Romantic places: Europe. 14 magical hidden gems and more.

If you clicked to read this article “Romantic Places: Europe” thinking of finding places like Paris, Venice, Santorini, or the Amalfi Coast on the list, I apologize. The least I wanted to do was trick you into reading this.

If what you wanted was to discover the most romantic places in Europe and at the same time to find those little-hidden gems, then you are in the right place.

Of course that by saying this I do not mean that those places mentioned before do not deserve to be on the list “Romantic places: Europe”. On the contrary, but their world status as cradles of the romantic turn them into tourist traps (must-seen tourist traps though. You just can’t miss places like Paris or Venice).

At the end of the day when you think of a romantic place, you imagine yourself alone with your partner, enjoying together, a silence, a talk in front of a beautiful view, and most of all, some privacy.

So I want to take you on a little trip through the 14 most romantic places in Europe that we unintentionally discovered during our 90 day trip in a motorhome (oh, didn’t you know that we traveled three months from Spain to Poland back and forth in our house with wheels?) and our other European experiences.

Why 14?

To honor Valentine’s day. Nothing else. Because otherwise, this list would be eternal since Europe presents an endless number of opportunities to fall in love with.

In this trip, I will take you through a particular selection that will mix cities, activities, and specific sites within a city so that you can have a small inspiration of the best things to do as a couple during your visit to the Old Continent. You will see that there are many sunrises and sunsets. The thing is that there is nothing more romantic than that.

Shall we start then with “Romantic Places: Europe”?

 

ROMANTIC PLACES: EUROPE

 

1. CESKY KRUMLOV: LUNCH TIME BY THE RIVER

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. Cesky Krumlov and the view from the castle

 

Like a sea of red waves, the most beautiful lady in Czech Bohemia rises on a rock. Her body is a paved labyrinth of Gothic and Renaissance features. Luckily, the ode to the bad taste of communist architecture didn’t care about her. So she is now how she was before, as beautiful as she was conceived. And embraced by the waters of the river that traces its curves and separates her from her great castle.

A trip to the Czech Republic without visiting Prague is not considered complete. And we would be right. But the Czech Republic deserves more days and more kilometers as it offers natural parks and medieval villages of wonder. One of them is Cesky Krumlov, in the South Bohemian region.

This city of just 22 square kilometers and less than 15 thousand inhabitants is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992. And there are several reasons for holding that privilege.

Its historic center and its castle were built in the 13th century, so a walk through its streets is a journey through time. From the top of the castle, which has one of the best preserved baroque theaters, you can see one of the most beautiful views of the city, with its red roofs, the surrounding hills, and the meander of the Vltava river that divides the city in the neighborhood of Latrán -the castle area-, and the urban area.

Kaplická street is the gateway to the old part of the city, which despite being quite crowded, is a great experience. The street ends at the Town Hall Square (Svornosti Namesti), surrounded by brightly colored houses, from where it is best to wander the streets that are born in this urban center and simply get lost among its narrow streets, with a medieval style that confuses he who for the first time visits this beautiful city.

To get to Latrán and be able to visit the beautiful castle -and enjoy its magnificent views-, you have to cross the Lazebnicky Bridge, which goes above the Vltava River and leave us in this neighborhood full of craftsmen’s houses and souvenirs shops.

However, before getting into this place, we are going to stop for lunch, the main reason why we chose Cesky Krumlov to be part of this list.

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. The Vltava River running around the city

 

WHY DID WE CHOOSE IT TO BE IN THE LIST ROMANTIC PLACES: EUROPE?

Beyond its beauty, which should be more than enough to put this place on this list of the most romantic places in Europe, we chose Cesky Krumlov for the possibility of enjoying a delicious lunch on the banks of the Vltava River, surrounded by flowers, with the castle on one side and the red roofs on the other. There are many restaurants with sunny terraces to enjoy the afternoon sun with the delicious Czech cuisine and a good beer. The entrances are along Parkán street: if you come from the town center towards the castle, it is the last street before reaching the river and the Lazebnicky Most (the wooden bridge).

HOW TO GET TO CESKY KRUMLOV?

Cesky Krumlov is located just 170 kilometers from Prague, which is equivalent to a little more than two driving hours. You can also arrive after a train journey of 2 hours and 50 minutes from the Czech Republic capital for just 7 euros. Get more information on how to get there in this link: https://goo.gl/JQMnjE.

 

2. THE CLIFFS OF ÉTRETAT: THE SUN DIVING INTO THE WATER

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. One of the most beautiful sunsets in Europe. Above the giant elephant, couples enjoy a moment of silence.

 

While the giant stone elephant drinks water, totally oblivious to the beauty that surrounds him -perhaps because seeing a tremendous spectacle of nature is already part of his routine- people climb onto his back of dirt and grass to see the journey of the sun towards the horizon of a deep blue sea. And there, while the evening light paints the clouds in pink and orange, the elephant closes his eyes and sleeps, hypnotized by the sound of the waves that hit his legs. And the lovers stay in silence so as not to wake him up.

Étretat is a small French village with a very pleasant promenade where you can try one of the best seafood in the country. But all the prices go to its imposing cliffs that fall several meters towards the deep sea: Courtine, Manneporte, cliffs of Aval and Aumont, Roc Vaudieu or Aiguille de Belval. The names of those stone giants that can be appreciated both by a walk through the pebble beach and from above, through demarcated paths that allow you to reach the edge.

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. The imposing cliffs with their animal-like shapes

 

WHY DID WE CHOOSE IT  TO BE IN THE LIST ROMANTIC PLACES: EUROPE?

It is seven o’clock in the afternoon in Étretat, on the French coast of Normandy, more related to stories about war than to this natural wonder. That is why being on top of that cliff, watching the sun as it falls behind that sea that witnessed the most bloody battles of the last century, gives a very special meaning to that moment: that of learning to appreciate life and enjoy the moment.

Some will see cliffs eroded by the power of water and wind. Others, the most romantic ones, will find themselves traveling on the back of an elephant, enjoying one of the most beautiful sunsets in Europe. That’s why we also chose it as part of the 31 most beautiful villages in France.

HOW TO GET TO ÉTRETAT?

You can get to Étretat in just over two and a half hours by car from Paris. If you are already traveling through Normandy, Étretat is just 45 minutes from Honfleur or a little more than one hour away from Rouen, two of the most visited cities in Normandy. If you are going by train from Paris, the best option is to go to Le Havre and from there connect with the bus service (more information at https://goo.gl/rsYPo8).

 

3. PERAST: DINNER UNDER THE MOONLIGHT BY THE SEA

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. By the Adriatic and surrounded by mountains

 

It was July 22, 1452. A group of sailors sailing through the current Bay of Kotor, found off the coast of the then Venetian city of Perast, an image of the Virgin Mary and Christ on a rock. They then made an oath: each time they returned successfully from a trip across the seas, they would return to the place and throw stones in honor of the Virgin. For years and years they fulfilled their promise and from that first stone arose an island that today is known as “Our Lady of the Rocks“, and on that island, they built a church for the Virgin.

Almost six centuries after that discovery, and every July 22nd when the sun begins to disappear on the horizon, dozens of men, religious and sailors, get into their boats and, tied to each other, throw stones into the sea (La Fascinada), making the island grow year after year. Today, on the altar of the Church, lies the image of the Virgin and the Christ that the sailors of the fifteenth century found on the rock.

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. Our son enjoyed Perast from the comfortable belly

 

WHY DID WE CHOOSE IT  TO BE IN THE LIST ROMANTIC PLACES: EUROPE?

Perast is a very small town in the beautiful and surprising country of Montenegro. With less than 300 inhabitants, Perast draws attention for the number of palaces (19), and watchtowers (10), which shows that it was an important commercial center where wealthy families fought to see who could show more opulence. The excellent preservation of its historical center allows us to appreciate how the old Venetian sailor villages were.

But what fascinated us the most about Perast, and the main reason why we chose it, was its natural environment: on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, in the Bay of Kotor, surrounded by mountains and with the two islets floating on the water. Enjoying that scenario sitting at a table, with the moon at our feet dancing on the sea, with the taste of truffles, typical of the region, in our mouths, transformed this town into one of the most romantic places in Europe.

HOW TO GET TO PERAST?

Public transport in Montenegro is not yet as developed as in the other European countries. So the best and fastest way to get to Perast is with your own mobility. From Kotor, another of the most beautiful cities in the country is just 15 minutes of a fascinating scenic route. The car can be left just before entering the town where there is a free parking. From then on you will just enjoy a pleasant walk through a small town but with an enormous architectural and natural wealth.

 

4. ISTRIA: THE CROATIAN TUSCANY

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. Towns on hills, and son in belly

 

As the car climbs up and down small green hills surrounded by vineyards, the towns slowly lean out to hide again in the coming and going of the vehicle. Pebbled streets, somewhat sleepy, detained in time, and with privileged views. Gone was the walled Dubrovnik, or the Austro-Hungarian Zagreb. We are still in Croatia. Although if you are distracted for a second you may think that you have crossed the Adriatic and gone to Italy. Istria is known as the Croatian Tuscany. And to be honest, it has many similarities, but without the masses of tourism. So a trip to this region of Croatia is a great option for a romantic getaway.

These towns are so small that you can easily visit three or four on the same day … and without any hurry. Motovun and its Venetian tower, Grožnjan and its artists who gave life to the town in the 60s, Pazin and the cave that inspired Jules Verne for his Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Hum, considered as the smallest city in the world, with only 17 inhabitants according to the last census (although we can say that we knew a place with fewer inhabitants: Cabañas del Castillo) are just some of the picturesque villages where you can wander aimlessly, without haste, with the only objective of going holding hands and enjoying the silence.

In addition to these beautiful villages on the green hills, this Croatian region offers us charming coastal towns such as Porec, Pula and its large Roman amphitheater, and Rovinj, where you can see one of the most beautiful sunsets in Croatia.

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. One of the most romantic sunsets as seen from the port parking lot

 

WHY DID WE CHOOSE IT  TO BE IN THE LIST ROMANTIC PLACES: EUROPE?

We chose the Istrian region because we are fascinated by the small towns that seem detained in time. And if we add to that the fact that the vast majority of tourists are inclined to Dubrovnik, or the island of Hvar, or Korcula during their visit to Croatia, we are here before a place where you can still enjoy moments of solitude and romance. And we do not want to insist with the sunsets, but the one seen from the parking lot of the port of Rovinj with the city as a witness is unmatched.

HOW TO GET TO ISTRIA?

Being close to the border with Slovenia and just in front of the Italian coast, the options to get to this region are several and include trains, boats, and buses. From Venice, for example, you can take a ferry to Pula, or Porec, or Rovinj. If you are already coming from Croatia, Pula has an important train station to get to from different parts of the country. And obviously by car, the options are endless, and it will also allow you to have total freedom when traveling the region.

You can read about our itinerary through the Balkans in our article Balkans: The Best Roadtrip Itinerary.

 

5. LOGARSKA DOLINA: WANDERING AROUND THE BORDER

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. Have you ever heard about Logarska Dolina?

 

On a lawn of an intense green color that seemed to extend more and more with each step we took, we approached towards those stone giants with their white and frozen heads. They surrounded us and we were down there, we felt small but happy to witness the immensity of nature. As much as we walked, they were still far away, watching us from above, hugging the valley of Logarska Dolina.

Although Slovenia is a country that grows year after year as a tourist attraction, it is one of the most overlooked countries in Europe. Surely because of its location, not because it is far away, but because surrounding it there are “tourist-monster-destinations” like Italy, Austria or Croatia. But the natural wealth of this central European country makes it an indispensable stop when talking about the most romantic places on the continent.

As we said in our article on the best itinerary in the Balkans, Slovenia. It is a country of diversities: in its scarcely 20,273 square kilometers, representing only 0.004% of the land area, it has more than 24,000 species of animals and is the third country with the highest forest density in Europe, with almost 60% of its territory covered in green. Being located in a crossroads of countries (Italy, Hungary, Austria, and Croatia) their influences, culture, and dialects are very diverse.

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. Surrounded by snowy giants

 

WHY DID WE CHOOSE IT  TO BE IN THE LIST ROMANTIC PLACES: EUROPE?

There are many places in Slovenia that we could choose from. To name just a few: Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj, the beautiful capital Ljubljana, or small cities like Maribor. But we chose Logarska Dolina because so far 100% of the people we told about our trip to Slovenia were unaware of this place, which makes it a little-hidden gem, and therefore, even more romantic.

But the main reason why we chose to include Logarska Dolina on this list was due to a recommendation. “Why, instead of going to Lake Bled crossing the Slovenian roads, don’t you go up that mountain to Austria, cross the border, and then descend again to Slovenia?” We were very lucky that the owner of the rural house where we were staying asked us that question/advice.

Not suitable for weak stomachs at the wheel, this road meanders the highest peaks in the region and takes us on an unforgettable journey, where those mountains that once looked at us from above, are transformed into our neighbors. Now we are on the same level, head to head with these giants, and, between curve and counter-curve, endless zig-zags that force us to practically stop the car, we take a breath into that pure mountain air, we stop by at a halt in the road, and enjoy the solitude, several hundred meters high. Now the only thing we have to do is go down the mountain road.

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. Now it’s time to go down

HOW TO GET TO LOGARSKA DOLINA?

The best option is by car. Slovenia is a very small country so every distance is rather short compared to other European countries. It is only 70 kilometers away from Ljubljana, though that means 1-hour and 45 minute due to the mountainous road. If you come from Austria, you will have to look for the Austrian city of Klagenfurt. On the other side of the mountains, you will find Logarska Dolina.

 

 6. LIMONE SUL GARDA: BY THE LAKE

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. The beautiful waters of Lake Garda and its surroundings

 

There is a table on the beach under the shade of a tree. Sitting at that table we looked at the turquoise water of the lake and those green mountains that surround it. That first time in Limone sul Garda, with our son in the belly, we fell in love in such a way that we decided to return, two years later to be able to swim in those waters that because of the cool weather had been elusive that first time.

Limone sul Garda is a village located on the shores of the homonymous lake, in northern Italy. Its economy was based on fishing and the planting of olives and lemons. But its name does not derive from the fruit, even if it seems a huge coincidence. Limone derives from the Latin “Limen” which means “limit”. It is a small town with a wonderful natural environment: behind the houses, huge cliffs rise, and in front, the Lake Garda with its surrounding mountains.

The Porto Vecchio (Old Port) is the center of the city and the place to be and enjoy the views. If you move away from the port towards the north, you will find the tranquility of the town, with its rural houses and small beaches where you can swim in the lake.

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. Our second trip to Limone was with our son

 

WHY DID WE CHOOSE IT  TO BE IN THE LIST ROMANTIC PLACES: EUROPE?

Because it was one of those places that we fall in love with at first sight. A town with streets without cars, flowers in every corner, cliffs on one side and Lake Garda on the other. Despite being one of the best-known destinations on the lake, it does not have the tumult of people from its neighbors Malcesine, Sirmione, or Bardolino. And bathing in the lake during the warm summer months, surrounded by mountains, is a pleasure.

HOW TO GET TO LIMONE SUL GARDA?

Limone sul Garda is less than 100 kilometers away from Verona (another of the most romantic cities in Europe without a doubt) and 140 from Milan. If you do not have your own transport, you can go by train from Milano Centrale (Milan) to the station Desenzano Del Garda-Sirmione, south of the lake, and from there you can move with the ferries that cross the lake on a daily basis.

 

7. WÜRZBURG BRIDGE: A SUNSET AND A GLASS OF WINE

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. A very lively sunset

 

In the Bavarian region, in the city of Würzburg, and crossing the Main river, there is a bridge of stone arches of 185 meters long. The Alte Mainbrücke was built between 1476 and 1488, damaged during the bombings of World War II, and rebuilt. Along the bridge, images of saints and kings adorn it, as if wanting to emulate Charles Bridge in Prague. It is seven P.M. and the sun is falling behind the Marienberg Fortress, which is located on top of a hill, dominating the city since the 15th century. The bridge becomes a meeting point for locals and tourists who enjoy a glass of wine watching the sun as it changes the colors of the clouds.

Behind us is the city, one of the most beautiful in Germany, despite having been destroyed almost in its entirety during the Allied bombings of the Second World War. Its reconstruction was very meticulous and today it is a city full of life and that tries to respect architecturally what it once was, although its baroque center was forever lost and many buildings adopted another style. We turn our back for a while to the sad story and look forward to a new day that goes behind the fortress, towards that fire-colored sky and its reflection over the waters of the river. And with a mate in hand (wine for the rest of the people), we toasted for life.

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. The view of the Fortress from another bridge

 

WHY DID WE CHOOSE IT  TO BE IN THE LIST ROMANTIC PLACES: EUROPE?

Because it is a city but it has the charm of a town, with a natural environment that makes it special: the river, the vineyards, the autumnal color of its trees, and a very special sunset.

HOW TO GET TO WURZBURG?

By car, the nearest large city is Frankfurt, 120 kilometers on the A3. It is also very well connected with the train from anywhere in the country, even from Berlin, although there is a combination to be made in Göttingen.

 

8. THE TOWNS OF ALSACE: A BIKE GETAWAY

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. What could be more romantic than a town filled with flowers?

 

Imagine a jar of paint in which we put the best of France and the best of Germany and we mix it well. To that mixture, we add a floral arrangement. We put the content of the jar on a map and we get Alsace. This region, passed countless times between French and Germans, is located there between the river Rhine, which acts as a natural border between the two countries, and the Vosges mountain range that divides the Alsace region from the region of Loraine, with peaks that reach 1400 meters in height.

Alsatians carry French pride in their blood and in no other region of the country will you find more flags on the streets and windows than here. And I can definitely say that you will not find more flowers than in these wonderful villages. From its squares and fountains to the facades of the houses. Everything is full of color and life.

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. Little Venice, in the beautiful city of Colmar

 

WHY DID WE CHOOSE IT  TO BE IN THE LIST ROMANTIC PLACES: EUROPE?

There are several reasons why we chose a bike ride through Alsace as one of the most romantic things to do in Europe. First and foremost because this region is characterized by having a village more picturesque than the other. You just have to follow the famous wine route to realize that it is impossible to decide for the most beautiful town. Riquewihr, Eguisheim, Kaysesberg, Ribeauville, and we could be like that for a while. And magical cities like Strasbourg or Colmar.

Secondly, because the bike ride allows you to go through roads surrounded by vineyards, hills, villages that appear from time to time as inviting you to get closer. These roads put you in direct contact with nature, with the wind in your face, with the possibility to choose where to go without following a predetermined course.

Finally … the flowers and fairytale houses. What could be more romantic than that?

HOW TO GET TO ALSACE?

It would be difficult to answer this question since Alsace is a region and not a city. So first you have to be clear about where you want to go. The ideal would be to go to Strasbourg, perfectly connected by train with any large French city, and from there start the route to the south, towards Mulhouse (with a mandatory stop in Colmar). 114 kilometers of villages and beauty without equal. From there, once that trip is over, we could move on to our next destination, only 90 kilometers away, but on the other side of the Rhine.

 

9. LAKE TITISEE: A SUNRISE ON A PIER

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. An unparallel sunset

 

It was 6 o’clock in the morning and I could still feel the autumn cold. The sky was still dark and the “last stars” could still be seen. Behind the forested hills, the sky began to show a slight gradient of pastel shades and the clouds started to be painted in a pinkish color each minute more and more intense. There I waited, on a long pier that went twenty meters into the water, while the morning mist covered this lovely place with a halo of mystery. Slowly the sun began to appear over the hills and what was once a black silhouette, was now beginning to show its autumn colors. The forest began to be dyed in red, orange, and yellow, as its leaves reflected the sunlight. Now the picture was complete.

Having chosen this work has its great advantages. One of them is having to get up very early, before the sun comes up, in order to get to a place, prepare the photographic equipment, and be ready to take the perfect photo with the ideal light. This is how I discovered one of the most beautiful sunrises in Europe, on the shores of Lake Titisee, the largest natural lake in the German Black Forest. Just in front of the city of Titisee-Neustadt (very picturesque city by the way), I was enjoying on my own a perfect moment to be with your loving one. But I was working and waking up the whole family was not the best option.

So with that typical melancholy of being alone in a scenario naturally designed by the Universe to be with your partner, I crossed the extension of the dock again to the mainland and turned around for the last time as I said goodbye to Lake Titisee and its unforgettable sunrise.

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. The beautiful views of the valley and a lovely gift from Mother Nature

 

WHY DID WE CHOOSE IT  TO BE IN THE LIST ROMANTIC PLACES: EUROPE?

Because beyond the beautiful sunrise, the lake gives us the opportunity to enjoy a few days in full contact with nature. In its 8 kilometers in diameter, you can follow its shores through the dense forests of the Black Forest, or climb the Hochfirst mountain to get wonderful views of the valley, and even choose to navigate its waters with pedal boats or motor boats.

HOW TO GET TO LAKE TITISEE?

The lake is located on the shores of the German city of Titisee-Neustadt, just half an hour away by car from the city of Freiburg, from where a train also departs for the Titisee station (36 minutes away).

 

10. TOLEDO: SUNSET FROM THE MOORISH ROCK

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. Toledo and the legend of Abdul-Walid

 

The sky promised to be clear and the moon, in its maximum splendor. The lights of the Toledo city slowly began to light up, illuminating the 16th century Alcazar and the Gothic Cathedral of Santa María de Toledo. From the top of the surrounding hills, you could appreciate what many people dared to refer to as the Spanish Rome because the number of religious buildings that the city treasures, just in front, elevated on its own hill 100 meters high, embraced by the Tagus River. The sun was falling towards the horizon, and while the clouds were turning red we wondered if he was going to appear during that clear moon night.

Abdul-Walid was a prince and great Moorish warrior who, after being sent by the African kings to the city of Toledo to prevent it from falling into Catholic hands, fell in love with the sister of the then leader of Toledo. Duty called him and he had to return to African lands with the novelties. When he returned to Toledo, he learned the worst news: his beloved one had died, and the city had been taken. Installed at the top of the hill with his army, planning the resumption of the city, Abdul-Walid found death at the hands of the Catholic King’s army.

Legend has it that every night of clear moon you can see the Moorish warrior at the top of the hill, looking towards the city of Toledo, remembering his beloved one. That night, he did not show up, but his tragic love story (which you can read in more detail here: The Legend of Abdul-Walid) filled the sunset over the Tagus River with a romantic and mystical air.

WHY DID WE CHOOSE IT  TO BE IN THE LIST ROMANTIC PLACES: EUROPE?

Because Toledo is full of stories and legends. Because it never ceases to amaze despite being one of the most visited places near Madrid. Because if its majestic historic center is not enough, the natural environment that surrounds it is a unique spectacle. Because the views from the hills are wonderful, and seeing the lights as they turn the city slowly on is an experience worth enjoying.

HOW TO GET TO TOLEDO?

Undoubtedly the best option to get to Toledo is from Madrid as it is only 70 kilometers away, or a short train ride from Atocha, or by bus from the Plaza Elíptica bus station. Be that as it may, it is an ideal place for a day or weekend getaway.

 

11. THE ALGARVE: CAVES AND COVES

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. A natural door into paradise

 

The sea entered the cave and covered our knees. There was nothing more than water from there on, so it did not make much sense to continue if what we wanted was to rest on the beach. But something told us that we should take a few more steps, holding on to the rocky wall so that the waves, which were not much but when they came were intense, did not throw us away. That is how, when we went around the cave, one of the most beautiful beaches we had seen so far opened before our eyes. The sea was already calm and turquoise, the sand the same color as the cliff that hung over our heads, and the two of us in the absolute solitude of a hidden cove. We had entered through a natural door into a paradise opened only for us.

The Portuguese Algarve region is, in addition to a place of white and charming villages, a haven of tranquility in a country that gives us jewels like this. That’s why it was our favorite place during our 10-day Itinerary through Portugal. The beaches are mostly small and between cliffs, but it is in that smallness that lies its greatest beauty. We are in the south of Portugal, where the Atlantic Ocean wets the coast, where, despite being the most visited region of the country, with more than 9 million annual visitors, it continues to give us those possibilities to be alone along its more than 150-kilometer long coastline.

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. The beautiful coves of Algarve

 

WHY DID WE CHOOSE IT  TO BE IN THE LIST ROMANTIC PLACES: EUROPE?

Because if you correctly choose the time of year to visit it (during the spring, just before the high season of tourism), you will find a very pleasant temperature to enjoy beautiful beaches with fewer people, and even small empty coves where to have your own personal paradise. Because nothing better than a picturesque white village to enjoy Portuguese cuisine after a day of sea and sand.

HOW TO GET TO ALGARVE?

The capital of this Portuguese region is the city of Faro, 278 kilometers away from Lisbon on a route that crosses the charming Alentejo region. Even closer is the Spanish city of Seville (199 kilometers). Faro also has an airport that operates several of the low-cost companies in Europe. From there you can travel the region by bus, train, or even better, in your own vehicle.

 

12. BROEK IN WATERLAND: A HAVEN OF TRANQUILITY A HALF HOUR AWAY FROM AMSTERDAM

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. The waterways covered in autumn colors, just 30 minutes away from Amsterdam

 

Maybe it was five, or six. At the most, I would say ten. But no more. During the two hours that we enjoyed this idyllic Dutch town, we met very few people, and all local, no tourists. But we never had the feeling of a sleepy place, but rather of a place of absolute calm and respect for silence. I’m not going to tell you much about the story of Broek in Waterland since I did it in the article A 1 day Amsterdam City Break. I prefer to tell you about the sensations that we felt after having pedaled for half an hour through the perfect bike path that characterizes the entire Dutch country.

Crossing fields and waterways, houses and farms, we arrive at this beautiful village of colorful houses, and waterways covered with autumn leaves. The white iron bridges link the islets, and the boats that rest on the water seem to be the only mean of transport -together with the bicycle, of course-. There is not much to do but walk and enjoy the peace that is hard to find in neighboring Amsterdam, which could undoubtedly be one of the most romantic cities in Europe if it were not for the chaos of passers-by and bicycles coming and going at full speed that characterizes it -although we must admit that there are corners that could easily place it on this list-.

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. Details on the walls

 

WHY DID WE CHOOSE IT  TO BE IN THE LIST ROMANTIC PLACES: EUROPE?

Because after two days in bustling Amsterdam, Broek in Waterland gave us a breath of fresh air. It gave us a moment of relaxation while having lunch on the banks of the waterway, next to the only church in town. Also, the trip itself to this Dutch town was a delight.

HOW TO GET TO BROEK IN WATERLAND?

We chose the bicycle as a means of transport, and we could not recommend another better way to get there from Amsterdam. The route is completely suitable for the bicycle, with an exclusive route. In addition, Holland is characterized by its flat land so this tour is suitable for all audiences. If you still prefer to travel without moving your legs, there is a bus that leaves from Amsterdam and takes the traveler to several towns along its route, including Broek in Waterland.

 

13. ŠTRBSKÉ PLESO: BETWEEN THE LAKE AND THE MOUNTAINS

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. The water mirror

 

When the clouds disappeared, we could see in the water a beautiful snowy peak. We looked up and there it was, this rocky giant reflected in the sky. Or maybe it was the other way around. Maybe the reflection was in the water. I don’t know. It was so perfect that you could not tell which one was which.

Our third lake on this list, and perhaps the most beautiful natural setting, Strbske Pleso is a glacial lake in the High Tatras in the Tatra National Park, in the rather untravelled and yet beautiful country of Slovakia. It is not surprising that the majority of tourists we met came from the same country itself. This lake is located at no more and no less than 1346 meters and it is the second largest mountain lake in the High Tatras region in Slovakia. From there, there is an infinite number of trails to explore the National Park.

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. The beautiful sunset by the lake

 

WHY DID WE CHOOSE IT  TO BE IN THE LIST ROMANTIC PLACES: EUROPE?

As I already clarified in the first paragraph of this article, we are attracted to places outside the tourist radar. Despite being one of the most visited places in Slovakia, the country itself is not a magnet for tourism as the rest of the European countries are. Going around the lake at sunset is a beautiful walk in full contact with nature.

HOW TO GET TO STRBSKÉ PLESO?

The place to go if you do not have your own vehicle to go directly to the lake is the city of Poprad, which has direct train services from Bratislava (there are also night trains from Prague if you come from there). That same city has an airport that operates flights from London Luton. The other option is the bus for those who come from the Polish side (from Krakow with a connection in Zakopane, the Polish side of the High Tatras).

 

14. CAPRI: THE ISLAND THAT DIDN’T WANT TO BE OUT OF THE LIST

Romantic Places: Europe

Romantic Places: Europe. Getting to Capri

 

Yes, I know, I’m sorry. I clarified in the introduction that I was not going to talk about the cliches romantic places in Europe in this list of Romantic Places: Europe. But Capri … I did not want to leave it out. Leave me that whim for the end of this list. That cliché place that transforms me into a little liar.

I just can not help it.

I remember that first visual impact with the boats pointing towards us in the Marina Grande, and behind the colorful houses stacked one on top of each other, and beyond, the green mountains … I remember climbing with the chairlift to Monte Solaro in Anacapri, that magical place on the top of the island, and seeing the clouds below, letting me see just a glimpse of the intense blue of the sea. That intense blue that becomes magical in the crowded, but no less incredible, Grotta Azzurra.

I also remember the Villas that were dreams made home by the richest people of the island, such as Villa San Michele, or Villa Jovis. I see in my mind those views of the sea, the Faraglioni, those three great rocks eroded by the wind and water that seem to float in the middle of the Tyrrhenian. I relive that sunset from one of the many beautiful and romantic hotels, and I can not help it.

I can not leave Capri out of the list of Romantic Places: Europe, perhaps one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Yes, I know.

I have not discovered anything with this island on the list. But it is already the last place in this selection of the most romantic places in Europe, and I want to give me the pleasure of adding it.

WHY DID WE CHOOSE IT  TO BE IN THE LIST ROMANTIC PLACES: EUROPE?

Really? Again?

HOW TO GET TO CAPRI?

By boat, there is no other option. The shortest distance is from Sorrento, on the Amalfi Coast. But you can also get there from Naples, Salerno, and from the island of Ischia. Except for this last option that only has a daily commute out of season, and three in high season, the rest of the places of origin have constant boats and of different speeds.

 

So this is the end of this list “Romantic Places: Europe”, this trip through the most romantic places in the continent to enjoy as a couple.

Although nobody says that once you have children romanticism disappears. Well, a lot of people actually say it, but I assure you they are wrong. We traveled most of these places with our son, and I assure you that we have not lost the ability to fall in love with these places and fall in love with each other more.

It is clear that with a young child the concept of personal time takes on another meaning. But I assure you that that time also takes on another value and is much more enjoyable when it appears.

So you fall in love even faster with these places.

 


LIKE IT? PIN IT!

Romantic Places: Europe

Join us now

Get our online magazine with 26 full color pages for free!

Written by Pie & Pata
Happy is he/she who enjoys family travel.