Sometimes you just want to get away from it all and forget the responsibilities, commitments, and time constraints that have a hold on your daily life. You may be physically there at your 9-to-5 job, but mentally you are on a beach or other exotic locale thousands of miles away. If you want to make this dream escape a genuine reality, several places in mind are perfect for relaxing and unwinding. Before you pick just any destination in the world, consider some of the most relaxing countries to visit. That way, you can embark on your much-deserved vacation to some peace and quiet paired with spectacular nature, beautiful sunsets, and glistening waters.
40. Cape Elizabeth, Maine, provides coastal calm and beachy vibes.
The coastal town of Cape Elizabeth in Maine can be considered a mecca of pure relaxation with light breezes and the Atlantic Ocean along its sandy beaches and ruggedly beautiful cliffs nearby the shores. It is home to the historic lighthouse known as the Cape Elizabeth Lights, or Two Lights, active since 1874. There is tons of historic charm and architecture to take the gorgeous sights while you dine on a lobster roll (via CNN Travel).
39. Nayara Springs, Costa Rica, has private villas that feel like your own bubble.
Costa Rica is world-famous for its spectacular sights and beautiful rainforests. If you want to find a spot to relax in the lap of luxury, you should check out the adults-only resort Nayara Springs. It is home to a cluster of various private lavishly built villas that have views that are to die for. Take a peek outside of your room and witness the lush rainforest and the peak of Arenai. The resort also has its own plunge pool heated by nearby hot springs. You will swear you have stepped inside your own private bubble. You will be glad you took a chance to unwind and melt your cares away (via CNN Travel).
38. Provenance, France is a haven with lots of options.
If you are looking for a relaxing getaway from what you are used to, there are few better options than Provence, France. The narrow country lanes can lead the way to off-the-beaten paths, roadways to remote vineyards, and particular paths with the hazy view of the Alps nearby. The Mediterranean Sea borders Provence, and its soothing atmosphere is ideal for travelers who want to escape the chaos without ditching civilization too much. There is plenty to do. You can take a bike ride, attend a wine tasting at a vineyard cave, or plan a picnic in the beautiful French countryside (via CNN Travel).
37. Halong Bay, Vietnam, is great for those who love the sea.
Those who love blue and green waters should consider a relaxing trip to Halong Bay in Vietnam. The emerald waters are world-famous, and their picturesque beauty is unparalleled to anything else you will ever see. You can spend some of your days out on the sea or take a junk boat tour or sea kayak expedition to nearby islets. You can also take the time to explore the various limestone islands and nearby rainforests. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which means it is home to many plants and animals (via Travel and Leisure).
36. Lumahai Beach, Kauai, Hawaii, is home to a white sand beach.
Located on the north shore of Kauai, Lumahai is a literal paradise on earth. Travelers who want to escape the workweek grind can easily find a white sand beach to lounge in the sun. You can soak up some rays or catch a few rays along with other experienced surfers. Because it is off the beaten path, this relaxing destination is often less populated than other Hawaiian beaches, so you are likely to get your time out without the overwhelming stress of a crowd (via Travel and Leisure).
35. Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada, has majestic mountain views.
If you love the outdoors, you can hardly go wrong with a trip to The Great White North. Located in the Banff National Park, Lake Louise has turquoise crystalline lakes. If you like camping and hiking, you will enjoy the amazing blue waters as you gaze at the spectacular mountain views that may seem too good to be real. Plan a relaxing vacation at any time during the year as Lake Louise also offers ski resorts and skating rinks during the winter season (via The Travel).
34. Seven Sisters, East Sussex, England, is storybook scenery come to life.
The Seven Sisters line the English Channel coast. The sea has eroded the series of chalk sea cliffs, and each of the cliffs has its own names, but why they are named that way remains unknown. The rolling green hills make it seem like the scenery has jumped right off the page of your favorite piece of British literature. Take a stroll along the cliffs and enjoy the quintessential English countryside that most only read about in Victorian novels (via The Travel).
33. Whitehaven Beach, Australia, is a blue-and-white marvel.
One of the best beaches in Australia is the perfect place for some rest and relaxation. Consistently ranked as one of the top 10 beaches globally, Whitehaven has pure white silica sand that stands out in contrast to its blue-green waters. Travelers who opt to venture north to Hill Inlet will be able to see a swirl of the white and blue when the shifting sands meet the water. The beach is located on Whitsunday Island, which you can reach by boat, seaplane, or helicopter. There are plenty of snorkeling opportunities for you to take in the abundance of sea life, including 1,600 species of tropical fish, turtles, dolphins, and other ocean creatures (via Travel and Leisure).
32. Saruni Samburu Safari Camp, Kenya, is a nature lover’s dream.
The adventurous types may want to walk on the wild side when relaxing. Located in the heart of Africa’s unspoiled wilderness, Saruni Samburu Safari puts you right in the middle of the Kenya countryside. Visitors are offered the chance to journey through the remote safari camp and enjoy the swanky spoils of the resort. It offers trips through the savannah, where you can bird watch and enjoy the view of natural wildlife in their home habitat. Other accommodations include a Wellness Space with a pool, spa, and dining area (via CNN Travel).
31. Sanur, Bali, Indonesia, offers a relaxing escape.
Few places on the planet can compare to Bali and some of the best things to do involve different ways to relax while you gape at the natural beauty. Several beaches and historical landmarks, including the Le Mayeur Museum, a ghost town, and the Blanjong inscription. The landmark and charming ambiance include Sanur Beach, one of Bali’s first vacation areas. You can also stroll along some of the expansive coastlines while you stay in one of the island’s oldest hotels or boutique resorts. Capturing one of those gorgeous and colorful sunsets or sunrises is a must for anyone who wants to get away from it all and melt away (via The Travel).
30. Blue Lagoon, Iceland, is a place to really chill out.
Known as one of the 25 wonders of the world, the Blue Lagoon in Iceland is a wondrous sight and popular tourist attraction. The geothermal spa is attached to a luxurious resort known the world over. It is also located in a lava field, where visitors can soak in warm waters even when the temperatures are hovering around the freezing mark. You can wash all your troubles away, and if you time your relaxing vacation just right, you can even see certain parts of the Northern Lights at night during certain times of the year. This beautiful spot is definitely worth the hype (via The Travel).
29. Hoh Rain Forest, Olympic National Forest, Washington, is a wonder near the ocean.
The Amazon may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of rain forest, but it is certainly not the only one. The state of Washington is home to four rain forests, including one of the lushest and wettest places on the planet. The Hoh Rain Forest is the most northern rain forest globally and is located on the Olympic Peninsula. The ecosystem has remained unchanged for thousands and thousands of years. If you love hiking, you will be amazed at the hundred-foot-tall trees that are bursting with pops of greenery all around them. The best part about this outside wonder is that you can get your relaxation in on a budget, as long as you bring your camping accommodations (via USA Today).
28. Easter Island in Chile is more than just a bunch of pretty faces.
The remote volcanic island is most famous for the mysterious towering heads, but Easter Island has so much more in store. It is one of the most remote places in the entire world, and it covers just 170 square kilometers in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. Not only is it gorgeous here, but there is a lot of rich history, and the Rapa Nui people created thousands of moal monuments. Those who like to hike will love to travel to the top of Mount Terevaka, where they can see an endless horizon of the beautiful sea (via USA Today).
27. The bothies in Scotland are perfect for mountain lovers.
A relaxing vacation can be made even better when you find like-minded travelers. Enjoy the simple natural life while traveling across the Scottish Highlands. Hikers can find solace and shelter in remote cabins known as bothies. These networks allow those who love nature to enjoy the countryside without worrying about accommodations, and you simply wake up and hike to the next bothy. The shelters are basic, raw, and rugged, and they are often found in remote mountains areas. So, if you like adventure and the great outdoors, look no further than this fantastic trip (via USA Today).
26. Ise Jingu in Japan is gorgeous enough for a god.
If you want to visit Japan and desire a tranquil place where you can forget all of your problems, look no further than Ise Jingu. The grand Shinto shrine was dedicated to the Japanese goddess Amaterasu. Legend has it that an emperor had received instructions while he was dreaming of establishing the shrine so the sun goddess could be served her meals. This is a popular tourist attraction, but the shrine complex maintains its peace and quiet because it is considered one of the holiest places in the entire country. A relaxing trip to Ise Jingu may be just the ticket to help you emerge feeling refreshed (via CNN Travel).
25. Zermatt in Switzerland provides fresh air and new spa treatments.
While the place may be synonymous with snow sports, Zermatt can be the ideal place to relax throughout the calendar year. Car-free streets lead to the resort and other aspects of this laid-back feel. The trails lead up to the iconic mountain range and allow you to enjoy the scenery. Fresh air can do you some good, especially if you can indulge in massages, facials, and a relaxing dip in a soothing Jacuzzi. A journey here is the perfect way to tap into nature, get away from it all, and enjoy every minute (via CNN Travel).
Vis Island is the farthest inhabited island in Croatia. Surrounded by the stunning azure sea, visitors are invited to step right into the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. It is another place rich in history, as the Yugoslav Army base used the area for four decades until the locals abandoned it. It sat empty until 1989, but the isolation did wonders to keep the unspoiled charms from being touched. There are sandy beaches and a 4th-century bronze head of the goddess Artemis. You should also check out the St. Jerome’s Church and Monastery, built over an ancient Roman theater (via The Guardian).
23. Fogo Island in Canada feels like a land lost in time.
When you first step off the ferry from Farewell and descend on the Newfoundland coast, you will swear you have traveled back in time. Fogo Island is a place to forget all of your cares and enjoy life off the beaten path. There are 11 different unique communities, including the traditional Irish village of Tilting. You can stroll across wooden docks and scenic trails off sea-cliff footpaths. There is even a Caribbean-like beach with white sands and crystal-clear waters. Many art galleries are run right out of the locals’ homes. You can even witness icebergs in the late spring and watch a herd of caribou enjoy the nature around the beautiful area and lush forests.
22. Nordfjord has some of the finest scenery in all of Norway.
The northernmost fjord in all of Norway is simply breathtaking. You are welcome to take a long pleasure cruise along its waters or marvel at the vast array of spectacular sights in just a two-hour trip, including glaciers, mountains, and other natural resources. You can enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, surfing, and skiing. It is the perfect destination for someone who wants to get back to themselves while reconnecting with nature. The possibilities are endless in Nordfjord for an active yet relaxing break from it all. There are several resorts available to make the trip that much more pleasurable.
21. Sedona, Arizona, has healing properties right from the desert.
Few places can be as awe-inspiring as Sedona, Arizona. Even if you think that the desert does not have anything to offer, you do not want to miss out on Sedona. The spectacular red rock desert landscape has an unbeatable vibe as warm and inviting as you could ask for. Said to have natural healing energy vortexes strewn throughout the area, Sedona is home to numerous resorts and luxury spas, so take your pick and enjoy the pinnacle of relaxation. It is also famous for its beautiful red rocky cliffs. Because there is a lack of light pollution and the town’s high altitude, you will be able to take in some fantastic stargazing as you have never witnessed before (via The Travel).
20. The Maldives has hundreds of tropical islands.
The Maldives off of Sri Lanka is heaven on earth. Countless white sand beaches are perfectly framed by the gorgeous waters of the Indian Ocean. It was named one of the top spa destinations globally, with a whole host of luxurious resorts that are ready and willing to pamper you. No matter what place you choose, you are sure to be up to your neck in top-of-the-line treatments. One such place – Kuramathi Maldives – specializes in traditional Asian therapies. It is also conveniently located next to some pristine beaches and a nearby diving center. You may also want to check out the lavish bungalow accommodations at Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives and the to-die-for cuisine and soothing spa (via Backpacker Travel).
19. Navagio Beach, Greece, is an impromptu ship graveyard and a castle.
You can take your relaxing vacation to the next level at one of the most gorgeous beaches in all of Greece. Navagio Beach is on one of the largest of the Ionian Islands. It’s a bit smaller, but the charm will make your vacation stories worth telling. The area was once known as the Agio Georgios, and it became a ship graveyard when several pieces washed up on shores in 1980, giving it the nickname “Shipwreck Beach.” Other lovely sights include marble cliffs and pristine white sand. You can also check out the ruins of the Venetian Castle or enjoy a private boat tour (via Travel and Leisure).
18.Ananda in the Himalayas is a mecca for meditation.
Found within the beautiful Himalayas, the Ananda is most known for its balancing and fantastic relaxation features. Anyone looking to book their relaxing trip there can enjoy many unique treatments and routines, including yoga and spa services. Even the fine food will have you feeling like you have entered nirvana. Many come with a specific purpose in mind: yoga immersion, weight loss, stress management, or detox. The Ananda is huge, 24,000 square feet, with 24 treatment rooms, hydrotherapy facilities, an outdoor swimming pool, a sauna, and a fitness center. One program blends personal training with Ayurvedic therapies, yoga, and meditation (via The Travel).
17. Tuscany, Italy, is rich in culture and relaxation.
There is something about Tuscany that speaks to potential tourists worldwide. Italy is rich in culture, and the food and wine are some of the most delicious delicacies on the planet. What makes Tuscany so unique is that you can enjoy a small-town charm in one of the quaint little villas strewn throughout the countryside. Some of the activities you can book in Tuscany include a lesson from a master cook, a day of pampering at a thermal spa, a yoga or meditation class, or a day sipping wine in the local vineyards (via The Travel).
16. Palm Springs, California, is the Golf Capital of the World.
California is a hot spot for tourists, and it is understandable why everyone wants to soak up some rays on the West Coast. Nevertheless, few places offer the variety and effort for total relaxation like Palm Springs. It is the place to be to get away from hot springs, hotels, and Hollywood, along with other sunny weather favorites. They call the city the Golf Capital of the World, but other sports are also finding their way there. The popularity of Palm Springs is a must for anyone who wants to pamper their life and see what it is like for the rich and famous, even if it is for just a short trip (via The Travel).
15. Kamalaya in Koh Samui, Thailand can help you find emotional balance.
The upscale Kamalaya Koh Samui in Thailand offers views that you cannot see anywhere else in the world. With the beautiful country as its backdrop, this relaxing destination resort offers several relaxation programs designed to find the emotional balance in your life. There are yoga, destressing techniques, and meditation. The resort is just a three-minute walk from the coast and six kilometers from the Wat Khunaram temple. The rooms are elegant with hardwood floors, and many come with garden views. You can also check into a beachfront villa with a private pool and garden with tropical trees. You can also dine in a restaurant that specializes in healthy food. Talk about a treat of a retreat!
14. Haramara Retreat in Sayulita, Mexico, renews the mind and the body.
Located in Sayulita, the Haramara Retreat is situated right on the foot of the Playa Escondida. It is known for its dedication to helping others through holistic wellness and deep relaxation, stressing the importance of renewing the body and the mind. The beautiful cabanas have a view of the beautiful Pacific Ocean. A team of experienced therapists provides personalized remedies to support visitors on their healing journeys. Yoga classes stabilize the nervous system, healthy meals designed to strengthen physically and psychologically, and other treatments to transform your mind to another plain (via The Travel).
13. Granada, Spain, has its own vibe and mid-day naps.
Europe is often a popular vacation destination, but one of the best places to visit may not be the one you immediately think of. The culture, vibe, and views of Granada are the biggest draws of this gorgeous city. How can you go wrong with a place that is famous for its mid-day siestas? It is a perfect mix of stress-free atmosphere with European flair. You can also take in the various architectural and artistic monuments, churches, hospitals, and buildings that pay homage to the Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical periods (via The Travel).
12. Whitefish Mountain, Montana, is for the adventurous types.
If your definition of relaxing is best spent exploring the outdoor world around you, then you should take a trip to Whitefish Mountain in Montana. This is a great nature getaway for the adventurous types who would rather spend the day breathing in the mountain air instead of in the middle of a yoga or wellness resort. There are endless opportunities for activities in summer or winter. You can ski, ride a mountain bank, hike, or fish – whatever you like! Whitefish can be the nature lover’s playground and perfect escape to get away from the workweek. The nearby Glacier National Park has a quiet, small-town charm to help you further melt your cares away (via The Travel).
There is a lot to love about Langkawi, Malaysia. Those who dig the great outdoors can find solace in the Langkawi archipelago and its staggering limestone cliffs and other gorgeous natural resources. The relaxing destination is the premiere geopark in southeast Asia, filled with biodiversity, including towering mountains and intricate caves. Get up close to an actual waterfall and swim in natural pools. Alternatively, encounter real wildlife and flamingos at the Langkawi Wildlife and Bird Paradise. You can look for eagles on the beaches, take mangrove tours, see the sights in a cable car or just soak up the sun and let the rest of the world fade away. The soft sands are a great way to sunbathe and watch the sunset over the horizon. How you spend your day is up to you (via Insight Guides).
10. The Dead Sea in Jordan will awaken your interests.
Jordan is one of the few places on the planet that see year-round sunshine, and the Dead Sea features beautiful cobalt waters heavy with salt and oils. You can savor one of the beauty treatments the area is famous for at a luxury mineral spa. You can further pamper yourself by booking a variety of therapies, including rejuvenating natural mud wraps and milk baths. Another regional favorite is a Dead Sea salt scrub, where local waters exfoliate the skin to help you feel refreshed and ready to take on whatever is next (via Insight Guides).
9. Mount Lassen Volcanic National Park in California offers a plethora of options.
It may seem like an odd choice for a Californian vacation, but if you want to unplug, get off the grid and get away for a while, consider the charming and elusive option of Mount Lassen Volcanic National Park in California. The area is rich in hydrothermal sites, like Bumpass Hell and its acres of bubbling mud pots. The summit of this mountain overlooks the vast wilderness. The Devastated Area has several lava rocks throughout that were there from the last eruption. The travel of a gem has meadows with wildfires, clear mountain lakes, and several volcanoes. You can stay in rustic bungalow cabins that do not have electricity, and other activities include horseback riding and hot springs (via Insight Guides).
8. Hangzhou, China, has beautiful slow-paced energy.
Known as the most relaxing city in China, Hangzhou will satisfy the inner romantic in you. The resorts specialize in slow-paced energy with the lush and lavish green mountains and pavilions as their backdrop. The capital of China’s Zhejiang province is located in the southern terminus of the waterway known as the Grand Canal. West Lake also remains Hangzhou’s most popular attraction, celebrated by artists and poets for centuries. Surrounding the body of water are temples, gardens, and arched bridges, as well as the five-story marvelous Leifeng Pagoda (via Insight Guides).
Amsterdam is famous worldwide for its laidback and chill environment. You can do it all or absolutely nothing. The relaxation comes naturally within the city, and tourists can take their time enjoying the views by walking or riding a bicycle. Amsterdam is home to several top-notch museums if you want to see the sights, or you can take in the technicolor tulips at the Keukenhof. Alternatively, you can lay back and drift along the canal thanks to the cruise options. Meander through the streets of Jordaan, and you will likely peruse through several boutiques and specialty shops (via Backpacker Travel).
6. Antigua has beautiful beaches for each day of the year.
It may seem too hard to stand out, especially with so many gorgeous places in the Caribbean, but Antigua rises to the occasion with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The gem of an island is so laidback that you can’t help but catch its irresistible vibe. There are 365 beaches throughout, so you could hypothetically visit a different one each day for a year. Each specializes in various activities, like surfing and water sports, and Half Moon Beach is known for those who enjoy peace and quiet (via Backpacker Travel).
5. Galle in Sri Lanka welcomes you to walk among the ramparts.
The southwest coast of Sri Lanka lies a perfect city for the visitor who wants little luxury with their relaxing vacation. Galle is one of those places in Asia that has been preserved perfectly over time. There are colonial Galle Fort buildings that date back to when the Dutch owned the country, and there is plenty of Dutch influence throughout the city. Besides walking among the ramparts and taking in the history, the sightseeing options include visiting the old lighthouse. They rebuilt it in 1939 after a fire destroyed the original building. There is also an old Clock Tower that dates back to the 1800s (via Backpacker Travel).
4. Budapest is a place for bicycling and thermal baths.
Budapest has a little something for anyone willing to let it all go for a while. The relaxing destination has the superb River Danube and the palace that looks like it came straight from a fable. There are numerous hot spas and thermal baths. You can also take a ride around Margaret Island on a go-kart bike or sip cocktails while taking in the gorgeous sunset view after a day of sampling Hungarian food on a foot tour of the city. Don’t forget to watch a show at the world-renowned Budapest Opera House (via Backpacker Travel).
The splendid city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates has a little something for everyone. From beautiful beaches to spectacular shopping centers, you are sure to find something to keep your mind off your troubles during your visit there. There are several lavish inns, including Atlantis the Palm, where service is incredible. There are waterparks, safaris, and skiing options for those who want to take their trip to the next level. For sightseeing, check out the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo to see more than 140 species of marine animals as well as a few rare creatures like the Dwarf Crocodile and the lionfish (via Backpacker Travel).
Vienna is a great place to escape if you need the opportunity to recharge. This Austrian city is filled to the brim with European charm, art, and culture, and you won’t have to deal with the hassle of other bigger cities. There are several historical places, cozy coffee shops, peaceful museums, and delicious food to partake. You can walk through the town on its cobblestone streets and discover all the sights at your own pace. In Vienna, visit the sunflowers at the Volksgarten Pavillon, the saunas and thermal treatments at the Therme Wien Oberlaa, and the flower gardens at the Augarten, among countless others.
1. Casa Palopo, Guatemala, features tons of natural wonders.
You can find a lot to love in Guatemala. It certainly has several natural wonders, and high on that list would be Lake Atitlan and its volcanic caldera. There is a relaxing hotel – Casa Palopo – in this highland lake location that allows you to take in sweeping views of the lake. This hotel was designed and inspired by the ancient Mayans. Dine in at the nearby restaurant, take a dip in the infinity pool, and stroll across the terrace, and you will swear you have thought you had died and gone to heaven (via Insight Guides).