Ideas for couples

Romantic breaks Europe

Ask anyone to recommend the perfect location for a romantic break in Europe and Paris would be the most likely answer. This guide goes beyond the obvious attraction of Paris to show you what else Europe has to offer.

Perfect places for Romantic breaks in Europe

Ask anyone to recommend the perfect location for a romantic break in Europe and Paris would be the most likely answer. This guide goes beyond the obvious attraction of Paris to show you what else Europe has to offer.

From the Champagne tours of Reims to the fairytale châteaux of the Loire Valley, or the Canals of Bruges and Amsterdam, LeShuttle aims to show you the best of Europe that can be easily reached from Calais.

Bruges (Belgium)

Bruges is, indeed, a fairytale. Walking down the cobbled streets, over the canal bridges and around the gabled houses, it is easy to see why the historical centre of Bruges is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Plan your perfect romantic break in Bruges; start by choosing one of the many unique hotels that are scattered through the city, all in keeping with the medieval architecture of the town. You are spoilt for spectacular views, whether you fancy waking up to an idyllic scene of the waterways or to a panoramic view of the historical city centre. Spend a day wandering around Bruges strolling through the city centre, stopping off to sample some of the world's best beer, whilst warming up in Bruges' numerous taverns and inns. If you are feeling more culturally inclined there are plenty of museum experiences to partake in; whether you want to see Bruges' involvement in the beer, lace, chocolate or even diamond industry, the choice is yours.

Bruges is where the art of diamond polishing was invented in the 15th century, making this one of the most apt places in the world to go down on one knee. You are spoilt for choice with romantic backdrops to make your moment special; perhaps surprise your loved one on a sunset boat trip around the canals of Bruges, or atop one of the many churches in the city!

Seasonally, Bruges is beautiful all year round. However, winter is a fantastic time of year to go when the Christmas markets are in full swing, the snow and ice festival adorn the city with beautiful sculptures and the city is covered in a dusting of snow; truly making it a winter wonderland.

Bruges is 117km away from the LeShuttle terminal at Calais, making it an hour and 15 minutes by car.

Reims, Champagne-Ardenne, France

The classic romantic break in France conjures up images of sipping champagne, fine dining and experiencing the French culture. The Champagne-Ardenne region encapsulates all of these and more.

Find yourself exploring some of the oldest and prestigious champagne houses in the world, from the vineyards in Reims to the famous L’Avenue de Champagne in Epernay, where Houses such as Moet & Chandon, Mercier and De Castellane reside. Take in the grandeur of Reims as you visit the Palace of Tau, where kings stayed during their coronation ceremony, or stroll through one of the many parks that won the prestigious 4 Flowers accolade for Reims.

Reims is arguably one of the most historically important cities in France as it was here that in 488, Clovis, The King of the Franks was converted to Catholicism, leading to it being chosen as the traditional coronation site of France. The Cathedral de Notre Dame, where the coronations took place, is a perfect spot to soak up the opulence of French aristocracy, and a tour through the museum of the Hotel le Verguer will transport you back to this city's glory days, with all its original furnishings preserved.

Tours of the Champagne Houses are widely available and will give you a real sense of the history and how the champagne is produced, along, of course, with several tasting sessions and plenty of opportunity to stock up on your favourite champagne!

Seasonally, Reims is best in the late spring to early autumn, when it is growing season. The winter is quite mild but there are reduced tours around the vineyards.

Reims is 268km from the LeShuttle terminal at Calais, making it a 2 and a half hour trip by car.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam may seem like an unusual choice for a romantic break, more famed for its red light district and boozy weekends. Yet there is more to Amsterdam than meets the eye, look beyond its party culture; it barely scratches the surface of what Amsterdam has to offer you.

There are many different things to do and see in Amsterdam, take a romantic boat trip around 'the Venice of the North', indulge in some cultural delights like the Van Gogh Museum, The Anne Frank House and Amsterdam's own Diamond Museum. Alternatively you can visit the famous year round flower market, Bloemenmarkt, where you can buy your loved one a beautiful bouquet.

Cycling is the easiest way to get around Amsterdam; there are plenty of shops to hire from bicycles from that will give you a touring map of the city, ensuring that you take the most scenic routes and make the most of your time in Amsterdam.

Seasonally, spring is a lovely time to visit Amsterdam, especially if you want to visit the famed Keukenhof Park which is only a 40 minute drive from Amsterdam, and is open to the public from late March until May.

Amsterdam is 367km from the LeShuttle terminal at Calais, making it 3 hours and 30 minutes by car.

Loire Valley, France

Arrive in the Loire Valley and you may think that you've accidently stepped into a fairytale, and for good reason. With over 300 chateaux scattered around the blossoming countryside, the Loire Valley will transport you back to the height of luxurious French aristocracy. With each chateau having its own scandalous past of power struggles, betrayals and love affairs, it is easy to see how the world became spellbound by the aristocracy's infamous way of life, denouncing them and being captivated simultaneously.

Many of the Chateaux have opened their doors to the public; you can tour the buildings that inspired stories such as Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast.

Why not truly recreate the fairytale experience and stay in one of the many chateaux that have been converted into hotels – wake up in a suite fit for royalty and start your day as you mean to go on!

It 's not for nothing that the Loire Valley is called the 'Garden of France', and with acres and acres of beautifully sculpted countryside open to the public why not explore them in style with a romantic hot air balloon ride?

This is definitely a trip that would be best suited to car travel. If you wish to travel at your own pace and see the most noteworthy chateaux, a car is a must.

Seasonally, spring to summer is the best time to visit as you want to catch the gardens in bloom and enjoy the beautiful weather that the centre of France has to offer. After all, this was the playground of the aristocracy in summer for a reason. However, visiting in winter can also be to your advantage as the large crowds have dispersed, and the weather is still usually quite mild.

Tours, a fantastic starting point, is located 524km away from the LeShuttle terminal at Calais, making it a 5 hour trip by car.

Strasbourg, Alsace, France

Strasbourg is located in the French region of Alsace, tucked away by the German border. Alsace reflects its Germanic-French mix of cultures through its architecture and cuisine, making this a unique place to visit. There is something for everyone in Alsace, whether you enjoy hiking through nature reserves, discovering tucked away shops and restaurants, visiting the political hub of Europe, exploring the waterways that run throughout Alsace or perhaps just simply sampling some of the world's best wine from the local vineyards.

Strasbourg is a beautiful location for a romantic break, with the town's backdrop being one of cathedrals, canals and winding streets. The old quarter, Le Petit France, is one of the prettiest areas of Strasbourg with waterways weaving in and around old medieval houses and cobbled streets, a perfect place to stop for a coffee and watch the locals go about their daily lives.

There is a wealth of culture and history to uncover and numerous ways to explore the city; whether by boat, bicycle or foot, you can experience all that Strasbourg has to offer at your own pace.

Seasonally, Strasbourg is in its prime all year round, however the Christmas markets that make their appearance in winter fill the city with excitement, making the Christmas experience all that more special.

Strasbourg is 619km from the LeShuttle terminal at Calais, making it 5 hours and 30 minutes by car.

Getting there and around

Amsterdam, Bruges, Loire Valley, Strasbourg and the Champagne area are perfect places for Romantic breaks.

Just a few hours drive on the motorway from LeShuttle's Calais Terminal.

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