14 Incredible Places to Visit If You Need Peace and Relaxation
Editor's Note: Those who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before departure.
Daily stress can really take its toll on your mind and body, and now more than ever, we're all dreaming of our next relaxing vacation. A peaceful getaway can not only rejuvenate your body, but also clear your mind so you’re totally refreshed when it’s finally time to get back to the real world. And isn’t that the point of taking a vacation in the first place?
No matter where you go in the world, you’re bound to find a place that’s dedicated to your personal tranquility. And you don’t have to settle for lounging on a beach, though there are plenty of relaxing beaches you can check out from Bali to Hawaii and back again. Relaxation comes in many forms, from captivating waterfalls in Costa Rica to the magnificent fjords of Norway to the quaint villages of France.
Take a look at some of these picturesque locales — think of this as a virtual escape until you can plan your next relaxing vacation.
Related: More trip ideas
Lumahai Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
You can find dozens of beautiful beaches in Hawaii, but Lumahai is particularly special for travelers who want to get away from it all. This white sand beach is ideal for lounging in the sun, or for experienced surfers to catch some waves. It’s not recommended for swimming, however, due to the strong undertow.
Cape Elizabeth, Maine
What could be more idyllic than strolling the cape, exploring lighthouses? This town is the home of the Cape Elizabeth Light (or Two Lights lighthouse) that has been active since 1874. Other than the interesting history and classic New England architecture, Cape Elizabeth is also one of the best places to get juicy lobster.
Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
Banff National Park is chock full of amazing scenery and crystalline lakes, but Lake Louise might be the best (and most relaxing) of them all. Campers and hikers alike can settle by its perfectly blue waters and gaze at mountain views that seem almost too pristine to be real — luckily, it is. And it’s quite possibly the perfect relaxing vacation for lovers of the great outdoors.
Rio Celeste Falls, Costa Rica
Located in Tenorio Volcano National Park, Rio Celeste is known for its vividly blue color, almost unlike any other waterfall in the world. The bright coloring is actually a reaction of the volcanic chemicals in the water, but against the tropical backdrop and rushing waves, it looks practically magical.
Seven Sisters, East Sussex, England
Anglophiles will find paradise in East Sussex. Rolling green hills and a close proximity to the English channel make Seven Sisters the quintessential English countryside that you’ve only ever read about in a Victorian novel. You’ll also find picturesque white chalk cliffs if you decide to take a stroll there.
Nordfjord is one of the top destinations in Norway thanks to its breathtaking views. Visitors can take a long, slow pleasure cruise along the fjord and see a wide array of sights including glaciers, mountains, and the open sea — all in just a two-hour trip. It’s a perfect place for anyone who wants to get back to nature.
Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Blue Lagoon is by far the most popular tourist destination that Iceland has to offer. This geothermal spa is located in a lava field and attached to a world-renowned resort, where you can soak in the warm waters even when the temperatures are freezing outside. On clear nights, during certain parts of the year, you can even see the northern lights as you soak.
Navagio Beach, Greece
Navagio means “shipwreck,” and it was once thought to be a hotspot for smugglers, but you won’t find a lot of wreckage these days. Instead, you’ll find crystal blue water and pristine sands. One of the largest of the Ionian Islands, its rugged but serene beaches are gorgeous enough to make anyone scrolling through your Instagram swoon with envy.
Lose yourself in the gorgeous vineyards and captivating views of the Alps while you’re in this famous French region. But it’s not all wine here. Provence is known for its diversity, famous for olive groves, pine forests, and lavender fields, as well as grapes. Nice, Marseille, the French Riviera, and Avignon are all popular cities to visit while in the region.
Whitehaven Beach, Australia
Whitehaven is known as one of Australia’s best beaches and it’s easy to see why. The pure white, silica sand and emerald waters make this place look almost too good to be true for travelers looking for some R&R. If you go north to Hill Inlet, you’ll see a mesmerizing swirl of white and blue, created by shifting sands and water.
Saruni Samburu Safari Camp, Kenya
Wild animals may not be everyone’s idea of relaxation, but adventurers in need of some repose can journey to this remote safari camp that not only offers safaris, birdwatching, and views of natural wildlife, but also some luxurious accommodations, including a Wellbeing Space with a pool, spa, and dining areas.
Sanur, Bali, Indonesia
Get your Instagram followers ready, because they’re about to see a lot of sunset pictures if you go to this beautiful beach in Bali. Beyond enjoying the relaxed, coastal living that travelers have come to expect from a trip to Bali, capturing the colorful sunset (or sunrise) along the shallow waters of Sanur is a must.
Ise Jingu, Japan
Peace and quiet don’t begin to describe the beauty of Ise Jingu, a grand Shinto shrine dedicated to the Japanese goddess Amaterasu. Even though it’s a widely known tourist attraction, the shrine complex manages to maintain its tranquility. It is one of the holiest places in Japan, and people often go there to revere its beautiful architecture, natural scenery, and historical significance.
Halong Bay, Vietnam
If you’re looking for serene blue and green waters, look no further. Halong Bay is most popular with boat lovers who want to spend some days on the water, or perhaps exploring the limestone islands and rainforests. The area is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, since it’s home to dozens of species of plants and animals.