What is your definition of a relaxing holiday? For many, it’s lying back, soaking up the sun and forgetting about life’s stresses and strains. For others, it’s discovering new cultures, while some holidaymakers prefer to stay closer to home.
Whether you are looking forward to a family holiday, romantic break or city escape, we think you deserve to go somewhere that matches your definition of relaxing and unwinding. That’s why we’ve scoured the world to bring you the most laidback destinations around the world!
A holiday to the Maldives is considered by many to be among the most relaxing breaks on offer. Comprised of 26 pristine atolls, with some hotels occupying their own island, the Maldives really is the perfect place to get away from it all. Boasting unparalleled beaches, where clear waters meet powder-soft white sands, you can spend all day soaking up the sun.
Mind, body and spirit also benefit from the serenity of a couple’s holiday in the Maldives when this is enhanced with relaxing and rejuvenating sessions at a resort’s spa. Alternatively, for those seeking a spot of adrenaline this Indian Ocean paradise offers a wealth of water sports, including diving, snorkelling and fishing – plus some of the freshest seafood available.
From Bangkok to the islands of Phuket, Ko Samui and Koh Phi Phi, it’s impossible not to feel at peace in Thailand. From beautiful beaches, tranquil Buddhist temples, lip smacking cuisines, brilliant shopping and world-class spas, Thailand meets your every holiday need, including great value for money.
This favoured destination may have its wild side, but it’s also great if you fancy a bit of downtime. Hugging the southern coast of mainland Spain, Marbella boasts gorgeous harbours, sandy beaches and verdant greenery – the perfect recipe to any relaxing getaway. Plus, with plenty of tapas bars overlooking the sea, you won’t struggle to find some fantastic food with a distinct Mediterranean flavour.
Family holidays to the Algarve tick all the boxes if your idea of relaxation is being surrounded by sun, sea and sand. Lazy afternoons can be spent sunning yourself on one of the Algarve’s beach coves or treating yourself to fresh sardines by the coast. However, if you find yourself feeling adventurous, you’ll be pleased to know there are plenty of water sports activities to enjoy too.
Notorious for its laidback atmosphere, you’ll find relaxing comes second nature with a city break to Amsterdam. Take your time exploring the city’s museums on foot, but don’t forget to sit back and relax on a canal boat cruise. We’d also recommend exploring the Jordaan area of the city by bike as you can cycle at a leisurely pace along tranquil canals and meander through little side streets with fascinating glimpses of city life before retreating to one of Amsterdam’s many cosy bars for a nightcap.
If you like the sound of beautiful beaches, delicious food and a wonderful culture, look no further than Bali. While away the hours sunbathing in the beautiful Nusa Dua or move further inland to Ubud, the creative capital of this Indonesian archipelago where you’ll be able to peruse the local markets and barter with the locals selling handmade arts and crafts.
One of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean, Antigua is a byword for rest and relaxation. This jewel of an island oozes a laidback vibe that you’re certain to find infectious, particularly if you are taking a couple’s holiday or romantic break. If you can bear to be away from one of the 365 beaches then the island capital of St John’s is definitely worth a stroll; between the colonial architecture and picturesque harbour, there’s plenty of sights to take in.
As the most popular island in the Canaries, Tenerife may not immediately spring to mind when it comes to relaxing holidays. However, with an abundance of beaches to unwind on plus the island’s laidback atmosphere, you can’t help but feel at home in Tenerife. Not only that, if you are on a family holiday to Tenerife, mums and dads will come back rested and relaxed because their children will find activities to entertain them morning, noon and night. Alternatively, a trip up Mount Teide – Tenerife’s active volcano – offers the opportunity to escape the crowds.
Towering skyscrapers, resplendent beaches and shopping malls on tap, Dubai has something that’ll fulfil the whole family’s definition of a relaxing experience. And if you are on a romantic break to Dubai, relaxation is guaranteed when staying at one of this destination’s luxury hotels, such as Atlantis the Palm, because they offer a level of service that’s difficult to beat. The activities on offer in Dubai, such as waterparks, desert safaris and even skiing, also make a family holiday to the United Arab Emirates a restful experience.
If you want to squeeze in an additional dose of relaxation, a city break to beautiful Budapest could fit the bill. The capital of Hungary is divided by the relaxing River Danube and also boasts a fairytale-like castle, thermal spas plus fantastic food including the national dish of delicious goulash made with warming paprika. Not only that, the city’s metro system is easy to navigate, and the locals are extremely welcoming. Younger people on a couple’s holiday to Budapest are strongly advised to seek out one of the city’s many ruin bars.