Happy Valentines Day!

Whether you celebrate Valentines Day or not, or if you’re single or taken, I hope you’re having a really great day.

I’m not a huge fan of all the mushy, showy, over-the-top stuff that goes with Valentines Day, so today I decided simply to write about the places I love. A little love letter to the places that mean most to me. The type of places I never tire of visiting and are never far from my mind.

There are some places I adore so much I’ve returned to again and again and others I’ve only visited once but fallen in love with. So, these are the places I love the most…

Portugal

places i love, algarve portugal
I’m lucky enough to have been to Portugal more times than I can possibly count, and each time I love it more and more. The close proximity to Scotland makes it an easy destination to visit within just a few hours.

Portugal’s beaches are stunning and definitely some of the best in Europe. As well as glorious stretches of perfect sand, there are rugged areas of coastline too that are utterly awe-inspiring. The Portuguese people are so friendly and welcoming and, of course, the sunshine and warm temperatures appeal. I love the variety of things to do there and the slower pace of life that means you can do as much or as little as you wish.

My favourite destinations in Portugal are its gorgeous capital city, Lisbon and much of The Algarve.

Venice, Italy  

places i love, venice italy
Despite the hordes of tourists, Venice is somewhere I adore returning to. I just can’t seem to get enough of this watery, crumbling city.

I’ve been to Venice more than a dozen times but still want to return and explore more. I adore wandering through the streets, away from the busiest spots and just getting lost. Watching people meander down small canals in their boats, going about their daily business. Trying out different cicchetti, and drinking wine standing in the street surrounded by locals (so much more civilised than it sounds!)

I can see how it would be easy to leave Venice with a negative impression if you’d spent your time there being surrounded by huge groups of tourists waving cameras around and hadn’t found any peace. But, it’s also easy to have a much more local and authentic experience in Venice. Wander away from the crowds, find the quiet streets, get lost, explore and hunt out the very best cicchetti.

Scotland

places I love, scotland
There’s no way I could put together a list of places I love and not include my beloved home country of Scotland. In my (perhaps biased) opinion, Scotland is absolutely one of the best destinations in the world. It’s regularly at the top of lists of the best places to visit, proving just how fantastic it really is.

Within Scotland, there are bustling cities filled with interesting things to do and see, gorgeous natural landscapes, incredible coastline, hundreds of islands, seriously friendly people and everything you could need on a getaway.

Although I’ve lived in Scotland for the entirety of my 27 years, there are still so many more places I want to explore within the country. I want to see as much as possible and that’s part of the reason I’m so excited about my upcoming North Coast 500 road trip! Stay tuned for more info on that.

Dubai, UAE 

places i love, dubai
I feel like Dubai is the type of place that people either love or hate, and I’m firmly in the love camp. I was really surprised by how much I liked Dubai when I visited a couple of years ago. Ever since then I’ve been dreaming of going back. I didn’t have a chance to even see half as much as I wanted to during my 6 days there.

Dubai is so different to all of my other favourite places that are steeped in history. The Dubai that exists today doesn’t have a long and interesting history and somehow that doesn’t seem to matter to me. It’s so different to anywhere else on earth and I love taking in the excess, modernity and grandeur of it all.

The Amalfi Coast and surrounds, Italy 

places I love most, sorrento italy
The Amalfi Coast in Italy is without a doubt one of the most naturally beautiful places I’ve ever visited. The coastline is out of this world and I never tire of going back there to explore more.

I had one of the best weeks ever there 2 summers ago when my family and I rented out the most incredible villa. I’m pretty sure that’ll always be one of my favourite memories and it makes me love The Amalfi Coast even more.

What are the places you love the most?