For Valentine’s Day why not celebrate your romance with a ‘once in a lifetime’ travel experience. From a luxury eco-lodge on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, to being treated like a royal in alluring India, or experiencing the art and traditions of Japan or Sicily, here’s a list that will inspire you to do a lot more than just booking a restaurant and purchasing a rose or some chocolates this Valentine's Day. Although, presenting one of these escapes to your loved one over a delicious dinner out, could be the perfect way to give a gift of a luxury and truly inspirational travel experience.
1. Beach & Bush
Go in search of the Big Five in prime game viewing territory in one of South Africa’s luxury private game reserves, the Sabi Sand, where there is flexibility with game activities, outstanding guides and gracious lodgings thrown in. There’s a choice of accommodation between andBeyond Exeter River Lodge and the super stylish Singita Boulders. Afterwards an idyllic getaway on Benguerra Island, Mozambique is thrown in at either luxurious Azura Benguerra or andBeyond Benguerra Island.
2. Art and traditions of Japan
Home to some of the most courteous people on the planet, the Japanese will make your Valentine’s Day one to remember. With world renowned hospitality and supreme efficiency, everything there runs like clockwork. We suggest going off the beaten path to some lesser-known spots on Honshu Island. Kanazawa is the country’s new art and culture capital and has beautifully preserved samurai and geisha districts, attractive temples and markets. Combine this with the well-preserved old town of Takayama in the northern alps where narrow lanes, quaint wooden houses and craft shops takes travellers back in time.
3. Exotic Turkey
European with a dazzling touch of the East, Turkey has exotic written all over it. Starry-eyed romantics will be taken in by the rich history and heritage, the exquisite cuisine, the glorious beaches and coastline and its dramatic landscapes. It’s difficult to go past Istanbul’s Four Seasons at the Bosphorus where you’ll feel like Ottoman nobility in sumptuous and spoiling surrounds. Consider a hammam for two and while away an afternoon.
4. South Australia’s Eyre
Celebrate a Valentine’s Day close to home with an adventure to the rugged and beautiful Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. Just across the Spencer Gulf from Adelaide it’s the gateway to the Nullarbor and the Great Australian Bight and has quiet pristine beaches, secluded fishing spots and sublime seafood. You’ll stay in a private, architecturally designed, solar powered, luxury eco lodge near Port Lincoln and a luxury safari camp in the Gawler Ranges. Walking trails, wildlife, local wine and gourmet provisions are all on tap plus there’s 4WD excursions, swimming with Bluefin Tuna or snorkelling with sea lions and bottlenose dolphins.
5. Magic in the Maldives
Powder white sand, turquoise seas, incredible underwater attractions and a Robinson Crusoe island experience is just the ticket for loved up travellers. At award-winning Baros guests travel by speedboat half an hour from the airport to a Maldivian welcome and a luxury stay in a deluxe beach villa with own sun lounges just steps from the water. This idyllic retreat is best suited to couples and serial romantics and if honeymooners arrive within six months of their wedding day they’ll receive a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine, chocolates, a souvenir photo and a candlelit beach dinner.
6. An Argentine Escape
Sophisticated and cosmopolitan, Buenos Aires is a city of passionate Porteños who revel in fun, food and fashion. Bed down in exquisite hotels from boutique boltholes to elegant neoclassical palaces, fascinating monuments, excellent restaurants and shopping to die for. There’s as much or as little to do as you choose and it’s the perfect place for two to tango! Combine a stay in the capital with the romantic and rugged landscapes of Patagonia, the alpine charms of Bariloche and the awe-inspiring Iguazu Falls.
7. Splendid Sicily
Synonymous with love, where else to while away lazy days with a loved one but Italy? For a stylish sojourn head to the beautiful Mediterranean island of Sicily where scenic diversity blends with an abundance of Greek temples, Norman churches, archaeological sites and lovely sandy beaches. Its grand, historic hotels are the last word in elegance while the stylish cities are attractions all by themselves. Sicily has an enviable climate and some of Italy’s finest cuisine.
8. Spice it up in Morocco
Spend Valentine’s Day in one of the world’s most exotic locales – Morocco. Intriguing and exotic with a mouth-watering cuisine and a fascinating blend of cultural and historic influences, what’s not to love? Lose yourselves in the medina of Fes and explore its colourful souks. See the amazing Roman remains at Volubilis and the royal stables of Meknes before immersing yourselves in the wonder that is Marrakech.
Combine Mexico’s natural beauty, its rich cultural heritage and tantalising cuisine plus extraordinary beaches and you’ve got the perfect formula for a romantic getaway. Explore Mayan ruins, relax in a hacienda, search for handicrafts in local markets and marvel at the wealth of colonial monuments. Wherever you are the warmth and colour of Mexico and its people are guaranteed to delight.
10. Alluring India
You’ll feel like the royal couple on a private journey through India. Bedding down in grand palace hotels and exploring impressive forts and iconic monuments. Taking in the complex history and engaging culture, experiencing the myriad culinary attractions and bustling markets. This is a two-week adventure staying at some of the subcontinent’s finest hotels and privately guided touring throughout.
At Vacation Goddess we believe that travel should be wonderful, intriguing, amazing, exciting, rejuvenating and memorable. So do Abercrombie & Kent who can easily arrange any of the above experiences for you.
With local guides on the ground in 52 offices around the world, they can provide exclusive insider access to experiences that many others can’t. For more information or to book any of these amazing trips click here.
Priced per person (Australian dollars) as follows:
1. Beach & Bush – A&K’s 8-day ‘Sun, Sand & Safari’ is priced from $6,900 per person.
2. Art and traditions of Japan – A&K’s 6-day ‘Art & Culture of Central Japan’ journey is priced from $8,605 per person.
3. Exotic Turkey – A&K’s 10-day ‘Treasures of Turkey’ journey is priced from $10,525 per person.
4. South Australia’s Eyre – A&K’s 5-day ‘Eyre Eco Escape’ from $2,695 per person.
5. Magic in the Maldives – A&K’s 8-day ‘Hideaway: Baros’ Escape is priced from US$4,285 per person.
6. An Argentine Escape – A&K’s 11-day ‘Argentine Reflections’ journey is priced from $9,415 per person.
7. Splendid Sicily – A&K’s 9-day ‘Splendours of Sicily’ journey is priced from $9,260 per person.
8. Spice it up in Morocco – A&K’s 8-day ‘Mosaics & Medinas’ journey is priced from $6,290 per person.
9. Mexico – A&K’s 11-day ‘Treasures of Mexico’ journey is priced from $11,095 per person.
10. Alluring India – A&K’s 14-day ‘Splendours of Rajasthan’ journey is priced from $10,090 per person.