Some inspiration, from travel writer Nadia El Ferdaoussi, for city breaks that are perfect for a couple's getaway.
When it comes to treating your Valentine this year, consider going somewhere together to create memories rather than buying a material gift. Hectic work and social lives can encroach on your quality couple time, so why not take this Hallmark holiday as an opportunity to get away and treat yourself in the process. Because self-love is important too, right?
Long haul travel is more accessible than ever before and Emirates had just launched a Valentine’s Day fare special from just €499 to Dubai. Stay in the city or on the beach, taking advantage of the twice-daily direct flights from Dublin and only a four-hour time difference. Try a sunrise hot air balloon ride together or an overnight desert safari. Dubai hotels boast world-class spas, perfect for a couples massage and what could be more romantic than sleeping under the stars?
Book by 19th Feb to avail of the special offer, www.emirates.ie.
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Sometimes overlooked by popular neighbour, Lisbon, Porto has all the right ingredients for a quick city break. A weekend is all you need to explore this walkable city. First up take a romantic river cruise on the Douro River, which will leave you across the way in Gaia. Here, the Port houses line the waterfront and a few tastings in the cellars are the perfect way to while away an afternoon. Afterwards, take the cable car up to Dom Luís I bridge and walk back into Porto. The narrow, winding streets and tiled buildings of Porto create a romantic backdrop that doesn’t require any gimmicks to set the scene. Make sure you end up on one of Porto’s many hills to watch the sunset.
Ryanair flies directly from Dublin, www.ryanair.ie.
A city steeped in history, full of stunning architecture and amazing restaurants, just over an hour from home – it’s a complete no-brainer. The charming cobbled streets, old pubs, castle and palace make Edinburgh the ideal city to spend a romantic few days together, come rain or shine.
Try some stargazing at the Royal Observatory or take a romantic stroll through the Botanic Gardens. The Witchery by the Castle is a boutique gothic hotel that has been described as the 'ultimate romantic bolthole' with the prettiest restaurant ever. See for yourself!
While Venice might be the obvious choice for romance, Rome has everything you need for a loved-up city break. Cobbled piazzas, fountains, chapels and even a 'wonder of the world'. Take your lover to a night at the opera at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma or wander through Roseto, Rome’s public rose garden – open during the summer months. If you’re brave, rent a Vespa and whizz around the city together. Book a table for two at the Ristorante Roof Garden with arguably one of the best views in Rome, spanning from Piazza Venezia across the Imperial Forums and to the Colosseum, ideally at sunset, to enjoy the scene as it changes through dusk to the twinkling lights of the city.
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Author: Nadia El Ferdaoussi
Dublin native, Nadia is a freelance travel writer whose plan is to wander the globe until the novelty wears off (if that ever happens). Despite travelling to exotic locations the world over, her favourite country is Ireland, “when the sun shines, there’s no better place.” Her dream job would be mystery shopping in hotels, since she has a keen eye for detail and already spends most of her time living out of a suitcase. Nadia has a new found passion for wine and is quickly moving up through the ranks in terms of wine education. Her bucket list destination? Antarctica.