5 of the most romantic vacation spots in the world

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If you are planning your honeymoon, celebrating an anniversary or simply looking for ways to rekindle your love and spice up your romantic relationship, the following places are perfect for you. Here is list of romantic getaways with options for rain-forests, ocean fronts, palaces, classic buildings and eclectic islands.

St. Lucia

This beautiful Island in the Caribbean is one of the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, located in the middle of the Eastern Caribbean chain between Martinique and St. Vincent, north of Barbados. It is relatively small, just 27 miles long and 14 miles wide and shaped as an avocado. It is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the calm Caribbean Sea on the west.

Its beauty lies in its dramatic twin coastal peaks, the Pitons (2000 feet above sea level), and its breathtaking fauna and flora such as rain forests full of orchids, giant ferns and birds (including the endangered species St. Lucia Parrot.). It is also full of green fields and plantations of bananas, coconut, and mango and papaya trees.

There are plenty of activities to enjoy in this island such as snorkeling and scuba diving in the steep coastlines and reefs; Hiking and birdwatching on the beautiful mountains; and driving right into the crater of St. Lucia’s Soufriere volcano

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Ocho rios in Jamaica is a small town on the north coast of the island. You can visit the colonial buildings and the Columbus Park where it is said that Columbus arrived to first. It used to be a simple fishing town, but has become a top choice for tourism. It is a port city for cruise ships and cargo ships loading sugar and limestone.

It is full of breathtaking beaches, and activities such as snorkeling and water sports in general; nightclubs in Margaritaville and restaurants. But the activity you should definitely not miss is swimming and interacting with the dolphins at Dolphin Cove.

Newport, Rhode Island

Newport will welcome you with its spectacular views of the ocean, architecture, waterfront downtown and hospitality. Founded as a colony for religious freedom, it then became the summer dwelling for socialite families, among them Astor and Vanderbilt, in their Gilded Age mansions. It was also once a key location for the United States Navy and for a time the yachting capital of the world.  

You can spend your weekend touring the ocean side mansions, wine tasting in vineyards, visiting the museums and the historic sites such as coastal forts, lighthouses and worship buildings.

Granada, Spain

Image courtesy of Antonio Cinotti at Flickr.com

Image courtesy of Antonio Cinotti at Flickr.com

In the prehistoric period, this site was known as Ilbyr by the native tribes. Then when the Roman colonized it, they built their own city named Illibris. It wasn’t until the Arabs invaded the peninsula in the 8th century, that the city got its name Granada. The Christians, under the order of Queen Isabel of Castile and her husband Ferdinand of Aragon, claimed this Muslim city in 1492.

What you must not miss in this city is a series of palaces and gardens called The Alhambra. This gem of universal architecture was built under the Nazari Dynasty in the 14th century. It also includes the Generalife summer palace along with its fountains and gardens set on the Sierra Nevada (on Spain’s highest mountain range) overlooking the city and the plains of Granada.

The hill in front of the Alhambra is the old Moorish casbah or “medina” called Albaicin. It is a maze of narrow streets whitewashed houses and private inner gardens called “càrmenes”. At the highest point stands The Plaza de San Nicolas with an incredible view of the Moorish Palace.

In the city you can also see Christian monuments such as the Cathedral; the Royal Chapel where Queen Isabel and Ferdinand lie buried; “La Cartuja” Monastery and many more churches built by the Moorish craftsmen in Granada’s unique “mudéjar” style.

Giudecca, Venice, Italy

Just 3 minutes away from the main island of Venice on a ferryboat, you can get to any of the four stops Zitelle, Redentore, Palanca and Sacca Fisole in Guidecca. This place is a collection of 8 islands joined by canals and bridges. It was first a fishing village in 500 AD, and then market gardens followed. During the 19th century, the lack of land in Venice made the place a home to upscale houses, shipyards, factories and even a movie studio. So, as a result the island became an eclectic both brutish and romantic destination.

There are many things to see in this beautiful island, among them the Church of the Holiest Redeemer (Chiesa del Santissimo Redentore), built on the waterfront as a sign of gratitude after the plague killed 30 % of the population at the end of the 16th century. It is a spiritual and central landmark of Giudecca.

Other places to visit are the 795 Art Gallery, with artists from Korea, China and Brazil and displaying masks made from beaches by Maurizio Baccanti; and Fortunity, which is the official showroom and factory of Mariano Fortuny y Madrazzo of patterned fabrics manufactured with old fashioned machines and processes of the last century.

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