Written By Yukti Lunawat.
When you think about where to go on a romantic holiday in Europe, the obvious choices are Switzerland, Paris, Edinburgh, Rome, Venice, etc. But there are other places that are not too famed because they haven’t been discovered adequately by the tourists. Romance blooms in these underrated European cities.
If you are dreaming of a romantic trip to Europe where there is less crowd so that you can enjoy the time with your partner to the fullest then here is a list of the top 10 underrated romantic getaways in Europe that will keep you away from the crowds and closer to paradise.
1. Nisyros Island, Greece
Nisyros is a beautiful island located in the heart of the Aegean Sea. It is a volcanic Greek island. It is not very popular among tourists, rather untouched by tourism. Therefore, it still has its unspoiled charm.
Limenari is one of the best places on Nisyros Island. The place is known for its Greek Cuisine. The place is full of romance with a picturesque view.
Mandraki apart from being the capital of the island, Mandraki is also its harbour. It is one of the biggest villages on Nisyros with many tourism facilities available. One can enjoy a stroll around the exquisite pebbled narrow streets and squares. The place does not have a very happening nightlife but there are a few bars and little taverns.
Sights worth visiting include the volcano where you can walk in the crater and watch the boiling holes. You can also go to the Castle of the Knights of St. John in Mandraki, built high on a rock.
2. Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana is a place where romance blooms all around. It is one of the smallest European capitals. The place is never crowded but at the same time, you will never be bored here. The city charms you with its galleries, artists and museums.
In the middle of Lake Bled, located in the heart of the Julian Alps, you can find the only island in Slovenia. Visit the island on a pletna, a traditional Bled boat. You can enjoy dinner at the Bled Castle with a view of the lake. You can also take your loved one on a carriage ride around the lake.
Ljubljana is a city crossed by a river, the Ljubljanica. The river, with its beautiful bridges and picturesque embankments, represents the very essence of the city’s soul. One of the bridges spanning the Ljubljanica, is the Butchers’ Bridge, Ljubljana’s love bridge.
Take a walk down the cobbled streets of Ljubljana Old Town, nestled between the river and the hilltop castle. The charming narrow lanes lead to two squares: the city square with the city hall and a copy of the 18th-century “three rivers” fountain, and the upper square.
Taste local specialities, enjoy watching the street artists and absorb the architectural details, such as wall carvings, sculptural decoration, or elaborate metalwork on fences and balustrades. The nearby castle and tower provide panoramic views of the city. You will have a lot to do with your partner in the city where love is in the air.
3. Bergen, Norway
If you have dreamt of spending a romantic evening by the fireside all cozy and warm in your partner’s arms along with a beautiful view outside then missing out on any chance to visit Bergen in Norway would be nothing less than a huge blunder.
The city is surrounded by mountains with beautiful scenic waterfalls and it is also known as “The heart of the fjords”. Bergen is situated between Sognefjord, Norway’s longest and deepest fjord and Hardangerfjord making the city the best place for starting fjord excursions.
Colourful wooden houses on the old wharf which was once a centre of the Hanseatic League’s trading empire and the narrow cobblestone alleys are the signature of this charming city. The streets are glorified with amazing street art made by famous street artists.
If you are a food lover couple and especially seafood lovers then visiting Bergen is a treat. Bergen is a UNESCO City of Gastronomy. The specialties of the Bergen cuisine are fish soup, fish cakes and “persetorsk”, a traditional Bergen steamed cod dish. Apart from the views and the food you can also enjoy live concerts occurring in some place or the other in the city daily.
4. Florence, Italy
Capital of the region of Tuscany in Italy, Florence is known for its culture, Renaissance, architecture and monuments. This city also has numerous museums and galleries. People generally visit Florence to see and learn about history but it also has quite a few romantic stops.
The Boboli Gardens is a beautiful outdoor museum, but widely known for its garden. You will be able to see beautiful Tuscan trees and native flowers. The view is breathtaking.
Piazzale Michelangelo is arguably the most popular and most beautiful view of Florence. The best time to visit the place is during sunset or sunrise.
Enjoy the sunset with some wine! There are a number of bridges that stretch over the Arno River. These bridges are perfect for picnics, great photo opportunities, and even a spot to eat dinner. The calm waters and easy breeze make it a worthwhile experience.
5. Bruges, Belgium
A paradise for lovebirds, Bruges is loved by couples for its old medieval architecture, pretty canals, picturesque parks, Michelin star restaurants, beer and most importantly chocolates. The city is full of chocolate shops and artisanal chocolatiers.
Lake Minnemeyer in Bruges is also known as the Lake of Love. The lake has got this name from the famous local folklore that speaks of the romance between Mina and Stromberg, the warrior.
Their love story witnessed a tragic ending with Mina dying and Stromberg burying her underneath the Lake. In today’s date, it is believed that every couple who kisses on that bridge is locked in with everlasting love.
Enjoy a blissful walk in the cobbled lanes, a boat ride at the canals and lush castle surroundings.
6. Santorini, Greece
Santorini is the southernmost island in the Cyclades. It is a must-visit place in Greece. It is famous for its dramatic and absolutely spectacular views.
Oia is one of the most romantic places in Santorini. This lovely white-washed village is a hotspot for couples who visit this place to enjoy the sunset. This lovely white-washed village in Santorini is one of the most romantic places in Santorini Greece.
Perissa – Spectate the Black Sand, attracts people from across the world. Santorini boutique hotels, taverns, beach sunbeds are just some of the beach facilities that you can cherish.
Beautified with hidden passageways, labyrinth streets and fortified walls, Pyrgos will make your romantic escape to the Greek Island even more majestic with its stunning white structures. This is supposed to be a comparatively quieter place to visit in Santorini. This destination offers some of the most romantic things to do in Santorini.
7. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal. It is famous for its colonialist history, ornate architecture and tradition of Fado music. Lisbon is known for its old-world charm and romance, sprinkled in fairy dust and history.
Lisbon is the warmest European city. Even in the coldest months of December and January, Lisbon remains warm and sunny. You can enjoy sunbathing here, even in winter!
Sintra is a beautiful town listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. It is very close to Lisbon. Cabo da Roca is another place that is less known to tourists. It’s the westernmost point of continental Europe. The view from both these places is spectacular.
Lisbon sparkles at night, and for a romantic overview of the Portuguese capital after dark, one should head to the top of Elevador de Santa Justa for a memorable panorama. As dusk falls and the city lights up, Lisbon’s castle looks as dreamy as possible. One cannot resist taking pictures!
8. Alentejo, Algrave And Sao Miguel, Portugal
Alentejo is the beautiful rural interior of Portugal. The south-central Portuguese region is known as the heart of the country. The peace and quiet here will let you spend more quality time with your partner.
Monsaraz is one of the oldest medieval villages in Portugal, located in the Alentejo Region. In 2017, Monsaraz won the category of “Monument Villages”.
The village is situated at the top of a hill and gives a breathtaking sight of the river Guadiana and also an overview of its border with Spain. You can take a walk down the narrow lanes or even relish traditional Alentejo food with local award-winning wines.
Algarve has some of the most romantic beaches in Portugal. You can stroll around hand in hand along long stretches of golden sand or sit and watch the sun setting over the Atlantic Ocean. You might as well go to the Benagil Caves by boat to reach the land inside the caves and enjoy the stunning setup.
If you are a water baby and enjoy the serene beauty of nature, Sao Miguel is the place for you. You can indulge in water sports or adventure activities like snorkelling with wild dolphins. You can also get a fair experience of wildlife here.
9. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is famous for its art and architecture. Despite being a modern city, Barcelona also has its own beach. It is the perfect blend of work and vacation. You will also hear people talk about fashion trends and shopping here.
Experience one of the most magical nights at Barcelona’s iconic building, La Pedrera. Earlier the night tour and show was reserved only for the VIPs. Casa Mila is Antoni Gaudi’s most remarkable work of civic architecture. The special lighting at night makes it a unique experience.
Tibidabo is one of the best places to take in panoramic city views of Barcelona. This is a perfect way to see some of the outer lying areas in the city, get some fresh air and see gorgeous views. A train station doesn’t sound like a likely candidate for one of the city’s most romantic spots, but the Estació de França is no ordinary train station.
Open since the 19th century, the station was given a full refurbishment in 1929. The result is a stunning combination of old and new, with elements of classic Catalan Modernism, art déco and more contemporary design. Grab a coffee in the station café, and let yourself feel like lovers lost in transit.
10. Ticino, Switzerland
The canton of Ticino is the southernmost canton in Switzerland, bordering Italy. Ticino Switzerland has a very Mediterranean vibe, with serene beaches, palm trees, and sparkling blue waters.
Similar to Italy, you’ll also often find charming passageways, piazzas, churches and a concoction of city and country — something for everyone! For someone who loves both Italy and Switzerland, Ticino is a beautiful blend.
Lugano is the largest town in Ticino. It turns heads because it is a car-free historic town centre.
The “Riviera del Gambarogno” sits between Lake Maggiore and the mountains, offering breathtaking views. It has a two-hundred-kilometre-long hiking trail and a magnificent botanical garden, the Botanical Garden of Gambarogno.
The best part about visiting Switzerland is that you turn your head and you can see a scenic view, and each time a different one. There is no such thing as a bad angle when clicking photographs.
Europe is naturally the first choice when people think of visiting romantic places. Paris, Biarritz, Venice, London, Budapest are the more obvious picks but the underrated European destinations mentioned above are worth exploring!
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