Travel is one of the best ways to connect with a partner. Whether discovering a similar love for exotic cuisines, taking in soul-stirring views side-by-side, or braving thrilling outdoor feats together, shared experiences often beget fond new memories that can be talked about for years to come.
Even the very nature of travelling in unfamiliar environments means having no one to rely on but each other, thus building trust and respect. So whether you and your other half are the sort who enjoy stargazing in the Maldives or going on an off-road desert safari in Qatar, here are some of our suggestions for the best activities for couples on holiday.
The Maldives is one of the world’s most alluring destinations: a remote archipelago of sun-drenched specks laced by flour-soft sands and teal waters. It’s undoubtedly an underwater paradise, but at night, it’s the sky that steps into the limelight. At the heart of North Male Atoll, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru offers some of the most magical stargazing to backdrop a romantic evening, with constellations from both the northern and southern hemispheres visible.
Amidst the mist-shrouded mountains and vertiginous rice terraces of Bali in Indonesia, lies the perfect way to disconnect with everyday life, and reconnect with each other. Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape, tucked within lush tropical jungle, offers a unique ‘no-walls, no-doors’ adults-only retreat where couples can bond over yoga under the moonlight, bathe beneath secluded waterfalls, and dine by candlelight to the soundtrack of the forest.
Tour the world with your palate and eat like a local in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The city is known for its street food as much as its skyscrapers and tourist attractions, so skip the fancy restaurants and hit coffeeshops instead to try a variety of roti canai, nasi kandar, pan mee, and satay.
In Korea, kim chi (fermented cabbage) may be a well-known and widely consumed delicacy, but it’s not the only dish to hunt down while travelling in Seoul. Tuck into a bowl of cold buckwheat noodles known as naengmyeon – traditionally eaten in the winter due to the low-maintenance buckwheat crop, or a quintessential bindaetteok (mung bean pancake) that once fed the poor but has now become popular on most menus.
In Saudi Arabia, zarb is a mainstay. This age-old culinary tradition is a Bedouin barbecue, where chicken, goat or lamb is slow cooked along with vegetables in underground ovens. The tender meat is typically served with plates of creamy hummus, paper-thin ragag bread and salads, then washed down with Arabic mint tea. Enjoy this traditional feast to the sounds of a local storytelling spinning tales under the stars when you stay at Banyan Tree AIUla.
Hugging Morocco’s northeast coast, Tamouda Bay is a world away from bustling Marrakech – and ideal for couples after an adrenaline rush. Hire mountain bikes from Banyan Tree Tamouda Bay and cycle the 22 kilometres of trails that unfurl from the scenic mountain-rimmed shores of Smir Lake.
Alternatively, Li River near Yangshuo in China offers an adventure in an ethereal landscape, sculpted by towering karst spires and forest-clad mountains, reflected in mirror-like waters. The scenery is best viewed from a bamboo raft, traditionally used by fishermen and farmers.
In Doha, Qatar, shift up the gears with a thrilling 4WD desert safari and bounce across undulating dunes in a cloud of sand, grinding to a halt beside the Inland Sea. This off-road adventure is an exceptional way to explore this curious landscape of desert and water, speckled pink with migratory flamingos at wintertime.
Longjing green tea has been produced in the plantations of Hangzhou, China, for over a millennium, and is now one of the most renowned and valuable teas in the country. Learn about its roots and historical significance through a traditional tea ceremony, or visit Lingyin Temple for insights into zen tea culture – tea harvested, prepared and drank by monks to aid enlightenment.
In Indonesia, the age-old fishing heritage of Senggarang is reflected in the traditional stilted fishermen’s houses strung along its shores, believed to belong to the Chinese immigrants who settled in Bintan in the 1700s. The rustic village is a 15-minute pompong (water taxi) journey from Tanjung Pinang, about an hour’s drive from Banyan Tree Bintan.
Walk the ancient Tulum Ruins in Mexico – one of the most dramatically located archaeological sites on earth, with the fortified city scattered across a clifftop. Inhabited from 564 AD, Tulum was a maritime power for centuries but deserted after the Spanish conquest. Nature clawed back the city, and it was only rediscovered in the mid-1800s.
Come Closer on a trip to one of our enchanting destinations around the world, with exquisite romantic retreat packages for two.