Romantic Hideaways Zanzibar to Sorrento

You've probably already "done" Venice, Paris and Niagara Falls. So where to this year? Here are some secret romantic hideaways and some not so secret. Some are at their best in the winter while others shine in the summer, still others year around.

Got your passport ready? Here you go.Zanzibar - spicy exotic. The name alone is invitation enough to elope to the wilderness.

This group of two spicy islands and its handful of islets off the coast of Tanzania, East Africa, are just perfect for a winter getaway. The vibe is casual and relaxed (think barefoot-exotic) with dazzling sun on the palm-fringed beaches and inviting turquoise sea. The abundance of fresh seafood and exotic fruit should spice up your stay. Why not take advantage of your time here to visit the forest, where cloves, vanilla, pepper and cinnamon are gathered and bring some home to carry on that warm glow in the kitchen?.If you crave exotic, but with an even more exclusive cachet, nearby Mnemba Island is a more luxurious romantic escape. This petite resort is private, with complete pampering service, only 10 beachside bandas and the most breathtaking beaches in the Indian Ocean.

Don't strip off right away, though-this is a Muslim country after all.Sri Lanka - Golden beaches and precious stones. Equally spicy, but for those who prefer a more old-fashioned style of wooing, Sri Lanka is hard to beat in the winter months. In fact, the country was originally colonized by the Portuguese, Dutch and British because of the valuable spices that abound here. The colonial-type hotels offer impeccable service as in days of yore. But, for a really romantic stay, why not rent one of the villas on the southern coast of Tangalle.

Looking like an Asian Gatsby's holiday home, villas are surrounded by tea or coconut plantations, with a beach of golden sand within easy reach. And, for the cherry on the cake, do include a visit to Kandy, the former capital of Ceylon and the last seat of the Singhalese kingdom, where you may find yourselves tempted by the precious stones: who would not melt at a cool sapphire or fiery ruby?.Wallis & Futuna - "Lost" in French Polynesia. If you dream of somewhere more remote, where love-birds can enjoy each other's company without fear of bumping into any acquaintances, try Wallis & Futuna. These two islands, with their three kings, are just about as far from civilization as you can get in Polynesia, hidden discretely between Samoa and Fiji, only accessible by flying from New Caledonia.

To add to the sexy vibe, you'll be served in French and can enjoy champagne with your spectacular sunset-and real coffee and croissants to the sound of the tropical morning birdsong.Contadora - A Pacific island gem. For a somewhat more accessible destination, but with more than a whiff of gunpowder about it, having been a pirates' hideaway, you can't get much dreamier than Contadora, a privately-owned island off the southern coast of Panama, in the Gulf.

This baby of an island was once famous for its pearls and diamonds, the name itself meaning "counting house". Gazing out to the bluest of seas, or diving together to explore the reefs, will create precious memories for the future. And this undiscovered paradise offers almost total privacy.Sorrento - Spellbinding Italy. Try as we may, when we're talking romance, we can't ignore Italy.

Our recommendation for romance is Sorrento, south of Naples. This charmingly many-hued town, perched on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean coastline, is guaranteed to make all lovers go weak at the knees. We don't know what it is about the place.the light, the sheer beauty of the town and views, the atmosphere.

Or perhaps it's the scent of orange blossom in spring, the tantalizing proximity of Capri and the more discrete Ischia, the glimpses of lemon orchards and olive groves from between centuries-old buildings. Whatever it is, it all adds up to a heady love potion - and you'll find yourself spellbound.Tofino - The indoors can be great too. The pretty fishing village of Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada, is perfect for nature-loving couples looking for a hideaway in a stunning setting. The Wickaninnish Inn with its views of the Chesterman beach comes highly recommended as a stylish and romantic hideyhole--but plenty of more affordable options can be found. An eco-rich gem in an already dazzling crown of outstanding beauty, Tofino is a great place for couples who want quality time together in the great outdoors.

This is where you can enjoy good food in style--including some of the finest seafood in the western world--hot springs, deserted walks on miles of sandy beaches, whale- and seal-watching, kayaking and breath-taking scenic flights over the wild coast of British Columbia. Watch out for eagles, too. Even in winter, if the weather isn't pleasant outside, the lodges are so cozy you'll be only too delighted to snuggle up together for a little storm watching.


Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Travel.Article Source:


By: Michael Russell

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