Relaxing and recharging can mean different things to different people. For some, it can be maxing out on beach time or long lazy lunches savouring the local food and drink. For others, it’s about embracing a physical challenge that allows a total mental switch-off from life back home. Local therapies can help restless types unwind while experiencing local traditions and remedies, such as indulgent spa treatments in Cambodia or traditional Hammam high in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. It’s all about activating the senses.
We’ve rounded up seven ways to relax and recharge, from wine tasting in Portugal – where there’s time to reflect on scenic walks – to epic safari adventures in Kenya, with evenings spent enjoying sundowners overlooking the savannah.
1. Join the surfers on Costa Rica’s Tamarindo Beach
Perfect for surfers and swimmers alike, the shoreline of Tamarindo has both beach breaks and calm waters. Or just enjoy the sand. When day fades to night, the sun puts on a fiery display over the Pacific Ocean and invites a party mood to these shores.
On our 13-day Pura Vida Costa Rica trip, you’ll visit some of the nation’s natural highlights, including the waterways of Tortuguero National Park and the thermal pools of Rio Perdido. Guided hikes to La Fortuna Waterfall and Monteverde cloud forest will be memorable moments of your trip – and you’ll have a chance to relax and reflect on your adventure when you finish the journey with two nights at the beachfront Tamarindo Diria.
2. Mix mojitos in Cuba
Few places blend history, culture, and the chance to relax quite as superbly as Cuba. On our eight-day A Taste of Cuba trip, you’ll meet a bartender to learn how to mix the perfect Cuban mojito in a mojito-making lesson. Afterwards, you’ll take part in a salsa class before trying out the steps at a live music venue.
Mixing mojitos and dancing the night away isn’t the only way you’ll get to relax and recharge in Cuba. You’ll walk through Cuba’s Valley of Silence to observe rural life in Cuba and visit a tobacco farm to learn more about one of Cuba’s most famous exports.
3. Take a premium cruise along the Nile
A cruise is an effortless way to explore more of a destination and choosing a luxury cruise along the Nile takes you from Luxor to the Valley of the Kings to Aswan on a voyage that takes four nights. On our Nile Cruise & Aswan – Premium Adventure, you’ll see the highlights of Egypt – including Cairo and the ancient treasures on display in its museums – and the Pyramids at Giza, staying in a beautiful hotel in the city before your board the MS Movenpick Royal Lily or Royal Lotus, small luxury river ships.
4. Explore Portugal’s wine region
Walk through Portugal’s Basto and Douro vineyards and olive groves under summer skies in the company of an expert guide and a small group who share your interest in learning more about these verdant and beautiful landscapes. On our eight-day Portugal: Walking & Wine – Premium Adventure, gentle daily walks follow well-marked trails, and each day ends in a comfortable handpicked hotel where you can enjoy a glass or two of the local wine or port. Your journey through rural Portugal is perfectly balanced with time in Porto, where you’ll take a walking tour to see the highlights of the beautiful city, including tasting wine in the city’s port wine cellars.
5. Camp under the stars in Morocco
Get swept up in the rituals of Morocco on a profound discovery of this nation for two weeks on our Highlights of Morocco – In Comfort trip. Experience a traditional Hammam in the Atlas Mountains and spend a night in a desert camp under the stars after riding on camelback over the pink-toned sand on this away-from-it-all adventure. This is a journey that sees you change location every day or two, and the ideal experience for restless types but still has moments of calm, solitude, and reflection balanced with the inimitable energy of Morocco.
6. Try local spa therapies in Siem Reap
Treat yourself to premium hotels in Vietnam and Cambodia on an expert-led tour that guides you around the highlights of these nations in comfort and style. On our Vietnam & Angkor – Premium Adventure, there are plenty of moments to pause, including when you sip sundowners on an overnight cruise through the exquisitely beautiful Ha Long Bay. Two nights at the spa hotel in Siem Reap concludes a two-week adventure, where there’s the chance to indulge in relaxing local spa therapies between exploring the sensational (and tranquil) temples of Angkor. Try a Khmer massage that uses passive stretching and gentle pressure along energy lines to ease tension.
7. Enjoy an optional balloon ride over the African plains
This classic safari offers the chance to see White and Black rhino, buffalo and Leopards in Lake Nakuru National Park before you head to the Masai Mara, where you can combine the thrill of a jeep safari with a relaxing hot air balloon ride that takes you above the Masai Mara on our Classic Kenya 4WD Safari. On this trip, you’ll have the option, if weather conditions and availability allow, to glide silently above the plains of the Masai Mara, spotting towers of Giraffes, Hippos by the swamps and Leopards running through the grasslands as the sun rises.
We’d recommend booking your trip during the Great Migration, between July and October, where over two million Wildebeest, Zebra and other herbivores migrate towards better pastures in the Masai Mara, giving you the most spectacular bird’s-eye view from above. You’ll also enjoy a tranquil boat ride across Lake Naivasha, providing perfect moments of pause on a whirlwind week-long adventure.
If you’re looking for more adventures that activate the senses, click here.