Posted: Feb 13, 2017
Valentine's Day is almost upon us. A flutter of red hearts is appearing in shop windows everywhere from the Champs Elysees to 5th Avenue. Husbands who are usually slightly frosty when it comes to romance, are warming-up to the thought of February 14th. And the more adventurous boyfriends or girlfriends might even think about popping the question.
So where are the most romantic locations? Paris and Venice are often ranked at the top of the list; while, Salzburg and Santorini both make romantic retreats with their alluring architecture and picturesque properties.
In this month’s expert round-up, our hearts skip a beat, as agents and property professionals reveal their more romantic places to live. All hotspots in their own right.
Will you be greeted by a deluge of Valentine’s cards or bouquets after reading this top 10? Probably not, but it may provide some inspiration to explore new and exciting places in 2017.
1. Palm Beach, New South Wales, Australia
“I love the fact that it is only an hour from my house in Sydney, yet you're a world away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Surrounded by amazing million dollar homes, bursting out of the hillside and watching the waves break onto the golden sands, as we grab a coffee and stroll across the peninsula to the placid superyacht filled Pittwater. You can see why people move here and never want to leave their own piece of paradise.”
James Trimble, Business Support & Development Manager, Raine & Horne Group (www.rh.com.au)
2. Venice, Italy
“Venice is the essence of poetry and romanticism: the ideal place for love thanks to its seductive and unique timeless appeal. Living in Venice allows you to enjoy everything from stunning treasures and elegant monuments, to cultural events and tasting the exquisite cuisine. A tip? Wandering around bridges and “calle” with no set destination, looking only for special sites to fall into by surprise.”
Luca Giovannelli, Chief Executive Officer of Casaitalia (www.casait.it)
3. Lisbon and Alentejo Portugal
“Portugal is a land of romance. Something intangible hangs in the air that will seduce and enrapture you. Whether in the country or by the sea, we open up our palaces, farms and manor houses to romance, giving a big-hearted welcome to anyone who visits.
“Light and colour in Portugal are also a source of inspiration: the light and colour of the sea, but also the filtered light in a recess of the Sintra woods, the different hues among the foliage that inspire poets, painters and lovers.
“You can experience them in an alleyway in Alfama, in Lisbon, on the endless Alentejo plain or the Alentejo coast, where nature is waiting to be discovered.
“A ride in a horse-drawn carriage, a dinner by candlelight, a sunset over the sea, all provide fond memories. Even if it’s just for a few days, the mild climate, the diverse landscape and the romantic atmosphere will ensure unforgettable moments in Portugal.”
Sandra Fernandes, Marketing Manager of Fine & Country Portugal (www.fineandcountry.com/pt)
4. Florence, Italy
“What can be more romantic than living in the Cradle of the Renaissance? You could walk through Ponte Vecchio, admiring the view from Piazzale Michelangelo at sunset, or around the beautiful gardens and eating in a chic little restaurant or in a typical “trattoria”?
Florence is a very intense experience, for a few days or, if you decide to live there longer. It is an elegant town, but at the same time, warm and welcoming with a strong character.”
Luca Giovannelli, Chief Executive Officer of Casaitalia International (www.casait.it)
5. San Sebastian, Spain
“Known for its spectacular beaches, historical architecture and incredible cuisine, San Sebastian would be the perfect destination for a romantic getaway. Luxury travellers can check out the city’s famous Michelin-star restaurants. Shoestring travellers can take advantage of the excellent local Rioja and the inexpensive pintxos. Between meals, couples can stroll the promenades that stretch along the city’s beaches, lounge on the white sand or take a funicular up Monte Igueldo for some of the city’s most breath-taking views.
Ingrid Burker, International Editorial Director of Tranio (https://tranio.com)
6. Koh Samui, Thailand
“Once a favourite destination for backpackers, Koh Samui, surrounded by gin-clear waters, now attracts couples of all ages in search of romance, luxury and the idyllic island paradise.
“Each of the bespoke villas at Samujana enjoy panoramic ocean and island views as well as beach access. The low density also means excellent privacy and with outdoor living an important design feature the villas are perfect for those looking for a romantic escape.”
Robert Green, Managing Director of Sphere Estates (www.sphereestates.com)
7. Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic
“For centuries Karlovy Vary has been famed for the healing properties of the water that surges from its many hot springs. Located among idyllic forested hills and replete with cobblestoned streets and pastel-hued mansions, the town is perfect for a romantic getaway. Couples can enjoy an array of luxury spa treatments and world-class cuisine. The Grandhotel Pupp is world-famous and a darling among many visitors. But the city is full of cosy shoestring options as well.”
Ingrid Burker, International Editorial Director of Trania (https://tranio.com)
8. St. Tropez, South of France
“St. Tropez remains one of the most romantic destinations. I was married in St. Tropez in 2015 and our priest explained how true this was. Monseigneur Michel Hayes maintains that he receives approximately 250 requests annually for weddings in the church in St Tropez, for which only a handful of marriages are actually possible. The magnificent church is the first obvious attraction, but the historical and charming "old town" adds to the exclusivity of this wonderful destination.”
Josh Buckley at H. Barnes & Co (hbarnes.london)
9. St Davids, Pembrokeshire, Wales
“St Davids is one of the UK’s smallest cities with a beautiful cathedral built in 1181. What could be more romantic than wrapping up against the cold in front of a roaring fire, while you are surrounded outside by glorious beaches such as Whitesands and Caerfai, sheltered harbours and “smugglers’” coastline. Even the restaurants are romantic with one named “Cwtch”, meaning cuddle in Welsh and Tyr y Felin (the old windmill).
Carol Peett Managing Director West Wales Property Finders (www.westwalespropertyfinders.co.uk)
10. Launceston Place, London, UK
“Launceston Place is a hidden hideaway with beautiful Victorian streetlamps that remind me of a scene from Narnia, walking through the wardrobe. This is a pretty street, while Victoria Grove nearby, has elegant white stucco properties. It is one of my favourite places in London”
James Bailey, Chief Executive of Henry & James (www.henryandjames.co.uk)
And one for luck
11. Grace St. Moritz, Switzerland
Grace St. Moritz is one of the most romantic places to live around the world. It is located in the picturesque heart of St. Moritz (the resort was recently included in National Geographic’s new book ‘The World’s most romantic destinations’), overlooking the lake, Grace St. Moritz.
St. Moritz is regarded as the birthplace of winter tourism, becoming an alpine resort in 1864. It is a premier destination with 217 miles of piste and is also one of Switzerland’s highest resorts at 1800 metres. In addition to winter sports. The town is also known for its world-class boutiques and Michelin-starred restaurants.
Grace Hotels (www.gracehotels.com)