A romantic getaway is just what a relationship needs sometimes, whether for a honeymoon, to celebrate an anniversary or just to reconnect with your special someone while creating amazing memories together.
It doesn’t matter if your idea of romance is an African river cruise among hippos and crocodiles, a picnic in the bucolic English countryside, snorkeling the crystalline waters of Polynesia, stepping into nature’s light show to see bioluminescent glowworms inside a cave in Tasmania, kayaking the Douro River through Portugal’s Old World wine country, chasing waterfalls and soaking in hot springs in Iceland or wandering among fluttering orange butterflies in Mexico, our trips have you covered!
1. Take a Romantic Cruise on a Southern Africa Riverboat Safari
Start out with a visit to iconic Victoria Falls, a waterfall that spans more than a mile and dives 350 feet into the Zambezi Gorge below. Get photos from various vantage points and laugh together as you inevitably get hit by a misty spray from one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
The trip only gets more picturesque from there, and way more exclusive—imagine exploring the islands and inlets of vast Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe from the comfort of a small and elegant luxury ship. This is classic safari, but elevated and well off the traditional African safari circuit. Watch the sun set a fiery blood-red over the largest man-made body of water in the world as you feast on freshly caught bream and tilapia straight from the lake, with no other tourism boat in sight. Finish the evenings out on the deck stargazing while enjoying a glass (or two!) of rosé or Sémillon.
Venture further with an intimate light aircraft flight to Mana Pools National Park, which borders Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia. Mana means “four” in the Shona language—fitting, as the area’s four large pools (remnants of ancient oxbow lakes) host massive numbers of hippos, crocodiles, elephants, buffalo, Burchell’s zebra, waterbuck and kudu. On these broad floodplains it’s also possible to spot big cats like lions, leopards and cheetahs. A birder’s paradise, the park boasts 380 bird species, such as the Nyasa lovebird, Livingstone’s flycatcher, banded snake eagle, yellow-billed kites and huge numbers of iridescent carmine bee-eaters.
Whether exploring by ship, pontoon boat, speedboat, open 4×4 safari vehicle or by foot, this immersive safari is sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.
Step aboard our Southern Africa Riverboat Safari
2. Stroll the Countryside Together in The Cotswolds
You don’t always need to scale a mountain or trek through the scorching jungle to call it a “nature trip.” Sometimes, taking in the simple pleasure of a picturesque wildflower field, savoring local organic cheeses and getting some rejuvenating sleep at a historical inn nestled in bucolic village straight out of a painting is just what’s needed.
England’s genteel Cotswold Hills offers romantic strolls through ancient beech forest and along trout-filled streams, private tours of lavish gardens and quaint picnic lunches overlooking green hills dotted with sheep. After a day of exploring, cheers to each other at local pubs that date back centuries. A visit to Britain’s largest designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is an idyllic fairy-tale getaway, if endless old-fashioned charm and quiet rest is what you’re after.
3. Ignite Your Passion in Wild Polynesia
Polynesia is pure sensuality and indulgence. Rangiroa means “endless skies,” a perfect name for this collection of islets between Tahiti and Bora Bora covered in a clear cerulean blue sky. A sought-after diving and snorkeling destination, this is an iconic South Pacific landscape of lush green peaks, isolated beaches and crystalline waters filled with giant manta rays, sea turtles, gentle reef sharks and whales.
Spend the day meandering through downtown Papeete on foot while enjoying tropical fruit from the local market and walk away with a coveted black pearl souvenir for your loved one. As if the whole Polynesian experience wasn’t yummy enough, the smells alone at a vanilla plantation visit will have your senses on pleasure overload.
4. Explore the Wilds of Southern Australia
Get away from it all for a while and head to the end of the world of Southern Australia to unplug and drink fabulous Tasmanian wine together while watching the sun set. Smile at sea lion pups from the local colonies splashing in the ocean (and watch the old bulls battle for territory) and search for quirky Australian wildlife at Cradle Mountain National Park, including koalas, Tasmanian devils, wombats and echidnas. At your secluded lodge, don’t be surprised to find a kangaroo or Tammar wallaby visiting your front door to say a casual hello.
For an even more surreal experience, explore an immense limestone cave structure that has two underground streams, large vaulted chambers, expanses of glittering flowstone and dramatic stalagmites. But the real showstopper is the presence of sparkling bioluminescent glowworms that will make you question whether you’re dreaming or not! This very comfortable adventure trip ends at Corinda, an elegant Victorian mansion built in the 1870s that happens to have one of the finest private gardens in Tasmania and an ultra-romantic, wrought-iron-trimmed veranda.
5. Paddle Portugal’s River of Wine
There’s a basic trip to wine country, and then there’s taking a rare Dionysian paddling odyssey through romantic Old World Douro Valley wine country. UNESCO has recognized the Alto Douro Wine Region as a World Heritage Site, and wine has been produced here for more than 2,000 years. While days are spent kayaking northern Portugal’s Port wine district—with hawks dramatically circling overhead and rugged mountains terraced with ancient vineyards hugging the side—nights are spent in luxury inns on vineyard estates, where gourmet meals and swimming pools with a view await.
You will be welcomed as friends at these family-run inns and get to enjoy a local’s perspective, hearing insider tales of what it’s really like to make wine for a living in this nature paradise. A highlight is a stay at Casa de Casal de Loivos, an 18th-century manor house that the BBC gave the accolade of “of one of the six best hotel views in the world.” Saúde to enjoying that!
Cheers to Paddling Portugal’s River of Wine
6. Soak in the Enchantment of Iceland
Iceland invites visitors to connect to a nature that is raw, powerful and intense—a perfect combination of earth, air, fire and water at every turn. There are glaciers and geysers, hot springs and impressive waterfalls, basalt pillars and mysterious black-sand beaches, fjords and volcanic lava fields. Enjoy a leisurely picnic before exploring Lake Myvatn on horseback; this scenic outing puts all other picnic lunches to shame!
Iceland has more animals than people, making whales, seals and puffins easy to spot on a private boat excursion. Culture remains from when Norse Vikings settled on the island back in the 9th century, and it does lend a “rough and rugged” underlying feel to the country. The landscape here is straight out of a fairy tale—and you won’t be alone if you think that, considering over 62% of the Icelandic population believe that their enchanting country is home to elves and fairies.
Cozy up in Iceland: Circling the Land of Fire & Ice
7. Visit the Kingdom of the Monarch Butterflies
A trip to see thousands of migrating monarch butterflies will fill you with sheer delight. Reconnect with your childlike spirit—and each other—as you experience one of the world’s most incredible wildlife migration events both on foot and horseback. The migration happens annually in the forested Central Highlands of Mexico, where there are so many monarch butterflies in one spot that you can actually hear the beating of their wings, which glow translucent orange against the bright blue sky, making for superb photography.
Cool down with the spray from Bridal Veil Waterfall before settling into the nearby resort town of Valle de Bravo on tranquil Lake Avandaro. This place belongs on a postcard, with its white stucco houses with red tile roofs covered in gorgeous bougainvillea.
Take flight to Mexico’s Kingdom of the Monarchs