• In many great love stories, there’s a moment when the happy couple spend a romantic holiday together. Who could forget the famous line from Casablanca, ‘We’ll always have Paris…’, which invokes a tender sojourn that Bogey and Bacall enjoyed in the spring.

    But maybe your work colleagues have beaten you to the punch and have put in their holiday requests already. Now they’re celebrating their own love stories with a romantic getaway on Valentine’s Day while you’re left holding the fort back in the office.

    Don’t be the distressed damsel or distraught prince again – book your fairy-tale break early so, come summer, you’re the couple strolling down the streets of a desire-inspiring destination, rather than making sure your timesheets are up to date.

    Here are three such destinations to whet your appetite and keep the fires of love burning bright throughout the summer.

    Venice, Italy

    Floating like a great chocolate box on the northern shores of the Adriatic Sea, Venice is the perfect backdrop for loved-up couples. The city’s elegant Baroque architecture and casual pace of life make it the ideal place to stroll around hand in hand.

    Or you can glide serenely along the city’s waterways on a gondola – perhaps the best way to get a feel for the city’s medieval alleyways, bridges and churches. The most famous bridge of all, the Rialto on the Grand Canal, is a pleasure to see in the Venetian sunshine.

    Back on dry land, you’ll want to amble around St Mark’s Square, where the Basilica and Doge’s Palace rival Europe’s best architecture. Take time to chill in the city’s small cafes, called bacari, where you can get a snack and a glass of wine by the side of the canal. Once you’ve explored this fascinating city for a few days, you won’t want to come home.

    A gondola ride in the romantic city of Venice

    The Canary Islands

    A short plane journey from Ireland, the Canary Islands lend themselves unselfishly to couples seeking some quality time and leisure days away. The glorious sun will brighten your day on islands like Tenerife, where the average daytime temperature in summer is 24 degrees.

    Each Canary Island has its own unique character. But if there’s one thing they share, it’s sun-kissed beaches, ranging from unspoilt havens to lively urban sunspots. Playa Jardín is one of Tenerife’s best-loved beaches, just over an hour away from popular resorts like Costa Adeje and Playa de las Américas. Gardens and waterfalls lead you out to gentle waters and stunning volcanic black sand. Enjoy the sunbathing and water sports by day, then take an intimate seafront stroll by night.

    Tenerife is one of the finest places in the world to gaze at the heavens – and what could be more romantic than cuddling up under the stars?

    The Algarve

    Image of a couple taking a romantic stroll on the beach, with their backs to the camera and walking away

    For a blissful romantic holiday hideaway this summer, take a trip to the Algarve. This sunny, spicy part of Portugal steals the show for cuisine, culture and gorgeous coastal scenery. Choose a stay in Olhos de Agua or Vilamoura and you’ll be in the heart of the action. Just 30 minutes away by car, Vale de Lobo and Quinta de Lago have a wealth of attractions to spoil you both.

    Indulge in a day of leisure playing golf or splashing about at waterparks. Take an invigorating sightseeing ride with a bike tour, or treat your loved one to a spending spree. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you take time to simply relax and enjoy each other’s company. For a glamorous date night, book a table at one of the Algarve’s Michelin-starred restaurants, such as São Gabriel or Henrique Leis.

    Where will your love story take you this summer? You’ll find some splendid getaway options, including couples holidays, on our destinations page. You’ll find some places of pure poetry and passion to share an extra-special summer with your loved one. Browse and book now for a beautiful summer together!