For any couples looking to spend time with one another in an exotic setting, cultural tourism is often a good fit. This form of travel emphasises human culture: the art, music, food, buildings and other endeavours that define us as a species.
It’s fair to say that certain parts of the world punch above their weight when it comes to culture. These are the locations that have had a big influence on human history more broadly, or that have been shaped by a distinctive combination of events, producing a culture that’s unlike any other. A visit to these places can often teach us a great deal about the way we live today!
Where better to start than the birthplace of Western Civilisation? Greece is a country that appeals, whether you’re interested in history or gastronomy. Make a point of touring ancient Athens, from the Acropolis and Parthenon to the Ancient Agora. Visit during summer and you’ll be able to enjoy the Epidaurus festival, which is held in the Epidaurus amphitheatre in the Acropolis itself.
India is a truly vast country, so you’re unlikely to be able to see everything in a single trip. Prioritise Delhi, where you’ll be able to wander the marketplaces and marvel at the gorgeous mosques.
There’s also the famous Taj Mahal, which at dawn is among the most eye-catching sights in the world. Experience it alongside your other half, and you’ll take the memory wherever you go thenceforth.
Also worth a mention is Kerala, on the Malabar Coast. Settle into life on a houseboat, sample the local tea and spices, and soak in the eco-tourism. Most worthwhile tours of India will include lesser-appreciated parts of the country, like this one.
Japan has a culture that’s unique in the world, and in the West, we glimpse only a tiny sliver of it. Certain cities, like Kyoto, are of enormous cultural significance for a variety of reasons. Tea ceremonies are an especially conspicuous feature of life in the city, and there are traditional ryokan everywhere, which represent an appealing alternative to modern hotels.
Cuba is another island with a unique culture that stems from its unique history and experience. The streets are lined with vintage cars, and with musical venues that have produced a steady stream of incredible genre mash-ups. Just don’t trust the hotel rating system – they mark their own homework. Look instead for hotels with good reputations.
This North African nation is steeped in history. It’s famous for being the gateway to the rest of the continent and for its vibrant market culture. Visit a souk and be prepared to haggle for a good price. Marrakech and Fes are the best cities for this sort of thing. Once you’re done, you can scale the Atlas Mountains!