Let’s face it, last year was tough. So, how are you going to treat yourself to some much-deserved rest and relaxation as the world gradually reopens? From steaming saunas in Finnish Lapland to touring the serene temples of Thailand, we’ve got some ideas…

Soak in nature at its most spectacular

mother and son bathing in hot springs in Iceland

You may have seen snaps of Iceland’s iconic Blue Lagoon splashed across your Instagram, but the pictures only tell half the story. Once you’ve marveled at the lagoon’s striking turquoise waters, it’s time to dive in. The geothermal springs that bubble beneath the lagoon keep the temperature balmy year round, while its rich mineral mud is one of the best skin treatments nature has to offer. Immerse yourself and let your worries wash away.

Explore ancient forests and hot springs in Kyoto

A Japanese woman in kimono is appreciating Japanese rock garden at Hojo (the former living quarters of the head priest) of Tofuku-ji Temple in Kyoto. This garden is called Eastern Garden, the largest of the four gardens surrounding Hojo and it is composed of four rock groups symbolizing Elysian islands on the rough seas.

Japan’s capital, Tokyo, is buzzy and ultra modern. In contrast, Kyoto is peaceful, traditional, and nestled in nature. In other words, it’s the perfect destination for some time out. After you’ve explored its many gardens, palaces, and shrines, hike the ancient forests on the city outskirts and bathe in a natural outdoor onsen, a refreshing hot mineral spring. There’s no better place to experience the healing powers of nature.

Combine yoga with surfing in Portugal

Young woman on beach carries surfboard ready for a surf session in combination with a yoga class

Refresh your senses and invigorate your body on Portugal’s picturesque Costa da Caparica, just outside Lisbon. The region’s soft sandy beaches and dramatic cliffs make the perfect backdrop for a wellness retreat with a twist. Get your adrenaline flowing with a surfing lesson, then chill out with yoga on the beach. 

Travel to where tradition meets luxury

man experiencing winter ice swimming

When it comes to wellness, the Finns know what they’re talking about. Enjoying natural wood fired saunas is a part of life in this northern country. For a truly luxe experience, head to Lapland, where you can steam yourself in a traditional sauna then take a plunge in the nearby private lake. Once you’re feeling refreshed, hike the forest, try your hand at fishing, or indulge in some night time stargazing.

Head to the epicentre of the wellness world

woman standing on top of mount batur at sunrise watching the city below

The lush Balinese city of Ubud is a haven for wellness. Yoga classes abound, quirky cafes serve organic food, and traditional arts and crafts thrive. Once you’ve sampled the offerings in town, take a short drive out of the city to stunning Mt Batur. Sunrise on the summit is a spiritual experience not to be missed.

Indulge in Argentinian wine

Grandmother and granddaughter trying wine at a vineyard

Who said wine and wellness didn’t go together? In Mendoza, Argentina’s lush wine country, the two are a natural fit. Wander the rolling hills and reconnect with nature, then get a taste of the local terroir as you sip Malbec and more from world-class wineries. Feeling energetic? A fun wine-bike tour might be right for you. 

Cruise by temples in Bangkok

man photographing at temple against buildings while on a cruise

Bangkok boasts some of the world’s most spectacular temples. Want to see them all in blissfully relaxed fashion? Take a cruise down the Chao Phraya river and you’ll glide by marvels like the Emerald Buddha temple, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, and the Temple of the Dawn.

Meditate in an uber-cool gallery

woman at art gallery admiring a close-up of yellow flowers

Meditation is calming. Art is restorative. Experience both at the same time in one of Berlin’s hippest spaces, the Feuerle gallery. Home to a private collection of contemporary art, the gallery also offers unconventional wellness experiences for locals and in-the-know travelers. At the beginning of your experience, you’ll hand over your phone for a few hours of digital detox. Then, you’ll have the chance to meditate among works by modern masters like Anish Kapoor. What better way to reclaim your zen?

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