Valentine’s Day: Couples Learning Skills Together

Bond with your beloved this Valentine’s Day by learning a new skill together, says Sarah Warwick

1. Rock climbing

Building trust 
is one of the most important things in 
a relationship so why not try an activity where you have to put your faith in one another 
– like rock climbing? Thailand’s Andaman coast has some of the best in the world, especially around the dramatic landscapes of Railay Bay, Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lao Liang. Learn to climb in sensational scenery, taking it in turns to spot (hold the rope) for your partner. After all, nothing says ‘I love you’ like saving your beloved from certain death. Andaman Adventures (andamanadventures.com) can organise guides, equipment and also romantic accommodation on their tours.
In London: Practice before you go at top climbing centre The Castle (castle-climbing.co.uk); £130 for two people on a beginner’s weekend course.

2. Dance classes

Banned for decades for being too provocative, guaguancó is a type of rumba, originating in 19th century Cuba, and called ‘the dance of love’. Male dancers learn how to do the famous vacunao (pelvic thrusting, literally ‘vaccinations’) while the girls coquettishly rebuff their advances. Matanzas, about 90km east of Havana, is the home of a unique Afro-Caribbean dance culture, and the perfect place to perfect your bump ‘n’ grind.
Visit Matanzas with Independent Holidays (holidayoffers.independent.co.uk) for a six-night stay from £639. Contact the Cuban tourist office for Guaguancó teachers. Alternatively, give sexy salsa lessons a try in Cuba or Colombia.
In London: Join Kensington Dance Studio (kensingtondancestudio.com) in March for their four-week rumba course, £55 for beginners/improvers.

Valentine's Day: Couples Learning Skills Together

3. Wine tasting

Nothing says romance like a bottle of vintage bubbles, but French wine tasting is so 1985. How about a trip to the wineries of the Penedés region, near Barcelona, instead? It’s the home of Cava – the Spanish answer to Champagne – as well as top Spanish reds and whites. Plus its wineries are famous for their ‘wine cathedrals’, with stunning modernist architecture by Gaudi and Cadalfach. Visit Spanish Fiestas (spanish-fiestas.com) for tours from €50, leaving from Barcelona.
In London: Try different champagnes and cavas at Vinopolis’ monthly Welcome to Wine workshops, £35pp. Sunday, February 13, 1pm (vinopolis.co.uk).

Valentine's Day: Couples Learning Skills Together

4. Learn a language

If you find your loved one attractive when they’re speaking English, imagine how much sexier they’d be having mastered the language of love 
– Italian.
Book into a private villa for two in the mountainous Abruzzo region of northern Italy, and you’ll be whispering ‘Ti Amo’ to each other before you know it.
Villas for 2 (villasfor2.com) have four-day Italian courses (350EUR) from beginners’ to advanced level.
In London: TNT runs five-week Italian courses throughout the year. £75. See tntmagazine.com/school

Valentine's Day: Couples Learning Skills Together

5. Make chocolate

Get taught how to make delicious Fairtrade chocolates at the 
romantic jungle setting of Hacienda Bukare, Venezuela.
Book a six-night stay with Responsible Travel (responsibletravel.com) for £630 and you’ll also be able to relax on the beach.
In London: MyChocolate (mychocolate.co.uk) has champagne-laced Valentine’s Day events (February 12-14), £149 per couple.

Learning experiences for single people

Not got a partner to learn with? Never fear – a growing selection of singles’ workshops abroad allow you to learn new skills and maybe meet someone new, too.

  • Skiing for singles: “No families, no couples” company Cold Fusion (coldfusionchalets.co.uk) specialise in ski and snowboarding with ‘social interaction’. Beginners’ weeks start 
from £850 (half-board).
  • Scuba diving for singles: Go Learn To (golearnto.com), who run hundreds of learning holidays for singles, have an eight-day PADI open water diving and yoga holiday to Dahab, Egypt for £570.
  • Activity holidays for singles: Outdoorsy types will love single specialists Solo’s activity holidays (solosholidays.co.uk), like the seven-day multi-activity Turkey, which includes trekking , kayaking, jeep safari and quad biking. From £799.
  • Photography courses for singles: Brush up your photography skills with a DSLR break in Morocco with Essaouira Images. Email [email protected] for 2011 prices.
  • Waterskiing for singles: Learn to wake board or water ski on an Adventure St Tropez holiday (adventure-sports.co.uk). Prices from £495 per week.