8 Places in the World Where You Can Get Some Peace and Quiet
Summer getaways are the perfect time to hit snooze on the work grind and relax. But if you’re eager to beat the crowds, that requires a little more planning — should you plop yourself on a desolate beach or get lost somewhere in the wilderness? If you’re dying to see something new, get some perspective or just run away, you obviously have no shortage of options.
Of course, for some, finding solitude isn’t about where you go but how you go, says Lynda Turley of Alpine Travel, in Saratoga, California.
“I like touring with a private guide, so it’s just me and them, or with my family,” she said in an email. “Being forced to be in a group setting for me is ghastly.”
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Fortunately, finding a place to wind down shouldn’t require much more thinking. We asked three seasoned travel experts to share their favorite far-flung getaways, and they delivered, with options that run the gamut from beachy to Gaelic.
Want to avoid all-night ragers, whiny toddlers and gawking tourists? Look no further than their suggestions for pensive hikes and charming old villages, plus the perfect place to read your next book.
The eastern wine region enjoys about 300 sunny days in a year, making it a must for cyclists, hikers, horse riders and golfers. The lake Neusiedl region, about 45 minutes from Vienna, has more than 30 cycling routes alone. Greg Tepper, founder of Exeter International in Tampa, Florida, says the elegant Blaufränkisch wine, which pairs well with steak, is some of the finest.
The Cotswolds, England
The Cotswolds’ “rolling hills, fields of sheep and charming villages from another era are the perfect remedy for someone searching for peace and quiet,” Jonathan Epstein, a U.K. travel expert and president of Celebrated Experiences in Atlanta, wrote in an email.
Take a leisurely stroll on the 102-mile Cotswold Way National Trail, or tour the exquisite gardens of the Prince of Wales’s Highgrove Estate, which are open to the public.
Muhu Island, Estonia
Beara Penninsula, Ireland
“The Beara Peninsula in Ireland’s southwest corner is not as well known as The Ring of Kerry or Dingle Peninsula,” wrote Epstein, but it’s where you can dodge the crowds and still enjoy the 1,600-mile Wild Atlantic Way, one of the longest coastal routes in the world. Zip through Healy Pass, where “you’ll feel like you’re in on an amazing secret, as the region is still so undeveloped.”
Lofoten Islands, Norway
This distinctive archipelago off the west coast of Norway makes for a spectacular fishing getaway and some wild nature moments. Tiny red fisherman cabins, some of which are hotels, line the picturesque waterways, allowing you to get intimate with the surroundings. Go between late May and mid-July, when you can see the midnight sun, a natural phenomenon near the Arctic Circle, where the sun is still visible at midnight.
Plyos may be the tiniest of the Golden Ring towns, but it is mighty, with 19th-century mansions, countless churches and romantic views of the Volga River.
“The small Levitan Museum is a short stroll from one of the serviced villas available for rent,” said Tepper, “and many wonderful restaurants can be found in the village center.” Above all, “Plyos is about bringing a good book and experiencing idyllic, rural Russia.”
Scottish Highlands, Scotland
Driving to The Torridon, a grand castle-like retreat at the end of a sea loch set in the northwest Highlands, “feels like you are venturing to the end of the world,” wrote Epstein. With a little more than 230,000 people, you’ll feel blissfully all alone — not a bad way to enjoy the oddly shaped Munros and storybook castles.
Pueblo Garzón, Uruguay
This tiny village in the farmlands of southeastern Uruguay is “so caught in another time that it is very conducive to reflection,” wrote Lisa Lindblad, owner of Lisa Lindblad travel design in New York City, in an email.
Just two hours from the capital of Montevideo, it is home to Garzón, Argentine chef Francis Mallman’s five-room hotel and restaurant, and a cluster of high-end establishments.