Sure, lying around on a beach in your swimwear and sipping piña coladas is a great thing to do on a romantic getaway. But let’s be honest, if you’re doing that for more than a few days in a row, it can get a little stale. A better couples’ holiday itinerary intersperses days of sun-soaked lazing with fun activities.
Here are our top suggestions for some of the best activities to seek out, in some already pretty-darn-romantic spots around Europe.
Things going well on your couples holiday? Like, really well? You might want to look at our list of the most magical (but not clichéd) places to propose in Europe.
Bike to the Bridge of Love – Ayia Napa, Cyprus
Relationship on the rocks? Going to look at some literal rocks together could be the remedy. And once you’ve clamped eyes on the Bridge of Love on Cape Greco, near Ayia Napa, it’s hard not to feel like you’re on a honeymoon holiday. Grab a bike from a rental shop and cycle out to the natural phenomenon in less than 30 minutes. If you’re staying on the other side of the island, fear not, as there’s a similarly romantic lump of stone in the sea for you to go and gawp at with your significant other: Aphrodite’s Rock (aka Petra tou Romiou), said to be the birthplace of Aphrodite, which rises out of the water near Paphos.Book flights to Cyprus Book holidays to Cyprus
Hike out to the calanques – Marseille, France
Take a day trip from Marseille to the Parc National des Calanques. A land and marine national park stretching over more than 520km², it comprises a series of limestone cliffs and eye-popping coves lined by mini-beaches. It’s a joy to while away a whole day sunbathing, cliff jumping and swimming in the calm, malachite waters, made even more exciting by the fact you have to hike down to them – and back up, of course. Just make sure to swap the open-toe sandals for trainers before you set off. Many of the calanques don’t have restaurants or shops, so pack a bag with plenty of water, snacks and sun cream. There are over 25 to choose from, but Calanque de Sugiton and Calanque d’En-vau are known for being blindingly beautiful, while Calanque de Sormiou is a snorkelling paradise.Book flights to Marseille Book holidays to Marseille
Scale a volcano – Catania, Sicily
There’s nothing like hiking one of the most active volcanoes in Europe to really put a relationship to the test. You can trek up to around 2,800 metres as a twosome, but to reach the summit you’ll need to book a guided tour. The journey to the top should take around six hours, assuming you have a harmonious hike and not an ongoing argument about whether you should’ve taken that left in the lava field. But the view from way up high is a shared memory you’ll cherish forever.
For something more traditionally romantic, make sure to visit Ortigia during your stay in Sicily. The tiny island off the east coast, near Syracuse, has an impressive historical past spanning the Normans to the Ancient Greeks, which shines through in its architecture.Book flights to Catania Book holidays to Catania
Kayak around the Bay of Kotor – Kotor, Montenegro
No matter where you’re viewing it from, the Bay of Kotor is audaciously scenic. The best way to explore its islets, caves and calm waters, however, is by kayak. Not to be missed are Gospa od Skrpjela (Our Lady of the Rocks), a miniscule, artificially built islet that’s home to a 17th-century church. Other aquatic activities to seek out include snorkelling in the Adriatic and paddling past idyllic fishing villages like Stoliv and the quaint town of Perast. Why not show off your teamwork and book yourselves a double kayak? Reach this blissful bay via an easy 20-minute drive from nearby Tivat (even less if you’re coming straight from Tivat Airport).Book flights to Tivat Book holidays to Kotor
Explore the Greek Little Venice – Mykonos, Greece
For an activity that doesn’t make you quake on your adults-only holiday, head to Mykonos and spend a day winding your way round the cobbled streets of the ridiculously charming Little Venice in Chora, the island’s capital. It gets its name from its waterfront position and the colourful Venetian houses with wooden balconies that border it.
There are plenty of spots for a romantic dinner in boho surrounds, and you won’t have any trouble finding authentic local dishes. For something even more special, seek out somewhere that boasts a view of Mykonos’s famous windmills. Kastro’s, a restaurant housed inside one of the traditional 18th-century buildings, is one such venue, and its postcard-worthy views have made it a seriously popular spot – be aware that Kastro’s operates seasonally, so do check it’s open before you go.Book flights to Mykonos Book holidays to Mykonos