GRAB YOUR PARTNER, lace up your matching boots, and summon your wild kindred spirits to take on these romantic adventures around the world.
Whether you prefer unmatched access to Earth’s most interesting species, a wintry cross-country railway journey with incredible views, or hikes to sacred mountain-top temples, these journeys are dream trips for two.
Hike Slovenia’s Julian Alps
Discover Slovenia’s western mountain peaks on a 10-day hike with Mountain Travel Sobek. “Hiking in the Julian Alps of Slovenia pushes couples past their comfort zones and lends time for conversation without digital distractions,” says Mountain Travel Sobek CEO Kimberly Daley. Scale mountains in Triglav National Park, visit caves in the secluded Logar Valley, and take a dip in the turquoise Soca River.
By day, hike along gorgeous trails for up to 20 kilometres. By night, discover the country’s flourishing red wine industry and enjoy pastoral bliss at hotels like Hiša Franko in Kobarid. According to Daley, “It’s a potent elixir to savour regional food and wine while celebrating summits reached and cities discovered.”
Cycle Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way
Heat things up on a 640 kilometres bike ride along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way with Wilderness Ireland. This 12-day journey weaves through three national parks and eight counties, beginning in Mizen Head, Ireland’s southernmost point. Marvel at Connemara’s rocky shoreline, gaze at Sky Road’s impressive Atlantic panoramas, and visit two of Ireland’s glacial fjords before arriving at Malin Head, Ireland’s northernmost point (this rocky headland feels so alien, it was featured in Star Wars: The Last Jedi).
“Embarking on a physical challenge to see some of the most rugged and beautiful coastlines on the Emerald Isle makes for an incredible adventure with your partner,” explains Paul Easto, co-founder of Wilderness Ireland.
Clouds roll over the water at Malin Head, Ireland's northernmost point.
PHOTOGRAPH BY RAFAL ROZALSKI, ALAMY
Lemur Trek in Madagascar
If you’ve dreamt of trekking with gorillas in Uganda, it’s time to add another primate expedition to your list. Venture to Nosy Ankao, a private island off the northeast coast of Madagascar, for a stay at Time + Tide Miavana. “It’s a place where I stand on the deck of my villa, and as far as the eye can see in either direction, there’s no light, except for the twinkling of the stars," says Time +Tide's Mindy Roberts.
On an action-packed expedition, discover the country’s endemic golden-crowned sifaka, Perrier’s sifaka, and crowned lemur population by helicopter and boat, landing to trek in the Loky Manambato Protected Area where the animals reside.
A golden-crowned sifaka reaches out from a tree in Madagascar.
PHOTOGRAPH BY STEVE BLOOM IMAGES/ALAMY
Hike a Volcano at Guatemala’s Lake Atitlán
The southwestern highlands of Guatemala surround cobblestoned Antigua, a dreamy colonial town near volcano-engulfed Lake Atitlán. “With lush landscapes, warm locals, and a thriving creative community, Guatemala is an absolute treat for travellers,” says Caitlin Ahern, founder of Thread Caravan—a travel group focused around local artisans. “It’s easy to get lost in the romance of it all, but don’t miss experiences like learning the art of natural dyeing textiles or indulging in the country’s delicious coffee.”
There’s also plenty of adventure to be had in the area. Kayak the lake’s refreshing waters before hiking Volcano Acatenango. Just as a campfire begins to crackle, watch as neighbouring Volcano Fuego erupts beneath a sky aglow with stars.
Wooden docks protrude out into Lake Atitlán in Guatemala.
PHOTOGRAPH BY AL ARGUETA, ALAMY
Dog Sled along the Trans-Siberian Railway
Thick blankets and plenty of Russian vodka will keep you warm during a 15-day winter expedition from Moscow to the Far East on the Trans-Siberian Railway, the longest railway line in the world. Go in off-season with Intrepid Travel to skirt the crowds and venture to Siberia’s Lake Baikal to partake in a homestay, where you can learn the art of dogsledding with Siberian huskies. “As adventures to remote destinations continue to rise in popularity, an off-season trip on the Trans-Siberian Railway offers a rare look at Russia's wildest frontiers,” says Leigh Barnes, director of North America for Intrepid Travel. “This is certainly an experience a couple will never forget.”
Dogs pull a sled during a race in Russia's Krutaya Gorka district.
PHOTOGRAPH BY DMITRY FEOKTISTOV, GETTY IMAGES
Walk Through Australia’s Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park
Daring couples will find adventure during a stay at Arkaba Conservancy, a property in the Australian Outback, nearly 400 kilometres north of Adelaide in southern Australia.
From here, embark on the three-day Arkaba Walk, a journey through the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park. Check out Wilpena Pound, a natural amphitheater formed by 500 million years of erosion, and enjoy nighttime lullabies from parrots, red-capped robins, and yellow-throated mynah birds in a tent under the stars. “It’s humbling to experience the vastness of Arkaba,” says the conservancy’s general manager Brendon Bevan. “Guests spend time in nature and find themselves on a holistic geological walk through time.”
The sun shines down on Rawnsley Bluff and Wilpena Pound in the Australian Outback.
PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID FOSTER, ALAMY
Traverse Southern India from Coast to Coast
Expect boat rides through backwaters and hikes to sacred temples during an east-to-west-coast journey in southern India with Naya Traveler. “Exploring the subcontinent’s southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, from coast to coast, is an adventure that goes well beyond the glorious Taj Mahal,” says Sarah Casewit, the group’s co-founder. “It’s an insider’s journey of a lifetime, ideal for couples looking for immersive experiences in a variety of historical, cultural, and natural wonders.”
Visit the temples of Madurai, discover quaint fishing villages in Rameshwaram, and bask in the aromatic tea hills in Munnar. Stay at Spice Village in Periyar National Park to see elephants and tigers in the wild before arriving on the southern coast of Kerala to relax at Niraamaya Surya Samudra with beachside yoga and an Ayurvedic treatment for two.
Tea leaves grow along mountainous ridges in Kerala, India.
PHOTOGRAPH BY EMAD ALJUMAH, GETTY IMAGES
Kayak and Bike on Canada's Somerset Island
Find the Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge, a 16-room outpost located 800 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, on Canada’s Somerset Island. The region is home to one of the last beluga whale nurseries on Earth—nearly 3,000 congregate here from July to August. Spend your days sea kayaking the Cunningham Inlet to glimpse the species up close.
On land, fat bike across a frozen Arctic Ocean on the icy Northwest Passage for unmatched tranquillity. Wildlife loom near and ice will crackle beneath your tires as you traverse the isolated tundra. “Somerset is one of the largest islands on Earth, and it’s completely uninhabited,” says the lodge’s chief operating officer Tessum Weber. “The wildlife, unspoiled landscapes, and sheer remoteness of the environment lend to the romance of this land.”
Cliffs rise near the coast of Canada's Somerset Island inside the Arctic Circle.
PHOTOGRAPH BY PIERRE VERNAY, GETTY IMAGES
Dive Around São Tomé and Príncipe in the Gulf of Guinea
Part of Portugal until its independence in 1975, São Tomé and Princípe is a two-island nation and rocky islet archipelago 200 kilometres off the coast of West Africa’s Gabon. For both eco-travellers and marine enthusiasts, SmartFlyer travel advisor Lila Fox suggests venturing to Príncipe for a stay in one of Sundy Praia’s 15 tented villas.
Home to dense tropical forests, pristine golden beaches, and plenty of space to relax and unwind, divers will find unmatched wildlife in surrounding waters where whales and turtles swim. “This is a destination for those looking to truly disconnect, slow down, and immerse in nature,” says Fox. “Be sure to get out on a boat with a local skipper to take in the beauty of these volcanic island formations.”
A boat pulls up to the sandy shore of Banana Beach in São Tomé and Princípe.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ROBERT HARDING/ALAMY
Raft the Rapids of Barichara, Colombia
Find allure in abundance on a trip with GeoEx to Barichara, a whitewashed colonial town in the Colombian Andes. After the morning fog lifts over the town’s red-tiled roofs, hike to the bottom of nearby Chicamocha Canyon, one of the deepest gorges in the world. Howler monkeys send staccato calls through the cliffs, the perfect soundtrack to raft a 50 kilometre stretch of the Class III and IV rapids of Chicamocha River. “Some of Barichara’s romantic charm cannot be captured in photos,” says Jennine Cohen, managing director of the Americas for GeoEx. “It’s a mix of morning sounds and scents—exotic birds, roosters, and gentle church bells, and brewing coffee and tropical flowers.”
The Chicamocha River flows through Colombia's Chicamocha Canyon.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ULF HUEBNER, ALAMY
Michaela Trimble is a travel writer and photographer based out of southern Florida. Follow her on Instagram @MichaelaTrimble or Twitter @Mich_Trimble.
Lead Image: A photographer aims a camera toward Slovenia's Bled Lake in the Julian Alps. PHOTOGRAPH BY FESUS ROBERT, ALAMY