The sun is shining and the waves are lapping at the sand. Just beyond the lounge chairs and palm trees, a gaggle of beautiful people with perfect tans and lush hair gyrate to music wafting from a pair of seaside speakers. It is, in short, a dream holiday. What's more, it's free, 100 percent ecofriendly and available any time. All you need is ... a broadband connection.

Old-fashioned travelers might bristle at the notion of a cyberspace beach resort, where the beauties in bikinis are the animated avatars of people sitting behind computer screens (and probably wearing sweat pants). But to the more than 5 million players in the absorbing world of the online game Second Life (SL), where shimmering oases do exist, this is nothing less than a real vacation. Cyber resorts, they argue, come with all the escapist benefits of any real-world holiday: a new perspective, stunning scenery and plenty of ready romance. But these vacations also promise things that real travel can't: no jet lag, hassles or crowds, perfect companions and the chance to visit Hollywood, Cairo and Rome all in the same day.

A growing number of cutting-edge cyber-entrepreneurs are betting that virtual reality could soon be the hottest holiday destination of all.

Get the full story at Newsweek