It’s easy to forget, when inspired and excited by a range of spectacular destinations, that a holiday really does need to include some relaxation. For some, that’s a few days doing nothing by the beach, and for others, it’s taking the whole holiday at a slow pace.

Soak up the spectacular views from Coco Cottage on Koh Ngai | Photo credit: Coco Cottage

I always joke with my customers that I don’t want them to return home needing another holiday to recover, so it’s important to strike the right balance of experiencing each destination and relaxing. So, with that in mind, here are my top picks for relaxing holidays around the world.

1. Soak up the wildflower meadows and wineries in South Africa

Enjoy wildflowers and wine on this Cape Town holiday. Start in the city, where you can take in views over the ocean from Table Mountain, head to Robben Island to learn about Nelson Mandela and feast on fresh seafood by the harbour. After a few days exploring, head down to the Cape of Good Hope and meet the little penguins in Simonstown before driving north.

Enjoy vast views of the ocean at Western Cape National Park and stroll along the white beach in Pasternoter before driving past wildflower meadows on your way to the Cederberg Mountains. Relax and recharge at Bushmans Kloof, an oasis of tranquillity before finishing your holiday at Babylonstoren in the winelands. Watch the geese waddle around the farm, enjoy farm to fork cuisine and raise a glass of local chenin blanc to toast a magical Cape Town holiday.     

Enjoy delicious food and wine in Franschhoek | Travel Nation

2. Hop between pristine beaches in the Seychelles

Enjoy this spectacular Seychelles island hopping holiday, taking in the breath-taking beaches and lush peaks of La Digue, Praslin and Mahe. Start on the paradise island of Praslin, where sugary beaches and pristine waters await. Snorkel with colourful fishes under the crystal-clear waters before hopping on the ferry to La Digue. This car-free island is a haven of peaceful tranquillity – relax on the empty beaches before heading to Mahe. Finish your Seychelles holiday on the main island, where you can hike through the lush jungles and sip a cocktail whilst the sun sets into the ocean.

Escape to Anse Lazio in the Seychelles | Travel Nation

3. Get off grid in the Austral Islands, a Pacific paradise

South of Tahiti, you’ll find the Austral Islands, where legends and unique experiences await. During this off-the-beaten-track holiday, you'll visit a remote archipelago that will open your eyes to the secluded world of the South Pacific. These temperate islands are full of life, with communities that will welcome you to their beautiful shores with open arms and broad smiles.

The Austral Islands will give you everything you dream of from an island holiday, and much more. Watch whales leap from the water, enjoy fruit picked fresh from the trees, hike through untouched jungle and relax on white-sand beaches. Finish your trip with some in tropical Moorea, a wonderful way to finish a trip with peace and pure tranquillity.

Learn about local traditions in the Austral Islands | Photo credit: Tahiti Tourisme

4. Kick back on the peaceful islands of Bali & Lombok

Discover the romantic islands of Indonesia with our boutique Bali and Lombok honeymoon package with Gili Meno. Begin with a stay on the Balinese beaches of Seminyak where you can unwind, enjoy some delicious Balinese food and visit the boutique shops before heading to Ubud, Bali’s cultural heart. Wander through the markets or cycle through the lush rice paddies and see traditional Balinese life. Visit the village of Sidemen, set high in the hills and with spectacular views over the majestic Mount Agung. Life moves slower here and believe us when we say it’s hard to leave.

Returning to the beach for a week, your first visit is to the pristine island of Gili Meno where you can snorkel with turtles and clouds of fish, spending each evening watching the sun set into the ocean with a beer in your hand. Finish your holiday on Lombok, where a stay in a luxurious hotel and some indulgent time in the spa is a wonderful way to end your trip.

Balinese women walking through terraced rice paddies

5. Relax on the pretty beaches of southern Thailand

Enjoy this Thailand beach holiday visiting the paradise sands of Phuket, Railay Bay and Koh Lanta. Start in the capital city, Bangkok, where you’ll explore the glittering Grand Palace and feast on delicious bowls of pad thai. Fly south for some beach time, starting on the golden sands of Phuket.

Take a day to explore the idyllic islands of Koh Phi Phi before taking a ferry to Koh Lanta, where you’ll indulge at the Pimalai Resort & Spa. Eat fresh local cuisine and swim in the turquoise pools after a day reading your book on the beach. Finish your holiday in spectacular Railay Bay, where limestone cliffs surround the white sands and pink sunset splash across the sky. This truly is the perfect Thailand beach holiday.

Stay on stunning Railay Beach in Thailand | Travel Nation

6. Look for lions in the Masai Mara

Dive into this unforgettable Kenya wildlife safari holiday, including business class international flights and the exclusive lodges of the Governors’ Camp Collection. Starting at the classic Loldia House, you’ll take in the best of the Rift Valley. You’ll admire the vast soda lakes, flurries of pink flamingos and delicious al fresco dinners under African skies.

Next, you’ll experience life in the Masai Mara. Spot lion cubs snoozing in the shade, see elephants crunching through the long grasses and look out for crocodiles lurking with their eyes above the water. The sheer amount of wildlife you can see in the Masai Mara is breath-taking. A safari might not sound that relaxing but when it’s done in style, with guides that are knowledgeable and friendly, you’ll find it’s actually an incredibly peaceful, though exhilarating, experience.

End your Kenya holiday at Mfangano Island Camp on Lake Victoria, where you can spend a few days sunbathing, bird watching and eating fresh fish by the lake. There’s no better way to finish a magical wildlife trip to Kenya.

Relax on the banks of Lake Victoria at Mfangano Island Camp | Photo credit: Governors' Camp Collection

7. Indulge in local wine and gourmet dining in Australia

Food and wine fanatics will love this holiday in South Australia. From the thriving markets of Adelaide to the big names and boutique wineries of the Barossa Valley, with 80 cellar doors in this region alone, you'll be spoilt for choice. And with a boutique tour to Kangaroo Island, you're guaranteed to meet some of the loveable Aussie favourites including kangaroos, koalas and seals.

This itinerary is slow and leisurely, with plenty of time to explore at your own pace, soaking up the famously relaxed Aussie vibe. Revel in abundant native wildlife, as well as bountiful vineyards and gourmet food producers. Enjoy 4* accommodation throughout, to make your stay comfortable.

Meet the kangaroos of Kangaroo Island | Travel Nation

8. Snorkel in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean

Indulge in luxury on this Mnemba Island, Zanzibar and Pemba beach holiday with business class flights. Start with a stopover in Dubai, where you can relax at a luxury hotel and explore the majestic sand dunes of the UAE. Head to the African coast, relaxing on the white sands of the Indian Ocean and soaking in the spice-filled breezes of Zanzibar.

Next, you’ll spend the night on the incredible underwater room at the Manta Resort in Pemba Island. Watch shoals of fish swim by and stargaze from the deck in the evening. Finish your luxurious holiday on Mnemba Island, relaxing in your private banda on the beach and soaking up the peaceful and magical atmosphere.

Views of the floating room at Manta Resort | Travel Nation

9. Combine dreamy beaches with the vibrant city of Bangkok

Enjoy a luxurious city break and beach escape in exotic Bangkok and the dreamy Maldives. Starting with a stop in the Thai capital, you can use your beautiful hotel as a base to explore the city, from the flower markets and dumplings of Chinatown to the golden temples and tiny boats along the river.

Next, you’ll head to the Maldives, where an overwater bungalow with a private pool and a heavenly week of exquisite food, turquoise water and white sand awaits. Combine all this with business class flights to Bangkok and you’ve got yourself the luxury getaway you deserve.

Relax in the luxurious Water Suite at Velassaru | Travel Nation

Ready to kick back and relax?

I hope these relaxing holidays have got you in the mood for some R&R. Whether you want to kick back on castaway islands in the Pacific, sip wine in the vineyards of South Africa or cycle through the peaceful villages of Indonesia, we can plan whatever relaxing holiday is right for you. If you want to start to plan, give me a call on +44 1273320580 or request a quote. We are experts in planning tailor-made holidays, as well as round the world flights, so we can work together with you until we’ve created your perfect trip.

Soak up the spectacular views from Coco Cottage on Koh Ngai | Photo credit: Coco Cottage

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