How Lovers Do
Ah, Paris! Where romance flows as freely as the scarves of the bourgeois bohème. Loved-up couples flock to the French capital to stroll the twinkling streets and feast on a wealth of wine bars, galleries, and ateliers. For sure, there’s a lot to make you swoon. But, there are a few new romantics on the scene that might just make you pop a different kind of question; should we go?
Skip Santorini and the tourists with their selfie sticks, for this isle of love - Spetses. Just two hours from Athens, you’ll step off the catamaran and smell nothing but salt air and fresh pastries. No cars. No taxis. Your mode of transport will be horse-drawn carriage. Spend the morning uncovering the history of Bouboulina, the infamous sea captain who became a war heroine, then head out of the main piazza, down country roads lined by orange trees, to the hidden beach cove of Kyslokeriza. Here you’ll find sun-warmed deckchairs and cold Greek beer, so you can lay back and watch the sun sink into the Aegean Sea.
Find new love in an ancient city. On the grounds of Kiyomizu-dera, the Jishu Shrine is dedicated to all things love and matchmaking. According to legend, if you can make it across the ‘Love Stones’ with your eyes closed, your love will be everlasting. At night, in the lantern-lit streets of the traditional geisha district Gion, there’s a ton of tiny drinking dens to get cosy. Stay in a Ryokan inn, which offer private onsen (hot springs), and you’ll slumber where the samurai once slept.
Though vineyards fringe the edges, it’s the baroque streetscapes of the city that set the stage for this European fling. Once it was home to musical maestros, such as Mozart and Beethoven. Now, a glam evening beneath the golden ceiling of the Staatsoper Opera House isn’t even the crescendo. Enter the Imperial Butterfly House, to walk among hundreds of fluttering butterflies, before a ride on the Vienna Ferris wheel seals the evening (with a kiss, if you’re lucky).
At the foot of the Sierra Nevada is a city where Flamenco passion permeates the streets. From the Alhambra fortress to the Alcaiceria Bazaar, Granada is a labyrinth of dance, tapas, and spice markets. For the adventurous, hike hand-in-hand through the Sierra Nevada National Park, and be sure to mention to the locals if you’re on your honeymoon, for some true Spanish hospitality.
Charleston, South Carolina
We’re not saying you should re-enact ‘that’ kissing-in-the-rain scene from The Notebook. But, you should. Picnic beneath 400-year-old Oak Trees, take a moonlight cruise through the harbour, or dine at any of the renowned culinary hotspots. This Belle of a town is a fascinating marriage of the classic and the contemporary. Travel between May – June to experience the dazzling Spoleto festival. Ooh la la.
Give one of these spots the chance to sweep you away. Or maybe the lure of champagne and croissants proves too irresistible. Either way, the HSBC Everyday Global Account is your perfect travel companion.
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