The truth is, any destination can be relaxing to someone. If you come from the hustle and bustle, you want peace and quiet. If you come from perpetual peace and quiet, you want some hustle and bustle. So at the end of the day, this is all relative and ultimately quite subjective.
Given that we have not seen every city, country, continent nor every nook and cranny in the world, what we are providing you with is a list of places that are the best for relaxation, from our perspective.
If you have not been to any of these places, we hope this articles inspires you to pay a visit.
Blue Lagoon, Iceland
You have more than likely heard of the Blue Lagoon, just outside of the Rekjavik Airport in Iceland. If you are flying to Europe, consider flying IcelandAir so that you can get free stopover in Iceland. If you have a long enough layover, that’s good enough to visit the Blue Lagoon. It’s one of our favorite things to do while in Iceland. Relaxing at its finest.
Tip: Book the earliest entrance into the Blue Lagoon (if your schedule allows), it will be the least crowded and you’ll get the place to yourself for a few hours before the herd comes in. Book bus fare, entrance ticket– all in one here.
One of the most stunning, peaceful and wondrous places we have ever been to is the Finnish Lapland. We could list ten things in Finland alone that top our Relaxation list, but a wood sauna experience (all to yourself) with an ice water dip in the frozen lake is definitely at the top of that list. Until you do it, you won’t realize while the Finns all have access to a Sauna…all over the country!
Tip: In Rovamieni, book with Saila by emailing her (firstname.lastname@example.org) in her STUNNING wood burning Sauna house on the Lake. It is one of the most peaceful sauna you’ll ever experience. Saila is incredibly hospitable, so kind and friendly and just a lovely person! Mention Saadia from Spirited Navigators sent you and she will surely take great care of you.
Road trips are sometimes the epitome of relaxation – though who you’re road tripping will make all the difference. We love road trips with each other and we love going on road trips solo as well. It’s such an easy way to clear up your mind. Sometimes we have a great destination in mind, and at other times, we just drive and see where we wind up. The spontaneity and ease road trips allow for is what makes them especially accessible and easy to plan at a moment’s notice.
Tip: Great Smokey is most stunning during the Autumn months because of the foliage, but if you go in the midst of summer, you’ll find it less crowded and just as stunning in all the shades of greens.
Yosemite National Park, California
Have you been to Yosemite National Park? It is perhaps the most beautiful park in the country!
Tip: Stay in the Park! There is just no way to say this but too say that whatever you do, stay in the park! The time and effort it will save you will be worth whatever the cost of that park hotel vs outside park accommodation is. And if you can really score it, stay at the Yosemite Valley Lodge because it is in the heart of the park.
Rafting the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon
Because no matter what we tell you or how many times you’ve been to the Grand Canyon, unless you have been IN the Canyon (at the bottom, rafting the Colorado River), there is no way for you to appreciate what the canyon is for its beauty. We were so blessed to embark on this life changing adventure with Arizona Raft Adventures and will be doing it again in a few years! This is not for the faint of hearts.
Tip: Pack far less than you think you’ll need. We packed what we thought were minimal items but truth be told, if you take two days worth of clothing, you’d be just fine. Because we would just wash and dry and then rewear anyway. There were items we never even touched!
Banff National Park, Canada
Looking for some peace and quiet in the mountains? Head to Banff National Park in the winter! There is so much to do (& yet plenty of ways to do “nothing” if you so prefer) and have the most calming time! One of our favorite activities is Snowshoe hiking in Lake Louise with Great Divide. We’ve hiked with them twice, both times Joel was our guide and his knowledge of the area is remarkable! We can’t recommend them enough – absolutely outstanding and someone we will hike with every time we visit Banff!
Tip: Split your time between staying in Banff and Lake Louise, even though they are only 40 minutes away, staying in both locations really adds to the overall experience. We love staying at the Rimrock Resort Hotel in Banff and The Post Hotel in Lake Louise
Sedona is a quiet, mountain town that is the perfect for hiking and spa-ing. With stunning red rocks all around you and the vortex that brings strong energy, it is the perfect weekend getaway! Snuggled between Phoenix and Flagstaff, it is our favorite Arizona town of all!
Tip: Remember to water with you on ALL hikes (no matter the length) because you never know when you’ll be tempted to make a detour that will turn your 45-minute hike into a 9 hour misadventure! (speaking from experience)
Ah the Irish countryside! So peaceful, so enigmatic! And the people you’ll meet along the way are just incredibly warm! We genuinely loved our time driving around the countryside of Ireland with almost no one else on the road except for sheep as our company. It’s a very safe country and really makes you want to slow down as you discover all the obvious sites you should visit, like the Cliffs of Moher but even all the little nooks and crannies you stumble upon along the way.
Tip: Don’t go too fast, book accommodations as you go if you are willing to play it by ear. We spent one night per town and even that felt rushed at times. You want to leave room to unexpectedly fall in love with a place so you can spend that extra night.
We hope you enjoyed this list!
Have you been to any of these places? Do you have some relaxation destinations that you absolutely love? Share below…we’d love to hear from you!
Until next time…Happy and Safe Travels!