European Hotspots for a Romantic Valentine’s Day

February 8, 2018

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many of us will be thinking about taking our loved ones on a romantic European break.

Whilst Paris is often thought of as the ‘City of Love’, if you’re looking to avoid the crowds, then we’d suggest that you try some of our favourite European cities that are a little more off the beaten track.

Not only are these dreamy destinations within easy driving distance from port, they’ll also show your lucky partner that you have plenty of imagination to go that extra mile.

So here’s a quick look at some of Europe’s most charming locations that can add that extra special touch of romance to your trip.

 

Epernay – France

What would Valentine’s Day be without a few glasses of bubbly? If you’re in the mood for fizz to mark the occasion, then be sure to visit Epernay – the capital of France’s champagne producing region.

Epernay is home to some of France’s most famous champagne houses, but most visitors tend to head straight to Moët et Chandon to take the fascinating tour that explores some of the 28 kilometres of underground caves that houses their stock.

If you take a walk along the delightfully named Avenue de Champagne, you’ll find plenty more hidden gems. Whether you are enjoying the panoramic views of the city from the twisting towers of the De Castellane champagne house, or indulging in a couple of drinks in the tasting room of the grand estate of Lafond, it will definitely add a touch of fun to your romantic break.

 

Epernay

 

Alsace – France

If pretty villages filled with colourful half-timbered houses, majestic medieval ruins, and balconies overflowing with geraniums sounds like your idea of romance, then be sure to visit Alsace.

This picturesque region of France is well worth the road trip, as you’ll see when you approach charming villages like Riquewihr and Ribeauvillé. You’ll instantly understand why these delightful locations inspired fairytales like Beauty and the Beast.

Whether you are talking a moonlit walk along the picturesque canals of Colmar, or are treating your loved one to a heartwarming meal in the famous gastronomic village of Mittelbergheim, there’s always something new to discover together in Alsace.

 

Alsace

 

St Valentin – France

France isn’t short of dreamy destinations that will make your heart melt. But if you are really looking to celebrate this romantic time of year, then you should take a trip to St Valentin.

This is the only village in France that is named after the lovestruck saint, and St Valentin has wasted no time in serving up plenty of fun Valentine’s Day treats. Every year, the ‘Village of Love’ hosts a three day festival of romance that sees the streets bedecked in flowers.

Whether you are pinning your love notes on the Tree of Hearts, or are walking arm-in-arm through the red roses in the Lover’s Garden, this cute village certainly lives up to its name.

 

St Valentin

 

Giethoorn – Netherlands

For a truly tranquil Valentine’s Day with your loved one, we’d recommend a visit to the quaint Dutch village of Giethoorn.

Known as the ‘Venice of the Netherlands’, Giethoorn has no roads, and the only way to get around is by crossing one of the 176 wooden bridges, or by taking a noiseless ‘whisper-boat’ along its many canals.

With charming 18th century thatched-roof farmhouses, and picturesque duck ponds, Giethoorn offers plenty of rustic old-world charm. So that whether you are rowing your valentine down the idyllic waterways, or are enjoying a candlelit meal in one of the many chic canal-side restaurants, Giethoorn is certainly a place like no other.

 

Giethoorn

 

Gouda – Netherlands

Many visitors to the Netherlands tend to stay in Amsterdam. But if you want to escape the crowds and experience a typically Dutch city, then a trip to Gouda may take your fancy.

There’s so much more to Gouda that its famous cheese, and it’s a real joy to walk along the city’s maze of cobblestone streets and alleyways with your loved one. Explore the magnificent 15th century town hall, take a boat along the picturesque canals, and don’t forget to enjoy the city’s other delicacy – the sumptuous stroopwaffles.

But if you have your heart set on cheese, then be sure to visit the Gouda Museum. This fascinating place has a tranquil inner garden that offers the perfect spot to enjoy some Gouda-style ‘high cheese’ – like the traditional English high tea, but with a special Dutch twist.

 

Gouda

 

Haarlem – Netherlands

Haarlem is located just a thirty minutes drive from Amsterdam, and it offers all of the capital’s Dutch charm, but without the crowds.

Unofficially known as ‘the flower city’, Haarlem is located close to the legendary Keukenhof Gardens, and Harleem’s Grote Markt is the perfect place to buy some colourful blooms for your loved one.

The compact city centre is great for some relaxed sight-seeing too. Medieval streets, picturesque squares, art museums full with of old Dutch masterpieces, and landmarks like the De Adriaan windmill all add up to a Valentine’s Day to remember.

 

Haarlem

 

Utrecht – Netherlands

This fun-loving Dutch city is a great place to enjoy an action-packed night with your valentine, and its medieval city centre is packed with boutique shops, chic cafes and atmospheric alleyways.

Be sure to take your loved one to one of the many restaurants that are dotted along the split-level canals, and don’t forget to take a romantic boat tour down the Old Canal for the perfect way to see the city.

Maybe you could climb the 465 steps up the iconic Dom Tower, or just enjoy relaxing with some pancakes in a cosy waterside cafe? But either way it’s clear that Utrecht offers plenty of heartwarming charm for your and your valentine.

 

Utrecht

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