We asked some of our travel team to come together and recommend their perfect mental health break destinations. These suggestions below are where in the world they found to be the most ideal places for self-love and relaxation. Take a read… and maybe a trip?
1)Mui Ne, Vietnam – Freya Millard
Never have I been anywhere quite as vividly spectacular as the coast of Vietnam. We’ve all heard the many tales of what this country has to offer, but it isn’t until the moment you experience it for yourself do you truly understand what all the fuss was about. My favourite spot on Earth has to be the quiet coastal town of Mui Ne – it’s peaceful, warm and just so rich in colour and culture. I found the best place to relax there is strolling down ‘Fairy stream‘. The warm water soothes your feet as you walk along these incredible orange cliff sides which tuck you safely inside this little creek. As you look up to see the staggering rocks, you also catch the stark contrast of these orange cliffs against the flawless blue sky. Put it together and it makes you feel like you’re in a cartoon and far from the troubles of the world.
2)Crete, Samaria Gorge – George Seabrook
The Samaria Gorge, the longest in all of Europe, lies on the South-West shores of Crete. It’s 16km long, starting more than one kilometre above sea-level at the northern entrance; hiking it alone at the start of September 2015 provided the most stunning vistas of natural geography I have ever encountered. It’s a tiring walk, even in late summer Mediterranean heat, but the personal rewards are plentiful – not least the cleansing cool of the sea beyond the finish line, washing against the black sand beach. This place is truly heaven on Earth and an ideal place for a break away from it all.
3)Mexico – Chelsea Smith
Sometimes we just want to escape.
When I feel the stress bubbling up my mind flashes back to a little beach on the East coast of Mexico I was lucky enough to experience. I had woken up at dawn and sat on the soft white sand watching the waves slowly roll in, the sun slowly rising; I’d never felt so peaceful. When it all becomes a little too much, my mental health break destination is the beach. There is nothing more calming or grounding than running sand through your hands and staring out at that wide blue ocean; reminding you anything is possible.
4)Rome – Sophie Nobes
I understand why you’d question my suggestion of a city with a population of 4.3 million people; hear me out. Hidden among the labyrinthine streets of Rome is Piazza Navona; a square centred with a water fountain and surrounded by cafes and gelaterias. But why is it beneficial to your mental health? If you’re like me, you find it far too easy to catastrophise a situation. I found that sitting still in a constantly moving city made me relax and realise that really, it wasn’t all so bad. Taking the time to stop while the whole world carries on around you is an underrated method of self-care.
5) Edinburgh – Margaret Allan
Going somewhere familiar can be beneficial when trying to reduce stress. My de-stress destination would subsequently be Edinburgh, which I’ve been to repeatedly since my childhood. Nevertheless, it never grows old and offers many ways to relax. You can cosy up in a warming café or pub to melt away the stress; unleash yourself to the arts and get involved in something different; or walk through the nearby hills to wash away those blues. To top it all off, it doesn’t need to cost you a fortune to get there. Perfect in so many ways!