With Valentine’s day around the corner, brainstorming some last minute getaway ideas could not come at a better time. Whether you’re looking to take a spontaneous trip, or choose the perfect spot to ask a certain life-altering question, this guide has you covered! And while single destination vacations are a wonderful way to unwind, we believe in the go big or go home motto… Especially during Valentines! So grab your suitcase, pack your best date night outfits, and prepare to be swept off your feet on these romantic travel tours!
France: Paris, Marseille, Nice
It’s a cliché for a reason. Recognized as the country of love, France is a beautiful place to visit this time of year, and Paris is obviously the place to start. In a city this busy, itineraries are important. While some destinations are best discovered at night, most Parisian sightseeing is best done during the day. In this city, nighttime is for decadent dinners and sipping wine on an outdoor terrace. To maximize the daylight, consider visiting some of these famous attractions… For art lovers, a trip to the Louvre and the Versailles Palace is non-negotiable. Surround yourself with creativity and history to get a true sense of the city’s sophistication. For those that love the outdoors, a trip to the Jardin des Tuileries and the Luxembourg Gardens is a must! For some added spice, take a guided tour through the Paris Catacombs. Nothing says ‘til death do us part like meandering through ancient tombs! And last but not least, visiting the Eiffel tower—more than once, at different times of the day—is a given.
After a few delectable days in the city of love, take a train ride to the wonderful city of Marseille. Ranging from a three to four hour train ride, this can be a perfect moment to journal about your time in Paris with your significant other, or plan some sightseeing. In Marseille, there is no shortage of places to visit. While this city is France’s second largest after Paris, its atmosphere is very different. Here, tourists begin to feel a strong Mediterranean influence. Some notable attractions in Marseille, are the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde and the Abbaye Saint-Victor. Exploring these historical buildings can leave tourists with a greater understanding about the city they’re in! Lastly, seeing as how Paris is a charged vacation, slowing down in Marseille is encouraged. Take some time to walk around and explore the Old Harbour and colourful streets of Le Panier.
Lastly, concluding the vacation with a trip to Nice is an incredible way to wrap-up. Following a short train ride from Marseille to Nice, visitors will be met with an entirely new scenery. Nice is renowned for its coastline, beaches and cozy street markets. Take time to explore the Old Town, visit the Matisse museum and the Nice botanical garden.
Italy: Milan, Verona, Venice
Home to the land of wine, cheese, gelato and carbs, this slice of heaven is a lover’s paradise! While there are plenty of beautiful tours throughout Italy, the sequence of traveling from Milan, to Verona and finishing in Venice has a certain romantic ring to it! Beginning in Milan, visiting the Duomo di Milano is always a great start. Recognized as the second largest cathedral in the world, its architecture will leave tourists in awe throughout the entire trip. Shopping in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is also an unforgettable experience. Needless to say, while the city is filled with museums, restaurants and attractions, a day trip to Lake Como is highly encouraged.
While taking the train from Milan to Verona, travellers will have a little under two hours of down time. This would be a great opportunity to make a little scrapbook or collage of some pictures, ticket stubs and mementos from the trip so far. When arriving in Verona, there is only one thing to do first… visit the Casa di Giulietta to see Shakespeare’s inspiration for Romeo and Juliet. Taking pictures of the famous balcony while dramatically reading out lines from the play should also be added to the bucket list! Seeing the Piazza delle Erbe, Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore, Arena di Verona, and the Ponte di Castelvecchio is also recommended.
Lastly, ending the trip in Venice does wonders for the soul! Partake in locals’ midday ‘riposa’, and adopt a slightly slower way of living here. Smell fresh mint, walk along the canal, take a gondola ride and eat what your heart desires!
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Written by: Briahna McTigue