Valentine’s Day - just whimsy? No…For romantic travellers, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for tender or passionate adventure. Sound sentimental? It doesn’t have to be. Come with us on a whirlwind tour of the six best destinations for couples, from the famous to the less well known to the unusual.
Paris, the nonpareil
Paris, city of romance where couples stroll hand in hand beside the canals. Montmartre and its Basilica are a magnet too … Less well known are La Butte-aux-Cailles, and La Mouzaïa, all-but-secret Parisian villages with many charms for a loving pair to discover as they stroll about. And if your passion needs cooling, try a Berthillon ice cream as you wander through the Ile de la Cité. Take some quintessentially French macaron biscuits (by Ladurée or Pierre Hermé according to taste) to share as you glide along the River Seine on a night-time cruise. Paris is waiting for you.
Lyon for lovers of fine food
There are no two ways about it, Lyon is the capital for lovers of fine dining. But there’s more to the town than food! Yes, Lyon is famed for its little bouchon restaurants with their traditional cuisine but there is also UNESCO world heritage site Old Lyon – where the Lyon Youth Hostel is located (just thought we’d mention that …) – and its charming traboule [http://www.en.lyon-france.com/Guided-Tours-Excursions/The-100-essentials/Traboules-of-the-Croix-Rousse-hill-the-silk] alleyways, perfect for a couple to lose themselves in! North of Lyon and a little diversion takes you to Oingt: perched above Beaujolais vineyards, this is a jewel among the loveliest villages of France.
Cadouin and the villages of the Périgord
A trip for two to the Périgord is like entering a different world: beautiful countryside, beautiful stone, rich food and History. From Cadouin Youth Hostel – an ancient abbey on the routes of Santiago de Compostela in France inscribed on the world heritage List – you are not far from Bergerac or from Sarlat , a medieval town where you can see la Belle Sarladaise, who, as night comes, on tells the story of the town to visitors in the streets.
Strasbourg, on the wine route
For the really romantic among you, an absolute must is — “Strasbourg mon amour.” The historic part of Strasbourg, known as Little France, is delightful for a walk around the narrow pedestrian streets or a ride in a pleasure boat: amid the timber-framed houses you will feel transported back in time. Less than an hour away on the wine route, your journey into another time and place continues in two of the loveliest villages in France, Eguisheim and Riquewihr.
Annecy, the little Venice of the Alps
The architectural heritage of Annecy and the many canals that run through the old town make this a very picturesque and romantic destination. Its famous lake is another of the attractions that make the Little Venice of the Alps an idyllic destination for two. From Annecy Youth Hostel you have a beautiful view sweeping down to this jewel of France’s natural heritage. An ideal place for a romantic breakfast as the sun comes up…
Biarritz, romance by the sea
Biarritz is known for its big waves and handsome surfers. But Biarritz is also a city of glamour. Stunning walks along the coast - from Virgin’s Rock to the little fishing port, and on to the lighthouse at St Martin’s Point. The Art Deco style buildings emphasise the early-1900s chic feel. Stand barefoot in the sand and watch the sun go down over the sea. Biarritz Youth Hostel is 15 minutes’ walk from the beaches, through a little wood which is just in front of it ... Real happiness!
Want to come and explore these romantic French towns? Where will you and your loved one come for your adventure?