Those in love are fine anywhere – there are, however, places where they can feel even deeper in love. Where are they? Here are three inspiring ideas for weekend getaways around Valentine’s Day. Should you use them, you may find yourself going back to reality feeling younger after a visit to the spa, with lifted spirits after going to an opera or enchanted with the magic and attractions of the city of love.
This year, February 14th – the Lover’s Day – falls on a Tuesday. The dreams of a romantic, Valentine’s weekend can come true before or after the actual day. After the decision to go has been made and we get some days of work, and the money for the trip has been saved, the question remains: where to?
Where time flies, and moves backward
Spa facilities appear nearly everywhere in the world. Exclusive, original and filled with a distinctive atmosphere, they entice spa-goers with treatments that promise to improve health, looks and often mood. They gather men, women and entire families. However, they are not a temporary craze or a modern invention. Their origins, with roots in ancient Rome, indicate that people have felt the need to improve their health and frame of mind in a place detached from reality for ages. Apart from massages and various beauty and care treatments, spas usually offer health and relaxation baths, saunas, pools and jacuzzis.
The most famous spas function with hotels and offer packages. It is easy to guess that a spa visit with accommodation pays for itself. In exchange for a larger investment, guests receive up to several days of accommodations, during which they have somebody to pamper them - cook, clean, do massages and after that they go back home feeling like a newborn.
There are plenty of renowned spa facilities in Poland. The choices are enormous. They are often placed within a metropolis, but it is also common to find them near resorts that are located in remote areas close to forests in order to ensure their visitors peace, quiet and views far from city traffic, housing estates and shopping centres. Tips and links to fixed offers are available e.g. at spaplanet.pl. Renowned hotels that were awarded in recent years with expanded rejuvenation centers can be placed in Italy, England and Germany. However, the website spaeden.pl put Zadar on the top of the list of the best European facilities. Placed on Punta Skala island, just by the sea, near a modern and stylish five-star hotel with rooms and apartments with view of the Adriatic Sea lies Ladera – “the largest spa of the Croatian Dalmatia. A two-story beauty and relaxation sanctuary with an expansive space of six-thousand square meters”, as we read in the guide to the facility. The cost of a three-day stay for two is about 486-864 euro.
Where Mozart composed and walked
Lovers who dream of something more for the spirit than the body may prefer to go to the opera rather than visit a spa. If they are considering a place that on one hand isn’t too far away from Poland, and on the other offers the magic and the power of the big scene, their search results will probably show the Vienna State Opera. According to wien.info it is one of the best opera houses in the world. It is open 285 days a year, and guarantees repertoire, performance and choreography to be at the highest level. In the beginning of 2017, two premieres were scheduled: Giuseppe Verdi's "Il trovatore" in February and Richard Wagner’s “Parsifal” in March.
The official website of the opera, wiener-staatsoper.at contains the full repertoire and links to the booking and purchase system. Ticket prices vary from 11 to 144 euro. However, regardless of the price, hit shows are sold out in the blink of an eye. Regulars suggest that the cheapest tickets, which are mainly for standing room only, can be bought at the cash register about 90 minutes before the show starts.
Many tourists visit the opera house, as well as many others Viennese monuments… and not only for the occasion of seeing the shows that are performed nearby. When the performing artists, choirs and orchestras go mute, one can view not only the main concert hall, the huge marble stairs and foyer with Jan Kiepura's bust, but the backstage area, where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart presented his work to the audience, as well. When visiting Vienna, it is worth seeing the apartment where this genius composed, lived and worked.
Getting a room in the capital city of Austria should be much easier than getting tickets to see a hit opera. There are many hotels and hostels to choose from, and judging by the offers listed at Booking.com, a cozy room for two for two weekend nights in a three-star hotel with parking, WiFi and good communication to the subway, should be about 120-150 euro.
Where the lyrical songs of the gondoliers are sung
Among the inspirations for a romantic weekend for two, one cannot forget about Venice. One additional reason to go to the northern Italian city in February is the world-renowned carnival, where you and your sweetie will dance in a crowd of golden masks. A romantic disposition, association with love and the Mecca of lovers is ascribed to Venice - thanks to it being placed on water. A chain of canals, in which the gondolas float, singing gondoliers, the water trams, a custom of kissing under the Bridge of Sighs – they all build charm and character. Venice is also often associated with Giacomo Casanova, a traveler, writer, musician and a famous adorer, who wrote down his erotic sensations and adventures in his diaries. Those notes later made him immortal.
Among other obligatory things to see in Venice are St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco) with a basilica that’s over one-thousand years old, the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) and the Rialto bridge. One of the trademarks are also the cafeterias, where guests can drink aromatic espresso, often while standing up.
Every year, several million tourists visit Venice. In a response to large demand, Polish travel agencies offer a multi-day packages in a city which is a UNESCO world heritage site. Here are some sample prices: 769 PLN per person for a bus, four days stay and two meals a day, 197 PLN per person for a bus and two days stay. For those who prefer organizing the trip by themselves, it is improbable to not be able to find a place. But, the cost of a weekend stay in a hotel for two could be at least 200-300 euro.
Lovers don’t measure time, but do count money
Before going on a romantic trip abroad, it is worth calculating the cost. In a majority of European countries (also in Austria and Italy) the currency is euro. In Croatia it’s the kuna. Prior to leaving, one might find it useful to check out an online currency exchange service. By using Cinkciarz.pl, you can utilize one of the most recent popular options - social transactions. – In order to use these, you need to top up your currency wallet, specify the currency you wish to buy or sell and set the desired exchange rate. As soon as a fitting offer from the other user pops up, the transaction is concluded automatically. And we don’t charge users with fees or provisions – said Piotr Kicinski, Cinkciarz.pl Vice-Chairman of the Board.