There are many unique vacation ideas for couples, from cultural escapes to Arctic adventures. You can hike in Italy, or snorkel in the Galapagos. See the wonder of Alaska from the air, or dive under the waters of the Caribbean.
Whether it’s following Van Gogh through Provence, or photographing icebergs in Greenland, there’s something for everyone. Discover wine trails in Portugal, or mountain trails in Croatia to make remarkable memories together that will last a lifetime.
Walk the Path of the Gods, Amalfi, Italy
The Path of the Gods is a walking trail near the beautiful town of Positano. It follows ancient mule tracks for five miles along a spectacular stretch of the Amalfi Coast.
This walk from Bomerano, near Agerola, to Nocelle is a highlight of several hiking trails on this coastline. From Nocelle, you can take the 1,800 steps down to Positano, although the return to Bomerano is an easier option.
One of the best hikes in Italy, the path takes you through ancient olive groves and terraces of vines. The scent of lemon trees and Mediterranean herbs is a constant delight.
In some of the cliffside sections (there are diversions), you’ll understand the reason for the path’s name. However, the reward is an amazing view of the sparkling Mediterranean far below, with the island of Capri in the distance.
See the World’s Largest Underwater Statue, Bahamas
Off the coast of Nassau, in Clifton Heritage National Park, is the statue of “Ocean Atlas.” Standing 17 feet tall, and designed to be just under the surface, it is the world’s largest underwater statue.
The work by sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor shows a Bahamian girl, Camilla, seemingly bearing a heavy weight. It symbolizes the burden young people have to carry from the damage being done to the ocean environment.
The underwater sculpture is made of a Ph-neutral concrete that encourages organic growth. It is gradually becoming a coral-covered haven for sea life.
This haunting work stands amid other fascinating sculptures forming an artificial reef. Snorkelers, divers, or free divers can all take full advantage here of the crystal clear waters of the Bahamas.
Go Flightseeing in Alaska
The vastness of Alaska, which is more than twice the size of Texas, is best appreciated from the air. It’s a unique way to take in the state’s awe-inspiring landscapes and wildness.
On a scenic flight, you can see why the mountains and glaciers of the Misty Fjords National Monument have been compared to Yosemite. Its glacial lakes, tumbling waterfalls, and snow-capped peaks are a wonder to behold from above.
Floatplane trips out of Ketchikan can also include a lake landing. This gives you both an opportunity to be even closer to nature at its most untouched.
Take a short hike in the rainforest to see why “The Misty” earned its name. You’ll also understand why some people feel a romantic urge to disappear into the wilderness, leaving civilization far behind.
Snorkel at Vicente Roca Point, Galapagos
When nutrient-rich coldwater currents well up at Vicente Roca Point, off Isabela Island, they create a feeding paradise for marine life. In turn, this attracts a rich variety of Galapagos birds such as brown pelicans, Galápagos penguins, and flightless cormorants.
All this activity makes this part of the Bolivar Channel the best spot in the Galapagos for a deep-water snorkel, which means you launch off a boat, rather than the shore.
Underwater, you can expect to see Galápagos green turtles and giant rays. Of course, there is an abundance of fish, from barracuda and wrasse to Mexican hogfish and the strange-looking mola-mola, or sunfish.
The Zodiac ride itself is an adventure, as you watch for seals or whales. On land, you will see countless Galapagos animals that include iguanas and the ever-popular blue-footed boobies.
Bike the Coast of Ibiza, Spain
The southeast of Ibiza has the perfect coastline to explore on a bicycle. Spain is great for cyclists, and this is a gentle, safe way to explore this beautiful island.
The starting point is Platja d’en Bossa, a popular beach in Ibiza. From here, you follow quiet roads to the natural park of Ses Salines, where the vast salt pans are a photographic delight.
You’ll also find secluded beaches, rolling sand dunes, dense forests, and bird-filled wetlands in this UNESCO-listed park in Ibiza. Cycle along the sands of Es Cavellet to see the 16th-century Torre d’es Carregador.
If you don’t cycle regularly, an e-bike will take most of the strain out of the tour. That leaves you both free to take in the wonderful scenery at your own pace.
Sail Around the Icebergs, Greenland
The beauty of icebergs makes a strong contrast to their obvious dangers. Nature’s wonder meets its awesome power to form a powerful, thrilling sight.
Around Greenland, you can sail icy waters to get as close to an iceberg as you might ever wish. An experienced skipper will bring you safely to places where you can both share enduring memories and capture amazing photographs.
The UNESCO World Heritage site of Ilulissat Ice Fjord is one popular spot for iceberg tours. Every year, billions of tonnes of ice calves off the Jakobshavn Glacier here.
A bonus on any voyage is the chance to see whales and other wildlife. That any life survives, never mind thrives, in these seemingly hostile waters is another wonder.
Jump Between Continents in Iceland
In 930 AD, Thingvellir National Park in Iceland was the founding site of the world’s longest running parliament. However, the geological foundations of the park are of even more interest.
In Thingvellir, you can see the edges of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. It’s the only place on Earth where these two continental plates meet above sea level.
Entering the park from Reykjavík, you are looking down the face of a cliff that is literally the edge of North America. Across the valley, which is a delight of rugged rocks, and crystal-clear water, is another wall forming the edge of Eurasia.
The plates are actually moving away from each other, but at a rate of 0.8 inches each year. The most noticeable effect is the volcanic activity that underpins Iceland’s hot springs, volcanoes, and geysers.
Swim in The Baths at Virgin Gorda, BVI
One of the best things to do in the British Virgin Islands is to visit The Baths at Virgin Gorda, a set of giant granite boulders that form a natural playground of rocks, beach, sea, and caves. They take their name from the geological term “batholith” for a large body of ancient igneous rock.
Hidden among this natural wonder is a grotto where beams of sunlight from above make for a magical experience. Light dances on the gentle waves, with clear blue water over pure white sand adding to the natural beauty.
This hidden cave on the British Virgin Islands is only one of the many delights of The Baths. These include pristine coral underwater, and tidal pools filled with tiny life.
Getting through The Baths is a playful exercise in climbing ropes, descending ladders, and swimming or wading through pools. Either hike down from the top of the hill, or swim ashore from a boat to reach this spectacular spot.
Explore Amsterdam’s Floral Side
The urban landscape of Amsterdam looks as if it’s all buildings and canals. But the natural side of the city is all the more interesting when you set out to find it.
The first stop must be the flower auction in Aalsmeer, through which around 40 million flowers pass every day. It’s the largest flower auction in the world, and its largest indoor trading building.
In spring, the Keukenhof gardens are a sensational sight when thousands of tulips, and hyacinths come into bloom. Beloved of photographers and gardeners, the sprawling flower beds can be explored on foot, by bike, or on a boat.
The Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam, a five-minute walk from Rembrandt’s House in Downtown Amsterdam, was established in 1638 to grow medical herbs. It’s now filled with more than 6,000 different plants, and its steamy tropical hothouse is particularly popular on colder days.
Read: Three Days in Amsterdam
Drive the Douro Valley, Portugal
The N222 road along the Douro River in Portugal has been listed as one of the world’s most beautiful scenic routes. The river is very popular for boat tours, but a car gives you options to explore further afield.
Among the best places to visit in Portugal, the Douro is famous for its wines, most notably port, but also the fragrant white Moscatel de Favaios. However, this beautiful region also produces some tasty olive oils.
The town of Casal de Loivos has an olive oil museum where you can start to discover its traditions, built around a former olive oil press. Here, you can enjoy olive oil tastings alongside some local wines.
Only two hours from Porto, you are in the heart of one of the most picturesque valleys in Europe. These Douro wine-lands are a UNESCO World Heritage site, partly because of the 2,000-year history of wine production.
Go River Tubing in Dominica
One of the best things to do in Dominica is to go on a tubing adventure down one of its rivers. The jumping-off point is the Hibiscus Valley Inn, an environmentally friendly retreat about one hour from Roseau.
The inn takes its ecological credentials seriously, with solar power and natural pools for a morning dip. It’s no surprise that its guides are deeply knowledgeable about the culture, flora, fauna, and history of Dominica.
They’ll whisk you safely on a one-hour voyage down the rock pools, mini-rapids, and shallows of the river. Depending on recent rainfall, this can vary from a relaxing float to a more thrilling experience.
Afterwards, you can visit a waterfall to wind down with a proper swim, and a fresh mahi mahi sandwich. Bird-lovers will also enjoy having some of the many local species pointed out.
Meet the Stingrays on Grand Cayman
Stingray City on Grand Cayman has become famous, but no words or photos can prepare you for the actual experience. Having these gentle creatures “fly” around you in the crystal clear waters of a shallow sand bar is a unique thrill.
The best way to enjoy it is on a boat tour with an experienced captain and crew. They’ll ensure both you and the rays are comfortable and safe with the encounter.
From Stingray City, you’ll go on to one of the nearby reefs for another swimming or snorkeling adventure in Grand Cayman. The Cayman Islands are notable for having 200 species of corals and more than 1,000 species of fish.
Visibility in the water here ranges from 60 to 100 feet deep, and up to 135 feet horizontally. In fact, the remarkably clear waters might even give you a touch of vertigo over deeper parts.
Ride the Flam Railway, Norway
While Norway’s amazing fjords are definitely its headline act, the Flam Railway allows you to see some of its majestic interior. Starting from a branch of the Sognefjord, Norway’s largest and deepest fjord, it runs up to Myrdal station at 2,844 feet.
The journey is a near-constant run through head-turning scenery that Norway is known for. Tunnels, rivers, mountain peaks, waterfalls, and wooden farmhouses add variety to every part of the 12-mile route.
A highlight is the stop at Kjosfossen waterfall, a popular waterfall in Norway, where a beautiful “huldra” (female spirit) is said to have enchanted young men. Sure enough, a woman in a red dress will often appear amid the waterfall’s mist…
This quaint performance by students of the Norwegian Ballet School adds to the charm of this trip. More prosaically, it’s hydropower from the waterfall that runs the train itself.
Follow the Footsteps of Van Gogh, France
Provence is perhaps France’s most beautiful region. From its sun-kissed fields of lavender, olives, and grapes, to its impossibly pretty villages, it stimulates all the senses.
To bring the many delights down to a manageable scale, follow the life of Van Gogh by car or on a cycling tour. Fascinated by the light (as was Cezanne), he painted Sunflowers, and Orchard in Blossom here, among hundreds of other works.
Your first stop should be Arles, where the notable Roman Arena is a draw by itself. You’ll also find the site of his Cafe Terrace at Night, where you sample the local cuisine, and wine.
The beautiful village of Saint-Remy-de-Provence is where Van Gogh was institutionalized after cutting off his ear. He produced almost 150 paintings here, and you’ll discover many of the landscapes and places that inspired him.
Hike Paklenica National Park, Croatia
One of the most beautiful places in Croatia, Paklenica National Park is a geological wonder, where the soluble limestone karst has weathered into steep canyons. The most picturesque are Velika (“Big”) and Mala (“Small”) Paklenica.
The park has more than 100 miles of hiking trails, but most day hikers just head straight for these two landmark canyons. Dominating the view is the peak of Anica Kuk, where a sheer 1,000-foot cliff attracts climbers from around the world.
The two canyons are hemmed in by similar towering cliffs, with narrow beds cut by flowing water. If you have any interest in caving, there are miles of underground passages to explore as well.
This karst landscape is enriched with some 1,000 plant species, and around 230 species of birds. The whole is one of the most undiscovered areas of exceptional natural beauty in Europe.
Has this list of unique vacation ideas for couples inspired you to plan an adventure together? Browse our worldwide itineraries to find the perfect cruise to start you on the path to making your next shared memories.