Saint-Tropez Named Best Romantic Port of Call

Bora Bora, Kauai, Moorea and Rio de Janeiro also winners

There's something undeniably romantic about setting sail with that special someone and waking up each day to a new city. While cruising itself can set the mood, it's the ports of call that offer the biggest opportunities for romance. We asked USA TODAY 10Best readers to help us crown the world's most romantic ports of call, and the winners span the globe, from Europe to South America, the Caribbean to the South Pacific.

  • Amalfi Coast, Italy

    Shore excursions along the Amalfi Coast, part of Italy's Campania region, mean sipping wine at outdoor cafes, strolling hand-in-hand through sun-kissed piazzas and exploring pastel-colored coastal towns like Positano, Sorrento and Amalfi. The entire stretch of coast is dotted with secluded beaches and romantic clifftop views.
    Photo courtesy of Tsomchat

  • Santorini, Greece

    Perhaps the most photographed of all the Greek Islands, stunning Santorini with its whitewashed churches and houses seeming to flow down the rocky hills toward the sea offers plenty of diversions for couples, including winery tours, ancient archeological sites and black sand beaches.
    Photo courtesy of ianwool

  • St. Barths

    St. Barthelemy, or St. Barths for short, offers a French-flavored and ultra exclusive tropical escape in the Caribbean West Indies. Apart from its sublime beaches, the island is equally famous for the restaurant that inspired Jimmy Buffett to write "Cheeseburger in Paradise." Couples craving something a bit more gourmet will not be disappointed.
    Photo courtesy of brent cline

  • Venice, Italy

    Rising from the water, Venice has long been synonymous with romance, and for good reason. This intoxicating city of canals is the perfect place to get lost with the one you love, gawk at art and architecture, stroll through Piazza San Marco and take that cliche-yet-oh-so-romantic gondola ride along the Grand Canal.
    Photo courtesy of Jeremy Maude

  • Istanbul, Turkey

    Istanbul, a city of two continents and two cultures, has an underrated romance factor, delighting first time visitors with its beautiful Ottoman architecture, soothing Turkish baths, exotic bazaars and delightful cafes perfect for soaking up the sights, smells and sounds of this historic city.
    Photo courtesy of Matthew Dixon

  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Rio de Janeiro has a well-deserved reputation as one of the world's sexiest cities. Maybe it's all the scantily clad skin on the iconic beaches. Maybe it's the sensual hip shake of the samba. Or maybe it's the dramatic views from Sugarloaf and Christ the Redeemer. It's probably all of the above, and it definitely offers endless potential for a romantic escape.
    Photo courtesy of dabldy

  • Moorea, French Polynesia

    Mountainous, heart-shaped Moorea in French Polynesia was purportedly the inspiration behind the fictional island of Bali Hai in the musical "South Pacific." The aptly nicknamed Magical Island is ringed with shallow, turquoise lagoons where couples can swim or snorkel from the beach. For even more intimacy, visitors can take a short boat ride to their own private islet.
    Photo courtesy of Martin Valigursky

  • Kauai, Hawaii

    Kauai, the Garden Island of Hawaii and the fourth largest and oldest in the chain, has more beaches per mile than any other Hawaiian island. It's the interior scenery – the dramatic waterfalls, red-hued canyons and verdant cliffs – that make it such a favorite with outdoor adventure-loving couples.
    Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

  • Bora Bora, French Polynesia

    Glittering lagoons, hauntingly beautiful mountain peaks, colorful reefs and sleepy villages make Bora Bora one of the most drool-worthy destinations in the South Pacific. Many cruise lines make two-day calls at this perennial honeymoon favorite, giving cruising couples plenty of time to drive the 22-mile ring road around the island, hit the water fro some snorkeling or diving, dine toes-in-the-sand or simply bask on the exquisite white sand beaches.
    Photo courtesy of shalamov

  • Saint-Tropez, France

    Saint-Tropez, a glamorous stretch of coast in France's Cote d'Azur region, is where the rich and famous go for romance. Harbor-view cafes and plenty of beaches – some clothing optional – add to the appeal of this lively city on the French Riviera. If that's not enough, Nice and Cannes are not far away.
    Photo courtesy of LiliGraphie

After four weeks of voting, the stunning French seaside city of Saint-Tropez took home top honors. Located on the beautiful Cote d'Azur, Saint-Tropez has long been where the rich and famous go for romance.

Magical Bora Bora, with its sugar sand beaches and glass-bottom bungalows, comfortably snagged the runner-up position, while Kauai, Hawaii and Moorea, French Polynesia fought hard for a third place finish, with the verdant Hawaiian island coming out on top. Steamy Rio de Janeiro rounds out the top five.

The winners in the 'Best Romantic Port of Call' contest category for USA TODAY 10Best Readers' Choice are as follows:

  1. Saint-Tropez, France
  2. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
  3. Kauai, Hawaii
  4. Moorea, French Polynesia
  5. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  6. Istanbul, Turkey
  7. Venice, Italy
  8. St. Barths
  9. Santorini, Greece
  10. Amalfi Coast, Italy

Congratulations to all these winning destinations, and next time you're planning a romantic getaway, keep this list handy!

 

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