World’s most romantic travel destinations – chosen by real traveling couples!

Pristine beaches, turquoise water and a vibrant sunset. These images may spring to mind when you think of a romantic getaway. But are beach destinations really the best places to spark romance?

We asked an eclectic group of travel bloggers– all of whom travel frequently with their partners– to name their most romantic vacation spots.

Beach getaways topped the list, but you may be surprised to see what other destinations made the cut.

>> This post is part of our “Romantic Travel” series. Click here to read additional posts!

Beach Lovers

Warm, tropical getaways lead the list of romantic destinations for these travelers. From Mexico to the Maldives, these beaches are guaranteed to heat up your next vacation.

Cam and Nicole of the "Traveling Canucks" blog on a tropical getaway.

Erica Kuschel, Over Yonderlust: I think it had to be the Riviera Maya in Mexico. We spent a week in Tulum and just fell in love with it. Not only did we get to see the ruins while walking down deserted beaches, but the sand was perfectly white and the water perfectly blue. It was like a dream.

Cameron Wears, Traveling Canucks: That’s a difficult question. When we think about a romantic setting it almost always includes a tropical beach, happy hour and a sunset. But if we must choose, we’d have to say the Mayan Riveria in Mexico. The reason is simple – we were married there in 2008, so it will always be special to us. We returned again last year for a week and we plan to visit again in 2013 to attend a friend’s wedding. It’s touristy and full of all-inclusive resorts, but we love it!


Cumi & Ciki on a romantic getaway in the Maldives.

Mei, Cumi & Ciki: The Maldives! It truly is paradise on earth!

Jake Semmel, Downtown Traveler: Probably the island of Koh Lanta in Thailand, which has a variety of gorgeous beaches. It was inexpensive, so we could afford to stay in a nicer hotel and eat out at romantic restaurants. We spent our days lounging on the beach, swimming and snorkeling. The food was amazing and cheap!

Snorkeling in Koh Lanta Thailand

Leslie and Jake of "Downtown Traveler" snorkeling off the coast of Koh Lanta, Thailand.

Charu Suri, Butterfly Diary: We just love Aruba. We went there for our third anniversary and have been there four times since. We’re windsurfing and beach junkies and can’t get enough of the sunshine and BonBini. Plus, the dining there is really good and the people make us feel warm, loved and at ease.

Urban Delights

Not a beach bum? You’re in luck—it turns out you don’t have to visit a sandy beach to rekindle your romance. Some traveling couples are passionate about exploring the history, culture and food of urban destinations.

Kelly and Lee of "Global Goose" visit Rome, Italy.

Kelly Dunning, Global Goose: I think the most romantic will have been Rome. We spent a week there simply eating delicious food, drinking wine, and admiring the beauty of the Eternal City. We would just head out of the hotel and simply wander randomly in any direction down winding cobblestone streets, medieval plazas, and stately boulevards, holding hands and talking about everything and nothing all day long.

Stephen Bugno, Bohemian Traveler: I have good memories from Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. It wasn’t just the tropical location or being in exotic Borneo, but it was early in our relationship and my sweetheart had traveled a long way to meet me there, so it was really special.


Stephen Bugno of "Bohemian Traveler" enjoyed visiting Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia with his sweetie.

Nature Lovers

Camping and hiking destinations top the list of romantic destinations for adventurous travelers.

Stream on the way

Lush scenery at the Green Mountains in Vermont.

Juno Kim, Runaway Juno: It’s hard to choose… but I’d say the camping days in Vermont. There was a small camping spot in the Green Mountains. It was so beautiful and comfortable, that it made us extend one more day. No one was around, the stream was beautiful – I can still remember my sweetheart’s glowing face under the shining sun. It was just entirely the two of us.

Jason Castellani, 2 Backpackers: The most romantic destination for Aracely and I was visiting the Grand Canyon. It involved everything we love… nature’s natural wonders, a challenging hike, a peaceful and relaxing ending and of course, each other. As an adventure couple, we love a challenge, which might not come across as romantic, but during that challenge, we push each other and test ourselves. That makes the completion all the more rewarding. When we finished hiking in and out of the Grand Canyon, we cleaned off and relaxed in one of the lodges, enjoying a nice dinner with the most amazing views of landscapes we had ever seen.

Leslie Koch, Downtown Traveler: Most people don’t consider camping to be romantic. But during our round the world trip, Jake and I spent several weeks driving up Australia’s Queensland coast, stopping to camp at beaches along the way. Our tent site at Cape Tribulation was totally isolated and was a short walk from a long stretch of white, sandy beach. We felt like castaways on a desert island! The danger of a possible crocodile or shark encounter also added to the excitement. I’d highly recommend a Cape Tribulation getaway to adventurous couples.

Cape Tribulation Beach Australia

An isolated beach in Cape Tribulation, Australia.

What is your most romantic destination?

Share your tip with other readers by leaving a comment below!

>> Click here to read the other posts in this “Romantic Travel” series!

About Leslie Koch

I'm a New Yorker with a passion for travel and art. I founded after returning from a year-long backpacking trip around the world. Find me on Twitter at @leslietravel.