Couples massages and poolside cocktails are nice. But if you’re part of a pair who crave a little adrenaline in addition to your chilled champagne and rose-petal-strewn bed, look no further than this collection of adventure getaways curated by those who know best: Global Rescue Safe Travel Partners.
Heli-Skiing and Sky Gazing in Northern Iceland
Eleven Experience is known for its collection of luxury boutique properties set in far-flung locales with in-house guides who handcraft the ultimate adventure itineraries — everything from fishing in the glacier-carved river valleys of Chile to mountain biking in the Gunnison Valley of Colorado.
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But the property that best blends romance and adventure? Deplar Farm, located on a converted sheep farm in the Fljót Valley in northern Iceland. This 12-room Nordic-inspired lodge — decked out in sheepskin, Moroccan wools and textured walls — serves as the launching point to more than 1,500-square-miles of untouched skiable mountain terrain via helicopter from two on-site helipads. That means unrivaled access to rolling descents and steep couloirs with runs averaging around 3,000 vertical feet — some all the way to the ocean. Afterward, treat tired muscles to an evening spent soaking in the lodge’s open-air geothermal pool while the Northern Lights seductively dance overhead.
A Romantic Road in Southern Germany
It’ll be difficult not to fall in love all over again while touring the 285-mile (460-kilometer) scenic byway through Bavaria, known as the “Romantic Road.” Serving up scenes of castle-studded valleys, rolling vineyards and quaint cobblestone villages lined with half-timbered homes, the romantic adventure is the closest thing to driving through a fairytale.
The key is to not rush it; rather, rent a car and plan a thoughtful three- to five-day trip, starting in the northernmost point of the route: the stately baroque town of Würzburg. From there, head south, through the small vineyards of the Tauber Valley to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which has managed to maintain a late medieval appearance thanks to a still-standing town wall with more than 40 towers. Other stops to hit further south: Nördlingen, populated by snug rows of buildings with red-orange sloping roofs; Augsburg, with its fountains and revered guild houses; and Steingaden, best known for its oval rococo church with a resplendent trompe-l’oeil ceiling. The route culminates in the town of Füssen, at the foothills of the Alps and home to the elaborate Neuschwanstein Castle (if it looks familiar, it’s because it served as the real-life inspiration for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty palace).
A Personal Climbing Route in Southcentral Alaska
Mimi Lichtenstein of Truvay Travel, a Virtuoso-endorsed travel advisor, has done via ferratas before, but she says nothing better caters to a couple’s sense of adventure than the one recently installed in the Alaskan wilderness by Tordrillo Mountain Lodge. (Not sure what a via ferrata is? It’s a fixed steel-cable, protected climbing route that makes scaling a mountain accessible to beginner climbers).
Reachable only by a 10-minute helicopter ride from the lodge, this first and only via ferrata in the state allows climbers (led by a guide) to scale the route’s 900 vertical feet overlooking the Triumvirate Glacier and Tordrillo Mountains. “It’s hard to describe what it feels like once you reach the top of the mountain,” said Lichtenstein. “It’s just you two and the vast wilderness, glaciers, bluebird sky and mountains.”
After scrawling your names in the book among the others who have completed the climb, the helicopter whisks you back to the lodge for a celebratory meal. Think: Alaskan river-to-table dining, starring fresh local halibut, white king salmon and black cod, plus a wine cellar stocked with more than 500 bottles to boot.
Safari and Spa in the Serengeti
Photos courtesy of Singita
Romantic safari lodges are plentiful in Africa. Still, it’s rare to find a place that goes as above and beyond for adventurous couples quite like the Hillside Suite at Singita Sasakwa Lodge in Tanzania. Set in the western corridor of the Serengeti on a hillside in a secluded location away from the main lodge, this private villa for two comes decked in polished parquet floors, vintage collectibles and Persian carpets. More importantly, it’s the ultimate launch point for wildlife viewing — not just because of its sweeping views through floor-to-ceiling walls of windows, two outdoor decks and an infinity-edge pool, but because couples also receive their own private game vehicle and field guide. That means the pace of each day is set according to the guests’ interests and frame of mind, allowing total flexibility over mealtimes and activities.
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After a day spent exploring the surrounding 350,000 acres of Serengeti savannah — of which this location is known for lion, leopard and cheetah — return to the butler-serviced suite for an in-room meal, followed by a couple’s massage on the pool deck while the sun sets over the abundant grasslands. It’s the ideal place to find a profound connection with nature as well as each other.
Dining Adventures in the Maldives
What’s more memorable than a romantic dinner for two during your getaway? A romantic dinner set in an out-of-this-world atmosphere — of which two locations in the Maldives more than deliver. Hurawalhi Island Resort, set in Lhaviyani Atoll, and Soneva Fushi, located in the neighboring Baa Atoll.
“Soneva Fushi has been on my personal bucket list ever since I saw their bungalows with slides going into the sea,” said Lichtenstein of Truvay Travel. But in late 2021, it brought luxury to new adventurous heights with the world’s first-ever fine-dining zip-line experience. You read that right: Couples zip through the resort’s thick jungle, indulging in a series of hors d’oeuvres at each platform, before removing their harnesses and tucking into the final six-course meal in the open-concept treetop kitchen.
Prefer to stay lower to the ground? How about the ocean floor? “Hurawalhi Island Resort is a 90-villa adults-only luxury resort offering the world’s largest panoramic underwater restaurant that is unlike anything else,” said Lichtenstein. Located 19 feet below sea level, the intimate restaurant is housed in an all-glass, dome-shaped structure. With virtually no obstruction to the sea, diners aren’t just treated to dinner, but a surrounding show of fluttering marine life as far as the eye can see.
A Double-Dose of Remote Romance in Belize
Photos courtesy of Choose Belize
“Belize’s Gladden Island and Valley Stream are about as secluded as anything can get,” said Polly Alford of Choose Belize, a booking site and travel company specializing in personalized, luxury beach, island and jungle vacations. “By doing a combo-stay — four nights at Gladden, then four nights at Valley Stream — you get to experience the best of both Belize’s natural settings: the barrier reef and the jungle rainforest.”
Located on a caye 20 miles northeast of Placencia near the widest section of the Belize Barrier Reef, Gladden Island has been hailed time and time again as “the most private island resort in the world.” There’s even a “privacy meter” installed on-site to indicate if you’re alone or if a staff member is visiting the island at your request (the staff resides unseen on another neighboring island). While couples can snorkel, scuba, spearfish and more, one of Alford’s suggested pastimes is simply taking in unobstructed views of the Caribbean Sea from the villa. “You can open the walls of windows up for an open-air tub experience or take your dinner on the rooftop with an up-close-and-personal view of the reef.”
After a 30-minute helicopter flight over the ocean and the mainland’s Maya Mountains, sister resort Valley Stream offers the same unparalleled level of solitude, perched 500-feet up on a cliffside in the middle of the remote jungle. “You feel like you’re staying in a tree,” said Alford. “There’s nothing like sitting in that infinity-edge hot tub and pool in the warm rain looking out to the 200 acres of surrounding rainforest.”
A Walk to Remember in the Czech Republic
When it comes to romance, the city of Prague will always be special for Shane Jones and Barbara Haight, founders of Worldwide Adventure Guides. It’s not only where they first fell in love (they traveled there together as friends, returned as something more), but it’s where Jones proposed to Haight, where they had their wedding in 2008 and where they’ve celebrated subsequent anniversaries.
“One of the most romantic ways to spend a day is simply walking through the stunning city,” said Jones. Specifically, he suggests meeting under the centuries-old Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Square, then buying a hot mulled wine (known as “gluhwein”) from a street vendor. From there, stroll along the charming winding streets and alleyways — stopping at any of the cafes, shops or pubs that catch your eye — to the famous Charles Bridge. Continue making your way up to Prague Castle to get a stunning view of the city from high above it. “Everyone should do this stroll at least once in their life,” said Jones. “We do it every time we visit Prague.”
Travel Protection for You and Your Sweetheart
We all want to protect the ones we love. Whatever your romantic couples adventure entails, be certain to include protection — Global Rescue medical emergency and evacuation protection. Whether sick (even with COVID-19), injured or simply looking for medical advice during your travels, a Global Rescue family membership is like having a team of medical and security experts right in your back pocket. Not to mention, you don’t have to be married to qualify for a family membership (like some other providers do) — cohabitation and living at the same address is sufficient.
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