From geothermal spas to celebrated wine and food regions, take a true break from the everyday at these leisurely destinations in Europe.
Author: Jemima Forbes
Going on vacation doesn’t have to be a blur of rushed sightseeing. Sometimes, visiting a new destination can simply involve indulging in some much-needed rest and relaxation while absorbing the local culture. Europe is one such region where leisure and travel really do go hand in hand. Whether you want to spend your days hopping between quaint Italian coastal towns or soaking in therapeutic thermal baths in Iceland, here’s our inspiring round-up of the top 10 relaxing holiday destinations in Europe.
1 Positano, Italy
If you’re craving a taste of la dolce vita, there’s no better place than Italy’s stunning Amalfi Coast! Idyllic Mediterranean coves, quaint fishing villages, and a relaxed pace of life are what you can expect to experience.
For a blissful vacation on the Amalfi Coast, one of the best luxury holiday destinations in Europe, base yourself in pretty Positano and enjoy day trips to the region’s 13 clifftop villages. Highlights include Ravello, with its stunning vistas and ornate villas, and Amalfi, which features white-washed buildings and museums.
2 Isle of Skye, Scotland
For a complete escape from reality, few places are more serene than Scotland’s isolated islands. The Isle of Skye is one of the most beautiful spots on the country’s West Coast and perfect for fans of the great outdoors.
Stay in charming Portree and enjoy daily outings to see Skye’s rugged landscapes, at your own pace. Swimming in waterfalls, whisky tasting sessions, exploring castles, and stunning sunsets are just some of the things you’ll be able to experience.
3 Goriska Brda Wine Region, Slovenia
If your idea of a relaxing vacation is one that’s filled with lots of gourmet gastronomy, make your way to Slovenia. The country’s lush Goriska Brda Wine Region sits between the shimmering Adriatic Sea and the lofty peaks of the Southern Alps.
Not just a location blessed with sublime rural views, Goriska Brda is also brimming with vineyards where you can savor delicious wines. Why not pair them with mouth-watering dishes made from locally grown produce?
4 Lindau, Germany
If the loud music and packed crowds of Munich’s Oktoberfest celebrations aren’t quite your scene, plan a vacation to Bavaria‘s Lindau instead. Located on the shores of Lake Constance in Germany’s southern Bavaria, it’s a real hidden gem featuring a bounty of gorgeous outdoor attractions.
Stroll around exquisite botanical gardens, tour elegant villas, go off-grid in enchanting forests, or book in a round or two of golf. Lindau also offers you a taste of local German culture on a smaller scale. Settle down in a cafe on medieval Maximilianstrasse to sample tasty regional delicacies or visit the local museum to learn all about the town’s history.
5 Hveragerði, Iceland
Does a spa vacation sound like your idea of paradise? Take a trip to the heart of Iceland, a country well-known for its natural hot springs. Hveragerði is nicknamed the “Hot Spring Town” – and for good reason. It’s situated atop lava fields whose natural heat is used by numerous businesses, not solely the spas.
While you will be able to pamper yourself with thermal baths and clay mud masks, you’ll also be able to drink beer and eat freshly baked bread that’s been made using geothermal energy! Hveragerði is renowned for its phenomenal restaurant scene too which you can take full of advantage of during your relaxing getaway in Iceland.
6 Milos, Greece
Greece’s islands are definitely among the top 10 relaxing holiday destinations in Europe! Instead of heading for one of the larger islands like Santorini for a week or so of winding down, why not book a vacation to lesser-known Milos?
The spectacular island has the best of both worlds when it comes to idyllic scenery and fascinating ancient landmarks. White-sand coves lapped by the turquoise sea are aplenty, plus you’ll find Milos is where the intriguing Venus de Milo statue was discovered back in 1820. Swimming, sunbathing and jaunts to thermal spas are just some of the soothing activities you can enjoy in Milos.
7 Trans-Siberian Train, Russia
Always wanted to see the snowy landscapes of Siberia from up close? Book a stay on the Trans-Siberian train in Russia and enjoy exploring the rugged wildernesses and fascinating cities of the ‘Motherland’ without numerous hotel or transport changes.
You can journey from Moscow all the way to Vladivostok near the Pacific Coast or choose a shorter Trans-Siberian rail journey that ventures through Mongolia and China. You’ll get to see unbelievable sights through the window of your carriage, including Lake Baikal, the Gobi desert, and even the Great Wall of China, depending on the route you take.
Studded with spas, art walks, and pristine beaches, Spain’s Costa del Sol is undeniably one of the top 10 relaxing holiday destinations in Europe! Malaga sits right at the heart of the region and couldn’t be a better city to base yourself in for a tranquil beach vacation.
R&R enthusiasts will also enjoy visiting world-class art galleries and touring Malaga’s picture-perfect citadels. The city is also popular for its cuisine: embrace the local Spanish culture by dining on bite-sized snacks and sipping sangria late into the evening at a local tapas bar.
9 Madeira Island, Portugal
If Portugal’s popular Algarve region is a little too busy for you, venture to Madeira Island instead. Flung off the country’s Atlantic coast, it’s a hidden treasure perfect for those after sunshine, sea, and endless sky.
Fill your days with trips to beaches in Madeira Island, cycle rides through the untouched countryside and tastings of the island’s delicious namesake wine. Madeira’s volcanic landscape is also a magnet for amateur photographers – picture black sand coves, craggy craters, and lofty viewpoints with uninterrupted ocean vistas.
10 Champagne, France
While only a short distance from Paris, a trip to Champagne will make you feel like you are a million miles away thanks to its serene countryside and the ultimate method of relaxation – wine tasting! The region was given official UNESCO World Heritage recognition in 2015 (French cuisine itself was added to UNESCO’s list of intangible world heritage in 2010); a leisurely tour of Champagne’s rolling vineyards and historic wine cellars will easily show you why.
Get ready to discover (or re-discover) Europe at one of the above-mentioned luxury destinations. Reach out to our experts today for help dreaming up the perfect Continental tour itinerary.
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