Valentine’s Day is now over, which may be a relief to many people. With all the hype and
noise around 14th February, what are some of the very best options for couples seeking out well-appointed,
relaxing romance before the summer season arrives? Here’s our guide to three of the most perfect destinations
for couples this Spring.
In South East Asia, whilst Thailand retains many charms for lovers, serene Koh Rong off the coast of Cambodia
offer a verdant, exclusive alternative. A two hour boat ride from Sihanoukville which is the place for bustling
and charming, Koh Rong has stunning coral reefs and gleaming white beaches to explore by day, paired with
glowing stars and plankton to gaze at by night. Virgin rainforest forms the interior of the island it has
wonderful opportunities to explore hidden vistas, past waterfalls with toucans and kingfishers offering flashes
of colour beside them. Unwinding by the warm, gentle sea afterwards, sweethearts can enjoy a therapeutic
traditional massage or the fragrant, unique delights of Khmer cuisine, from banana blossom salads to
lime-marinated squid skewers. In a world where genuine castaway experiences are harder and harder to come by,
Koh Rong still feels like a miraculous little secret.
Cambodia’s breath-taking neighbour, Vietnam, boasts Da Nang, a rapidly-developing ocean side city for couples
who seek out glitzy thrills and an assault on the senses as well as charming moments of solitude. Sailing its
coastline is the best introduction to the combination of modernist and traditional sights to be found here.
Back on dry land, the complex history of the nation can be explored in museums as diverse as the Museum of Cham
Sculpture and the Ho Chi Minh Museum. Those that play together, stay together, and there’s golf courses, a
casino, jet skis and pretty much every type of activity a pair might wish to sample. Bicycles are a great way
to get around and then there’s always China Beach for an ice cold drink and spectacular sunset view. For a yet
more impressive panorama of the fascinating landscape, the Marble Mountains fringing China Beach are the place
to trek. The biggest of the mountains, Thuy Son, offers a lovely walk past the picturesque, historic Linh Ong
and Xa Loi pagodas. Early Spring is the perfect time to visit Cambodia and Vietnam, before the south west
monsoon arrives in roughly May to September.
Irresistible as the charms of South East Asia prove to an ever-growing number of couples, Italy also boasts
many world class islands and beaches, and has been attracting lovers for thousands of years. Early spring in
Italy is almost impossibly romantic, as the sun begins to warm the earth again and ambrosial lamb, asparagus
and artichokes are on the seasonal menu. Isola d’Elba, off the coast of Tuscany, is still perhaps most renowned
as the site of Napoleon’s first exile. Unsurprisingly, he seemed to enjoy his stay more than he might have
expected, and in the twenty-first century, it’s a destination of choice for many discerning duos. The blue sea
will always be an attraction, but the fragrant forests are not to be missed, as a tranquil place to enjoy the
ancient yet on-trend art of foraging, particularly mushrooms and chestnuts. Isola d’Elba is deservedly gaining
a strong reputation for wine, with local varieties including Ansonica and Aleatico, the perfect accompaniment
to a fish stew or squid ink risotto.
The run-up to the Easter crush is a relatively peaceful time of year to take in the timeless romance of
destinations such as Florence, Pisa and Siena as well as dozens of charming smaller towns. The
beautiful walled village of Montefioralle, Chianti offers a quirky little festival in mid-March, when Frittelle,
or little deep-fried rice cakes are served, perfect with the celebrated local wines. Chianti also hosts an
impressive antiques fair on Easter Monday in Greve. Couples can pick up plenty of vintage inspiration for their
interiors, particularly ceramics, linen and rustic artifacts to recreate a Tuscan farmhouse once they’re
reluctantly back home again.
With such attractions on the global menu, it’s the ideal time of year to plan a last minute getaway with a