When it comes to taking a breather, you don’t have to splurge on a luxurious spa. Nothing beats the soothing calmness of the beach, the tranquility of the mountains, and the stillness of the countryside. Here are five wonderfully serene destinations guaranteed to recharge you from the stress and tension of last year.

Goa

Goa may be India’s ultimate party destination, but its laid-back atmosphere coupled with its stunning views make it perfect for mastering the art of beach lounging. Here, you can read your favorite book under the shade of palm trees, laze in a hammock while sipping cold kokum juice, or take an aimless stroll on the shore.

Because you’re in Goa, indulge in seafood dishes of prawn balchão and crab xec xec, then finish off with a glass of the locally produced liquor feni.

Don’t forget to show your appreciation for the service you received by tipping the people who assisted you. As in most places, the tip is typically 10% of the total bill.

Scottish Highlands

Perhaps it is the imposing silhouette of Ben Nevis at sunrise, the crystal clearness of Loch Ness, the deep dips of Glencoe, the majesty and mystery of ancient castles, and the irresistible charm of its coastal villages that makes the Scottish Highlands invigorating. And we haven’t even factored in the incredible cuisine, the rich culture, and warmth of the people.

For a truly restful vacation, stay in a holiday cottage, and you will never go wrong. The Highlands has a wide range of options, from the luxurious Ardmore Cottage in the Isle of Skye that you can find on the Independent Cottages website, to the off-the-grid Peanmeanach Bothy on the isolated Ardnish Peninsula. We guarantee that you will leave refreshed and ready to take on the new year.

Bali

Vacations rejuvenate us, and Bali takes this to the next level. At the Pura Tirta Empul, you can bathe in a purification pool to cleanse and heal your body and mind from the previous year’s negativity.

But if wadding through sacred water is not your cup of tea, try meditation yoga by the beach or experience the famous Balinese massage in one of the island’s world-class spas. We strongly believe, though, that cycling along the rice paddies in Ubud or watching the sunset at Tanah Lot Temple is just as revitalizing.

Limousin

Although a little rough around the edges, Limousin is one of the most beautiful places in France. On the contrary, its’ rural ambiance adds to its charm.

The region is home to Lake Vassiviere, one of the largest artificial lakes in the country, and the tragic town of Oradour-sur-Glane, a poignant memorial to the dreadful World War 2 massacre in 1944. Limoges, the capital, is a welcome change of pace from the fast-paced metropolis.

However, for uninterrupted quiet, rent a very European looking campervan and head straight to the region’s sprawling countryside, particularly the one surrounding Uzerche. You will have ample opportunities for scenic walks while relishing the breathtaking views of birch and beech woodlands, flower-clad meadows, lovely old villages, and thousands of streams.

Bora Bora

While your prime reason for a holiday in Bora Bora is to put your feet up, you can always insert a little adventure in your itinerary. The chill-out mood of the island is perfect for all-day beach lounging.

However, its pristine waters and lush interior will surely draw you out of your overwater bungalow. Give in to the temptation. Grab the once-in-a-lifetime chance to swim with sharks or go on a 4×4 drive around the island, through tangled jungles and to the peak of Mount Otemanu. Don’t forget to visit souvenir shops for the famous black pearls.

For a relaxing yet fun-filled evening, book a Polynesian dinner show and enjoy traditional dances while indulging in a sumptuous meal of barbequed meats, fresh seafood, and tropical fruits.

Travels of Adam - It's a blogLooking for a place to stay? I use HotelsCombined.com where you can easily compare hotel room rates and prices. Please note some posts do make me some money but I never sacrifice my integrity in exchange for a favorable review. Read the full disclosure policy.

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