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Three-toed sloth, Costa Rica

10 of the Happiest Places on Earth

Read time - 3 minutes

Happiness – all important and all too often elusive, it plays such a crucial role in our mental and physical wellbeing. But where holds the secret to true happiness? 

We’re spilling the beans on some of the happiest places on Earth and what you might get from visiting these cheerful countries.

Happiest Places to Visit

Costa Rica

Costa Rica landscape

Costa Rica is Number 1 on the Happy Planet Index. Life expectancy is high, the surroundings remain staggeringly beautiful because of the forward-thinking approach to environmentalism, and it is one of the few countries in the world with no armed forces. It doesn’t get happier than this, folks.

Take me there: Costa Rica Holidays

Iceland

Iceland waterfall

As well as being Number 1 on the global peace index, even an economic recession couldn’t keep Iceland out of the top 10 happiest countries in the world! It’s not hard to see why, with glaciers and hot springs covering the place!

Take me there: Iceland Holidays

New Zealand

New Zealand mountain view

Few countries on Earth can offer the kind of diverse and striking natural beauty that New Zealand does. Low levels of pollution and high levels of biodiversity combine with low levels of inequality and long life expectancies to create the perfect conditions for happiness.

Take me there: New Zealand Holidays

Norway

Trolltunga

The highest-ranking European nation on the Happy Planet Index, Norway is a wildly beautiful land of mountains and fjords. Free education, healthcare, pensions and short working hours all contribute to a comfortable, happy population!

Take me there: Norway Holidays

Vietnam

Backwaters

Fifth on the Happy Plane Index and second in all of Asia, Vietnam is a remarkable country, not just because of its well-being, poverty reduction or life expectancy scores, but due to the absolutely staggeringly low ecological footprint. It’s a beautiful place to boot!

Take me there: Vietnam Holidays

Sweden

Cross-country skiing in Sweden

Sweden consistently appears near the top of the happiness report. Quality of life is high (along with consumption of coffee) and the environment is well protected – just one look at the serene arctic beauty of the far north will tell you all you need to know.

Take me there: Sweden Holidays

Australia

Great Barrier Reef

Though its environmental record leaves much to be desired, Australia is among the world’s best when it comes to happiness. It boasts so much natural wonder to take in, as well as the best BBQs in the world!

Take me there: Australia Holidays

Canada

Whales in Canada

A peaceful land of towering forests and mountains inhabited by astonishing wildlife, Canada has a reputation worldwide for its happy and polite citizens. And who can blame them when they live in a place with national parks like this?

Take me there: Canada Holidays

Finland

Dogsledding in Finland

Low population, immense wildernesses and inundation of hot tubs – Finland’s appearance on this list speaks for itself! For the optimal experience head to Basecamp Oulanka, an ecologically friendly resort and a hub for Finnish adventure.

Take me there: Finland Holidays

Switzerland

Swiss mountains

Number 1 for well-being, Switzerland is a mountainous paradise. When you look at the local delicacies - huge gooey fondues and world-famous chocolate - it's no surprise this Alpine paradise ranks as highly as it does.

Take me there: Switzerland Holidays

If you'd like to visit one of the happiest places on earth, take a look at our holidays below.

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