Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or a culture vulture, everyone wants some semblance of serenity when on holiday. After all, the point of getting away is to truly unplug and recharge. To inspire your next escape, here are five of our favourite holiday destinations where you can properly relax and unwind.
Vietnam’s Halong Bay
Vietnam is overflowing with peaceful, scenic spots, but Halong Bay is undoubtedly one of the country’s most beautiful and tranquil locations. The UNESCO World Heritage Site bay features more than 1,600 tiny limestone karsts and islets that rise out of the emerald green waters. Drop anchor and explore one of the many tiny fishing villages.
Experience it here: Highlights of Vietnam
Arguably the most famous of the French wine-growing regions, Bordeaux itself is an idyllic city that operates at an easy pace. Pull up a chair on the quayside and recline with a glass of local wine before ambling around the neoclassical architecture. For an even more authentic French wine experience, drive a little way east from Bordeaux through the Dordogne’s rolling vineyards to picture-postcard wine village, St Emilion or visit a French Chateau Estate.
Experience it here: Secrets of France
The island of Kauai is the oldest of Hawaii’s islands and one that’s blessed with the most beauty. The pace of life here is set to ilangud, so the moment your foot touches the sand you’ll feel totally refreshed. Rich in flora and fauna and covered with jagged mountainous peaks, Kauai is affectionately dubbed the ‘Garden Isle’ due to the verdant rainforest that carpets much of its surface. Go for a sunset swim in the warm waters along the Na Pali Coastline and recharge with the island’s ‘mana’ – spiritual essence.
Experience it here: Hawaii Four Island Adventure First Class
Iceland’s terrain may appear rugged and unforgiving in parts, but the island is home to some seriously serene spots. Perhaps the most restful of all is the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa located in a lava field on the Reykjanes Peninsula, in southwestern Iceland. Slip into the great oasis of relaxation with a cocktail in hand and let the mineral-rich warm waters do the work.
Experience it here: Northern Lights of Iceland Including the Blue Lagoon
Head to the fringes of Mandalay, beyond the main busy streets, and you’ll discover ancient temples and monasteries sitting among mist-covered hills. Visit the Mahamuni and Kuthodaw Pagodas and the teak-covered Shewnandawa Monastery – the only palace to survive WW2 bombing. Take a short drive out of Mandalay and you’ll arrive at the sedate, unspoilt town of Pakkoku, where you can locate a spot to contemplate your surroundings in peace.
Experience it here: Secrets of Myanmar
Inspired to escape one of these serene destinations? Click here to search for a relaxing Trafalgar tour.