Your first anniversary is a special event, a landmark that can make all the difference in whether your relationship prospers as the years go by. You may want subsequent anniversaries to be private, even unspoken, but for your first anniversary, you should be pulling out all the stops.
To make that special day truly extraordinary, the best thing to do is take you and your partner out of your day-to-day lives into somewhere new and exciting. After all, it’s hard to feel like anything is special when everything else around you is the same as it’s been every other day.
A year ago, with the global crisis at its peak, new couples may have been able to get away with a small at-home celebration; some of you may have even put off tying the knot altogether. But with vaccinations in full swing and easing travel restrictions, I’ve prepared this list of top destinations so you and your significant other can go for a truly magical first anniversary.
1. Cayman Islands
As you touch down in Grand Cayman —the wealthiest of the Caribbean Islands— you’ll be greeted by the beating of steel drums, which helps set an adventurous mood.
The trendiest new luxury resort along the white sands of Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach is the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, which has all of your anniversary boxes ticked. The resort’s Coccoloba Bar & Grill serves excellent food and even better piña coladas.
Afterward, you can take a day trip boat ride to Stingray City to meet (and greet) some notoriously friendly local wildlife. Afterward, why not wind down the day at the resort’s White House beach club —or for something more intimate, go for a couple’s massage at the resort’s namesake spa.
2. Northern Italy
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There are many reasons to visit Northern Italy for your first anniversary: from the canals of Venice to the Renaissance art of Milan, not to mention all the amazing authentic Italian food.
As you sightsee around the countryside, you might want to consider a wine tour of Tuscany. You can book an engaging (and scrumptiously rewarding) day of truffle hunting where you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. Afterward, consider retiring with your partner to the Belmond Villa San Michele in Florence, where, as they say, “Modern luxury meets Renaissance splendor.”
After an early dinner, it would be simply remiss of me not to suggest taking a boat ride out to enjoy the sunset with a bottle of bubbly in the company of the person you love most.
3. Paris, France
Perhaps you and your partner have already been to Paris for your honeymoon. If that’s the case, feel free to pass on this one —there’s another great French destination for you further down the list. If you and your partner have yet to partake in the most romantic city in the world, then you should plan to visit for your first anniversary.
Everything about the city is a lover’s dream, which is probably why so many couples have found love there through https://taimi.com. The picturesque avenues, quaint cafés, and verdant French scenery, not to mention the Eiffel Tower, which, when lit up after dark, is a truly captivating sight to behold together with someone you love.
4. The Maldives
The Maldives is arguably the most romantic archipelago in the Indian Ocean, if not on Earth. Check-in with your partner into an overwater bungalow for an unrivaled level of luxury as you take in the beauty of your private paradise.
From your accommodation, you can appreciate the crystal clear sea as you enjoy a romantic dinner along secluded white sand beaches. Sleep peacefully (or don’t, *wink* *wink*) and wake to the sound of gently rolling waves; it sounds like a perfect first anniversary to me.
5. Whitsunday Islands, Australia
If you’ve never heard of them before, the Whitsunday Islands are a chain of 74 islands off the coast of Queensland. The largest and most prominent spot is Whitehaven Beach, with clear turquoise waters and crisp white sand.
To make it to this island, you and your partner will either need to take a sailboat out when the tide is right or —if you’re feeling up to it— a helicopter ride, which has the added benefit of allowing you to take in the full pristine beauty of the island from a bird’s eye view.
Another island of note in the chain is Hamilton Island, specifically Qualia beach, which —while secluded— offers ultra-modern amenities complete with a spa and planned day trips for snorkeling through the world’s most famous reef. You and your partner may even luck out and catch a glimpse of pods of whales that migrate through the area.
6. Kyoto, Japan
What’s more enchanting than an evening stroll or a river cruise along Kyoto’s Okazaki Canal, which is adorned with cherry blossoms in the spring? Kyoto, for those unaware, is a picture-perfect anniversary getaway. Exquisite cherry blossoms adorn the city’s streets, and pagodas top the verdant foothills. Least of all, the view of the mountains is simply breathtaking.
7. Santorini, Greece
The wild beauty of the land, the golden sunsets are simply picturesque. Imagine waking up next to the one you love amid such scenic beauty all around.
Santorini is well-known as one of the world’s most romantic couple’s getaways. Watching the sunset over the magnificent blue of the Aegean Sea from your private terrace is pure romanticism.
8. Bora Bora
The overwater bungalows available at Four Seasons Bora Bora overlook crystal clear waters, affording an excellent view of the many multicolored fish beneath. Beyond the luxurious accommodations, there is plenty for you and your partner to look forward to.
You can book romantic packages ranging from crafting personalized scents for each other at the Coqui Coqui perfumery to couples’ spa treatments and fun water sports activities like paddleboarding, water biking, and jet skiing. For a more laid-back outdoor experience, there’s no shortage of sun and sand, either.
Have you ever had the amazing experience of drifting in a houseboat amidst spectacular natural vistas? If you’ve not experienced this yet, a trip to Kerala may be the ideal opportunity. Experience beautiful views as you glide along coconut-speckled lagoons and quaint rural communities.
10. Languedoc Roussillon, France
Our second recommendation from France is one of its most underrated wine regions. Languedoc Roussillon is a laid-back community with some incredible châteaus and delectable rosés.
You can book accommodations for you and your partner at the Château la Sauvageonne from the owner and region’s premiere wine-maker Gerard Bertrand. The property is perched high over Bertrand’s rolling vineyards.
Once you’re settled in, you can take a dip in the Château’s infinity pool while sampling any one of Bertrand’s award-winning wines. Alternatively, skip the dip entirely and book a wine tour with the Château l’Hospitalet.
Getting by nowadays can be tough, and it rarely ever gets any easier. In all this hustle and bustle, we must remember that we are human, and humans love. Try not to get too caught up in the day to day, and remember to show your affection to the people you love. There are many ways to go about that, but planning a memorable first anniversary is a step in the right direction.
Marques is a contributing writer, proud LGBTQ+ activist, as well as a researcher on human rights violations. Marques has a passion for writing about relationships and queer issues.