The temperature might not be hotting up just yet, but with Valentine’s Day looming on the horizon, your love life may well be…
This year, why not make your loved one feel really special and whisk them off on a romantic break from Manchester Airport? At APH we’ve done the hard work for you and found some great last minute deals; so what are you waiting for, get jet set for romance!
Beautiful Stockholm is magnificent in the winter months, when snow covers the ground and lights sparkle on the water long into the night. Sitting in an archipelago made up of over 30,000 islands, Stockholm is home to cutting edge design, fashion and technology, along with some of the nicest locals you will come across!
Start your day in the maze of narrow and cobbled streets of Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s picture perfect old town. This central island is crammed full of shops and cafes; souvenirs dangle from every square inch of the colourful buildings. Here is also where you will find the photogenic Royal Palace, the official residence of the Swedish Monarchy.
To the north of Gamla Stan is the main city centre; here you’ll find all the shops, restaurants and bars you could wish for. If your tastes are a little less mainstream; head to the southern island of Sodermalm where independent boutiques and art galleries mix with a lively nightlife scene that rivals any major European city.
Flight: 2 hours 25 minutes from Manchester
Deal: Breaks start from £306 per person for 3 nights, from Travel Republic
A beautiful city by the sea, combining architecture, history and fantastic food and drink; Barcelona is a dream of a destination and the perfect place to spend a romantic day or two with your beloved.
Begin your explorations with a jaunt down Las Ramblas, the main tourist thoroughfare of the city; this bustling stretch is heaving with street entertainers and lively bars and cafes; perfect for grabbing a Sangria and some tapas and getting yourself acquainted with the city.
One architect dominates the Barcelona scene; Antoni Gaudi’s work can be found throughout the city, and includes the magnificent Sagrada Familia. Begun at the turn of the 19th century, Gaudi’s cathedral is still a work in progress; step inside and marvel at the incredible interiors or take a lift up one of the spires for a great view and a dizzying walk back down.
If you’re looking to escape the city then a day trip to the mountain of Montserrat is an easy one hour train journey from town, and worth it for the views alone. Take the five minute cable car up to the Benedictine monastery perched on the hill to view the statue of the Black Madonna or keep going higher on the handy funicular railway to enjoy some great hiking trails that come with spectacular views.
Flight: 2 hours 30 minutes from Manchester
Deal: Breaks start from £404 per person for 3 nights, from Travel Republic
If epic views, meandering waterways, beautiful art and delicious food are on your check list, then a trip to floating Venice won’t disappoint.
This is a take it easy kind of weekend; stroll hand in hand along the canals, take a romantic gondola ride for two, sip frothy coffee while watching the world go by and then finish it all off with a divine candlelit dinner.
Kick things of with some people watching and a caffeine fix at Piazzo San Marco, the city’s tourist heart. Here you can also explore the magnificent Basilica San Marco, whose glittering mosaics and acres of marble will wow you into submission.
A great way to get your bearings is by Vaporetto; these passenger boats can accommodate up to 200 sightseers and meander their way slowly up the Grand Canal, allowing you to take in the magnificent palaces and the beautiful Rialto Bridge. Of course, no trip to Venice would be complete without a gondola ride, so treat your other half to a romantic trip through the backwaters and you’ll be in their good books for life!
Flight: 2 hours 30 minutes from Manchester
Deal: Breaks start from £322 per person for 2 nights, from Travel Republic
Ancient Athens is a must for any self-respecting culture buff; this 2500 year old city is literally brimming over with historical treasures; turn any corner and epic columns or ancient agoras await, ready to be explored. Exploring the city is a breeze thanks to the archaeological promenade; a 2.5 mile long pedestrian walkway that links all the major sights and makes for an inspiring evening stroll as the sun sets and the acropolis lights up.
The only place to begin your sightseeing is at the Acropolis; towering over the city, this majestic rock’s crowning glory is the fifth century BC Parthenon, with its 46 columns. Once you’ve had your fill, meander back down the hill through the cobbled streets and bustling tavernas of Plaka, Athens oldest residential quarter where you can grab a bite to eat and watch Athenians at play.
Other attractions include the fallen columns of the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens’ Ancient Agora where Athenians took care of business and Socrates once roamed, and the marble Panathenaic Stadium which was built in 566 BC and hosted the first modern Olympic Games back in 1896.
For a real bird’s eye view of the city, take the funicular railway to the top of Mount Lycabettus and don’t forget to bring your camera.
Flight: 4 hours from Manchester
Deal: Breaks start from £317 per person for 4 nights from Travel Republic
If your love knows no bounds and you’re feeling like splashing the cash while taking in some sun, then a trip to Dubai offers a warm climate and the chance to get your Bedouin on with a jaunt into the desert.
Start out by getting up in the air to take in the views of the glittering coastline; take a sea plane flight along the coast to fully appreciate the spectacle of the bizarre man-made islands of The Palm and The World. If your budget doesn’t stretch that far, head up the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower and watch the city glisten beneath your feet.
Shopping is big in Dubai; there are more malls than you could ever need, but we suggest heading to the flashiest, The Dubai Mall, where you can also check out the spectacle that is the Dubai Fountain. If you’re looking for a more authentic Middle Eastern shopping experience, head across town (and water) to Deira, where souks aplenty await your haggling skills.
Had enough of the hustle and bustle and want to get out of town? Head to a luxurious desert retreat where you can dine under the stars and take a desert safari into the wild…
Flight: 7 hours from Manchester
Deal: Breaks start from £616 per person for 5 nights from Travel Republic