The 23 most relaxing vacation destinations in the world

Yoga bali
Many retreat vacations center on yoga and wellness. zjuzjaka/Shutterstock

The INSIDER Summary:

  • August 15 is International Relaxation Day, and while the whole point of taking a vacation is to unwind, there are many resorts, retreats, and even entire cities known for their focus on health, wellness, and, of course, relaxation.
  • Via Yoga offers yoga and surf-themed retreats in Costa Rica and New Mexico for a relaxing getaway with a focus on staying active.
  • Sedona, Arizona, is a town bursting with natural beauty that many people associate with health and energy.

Chances are, any vacation you take will be relaxing to some extent — temporarily leaving work and the usual routine allows most travellers to escape the stresses of their everyday lives.

However, there are many resorts, retreats, and even entire cities that are known for their focus on health, wellness, and of course, relaxation.

Keep reading for the 23 best destinations in the world for a relaxing getaway.

[slideshow]
[slide
permalink=”/#the-check-in-to-check-out-package-at-lake-placid-lodge-1″
title=”The Check in to Check Out Package at Lake Placid Lodge”
content=”Lake Placid Lodge in upstate New York offers a special package for guests who want to leave technology behind during their vacation. The resort’s Check in to Check Out package allows guests to leave their phones and computers with hotel staff for the duration of their stay so they can truly enjoy their trip device-free.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/599200a30dafe822571573ce”
source=”Lake Placid Lodge/Facebook”
caption=”Lakeside relaxation at Lake Placid Lodge.”
credit_href=”https://www.facebook.com/lakeplacidlodge/photos/a.98045678731.89158.53965553731/10153818039908732/?type=3&theater”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#sedona-arizona-2″
title=”Sedona, Arizona”
content=”There’s no better place to enjoy Arizona’s desert landscape than Sedona. There are many resorts and spas in the area where visitors can relax — plus, Sedona is said to have a healing energy vortex that is known to promote spiritual development.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/599200a30dafe822571573cf”
source=”Eric Dah Lee/Shutterstock”
caption=”The red rocks of Sedona.”
credit_href=”https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/girl-climbs-cathedral-rock-392402722?src=97xa5AlXI9TgrsQZCFiajg-1-71″
]
[slide
permalink=”/#anamaya-resort-and-retreat-center-costa-rica-3″
title=”Anamaya Resort and Retreat Center, Costa Rica”
content=”The Anamaya Resort and Retreat Center offers yoga and other activity-based retreats with beautiful Costa Rica as the backdrop. At the resort, guests can enjoy gourmet food, a variety of yoga classes, and spa services.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/599200a30dafe822571573d0″
source=”Anamaya Resort and Retreat Center/Facebook”
caption=”Overlooking the ocean at the Anamaya Resort.”
credit_href=”https://www.facebook.com/Anamayaresort/photos/a.371000232916861.110217.117293008287586/983414261675452/?type=3&theater”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#the-ranch-malibu-california-4″
title=”The Ranch, Malibu, California”
content=”The Ranch is a health and fitness-based retreat center where guests can learn to live a healthier lifestyle.

According to the Ranch, guests typically log over 60 miles of hiking during a multi-day stay at the property.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/599200a30dafe822571573d1″
source=”The Ranch/Facebook”
caption=”The Ranch property in Malibu.”
credit_href=”https://www.facebook.com/TheRanchMalibu/photos/a.309190835760617.87529.138697556143280/1569476966398658/?type=3&theater”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#provence-france-5″
title=”Provence, France”
content=”The rolling hills and lavender fields of Provence are made for travellers interested in taking in France’s rich culture without the hectic feel of Paris.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/599200a30dafe822571573d2″
source=”PHB.cz (Richard Semik)/Shutterstock”
caption=”A chateau overlooking the Lake of Sainte-Croix.”
credit_href=”https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/chateau-church-aiguines-st-croix-lake-173367155?src=UKVYnCEnp6-_7NUmVjfgMg-1-8″
]
[slide
permalink=”/#ananda-in-the-himalayas-india-6″
title=”Ananda in the Himalayas, India”
content=”This luxury spa resort in the foothills of the Himalayas offers a balance of wellness and total relaxation. Guests have plenty of options when it comes to yoga, but they can also sit back and enjoy the resort’s spa.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/599200a30dafe822571573d3″
source=”Ananda/Facebook”
caption=”Yoga practice at Ananda.”
credit_href=”https://www.facebook.com/AnandaInTheHimalayas/photos/a.10150872933639691.428822.91678149690/10150872933679691/?type=3&theater”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#tuscany-italy-7″
title=”Tuscany, Italy”
content=”Known for its charming small towns, the Tuscany region of Italy is perfect for those who want to hide out in a villa and enjoy the lush countryside.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/598b324227fa6b53db24fdfb”
source=”Jaroslaw Pawlak/Shutterstock”
caption=”The Tuscan countryside.”
credit_href=”https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/landscape-tuscany-seen-walls-montepulciano-italy-264759209?src=So0ehfX0vfJ8ruhdYTR6fA-1-2″
]
[slide
permalink=”/#amanemu-resort-shima-japan-8″
title=”Amanemu Resort, Shima, Japan”
content=”The Amanemu Resort’s beautiful natural surroundings combined with its sleek modern architecture are ideal conditions for a peaceful vacation in Japan.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/599200a40dafe822571573d4″
source=”Amanemu/Facebook”
caption=”Sunset at the Amanemu Resort.”
credit_href=”https://www.facebook.com/amanemuresort/photos/a.1770367666577086.1073741829.1661276700819517/1931111797169338/?type=3&theater”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#palm-springs-california-9″
title=”Palm Springs, California”
content=”Palm Springs is the perfect desert escape in Southern California. The area, which is known for mid-century architecture, is a great spot for design-lovers who are looking for a peaceful getaway.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/599200a40dafe822571573d5″
source=”sirtravelalot/Shutterstock”
caption=”Modern architecture in Palm Springs.”
credit_href=”https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/view-swimming-pool-modern-home-exterior-149976677?src=p9kqw9FinhS9hTmQvAef8g-1-19″
]
[slide
permalink=”/#six-senses-douro-valley-portugal-10″
title=”Six Senses Douro Valley, Portugal”
content=”The Six Senses Douro Valley is located in a restored 19th-century manor house in the rolling hills of Portugal’s Douro Valley. The resort is so beautiful and self-contained that you won’t ever feel the need to leave the property.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/599200a40dafe822571573d6″
source=”Six Senses Douro Valley/Facebook”
caption=”Poolside at the Six Senses resort.”
credit_href=”https://www.facebook.com/pg/SixSensesDouroValley/photos/?ref=page_internal”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#bar-harbor-maine-11″
title=”Bar Harbour, Maine”
content=”Maine has no shortage of charming small towns, although Bar Harbour is one of the best. With its close proximity to Acadia National Park, Bar Harbour has the best of both worlds when it comes to breathtaking natural beauty and small town flair.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/599200a40dafe822571573d7″
source=”Shutterstock”
caption=”Sailboats in Bar Harbour.”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#bushmans-kloof-wilderness-reserve-and-wellness-retreat-western-cape-south-africa-12″
title=”Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat, Western Cape, South Africa”
content=”Whether you’re interested in exploring the area’s history and local wildlife, or challenging yourself with exercise, Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat is a unique property in South Africa for those don’t want to give up on relaxation even when on an adventurous vacation.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/599200a40dafe822571573d8″
source=”Bushmans Aloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat/Facebook”
caption=”Fire pits at Bushmans Kloof.”
credit_href=”https://www.facebook.com/bushmanskloof/photos/a.202804869754885.44560.116661801702526/1391889180846442/?type=3&theater”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#santa-barbara-california-13″
title=”Santa Barbara, California”
content=”Santa Barbara is less than 100 miles from Los Angeles, but this coastal town has an entirely different feel than other Southern California cities.

There are many vineyards in the area for travellers who want to enjoy the gorgeous natural surroundings and the local wine scene.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/599200a40dafe822571573d9″
source=”iStock / Dima_Rogozhin”
caption=”Santa Barbara’s classic architecture.”
credit_href=”http://www.istockphoto.com/photo/santa-barbara-gm113560521-15875408?st=9d21b5a”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#kamalya-soh-samui-thailand-14″
title=”Kamalya Soh Samui, Thailand”
content=”Kamalaya offers programs related to yoga, destressing, and finding an emotional balance, and has retreats with names like ‘life enhancement.'”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/599200a50dafe822571573da”
source=”Kamalaya Soh Samui/Facebook”
caption=”The beachside property of Kamalaya Soh Samui.”
credit_href=”https://www.facebook.com/kamalaya.thailand/photos/a.447930715738.231944.114442230738/10154735233635739/?type=3&theater”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#park-city-utah-15″
title=”Park City, Utah”
content=”Park City, Utah, may be a famous ski town, but its sunny summertime climate and many outdoor activities make it great for vacation year-round.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/599200a50dafe822571573db”
source=”Shutterstock”
caption=”Summertime in Park City.”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#haramara-retreat-sayulita-mexico-16″
title=”Haramara Retreat, Sayulita, Mexico”
content=”Located on the western coast of Mexico, the Haramara Retreat is dedicated to wellness and relaxation. Since guests are housed in beautiful cabañas with views of the Pacific Ocean, it would be hard to do anything but relax in this setting.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/599200a50dafe822571573dc”
source=”Haramara Retreat/Facebook”
caption=”Guest room at the Haramara Retreat.”
credit_href=”https://www.facebook.com/haramara/photos/a.221236137903252.78047.221233994570133/1720614897965361/?type=3&theater”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#via-yoga-surf-retreat-costa-rica-and-mexico-17″
title=”Via Yoga Surf Retreat, Costa Rica and Mexico”
content=”Via Yoga offers yoga and surf-themed retreats in both Costa Rica and Mexico, which are perfect for travellers who want to unwind but still stay active while on vacation.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/599200a50dafe822571573dd”
source=”Via Yoga/Facebook”
caption=”Via Yoga’s villa in Costa Rica.”
credit_href=”https://www.facebook.com/45351701495/photos/a.180987821495.133065.45351701495/10153466575566496/?type=3&theater”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#whitefish-montana-18″
title=”Whitefish, Montana”
content=”In the winter, Whitefish Mountain offers skiing and other winter activities. In the summertime, hiking, fishing, and mountain biking are the perfect excuse to leave technology behind and enjoy the outdoors.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/599200a50dafe822571573de”
source=”Christopher Jackson/Shutterstock”
caption=”Whitefish Mountain.”
credit_href=”https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/whitefish-mountain-62245024?src=jKY3V2-OhVbfc_5QFTk7uw-1-3″
]
[slide
permalink=”/#port-townsend-washington-19″
title=”Port Townsend, Washington”
content=”This seaside town in Washington state is known for its boating and art scenes. These two worlds converge at the town’s annual Wooden Boat Festival every fall, which celebrates beautifully crafted boats accompanied by live music and local foods.

At a little over two hours outside Seattle, Port Townsend is an accessible getaway for relaxing and taking in local culture.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/599200a50dafe822571573df”
source=”Artazum/Shutterstock”
caption=”Boats in Port Townsend.”
credit_href=”https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/port-townsend-wa-downtown-marina-boats-131560058?src=k8Mq4pHeZXUYRVhdIxEHYQ-1-3″
]
[slide
permalink=”/#lake-george-new-york-20″
title=”Lake George, New York”
content=”Vacationers have their pick of several quaint towns along New York’s Lake George. From lounging by the water to enjoying a ferry boat ride, there are plenty of ways to take in the peaceful natural surroundings.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/599200a60dafe822571573e0″
source=”Colin D. Young/Shutterstock”
caption=”Overlooking Lake George.”
credit_href=”https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/northern-end-lake-george-tongue-mountain-500513173?src=M4bAqkZ-KOQdKT5X_KN5FQ-1-2″
]
[slide
permalink=”/#taos-new-mexico-21″
title=”Taos, New Mexico”
content=”Located at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Taos is a tranquil and beautiful town. There are endless outdoor activities in the region, although Taos is also an ideal place to learn about Native American culture thanks to plenty of local pueblos, art galleries, and museums.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/599200a60dafe822571573e1″
source=”Dan Kaplan/Shutterstock”
caption=”Taos Pueblo.”
credit_href=”https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/taos-pueblo-new-mexico-92125354?src=LJihaXPHIhJdpWlXlWUDzg-1-6″
]
[slide
permalink=”/#granada-spain-22″
title=”Granada, Spain”
content=”Granada is a dream come true for anyone who loves architecture. The city is perfect for exploring Moorish inspired buildings and getting lost in centuries of Spanish history.

The Spanish culture is perfect for relaxing and taking a break from everyday life — you’ll leave wanting to incorporate a siesta into your daily routine.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/599200a60dafe822571573e2″
source=”Shutterstock / Marques”
caption=”Alhambra, Granada.”
credit_href=”http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-165421061/stock-photo-ancient-arabic-fortress-of-alhambra-granada-spain.html?src=frPHTex13rMCKeHK6LOfkg-1-0″
]
[slide
permalink=”/#boulder-colorado-23″
title=”Boulder, Colorado”
content=”Boulder, Colorado, not only has beautiful natural scenery, but since its also a college town, it is full of great local restaurants, galleries, and other cultural hot spots. There’s plenty to do, but Boulder is also an ideal location for taking in nature and doing nothing.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/599200a60dafe822571573e3″
source=”Dean Fikar/Shutterstock”
caption=”Hiking in Boulder.”
credit_href=”https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/south-fork-boulder-creek-on-sunny-312919562?src=nuRp85K_Na9iss_GRZbVyw-1-2″
]
[/slideshow]