Top Romantic Getaways – Our Picks

There has never been a better to reconnect with your other half. So, escape Covid-19 fatigue and your overused Netflix profile and head off on one of these romantic getaways.

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary

If you’re into romantic walks, art deco architecture and a melting pot of history, then Budapest is a must. The city is divided into two by the Danube; Buda and Pest each have their own culture and identity. Pest combines the old-world glamour of Andr√°ssy¬†Avenue with contemporary museums, nightclubs and the elegant Opera House. In Buda you will find cobbled streets and Turkish baths and more.

See the city via various modes of transport. On foot allows for surprising discoveries around every corner, while a nighttime cruise up the Danube, admiring the city lights is an obvious recipe to romance. If you do choose to walk though, take note: Buda is hilly and Pest is flat, so choose your footwear wisely.

Official language: Hungarian; English and German are also widely spoken

Best times to visit: From March to May and September to November as the weather is mild and, under normal circumstances, there aren’t too many tourists.

Plockton and surrounds, the Scottish Highlands

Plockton, in the Scottish Highlands

The Scottish Highlands hold a wealth of beauty. From quaint villages, to breathtaking architecture, evocative ruined castles, and dramatic landscapes – it’s no wonder it’s on many a dream travel list. Start as you mean to go on and visit the ‘Jewel of the Highlands’, the delightful village of Plockton.

Although small, there are over 50 accommodation options to choose from, whether you prefer B&B, self catering, or a charming hotel. Plockton is a National Trust for Scotland conservation village so the heritage of the village is well preserved. With spectacular landscapes, overlooking Loch Carron, spend your mornings sailing and your afternoons browsing the many galleries or enjoying local live music. Plockton’s ideal location at the heart of the highlands give the visitor easy access to explore further. Head north and explore the fascinating Isle of Sky – the largest in the Inner Hebrides – home to fossils, castles, and a Fairy Glen.

Official Language: English

Best times to Visit: All year round if you don’t mind the weather, although it gets more crowded in the Summer months.

Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

A far-cry from blustery Scottish mountains, are the grasslands of the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. One of the most important preserved areas of wildlife in the world, the lies to the southwest in Kenya, not far from the Tanzanian border. The reserve’s landscapes, offer visitors views of rolling hills, grassy savannahs, and it’s world renown for its large wildlife populations, including lions, cheetahs, elephants, and hippos. Perhaps most famous, is the annual Wildebeest migration which takes place between July and October. One of the most breathtaking natural events in the world, it is one of the few remaining mass wildlife movements on the planet.

After a day admiring nature, watch the African sunset light the sky red at one of the many tented camps throughout the reserve. These range in style, from family friendly and basic, to luxury lodges with a swimming pool. Either way, returning to nature is a great way to escape Covid fatigue.

Official Language: Swahili and English

Best Times to Visit: All year round, although the migration is between July and October

Anguilla, the British Caribbean

The island of Anguilla, British Caribbean

Forget your phone charger at home, Anguilla is the ultimate place to unwind and reconnect. The island is home to 33 beaches, giving you plenty of choice for some peace and quiet. As turquoise water gently laps the sand, lay back and enjoy the sun, dappled by swaying palm leaves – few rival it for relaxation. If you want to look into the cultural side of the island, Anguilla’s history is fascinating – find out more about it and the island’s culture in the local galleries and at live music shows.

Stay active, and enjoy golf, sailing, tennis, and, as you’re surrounded by seas rich in marine life, snorkeling. Lay your head in a charming boutique hotel, larger all-inclusive resorts, or an apartment – Anguilla has something for every taste.

Official Language: English

Best Times to Visit: February to April if you want to miss the rain. Hurricane season tends to run from June to September.

See Also: Outdoor Travel, Our Top Picks

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Re-Open, Re-Charge, Relax – Our picks for your next escape

Hands up if you need a bit of R&R – we’re sitting here with both arms in the air. Sadly, the days of being able to book a cheap Easyjet flight for a few sunny days in Corsica are, for now, somewhat out of reach. Now, with great R&R comes a little bit of admin – PCR tests, and travel rules are a hassle, we agree. But, once over those hurdles, the escapism can begin. Wellness is key, but where can you go to find it? We’re here to help you relax.

We’ve brought together some of our favourite spots for a relaxed getaway with a spot of wellness. From heady rainforests, to cobbles streets dappled by bougainvillea branches, everyone’s decompression holiday comes in different packages. We’ve given you a bit of everything.

Morocco

Decompress in style in Morocco
Relax in style in Morocco

Morocco has recently re-opened to visitors and has implemented strict Covid-19 protocols on accommodation and attractions. Morocco’s tourism portfolio allows you to sprinkle your holiday with a bit of adventure should you choose. Explore the souks, go dune bashing, or, just relax on your sun lounger. Whether your choice is reveling in luxury at the Mandarin Oriental‘s new spa in Marrakech, or a simple beachside escape on golden sands along the Atlantic, Morocco has R&R for every budget.

South Africa

Let nature restore balance along South Africa's Garden Route
Let nature hit the reset button in South Africa

South Africa is open to visitors, although leisure travel to Gauteng is currently not permitted. Driving along South Africa’s scenic coastal routes is an escape in itself, add in a few decadent stops and you’ll feel like a new person. Dine under the stars after an al fresco spa session at Bushman’s Kloof in Clanwilliam, in the Western Cape. When you’re not being massaged, take in the wildlife and rock art in the reserve. Up the eastern coast of the country is the famous Garden Route. Here you will find the luxury game reserve, Godwana, not far from Mossel Bay. Godwana is home to the Big 5, as well as world-class spa facilities, and fine dining.

For the more budget-conscious traveller, South Africa has a wide selection of accommodation, from hotels to AirBnB. For more information, check here.

Costa Rica

Tropical rainforests and gushing waterfalls in Costa Rica can relax any soul
Jungles and waterfalls wait for you in Costa Rica

If you’re looking for a relaxed retreat with a twist, then head to Costa Rica. Wild mountains, verdant rainforests and abundant flora and fauna will draw you in, and the accommodation will make you want to stay. As with all our holiday spots, Costa Rica has charming, and affordable accommodation, such as La Chosa del Manglar Nature Retreat, flanked by mangroves, and surrounded by birdlife, a hammock is the escapist’s ideal spot. If you want to top your Costa Rican adventure off with a bit of pampering, there are a number of luxury resorts to choose from. Kinkara is one of them, offering an all-inclusive experience with activities beyond your usual resort package. Swim in waterfalls, hike through the jungle, and practice yoga with vast views of the landscape – the place is designed to be restorative.

Greece

Relax and sip on cocktails while watching the sun set over the Mediterranean in Greece
Blue seas and blue skies are the perfect escapism in Greece

Greece is everything, to everyone; party islands, cultural trips, and languid yachting – one holiday could be multi-themed. You’ll find a wealth of smaller accommodation options dotted over Greece’s many islands, some off the beaten track (literally), some hugging the lapping waters of the Mediterranean. But, if you’re looking for somewhere truly awe-inspiring to relax, then go no further than Cavo Tagoo. This award-winning hotel is what Greek holiday dreams are made of. The hotel’s infinity pool has endless views over the seas, as do most rooms. Watch the sun disappear behind the horizon with your evening cocktail after a day spent in the spa – it doesn’t get much better than this!

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