Most Relaxing Holiday Destinations

Feeling burned out and want to escape somewhere peaceful and calming for a relaxing holiday? Don't make it worse by embarking on a frenzied search: we've identified some of the world's greatest spots to rest up and recharge.

No-sweat Normandy

Normandy, France.
Photo by Archangel12 under Creative Commons license.

If you fancy a short hop across the channel but would rather avoid the hustle and bustle of Paris or Amsterdam, Normandy is a great destination for an easy break. With attractions such as Mont Saint-Michel, the floral splendour of Claude Monet’s Garden and the historic site of the Normandy Landings, there’s something to see and do here whatever the weather.

Accommodation is also easy to come by, with options to suit all tastes: there’s a wealth of villas and small hotels to choose from, including the cheery painted houses at Belle Vue; an eco-friendly holiday village with laid-back activities on tap for the whole family.

Take it easy in Turkey

Kite surfers in Turkey.
Photo by Konstantin Zamkov under Creative Commons license.

The sun-drenched Turkish coast offers ample opportunities for a relaxing break, as long as you know where to look. You’ll need to avoid the bigger tourist hotspots and instead aim for the more unspoiled areas such as the Dacta Peninsula, which is popular with the yachting community and retains the character of a fishing village. Akyaka is another destination to consider for a relaxing holiday: it’s a quiet, traditional town that’s been granted protected status against modern development. For more inspiration, take a look at Rural Retreats to see what Turkey has to offer away from the hustle and bustle of the popular resorts.

Chill out in Cornwall

Cornwall, UK.

Foreign travel can sometimes add stress to an otherwise relaxing break so for those who want to stay closer to home, Cornwall is a good no-sweat bet. Brimming with self-catering villas and welcoming B&Bs, it’s the ideal British bolthole for those seeking an easy getaway. The rugged coast and gorgeous countryside affords plenty of possibility for long walks and unpolluted fresh air, while attractions like the Eden Projectand Tintagel Castle will keep the whole family entertained.

Curl up in Croatia

Dubrovnik harbour.

Croatia offers many of the scenic coastal charms of Turkey or Greece, but with some truly fantastic offers to choose from, you won’t be too stressed by the impact on your finances, either. Within its borders you’ll find little-known island getaways such as Hvar in the Adriatic sea; a picturesque sun trap full of palm trees, green hillsides and charming architecture. The island’s harbour is the ideal spot to kick back with a good book and a cup of coffee.

Croatia is also home to some of the world’s best and most affordable health spas, including Krapinske Toplice, which is set in warm natural springs amid stunning rolling hills. The waters here are naturally rich in Magnesium and Calcium, which is believed to be particularly healing and beneficial to aching joints.

Stress-busting in Sardinia

Sardinian beach.

The second-largest island in the Med and a sunny spot with picture-postcard views at every turn, Sardinia is well placed for a relaxing break. Many visitors have commented on how Sardinia has all the great aspects of a visit to Italy, but without the noise and stress of the mainland.

Some operators have cracked on to the specific stress-busting aspects of Sardinia as a destination and have set up retreats designed to give strung-out tourists everything they need to recharge their batteries. There’s a great selection of yoga retreats here too, if you want to build a little exercise into your break.

Stargazing in the Canary Islands

Stargazing in Gran Canaria.
Photo by Gino Maccanti under Creative Commons license.

Few activities can be more relaxing and humbling than gazing at the night sky, and there’s nothing like contemplating the splendour of the universe to put your everyday problems in perspective.

Thanks to their ocean position, the Canary Islands are among the best places in the world to see the stars - and some are even shielded by law from flight paths. So if you’re heading to Tenerife, Gran Canaria or Fuerteventura - be sure to look upwards when the sun goes down. You can guarantee a warm climate here at any time of year, so there’s no stress involved in catching the sunny season when you come to book.

Bliss out in Bali

Bali, Indonesia.

If you’re after a long-haul getaway, you can’t beat Bali for pampering and an arresting change of scenery. With its idyllic, white sandy beaches, warm climate and welcoming vibe, Bali really is the lap of luxury for travellers in need of some TLC.  The Indonesian Isle is well equipped with great accommodation and luxury at every price point: expect to find spa and beauty treatments at a fraction of the cost you’d pay back home, and to enjoy delicious, fresh locally-sourced food at bargain prices.

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Written by Abi Silvester, a London-based writer and editor with a passion for great food, fine wine, coffee and cats; always planning my next trip! Follow her on Twitter.