It’s the gesture that counts not the budget. Isn’t it? Taking time out to plan a romantic holiday for your partner is a fabulous gift and if you can do it on a shoestring, well that’s a bonus guaranteed to make your effort worthwhile.
The top ten list of romantic destinations is littered with tropical locations. Understandable really, as walking around in sensuous heat and very little clothing is appealing to most of us. However, without booking a long haul flight to chase the sun, the scope for romance seems limited on a tight budget. Thankfully this February there are some fantastic solutions that are guaranteed to impress your loved one.
Head for the sun
Tenerife £248 for four nights in a 4-star hotel and flights for two people.Return flights £88 (Tues 11th – Sat 15th) £160 in a spa hotel with sub-tropical gardens and views of Mount Teide. 15-20 degrees
If it’s not all about lying by the pool for you, then you are in for a treat. February is Carnival season in throughout Spain and Tenerife’s festival is one of the biggest spectacles outside of Rio. The imaginative costumes, thumping music and street parties in Santa Cruz will not disappoint. But if feathers and sequins aren’t a favourite with your partner there is also nostalgic antique car races and an international music festival to entertain them.
Barcelona £242 for four nights in a 4-star hotel and flights for two people.Return flights £28 (Tues 11th – Sat 15th) £196 near the Garcia district. 14-16 degrees
Barcelona never fails to delight visitors, and even if the big attractions of the Parc Güell and Sagrada Familia are beyond your budget just wandering through the boulevards and lanes lined with indie boutiques and galleries are enough to charm anyone. If you are a true foodie, lunchtime tapas in La Ramblas market is excellent value for money, and the many small hidden bistros & bars are worth huddling into in the evenings for some authentic Spanish entertainment.
To Russia with love
If you are willing to brave the cold and don’t mind snuggling up in the long nights with a hot chocolate and a book, there are some perfect budget Northern-European solutions.
Moscow £218 for four nights in an apartment and flights for two people. Return flights £62 (Tues 11th – Sat 15th) £162 and ideally located 600m from the Kremlin in the Abat region. -3-0 degrees
If history is something your partner enjoys, Moscow has it in abundance. The stunning multi-coloured domes of the infamous St. Basil’s Church, are enough to make anyone fall in love. Ans the Russian spiritual songs performed daily inside the church will enchant even the most hardened atheists. Iconic locations on the ‘not to be missed’ itinerary include Red Square and the Kremlin which even when illuminated in the darkness dispel the ugliness of Russia’s turbulent past.
Budapest £218 for four nights in a 4-star hotel and flights for two people. Return flights £28 (Tues 11th – Sat 15th) £162 with breakfast 100m from the State Opera House. 6-8 degrees
There is plenty to admire in Budapest. The fantastic view from Fisherman’s Bastion and the gothic palaces which dominate the city are amongst the highlights. But soaking in the hot thermal pool of the Szechenyi Spa Bath is the ideal romantic remedy to too much history and sore feet. And if you are lucky enough to be there when it starts to snow, you will find yourself in an alternative paradise rarely experienced outside of a ski resort.
Copenhagen £340 for four nights in a 4-star hotel and flights for two people. Return flights £43 (Tues 11th – Sat 15th) £297 and only a few minutes walk from Tivoli Gardens. -1-3 degrees
The abundance of trendy coffee shops in Copenhagen provide the perfect hideouts if the weather turns bitter in Copenhagen. As do the two halls full of local produce stalls, bakeries and bars at the irresistible Torvehallerne food market. And when you are full of delicious, sticky Danish pastries, Copenhagen’s month-long Light Festival offers the perfect sightseeing solution to the short days. The eclectic combination of over forty little-known landmarks and public spaces are the ideal excuse for a romantic late-afternoon budget walk to help wear off the negative effects of all the delicious food.