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The dreamiest away-from-it-all destinations for far-flung sun

The crack-of-dawn journey to the airport, snoozing the hours away as you cross thousands of miles in the air, and that first warm gust of heat and tropical breeze as you disembark… there’s nothing quite like the blissful sensation of escaping it all to a far-flung corner of the world. Whether you’re craving the feeling of basking long, lazy hours in the hot sun or can’t wait to plan those long-awaited adventures across new landscapes, these long-haul getaways are just the ticket for reigniting the spirit of wanderlust.

Dubai, UAE. Credit: Getty Images/owngarden

Modern opulence in luxurious Dubai

Dubai is all about the high life, literally and metaphorically. From the dizzying heights of the Burj Khalifa to luxurious five-star hotels where you can unwind against a backdrop of elegance and contemporary sophistication, this desert haven is the perfect escape for those who enjoy the finer things in life.

It’s hard not to feel awed by the many glittering sights around you: enjoy the breathtaking views of the city skyline and take the perfect selfie against the iconic Dubai Frame, a giant structure towering against the blue skies, or choose to indulge in decadent retail therapy in the world’s largest and arguably most luxurious shopping mall. If you’re in the mood for a little peace and quiet, a desert safari with a traditional camel ride gives you the chance to gaze up at the vast starry sky, sparkling above the sands.

Puntarenas Sunset at Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. Image: iStock/Simon Dannhauer

Costa Rica’s tropical wonders

Swap the concrete jungle for a rather more exotic one, with an escape to Costa Rica’s stunning tropical landscape. If picture-perfect scenery around every corner, dense rainforests echoing with the calls of countless species, and blissful beaches combined with calm ocean waves sound like your cup of coconut water, then you’re in for a serious treat.

The country’s awe-inspiring landscape is filled with a rich diversity of natural beauty, from dramatic volcanoes to lush parks. It brims with waterfalls, countless species of animals, and a kaleidoscope of fragrant flowers. Hiking boots are a must to explore the diverse terrain, but don’t forget your beachwear: Costa Rica’s cashmere-soft sands are an idyllic place to soak up the sun before a refreshing dip in clear, turquoise waters. If you’re feeling more adventurous, pick up a surfboard instead, to ride some of the world’s best waves.

Kruger National Park, South Africa. Image: iStock/BirdImages

Take a walk on the wild side in South Africa

Home to majestic wildlife, South Africa’s vast savannah is an unforgettable sight, and Kruger National Park is one of the world’s most incredible bucket list destinations. Indulge your senses in the sights, sounds and scents of the open landscape around you: the magical view of the sun rising over the mountains, the gust of warm air against your face from your open-top safari vehicle, and even the delicious scent of a traditional South African braai in the evening.

None of this can prepare you for the spine-tingling, close-up sight of some of the most magnificent animals on the planet, including lions, zebras, leopards and giraffes striding across the plains. It’s an experience that will stay with you forever.

The Seychelles, Indian Ocean. Credit: iStock/RainervonBrandis

Idyllic desert island escapism in the Seychelles

Surrounded by such a captivating setting, all you’ll need to do is exhale and indulge in total tranquillity. There’s plenty to enjoy here, from enchanting snorkelling experiences amongst turtles and tropical fish, to sublime retreats where you can be pampered from head to toe. Best of all are the incredible ocean sunsets, perfected by the gentle breeze through the palm trees.

When you really want to leave it all behind you, the picturesque island haven that is the Seychelles may be just the ticket. An archipelago of over 100 islands, boasting pristine white-sand beaches, vivid turquoise waters, exotic flora and fauna, and golden sunshine aplenty, it’s hard not to feel like you’ve stumbled into paradise.