Underrated Romantic Cities
By Sadira Sittampalam
While COVID-19 is still on everyone’s travel radar, it has come to be that time of year where romance is also in the air. Even though you might not be able to visit these locations any time soon, it is always nice to know some of the lesser-known travel spots that you can go to with your significant other when you get the chance.
Zanzibar Island, Tanzania
This archipelago 15 miles off the coast of Tanzania is a place where you can go with your partner to escape the frenzy of everyday life and instead focus on the clear and warm blue waters, coral reefs, and endlessly sandy beaches. It’s the perfect place for a nice long walk on the beach or drinks cocktails as the sunsets. This island even has more offerings with its diverse options for nature lovers, adventurers, and history buffs. Zanzibar Island has a particularly colourful heritage with strong Arabic, Indian, African, Persian, and European influences, visiting this vibrant island pretty unique with a captivating mix of architectural styles in the buildings all around the island. This is all on top of the amazing natural scenery. You can also go snorkelling and diving to go see all the rich marine diversity in all its glory.
A small university town in Southern France, Aix-en-Provence is another perfect getaway from the bustling city. You can walk around the peaceful gardens, or vast lavender fields, appreciate work in art galleries (this town is the birthplace of Paul Cezanne), or relax by one of their many quaint cafes. This town just embodies every fantasy you could have about visiting Southern France, even boasting a hot springs-fed bath first opened by the Romans thousands of years ago. This place is also any food lover’s dream with some of the best wine, bread, and cheese. The Provence is also home to the Gorges Du Verdon, a canyon known for its bright turquoise-blue waters for an idyllic boat ride and its exciting hiking opportunities.
While there is no shortage of romantic destinations in Italy, Perugia is one of the lesser-known destinations with all the attractions of more famous Italian cities. Known as the artistic centre of Italy, this city has it all; narrow medieval streets, superb museums, architectural sights, charming ristorantes and trattorias, and most importantly; chocolate! Perugia is famous for chocolate mostly because of a single firm, Perugina who’s ‘kisses’ are widely exported. They also host an annual Eurochocolate Festival there. This town also has an infatuation with jazz all appreciated by the young university-going population. Overall, this city is perfect for globetrotting couples who love seeking out new and unique local experiences.
Until 1776, this city was one of the most significant of the Spanish Empire - this was until an earthquake struck and the city was mostly abandoned. While this was probably pretty sad at the time, right now, it makes Antigua one of the least touched Colonial cities in the Americas. You can stroll past their bustling markets bursting with colour and past Mayan residents who still wear the clothing of their ancestors.
Moreover, Antigua is also a place where you can hang out on a black-sand beach, float on a gorgeous volcano-surrounded lake, and hiking to waterfalls, climbing ancient Mayan pyramids, and visit temples in the rainforest. Not many places offer such a range of activities! And that’s not all - you can also wander around on their 16th-Century cobblestones, stroll through gardens, and eat world-class cuisine; and travel to either one in a matter of hours - all while being insanely affordable.