Image: Horeseback riding in St. Lucia, Caribbean
Matthew Wakem  /  Condé Nast Traveler
If curious couples once fantasized about Jamaica—a sensual green-and-blue paradise that's still close to home—these days St. Lucia has assumed that role. The verdant island has an increasing number of top-tier properties, and a a host of possible land and water adventures, like racing in the surf on horseback.
By
updated 7/28/2008 4:54:51 PM ET 2008-07-28T20:54:51

You know the saying: Put two people together and let nature take its course. Well, put two people together in a locale with sunshine, sand, and turquoise waters ... and watch the clothes come flying off. Whether this summer finds you and your Pucci two-piece looking to break a few hearts, or whether it's a matter of you and your mate defrosting passions after a long, cruel winter, we've got the surefire solution. These beaches, quite simply, bring the heat. We're not responsible for what happens the morning after.

For a slideshow of World’s Sexiest Beaches, click here.

1. Site: Kas, Turkey

Bring the heat: Do you daydream of the old world Mediterranean? The ancient architecture, the sagas of wars over beautiful women, the ... togas? Look and you'll find it in southwest Turkey, rife with historic seaside towns and Roman ruins along the sea. Imagine the private recreations: "You, Venus; me, Adonis."

Select sand: A crumbling amphitheater, tombs, a Roman temple, and, yes, one helluva nice beach. Archeologists have made a rich historical find at Patara, not far from the town of Kas. The other upshot, other than being able to explore the ruins on your own, is that the beautiful, 10-mile-long Patara Beach is protected from development.

Hookup potential: Kas is like a much smaller version of Antalya, a former seaside village that draws crowds of Turkish tourists. And you'll soon find that this bunch loves to party.

Privacy rating: 3 out of 10. This part of the world has been well populated for many thousands of years.

Pillow talk: With a vista toward the Greek island of Meis, the hillside Villa Hotel Tamara has three terraced platforms, two of which have pools (one filled with saltwater). The third terrace is almost level with the sea, so you can dive right in. Suites have French doors that open onto glass-enclosed balconies and hot tubs.

Villa Hotel Tamara
Tel: 90 242 836 2112
Doubles from $154

2. Site: Malibu, California

Bring the heat: Why Malibu, you ask? Angelina Jolie, Cindy Crawford, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Pamela Anderson ... in swimsuits

  1. Don't miss these Travel stories
    1. Lords of the gourd compete for Punkin Chunkin honors

      With teams using more than 100 unique apparatuses to launch globular projectiles a half-mile or more, the 27th annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin event is our pick as November’s Weird Festival of the Month.

    2. Airports, airlines work hard to return your lost items
    3. Expert: Tourist hordes threaten Sistine Chapel's art
    4. MGM Grand wants Las Vegas guests to Stay Well
    5. Report: Airlines collecting $36.1B in fees this year

Select sand: If Malibu's beaches were supermodels, Zuma would be Cheryl Tiegs: blond, well-proportioned, and friendly. It's open to the public, and there's parking too. (Head to the volleyball courts for great, um, people-watching.) For the more attitudinal side of Malibu, look to the Naomi Campbell-esque Carbon Beach (a.k.a. Millionaire's), which is great to look at but can be vicious to outsiders (think security guards, "No Trespassing" signs, and lawsuits).

Hookup potential: Surprisingly good, though you may find that Ms. Aniston's bodyguard accompanies her on her morning beach stroll. Make the approach to Tinseltown's sexiest off the beach first, perhaps in the valet line at the swank restaurant Geoffrey's Malibu or at one of the chichi shops in the Malibu Country Mart. You are a producer, right?

Privacy rating: Zuma Beach: 2. Millionaire's Beach, that nearly inaccessible bit of sand and rock fronted by a $20-million mansion: 9.8.

Pillow talk: Position yourself on the same beach as the stars' homes. The Malibu Beach Inn is owned by movie mogul David Geffen, and your very private balcony will look onto Millionaire's Beach itself. Plus, it's only a short walk to David's own house for Saturday night drinks ... your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to secure an invite.

Malibu Beach Inn
Tel: 800 462 5428 (toll-free)
Tel: 310 456 6444
Doubles from $325

Geoffrey's Malibu
Tel: 310 457 1519

3. Site: Paros, Greece

Bring the heat: There's just something about the Greek Islands that encourages exuberant behavior. This outcropping of sand and craggy rocks in the Cyclades, 13 miles long and 10 wide, is giving Mykonos a run for its ouzo-fueled reputation, and attracts a heady mix of sun-loving Europeans and on-the-make locals.

Select sand: Kolymbithres Beach is dominated by curiously shaped rocks rising out of the aquamarine Aegean. Perhaps they were shaped by centuries of gentle winds—or maybe it's the friction from all the scantily clad bodies sunbathing on top of them.

Hookup potential: Extraordinary. Even the locals act like they're on vacation, and the very late nights in the town of Naousa usually segue directly to naps on the beach. The shedding of clothes can occur at any point on this continuum.

Privacy rating: Not applicable. Everybody's topless anyway.

Pillow talk: Since you'll be spending the day sleeping at Kolymbithres and the nights in Naousa, stay at Astir of Paros. This 57 room hotel is built in traditional style and sits in tropical gardens on Kolymbithres, a five-minute drive to town. And if you're in a hurry to arrive on Paros from the mainland, take advantage of its private helicopter pad.

Astir of Paros
Tel: 30 22840 51976
Doubles from $378

4. Site:Loreto, Mexico

Bring the heat: Mexico has long been a haven for Americans looking to to escape—from posses on horseback, from unpaid taxes, from the FBI, angry exes, or even oneself. But in Spring Break towns like Cancún, that mystique is as dead as Raymond Chandler. Not so in Baja's Loreto, 700 miles south of San Diego. It's still the kind of place where you might meet a mysterious brunette at a beachside watering hole who's happy to share her tequila—but not her last name.

Select sand: Even on the edge of town, the Sea of Cortez is a magical thing, soft and azure one moment, sparkly neon green the next. But to truly experience the isolation and grandeur of this as yet unadulterated area of Baja, hire a boat or pilot a kayak to Danzante, one of the small desert islands in the 800-square-mile Loreto Bay National Marine Park.

Hookup potential: While Loreto isn't anything like its hard-partying southern sister, Los Cabos, this is still Mexico. There's always trouble to be found if you know where to look.

Privacy rating: 9.7. The waters are calm, the locals aren't nosy, and a kayak will take you to many a dead-quiet cove.

Pillow talk: Since you're hiding out, best not stay in town. Rather, book an off-the-radar bolthole like Danzante Eco Resort, 25 miles south of Loreto. The nine simple rooms have views to Danzante Island and even free kayaks to get you there. And since there are no phones or Internet, nobody from the outside world will be able to track you down.

Danzante
Tel: 408 354 0042
Doubles from $360, including meals

5. Site: Pemba Island, Tanzania

Bring the heat: There are places to get away, and there are faraway places. Take Pemba Island: You'll know you're off the tourist route when you finally reach Zanzibar, in East Africa—and you've got another flight to go. When you and your lover fantasize about chucking it all (the jobs, the stress, the kids ...) and living off the grid in a remote land, this Spice Island is the place you're dreaming of.

Select sand: They simply call them the sandbanks: the beaches that are reborn when the iridescent waters slide back with the tide. These strings of white-sand pathways make for ideal strolls or launching points for snorkeling.

Hookup potential: It's an insular community with very few travelers. Plan ahead and travel with someone you really like.

Privacy rating: 3, on the island itself. (You don't want to scandalize the locals.) Charter your property's traditional dhow to whisk you to uninhabited Misali Island to achieve the perfect 10.

Pillow talk: Tourist infrastructure is scant, so the Brit-owned Fundu Lagoon comes as a bit of a shock. The infinity pool is the tip-off to the luxury on offer here, as are the thatched superior suites that sit on the beach and come with two private terraces and a plunge pool.

Fundu Lagoon
Tel: 255 76 35 92 820
Doubles from $740, including dhow sunset cruise and all food and drink

6. Site: Providencia

Bring the heat: The Caribbean islands sprinkled off the coast of Nicaragua offer a tantalizing cultural brew—one part Afro-Caribbean, with two jiggers of Latin America. Providencia, under Colombian jurisdiction, is a back-to-basics paradise where beach shacks hum with both reggae and salsa, beers are cheaper than bottled water, and there's nothing to do but back-float in calm, sun-dappled waters.

Select sand: Only three miles long and two miles wide, Providencia won't take long to explore, but once you hit the khaki crescent of Playa Manzanillo, with palm trees hanging over the water, it's unlikely you'll want to go any further.

Hookup potential: Love the one you're with. The neighboring island of San Andrés sees tourists from Colombia, but Providencia is gloriously quiet.

Privacy rating: 4. There are no T-shirt shops on the beach, but there will be a number of locals enjoying the surf as much as you are. And they like to visit.

Pillow talk: Long sunny days, the slow pace, and cheap lobster dinners are more than a match for more typical luxury. The 35-room Sol Caribe Providencia sits on a quiet bay and has its own restaurant, bar, and swimming pool. By the end of the first day, you'll be on a first-name basis with all the ladies manning that restaurant and bar.

Sol Caribe Providencia
Tel: 57 851 48036
Doubles from $135, including breakfast and lunch or dinner daily

7. Site: Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Bring the heat: Looking for heat, you say? Well, this is a volcanic island, after all, and despite Lanzarote's location 100 miles off the coast of Africa, it's Spanish (and the locals are, well, passionate). Much of the interior is made up of jagged lava fields, and the black sand beach is called El Golfo.

Select sand: If quiet splendor (and skin) is your thing, head south: Caleta del Congrio is a remote beach at the island's southern tip where fair young things are known to shed all their clothes. Choices abound, though: The island is ringed by some 90 white-, golden-, and black-sand beaches.

Hookup potential: You'll find a steady flow of tourists, from Spain and beyond, chasing a fun weekend in the sun. For those who like surfer types, make for the north of the island and the wild, four-mile-long Famara Beach, where board-lovers do their thing.

Privacy rating: 8.7. We already said it: 90 beaches.

Pillow talk: The influx of budget vacationers hurts the lodging around the island, but the Hesperia Lanzarote, which has sister hotels in Madrid and Bilbao, gets it right. Located in Puerto Calero, it has 46 suites and 289 standard rooms; four swimming pools; comfortable cabanas on the water; and a good, clean design that plays up the Mediterranean influence.

Hesperia Lanzarote
Tel: 34 828 080 800
Doubles from $194

8. Site: Oahu, Hawaii

Bring the heat: Oahu gets its share of loud shirt–wearing tourists, but it's surprising how few venture around the entire island, choosing instead to nurse fruity drinks in Waikiki. Which leaves the North Shore and nearby beaches to the hot surfer boys and girls and superfit locals. And you're free to mix it up with them.

Select sand: In winter, the North Shore's Sunset Beach is legendarily sexy—have you ever seen so many hard bodies toting around their surfboards? Great ogling, but you don't want to get in that pounding surf yourself. A short drive away is Kailua Beach, a sweet arc of sand where the pretty girls and sporty guys from the moneyed enclave of Kailua like to body-board.

Hookup potential: Score! Oahu is a no-shirt, no-shoes, no-problem island. Mix in all the athletic types who travel here for the swells, the young military people stationed here, and the happy-go-lucky locals, and you get sparks.

Privacy: 2. Sorry, bud, it's a small island, and the locals have claimed the most secluded bits as their own.

Pillow talk: Turtle Bay is right at the North Shore—and after a long evening hanging out at the house where all the surfers live, you won't want to drive all the way south to one of the big resorts. If possible, book one of the 42 cottages, which have more personality than the 400-plus rooms.

Turtle Bay Resort
Tel: 800 203 3650 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 293 6000
Doubles from $340; cottages from $703

9. Site: St. Lucia, Caribbean

Bring the heat: If curious couples once fantasized about Jamaica—a sensual green-and-blue paradise that's still close to home—these days St. Lucia has assumed that role. The verdant island has an increasing number of top-tier properties, a host of possible land and water adventures to spice things up, and plenty of sand to roll around in as the surf breaks over your bodies.

Select sand: The island has archetypal Caribbean beaches such as Reduit—which, while oh so pretty, are sardined with sun-reddened tourists. If lying around doesn't suit, Cas-en-Bas on the Atlantic coast is more geared towards the adrenaline set, with pursuits such as kiteboarding or racing in the surf on horseback. You can rent horses from the International Riding Stables in nearby Gros Islet (though we'd suggest springing for the saddle rental, too).

Hookup potential: If all that sunshine, good food, and beautiful scenery doesn't help your game ... well, there's always the priesthood.

Privacy rating: 6.5. The island keeps getting more popular, so ditch the crowds and slip away to a hidden spot—underneath the waterfall at the Botanical Garden's mineral baths, for instance.

Pillow talk: The newest resort property is Landings St. Lucia, in the north (only 15 minutes or so from Cas-en-Bas). The one- to three-bedroom villas are sparkling new, there's an 800-foot private beach dotted with pools and hot tubs, and the huge RockResorts spa will get the kinks out.

Landings St. Lucia
Tel: 877 657 7625 (toll-free)
Doubles from $225

International Riding Stables
Tel: 758 452 8139

10. Site: Perth, Australia

Bring the heat: The Aussies may be world-class friendly, but even they get tourist-weary in places like Sydney. To achieve that "I'm an outsider, wanna buy me a drink?" sizzle, it's hard to beat the west coast, near Perth. The locals pride themselves on being a little wilder, a little more independent, and a lot more entertaining. Challenge a cute one to a drinking contest.

Iamge: Scarborough Beach in Perth
Tim Wimborne  /  Reuters file
Head to Perth, Australia, for a little wilder and entertaining scene — with a bunch of great-looking locals.

Select sand: Mindarie Keys is a perfect spot on the 20-plus miles of Sunset Coast that run north from Perth. Think long washes of bone-white beaches and a clear Indian Ocean that blushes brilliant red at sunset. If you set off from Perth's busy city center, you'll be here in less than 30 minutes.

Hookup potential: Great-looking locals. Lots of them. You're the one with the accent. Do the math.

Privacy rating: 7.7. Chances are, new acquaintances will love to show you their favorite swath of solitary sand. If you're in the mood to duck away on dry land, ask for a tour of nearby Yanchep National Park, famous for some 600 natural caves and colonies of fuzzy-wuzzy koalas.

Pillow talk: Perth's a lovely city, but there's no reason to listen to the sound of traffic when you wake in the morning. Opt instead for the sound of boats clinking softly together at the Mindarie Marina, which has really nice suites at even nicer rates. Each has a balcony overlooking the water and access to the swimming pool and tennis courts, and—most importantly—the hotel is about a three-minute walk to the beach.

Mindarie Marina
Tel: 618 9305 9305
Suites from $140

11. Site: St. Philip, Barbados

Bring the heat: It's only 21 miles long, yet Barbados has a bit of everything: Fine dining and bawdy beach shacks, cricket matches and Mount Gay Rum tours, the posh Caribbean Platinum Coast and the rough-and-tumble (and Highland-like) Scotland District up north. Gauge your partner's whims and go.

Select sands: Been fantasizing about pink-sand beaches while sitting in your beige work cubicle? Imagine waking up, running out of the hotel with your lover, and straight onto Crane Beach, backed by tall cliffs and baby powder–fine sands that glow pink. It's a primal place that might encourage a detour back to the hotel.

Hookup potential: Minimal. There are other tourists to check out, but Barbados is really about spiriting out of town for a week with somebody you'd like to know better.

Privacy rating: 8.3. The western coast packs 'em in, leaving your side of the island just as it should be: empty.

Pillow talk: Unless you're desperate to hang around the crowds, the Crane's remote location—on an east-coast cliff overlooking Crane Beach—is ideal for intimacy. You have a choice between the rooms in the original section (built in 1887) or the new private residences, which come with private plunge pools.

Crane Resort
Tel: 800 223 9815 (toll-free)
Tel: 246 423 6220
Doubles from $150

12. Site: Gotland, Sweden

Bring the heat: The funny thing about Stockholm is that when it finally gets warm, all the Swedes leave. They make for their summer homes on the thousands of islands that dot the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Finland. There they roast in saunas, sit by the shores of lakes and the Baltic, and drink bottomless bottles of aquavit. If you think the Swedes are good-looking people, and you would like to get to know them and their mating rituals better, get thee to the thousands of islands in the Åland Archipelago.

Select Sand: Gotland is the biggest island in the north Baltic Sea, drawing ruddy-cheeked visitors from around Sweden. The countryside is a riot of greenery, and as the sun never sets in the summer, you can spend as much time as you like on the miles of empty beaches.

Hookup potential: What's the Swedish phrase for "sure thing"? The society is quite permissive, and Midsummer's Eve is the biggest (and longest) party day of the year.

Privacy rating: 10. The Åland Archipelago is packed with 6,500-plus islands.

Pillow talk: While the medieval town of Visby is the place to go out at night, better to base yourself in Gotland's countryside. Hotel Toftagården is close to the water, has its own sauna (an important thing to the Swedes), and has both cute little private cabins and traditional hotel rooms to choose from.

Hotel Toftagården
Tel: 46 498 29 7000
Doubles from $215, cabins from $316

13. Site: Natal, Brazil

Bring the heat: So your globe-trotting friends have Brazil-beach-hopped from Salvador, Bahía, all the way south to Florianópolis, but we bet none have been to the northerly city of Natal. Imagine a sea of sculptured sand dunes that push up against the perfect blue waters of the Atlantic—the juxtaposition is fantastic. Take a thrill ride on the dunes with one of the region's lunatic buggy drivers before diving in the warm sea among the black dolphins. And expect an all-nighter in the town's ready-for-anything Alto de Ponta Negra neighborhood.

Select sand: The sexy crowd hangs out at Morro do Careca, where you'll find fine bodies working up a thirst playing beach soccer and volleyball, and then quenching it with ice-cold Brahma beers while chilling under yellow umbrellas.

Hookup potential: Through the roof. When you're wondering if you should invite along a romantic interest on your trip to Brazil, first consider the local saying, "Why bring sand to the beach?" Natal, with a population of around a million people, doesn't see a lot of tourists, so chances are the trim, black-haired surfer dudes and dark-skinned, white-teethed garotas in tiny bikinis will be very pleased to show you around.

Privacy rating: 1. This scene is all about showing off.

Pillow talk: Natal can be a bit rough around the edges, so go for the service and comfort of the Pestana Natal, which has three pools just off the beach and a staff that mostly speaks English. It's also where you can hire a dune-buggy driver who's less maluco ("insane") than most.

Pestana Natal
Tel: 55 84 3220 8900
Doubles from $110

14. Site: Lake Nyasa, Mozambique

Bring the heat: This is the interior of Africa, but looking over a sealike expanse of clear liquid blue, you wouldn't believe it. The ninth-largest freshwater lake in the world touches Mozambique, Tanzania, and Malawi (where it's called Lake Malawi). Gaudy beach tourism? Not a whisper of it—remote, pristine, sublime.

Select sand: A clean white beach that squeaks as you walk along it, this is unlike any lakefront you'd recognize. And with waters so clear they cry out for snorkeling expeditions to see bright fish, it's unlike any lake you'll find in North America, either.

Hookup rating: Unless you count the leopards and elephants in the neighboring Manda Wilderness Preserve (your lodge will set up a safari), the only game you'll be stalking is the lovely creature sharing your chalet.

Privacy: 6.9. The lake is quiet, with just the occasional fisherman gliding by, and the Manda Nkwichi Lodge accommodates only 14 at a time. With the leopards about, however, it might be best not to wander into the woods alone.

Pillow talk: An eco-lodge that can only be reached by boat over the lake, Manda Nkwichi has seven modest cottages amid the trees. They have outside showers and hammocks, and the staff will set up private dinners on the shore.

Manda Nkwichi Lodge
E-mail: mdw01@bushmail.net
Doubles $480 per person per night, including meals and some activities

15. Site: Fire Island, New York

Bring the heat: If the Hamptons can feel stuffy or elitist, 31-mile-long Fire Island, along Long Island's south coast, is the friendlier, easygoing alternative. Each stretch of beach attracts its own demographic—Fire Island Pines, the gay crowd; Ocean Beach, the young professionals—but instead of long lines at nightclubs, it's all about house parties. Drinks in the hot tub, anyone?

Select sand: Which demographic are you looking for? Both Ocean Beach and the Pines see some very outré goings-on along the surf—and it's easy to take the action back to the rental house. For a wide, classic East Coast beach that attracts all kinds, the five-mile stretch in Robert Moses State Park is a good bet.

Hookup rating: You're single? Why, so is Jake. And Sally. And seven other people in the house. See you in the hot tub?

Privacy: 0. The other people in the house will know everything by morning.

Pillow talk: This is a house-rental world. You can book a week at a time, or for the entire summer. A good place to start is to take a look at FireIsland.com or a directory such as vacationrentals.com, which allows you to contact the owners directly.

VacationRentals.com
Two-bedroom cottages from $1,000 per week

16. Site: Peter Island, British Virgin Islands

Bring the heat: Eight miles long and a half mile wide, this private island's sole apparent purpose is to provide you with a postcard-perfect backdrop for making out with the one you love (or at least the one you brought).

Select sand: Deadman's Bay is the beach to beat, and it's right out your door. A classic U-shaped stretch of golden sand with views to Tortola, it's the kind of place you'd wash up on after walking the plank of a pirate ship—if you also happened to be starring in a Hollywood movie.

Hookup potential: Strictly couples only. Unless you don't mind being a third wheel among googly-eyed honeymooners.

Privacy rating: 5. Deadman's Bay is bustling, but make your way to White Bay Beach on the windward side for pounding surf and private nooks. Resort staff will set up a fancy picnic lunch on the sand and then leave.

Image: Peter Island Resort, in the British Virgin Islands
Barnini Chakraborty  /  AP file
Eight miles long and a half mile wide, this private island's sole apparent purpose is to provide you with a postcard-perfect backdrop for making out with the one you love.

Pillow talk: Peter Island Resort is the only option. Happily, it's a good one, with fewer than 150 guests and lots of space to play in. The simple A-frame villas have bright splashes of Caribbean color inside—more fun than chic. And nobody will mind if you spread the sand around.

Peter Island Resort
Tel: 800 346 4451 (toll-free)
Doubles from $575, including meals and on-island activities

17. Site: Krabi, Thailand

Bring the heat: Get a load of all that drama: those lances of limestone that tower hundreds of feet out of the sea; the sea caves; the intense color of the water. Love at first sight.

Select sand: The embarrassment of sandy riches is the main reason people travel so far to Krabi and its neighboring Andaman Sea islands—and the reason they return time and time again. But once you arrive, you'll find that the best beach, Phra Nang, can only be reached by boat.

Hookup rating: Forget about having to set the mood with embellishments like candles and wine. This place is the mood.

Privacy: 5. Krabi is no longer off the map, so you'll have to share. Once you get back to your private balcony, though ...

Pillow talk: Rayavadee is mad fancy, with 98 two-story rooms spread over 26 verdant acres; there's a spa, four restaurants, and yada, yada, yada. What you'll most care about is the to-die-for location, at the very edge of Krabi Marine National Park.

Rayavadee
Tel: 66 2301 1850
Doubles from $600

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments