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Romantic Birthday Long Weekend within3.5 Hours of UK - Help?

London, United...
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Romantic Birthday Long Weekend within3.5 Hours of UK - Help?

Hi All!

I am hoping (please?) for some advice from the wisdom here for a...

4 OR 5 DAY TRIP AWAY FOR MY WIFE'S BIRTHDAY! On the weekend straddling the last week of June/first week July; within 3.5 hours flight from the UK.

Originally, she wanted to go for a beach holiday. However, we have left it kind of late for that and it appears that if we want to be on the beach, the options are basically resort hotels and she likes something a little more romantic or boutique than that.

SO we are considering a mini break that is a combination of SOME BEACH and SOME ADVENTURE. Beach actually optional as we MAY be able to go away in September for a beach trip.

I have been thinking about the possibility of somewhere like The Azores, the Madeira Islands, maybe Malta or a Greek Island. Maybe a little ancient ruins in Greece and a day trip to an island?! Croatia maybe...? Or maybe totally different, a trip to the Dolamites in Italy (she is Italian and has never been). But there may be some other good ideas out there...?

The necessary elements are combination of relaxation, maybe beach, and potential for gentle adventure and variety; and finding somewhere nice and romantic and boutiquey to stay.

Can anyone help please? Either refining some of the ideas that I have had, or offering any others?

Thank you so much.

5 replies to this topic
Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Family Travel, Honeymoons and Romance
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1. Re: Romantic Birthday Long Weekend within3.5 Hours of UK - Help?

I think your ideas are fine as is... All of those places sound great!

Throw Barcelona into the mix, IMO ... beaches right there combined with great city vibes

Pretty much any of the destinations youre considering have merit though... You just need to research them soon

BUT.... End of June is only a few weeks away so you're rather late to be still in the planning stages

Since only a weekend away ld start looking at Flights that are Short

Id also look online ASAP to see what Travel Agents have on offer for " short weekend trips" or something of that ilk

ALL of the Destinations youre thinking of have their own Forums and local Members/Experts Who give destination specific travel advice, so if you want help refining your ideas you would find that feedback directly on the " Destination" forum for your location of choice...

Edited: 27 April 2024, 12:04
Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Romantic Birthday Long Weekend within3.5 Hours of UK - Help?

We spent a week in Malta at the Hilton Hotel in St. Julian. Altho it had a beautiful waterfront location (our room overlooked a small harbor), it didn't have sand beach, it had multiple swimming pools. Malta would be a good destination, except it has mostly rocky coast, tho we saw a few sandy beaches here and there.

If you want Greek ruins (and Roman), consider Sicily. It will be hot in summer. We stayed in a lovely hotel outside Palermo called Villa Igiea with its own small beach. It's now a Rocco Forte Hotel; it was independently owned when we were there. We also stayed in a charming boutique hotel in Taormina which is perched high above the beach. And we spend a few nights in a more urban location in Siracusa. Sicily has excellent food, good wine and the best gelato anywhere we've been.

Croatia is also a good choice. Roman ruins there, e.g. Split, and Dubrovnik is a remarkable place to visit. It too will be hot.

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Romantic Birthday Long Weekend within3.5 Hours of UK - Help?

One more thought: Puglia. We stayed a week in a small town called Castellamare about an hour from Bari. Bari has beach, so does Castellamare. I didn't love our hotel, so I won't mention its name. The city of Lecce is beautiful; we only made a day trip. Or you could stay in one of the quaint trulli houses in Alberobello.

London, United...
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4. Re: Romantic Birthday Long Weekend within3.5 Hours of UK - Help?

Thank you everyone.

I am thinking Malta might be good - we could get 2 days to walk around Valetta then two days at the beach on Gozo. If we flew out on the Friday evening and came back on the Wednesday though, would that be enough time?

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
10,116 posts
562 reviews
144 helpful votes
5. Re: Romantic Birthday Long Weekend within3.5 Hours of UK - Help?

Depending on how much sightseeing you want to do, it could be enough time. The #1 thing I wanted to see in Malta was the Hypogeum, a 7,000 year old archeological site. Advance tickets were required when we were there, probably still are as it's small, fragile and subterranean, requiring guided tours. The main thing most tourists want to see is St. John's Co-Cathedral; prepare to be gob-smacked by it. Lines can be long to enter, especially if there's a cruise ship in port. One day/week (Sunday, as I recall), there's a vast farmers market/flea market in one of the fishing ports on the south end of the island which is fun and can be combined with an al fresco lunch. There are WWII sites, fortifications dating back to the Knights of Malta, museums....just depends on your interests.

There are more impressive archeological sites on Gozo and the capital, Rabat, is a pretty little walled town with a Cathedral and also the remains of a Roman villa in it, if interested. Gozo is more rural/agricultural than the main island of Malta which is almost entirely built-up.

And it's not so far from the U.K. You could return someday if you wanted to see more.

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