The 10 Most Romantic Destinations You've Never Heard Of

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couple exploring italy

It's no secret that places like Paris and Rome rank high on the scale of the best romantic vacations for couples.

So if you're looking for somewhere truly exotic to get away to, somewhere a bit more obscure, why not let us help you?

Whether you need some serious snuggle time in the sunshine of the southern hemisphere, or the adrenaline rush of a foreign city, look no further than these 10 under-the-radar locales.

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Let the romance of these far-flung romantic vacations and destinations lull you and your partner back into love

1. Colchagua Valley, Chile

Move over Napa, Chile has a growing and gorgeous wine region dotted with 54,000 acres of vineyards and 5-star hotels. Colchagua Valley is the star of this show, with about a dozen high-quality wineries to tour and a museum of arts from the early Americas. Don't leave without tasting the region's star red wine, the Cabernet Sauvignon.

Where to stay: The Casa Silva Hotel is a small boutique hotel with luxury touches plus its own wine bar, well-rated restaurant, and vineyards, through which guests can take a romantic carriage ride.

2. Nyungwe, Rwanda

Rwanda isn't the first place that comes to mind when you think of romance, but picture this: hiking trails nestled in a lush rainforest surrounded by green hills as far as you can see. The Parc National Nyungwe Forest is East Africa's largest protected high-altitude rainforest, located in southern Rwanda, and is home to more than 13 different species of monkeys, among other exotic creatures.

Where to stay: The 5-Star Nyungwe Forest Lodge offers private villas with fireplaces, private balconies, and very sexy in-room Jacuzzis, plus a communal infinity pool, all situated on a tea plantation on the edge of the Nyungwe Forest.

3. Muscat, Oman

Another unexpected addition to the list, Oman is exotic, sweet, and sexy, with Muscat as its chic capital. Rich in history (archeologists have found remains from the 6th century BC), this port city offers stroll-able souks (markets) and ancient walled towns plus simple, fresh cuisine, the Al Hajar Mountains to the west, and the Gulf of Oman to the east.

Where to stay: The Chedi, a Leading Hotel of the World situated on the Gulf, has everything from BOSE Sound systems to rain showers to make guests feel pampered. The suites are idyllic and luxurious, with complimentary cocktail hours and lavish breakfasts.

4. Grindavik, Iceland

Just a half-hour drive from Reykjavik, Iceland's capital and largest city, you can find total relaxation in a geothermal spa known as the Blue Lagoon. The steamy blue pool in Grindavik was originally part of a lava formation and now hosts a cozy sauna, silica mud treatments, and a cave-like geothermal steam bath. And because it's heated by nature, even during the winter, the lagoon stays at a balmy 98 degrees Fahrenheit so you can stay outside and enjoy the gorgeous Icelandic skies.

Where to stay: Hotel Borg, in Reykjavik, was Iceland's first luxury hotel when built in the 1930s and though updated, retains an Art Deco charm. Its luxury Tower Suite is booked a year in advance.

5. Gibraltar

Even though this peninsula — a British territory located in southern Spain — is thought to be one of the oldest areas of the world, it's not often thought of as a romantic destination. But its chic beaches, unique culture, and ancient roots make Gibraltar no standard beach getaway.

Where to stay: The Rock Hotel, a colonial-style resort and one of the most well-known throughout the Mediterranean sit on the top of the island with absolutely amazing views of both Spain and Morocco. The hotel offers British touches such as manicured gardens and high tea.

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6. Macau

If you want an exotic vacation in China but aren't ready to fully commit to the Far East, Macau is your sexy getaway. A little bit Hong Kong and a little bit Vegas, you'll find a clever mix of busy Cantonese markets and glittering casinos on this island.

For a really romantic stay, though, step away from the nightlife and spend an evening in Coloane, a waterfront neighborhood that played host to pirates in the early 1900s but now is chocked full of delicious food and colonial charm. Whatever you do, don't miss sharing one of Lord Stowe's sweet egg tarts while strolling past the chapel of St. Francis Xavier.

Where to stay: The Westin Resort in Macau signature amenities — full-service spa, luxury workout center, and trademark Heavenly Bed you'll never want to leave — all situated in Coloane directly on the South China Sea.

7. Catanzaro, Italy

What's more romantic than draping yourself in silk and velvet? How about doing that in Italy? Forget Rome, Naples, and the Amalfi Coast and head south, way down south, to Catanzaro, a former industrial town still known for its luxe fabrics, with sweeping coastlines and astonishing Byzantine architecture.

Take a stroll in idyllic public gardens or tour one of the Calabria region's best historic sites, a 16th-century cathedral housing art just as old as the remaining tower of Norman Castle. Even if you simply enjoy the views from this peninsula, you're guaranteed intimacy other Italian cities lack.

Where to stay: Check out the 4-star Hotel Palace for seafront luxury, proximity (the hotel is on Catanzaro's beachfront promenade), and amenities such as an on-site Turkish bath.

8. The Maldives

Looking for the most beautiful beach in the world? You'll find a contender in the Maldives. But although the natural beauty of porcelain sands and turquoise water are stunning enough to warrant a vacation, the activities this chain of islands offers to guarantee you and your partner a sexy adrenaline rush, too.

Dive through Indian Ocean coral reefs, surf 8-foot waves, or take a sunset boat trip out to a secluded fishing spot. The laid-back luxury and organic atmosphere of the Maldives will stick with you months after you return home.

Where to stay: The Four Seasons Maldives offers sunrise and sunset views, beachfront villas with private pools, a full-service spa, and five different restaurants.

9. Hvar, Croatia

Croatia's gift to couples and travelers is enchanting Adriatic nightlife, fairytale-like architecture, and historic cathedrals just minutes from desolate Adriatic Sea beaches.

To really get in the mood, go see some stars. Hvar has one of the most beautiful observatories in the world, situated on top of a hill in an old French neighborhood. Or, tempt your taste buds with the deliciously fresh seafood the Croatians pride themselves on; the seafood risotto is a not-to-miss.

Where to stay: Hotel Podstine offers its own private beach, plus a spa and other luxury touches, all a 15-minute walk to central Hvar.

10. Pueblito Paisa, Colombia

Colombia has a nice hidden secret in Medellin. This rough, sprawling urban destination is known for its powers of the industry but has recently become a hub of ex-pats and artists alike.

The best spot in the city? Hightail it with your honey to Pueblito Paisa, a recreation of an old Antioquian village where street vendors sell arepas and musicians walk the streets playing tunes. You won't find more stunning views elsewhere in the city; on a crystal clear night, you’ll get a 360-degree look at the lights and sounds of Medellin.

Where to stay: The Intercontinental Medellin features pools, a spa, tennis courts, and an on-site pastry shop within a couple of miles of Pueblito Paisa.

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Annemarie Dooling is a YourTango contributor who writes about love and travel.