After studying up on the traditions of Valentine’s Day from around the world, we have come to the conclusion that there are certain prevailing themes everywhere. Though the types, meanings, and methods may differ; flowers, sweets, and cards appear in almost all the countries that recognize the holiday. There is some variance in how gifts are given: in England, “Jack Valentine” leaves small gifts in the homes of young children, but in Italy the holiday is really the exchange of gifts between couples, and in America it is a mix of both gifts to children and couples. We believe that what makes the holiday so appealing to celebrate is that there is room for traditions to be tailored to each couple’s (or family’s) unique tastes. This year, Cyclomundo wants to help add to the romance of your holiday, whenever or wherever you choose to celebrate. So whether your idea of romance is to stroll along a beach hand-in-hand with your sweetheart or to cozy up in front of a fire while snow drifts down outside, we have compiled a list of our most romantic travel destinations to visit.
Located on the edge of Lake Annecy in the heart of the French Alps, this charming destination can be considered the capital of the Haute Savoie region. The city was built around a 14th-century chateau that preserves its splendid medieval character to this day. Known best as the ‘Venice of Savoy’, Annecy is zigzagged by tiny canals and streams that flow into pristine Lake Annecy.
Although walking through the twisting streets and taking in the small details of the city is endlessly amusing, Annecy has much more to offer. If you like to swim or sunbathe and relax, you will be satisfied with the beaches around Lake Annecy. The gorgeous waterfront park offers breathtaking views of the lake and French Alps. Our Three-Lake Tour that ends in Annecy is perfect for couples who love mountains and water, history and nature, adventure and relaxation.
For more information check out our blog post on Things To Do in Annecy.
The small fishing port town of Cassis provides couples with a great coastal escape. Its smaller size and down-to-earth feel combined with picture perfect harbor, cliffs, and beaches make it an ideal spot for couples to soak in the Mediterranean rays while avoiding much of the crowds of nearby Marseille. Whether you prefer to stroll along the docks of the gorgeous harbor or explore the neighboring protected natural sites, this small town hosts whatever coastal setting you find most romantic. On the heels of five days of cycling through Provence on our Bike to the Sea Tour, Cassis is the perfect place for coastal R&R (romance and relaxation).
Venice is one of the most iconic cities in the world, and a gondola ride along an isolated city canal while being serenaded by an Italian or splitting a plate of spaghetti are some of the most cliché romantic scenes of all time. However, even with the abundance of corny overused romantic scenes of the city, it still retains the magnetism and uniqueness that brings out a little of the romantic in us all. The winding streets, enchanting canals, quirky shops, and salty sea breeze combine to keep this city romantic no matter how overrun with tourists it may get. The key to finding the authentic romance of the city is to explore, get lost, and find what is special for you or your relationship. As the last stop on most of our Veneto Tours, Venice is a great city to help add some magic and romance to any relationship.
La Coquillade, Gargas, Provence
Located in the middle of their 30-hectare vineyard, La Coquillade Hotel is an oasis of romance. Secluded and luxurious, quaint and chic, this hotel exemplifies the best that Provence has to offer. La Coquillade is well suited to all types of getaways. The location provides easy access to activities in the nearby natural park such as cycling and hiking as well as six nearby golf courses- and they even offer a hot air balloon package! The onsite facilities are top notch too, including a swimming pool, tennis courts, pétanque strip, as well as a full list of spa amenities. There are several onsite restaurants, and Le Gourmet boasts a Michelin starred chef, Christoph e Renaud as well as an exquisite gourmet menu. After traveling through the mountains and valleys on our Upper Provence Tour, (and basking in the intoxicating scents from the lavender fields), this beautiful hotel is a perfect romantic stop.
As part of three coastal towns that belong to the municipality of Palafrugell, Tamariu is an exciting yet intimate place to have a romantic dinner followed by an evening exploring the town or strolling along beaches. Although smaller than the neighboring town of Calella de Palafrugell, the concentrated number of elegant resorts along the coastal strip gives couples the opportunity to walk along the beach and have their pick of seaside restaurants, many of which have live music from local Catalan bands (the soft romantic kind with just vocals and guitar that perfectly accompanies the sounds of the waves while dining). As a stopover on our Pedal and Pamper Tour, Tamariu is a great opportunity to get fancy and spend the night out with your sweetheart.
Lac du Bourget, Rhone-Alps
France’s largest natural lake is both a major ecological site and an important relic of French natural heritage. A haven of peace, visitors will discover wild creeks, reed beds, and inviting beaches surrounding the lake. The village of Bourget du Lac considers itself the Gourmet Lakeside City. Much of the village economy is based on the delicious cuisine that can be created using the fish of the lake. The town boasts three Michelin Starred restaurants, as well as countless more casual restaurants along the boardwalk of the lake. For those who desire a simpler dining experience, the area around the lake and the ability to easily get food from the village make this lake the optimal place for a lakeside picnic. As part of our Three-Lake Tour, don’t miss this opportunity to have a romantic afternoon enjoying all the splendors of nature, cuisine, and good company.
HINTS FOR HIM
Whether you have made the big declaration of love or not, women still appreciate small gestures of your affection through the universal symbols of Valentine’s Day. Below we have included some of the best spots in the world to pick up your next romantic gift.
If she likes:
Chocolates – Switzerland has the highest per-capita chocolate consumption in the world so why not pop into one of the many chocolate shops of Geneva? Or, for the chocolate connoisseur, check out the process, history, and deliciousness of Valrhona’s prestigious chocolate in Tain l’Hermitage while on one of our Alps Tours.
Flowers -The flowers of Provence have long been the inspiration of many famous artists like Monet and Van Gogh. To many, the lavender fields are as iconic to Provence as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. Nice is also home to the Cours Saleya— an extensive flower market that assembles all the best from the fields of Provence. Take advantage of the abundance of flowers throughout any of our Provence Tours to treat her to a bouquet.
Jewelry – After centuries of hosting shops on this world famous bridge, Ponte Vecchio in Florence is still seen as a one of the biggest hubs for artisan gold jewelry. The shops and window displays that line the bridge can be incredibly alluring, and it would be hard to find a more concentrated extensive collection of jewelry (excluding online). Be sure to stop here and pick up a treasured gift for your special someone along one of our Tuscany Tours.
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