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Valentine’s Day travel inspiration: Unusual stays

The best way to impress or spoil your loved one come Valentine’s Day is to whisk them off on an adventure. And since personal presents that require a little creativity or extra effort are always the best, you’ll want to go somewhere special.

Booking.com used its internal data to find the most highly-recommended, but also unusual, romantic stays.

Santo Stefano di Sessanio is a hill town in the Province of L'Aquila in the Abruzzo, Italy

Santo Stefano di Sessanio is a hill town in the Province of L'Aquila in the Abruzzo, Italy

Santo Stefano di Sessanio, Italy

Santo Stefano di Sessanio is a mellow, 16th-century hamlet on a hill, with no traffic but for the occasional Vespa. It rises high up in the middle of the Gran Sasso National Park, looking out at the Apennine mountains and the wild, unspoilt landscape of the Abruzzo region. This is a region celebrated for its quality and quantity of fine olive oil and classic Italian produce. Making it a great place to feast on fluffy gnocchi sprinkled with melting pecorino under a twisted olive tree in one of the village’s miniature piazzas.

Perast offers the charm of Venice without the tourists

Perast offers the charm of Venice without the tourists

Perast, Montenegro

The old, baroque town of Perast in Montenegro is Venice with far fewer tourists. Facing the channel through which boats enter into the Bay of Kotor, boxy houses with terracotta roofs line the steep green banks of the glassy fjord. The pier is scattered with fishing boats and cafés with sea views. The bell tower stands out against the snowy mountain backdrop and the legion of aged but elegant palazzos dotted around the town have balconies bursting with bougainvillea.

The city of Old Rosh Pina in northern Israel, founded in 1878.

The city of Old Rosh Pina in northern Israel, founded in 1878.

Rosh Pinna, Israel

Rosh Pinna is one of the oldest Zionist settlements in Israel. Situated in the Upper Galilee, 19th-century stone buildings fill the city. Alongside galleries, chic restaurants, artists’ studios and high-end hotels. Good-looking in an unpolished way, the sun-baked streets are filled with flowers and vines, sprouting from the cracked, painted shutters of the rustic houses.

View of Henley on Thames in the Chilterns, Oxfordshire, UK.

View of Henley on Thames in the Chilterns, Oxfordshire, UK.

Henley on Thames, UK

Less than an hour from London, Henley is a heavenly escape from the capital. The Thames flows through the town, its banks manicured with spotless lawns, flowerbeds and weeping willows. Henley is best-known for its annual Regatta but it attracts visitors year-round as an exemplary British countryside town. Its half-timbered cottages, 18th-century stone bridge, waterfront verandahs, and picket fences make it an exceedingly attractive place.

Scenic view of old village Moustiers Sainte-Marie in Provence, France

Scenic view of old village Moustiers Sainte-Marie in Provence, France

Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, France

Sitting at the foot of staggering limestone cliffs, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is a treasured, provincial village in southeastern France. It falls in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region, close to the hypnotizingly-blue waters of the Lac de Sainte Croix. Moustiers has a Friday market, ideal for buying ingredients for a Provençale picnic to take with you as you wander the narrow streets or the cypress tree-covered hills surrounding the town.

Arrive by plane to experience the beauty of coming in to land over blazingly-bright blue sea and white sand

Arrive by plane to experience the beauty of coming in to land over blazingly-bright blue sea and white sand

Hamilton Island, Australia

Hamilton Island is the largest inhabited island in Queensland’s Whitsunday islands. Providing easy access to the Great Barrier Reef, this is an eco-friendly piece of tropical paradise with only a few private resorts and restaurants and no cars allowed. Arriving by plane is a highlight, coming in to land over blazingly-bright blue sea and white sand.

*The Booking.com data analysts used internal data to find the most highly-endorsed destinations by Booking.com travellers for romance. To make sure these destinations were unusual and off-the-beaten-path, they had to be recommended at 95% or higher with at least 50 bookings but have less than 1000 endorsements in total.