By Hari Ganapathy
Valentines Day 2020: How can one not fall in love with Turkey? To start with, the only place in the world where two continents collide, Istanbul has fast picked up as one of the most sought-after destinations among Indian couples seeking the best of both Europe and Asia. The iconic city, situated on the banks of Bosphorus, is popular for its stunning sunsets and monuments featuring a beautiful melange of Gothic and Ottoman architecture. Other Turkish destinations like Cappadocia are equally famous among couples for its hot air balloon rides in a dreamy landscape dotted with Fairy Chimneys and underground cities. If you and your partner are Sufi patrons with special admiration for Rumi, Konya is the place to be! The birthplace of Sufi poet Rumi, Konya is a dream for architecture-lovers and culture enthusiasts. No matter which Turkish city you choose to explore, the whirling dervishes' performance will be one of the biggest takeaways from your romantic getaway.
Go on an Instagram-perfect holiday in the Maldives
Arguably the most romantic place on earth, Maldives has become the go-to destination for Bollywood couples when it comes to planning a laid back romantic holiday. This B-town trend (started by Sonam Kapoor-Anand Ahuja, Kareena Kapoor-Saif Ali Khan, Meera-Shahid Kapoor, and Twinkle Khanna-Akshay Kumar) has quickly caught up with discerning couple travellers from Indian metros as well. With facilities like visa-on-arrival and easy air connectivity, the archipelago offers a getaway to pristine island life where stunning water villas form the backdrop of the perfect sun-kissed photo with your partner. Here, you can also indulge in couple activities like scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking, kite surfing, and underwater walking.
Explore charming Greek islands
Capturing popular imaginations since time immemorial, Greece continues to be a popular romantic getaway among couples worldwide, including Indians. If you think the whitewashed landscape of Snatorini is cliche, try exploring other Greek islands like Mykonos, Rhodes, and Corfu for its maze-like streets and exquisite local culture. If you two are gastronomy enthusiasts, there's no better place to explore Greek and Meditteranean cuisine than in the comforts of a homestay or a beach-facing cafe in charming neighbourhoods like Plaka, Naxos, or even Parga! Moreover, the place has also emerged as a favourite among trendsetting couples for their pre- and post-wedding photo shoots. If you're planning a honeymoon or a romantic getaway with your partner, do not forget to hire a local photographer to capture all those couple poses in one of the world's most pristine settings!
Seek adventure & wellness in New Zealand
This one’s for couples who like to infuse adrenaline-rushing experiences in their romantic holiday. From skydiving to stargazing to sailing and climbing a volcanic island, New Zealand has this and more to offer in its picture-perfect destinations like Queenstown, Canterbury, Bay of Islands, Coromandel etc. Go on a tandem skydiving experience in Lake Wanaka or Queenstown and watch snow-capped mountains surrounding jewel-like lakes. If you two are a fan of Peter Jackson's movies, the Hobbiton sets should right be on top of the list. For the couples who seek exclusive wellness experiences on their trip, visit Rotorua for bubbling mud pools or even dig your private hot water pool on the Hot Water Beach in Coromandel.
Relax. Rejuvenate. Repeat in Bali
Closer home, Bali remains a favourite destination among Indians for a quick romantic getaway. Swim with the manta rays, go on a sunset cruise, or surf together at the Balangan Beach, Bali offers endless opportunities to bond with your partner while also capturing Instagram-perfect shots in turquoise waters. The Balinese couple spa experience is the most sought after experience among couples seeking a break from their power-packed itinerary.
The "Breakfast with the Orangutans" experience at the Bali Zoo will definitely be among the other highlights of the trip as you two enjoy a delicious local cuisine spread with cheeky orangutans swinging around you! The Bali commitment ceremony is also one of a kind experience for couples celebrating their honeymoons or even renewing their vows!
The columnist is Co-founder, Pickyourtrail. Views expressed are the author’s own.