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For The Most Relaxing Vacation, Lonely Planet Says Travel To These 6 Destinations

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After the past two and a half years, it is safe to say that most people could benefit from a relaxing vacation that leaves them feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to take on whatever else the world will throw at them. But the mere thought of trying to narrow down the best places can leave some travelers overwhelmed.

Thankfully, Lonely Planet has done the dirty work and narrowed down the six best destinations they think are best to relax and unwind in 2023.  

A woman sits in a wicker egg shaped swing overlooking the jungle

One thing that all these destinations have in common is easy access to nature, suggesting that the mere act of being surrounded by the Earth’s beauty can be a relaxing, healing, and recharging experience. Below are six of the top places to unwind as chosen by Lonely Planet. You’ll find opportunities to relax in deserts, rainforests, beaches, and waters across the globe, leaving you blissfully recharged and ready to take on anything.

a woman in a skirt walks along the beach as birds fly overhead


While most visitors to Jordan head straight to Petra and other World Heritage Sights, there is so much more to see and do in this diverse Middle Eastern country. With some truly unique ways to relax and unwind and a deep-rooted culture of hospitality, visitors are instantly put at ease and made to feel safe and welcome.

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A colorful sunrise in the Wadi Rum desert

The otherworldly desert region of Wadi Rum is frequented by day trippers, but for a truly authentic and relaxing experience, visitors can book a stay at one of the area’s desert camps. This is a perfect option for tourists who are looking to unwind from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

With no cell service and a seemingly endless desert landscape, visitors can unplug and take inspiration from nature. Wadi Rum is also a particularly fantastic place to gaze at the stars and contemplate life due to the complete lack of light pollution.   

millions of stars are visible in the Wadi Rum desert at night

When To Go

Jordan can be a year-round destination depending on your itinerary. The climates vary quite a bit depending on the location, so make sure to check in advance to make sure you are choosing the right time to go based on your planned activities.

How To Get There

Jordan’s largest airport is located in the capital city of Amman, which has direct access from major U.S. and European cities, including New York, Chicago, and London.

Camels rest in the Wadi rum desert


The Caribbean island of Dominica, known as Nature Island, is the perfect place to unwind and recharge. Even though Dominica is one of the least-developed Caribbean islands, it still offers plenty to do, most of it nature-based. Boasting 365 rivers, waterfalls of all sizes, soaring mountains, flourishing rainforests, and fantastic snorkeling and diving, it is easy for visitors to immerse themselves in the relaxing power of nature.

A waterfall cascades into a pool in the jungles of Dominica

When To Go

Temperatures in Dominica are pleasant year-round, but tourists might want to avoid the rainy/hurricane season from June – October. The island is located in the hurricane belt and is no stranger to destructive storms.

How To Get There

Dominica’s airports are too small to handle large planes, so there are no direct flights from the U.S. or Canada. The most popular way to reach the island is on American Airlines' daily flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

a boat rests on the rocky shore in Dominica

Halkidiki, Greece

The Halkidiki region in Northern Greece offers idyllic beaches along the Aegean Sea for visitors looking for respite from everyday stresses. Halkidiki is composed of three peninsulas, each with stunning scenery and its own unique character. For a truly relaxing experience, visit Mt. Athos, the Holy Mountain, for a scenic drive or forest hike.

an alley view of Greek waters with land in the distance

When To Go

The fall months of September, October, and November are the busiest, so if you are trying to avoid crowds and higher prices, avoid these months or book well in advance.

How To Get There

The closest airport to this region is the International Airport of Thessaloniki, which is about a one-hour drive from Halkidiki. There are no direct flights from the U.S., so tourists will need to connect through Athens or another European city.

an arial view of a beach in greece


Jamaica’s laid-back culture, friendly locals, and beautiful landscape make it an easy choice for anyone looking to get away from it all. The island is one of the most popular vacation destinations for Americans, so planning a trip and getting there can be done with ease.

With no shortage of luxurious resorts to choose from, it is hard to go wrong with a vacation to Jamaica. The beautiful sandy beaches are arguably some of the most relaxing in the world, and the infectious Jamaican culture is powerful enough to put anyone at ease.

Woman on a raft montego bay jamaica

When To Go

Jamaica’s high season is from December – April, but the climate is pleasant enough for year-round travel. If you are traveling during the off-season, just be sure to check in advance to be sure that the things you want to do and see are open. Hurricane season in Jamaica runs from June – November, so be sure to check the weather and purchase travel insurance if you plan on visiting then.

How To Get There

Jamaica is easily accessible from the U.S. – the island’s airports have frequent flights to and from New York and Miami.

Woman relaxing on a beach chair in jamaica


The small Mediterranean island of Malta has much to offer tourists who want to explore something different in Europe. Malta has plenty to explore, and it is easy to see most of the popular sights because of the country’s small size.

The small island of Gozo is a short 45-minute ferry ride from the capital city of Valetta and has some truly spectacular and off-the-beaten-path places to explore. From the Azure Window, a recently collapsed natural rock formation on the coast, to the pedestrianized ancient streets and the wild coastal walks, Malta’s Gozo is a fantastic place to get away from it all.

the sun sets behind rocks in scenic Gozo

When To Go

Malta averages 300 days of sun each year and brings in big crowds and high temperatures in the peak summer months. If you want to avoid crowds and oppressive heat, come during the shoulder seasons – May, September, and October are great months to visit.

How To Get There

There are no direct flights from the U.S. to Malta. Passengers originating in the U.S. typically connect through a European city – Paris, Dublin, London, and Rome all fly directly into Malta. The International Airport is located just outside the capital city of Valetta, making access to the main city easy once you get there.

Woman looking down on Malta

Raja Ampat, Indonesia

The islands of Raja Ampat in West Papua Province, Indonesia are some of the most unique and breathtaking natural wonders in the world, both above and below sea level. Raja Ampat is made up of 1,500 small islands that dot the clear blue waters where the Indian and Pacific Oceans meet. This is one of the world’s top destinations for unique diving or snorkeling experiences, with 540 types of corals and 1,000 species of coralfish.

islands dot the blue waters in Raja Ampat

When To Go

Raja Ampat is a year-round destination, but it is recommended to visit between September – April for the best diving conditions.

How To Get There

To get to Raja Ampat, tourists will need to first fly to Jakarta, Makassar, or Sorong and then take a small plane to Waisai in Raja Ampat. There is also an option to take a 2-3 hour ferry from Sorong to the islands.

an overwater hut stands in the turquoise waters of Raja Ampat

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Yo Wats

Tuesday 22nd of November 2022

I don't understand how Jamaica keeps makeing it to these travel list. The first thing that comes to mind is,have these people actually ever been to Jamaica? I love the food and I love the music but Jamaica is a highly dangerous place. It's only relaxing if you stay at your resort that has a private beach, where the souvenir hawkers don't harass the hell out of you, because they refuse to take no for an answer.

Coach Cherise

Sunday 27th of November 2022

@Yo Wats, when we left the property (which was amazing) we paid a driver. This allowed us to experience local culture and some of the most breathtaking sites I've ever experienced.

Everywhere our driver took us (and in most places there were no tourists) the people were friendly and helpful. I won't contradict your statement yet it's not my experience in Jamaica. I would definitely go back ❤️


Friday 25th of November 2022

@Baker, I've had the best time in Jamaica and I was a solo female traveler...everyone was so friendly!!!


Friday 25th of November 2022

@Yo Wats, Jamaica is very relaxing even off the resorts. I've not one time fear for my life in Jamaica and I drive myself anywhere I want to go.


Thursday 24th of November 2022

@Yo Wats, Truth. Not going back.


Sunday 20th of November 2022

Jamaica is not relaxing unless you're in a bubble and resort.

Harriet Grose

Thursday 24th of November 2022

@Dee, Totally agree! Having been, having lived on a sailboat for 16 years in the Eastern Caribbean, having visited Jamaica, I totally agree! HG