit an amazing view of the bay. Many visitors choose to explore the bay and the natural caves by kayak.

The site is a rare combination of a truly rare geological occurrence (the bay and its islands are a UNESCO Heritage Site) with unique beauty that is protected from human encroachment by the very bay that surrounds it.

mcclatchy-tribune news service

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