With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, here are some ideas a spectacular romantic February getaway? It’s certainly not too late. Here are some ideas for destinations that are a little off the beaten path.

Couples who really want to get away from it all should consider a trip to Ayers Rock, a giant sandstone monolith near the geographic center of Australia. Known by its Aboriginal name of Uluru, the monolith glows red at sunrise and sunset. A great way to experience Uluru is through a four-hour Sounds of Silence tour, which includes dinner with the best of Australian cuisine, an introduction to Aboriginal culture and a tour of the night sky, where the stars seem to come alive. Wine lovers may want to add the Barossa Valley to their itinerary. Located in Southern Australia, it’s a picturesque region dotted with villages, farms and vineyards.

Cape Town, South Africa, will afford a dramatic backdrop to your Valentine’s Day vacation. This bustling city on the southwest coast sits on a peninsula at the foot of Table Mountain. For a romantic and unforgettable Valentine’s Day experience, take the cable car to the top of the mountain at sunset and enjoy the breathtaking view. Nearby Cape Town is Stellenbosch, renowned for its pinotage wineries. The Stellenbosch Wine Festival takes place Feb. 24-26. You’ll have the opportunity to sample hundreds of wines, as well as gourmet food, listen to music and take part in outdoor activities.

A trip to the islands of Greece is a way to soak up some sun on Valentine’s Day. There are dozens from which to choose, but picturesque Santorini, where the whitewashed houses are set against the deep blue sea, is considered one of the world’s most romantic spots. Enjoy a candlelight dinner overlooking the Aegean Sea and view one of the island’s stunning sunsets for a trip to remember. And no journey to Greece would be complete without a trip to Athens to view its ancient landmarks, like the Acropolis and the Parthenon.

For travelers who want to spice up their romantic getaway with some ancient history, the city of Petra, in Jordan, beckons. Dating to about 300 B.C., its mysteries are revealed after a walk through a narrow canyon. At the other end are towering temples and tombs carved into pink sandstone.

About 90 minutes south of Petra is Wadi Rum, a desert valley where parts of “Lawrence of Arabia” were filmed and where British army officer T.E. Lawrence himself passed through. Today, travelers can take a camel trek or a dune buggy ride through the area.

For a romantic vacation without leaving the United States, consider a getaway to the Hawaiian island of Kauai, nicknamed “the Garden Isle” because of its gorgeous landscape of cascading waterfalls, lush valleys and rainforests.

Among the natural wonders is the rugged Na Pali Coast State Park, whose towering cliffs can be toured by air, boat or on a hike along the Kalalau Trail. The island’s beaches, spas and golf courses, variety of Asian-influenced cuisine and laid-back towns make it a great spot to relax with someone special.

For help planning a Valentine’s Day vacation, contact Travel Leaders/Fly Away Travel 541-672-5701.

Reporter Dan Bain can be reached at 541-957-4221 or e-mail at dbain@nrtoday.com.

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