When it comes to choosing where to spend some quality time abroad with your other half, there are countless choices. If a two week blow out isn’t on the cards for you this year, but a 4 or 5 day short break is, then have a look at these suggestions to help you choose the perfect location for a couples holiday. From bustling cities full of history, to relaxing beach resorts, here are our top picks for summer.
Set in the heart of the Mediterranean, Crete is one of the most naturally beautiful locations. Warm hearted people, time honoured traditions and majestic landscapes are just some of the things you can expect here. The largest Greek island is home to plenty of beaches and harbour towns, mountainous terrain and old world charm perfect for exploring on a romantic break. Those with a sense of adventure can even do a jeep safari tour or hiking trail!
With a rich history of ancient treasures, Crete boasts the impressive Minoan Palace of Knossos, the renowned Heraklion Archaeological Museum, and mystical Ideon Cave – the birthplace of Zeus. And among these iconic sites, magnificent chapels, monasteries, museums and churches that have stood the test of time make up the island’s unique landscape.
For memorable days out, venture to the city of Chania to explore the 14th century Venetian harbour and Balos Beach. Heraklion – Crete’s capital – is where you’ll find a bustling seaside town full of tavernas, museums and boutique hotels. You can even pick up a ferry here that will take you to Rhodes, Santorini or Athens. And in the party capital of Malia, you’ll find some of the best nightlife, beaches and sunsets Crete has to offer.
The beautiful Sorrento Coast is a postcard picture of lemon and orange trees, deep valleys, cobblestone passages and dramatic cliff tops. On the southwest coast of Italy, close to Pompeii, the Almalfi Coast and Positano, Sorrento is a stylish and laidback town. Brimming with al fresco restaurants, colourful buildings and Italian charm, this romantic location is easily explored within a few days.
While there is plenty to see on foot, from the central Piazza Tasso to the Baroque Roman Catholic cathedral, you won’t find sweeping sandy beaches here (although many hotels offer outdoor pools). Locals will bathe in wooden or stone platforms at the foot of the rocky cliffs, with access to the sea. When it comes to eating out, Sorrento offers many cosy bars, café’s and ice cream parlours to indulge in. And you’ll find the classic liqueur Limoncello all over the town, made to the original recipe.
Nicknamed the Red City due to the dessert landscape, Marrakech is a hive of activity. Bustling souks, magical medina, thriving nightlife… there is always something to see and experience. Just a short flight from Ireland, Marrakech is within easy reach for a short break. And with such a warm and welcoming culture, you’re bound to be won over by the spirit of Morocco.
Whether you stay in a boutique style Riad or larger hotel, you can expect the best hospitality here. Wake up to traditional mint tea – Morocco’s national drink – or indulge in a relaxing hammam to wind down in the evening. When you’re ready to explore the city, visit the enchanting YSL Gardens, the peaceful Koutoubia Mosque and the immersive Jemaa el-Fnaa square. Why not put your walking boots on and head to the majestic Atlas Mountains for a guided tour? Or venture on a day trip to the second largest city of Fes? No matter how you choose to spend your time in Marrakech, this captivating city will leave you with lasting memories!
Belgium’s capital city is bursting with interesting things to see and do, especially when the weather is warm. The stunning medieval churches, quaint market squares and inspiring galleries are just a few of its charms that make it ideal for a couples holiday.
Brussels is divided by the Lower Town and the Upper Town, offering different atmospheres in both. Hit the streets for some serious sightseeing, such as the Grand Palace which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and dates back to the 13th Century. Music lovers can take a step back in time at Musée des Instruments de Musique – home to 7,000 historical musical instruments. And if you just want to enjoy some quiet time together, the extensive grounds of Bois de la Cambre park offer lush green lawns, a lake, a cafe and an ice rink.
Foodies will appreciate the thriving gastronomic scene in Brussels. From the world famous Belgian waffle and specialty chocolate shops, to the handful of fine dining restaurants, there’s something for every palette. Beer is another fundamental part of Belgian culture, so why not visit a brewery to see how the famous Trappist beers are made? For a day out of town, Ostend is less than an hour away and has 9km of sandy beaches plus an array of coffee shops and seafood restaurants.