Last updated on July 29th, 2023
Looking for places to go to relieve stress and distract emotionally? Here are some interesting ideas for relaxing vacation spots in Europe where you can do just that!
Lately, just within a short period of time, life for me got somehow too stressful. The final straw was the beginning of the war in my home country which completely pushed my levels of stress through the roof.
I so wanted to run away somewhere far where there were no problems, no bad news, no echoes of war, and where life was just peaceful and easygoing on a daily basis. So I started to think about those calm places to visit where to clear my head, unwind, destress, and relax physically and mentally.
Asking around fellow travel bloggers and remembering stress-free vacation spots where I’ve been on my own, I put together this article about incredible natural landmarks, spiritual destinations, and retreats. They are great either for spiritual healing, stress relief, burnout recovery, or just an emotional getaway to improve mental health.
If you also need a place where to escape life’s burdens, this post may give you some cool ideas. But more so my other post about incredible wellness retreats for stress relief. Give them a read and plan your peaceful holiday!
Beautiful Natural Landmarks to Go to Clear Your Mind & De-stress
I would like to start my list of the best places to go to relieve stress in Europe with the destination that recently became a place of power for me. It is a fabulous location for people who look for a peaceful holiday among the many mountain paths on the forested slopes.
When talking about the Alps, usually the first thought that comes to mind is about the Swiss mountains or Alps in Austria. However, these two countries are not the only places that have access to the Alps. Germany, and more specifically the state of Bavaria, also owns a small section of this mountain range and it is simply magical.
Additionally to awe-inspiring nature, there are also many historical and architectural sights. Among them are small ancient towns and majestic castles, romantic palaces and bell towers of churches striving for the sky and snow-capped peaks. And as a bonus, the local service and infrastructure meet the needs of the most demanding travelers.
The Bavarian Alps stretch south from Munich to the Austrian border and from the beautiful Lake Constance in the west to the Salzburg area in the east. In some cases, the height of the mountains reaches 3000 meters, which is exactly the height of the highest mountain in Germany – the Zugspitze.
The beauty of this part of the country is enhanced by deep glacial valleys and high plateaus with numerous lakes. Among the most awe-inspiring, healing places are Lake Constance, Garmisch–Partenkirchen region, Tegernsee lake, Berchtesgaden town and its surrounding area.
No matter what you choose – either a day trip from Munich to a palace and lake or venture straight into the mountains, you’ll feel the power of nature right away.
Snowdonia National Park in Wales, UK
Snowdonia National Park is considered one of the most calming National Parks in the world. Beautiful scenery full of green hills, mountains, and some of the best waterfalls in Wales makes it a perfect place to visit for stress relief.
Proximity to nature can enhance mood and help to cope with daily stress. The sound of the water including waterfalls that Wales has in abundance can reduce the stress hormones. Visiting Wales can help not only with anxiety but also find emotional peace.
There are plenty of amazing walks in Snowdonia National Park where you can spend time with nature. The climbing highest mountain in Wales – Snowdon or a short walk to Aber Falls will help you to forget about stressful situations.
After a long day of hiking, relax at one of the hotels with an indoor pool and sauna such as The Park Hill. It is just a 1.5 km (1 mile) drive from the center of Betws-y-Coed – one of the most charming villages in Snowdonia National Park.
Visiting Wales in winter can reward you with mountains covered in white snow. However, summer is the best season to visit Snowdonia and admire beautiful lakes or climb the mountains. Whether you book a flight to Liverpool or Manchester airport, it is easy to plan a trip on your own. Just rent a car and explore this beautiful part of the world to find your inner peace!
Cascades d’Angon Hike near Lake Annecy, France
About 50 kilometers south of Geneva, Switzerland sits another stunning location in the Alps – lakeside town of Annecy in France. Often listed as one of the most romantic places in the world, Lake Annecy is also one of the best spiritual places to travel in Europe to unwind, clear your head, and relieve stress.
Surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Alps, Lake Annecy is home to some incredible hikes that are perfect for escaping the busy life and chaos of the tourist crowds. In particular, the Cascades d’Angon hike makes for the perfect relaxing afternoon getaway where you can escape into nature and feel truly alone in an otherwise popular destination.
Start your walk along Rte. des Vignes until you reach house number 234. Right across the street, you’ll find a steep trail disappearing into the dense forest with a small sign that says “Cascade d’Angon 1 hour 30 minutes.” The path is challenging at the start but then rewards you with blossoming meadows and incredible views overlooking the northern side of Lake Annecy.
The out and back trail can be completed throughout the summer and fall months but becomes more slippery in the winter and spring when ice and snow are more probable.
Pack some cheese, cured meats, and a bottle of wine for a traditional French lunch and enjoy it while taking in the views before making your way back down the mountain to stay at the lovely Maison de Famille Les Grillons. English is less widely spoken on this side of the lake, so it’s recommended to learn some French phrases in case you need directions along the way.
While you’re visiting Lake Annecy, be sure to stop by the town on Sunday mornings to shop at the famous outdoor market and make a visit to the medieval Palais de I’Île for some incredible pictures.
The Isle of Skye in Scotland
The Isle of Skye is an incredibly beautiful island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, famous for its rugged coastline, windswept landscapes, rich wildlife, and fascinating history.
It’s also a perfect place for a weary soul to find peace and relaxation. Let this magical island heal you from all the stresses and wounded feelings. There are plenty of wonderful places to visit on the Isle of Skye that will help distract emotionally and clear one’s head.
Anyone who wants to get back to nature will find the Isle of Skye a hiker’s paradise. There are many hiking trails for all abilities around the island. You can go wild camping under the stars or in the remote and distant part of the island.
Book a stay at the remote Kinloch Lodge, situated at the picturesque shores of Loch Na Dal. This hotel offers a different holistic style of massage for stress relief and reflexology treatments to their guests.
You can also visit The Therapy Studio for herbal remedies, therapies, and treatments in Portree, a town on the Isle of Skye. This vibrant town has a beautiful harbour with an array of colourful houses. It is a great place to base and explore most of the attractions on the island.
Just drive for about 12-minutes from Portree to visit the Old Man of Storr on the Trotternish peninsula. The iconic pinnacles are one of the best-known rock formations in the whole of Britain.
Summer is the best time for hiking and communing with nature. If you want to avoid the crowd, early autumn and late spring are also good times to visit this destination.
The Fishermen’s Trail in Algarve, Portugal
Here is another natural landmark in Europe great for an emotional cleanse vacation – the Fishermen’s Trail in Portugal. It is part of a large network of trails called the Rota Vicentina, which spans 750 kilometers along Portugal’s coastline. The trails bring hikers through villages, past limestone formations, up onto coastal cliffs, and past sea coves.
Walking the trail in full, or spending just a day walking a portion of it is the perfect way to experience Portugal’s nature and relax. Studies show that time outdoors can lower blood pressure, ease depression and anxiety, bolster the immune system, lessen stress, and even makes us more compassionate.
Hiking the coastal Fishermen’s Trail takes most walkers about 13 days. It’s a moderate trail, with a mix of walking on the soft sand (like beaches), as well as marked paths and some gravel road portions. The trail is easy to follow thanks to its blue and green markers, which means it’s easy to arrange this trip on your own. Along the way, most hikers will stop for the evenings in a hostel or guesthouse, or camp.
Hiking the Fishermen’s Trail in the Algarve region is especially beautiful. The weather is almost always sunny, and there are beaches that you can stop at for a swim. If hiking this portion of the trail, be sure to stop and explore the village of Vila do Bispo, take a rest and a swim at Praia do Barranco, and have dinner in the town of Sagres!
Cirque de Gavarnie in the Central Pyrenees in France
Cirque de Gavarnie, deep in the French Pyrenees, is a vast limestone cirque, which was created by huge glaciers thousands of years ago.
This is a wonderful place to wash away stress, relax in nature and get some great energy-boosting exercise. Surrounded by nature, wildflowers, and grazing animals, time at the Cirque is good for the soul.
By far the best way to experience this incredible feat of nature is to take the relatively easy 8km hiking trail to the Cirque, where you’ll enjoy incredible views of the many waterfalls that cascade down the vertical walls of this natural amphitheater.
The ancient towering 1,700m high walls and vast 14km circumference are surrounded by several 3000m plus peaks, and the infinite scale of this natural wonder is both joyous and distracting.
The best time to hike in the Pyrenees is May to October. Outside of these times, there may well be snow below 2,500m and the weather can become very changeable. Special equipment, other than warm layers and waterproof, is not necessary, although you will need sturdy trainers.
For a real getting away from it all stay, book a luxury tent at Tipis Nature in Gavarnie village. You’ll enjoy all the modern comforts in a stunning setting.
If you are looking for a stress-free weekend in Europe to get away from everything in the midst of nature and at the same time city life, there’s no better place than the Swiss Alps. This incredible area provides excellent opportunities for outdoor recreation like skiing and snowboarding in winter, and hiking, paragliding and camping in summer.
And the best part is that you are never too far away from bustling life where you can see some of the best places in the region, be it a small town on Lake Geneva, an alpine village, or cities like Bern, which is a getaway to the Bernese Oberland region.
Switzerland is home to the highest number of peaks over 4,000 meters in Europe. On a clear day, you can enjoy the majestic views which is a great form of therapy in itself that can help you disconnect and find emotional peace.
The Alps boast relaxing and majestic landscapes with snow-powdered peaks, green meadows, and crystal clear alpine lakes which help to reduce anxiety and forget about life’s burdens for a while.
The best way to relax and enjoy therapy in the Swiss Alps is simply by booking a hotel and enjoying one of the most famous regions. Depending on where exactly you decide to go, take a look at some of the most gorgeous hotels in the Swiss Alps area. For example Riffelalp resort in Zermatt or Gstaad Palace near Lake Geneva.
The Alps also have some of the cleanest air and unspoiled scenery which is perfect for all sorts of outdoor activities. It is a perfect way to recharge and engage in physical activity while enjoying some of the best landscapes in the world.
Incredible Powerful Spiritual Places in Europe for Stress Relief
Camino de Santiago Religious Pilgrimage Route in Spain
Camino de Santiago (the Way of St James) in northern Spain is historically one of the most important Catholic religious pilgrimage routes. But, St James Way is far more than that. It is one of the most popular trails for spiritual seekers, nature lovers, hiking enthusiasts, and inner peace searchers.
Camino de Santiago pilgrims are people who want to decompress from the stress of everyday life and who enjoy active vacations at the same time. They are also people who wish to overcome personal life challenges and losses (like bankruptcies, break-ups, deaths of dear persons, artists blocks) and people who search for a deeper meaning in life.
Besides that, hiking the Camino provides a reset of life. It takes about 30 days to do the entire route to feel new. However, you do not need that much time to get a fresh outlook on life. Coming to Camino de Santiago can be beneficial to your soul even if you spend only a weekend getaway on part of its trail.
Each day pilgrims get up in the morning, hike the trails the whole day and sleep in albergues (pilgrims hostels) in the evening. Living simple life close to nature with lots of opportunities for deep introspection undoubtedly leads to unwinding, getting some fresh new energy, and getting answers to some personal questions. So, hiking the Camino is a must-have experience for people who seek the same.
St James Way is a net of different routes. The most beautiful Camino de Santiago route is arguably the Northern Way (Camino del Norte).
El Camino del Norte route goes from Irun in the Basque Country to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. It follows the coast of northern Spain, and it goes through gorgeous cities (like San Sebastian and Bilbao), picturesque medieval towns and scenic fishing villages. The pilgrims witness the spectacular sea cliffs, beautiful sandy beaches, lovely vineyards, stunning medieval churches, and monasteries in the north of Spain.
People who enjoy nature, solitude, and great food choose Camino del Norte. Pilgrims usually manage the Camino by themselves, but it is also possible to join guided tours.
So, if you enjoy solitude, peace, and nature and want to recharge your batteries or find some answers in life, consider hiking Camino del Norte in Spain.
Mount Athos an Important Centre of Eastern Orthodox Monasticism in Greece
The European Union is based on the idea of freedom of movement, with no borders. However, there is one place in Greece where one category of people cannot enter. Ever. If you are a woman, Mount Athos will remain just a mystic, unreachable peninsula for you!
Governed by the Orthodox Christian Church, this is the land of 20 impressive monasteries only male pilgrims can visit. The medieval ban on female entrance includes even animals! The risk for reproduction is minimized, thus making the diet of the monks running the place mainly vegetarian.
Staying at Mount Athos is a trip away from the civilization, to life at its simplest. It’s almost like going back in time, into the stressless world without famous brand shops, flashy advertising, or always available wifi. It’s a place for finding inner peace, either in religious practice or in hiking through nature untouched for centuries.
While it is certainly a site of Christian interest, one can ask for monks’ spiritual guidance even if not being a practical believer. Every day, ten non-orthodox visas are allotted (and this special permit guarantees free accommodation and food). A full explanation of the procedure is in this guide on how to visit Mount Athos.
While this unusual place is indeed a men-only privilege, it can secure the holiday for an entire family. Ouranoupoli and Ierissos, the departure ports for Mount Athos, are resort towns full of women enjoying their time without husbands. And that doesn’t sound like a bad deal either!
Mundekulla Retreat Center in Sweden
Not really a spiritual destination, but definitely the place of power where you can plunge into Nordic yoga and unplug from the world. Mundekulla Retreat Center is an eco-farm located in southeast Sweden in a secluded area that occupies a plot of 60 hectares.
On its territory, there are several wooden buildings, horses, an eco-restaurant, and cafe serving vegetarian dishes from organic local products. And, of course, there is a real Scandinavian sauna and spa!
The Mundekulla Retreat Center does not have its own regular programs, however, it offers yoga courses of various durations and themed yoga festivals. Other times, it holds folk and jazz concerts and lectures on “personal growth.”
Mundekulla has a total of 20 residential rooms – singles, twins, and family rooms. Those who wish can also stay in the renovated “Viking village”, where there are small Swedish “bungalows”. During major events and festivals, dorms are turned into large rooms and tents are set on the lawn near the center.
It is a very calm Scandinavian center great for burnout recovery retreats, yoga, and self-development. For more details about the courses, prices, and other events see Mundekulla’s website.
Lesser-Known Calm Places to Visit in Europe for Relaxation & Stress Relief
Milos Island in Greece
A truly beautiful place that is best suited for a quiet relaxing getaway where you can distract emotionally is Milos Island in Greece. A visit here in spring is particularly a wonderful experience since it relaxes the mind and promotes relaxation.
At this time of year, there is very little going on around this island, the atmosphere is really calm and serene, and nature shows itself from its most beautiful side. Especially people who feel extremely stressed will enjoy their perfect time out on this dream island.
The beaches in Milos are almost deserted, so you can enjoy the best relaxation in the already warm sun. The early season decelerates and lets to soak up every moment. Many of the island’s wonderful bathing bays are located in intact nature, such as Fyriplaka Beach for example. Surrounded by red and white rocks, this bay is said to have a lot of positive energy.
However, Milos island has a therapeutic effect also thanks to its nature walks. What better place to relax? To go on the hiking tour to the gorgeous white Kleftiko Bay, one of the most iconic spots on the island, which you can then enjoy all to yourself at this time. Another insider tip is a hike to Sikia Cave, which, however, should only be taken by experienced walkers. Wonderful for exploration on foot is also the north coast where you can enjoy the white cliffs of Sarakiniko.
If you want to have a little hustle and bustle, you should visit the harbor town of Adamantas and the fantastic flair in one of the beautiful cafes. The atmosphere is unique, especially in the evening, when the sun sets, and the last ferries depart.
All in all, Milos is really a special island. It is one of the best peaceful holiday destinations in Greece which helps to completely relax emotionally and physically. Milos captivates with a relaxed flair, intact nature, and lots of positive energy.
Néris-les-Bains Thermal City in Central France
You should visit the romantic country of France not only for Paris, relaxation in the seaside resorts in the south, skiing or hiking in the French Alps. France is also famous for thermal resorts with balneological and spa treatments where visitors can heal and recover, and regain strength, physical or emotional.
One of those thermal destinations is the pleasant spa resort Néris-les-Bains situated in the heart of France, in the Auvergne region, 11 km from the city of Montlucon. It has existed for about 2000 years but today is considered the oldest thermal spa in France. Currently, it is modern and has excellent infrastructure – numerous hotels, casinos, tennis courts, golf courses, and historic villas.
Rich in magnesium and lithium, the waters of Néris-les-Bains are famous for treating nervous diseases. They help to get rid of stress, back pain, and various nervous system disorders. The local 18-day medical course is associated with pathologies of a psychosomatic or neurological nature.
Besides coming to treat neurological diseases, people also come here for wellness and preventive programs to relieve stress or restore sleep. Additional services are available as well such as sophrology, shiatsu bodywork, and mantras. In one word, Néris-les-Bains has everything you need to relax the body and get complete relaxation!
The most famous spas are Royatonic, Les Thermes de Néris-les-Bains, Spa Neriades, and Vichy Celestins Spa.
Quiet Village Monsaraz near the Portugal/Spain Border
If you are looking for the perfect destination for a stress-free holiday in a totally unique lesser-visited place in Europe, add Monsaraz in Portugal to your list! It is a place where you could ease your mind and find some peace and quiet while enjoying the charming village on the river near the border with Spain.
Monsaraz is one of Portugal’s hidden gems that not many people know about, missing it on their travels. Located in the lesser-known Alentejo region and overlooking the stunning Alqueva Lake, this hill-top medieval village is truly a unique place.
Strolling through the cobbled streets of Monsaraz feels like stepping back in time. There are stunning views from every corner and a laidback atmosphere that is hard to find these days. Even though the village itself is tiny, you’ll find numerous historical monuments, tiny museums, shops, and small eateries around Monsaraz.
Part of Monsaraz’s charm is its location in one of the most beautiful areas of the Alentejan countryside. Monsaraz overlooks Alqueva Lake, the largest man-made lake in Europe. Around the lake, you’ll find quiet beaches, hiking trails, and historic villages.
It is also the perfect place for stargazing since it is the first site in the world that is officially a “Starlight Tourism Destination”. And stargazing is an incredible stress reliever!
Another relaxing way to spend your days in Monsaraz is going wine tasting and olive oil tasting in one of the many local wineries and olive oil farms in the region. If you love pottery, you can also go ceramic shopping or participate in a pottery workshop in São Pedro do Corval, a small village that is known for its community of artisans and high-quality ceramics.
The best way to travel to Monsaraz is with your own car and though you can visit Monsaraz at any time of the year, the best season is either Spring or Fall, since the summers are extremely hot.
Other Destinations in Europe to Go for Stress Relief Vacation & Mental Health
Madeira, a Portuguese island located off the coast of Africa, is not geographically in Europe but it is a peaceful holiday destination where to clear your mind and go for self-healing. The mild climate and natural beauty of the island make it a perfect getaway to relax and unwind during any time of the year.
The resorts that line the coast are perfect for relaxing. Staying at the Cliff Bay Hotel for example gets you amazing views of the ocean, expansive pools, a spa, and award-winning restaurants.
Beyond the views, the amazing customer service makes it easy to unwind as they have activity recommendations on arrival. You do not have to think about breakfast, since it is included in your stay and the seats are positioned to provide you with sweeping views of the ocean. You may find yourself enjoying breakfast for an hour just taken away in the sites in front of you.
After enjoying a spa treatment, amazing views from the hotel, delicious food, and your soul feels free, explore the island to experience the unimaginable natural beauty the island has to offer.
You can take a short walk or long hike to get all the stress-relieving benefits that come from enjoying nature. The sites from Ponta de Sao Lourenco, Pico do Arieiro or along with the Levada hikes will completely take your breath away and leave you speechless.
While Ireland may not first spring to mind as one of the best places to visit in Europe for stress relief, on closer inspection there are many reasons why you should consider the Emerald Isle!
Firstly, did you know Irish people LOVE a day spa? If you’re wanting to unwind, relax and de-stress, day spas are the place. There are 8 days spas in Dublin alone and dozens more throughout the country.
Some such as Rainforest Spa in Co. Wicklow offers outdoor hot tubs overlooking rolling green hills to help you feel a closer connection to nature. During your stay, be pampered by massages to ease aches and pains, and enjoy facials and even a sauna.
Quite a compact country, Ireland is also the perfect destination to hire a car on your own and embark on a road trip. From visiting lovely small towns and coastal vistas to ancient castle ruins and mysterious stone circles, there is always something fascinating to rejuvenate the mind. It’s wonderful that such contrasting experiences are available in a single day due to Ireland’s small size.
One of the best Ireland travel tips is to experience Irish pub culture. Even for non-drinkers, the fun atmosphere of a pub, a hearty meal and uplifting traditional Irish music is sure to dissolve any worries. What’s not to love about catchy Irish songs played by fiddle, harp and flute!
Iceland is a place where solitude and serenity abound. With only 366,000 people in the entire country and most of them living in the capital city of Reykjavik, you’ll find plenty of places in the island nation where you can escape the crowds and feel secluded. Drive far to the east along Iceland’s south coast or head to the northern portion of the island and you’ll find more lava fields, icebergs, and wildflowers than you will people.
The country is a perfect place to hike, camp, and explore nature. Sit by one of Iceland’s many waterfalls and enjoy the sight and sound of rushing water. You’ll feel as if your stress is washing away with the cascading water.
For added healing, whether emotional or physical, head to the famous Blue Lagoon. Soaking in the milky blue, mineral-rich waters at the geothermal spa is a great way to alleviate stiffness, body aches, and even helps with health conditions like arthritis and psoriasis. Beyond the health benefits, the Blue Lagoon is a serene place where you can relax and feel rejuvenated while you bask in the warm man-made pools.
And because Iceland has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, whether you are traveling with your family or taking a solo sabbatical, you can explore without worrying about safety and security.
Mallorca Island in the Mediterranean
Mallorca is one of the most popular destinations for tourists, especially in summer. People chose it for the gorgeous beaches, the vibrant nightlife, and all-inclusive resorts. However, not many tourists know that you can go to Mallorca for a wellness weekend, to recharge yourself with energy and calm down your mind.
Tramuntia is a company based in the heart of the island, with the aim to help people bring peace to themselves by reconnecting with nature. The owner is Miguel, a chef who lost his restaurant because of the pandemic. Because of it, he channeled his passion for nature and his learning of Buddhist Zen philosophy to open up a wellness retreat to help people heal from stress.
This experience is a unique thing to do in Mallorca and includes accommodation in a traditional Mallorcan house surrounded by orange and lemon trees and a fully vegan menu. The daily program includes mindful meditation, yoga, foraging in the forest, and hikes around the beauty spots on the island.
Miguel is trying to help his guests disconnect from the stress of their daily lives and learn how to practice self-care and find peace within their bodies, practices that they can later apply to future stressful situations.
If you are seriously thinking about a nice retreat for stress relief somewhere in Europe, consider Mallorca and Tramuntia experience!
Did you know that Tenerife is among the best places in Europe to travel for adventure and relaxation? This island in Spain is full of activities that help to recharge, get rid of anxieties, shake off stress, and even heal from emotional traumas.
One of the most popular destinations on the island is North Tenerife with over 1000 km of trails where you can experience amazing adventures. You can explore the nature of the island on foot through long and beautiful hiking trails.
Every year, thousands of tourists visit both south and north of Tenerife to hike through the mountains to cleanse their emotional bodies and celebrate together the Tenerife Walking Festival. It is the right time to enjoy the true experience of hiking in Tenerife and get to know it.
If it is your first time hiking, the right thing is to visit the area with a guide. It is because there are some protected nature reserves that need permission to use the trails. You can even plan on your own if you have all the tourist information.
Hiking in Tenerife will help to de-stress because it takes you away from all the city hustle-bustle and surrounds you with greenery. The area sees a higher volume of rain, so there’s a lot more greenery than in other locations. Hiking on its trails will help calm your mind and relax emotionally.
Apart from hiking, you can also enjoy other things to do in Tenerife like water parks, underwater zoos, visiting Masca village, watching whales and dolphins, and of course driving to the island’s pretty towns. It is also home to various wellness parks like the Ritz Carlton, Abama. You can have a stress-relieving time there.
Los Cristianos and Playa Paraiso neighborhoods are great for stays for couples and families. Consider visiting this part of Europe from June through September as the temperatures are moderate.
Sigulda Town in the Baltic Region
Sigulda is a small town in Latvia in the midst of the lush and green Gauja National park. It is the perfect retreat in the Baltic region for those who are looking to find peace of mind within nature. In Sigulda, you’ll find yourself around the forested hills around the Gauja river. Here you’ll have endless opportunities to go hiking and cycling in the national park or simply relax in the town itself.
Sigulda is not very large, but there are plenty of things to do with several medieval castles in the area. Furthermore, this cute little town is not only famous because of its natural beauty, but also because of its spa hotels and luxurious manors. Here you can have a variety of spa treatments such as massages, steam baths, and saunas. The traditional Latvian pirt sauna ritual will make you feel reborn again.
Spa hotel Ezeri is the best spa hotel in Sigulda and has a scenic location on the shores of a lake. More basic is the Krimulda Wellness center, but this one is located in an old manor estate and has sweeping views over the Gauja river valley. Krimulda also has a rehabilitation center with specialized treatments for back pain, muscle pain and emotional stress relief including a 5-day body strengthening and relaxation program.
Sigulda is not far from Riga and therefore easy to visit on your own. There are frequent trains and the journey takes about one hour. Sigulda is a year-round destination and each season has its own charms.
Sicily the Largest Mediterranean Island
Here is another incredible island in the Mediterranean Sea perfect for a stress free weekend or long relaxing vacation.
Sicily can be an oasis of calm and quiet if you know when and where to visit. Rule number one is to avoid the high season, which stretches from June to the end of September. These are the months the island gets prohibitively hot and choc-a-bloc with tourists. Rule number two, Palermo and Catania are permanently busy and hectic even when there are no tourists around.
Travelers looking for a little peace & tranquility, with a side of authentic Sicilian island living, are better off heading to one of the many little villages around Sicily.
On the outskirts of Palermo, you will find Monreale and Mondello, the former famed for its UNESCO classified Duomo and quaint little streets to get lost in. The latter is a seaside suburb of Palermo with liberty-style villas and a long stretch of uninterrupted beach. Both are easily accessible via public transportation from Palermo and for the perfect day trip from the capital.
The adventurous explorer can opt to rent a car – warning driving in Sicily is not for the faint-hearted– and head out to the ancient hilltop village of Erice with population of only a couple of hundred, mostly older local Sicilians. Erice has incredible views overlooking the spectacular salt flats of Trapani and one of the best bakeries in the country. This village will surely fill both your heart and belly!
Whichever strikes your fancy, the hustle and bustle of Palermo & Catania or the tranquillity of villages such as Monreale, Mondello and Erice, the laid-back nature of Sicily will have you forgetting your worries the second you step off the plane. Couple that with some of the best food in the country and locals who love their little island and you have yourself a perfect getaway!
Bellagio in Italy
Another destination in Italy which had to make this list! Few places in Europe are as beautiful as Bellagio, a small town located between the two southernmost branches of Lake Como in Italy. Not many people know that it is a fantastic place to travel for adventure & complete relaxation.
With mild winters and warm summers, Bellagio has been a popular holiday destination for the rich and famous for the past two thousand years. However, the best time of the year to visit is during spring, when the temperatures are pleasant, the gardens are in bloom and not many people are around.
Because Bellagio is so small, you won’t feel pressured to check a long list of attractions. Instead, you’ll have plenty of time to relax, go on a boat ride on the lake, wander the beautiful cobbled streets and alleys, have some delicious Italian food, and overall just enjoy la dolce vita.
Most things to do in Bellagio are within walking distance from one another. In fact, the town is so small, it doesn’t even have a public transport system. But while tiny, Bellagio surely packs a punch and the hotels are top-notch as well, guaranteeing a restful sleep and gorgeous vistas.
If biking relaxes you, Hotel Il Perlo Panorama is located on the top of the hill above Bellagio and has bikes available for hire, with the option to join a group ride as well.
This is my list of the best places to go to relieve stress in Europe. Of course, there are many more! Do you have any of your favorites to add here? If yes, please share in the comment section, it will be helpful to others!