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Whether you want to ignite a spark on the Cornish coast or fan the flames of a slow-burning romance in Marrakech, you’ll find your ticket to happily ever after in our definitive guide to the world’s most loved-up destinations (and where you should be staying when you visit).
1. Tresco, Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, UK
This dreamy archipelago sits just off the Cornish coast. Head to car-free Tresco for romantic strolls along the sandy beaches and heathland and fairy-tale 17th-century castle ruins.
Where to stay: Cute one-bedroom cottages are dotted throughout verdant gardens at Tresco Sea Garden Cottages. Views stretch across the sea and the lighthouse, so there’s little reason not to stay in bed all day…
2. Ischia, Italy
In the Gulf of Naples, this Italian island promises beaches, trattorias and walks aplenty, but it’s largely known for thermal waters and hot springs. Come to wash away your single past and enjoy a sparkling new relationship.
Where to stay: The latest venture from famed the Pellicano Hotels collection, Mezzatorre Hotel & Thermal Spa offers Ischian hospitality with an opulent twist. Set among 16th-century ruins, it’s the perfect place to divide your time between exploring nearby rocky territory and bathing in the hotel’s natural hot waters.
This charming Croatian fishing port oozes Mediterranean romance. Wander through the old town’s cobbled alleys to find hidden restaurants and bars, walk along Lone Bay’s pebbled shores or take a boat ride to any of the archipelago’s nearby islands.
Where to stay: Set inside a renovated 16th-century villa, boutique hotel Villa Tuttorotto offers heritage features and views of the harbour.
4. Lake Powell, Utah, US
Straddling the border between Utah and Arizona, Lake Powell is a tranquil reservoir on the Colorado River. Soak up the dramatic views of the Glen Canyon and take a dip – this is romance at its most secluded.
Where to stay: Sleek Amangiri slots in seamlessly with its surroundings. The sandstone exterior houses a swimming pool, sauna, library, art gallery, boutique and anything else you could possibly desire in a desert retreat.
5. Kitzbuhel, Austria
Just east of Innsbruck, this small Alpine town sets an otherworldly backdrop for cosying up with your better half. Ski until your heart’s content before warming up with a hot bath and an evening by the fire.
Where to stay: A five-minute walk from the town centre and 10-minutes from the Hahnenkamm lift, Hotel Jägerwirt is perfect for a wintertime retreat.
6. Braemar, The Highlands, Scotland
This pretty little village is tucked away amid the Cairngorms. Ringed by towering mountains, this destination is for those couples who love hiking up hills and exploring Scottish hinterlands.
Where to stay: Quirky and eclectic hotel The Fife Arms brings a touch of eccentricity to the highlands. Pairing dark tartan walls with gallery-worthy art (think: an original Picasso), this is a weirdly wonderful place to conjure up some romantic magic.
7. Île de Ré, France
The epitome of understated, inherent chic, Île de Ré is the holiday playground of the trendy Parisian crowd. Zip around cobbled streets on old-school bicycles before hitting sandy beaches fringed by dense pine forests.
Where to stay: In the heart of elegant village La Couarde-sur-Mer, Hotel Le Vieux Gréement is no-frills glamour at its finest.
8. Polignano a Mare, Puglia, Italy
You’ll struggle to find a more typically Italian town than this. Spend days exploring caves and ravines of this ancient Puglian settlement and hopping between the cornetterias and trattorias, before falling asleep to the sound of waves crashing against the shore.
Where to stay: Despite being a half-hour drive from Polignano a Mare, this Puglian hotel is too good to miss. Castle-like Borgo Egnazia offers textbook Italian romance, with candle-lit walkways to its rooftop terraces.
9. Killarney, Kerry, Ireland
Head into Ireland’s emerald countryside for a holiday filled with history and heritage. From the shores of Lough Leane, hike through the national park for sublime views of lakes, waterfalls, woodland and towering peaks.
Where to stay: Perched on a hilltop with views of Leane and peaks of Macgillycuddys Reeks, Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa is ideally located for romantic walks and evenings watching the sunset.
10. Marrakech, Morocco
A feast for the senses, the walled medina city of Marrakech is known for labyrinthine streets and cultural overload. While away the hours getting lost in the souks and stumbling upon hidden gems.
Where to stay: Regal La Mamounia stands proudly in central Marrakech. With lavish gardens, expansive hammams and a vast glittering pool, this hotel is a haven amid the city’s alluring pandemonium.
11. Bonifacio, Corsica
Craggy peaks form the backdrop to quaint coastal towns on this Mediterranean island. On the southernmost tip, Bonifacio has a medieval clifftop citadel, a marina bustling with activity and sandy beaches on nearby uninhabited Lavezzi Islands.
Where to stay: Laze on one of two private beaches at U Capu Biancu, where paddleboarding is a must and canoeing to neighbouring caves is also recommended. Return to the hotel for a Corsican wine flight courtesy of renowned sommelière Vanessa Maloyer.
12. Pantelleria, Italy
Italy’s best-kept secret, Pantelleria’s sunny island shores are located in between Sicily and Tunisia. Spend days cliff diving, rock pooling or exploring Specchio di Venere – The Mirror of Venus – an emerald-toned heart-shaped lake in Pantelleria’s volcanic crater.
Where to stay: Above the small town of Scauri, the whitewashed Sikelia Luxury Retreat combines North African architecture with Italian finesse. Beneath domed roofs you’ll find spacious rooms, a spa and the hotel’s restaurant, Themà, which offers Sicilian cuisine with Arabic influences.
13. St Petersburg, Russia
Brimming with history, St Petersburg is the cultural capital of Russia. Cruise along the elegant canals of the Venice of the North, walk around the historic centre or admire the city’s baroque and neoclassical palaces that line the streets.
Where to stay: In a building dating back 200 years, Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa is as iconic as the city itself. In the middle of the neighbourhood where famed Russian writers such as Gogol, Pushkin and Dostoevsky once lived, the hotel’s old-world aesthetic slots in naturally among the historic streets.
14. Dolomites, Italy
The jagged peaks of the Dolomites have much more to offer than simply a winter getaway. Amid the mountains, jaw-dropping scenery and off-piste spas have a timeless allure while, during the summer months, fields and meadows are filled with lush greenery and colourful flowers.
Where to stay: In the verdant meadowlands of Alpe di Siusi, bathe in outdoor thermal pools and kick back in panoramic relaxation rooms at Adler Lodge Alpe – this is holidaying at its most remote.
15. Spetses, Greece
An idyllic Hellenic island, pedestrianised Spetses is about as romantic as Greece gets. Whitewashed buildings with shuttered windows look out over undisturbed white-sand beaches, while charming port towns are perfect for café- or bar-hopping.
Where to stay: Oozing Grecian grandeur, Poseidonion Grand Hotel is Spetses’ premier accommodation. Its columned facade, decorative archways and a glass-tiled pool flanked by lavender bushes make for a truly romantic retreat.
16. Big Sur, California
This rugged stretch of coastal dreamscape is California’s most romantic spot. Embark on long road trips along the seafront to find iconic sites from Bixby Creek Bridge, McWay Falls and the purple-sanded Pfeiffer Beach.
Where to stay: Cuddle up in remote wooden cottages at Post Ranch Inn for views of starry nights, the sparkling ocean and wildflowers. There’s no noise here except for the crashing waves and the crackling fire.
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