We have all heard the romantic stories of the great loves of our world – and daydreamed to be part of them. If you’re quite the romantic and a fan of history, a great way to celebrate Valentines Day or a couples holiday, is to walk in the footsteps of an epic love story.

Here are romantic destinations around the world where you make your own love story, as you go on holiday to relive some of the greatest, epic love stories of our times.

 

The Ultimate Monument of a Love Story at the Taj Mahal in Agra, India

Taj Mahal, India

One of the icons of India and one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal has a famous, great love story behind its construction.

Located on the banks of Yamuna River in Agra, the Taj Mahal stands out as a majestic structure from afar. Upon closer look, you’ll see the details that have been designed into its construction – Persian poems etched all over its white marbled walls.

They were inscribed as a declaration of the Mughal emperor Prince Khurram’s love for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, when the mausoleum was erected in her honour.

Getting There
Jet Airways and Malaysia Airlines offer single stopover flights from Kuala Lumpur to Delhi (DEL). From there, Agra is 3.5 hours’ drive away.
Where To Stay
Stay right by the Taj Mahal at budget Hotel Sidhartha, or pamper yourself and stay at the fabulous The Oberoi Amarvilas. Best time to visit is between October and March.

 

Cassanovas Love Life in Venice

San Marco Venice

Not so much a love story as cheeky play on love. As a famous socialite of his time, well known for his associations with women, Cassanova is now a household name associated with flirtatious love and sex. Venice was his hunting ground, and you can trace his womanising tracks through its many squares and canals.

From Palazzo Malipiero to Piazza San Marco, as well as the nearby Calle Vallaresso, where Cassanova would have spent much time socialising, making connections and gambling!

Of course, no visit to Venice would be complete without a ride on the gondolas. Cassanova would have wooed many women on these romantic boats, before taking them to Cantina do Spade for a late glass of wine before winning their hearts.

Getting There
Connecting flights from Kuala Lumpur to Venice (VCE) are available with Alitalia, Etihad Airways and Lufthansa.
Where To Stay
Stay at the modern Hotel L’Orologio Venezia near Piazza San Marco or in the exceptionally beautiful Hotel Danieli.

 

Cleopatra and Her Lovers in Egypt

Cleopatra_on_the_Terraces_of_Philae

She was considered to be the most beautiful and seductive woman of her time, and her strategic seduction of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony also made her one of the most powerful Egyptian rulers ever known.

The fascination with this ancient beauty who once ruled Egypt still prevails. Cleopatra’s legacy can be found all over Egypt, including Cleopatra’s pool in Siwa, which is fed by a natural hot spring, as well as the beach where she and Mark Antony used to bathe at Marsa Matrouh.

However, she is especially linked with the city of Alexandria, believed to be Cleopatra and Mark Antony’s resting place.

Cartouche with Cleopatra writtenCartouche in the Temple of Horus at Edfu, inscribed with ‘Cleopatra’ | © Ad Meskens / Wikimedia Commons

Getting There
Malaysia Airlines offers flights to Cairo (CAI) with a single stopover in Bangkok, as does Qatar Airways with a stopover in Doha.
Where To Stay
The best place to base yourself in Cairo is at the elegant Four Seasons Hotel Cairo Nile Plaza. In Alexandria, the seaside Hilton Alexandria Corniche is a great choice for luxury and location.

 

The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, Denmark

Very few people remember that Hans Christian Andersen’s original story The Little Mermaid was tragic. She never got her prince, and jumped back into the sea and was turned into bubbles. Aww…

Find the Little Mermaid at Copenhagen harbour, perched on a rock, waiting for her prince to return. The setting is a little romantic out here, but there’s lots more charming and romantic spots to explore with your partner in the city. The colourful houses by the canal are even cuter than those in Amsterdam, and there’s even a Danish castle and opera house around the corner if you want to add to your love story in the making.

While you are in Copenhagen, visit the Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy-tale House for more of his intriguing tales.

little-mermaid-copenhagen

Getting There
Fly to Copenhagen (CPH) with KLM or Lufthansa, with stopovers in Amsterdam or Frankfurt, respectively. Or train from nearby European cities. Visit any time of year.
Where To Stay
The harbour-side Copenhagen Admiral Hotel is a great place to stay to explore this fairy-tale city.

 

Finding Mr Darcy in England

Lyme Park, England

Inspired by Jane Austen, we’d all love to find our own Mr Darcy or Elizabeth Bennet to love. And there’s something about the English countryside that sparks the romantic in us.

Pride and Prejudice has been filmed in various locations across the country, such as Cheshire’s Lyme Park, which was used as the exterior of Pembley estate, and Luckington Court of Luckington, used as the Bennet’s home.

A walk in the woods of Yorkshire also gives a sense of Jane Austen’s times.

Getting There
The various locations can be reached from one of the London terminals. Fly to London (LHR) directly with Malaysia Airlines. Alternatively, Emirates and KLM offer single stopover flights.
Where To Stay
 St. Ermins Hotel offers regal elegance. Alternatively, a stay at The Bath Priory Hotel and Spa in Bath will leave you feeling like you’ve stepped back in time with Jane Austen herself.

 

Romeo and Juliet in Verona, Italy

Juliet's House

Romeo and Juliet is possibly the most well-known of epic love stories of all time. While it is fictional, the city of Verona – where Shakespeare placed his main characters – has set aside a small courtyard with a balcony as Juliet’s House, where lovers from the world over flock to pledge their love for each other.

There’s also a bronze statue of Juliet ­– and tourists rub its right breast for luck.

Getting There
Fly into Milan (MXP) with either Etihad Airways or Lufthansa. Verona is just a short train ride away.
Where To Stay
For a bit of Romeo and Juliet romance, stay at the Relais de Charme Il Sogno di Giulietta – Guest House, which is a stone’s throw away from Juliet’s balcony.

 

Helen of Troy in Ancient Greece / Turkey

It was perhaps more in lust than in love when Helen of Troy’s husband King Menelaus and Paris the Prince of Troy went to war over her – a woman so beautiful that the battle for her love started the Trojan War.

The war was fought in the ancient Greek city of Troy (Truva), and the ruins are now near the small village of Tevfikiye in Turkey. The Archaeological Site of Troy has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A Trojan Horse has been installed there to mark the events that unfolded.

helen-of-troy-paintingPainting by Maerten van Heemskerck

Getting There
Qatar Airways has connecting flights from Kuala Lumpur to Sabiha Gocken International (SAW) in Istanbul. From there, it is around a 5 hours’ drive to Tevfikiye.
Where To Stay
Stay at the Iris Otel, the closest hotel to the archaeological site.

Pocahontass Frontiers in Virginia, USA

Jamestown

The love between an indigenous tribal princess and a colonial European has inspired many to think about the idea of racial relationships and rethink colonialism. Such is the story of Pocahontas and John Smith.

While the story is only half true, the historic Jamestown celebrates this remarkable woman as a symbol of friendship. She is immortalised by a large statue and her story remains a legend in this region. While there, visit the Historic Jamestowne Visitor Center to learn more about European settlement.

Getting There
Connecting flights are available from Kuala Lumpur to Richmond International (RIC) in Virginia.
Where To Stay
Stay close by at the Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg.

 

Photo credits: Getty Images, Creative Commons licensed under CC by 2.0