Europe is home to some of the most undeniably romantic places on the planet. From vibrant cities to secluded beaches and stunning countryside landscapes, every destination offers a unique experience. Because every couple is also unique, not all destinations are the perfect fit for every stage of an evolving relationship. Whether you’re diving into the first exciting stages of a budding romance, celebrating a honeymoon, or easing into retirement, chances are you’re looking for an entirely different type of holiday to celebrate each very special experience. No matter where your relationship falls on its timeline, each of these six romantic destinations offers something special for couples in six different stages of love.
THE COUPLE THAT’S JUST STARTING OUT: BARCELONA
Barcelona is the perfect place to fall in love. The eclectic and lively city offers a little bit of everything for new couples seeking an exciting getaway together. In addition to practically endless sunshine, the Mediterranean beaches, cosmopolitan atmosphere, and unmatched nightlife of Barcelona will add an extra spark to any new romance.
In the Catalan capital, you and your partner will get to know one another a little better in one of Europe’s most romantic destinations. The laidback Mediterranean lifestyle will steal your hearts as you wander through the quiet plazas tucked away in the Gothic Quarter or ride bicycles beside the beach. Visit world-famous sights like the Sagrada Familia, architect Antoni Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece, or go for a romantic stroll through colorful Park Güell as you take in panoramic views of the city and sea beyond. It’s the kind of city you can explore at any pace. Whether you prefer to lounge on the beach sipping sangria or keeping busy visiting museums, seeing cultural sights, or eating at some of the best Michelin star restaurants in Europe, boredom simply isn’t an option in Barcelona.
THE HONEYMOONERS: CRETE
For newlyweds dreaming of celebrating their honeymoon in paradise, there’s no better European destination than the Greek island of Crete. The wild, natural beauty of this magnificent island provides the perfect setting to relax and enjoy your first days of marriage together in luxurious tranquility. Breathtaking, secluded beaches and sparkling blue waters await honeymooners looking for a truly unforgettable experience.
The best way to experience the island while honeymooning is by renting a car and driving to its most remote and rugged corners. On the wild southwest side of the island, you can spend the day soaking up the Cretan sun at Elafonisi, one of Europe’s best beaches famous for its naturally pink sand. Travel up the coast to the lovely village of Chania and go for a dreamy stroll through the picturesque alleys of the old town. Afterwards, head to nearby town of Falassarna where you’ll bask in the romance of one the most magical sunsets on the island. From quaint villages to remarkable beaches, ancient history, and unparalleled natural beauty, Crete is sure to leave newlyweds captivated by its limitless charms.
THE BUSY MARRIED COUPLE: TENERIFE
The daily stress of juggling work, kids, and busy routines can take its toll on any relationship. But setting aside the time for a getaway alone together, even if it’s just for a few days, is a necessity for all busy couples every once in a while. No matter how long you’ve been together, the Canary Island of Tenerife is one of the best places on earth to maintain that flame of romance in any relationship. From soaring volcanic peaks to pristine beaches, the island’s striking landscapes are the picture-perfect setting to relax, explore, and revitalize your relationship with new and exciting activities. And because summer never ends on Tenerife, the pleasant year-round climate provides a dream destination for couples looking for a romantic break together at a moment’s notice.
You and your partner can choose from a variety of unique Tenerife experiences such as climbing the third highest volcano in the world at Mount Teide, relaxing on sun- soaked beaches, or taking in the romance beneath the incredible laurels at Anaga Rural Park. Discover tranquil Canary villages or bustling town centers, rent bicycles and go exploring, or sign up to take a surfing lesson together. The possibilities are endless on Tenerife no matter the season. The exotic landscapes and natural beauty will sweep you off your feet and leave you and your partner feeling recharged and renewed.
THE EMPTY NESTERS: BUDAPEST
While saying goodbye to the kids as they head out on their own can be tough, there’s a newfound freedom to celebrate that comes along with becoming an empty nester. What better way to begin this new chapter as a couple than to explore one of Europe’s most beautiful capitals together in Budapest? This magnificent city situated along the Danube offers a wealth of deep culture, history, and beauty just waiting to be discovered.
Start your visit atop the Buda Castle Hill at Fisherman’s Bastion, one of the most popular spots in the city for its distinctive architecture and panoramic views. Originally built as a lookout tower in the 19th century, the romantic atmosphere of the stone façade looking out over the entire city makes it one of Budapest’s top sights to see. Then head over to the nearby Buda Castle, now home to the National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum, or across the iconic Chain Bridge to the city center.
After a few days of sightseeing, there’s no better way to unwind than by visiting one of the spectacular thermal baths in the city. Because Budapest sits atop more than a hundred thermal springs, visiting the baths has been important to the people of the city since Roman times. Today, visitors and locals alike enjoy the warm waters of Budapest’s many impressive baths all year long.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or prefer to pack your itinerary with activity, you’ll be free to have whatever kind of holiday you choose in Budapest. The city offers a bit of everything for couples looking for a fun and relaxing way to celebrate the exciting milestone of becoming empty nesters.