Cosy up for a wintry break in beautiful Lapland. Star gaze, go husky-dog sledding and, if you’re lucky, see the magnificent spectacle of the aurora borealis, best viewed between August and April. On the edge of the Urho Kekkonen National Park, the Hotel Kakslauttanen’s traditional log cabins and thermo-glass igloos are the perfect romantic hideaway. If you’re on a budget, Transun offers Lapland breaks from £399pp for a three-night stay, including flights to the Arctic Circle and accommodation at the Davvi Arctic Lodge.
From £530pp for a three-night stay, ice igloo £127pppn, glass igloo £153pppn.
Known as the city of love, there’s no denying the romance of an evening stroll across the Pont des Arts bridge or a trip up the Eiffel Tower. For real opulence, stay in the Hotel de Crillon, a grand gilt-and-marble palace overlooking the Place de la Concorde, with sumptuously decorated rooms in a Louis XV style.
Double rooms from around £700 per night. Returns from London to Paris by Eurostar from £59.
With its powder-soft beaches, clear turquoise waters and swaying palms, the Seychelles’s unspoilt beauty is breathtaking. The country is packed with luxury hotels and one of the best is the indulgent Maia Luxury Resort & Spa on the secluded Anse Louis beach. Its villas are equipped with a butler, infinity pool, Balinese-style thatched roofs and luxury interiors.
Villas from £990 per night. Kuoni Travel offers seven nights for £5,439pp, including flights and transfers.
4. The Lake District
You don’t even need to leave the country for a romantic trip – the Lake District in Cumbria is the ideal countryside retreat. This is England’s largest national park, with the highest mountain, Scafell Pike, 12 of the biggest lakes and thousands of miles of walking trails. To get the most out of your break, stay in Stanley Ghyll cottage in Eskdale, an idyllic 400-year-old Grade II-listed Elizabethan building that’s full of character with oak beams, exposed stonework and wonderful views of the fell and valley.
£720 for a week’s stay.
Campsites may not evoke the most romantic images, but camping in Indonesia couldn’t be further away from tent poles and beans cooked on canister stoves. An hour’s flight and a short boat trip from Bali lies Moyo Island’s nature reserve and the luxury camping resort of Amanwana. Sheltered under a tropical forest and overlooking the sea, the 20 colonial-style tents are similar to lavish hotel rooms with king-size beds, huge bathrooms and hardwood flooring. There’s also a spa on site where you can enjoy a fresh-fruit facial or a massage. If you can bear to tear yourself away from your “tent”, the Flores Sea has some of the best diving and snorkelling in Indonesia, while on the jungle trails you can see macaque monkeys, eagles and osprey.
From £420 per night including transfers. A three-night nature experience costs from £1,710 for two people including transfers, meals and activities. Return flights from London to Bali from around £700pp.
While gliding along the Grand Canal in Venice in a gondola is undeniably romantic, the real romance of the city is found away from the crowds. By eschewing the tourist hotspots you can stroll along quiet canals and lanes hand-in-hand, seeing far more of Venice in the process. For the most spectacular views of the city pay a sunset visit to the wooden Accademia Bridge, one of only four to span the Grand Canal, or tranquil Giudecca Island, where you can see across the lagoon to the Ducal Palace and St. Mark’s Square. Stay at the charming Hotel Antico Doge, whose rooms are resplendently decorated with silk, chandeliers and antique furniture, creating a romantic old-Italian feel.
Double rooms from £80 per night. Return flights from London to Venice from £96pp.
7. New York
Winter is the most romantic time of year to visit New York and there’s plenty to do – ice skate in front of the towering Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center, enjoy high tea at the Four Seasons Hotel where there’s a 24-foot Christmas tree in the lobby, or bundle up for a horse-drawn carriage ride through Central Park. For a room with a view stay at the Hotel on Rivington on the Lower East Side, one of New York’s finest hotels, where the floor-to-ceiling windows provide incredible views over the iconic city skyline.
Double rooms from £130 per night. Return flights from London to New York from around £350pp.
Named the world’s most peaceful place in 2008, Iceland is perfect for a stress-busting holiday. The capital, Reykjavik, is the ideal base. Surrounded by a stunning volcanic landscape you can watch whales and puffins by day, then visit the stylish bars and restaurants by night. The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is also a must. Romantic and relaxing, you can soak up the scenic beauty while letting the healing powers of the 39C lagoon waters do their work. Stay in the boutique 101 Hotel – rooms are stylish and combine chic and comfort with fireplaces, leather furniture and oak flooring.
Double rooms from £196 per night. Return flights from London to Reykjavik from £212pp.
A city rich with culture and sophistication, Vienna is the jewel of Austria. Famed for its coffee-shop culture, you can stare into each other’s eyes over a Vienna melange with whipped cream and indulge with a slice of sachertorte. Top culture spots include the impressive Hofburg Imperial Palace, the opera house, the Spanish Riding School with its dancing Lipizzaner horses, and the Leopold Museum and MUMOK gallery in the Museumsquartier. Stay at the glamorous Ring Hotel where the well-designed rooms, personal service, elegant food and day spa more than make up for the price tag.
Double rooms from £161 per night. Return flights from London to Vienna from £154.
With its incredible scenery providing the backdrop for the film Out of Africa, the Masai Mara reserve in Kenya is one of Africa’s top safari destinations. It is home to “the Big Five” – lion, elephant, leopard, rhino and buffalo, and if you visit between July and October you’ll be treated to the sight of the annual migration of wildebeest, zebras and gazelles as they charge into the area from the Serengeti. Go on a safari with Go 2 Africa, where you’ll experience day and night game drives, bushwalks, horse and camel riding and cultural visits, and sleep under the stars on four-poster “starbeds” or camp in the intimate safari lodge.
Seven-night safari around £3,000pp including accommodation, flight transfers and meals. Return flights from London to Nairobi around £530pp.