An amazing mix of sights, sounds and smells, India is easily one of the world’s most romantic destinations. There’s enchantment to be found in the backwaters of Kerala and on the white sands of the lovely Havelock Island; on the bustling streets and gorgeous beaches of Goa and in the foothills of the Himalayas. It’s to be found in the Palace hotels on Lake Pichola and in the spectacular landscapes of the hill stations that dot the foothills.
Not sure where to begin? We’ve rounded up five must-see locations for your next adventure…
Related article: Lakes and laneways in India’s Udaipur
Called the city of lakes (and for good reason), Udaipur is a go-to for whimsical sights. Known as the ‘Venice of the East’ and home to a dazzling array of forts and palaces, this Indian jewel offers plenty of unforgettable experiences.
Lake Pichola, located in the centre of the city, is one of the most picturesque lakes here, as well as one of the largest. It’s the one where you’ll see all the gorgeous images of palace buildings lining the waterway – amazing! There are countless things to do and discover in and around the area, like boutique-hopping, exploring the City Palace, sunset cruises around Lake Pichola and feasting on mouthwatering Indian cuisine. Do. Not. Miss.
Also situated in Rajasthan, Jaisalmer is the place to go for time-forgotten deserts and ancient sites. Here, Jaisalmer Fort rises like a mirage from the sandy terrain. Built centuries ago from the surrounding honey-coloured sandstone, it can look like a sandcastle from a fairytale in the right light.
Thousands of people still live and work in the Fort’s winding, twisting lanes, making couples feel as if they’ve been transported to back when this was a prime trading centre on the camel caravan route. Indulge your romantic fantasies with an overnight stay and settle into a bedouin tent under a moonlit desert sky. There’s a camel safari just right for every couple!
It seems the state of Rajasthan was made for romance, with another dreamy destination calling it home. Beloved for its grand palaces, imposing forts and colourful markets, Jaipur might not be where to go for peace and quiet, but it’s perfect for an exciting adventure!
Regarded as ‘The Pink City’ due to its many salmon-hued buildings, the destination has almost too many incredible sights to see. A fabulous way to tick off at least a few? Join a walking tour or take to the skies with a scenic hot-air balloon ride! Make sure you fit in time for visiting the 16th-century Amer Fort that overlooks Jaipur, plus the impressive Nahargarh Fort and Hawa Mawal palace, spotting the fascinating Jal Mahal palace (feature image) or high tea at one of the elegant hotels that dot the city. Yes, please!
Fort Cochin and the Backwaters of Kerala
After a tropical escape? Combine your trip to Kerala with the cultural landscape of Fort Kochi, plus the wonders of cruising the backwaters’ network of interconnected canals, rivers and lakes. Magical scenes of traditional life are laid before you while drifting along the tranquil waters in your houseboat – perfect for couples.
Unique in character and design, the colonial port city of Fort Kochi is a step back in time to when the British, Dutch and Portuguese each ruled here for a time. Expect charming old-world architecture against a backdrop of towering palms and shimmering waters.
India is famous for its hill stations and none more so than Shimla, situated on a steep mountainside in the Himalayan foothills of Himachal Pradesh. Once a holiday mecca for the British Raj, Shimla clings to the forested hillside, a romantic vision of vintage charm from when the British played and stayed in their villas and cottages.
Enjoy one of the most scenic train journeys in India on the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kalka-Shimla toy train that winds its way for 96 kilometres through lush forest and up rugged mountains – serious ‘magical travel memories’ material.
Related article: Temples and tea in India’s Jaipur
Image credits: Unsplash and Natalie Bannister