With the cosy, breathtaking beautiful feel of winter upon us and Valentine’s Day around the corner, experience an everlasting romance between you and your partner and rekindle the romance amidst the serene surroundings with these perfect destinations for wooing your significant other. Smack an impromptu getaway this valentine weekend.
The cards are in the shops. The adverts for champagne and chocolates are on the TV. Pink love hearts are popping up everywhere. We cannot fail to notice it is Valentine’s Day very soon.
The annual celebration of love puts a high value on grand ideas and romance. Couples that have been together for a long time can naturally feel a bit removed from this. Life gets in the way and spontaneity can begin to decline. Grand gestures make way for a simple exchange of cards and little else.
Everyone has an opinion on 14th February. Some think it is romantic and a date to be strictly observed and never missed. Couples can spend hundreds of pounds on gifts, a romantic meal or getaway.
Whether you're a couple that finds romance in relaxation or in adventure, there’s an always way going to curl up in front of a roaring wood fire, gazing at the stars from a deck, secluded beaches which sets the mood. These retreats offer a mix of ambiance and amenities that will surely up the romance factor on your next vacation. But dig a little deeper and you will find your personal paradise from our hit-list of spots that will have you lovestruck at first sight–whether you're looking to propose, honeymoon or simply getaway.
Abu Dhabi: Classic Romantic Rendezvous
Abu Dhabi is a classic romantic rendezvous. With its unique cultural offerings, this city will mesmerize you with its sublime sea views, sandy beaches, luxurious resorts and the mystical allure of the boundless desert. From rambling along the Corniche soaking up the sun; kayaking along the Eastern mangroves; to hopping on to a sunset cruise, this magnificent city has something for every couple.
Bejan Dinshaw, Country Manager, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi
For instance, the sporty couples who like to mix leisure with a few recreational activities can head to the Saadiyat Public Beach. For couples interested in exploring local culture and history, Desert Safari safari allows to journey back in time to the emirate before the development of skyscrapers and high-rise buildings. For a luxury couple retreat, check into one of Abu Dhabi’s opulent hotel or resort and indulge in a spa session.
Tourist visa for an Indian National, holding an ordinary passport, is arranged by a sponsor in UAE. It can also be obtained on booking a hotel in UAE or through the Emirates Airlines Office, Etihad Airways Office or the Air Arabia Office or through a Travel Agent in India.
Visa processing time is approximately 3 to 4 working days. All visas are valid to enter UAE for 60 days from the date of issue, except the 96-hour and 48-hour visas, which are valid for 30 days from the date of issue.
Romantic Escapes in Australia
What better way to celebrate a milestone with your partner in life than to travel to the destination of a lifetime. Whether you like your romance served hot (dinner on a private tropical beach) or cold (snuggling in front of a cosy fire surrounded by misty mountains), Australia has all kinds of luxurious getaways for all types of couples.
Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager, Tourism Australia
Whether you like your romantic getaway to be a luxurious experience with your beau or spent amidst the scenic views of nature, here is a list of destinations that your significant other and you simply cannot miss!
Sleep just metres from the Great Barrier Reef- If you envisage your second honeymoon spent snorkelling in aquamarine waters and snoozing in a hammock under palm trees with a coconut in hand, then Tropical North Queensland is perfect for the two of you!
One of the best ways to get the reef all to yourself is to take part in the Reefsleep Experience. In the afternoon guests can submerge in the reef again. Come evening, it is time for a barbecue, and possibly a night dive, before everybody on board tuck themselves into their designated swags (a low tent with an in-built mattress, designed for the Australian Outback) under the star-filled sky. Reefsleep departs from Airlie Beach, Daydream Island or Hamilton Island.
Visit heart Island-In a world-first, Hamilton Island guests can now experience unprecedented access to the iconic Heart Reef lagoon with the launch of ‘Heart Island’. After a decade of development and an investment of over $2 million dollars, this is the first-time visitors will be able to see the intricacies of the iconic coral formation up close, with only scenic flights previously being offered to the area. Exclusive to guests of Hamilton Island and designed to look as if it was built for James Bond himself, Heart Island is only accessible via helicopter. Developed by Hamilton Island Air, the state-of-the-art split-level pontoon caters for only six guests at a time.
Lady Musgrave Experience in Southern Great Barrier Reef (off Bundaberg). Anticipated launch date of April 2020, of a new 36m floating platform, made from recycled materials. It will include a 3 metre underwater observatory with 360-degree view. It will accommodate 24 guests overnight.
The Australian visa process has always been quite simple for travelers given that the entire process is online and seamless. Just create your own personal immi account at-https://online.immi.gov.au/lusc/login, lodge your applicationby scanning and uploading the relevant documents.
Regardless of what part of the country a potential visitor is in, they can apply for the Australian visa from the comfort of their home. The country has recently made its online visa processing simpler and more convenient with no personal visits or need for biometrics. The process does not demand one to stand in long queues for a personal interview and neither does one have to present physical copies of their passport and other financial documents. There is minimal wastage of ones’ time or resources as the visa is processed within 15 days of the online application.
Romantic Road of Austria
Like a 380km-long string of pearls, the Romantic Road
connects the most beautiful landscapes of Austria, passing fantastic lakes and mountain panoramas, as well as especially worthwhile villages. Starting from Salzburg
, the road leads you through the provinces of Upper Austria
and Lower Austria
to the capital Vienna
, lifting the lid on a world of palaces, monasteries, castles and museums along the way.
In Bad Ischl
, Emperor Franz Joseph got engaged to Empress Sisi and in the village of St. Wolfgang, directly on the shores of the popular Lake Wolfgang
, you can find the backdrop of a famous Austrian operetta that also served as a setting for various film adoptions.
Christine Mukharji, Director, ANTO India
Several bathing lakes
along the road that winds through Salzkammergut
radiate a unique romantic atmosphere. Lake Traunsee is popular for wedding celebrations
, especially at Seeschloss Ort Castle, located on an idyllic island and hosting weddings that only be found in fairytales. The Salzkammergut, known as the Austrian Lake District, is in fact, said to be one of the most beautiful areas in Austria, with breathtaking mountain scenery and deep blue lakes. The charming village of Hallstatt located on Lake Hallstatt
is even a member of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The final stop on your tour along Austria’s Romantic Road
, which should take you about 8 days in total, is Vienna
. By the end of your trip, you will understand the saying from the Habsburg era: “Others may wage war, you lucky Austria get married!”
Austria have 17 VFS application centers all over India. All applications will be assessed by the Embassy of Austria at New Delhi only. Applicants need to book a prior appointment for submitting their applications. Visa applications submitted at the Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Delhi will be forwarded to the Austrian Embassy the following working day.
The forwarding of visa applications submitted at any other Visa Application Centre (VAC) than VAC Delhi will take approximately 2 to 3 working days;
In general, decisions on complete and formally valid applications for visa C should be made within 15 days (excluding the day of submission application and forwarding to the Embassy). In exceptional cases, this period may be extended to 30 or even 60 days. All visa applications will be processed as quickly as possible, taking into consideration the regional circumstances and high seasons of the Austrian diplomatic authorities.
Israel: A Dynamic Country
Israel is an ideal romantic destination with an amalgamation of relaxation coupled with light- hearted adventure offering a perfect mix of both. Being a dynamic country, it is full of rich, illustrious history, tourist- friendly offerings like beautiful beaches, thriving nightlife, crystal clear waters, picturesque mountains, nature reserve oases and stunning coral reefs.
Sammy Yahia - Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism - India and Philippines
There are many activities for couples to enjoy in Israel; be it taking a dip in the mineral-packed waters of the Dead Sea, slathering therapeutic mud or opting in for a special Dead Sea couple spa treatment to enjoy one of the best wellness experiences in the world. Hop on a hot-air balloon for a romantic ride over the breathtaking views of the Negev Desert, fields of flowers, plantations and historical sites. Catch the sunrise followed by breakfast at a picturesque location or raise a toast to the sunset with champagne while you float through the desert scenery. Couples can camp beneath the stars at the world’s largest natural crater, Ramon Crater in MitzpeRamon town in the Negev Desert and enjoy the best gastronomic experience in the Middle East. The desert region also offers a unique wine trail exploring wineries that also offer accommodation and winemaking classes. Situated along the turquoise waters of the Red Sea, the tax-free city of Eilat boasts sunny days all-year-round making it a popular honeymoon destination. Among the many romantic activities to do, the top choices would be kayaking, a Glass Boat Ride or a luxury yacht sailing tour. Go snorkeling and deep-sea diving with your partner in the Red Sea, rated as one of the best diving spots in the world or the brave-hearted can opt for couple tandem skydiving. A must visit here is the Dolphin Reef that offers a unique opportunity to swim and dive with a school of bottle-nosed dolphins in their natural habitat.
Application for a tourist visa to Israel is a fairly simple process that takes around 4 to 5 working days while the turnaround time for express visa service is sooner. Those travellers who have completed travel to any Schengen countries, US, Canada, Australia or Israel, there is a relaxation in terms of documentation submission. The Ministry of Tourism along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to facilitate additional visa changes for Indian travellers.
Santa Monica: Creating Memories
In Santa Monica, you’ll find a charming beach community, centrally located in Los Angeles county, offering year-round warm weather, a picturesque beachside setting, friendly locals and lively cultural scene, all within close proximity to Los Angeles International Airport. Whether you’re trying to impress a new special someone, surprise your long-time love with something new or ask your beloved for their hand in marriage, you’ll likely find an amazing way to fall in love or stay in love here in Santa Monica.
Misti Kerns, President & CEO of Santa Monica Travel & Tourism
Santa Monica has exactly what couples look for. Talking about some of the most romantic places, The Santa Monica Pier is a great choice for first-loves, best friends, saying “I Do’s” and creating memories. Whether you watch the sunset from the end of the pier or propose to the love of your life in the historic Carousel building, visitors from around the world have incredible love-on-the-Pier moments to share.
Enjoy a classic California beach day in style with Perry’s Beach Butler service curated for couples. End a day in the sun followed by a spa-date to experience one-of-a-kind farmers-market inspired spa treatments.
Couples can also rekindle their love over drinks or dinner with the sunset as a backdrop. With more than 400 restaurants in Santa Monica, the city’s collection of restaurants includes a plethora of romantic and elegant options including raw bars, fresh and seafood-centric menus, and floor-to-ceiling sunset views of the Pier and Malibu.
Anyone travelling to the United States needs a visitor visa, which is B-1/B-2. A tourist visa is for people traveling to the country temporarily for business (B-1) or for pleasure or medical treatment (B-2). The B-2 visa is recreational in nature, including tourism, visits with friends or relatives, medical treatment and activities of a fraternal, social or service nature. One can apply for the tourist visa to the USA via online, fill the form and submit all the required documents.
Most visa applications are processed in 2-3 business days, however, in some cases, it may take up to 12 weeks. It is always good to plan before and apply for the visa as soon as possible, or around three months in advance.
Spain: Ideal places to live your love story
If you´re a romantic, Spain is your place! When you think of travelling you fancy walking with your partner holding hands on scenarios that make you feel part of a romantic movie. If you have not been already, in your list of pending visit places, unquestionably, is the Buen Retiro Park in Madrid and the Maria Luisa Park of Sevilla. Ideal places to live your love story! If you want to surprise your spouse on your anniversary, you have to take her to contemplate the remarkable sunset views of the Alhambra from the Mirador San Nicolas in Granada.
Elisa Robles Fraga, Director, Tourism Office of Spain
We propose you many options! A short break in boat at the Balearic Islands can be your perfect romantic holiday in cliffs and coves. If your passion for love stories goes beyond, exceeding the distance between life and death, visit Teruel and soak up its legends. And if you are single, don’t worry, Spain is full of magic places that give rise to all kinds of crushes, fleeting, passionate, at first sight.
Some destinations in Spain we suggest for a romantic getaway:
Costa Brava - surrounded by the blue waters of the sea, golden sands and intensely green landscapes. A beautiful environment bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and the Pyrenees mountains. A place you'll never forget.
San Sebastian - This city, also known as Donostia, lies along a white sandy bay between the Urgull and Igeldo hills. Fishermen's houses, a smart suburb and modern districts make it one of the most attractive cities on the Cantabrian coast. The Museum of San Telmo, the Peine del Viento (the Wind Comb) and the Kursaal are examples of how the city brings together modern and traditional features. Meanwhile, the province of Guipuzcoa, of which San Sebastián is the capital, blends sea and mountains, offering the traveller landscape, sports and cuisine, as well as interesting monuments. Basque cuisine has a recognised international prestige.
In order to visit Spain, an Indian National has to apply for a Spanish Schengen Visa via the BLS Visa Application Center in their respective city. Visa fees and documents required can be referred to on the BLS India website. All applications must be submitted at least 15 days prior to the proposed date of travel.
You can apply for a Spanish Schengen visa up to 3 months before your planned trip. The processing time may take up to 15 days since the day of your application. The Embassy of Spain processes Schengen visa applications in up to 4 days. Real time may differ depending on the time of the year.
Thailand: An Exotic Location
Thailand is an ideal destination for those who would like to plan a romantic getaway in an exotic location. The most exotic beaches, picturesque landscapes, luxury resorts, warm weather, cuisine, culture and warm hospitality make it a dream destination for couples. From laid back luxury to beachside glamour, from outdoor adventure to city splendor or plain fun in the sun, Thailand can present you with your perfect romantic getaway on a platter.
Isra Stapanaseth, Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand, New Delhi Office
A memorable holiday in Thailand can be enjoyed together trekking atop majestic elephants through the lush dense forest canopies in Thailand’s North, or bathing under radiant sunsets hand-in-hand on the beautiful beaches that line the country’s pristine shoreline. Enjoy a romantic dinner cruise under the stars, or be gently pampered within the relaxing setting of a spa.
Often described as one of the world’s dream honeymoon destinations, couples here find extreme pleasure at discovering one another’s passions and endless possibilities of finding new bonding interests and experiences to embrace together in Thailand.
There are three ways of getting a tourist visa to Thailand. Listed as below:
1) Obtain visa from Royal Thai Embassy or
Royal Thai Consulate-General
2) Obtain Visa on Arrival
3) E-Thailand Visa
Till April 2020 there is a visa waive for Indian passport holders who wish to visit Thailand.